NWO at its best: Inside the Pope’s Reptilian Audience Hall in Vatican City

By Buck Rogers

Among the many strange and suspicious statues, fountains, facades and structures that occupy Vatican City, the Pope’s Audience Hall stands out for its uncanny resemblance to a snake. Completed in 1971, the peculiar structure sits only partly within the actual boundary of the City/State, and the whole building, inside and out is unmistakably reptilian.

It’s officially named the Paul VI Audience Hall, after Pope Paul the Sixth, who reigned from 1963 to 1978. Apparently he was a decent Pope, although he has been implicated in covering up or ignoring the sexual abuse of young boys by members of the Catholic clergy. He was alerted to these scandals in a letter by Rev. Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald in August 1963, and was advised to take serous action against pedophiles, although he never did anything.

In this overhead photo, the building stands out for its unusual shape, which is innocuous enough until juxtaposed with a viper’s head.

Notice the similarities in the shape, the roofing and scaly skin, and the placement of eyes

Designed by award-winning Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi, the building is designed to seat 6300 people for conference with the Pope himself, who presents from a stage in front of a giant Satanic looking sculpture. Named The Resurrection, La Resurrezione, the sculpture was designed by or Pericle Fazzini. and was inspired by the idea of Christ rising from the blast of a nuclear explosion. 

Suddenly there came to me the idea of Christ preaching peace for 2,000 years, and the place where He prayed for the last time: the olive grove of Gethsemane,” said Mr. Fazzini in a book about the work. ”I had the idea of depicting Christ as if He were rising again from the explosion of this large olive grove, peaceful site of His last prayers. Christ rises from this crater torn open by a nuclear bomb; an atrocious explosion, a vortex of violence and energy.” [Source]

Oddly, from an angle, the head of Christ looks suspiciously like the head of a snake with its fangs open, prepared to bite.

The interior of the Audience Hall also closely resembles a serpent, strikingly with two fangs positioned over the stage. Both from the stage, and from the audience’s entry way, the room unmistakably resembles a snake, even though some write this off as delusional thinking, warning people away from considering it’s deeper meaning.

Human pattern recognition is wonky. We tend to see faces in clouds and rock formations. Same here. Pareidolia it is called. The photographer specifically selected lens and position as to invoke snake imagery. There is no snake in the real hall. There is only one in the distorted picture, because it was a neat feature to put into the picture.” [Source]

Here is the view from the entry way. Is this just a trick on the eyes?

And from the Pope’s position on stage… with more teeth.

The massive stained-glass windows on the sides of the hall are also quite reptilian in their design, featuring vertical slits in oval-shaped eyes.

Symbolism and Esoteric Meaning

The Vatican, while located in Rome, is it’s own sovereign nation state, and a look around the grounds reveals unimaginable wealth and a plethora of strangely symbolic pieces. The famous Fontana della Pigna is a massive pine cone which is believed by many to represent the pineal gland, a tiny gland within the human brain believed to be the source of spiritual experience.

Of course, the Vatican itself is easily recognizable from above as a giant keyhole, symbolizing the gates of heaven. Design like this does not happen per chance, and the world’s capital of great architecture, Rome, it is ludicrous to think that a famous architect could design a building that just accidentally looks like a giant snake’s head, even though the Vatican denies the resemblance.

For years, independent investigators have worked to point out the dark symbolism of the Catholic Church, noting that symbolism in architecture has long been used ton convey hidden meaning.

6 YHWH sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many people of Israel died. 7 The people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against YHWH, and against you. Pray to YHWH, that he take away the serpents from us.” Moses prayed for the people.

YHWH said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard: and it shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it on the standard: and it happened, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of brass, he lived.” ~The Bible, Numbers 21:4b-9

In the Bible, the snake symbolizes both wisdom, as in the Adam and Eve tale, but more commonly it represents the presence of evil.

Perhaps most common is the portrayal of the serpent as an enemy in general, or as Satan in particular.” [Source]

If you add to this the story of the Illuminati bloodlines and the theory that the global elite are part of a reptilian hybrid race on non-humans who rule over us with powerful institutions like the church, then the Pope’s Audience Hall invokes even more curiosity. Either way, the Audience hall definitely has an evil vibe to it, and this is no accident.


About the Author

Buck Rogers is the earth-bound incarnation of that familiar part of our timeless cosmic selves, the rebel within. He is a surfer of ideals and meditates often on the promise of happiness in a world battered by the angry seas of human thoughtlessness. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com.

This article (Inside the Pope’s Reptilian Audience Hall in Vatican Citywas originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Buck Rogers and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.-

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The Vatican Control Over the World ” A Must Watch!!


John Paul II Allowed Jewish Service in the Vatican

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ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: COMMUNIST, LESBIAN, BIG MOUTH

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: COMMUNIST, LESBIAN, BIG MOUTH

BY MS KING FROM TOMATOBUBBLE.COM

NY TIMES: RESTORING ELEANOR ROOSEVELT’S CHILDHOOD HOME ON THE HUDSON

REBUTTAL BY

This story about the ongoing renovations to the brick mansion on the Hudson River in which the immensely wealthy St. Eleanor Roosevelt grew up in is of no concern to Sugar and me, er, “The Editorial Board” of The Anti-New York Times. We’d much prefer to see it demolished as a symbolic condemnation of the many evil deeds committed by that rotten family of elitist gangsters — the Wretched Roosevelts. But the story does offer us a good opportunity to debunk the myth of this nasty Marxist hag that the PRC (((Predatory Ruling Class))) has sainted for us to worship.

Eleanor the Red was not just a Roosevelt by marriage to her distant cousin St. Franklin Roosevelt, but also an actual Roosevelt herself. She was the niece of St. Theodore Roosevelt — that vile arch-criminal, elephant slaughterer, repugnant warmonger and murderous false-flagger who blew up the USS Maine while serving as acting Naval Secretary in 1898. If you haven’t already read “The Real Roosevelts” — an epic beatdown of the odious trio of St. Teddy, St. Frankie & St. Ellie, by yours truly — then you really should. What follows here is a bullet point summary of just some of the little known dirt which we dug up on Eleanor the Globalist Red.

https://i2.wp.com/images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51jTZF9yKTL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg?resize=229%2C267&ssl=1 https://i1.wp.com/images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511JtpTBOtL.jpg?resize=184%2C267&ssl=1 https://i2.wp.com/barkpost-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Eleanor_Roosevelt_with_Fala_2.jpg?resize=280%2C262

1 & 2. PBS commie film-maker Ken Burns published, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. M S King responded with, The Roosevelts: An Omitted History. (Here)   3. Eleanor Roosevelt in later years (the one on the left).

Ten Nastiest Facts About Eleanor Roosevelt:

(Refer to book for source documentation)

1. She had more Communist front affiliations than you could shake a hammer & sickle at. Eleanor was, at the very least, a conscious “fellow traveler” of subversive Communists of America — but quite possibly, an actual secret member of the Party.

2. She was a lesbian.

3. She arranged for the FBI to investigate Westbrook Pegler, an award-winning journalist and harsh critic of hers that she sought to intimidate.

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Hoover-JEdgar-LOC.jpg?resize=218%2C273&ssl=1 https://i1.wp.com/i.pinimg.com/736x/b4/dd/b4/b4ddb4cd2a98846c92911c11e533285b--eleanor-roosevelt-theodore-roosevelt.jpg?resize=205%2C273&ssl=1 https://i1.wp.com/spartacus-educational.com/00pegler3.jpg?resize=243%2C273

1. Throughout the 1950’s — years after Franklin had died — FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover kept a file on her subversive activities.  2. Who let the dogs out? Eleanor Roosevelt with dyke companion, the journalist Lorena Hickok.  3. Westbrook Pegler’s columns trashed Eleanor routinely — referring to her as “La Boca Grande” (the Big Mouth). Eleanor had him investigated for “sedition,” but he was cleared.

4. She incited hatred against peaceful Germany during the pre-war years, and became even more hysterical after her husband tricked America into the war.

5. She publicly and proudly stood up for the infamous Communist traitor, Alger Hiss, even after he was proved to be a Communist/Soviet agent.

6. In spite of her immense wealth and “do-gooder” facade, her charitable donations — even during the depths of the Great Depression and WW 2 hardships — were minimal.

7. She was a pro-U.N. Globalist fanatic until her dying day.

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.thehistoryreader.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Hitler-declares-war-on-the-United-States-21-300x435.jpg?resize=144%2C208 https://i1.wp.com/www.conservapedia.com/images/a/a6/Hiss2.png?resize=111%2C207 https://i1.wp.com/www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/images/timepix_133058.jpg?resize=185%2C207&ssl=1 https://i1.wp.com/media1.britannica.com/eb-media/44/94944-004-5FA0AEE2.jpg?resize=258%2C207&ssl=1

1. The Great One on Eleanor:  “Then, the honorable wife [Eleanor] took his place. She and her sons, she said, refused to live in a world such as ours. That is at least understandable, for ours is world of work and not one of deceit and racketeering.” 2. Alger Hiss — known Communist traitor, defended by Eleanor even after many libtards had abandoned him. 3 & 4. At the U.N., Ambassador Eleanor was all about the “human rights.”

8. She became an early and outspoken promoter of the anti-White “Civil Rights” movement.

9. She was also an early “environmentalist” — a scam to promote more and more government land grabs.

10. She was an advocate of “Children’s Rights” — a scam to undermine parents and bring children under the total educational control and corruption by the New World Order, via UNESCO.

https://i1.wp.com/www.leahrigueur.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/eleanor-roosevelt.jpg?resize=311%2C219 https://i0.wp.com/media1.britannica.com/eb-media/03/3803-004-1C96ACE9.jpg?resize=190%2C227&ssl=1 https://i1.wp.com/learnodo-newtonic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Eleanor-Roosevelt-with-an-African-American-child-in-Detroit-in-1935.jpg?resize=285%2C221&ssl=1

1. The blessing of St. Eleanor bestowed undeserved prestige to the up and coming rabble-rouser, Marxist Loser King  2. For “the children” — “the children” — always about “the children.”  3. “Dang! You sho-nuff be one ugly-ass White lady.” (Out of the mouth of babes)

In short, Eleanor Roosevelt was an earlier incarnation of another nasty Communist lesbian, Killary Rotten Clinscum — just uglier. Indeed, back in 1992, Killary, who has long been suspected of dabbling in witchcraft, once said that she “communed with” the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt. (hereIt wouldn’t surprise us if those two demented dykes “communed” in ways that we cannot mention on this family-friendly forum.

https://i2.wp.com/www.firstladies.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Hillary-Clinton-famously-called-on-her-imagination-to-think-about-Eleanor-Roosevelts-reactions-to-what-she-was-then-experiencing-as-First-Lady.-papermasters.com_.jpg?resize=308%2C224  https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/cnsnews-billclinton-eleanor_roosevelt_passed_me_a_message_through_hillary_this_week.jpg?w=500&h=828&resize=152%2C249  https://i1.wp.com/i.ytimg.com/vi/8859223CEEk/hqdefault.jpg?resize=307%2C225&ssl=1

Sick and Sicker

*

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  Boobus Americanus 1: I read in the New York Times today that the childhood home of Eleanor Roosevelt is being renovated.

Boobus Americanus 2: That’s good to know. She was an icon of American history and a positive role model for women.

SOURCE –
THERE WAS NO NEED FOR WORLD WAR II
ROOSEVELT WANTED THE JAPS TO ATTACK PEARL HARBOR
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ROOSEVELTS 
DID FDR SIC THE IRS ON REPUBLICAN JESSE OWENS? 
TEDDY ROOSEVELT’S FAKED ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT 
JUDAISM IS COMMUNISM (NOW RE-BRANDED AS GLOBALISM)

The Chart That Proves That Mainstream Media Lies About US Unemployment

Economic Collapse

  • MARCH 12, 2013 BY 21WIRE

The mainstream media is absolutely giddy that the U.S. unemployment rate has hit a “four-year low” of 7.7 percent. 

But is unemployment in the United States actually going down?  After all, you would think that it should be.

The Obama administration has “borrowed” more than 6 trillion dollars from future generations of Americans, interest rates have been pushed to all-time lows, and the Federal Reserve has been wildly printing more money in a desperate attempt to “stimulate” the economy.  So have those efforts been successful?  Well, according to the mainstream media, the U.S. unemployment rate is falling steadily.  Headlines all over the nation boldly declared that “236,000 jobs” were added to the economy in February, but what they didn’t tell you was that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by 296,000.  And that is how they are getting the unemployment rate to go down – by pretending that huge numbers of unemployed Americans don’t want jobs.  Sadly, as you will see below, the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that have a job is just 0.1% higher than it was exactly three years ago.  And we have not even come close to getting back to where we were before the last economic crisis.  For example, more than 146 million Americans were employed back in 2007.  But today, only 142.2 million Americans have a job even though our population has grown steadily since then.  So where in the world is this “economic recovery” that they keep talking about?

At this point, the “unemployment rate” has become so meaningless that it really isn’t even worth paying much attention to.  If you really want to know what the employment picture looks like in the United States, you need to look at the employment-population ratio.

As Wikipedia tells us, many economists consider the employment-population ratio to be far superior to other measurements of employment…

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development defines the employment rateas the employment-to-population ratio. The employment-population ratio is many American economist’s favorite gauge of the American jobs picture. According to Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist for Capital Economics, “The employment population ratio is the best measure of labor market conditions.” This is a statistical ratiothat measures the proportion of the country’s working-age population (ages 15 to 64 in most OECD countries) that is employed. This includes people that have stopped looking for work.

A chart of the employment-population ratio in the United States over the past several years is posted below…

Employment-Population Ratio 2013

As you can see, the percentage of Americans with a job fell from about 63 percent to below 59 percent during the last economic crisis.  Since that time, it has not risen back above 59 percent.  This is the first time in the post-World War II era that we have not seen the employment rate bounce back following a recession.  At this point, the employment-population ratio has been below 59 percent for 42 months in a row.

Yes, we should be thankful that things have stabilized, but as you can see there has been no recovery.  The percentage of Americans with a job is essentially exactly where it was three years ago.  Despite the trillions of dollars that the U.S. government has borrowed, and despite the reckless money printing that the Federal Reserve has been doing, the employment situation in the U.S. has not turned around.

Data for the employment-population ratio from the beginning of 2008is posted below…

2008-01-01 62.9
2008-02-01 62.8
2008-03-01 62.7
2008-04-01 62.7
2008-05-01 62.5
2008-06-01 62.4
2008-07-01 62.2
2008-08-01 62.0
2008-09-01 61.9
2008-10-01 61.7
2008-11-01 61.4
2008-12-01 61.0
2009-01-01 60.6
2009-02-01 60.3
2009-03-01 59.9
2009-04-01 59.8
2009-05-01 59.6
2009-06-01 59.4
2009-07-01 59.3
2009-08-01 59.1
2009-09-01 58.7
2009-10-01 58.5
2009-11-01 58.6
2009-12-01 58.3
2010-01-01 58.5
2010-02-01 58.5
2010-03-01 58.5
2010-04-01 58.7
2010-05-01 58.6
2010-06-01 58.5
2010-07-01 58.5
2010-08-01 58.5
2010-09-01 58.5
2010-10-01 58.3
2010-11-01 58.2
2010-12-01 58.3
2011-01-01 58.3
2011-02-01 58.4
2011-03-01 58.4
2011-04-01 58.4
2011-05-01 58.4
2011-06-01 58.2
2011-07-01 58.2
2011-08-01 58.3
2011-09-01 58.4
2011-10-01 58.4
2011-11-01 58.5
2011-12-01 58.6
2012-01-01 58.5
2012-02-01 58.6
2012-03-01 58.5
2012-04-01 58.5
2012-05-01 58.6
2012-06-01 58.6
2012-07-01 58.5
2012-08-01 58.4
2012-09-01 58.7
2012-10-01 58.7
2012-11-01 58.7
2012-12-01 58.6
2013-01-01 58.6
2013-02-01 58.6

So is there anyone out there that still wants to insist that the employment picture in the United States is getting significantly better?

Anyone that wants to claim that “unemployment is going down” should at least wait until the unemployment-population ratio gets back up to 59 percent.  Otherwise they just look foolish.

Yes, the Dow is at an all-time high right now.  But a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts.

Most Americans understand that the Dow has been pumped up with all of the funny money that the Fed has been printing.  Most Americans understand that the stock market really does not accurately reflect the health of the U.S. economy as a whole.

Just consider these numbers…

-The number of homeless people sleeping in homeless shelters in New York City has increased by 19 percent over the past year.

-The number of Americans on food stamps has risen from 32 million to 47 million while Barack Obama has been in the White House.

-According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.

-Median household income in the United States has fallen for four consecutive years.

No, the truth is that everything is most definitely not fine.

If everything is fine, then why did the Federal Reserve inject another 100 billion dollars into foreign banks during the last full week of February?

The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve are desperately trying to prop up the entire global economy.  Unfortunately, the global financial system has been built on a foundation of sand and the tide is coming in.

Back in 2008, a derivatives crisis was one of the primary causes of the worst financial panic since the Great Depression.

So did we learn our lesson?

No, the boys on Wall Street are back at it again as a recent article by Jim Armitage described…

Historically, stock markets, being driven by humans, have tended to have a similar length memory of catastrophes, before making the same dumb mistakes again.

But it hasn’t even been five years since derivatives (on that occasion based on daft mortgages) blew up the world, and yet these exotic creatures have already returned. With a vengeance.

Research from Thomson Reuters declared that banks were creating more derivatives known as asset-backed securities than at any time since before the Lehman Brothers crash. Of those, 22 percent were made up of – and forgive me the alphabet soup here – CDOs and CLOs. The very type of derivatives that exploded last time. At this stage last year, only 6 percent fell into those categories.

In other words, banks are creating more of the riskiest types of the riskiest products.

At some point, we will have another derivatives crisis even worse than the last one.

When that happens, financial markets all over the globe will crash, economic activity will grind to a standstill and unemployment will go skyrocketing once again.

But as you saw above, we have never even come close to recovering from the last crisis.

So you can believe the mind-numbing propaganda that the mainstream media is trying to feed you if you want.  Unfortunately, the reality of the matter is that we have not recovered from the last major economic crisis, and another one is rapidly approaching.

I hope that you are getting ready.

21 st Century news



Moon Landings: The Problem With ‘Those Photos’

Fact Fiction Theory

21st Century Wire says…

Put yourself back in 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, the height of the Cold War and the race wars flaring up across the United States in the late 1960’s.

Who wouldn’t want to believe that the moon landing was anything other than how it was reported via NASA?

That should set the scene…


It was the crowning achievement of mankind.

Yet, according to many alternative researchers, there are problems with many of the official images associated with the moon landing.

The great space mission was launched under a Nixon Administration whose immorality and deceit knew no limits. The race for space supremacy was a heated one. Only a month previous, the USSR had already reached the moon with an unmanned craft.

Was a Nixon government capable of lying to the American people, and to the world? Sadly, history has already confirmed the answer to that question. So what about the Apollo Mission, at a price tag of $500 billion in today’s money? Failure was surely not an option.


MOON HOAX NARRATIVE: OJ Simpson in the Hollywood production ‘Capricorn One’.

Hollywood has taken a stab at the idea of a staged moon landing with the production of Capricorn One, starring O.J. Simpson, looking at the political motivations during the cold war, and looking at how such an event could be staged.

Speculation is also rife as to whether famed iconic film director Stanley Kubrick was in fact hand-picked to produce a Capricorn-style Apollo moon landing for TV audiences. Was Capricorn showbiz insiders’ way of hinting at a Gov’t-Kubrick conspiracy? Because Kubrick is so steeped in Hollywood lore, do not expect this mystery to die anytime soon.

This 21WIRE post is not about any “moon landing hoax”, rather, this is about the examination of the images which have been presented as the Official Moon Landing historic record. We are not sure where the Apollo astronauts went or what they did during the Apollo Mission – other than what was reported at the time.

However, after reviewing the photographic and video evidence, it’s difficult to believe that all of these images were taken on the moon…

 

Every Professional Photographers “Gets it”…


Brasscheck TV

This is a very short bit about a topic that can be covered in encyclopedic depth.

Here’s the cut to the chase – and the ultimate bottom line on this story…

Whether or not the astronauts went to the moon or not, there is no way on earth or (on the moon) that the “moon photos” were taken on the moon. It is completely, utterly and incontrovertibly fact of reality. The weird shadows, the strange light artifacts, the impossible lighting are only the tip of the iceberg.

But facts are facts: You can’t take perfectly framed and focused pictures on the moon (or anywhere else) without a viewfinder, without auto-focus, and wearing thick gloves. The world’s greatest photographer could not have pulled this off.

Marcus Allen with famed BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson…

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If the sound of BBC stooge Jeremy Clarkson’s voice makes you physically sick, then watch this – a much better, more recent and more detailed interview with UK-based photographic expert and Nexus Magazine UK publisher Marcus Allen with Edge TV host Andy Thomas (worth listening to full interview)…

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An oldie but goodie – The Moon Landing Hoax documentary…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW4_5kAPzb0
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And finally, a further analysis and varied opinion of NASA’s photos taken ‘on the moon’…

YouTube Video Preview

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READ MORE HOLLYWOOD SECRETS AT: 21st Century Wire Hollywood Files


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Facebook moves to ban cryptocurrency ads. Bitcoin prices fall at social network censorship

Bitcoin prices fall as Facebook bans cryptocurrency ads.

In an effort to stop misleading or deceptive ads, Facebook is banning all advertisers from promoting cryptocurrencies…even moving to ban bitcoin ads.

The price of all major cryptocurrencies dropped following the Facebook announcement.

Facebook said its new policy will prohibit any advertisements related to cryptocurrencies, binary options or initial coin offerings (ICO) from appearing on the social media platform.

RT reports

Rob Leathern, the company’s product management director, said the ads were a problem for users because they are “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” Leathern said. “That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

Leathern said the policy was designed to be “intentionally broad” while the company “works to detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices.” The policy will be enforced on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network, an ad network that extends Facebook campaigns to third-party apps. Facebook said they will revisit its decision and how they enforce it once their “signals improve.”

“This policy is part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook,” Leathern said.

Adverts for cryptocurrency-related investments have surged as bitcoin prices skyrocketed. With an average two billion monthly users, Facebook has been one of the sector’s largest markets.

After the announcement, bitcoin’s price tumbled by more than 10 percent Tuesday, slipping below $10,000 for the first time in over two months.

Many other cryptocurrencies also took a hit Tuesday. According to Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations, the price of the top 50 major cryptocurrencies dropped, with each of the top 10 losing between seven and 15 percent of their value.

The announcement follows a Bloomberg report that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent subpoenas to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and Tether last month.

Tether mints coins they claim are pegged one-to-one to US dollars held in reserve. However, according to unnamed sources, the company has never provided any evidence of its nearly $2.3 billion in total assets to the public nor have its accounts been audited. Some are skeptical that the money is even there

Tether and Bitfinex both share the same top five executives, including chief executive and chief financial officer, according to their  websites.

The announcement comes on the heels of the Japanese government’s announcement last week that it had suspended trading and withdrawals at the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. The move came after hackers stole some 500 million NEM tokens worth around $532 million, the biggest ever theft from a cryptocurrency exchange.

https://www.rt.com/usa/417438-facebook-bans-cryptocurrency-ads/

The Duran
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Medicare-for-All Proponents Warn Against Billionaires’ Plan to “Disrupt” Healthcare Industry

“We can do better than a healthcare system run by a rent-seeker, a slumlord and a Wall Street bank. It’s called Medicare for All.”

Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase, and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway announced they would attempt to “disrupt” the health insurance industry by creating their own independent healthcare company, first serving their employees and potentially other Americans. The plan was met with skepticism from single-payer healthcare advocates. (Photo: NBC News)

A newly-announced plan by three of the most prominent billionaires in the U.S. to “disrupt” the American health insurance industry was met with extreme skepticism from advocates of a government-run healthcare system on Tuesday.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan Chase released a statement saying they would partner to create an independent healthcare company for their employees that would be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”

“Our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans,” said J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” added Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest people in the world.

The plan, which is in its early stages, represents a sharp turn away from a single-payer healthcare system which would provide care for all Americans, said critics including the Democratic Socialists of America.

While the three companies appear ready to capitalize on Americans’ dissatisfaction with the for-profit health insurance sector by promising an alternative, a growing majority support a government-run or single-payer healthcare system like the ones enjoyed by every other industrialized nation in the world.

Fifty-three percent now support a plan like Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All proposal, up from just 50 percent in 2016.

At Jacobin—in a piece titled “You Can’t Trust Capitalists”—Meagan Day and Dustin Guastella warned after Sanders’ Town Hall on Medicare for All last week that single-payer advocates should be wary of any attempts by corporations to wade into the national debate over how healthcare should be provided in the U.S.

“When progressive and left-wing politicians and political organizations neglect to keep capitalists at arm’s length, the latter’s outsize resources give them outsized influence—often resulting in weakened policy and a diluted program,” they wrote. “In order to ensure the eventual passage of comprehensive policy that benefits workers, not just employers, proponents of Medicare for All need to walk a fine line, stoking divisions within the capitalist class without giving the business community a seat at the table.”

Journalist Natalie Shure argued that the only true “disruption” of the health insurance industry would involve covering every American and rejecting a for-profit model altogether.

Others on social media advocated for a single-payer healthcare system and scoffed at the notion that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Buffett, and Dimon, are qualified to or truly interested in offering a public service.

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Robert Parry, Titan of Journalism, is dead

The US and the world has just lost a journalist of colossal ability and granite integrity

Returning from a short business trip to Greece on Sunday, it was with deep shock and emotion that I learnt of the death of Robert Parry, one of the greatest journalists of this time or indeed of any time.

Most of the obituaries I have read about Parry, including ones in the Washington Post and the New York Times, refer to him as an investigative journalist with particular stress given to his absolutely critical role in exposing the Iran-Contra affair.

Whilst this is of course true, for me and I suspect for many others Robert Parry was much more than this.

First and foremost and as was very obvious from his writings Robert Parry saw his work as that of bearing witness to the truth, and it is there that he saw his first duty as a journalist.

A convinced democrat, journalism for Parry was about informing the people truthfully about what was going on so that they could make informed decisions of the sort they have a right to make in a democracy.  A failure of journalism to fulfil that duty puts democracy at risk.

That is what drove Parry to expose scandals like Iran-Contra, but also to refute fake and concocted scandals like Whitewater and Russiagate.

Note that though Parry’s writings show him to have been a man of centre-left views he worked impartially and objectively, confirming or refuting stories irrespective of whether they harmed or benefited Republicans or Democrats.

A person like that is obviously a human being of granite integrity.  Suffice to say that Robert Parry was one of the very few journalists I know of who when reporting what he said he was told by an anonymous source I could absolutely trust to tell it true.

Along the way Robert Parry brought to his work qualities of masterly insight and analysis, which in my opinion deepened and grew stronger with time.

Suffice to say that for anyone genuinely interested in the political life and contemporary history of the United States Parry’s writings were quite simply indispensable.

There is another reason to regret his passing.

Robert Parry launched Consortium News in 1995 precisely because he was becoming concerned that the US media was no longer coming close to fulfilling the high journalistic standards required of it in a democracy.

Unfortunately in his last years the US media gave him ever greater reason for concern.  Especially in the last months, as Russiagate gathered pace, his writings became a litany of entirely justified complaints and of alarm at the collapse of journalistic standards across the US media.

Possibly the cruelest blow of all was to have his own site Consortium News included in a preposterous list of supposed Kremlin controlled websites cobbled together by the anonymous group PropOrNot which was then disgracefully published by the Washington Post, one of the newspapers which has now published Parry’s obituary (The Duran was also on the list).

For a man whose writings show him to have been a deeply patriotic American that must have been a particularly bitter blow.

That whole ghastly episode shows just why we have never needed Robert Parry more.  He will be sorely missed.  Unfortunately there are no one around of his stature to replace him.

His death is a tragedy, but also a call to arms to follow his example and to continue his work.

On behalf of all of us at The Duran I extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to his family.

The Duran
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Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews

Merken

Robert Parry, editor and publisher of Consortiumnews.com, died peacefully Saturday evening. In this tribute, his son Nat Parry describes Robert’s unwavering commitment to independent journalism.

Robert Parry, 1949-2018

By Nat Parry

ƒIt is with a heavy heart that we inform Consortiumnews readers that Editor Robert Parry has passed away. As regular readers know, Robert (or Bob, as he was known to friends and family) suffered a stroke in December, which – despite his own speculation that it may have been brought on by the stress of covering Washington politics – was the result of undiagnosed pancreatic cancer that he had been unknowingly living with for the past 4-5 years.

He unfortunately suffered two more debilitating strokes in recent weeks and after the last one, was moved to hospice care on Tuesday. He passed away peacefully Saturday evening. He was 68.

Those of us close to him wish to sincerely thank readers for the kind comments and words of support posted on recent articles regarding Bob’s health issues. We read aloud many of these comments to him during his final days to let him know how much his work has meant to so many people and how much concern there was for his well-being.

I am sure that these kindnesses meant a lot to him. They also mean a lot to us as family members, as we all know how devoted he was to the mission of independent journalism and this website which has been publishing articles since the earliest days of the internet, launching all the way back in 1995.

With my dad, professional work has always been deeply personal, and his career as a journalist was thoroughly intertwined with his family life. I can recall kitchen table conversations in my early childhood that focused on the U.S.-backed wars in Central America and complaints about how his editors at The Associated Press were too timid to run articles of his that – no matter how well-documented – cast the Reagan administration in a bad light.

One of my earliest memories in fact was of my dad about to leave on assignment in the early 1980s to the war zones of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and the heartfelt good-bye that he wished to me and my siblings. He warned us that he was going to a very dangerous place and that there was a possibility that he might not come back.

I remember asking him why he had to go, why he couldn’t just stay at home with us. He replied that it was important to go to these places and tell the truth about what was happening there. He mentioned that children my age were being killed in these wars and that somebody had to tell their stories. I remember asking, “Kids like me?” He replied, “Yes, kids just like you.”

Bob was deeply impacted by the dirty wars of Central America in the 1980s and in many ways these conflicts – and the U.S. involvement in them – came to define the rest of his life and career. With grisly stories emerging from Nicaragua (thanks partly to journalists like him), Congress passed the Boland Amendments from 1982 to 1984, which placed limits on U.S. military assistance to the contras who were attempting to overthrow the Sandinista government through a variety of terrorist tactics.

The Reagan administration immediately began exploring ways to circumvent those legal restrictions, which led to a scheme to send secret arms shipments to the revolutionary and vehemently anti-American government of Iran and divert the profits to the contras. In 1985, Bob wrote the first stories describing this operation, which later became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.

Contra-Cocaine and October Surprise

Poster by street artist and friend of Bob, Robbie Conal

Parallel to the illegal arms shipments to Iran during those days was a cocaine trafficking operation by the Nicaraguan contras and a willingness by the Reagan administration and the CIA to turn a blind eye to these activities. This, despite the fact that cocaine was flooding into the United States while Ronald Reagan was proclaiming a “war on drugs,” and a crack cocaine epidemic was devastating communities across the country.

Bob and his colleague Brian Barger were the first journalists to report on this story in late 1985, which became known as the contra-cocaine scandal, and became the subject of a congressional investigation led by then-Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 1986.

Continuing to pursue leads relating to Iran-Contra during a period in the late 80s when most of Washington was moving on from the scandal, Bob discovered that there was more to the story than commonly understood. He learned that the roots of the illegal arm shipments to Iran stretched back further than previously known – all the way back to the 1980 presidential campaign.

That electoral contest between incumbent Jimmy Carter and challenger Ronald Reagan had come to be largely dominated by the hostage crisis in Iran, with 52 Americans being held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Iranian hostage crisis, along with the ailing economy, came to define a perception of an America in decline, with former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan promising a new start for the country, a restoration of its status as a “shining city on a hill.”

The hostages were released in Tehran moments after Reagan was sworn in as president in Washington on January 20, 1981. Despite suspicions for years that there had been some sort of quid pro quo between the Reagan campaign and the Iranians, it wasn’t until Bob uncovered a trove of documents in a House office building basement in 1994 that the evidence became overwhelming that the Reagan campaign had interfered with the Carter administration’s efforts to free the hostages prior to the 1980 election. Their release sooner – what Carter hoped would be his “October Surprise” – could have given him the boost needed to win.

Examining these documents and being already well-versed on this story – having previously travelled three continents pursuing the investigation for a PBS Frontline documentary – Bob became increasingly convinced that the Reagan campaign had in fact sabotaged Carter’s hostage negotiations, possibly committing an act of treason in an effort to make sure that 52 American citizens continued to be held in a harrowing hostage situation until after Reagan secured the election.

Needless to say, this was an inconvenient story at a time – in the mid-1990s – when the national media had long since moved on from the Reagan scandals and were obsessing over new scandals, mostly related to President Bill Clinton’s sex life and failed real estate deals. Washington also wasn’t particularly interested in challenging the Reagan legacy, which at that time was beginning to solidify into a kind of mythology, with campaigns underway to name buildings and airports after the former president.

At times, Bob had doubts about his career decisions and the stories he was pursuing. As he wrote in Trick or Treason, a book outlining his investigation into the October Surprise Mystery, this search for historical truth can be painful and seemingly thankless.

“Many times,” he wrote, “I had regretted accepting Frontline’s assignment in 1990. I faulted myself for risking my future in mainstream journalism. After all, that is where the decent-paying jobs are. I had jeopardized my ability to support my four children out of an old-fashioned sense of duty, a regard for an unwritten code that expects reporters to take almost any assignment.”

Nevertheless, Bob continued his efforts to tell the full story behind both the Iran-Contra scandal and the origins of the Reagan-Bush era, ultimately leading to two things: him being pushed out of the mainstream media, and the launching of Consortiumnews.com.

I remember when he started the website, together with my older brother Sam, back in 1995. At the time, in spite of talk we were all hearing about something called “the information superhighway” and “electronic mail,” I had never visited a website and didn’t even know how to get “on line.” My dad called me in Richmond, where I was a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, and told me I should check out this new “Internet site” he and Sam had just launched.

He explained over the phone how to open a browser and instructed me how to type in the URL, starting, he said, with “http,” then a colon and two forward slashes, then “www,” then “dot,” then this long address with one or two more forward slashes if I recall. (It wasn’t until years later that the website got its own domain and a simpler address.)

I went to the computer lab at the university and asked for some assistance on how to get online, dutifully typed in the URL, and opened this website – the first one I had ever visited. It was interesting, but a bit hard to read on the computer screen, so I printed out some articles to read back in my dorm room.

I quickly became a fan of “The Consortium,” as it was called back then, and continued reading articles on the October Surprise Mystery as Bob and Sam posted them on this new and exciting tool called “the Internet.” Sam had to learn HTML coding from scratch to launch this online news service, billed as “the Internet’s First Investigative ‘Zine.” For his efforts, Sam was honored with the Consortium for Independent Journalism’s first Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award in 2015.

X-Files and Contra-Crack

At some point along the way, Bob decided that in addition to the website, where he was not only posting original articles but also providing the source documents that he had uncovered in the House office building basement, he would also take a stab at traditional publishing. He compiled the “October Surprise X-Files” into a booklet and self-published it in January 1996.

Original Consortium merchandise from 1996.

He was also publishing a newsletter to complement the website, knowing that at that time, there were still plenty of people who didn’t know how to turn a computer on, much less navigate the World Wide Web. I transferred from Virginia Commonwealth University to George Mason University in the DC suburbs and started working part-time with my dad and Sam on the newsletter and website.

We worked together on the content, editing and laying it out with graphics often culled from books at our local library. We built a subscriber base through networking and purchasing mailing lists from progressive magazines. Every two weeks we would get a thousand copies printed from Sir Speedy and would spend Friday evening collating these newsletters and sending them out to our subscribers.

The launching of the website and newsletter, and later an even-more ambitious project called I.F. Magazine, happened to coincide with the publication in 1996 of Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series at the San Jose Mercury-News. Webb’s series reopened the contra-cocaine controversy with a detailed examination of the drug trafficking networks in Nicaragua and Los Angeles that had helped to spread highly addictive crack cocaine across the United States.

The African-American community, in particular, was rightly outraged over this story, which offered confirmation of many long-standing suspicions that the government was complicit in the drug trade devastating their communities. African Americans had been deeply and disproportionately affected by the crack epidemic, both in terms of the direct impact of the drug and the draconian drug laws and mandatory minimum sentences that came to define the government’s approach to “the war on drugs.”

For a moment in the summer of 1996, it appeared that the renewed interest in the contra-cocaine story might offer an opportunity to revisit the crimes and misdeeds of the Reagan-Bush era, but those hopes were dashed when the “the Big Media” decided to double down on its earlier failures to cover this story properly.

Big Papers Pile On

The Los Angeles Times launched the attack on Gary Webb and his reporting at the San Jose Mercury-News, followed by equally dismissive stories at the Washington Post and New York Times. The piling on from these newspapers eventually led Mercury-News editor Jerry Ceppos to denounce Webb’s reporting and offer a mea culpa for publishing the articles.

The onslaught of hostile reporting from the big papers failed to address the basic premises of Webb’s series and did not debunk the underlying allegations of contra-cocaine smuggling or the fact that much of this cocaine ended up on American streets in the form of crack. Instead, it raised doubts by poking holes in certain details and casting the story as a “conspiracy theory.” Some of the reporting attempted to debunk claims that Webb never actually made – such as the idea that the contra-cocaine trafficking was part of a government plot to intentionally decimate the African-American community.

Gary Webb holds up a copy of the San Jose Mercury-News with his front-page story.

Gary Webb and Bob were in close contact during those days. Bob offered him professional and personal support, having spent his time also on the receiving end of attacks by journalistic colleagues and editors who rejected certain stories – no matter how factual – as fanciful conspiracy theories. Articles at The Consortium website and newsletter, as well as I.F. Magazine, offered details on the historical context for the “Dark Alliance” series and pushed back against the mainstream media’s onslaught of hostile and disingenuous reporting.

Bob also published the book Lost History which provided extensive details on the background for the “Dark Alliance” series, explaining that far from a baseless “conspiracy theory,” the facts and evidence strongly supported the conclusion that the Reagan-Bush administrations had colluded with drug traffickers to fund their illegal war against Nicaragua.

But sadly, the damage to Gary Webb was done.  With his professional and personal life in tatters because of his courageous reporting on the contra-cocaine story, he committed suicide in 2004 at the age of 49. Speaking about this suicide later on Democracy Now, Bob noted how painful it is to be ridiculed and unfairly criticized by colleagues, as his friend had experienced.

“There’s a special pain when your colleagues in your profession turn on you, especially when you’ve done something that they should admire and should understand,” he said. “To do all that work and then have the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times attack you and try to destroy your life, there’s a special pain in that.”

In consultation with his family, Bob and the Board of Directors for the Consortium for Independent Journalism launched the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award in 2015.

The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush

The presidency of George W. Bush was surreal for many of us, and no one more so than my dad.

In covering Washington politics for decades, Bob had traced many stories to “Dubya’s” father, George H.W. Bush, who had been implicated in a variety of questionable activities, including the October Surprise Mystery and Iran-Contra. He had also launched a war against Iraq in 1991 that seemed to be motivated, at least in part, to help kick “the Vietnam Syndrome,” i.e. the reluctance that the American people had felt since the Vietnam War to support military action abroad.

As Bob noted in his 1992 book Fooling America, after U.S. forces routed the Iraqi military in 1991, President Bush’s first public comment about the victory expressed his delight that it would finally put to rest the American reflex against committing troops to far-off conflicts. “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all,” he exulted.

The fact that Bush-41’s son could run for president largely on name recognition confirmed to Bob the failure of the mainstream media to cover important stories properly and the need to continue building an independent media infrastructure. This conviction solidified through Campaign 2000 and the election’s ultimate outcome, when Bush assumed the White House as the first popular-vote loser in more than a century.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court had halted the counting of votes in Florida, thus preventing an accurate determination of the rightful winner, most of the national media moved on from the story after Bush was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2001. Consortiumnews.com continued to examine the documentary record, however, and ultimately concluded that Al Gore would have been declared the winner of that election if all the legally cast ballots were counted.

At Consortiumnews, there was an unwritten editorial policy that the title “President” should never precede George W. Bush’s name, based on our view that he was not legitimately elected. But beyond those editorial decisions, we also understood the gravity of the fact that had Election 2000 been allowed to play out with all votes counted, many of the disasters of the Bush years – notably the 9/11 tragedy and the Iraq War, as well as decisions to withdraw from international agreements on arms control and climate change – might have been averted.

As all of us who lived through the post-9/11 era will recall, it was a challenging time all around, especially if you were someone critical of George W. Bush. The atmosphere in that period did not allow for much dissent. Those who stood up against the juggernaut for war – such as Phil Donahue at MSNBC, Chris Hedges at the New York Times, or even the Dixie Chicks – had their careers damaged and found themselves on the receiving end of death threats and hate mail.

While Bob’s magazine and newsletter projects had been discontinued, the website was still publishing articles, providing a home for dissenting voices that questioned the case for invading Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003. Around this time, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and some of his colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and a long-running relationship with Consortiumnews was established. Several former intelligence veterans began contributing to the website, motivated by the same independent spirit of truth-telling that compelled Bob to invest so much in this project.

At a time when almost the entire mainstream media was going along with the Bush administration’s dubious case for war, this and a few other like-minded websites pushed back with well-researched articles calling into question the rationale. Although at times it might have felt as though we were just voices in the wilderness, a major groundswell of opposition to war emerged in the country, with historic marches of hundreds of thousands taking place to reject Bush’s push for war.

Neck Deep was published by the Media Consortium in 2007.

Of course, these antiwar voices were ultimately vindicated by the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the fact that the war and occupation proved to be a far costlier and deadlier enterprise than we had been told that it would be. Earlier assurances that it would be a “cakewalk” proved as false as the WMD claims, but as had been so often the case in Washington, there was little to no accountability from the mainstream media, the think tanks or government officials for being so spectacularly wrong.

In an effort to document the true history of that era, Bob, Sam and I co-wrote the book Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, which was published in late 2007. The book traced the work of Consortiumnews, juxtaposing it against the backdrop of mainstream media coverage during the Bush era, in an effort to not only correct the record, but also demonstrate that not all of us got things so wrong.

We felt it was important to remind readers – as well as future historians – that some of us knew and reported in real time the mistakes that were being made on everything from withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol to invading Iraq to implementing a policy of torture to bungling the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Obama Era

By the Obama presidency, Consortiumnews.com had become a home to a growing number of writers who brought new perspectives to the website’s content. While for years, the writing staff had been limited primarily to Bob, Sam and me, suddenly, Consortiumnews was receiving contributions from journalists, activists and former intelligence analysts who offered a wide range of expertise – on international law, economics, human rights, foreign policy, national security, and even religion and philosophy.

One recurring theme of articles at the website during the Obama era was the enduring effect of unchallenged narratives, how they shaped national politics and dictated government policy. Bob observed that even a supposedly left-of-center president like Obama seemed beholden to the false narratives and national mythologies dating back to the Reagan era. He pointed out that this could be at least partially attributed to the failure to establish a strong foundation for independent journalism.

In a 2010 piece called “Obama’s Fear of the Reagan Narrative,” Bob noted that Obama had defended his deal with Republicans on tax cuts for the rich because there was such a strong lingering effect of Reagan’s messaging from 30 years earlier. “He felt handcuffed by the Right’s ability to rally Americans on behalf of Reagan’s ‘government-is-the-problem’ message,” Bob wrote.

He traced Obama’s complaints about his powerlessness in the face of this dynamic to the reluctance of American progressives to invest sufficiently in media and think tanks, as conservatives had been doing for decades in waging their “the war of ideas.” As he had been arguing since the early 1990s, Robert insisted that the limits that had been placed on Obama – whether real or perceived – continued to demonstrate the power of propaganda and the need for greater investment in alternative media.

He also observed that much of the nuttiness surrounding the so-called Tea Party movement resulted from fundamental misunderstandings of American history and constitutional principles. “Democrats and progressives should be under no illusion about the new flood of know-nothingism that is about to inundate the United States in the guise of a return to ‘first principles’ and a deep respect for the U.S. Constitution,” Bob warned.

He pointed out that despite the Tea Partiers’ claimed reverence for the Constitution, they actually had very little understanding of the document, as revealed by their ahistorical claims that federal taxes are unconstitutional. In fact, as Bob observed, the Constitution represented “a major power grab by the federal government, when compared to the loosely drawn Articles of Confederation, which lacked federal taxing authority and other national powers.”

Motivated by a desire to correct falsified historical narratives spanning more than two centuries, Bob published his sixth and final book, America’s Stolen Narrative: From Washington and Madison to Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes to Obama, in 2012.

Along with revenues from book sales, growing donations from readers enabled Bob to not only pay writers but also to hire an assistant, Chelsea Gilmour, who began working for Consortiumnews in 2014. In addition to providing invaluable administrative support, Chelsea also performed duties including research, writing and fact-checking.

Political Realignment and the New McCarthyism

Although at the beginning of the Obama era – and indeed since the 1980s – the name Robert Parry had been closely associated with exposing wrongdoing by Republicans, and hence had a strong following among Democratic Party loyalists, by the end of Obama’s presidency there seemed to be a realignment taking place among some of Consortiumnews.com’s readership, which reflected more generally the shifting politics of the country.

In particular, the U.S. media’s approach to Russia and related issues, such as the violent ouster in 2014 of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, became “virtually 100 percent propaganda,” Bob said.

He noted that the full story was never told when it came to issues such as the Sergei Magnitsky case, which led to the first round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, nor the inconvenient facts related to the Euromaidan protests that led to Yanukovych’s ouster – including the reality of strong neo-Nazi influence in those protests – nor the subsequent conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Bob’s stories on Ukraine were widely cited and disseminated, and he became an important voice in presenting a fuller picture of the conflict than was possible by reading and watching only mainstream news outlets. Bob was featured prominently in Oliver Stone’s 2016 documentary “Ukraine on Fire,” where he explained how U.S.-funded political NGOs and media companies have worked with the CIA and foreign policy establishment since the 1980s to promote the U.S. geopolitical agenda.

Bob regretted that, increasingly, “the American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the ‘other side of the story.’” Indeed, he said that to even suggest that there might be another side to the story is enough to get someone branded as an apologist for Vladimir Putin or a “Kremlin stooge.”

The PropOrNot logo

This culminated in late 2016 in the blacklisting of Consortiumnews.com on a dubious website called “PropOrNot,” which was claiming to serve as a watchdog against undue “Russian influence” in the United States. The PropOrNot blacklist, including Consortiumnews and about 200 other websites deemed “Russian propaganda,” was elevated by the Washington Post as a credible source, despite the fact that the neo-McCarthyites who published the list hid behind a cloak of anonymity.

“The Post’s article by Craig Timberg,” Bob wrote on Nov. 27, 2016, “described PropOrNot simply as ‘a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds [who] planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.’”

As Bob explained in an article called “Washington Post’s Fake News Guilt,” the paper granted PropOrNot anonymity “to smear journalists who don’t march in lockstep with official pronouncements from the State Department or some other impeccable fount of never-to-be-questioned truth.”

The Post even provided an unattributed quote from the head of the shadowy website. “The way that this propaganda apparatus supported [Donald] Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” the anonymous smear merchant said. The Post claimed that the PropOrNot “executive director” had spoken on the condition of anonymity “to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”

To be clear, neither Consortiumnews nor Robert Parry ever “supported Trump,” as the above anonymous quote claims. Something interesting, however, did seem to be happening in terms of Consortiumnews’ readership in the early days of the Trump presidency, as could be gleaned from some of the comments left on articles and social media activity.

It did appear for some time at least that a good number of Trump supporters were reading Consortiumnews, which could probably attributed to the fact that the website was one of the few outlets pushing back against both the “New Cold War” with Russia and the related story of “Russiagate,” which Bob didn’t even like referring to as a “scandal.” (As an editor, he preferred to use the word “controversy” on the website, because as far as he was concerned, the allegations against Trump and his supposed “collusion” with Russia did not rise to the level of actual scandals such as Watergate or Iran-Contra.)

In his view, the perhaps understandable hatred of Trump felt by many Americans – both inside and outside the Beltway – had led to an abandonment of old-fashioned rules of journalism and standards of fairness, which should be applied even to someone like Donald Trump.

“On a personal note, I faced harsh criticism even from friends of many years for refusing to enlist in the anti-Trump ‘Resistance,’” Bob wrote in his final article for Consortiumnews.

“The argument was that Trump was such a unique threat to America and the world that I should join in finding any justification for his ouster,” he said. “Some people saw my insistence on the same journalistic standards that I had always employed somehow a betrayal.”

He marveled that even senior editors in the mainstream media treated the unproven Russiagate allegations as flat fact.

“No skepticism was tolerated and mentioning the obvious bias among the never-Trumpers inside the FBI, Justice Department and intelligence community was decried as an attack on the integrity of the U.S. government’s institutions,” Bob wrote. “Anti-Trump ‘progressives’ were posturing as the true patriots because of their now unquestioning acceptance of the evidence-free proclamations of the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.”

An Untimely End and the Future of Consortiumnews

My dad’s untimely passing has come as a shock to us all, especially since up until a month ago, there was no indication whatsoever that he was sick in any way. He took good care of himself, never smoked, got regular check-ups, exercised, and ate well. The unexpected health issues starting with a mild stroke Christmas Eve and culminating with his admission into hospice care several days ago offer a stark reminder that nothing should be taken for granted.

And as many Consortiumnews readers have eloquently pointed out in comments left on recent articles regarding Bob’s health, it also reminds us that his brand of journalism is needed today more than ever.

“We need free will thinkers like you who value the truth based on the evidence and look past the group think in Washington to report on the real reasons for our government’s and our media’s actions which attempt to deceive us all,” wrote, for example, “FreeThinker.”

“Common sense and integrity are the hallmarks of Robert Parry’s journalism. May you get better soon for you are needed more now then ever before,” wrote “T.J.”

“We need a new generation of reporters, journalists, writers, and someone always being tenacious to follow up on the story,” added “Tina.”

As someone who has been involved with this website since its inception – as a writer, an editor and a reader – I concur with these sentiments. Readers should rest assured that despite my dad’s death, every effort will be made to ensure that the website will continue going strong.

Indeed, I think that everyone involved with this project wants to uphold the same commitment to truth-telling without fear or favor that inspired Bob and his heroes like George Seldes, I.F. Stone, and Thomas Paine.

That commitment can be seen in my dad’s pursuit of stories such as those mentioned above, but also so many others – including his investigations into the financial relationship of the influential Washington Times with the Unification Church cult of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the truth behind the Nixon campaign’s alleged efforts to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson’s Paris peace talks with Vietnamese leaders in 1968, the reality of the chemical attack in Syria in 2013, and even detailed examinations of the evidence behind the so-called “Deflategate” controversy that he felt unfairly branded his favorite football team, the New England Patriots, as cheaters.

Reviewing these journalistic achievements, it becomes clear that there are few stories that have slipped under Consortiumnews.com’s radar, and that the historical record is far more complete thanks to this website and Bob’s old-fashioned approach to journalism.

But besides this deeply held commitment to independent journalism, it should also be recalled that, ultimately, Bob was motivated by a concern over the future of life on Earth. As someone who grew up at the height of the Cold War, he understood the dangers of allowing tensions and hysteria to spiral out of control, especially in a world such as ours with enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all life on the planet many times over.

As the United States continues down the path of a New Cold War, my dad would be pleased to know that he has such committed contributors who will enable the site to remain the indispensable home for independent journalism that it has become, and continue to push back on false narratives that threaten our very survival.

Thank you all for your support.

In lieu of flowers, Bob’s family asks you to please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Consortium for Independent Journalism.

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Trump’s Announced Strategy for Occupying Syria

“The President has committed, as a matter of strategy, that we will not leave Syria. We are not going to declare victory and go. And that is not my opinion; that’s the President’s strategic judgment. We’re going to stay for several reasons: stabilization and assistance in the vital north and northeast, protection of our allies the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have fought so valiantly against ISIS in the northeast, try to work to help transform the political structures in that area to a model for the rest of Syria, and capable of being credibly represented in a new Syrian state; but for other reasons as well, including countering Iran and its ability to enhance its presence in Syria, and serving as a weight or force helping us to achieve some of those broader objectives.”

That’s as spoken by David M. Satterfield, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 11 January 2018, addressing the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the topic of “U.S. Policy Toward Syria.” You can see it in this clip from C-Span.

His statement hasn’t been reported in U.S. newsmedia; so, it’s still news; and this means that it’s news to the American people, and to all others who, though this news wasn’t reported to them, trust U.S. media to report any important American news (such as this U.S. Government policy-statement to the U.S. Senate certainly is). 

Parts of this clip have been reported by the independent journalist Mutlu Civiroglu on twitter, and, from there to reddit, and also at Russia Defense Forum, and at the excellent general news site Signs Of The Times, where I came upon it, and whose reporter Joe Quinn contrasted this statement with a tweet from Donald Trump as a Presidential candidate on 5 Sep 2013:

“Again, to our very foolish leader, do not attack Syria — if you do, many very bad things will happen & from that fight the U.S. gets nothing!”

The many people who had voted for Trump because of such anti-neoconservative (otherwise-called anti-imperialist) statements from him as that (and which thus also caused neocons to gang up against him in 2016 and publicly to support the overtly neocon Hillary Clinton instead), can reasonably raise the question as to whether a country in which people (such as Trump has done on this matter) routinely lie their way into elective offices, constitutes a democracy, or is instead actually a dictatorship of lies, by liars — and, if it’s the latter, then the inevitable questions are: 1: Whom are those liars actually serving; and, 2: Are the media also serving those same people and therefore hiding such crucial news as this U.S. Government policy-statement certainly is.

Furthermore, anyone to whom this official statement that was made to U.S. Senators on January 11th by the U.S. Government comes as news (and as news which still hasn’t yet been reported — much less debated — in America’s existing ‘news’ media) might reasonably cease subscribing to and paying and otherwise subsidizing those fake ‘news’ media, and instead start to seek out and subsidize honest ones such as the present site where you’re now reading this important news, so as not to be drowned by the propaganda and deceptions from whomever the people are who hide from the public the real news (such as this). Whereas the mainstream media, and even small media that serve the same owners, attack ‘fake news’, they’re actually reporting a lot of fake news themselves, and are hiding this fact from their subscribers. That fact presents a challenge to each person in their audience, as to whether to do whatever that individual can, to overcome this regime, and how to do it.

Just in case it might possibly be the case that U.S. and allied newsmedia have, ever since January 11th, failed to report this important news due only to their incompetence instead of in order to suppress it, the present news-report, including its links, and most especially the link here to the C-Span clip, is being submitted free of charge to all of them, so as to inform them all, of this important news; so that, going forward from now, all newsmedia that fail to report it are definitely suppressing it, and so that every reader who somehow does encounter it, can know with certainty, that the ‘news’media that don’t are actively and intentionally suppressing this news-item. All newsmedia are now being informed of, and linked to, that C-Span clip; so, all of them now know of its existence and can write about it. And, of course, everyone knows of its importance; so, there will be no excuse for not reporting on it, at least from the present time forward.

*

This article was originally published by Strategic Culture Foundation.

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.

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Dangerous Scenario: “America First” Confronts “China First”

The art of war

President Trump disembarked from the helicopter at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Here, preceded by the brass players of the orchestra of Friborg, he announced that «The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America», thanks to the tax cuts and reforms implemented by his administration on the principle of «America First», that is puting America in the first place.

This «does not mean America alone: ​​when the United States grows, so does the world». But, he added, «we cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others». The reference is especially clear to China and Russia, accused of «distorting global markets» through «industrial subsidies and a pervasive state-led economic planning».

The crux of the question consequently emerges. The United States is still the world leading economic power, especially thanks to the capitals they use to dominate the global financial market, the multinationals which they exploit resources with in every continent, their owned technological patents, the pervasive role of their multimedia groups influencing people’ opinions and ways on a planetary scale.

Their economic supremacy (including the dollar), however, is being increasingly endangered by new States and social actors emerging. First of all China: its gross national income rose up to the second world place after the US. China is the «factory of the world» in which also many large US groups produce. It has therefore become the world leading exporter of goods. In return, China is increasing investments both in the US and in the EU, and in Africa, Asia and Latin America (in these areas on infrastructures above all).

The most ambitious project, launched by China in 2013 and shared by Russia, is that of the New Silk Road: a land (road and rail) and maritime network connecting China to Europe through Central and Western Asia and through Russia. If the project (which does not include military components) is accomplished according to the original idea, it would reshape the geopolitical architecture of the whole Eurasia, creating a new network of economic and political relations between the States of the continent.

The globalization that United States promoted, confident of dominating it, now turns against them. The increasing of 50% on duties for washing machines and solar panels, set by the Trump administration to affect China’s and South Korea’s export, are not a sign of strength but weakness.

Losing ground on the economic globalization level, United States is focusing on military globalization: «We are making historic investments in the American military – announced Trump in Davos – because we cannot have prosperity without security».

The US already has bases and other military installations in over 70 countries, especially around Russia and China. There are more than 170 countries where US troops are deployed. European powers of NATO join in this strategy, despite having contrasts of interest with the US, and line up under US leadership when it comes to defending the economic and political order dominated by the West.

This is the scenario of the increasingly dangerous US / NATO escalation in Europe against Russia, represented as the enemy threatening us from the East. Any debate on the European Union and on the Euro ignoring this issue, means playing a game with rigged cards in front of the voters, as they do in the current electoral campaign.

 

Article in Italian :

«America First» armata sulle nostre teste

il manifesto, 30 January, 2018

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How Trump is accelerating Israel’s loss of support

Mike Pence is greeted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit in which the US vice president addressed Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, Monday. (via Facebook)

Lobby leaders are once again bemoaning the fact that support for Israel is eroding rapidly among key constituencies in the United States, this time young American Jews.

In fact, the Trump presidency may be accelerating the trend as support for Israel becomes increasingly associated with the kind of right-wing and Christian Zionist fanaticism Vice President Mike Pence brought to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, on Monday.

Alan Hoffman, CEO of the Israeli-government backed settler-colonization organization the Jewish Agencybemoaned the “extremely worrisome” finding that support for Israel among American Jewish college students has plunged 32 percent between 2010 and 2016.

This is according to a new survey by the Brand Israel Group, and it confirms trends that the consortium of pro-Israel lobbyists has found in earlier polls.

“In the year since Trump was elected, the situation has only been exacerbated,” Hoffman told a gathering of Israel lobby leaders in New York on Monday, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Jewish college students in the United States, not including those who are Orthodox, see Israel, justifiably or not, as something opposed to their basic liberal and progressive values.”

The numbers, Hoffman said, are “like nothing we have ever seen before.”

Israel loves Trump

Hoffman is right to be worried. Trump’s tight embrace of Israeli leaders is undoubtedly further alienating young, predominantly progressive American Jews from Israel.

But it’s important to understand that Israel is also galloping away from them.

In another new survey measuring the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency on global perceptions of the US, Gallup finds that “US leadership approval ratings declined substantially.”

One year into the new administration, the report finds that “the median global approval rating of the job performance of US leadership across 134 countries stands at a new low of 30 percent.”

This is down nearly 20 points from the last year of the Obama administration and four points lower than the last year of the George W. Bush administration.

There were only four countries where US leadership approval increased by 10 points or more: Belarus, Macedonia, Liberia and Israel.

Moreover, according to Gallup, “Israel was the only country in Asia in which US approval increased substantially” – with Israeli approval of US global “leadership” surging to 67 percent – a 14 point jump from 2016.

Gallup points out that interviews with Israeli respondents were done before Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, suggesting that approval of the Trump-led US might be even higher if the poll were taken today.

The poll does not give a breakdown of the opinions of Israeli Jews versus Palestinian citizens of Israel, but it’s a safe bet that support for Trump among the former is considerably higher.

For comparison, in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Gallup found just 12 percent of Palestinians approving, and 72 percent disapproving, of US leadership – scarcely changed from 2016 undoubtedly because Palestinian opinions of Israel’s biggest backer were already near rock bottom.

American Jews strongly oppose Trump

The Israeli love affair with Trump contrasts sharply with the opinions of an overwhelming 77 percent of American Jews who disapproved of his performance, according to an American Jewish Committee survey in September.

“Those are considerably worse numbers for the president than in the general population,” the JTA news agency observed.

Undoubtedly many have been turned off by the Trump administration’s open embrace of white supremacists, anti-Semites and even neo-Nazis.

Mainstream Jewish communal groups have acquiesced to this alliance with traditional anti-Jewish forces because the latter are often also virulently pro-Israel.

And internationally, Israeli politicians are in a mutual embrace with Europe’s rising far-right, including ascendant neo-Nazi parties in Germany and Austria.

And while many American Jews have been on the frontlines of the struggle against the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies, they can certainly see that Israel, the self-declared “Jewish state,” is intensifying its war on refugees from African states.

Protest of Pence

Pence’s visit provided dramatic visuals highlighting the growing gulf.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smiled broadly and applauded as lawmakers from the Joint List, parties largely representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, were hustled out of the Knesset chamber by security guards for having the temerity to protest the American vice president.

Even a big-name mainstream journalist, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, had difficulty suppressing a comparison that would trouble many American viewers.

“The 13 Israeli-Arab members of Israel’s parliament held up signs saying ‘Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine’ and were forcibly removed by security as Pence started to speak,” she tweeted. “Can you imagine Capitol Police dragging members of the Congressional Black Caucus off the House floor?”

Pence, meanwhile, took the opportunity to announce that the Trump administration is bringing forward plans to open the US embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2019.

Widening gap

The widening gap between American Jews and Israel reflects broader social trends; support for Israel in the US is increasingly an older, whiter, more religious and more right-wing phenomenon.

Support for Israel in the US remains strong overall, but a 2016 Pew Research Center survey found a surge of sympathy for Palestinians among liberals.

Sympathy with Palestinians tripled among millennials from nine percent in 2006 to 27 percent a decade later.

Surveys in the United KingdomCanada and Australia have also revealed greater sympathy for Palestinians in younger age groups.

There are even indications in the US that young evangelical Christians are cooling toward Israel.

Israel is also increasingly a partisan issue, with strong support concentrated among Republicans, while more than half of Democrats say they are ready to back sanctions or tougher measures against Israel because of its settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

new poll released by the Pew Research Center on Tuesday confirms many of these trends, including that the partisan divide is wider than ever: 79 percent of Republicans now say they sympathize more with Israel than with Palestinians, compared with just 27 percent of Democrats.

According to Pew, the sharp erosion in support for Israel is taking place not only among “liberal” Democrats, but also “moderates” and “conservatives” within the party. And, almost half of Democrats say that Trump favors Israel too much.

It’s the product, not the marketing

In response to the latest survey results among young American Jews, Jewish Agency CEO Alan Hoffman reportedly recommended new strategies to engage the alienated youth.

This is typical of Israel lobby leaders, who tend to view Israel’s toxic “brand” as a PR problem, not as an inherent flaw in the product.

Despite the massive sums spent on trying to rebrand Israel as a progressive and environmentally friendly haven of LGBTQ rightsfeminism and hi-tech innovation, Israel and its lobby leaders keep rediscovering to their dismay that you can’t hide occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid with slick marketing.

And Trumpism is simply helping bring the ugly truth about Israel to the surface.

This article has been updated.


Republican Jewish Committee board member and arch-Neocon warmonger for Israel David Frum hates Republican party for paving the way for Trump

5 Votes

Disgusted with the current state of affairs, Frum refuses to walk past the White House anymore. ‘It’s too upsetting,’ he says…’You just look at it and say to yourself ‘It’s in hands of someone who should not be in there…There are people who are working in that building who would not be allowed in on a visitor’s pass during a normal presidency…It’s going to take a lot of fumigation afterwards to make that building decent again…’

ed note–For those who have forgotten or else who never cared to know, Frum was/is an arch-NeoCon, rabid supporter of Israel, devoted fan of the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ and is considered part of the ‘dirty denisons’ of Jewish policy advisers/spies working in the Bush White House who engineered the invasion/destruction of Iraq and whose main mission is seeing the entire Middle East destroyed for the benefit of Israel.

He is also part of a rather long list of arch-Neocons who hate Trump and–after unsuccessfully preventing his election, are now working vociferously with those on the left side of the Judaic spectrum in seeing him removed, including other notable names such as William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Elliot Cohen, and others of similar species.

Now, as we have pointed out here for close to 2 years, to any rookie cop, intelligence analyst or even just a semi-literate/ semi-intelligent watcher of modern day political events, things such as this are what are known as CLUES in helping solve a riddle. When you have Frum and his aforelisted partners in crime all kvetching in near-unison that ‘Trump has to go’, this is an indicator that there is more going on behind the scenes than what the most superficial analysis of the most superficial data suggests concerning Trump being ‘owned’ by Israel.

A few notable quotables from the interview with Frum–

1. He refers to Trump as a ‘nationalist’ in disparaging terms. So much for him being a tool of the ‘New World Order’ globalists.

2. Frum is quoted saying ‘If Donald Trump were to retire tomorrow, the forces that brought him to power would all still exist and we would remain in danger.’

Almost word for word–minus of course the negative connotations Frum used–in describing the behind-the-scenes forces who brought Trump to power that we predicted 2 years ago ahead of virtually everyone else in ‘duh muuvmnt’. For those blinking their eyes in confusion, we are of course talking about those forces within the US Intelligence community, Military, the financial sector, Law Enforcement and others who understand just how close to the edge America has been driven as a result of the toxic nature of Judaic/Zionist influence over American foreign and domestic policy and now who are attempting–too late in the game probably–to pull back from the edge of the abyss.

We’ve put the challenge out there now somewhere between a million and a billion times but with no takers as of yet from those making up the ‘Trump is owned by the Jooz’ brigade, but for the sake of posterity, we’ll do it again–

Please explain to us this obvious discrepancy, and not with pictures of Trump’s Jewish son in law or him wearing the pancake on top of his head at the Whining Wall.

Go ahead, take your time formulating your theory and your thesis. We’ll wait patiently.

Times of Israel

It’s not easy being David Frum these days. A lifelong Republican and former speechwriter for US president George W. Bush, Frum is living with layers of indignation — against the man who now occupies the Oval Office and, perhaps even more so, against his fellow Republicans who helped put him there.

Disgusted with the current state of affairs, Frum refuses to walk past the White House anymore. ‘It’s too upsetting,’ he he says…’You just look at it and say: ‘It’s in hands of someone who should not be in there.’

His new book “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic,” unpacks, in his words, the way Donald Trump’s presidency threatens the integrity of American democracy. It also aims to prescribe some remedies for what can be done to stop it — or at least ameliorate the damage.

Emanating from his March 2017 cover story for The Atlantic, where he is now a senior editor (and frequent Trump critic), Frum warns his fellow citizens that the corrosion of a liberal democracy happens less like a heart attack and more like gum disease. It happens slowly and systematically. Or as Ernest Hemingway once wrote of going bankrupt, it happens “gradually, and then suddenly.”

Below is a condensed and edited version of our conversation, in which Frum — who grew up in a Jewish family in Toronto, Canada and now sits on the Republican Jewish Coalition’s board — de-constructs the Trumpian manifestation of the gingivitis infecting the US body politic.

He also explains why, in the midst of what he deems the GOP’s widespread complicity and moral rot, he remains a Republican.

The Times of Israel: You’ve been writing a lot of scathing articles about Trump for a while now. Why a book now?

David Frum: I’ve been writing a lot, obviously, not just about Donald Trump, but about authoritarian nationalism and repressive autocracy since 2014. With events moving so fast, people just forget a lot of the things that are important.

You’re so busy with the latest astonishing story — you know, the president hating sharks — that you forget the things that are most important. I wanted to bring all of the information that we needed into one place.

The title of this book is “Trumpocracy.” We’re now at the one-year mark of his presidency. What exactly is a Trumpocracy?

In recent highly sensational stories about Trump’s personality, from the Stormy Daniels interview to the Michael Wolff book, all of them make the story of Trump’s presidency very much about him personally. But a president does not rule by himself. He rules as part of a system of power, with the support of his political party, with the support of elements of the bureaucracy. And if you want to understand why we’re in so much trouble right now, you cannot just study Donald Trump alone. If Donald Trump were to retire tomorrow, the forces that brought someone like him to power would all still exist and we would remain in danger.

One of the points you make in this book is that if Trump were to truly spur the collapse of American democracy, it would not happen like a heart attack, it would happen like gum disease. What did you mean by that?

Some people have been writing about Donald Trump like his presidency would have some comparison to the total collapse of democracy that happened in the 1930s in Europe. You know: Storm troopers, arrests, shutdown of the press. That is not going to happen. These modern, complicated bureaucratic states don’t go wrong that way.

Viktor Orbán in Hungary has never improperly arrested anyone, and he’s as oppressive a ruler as there is in the world. What happens instead is that the law is perverted, that special favors are carved out. Secrecy is established to protect corrupt financial transactions. And a big segment of the political system, not just one man, but a whole political party starts fooling around with the electoral system making it harder for people to vote, because they have lost confidence that they can use power the way they want to in an election system.

You talk about the system, and I want to come back to that, but you also say in the book that the ascendancy of Trump has been less a failure of the system than it has been a failure of people.

President Trump is likely receiving millions of dollars in undisclosed payments from foreign business partners, from the Philippines, from Turkey, from the United Arab Emirates. Those business partners are subject to pressure from their own governments. So the president of the United States is then beholden to people like [Turkey’s] Erdogan and [the Philippines’] Duterte for big chunks of his personal income. He’s able to do that because Congress has not changed the rules.

Congress could change the rules to stop all that: They could request to make public his income tax returns; they could make the disclosure requirements for the president stronger; they could simply convene hearings and demand to know what’s going on. They could change his behavior. They don’t — because they’ve struck a bargain with him.

The bargain that Republicans in Congress have struck is that if Trump will sign their bills, they will protect his wrongdoing.

What explains the fact that so many of your fellow Republicans have been complicit to this man, as you suggest?

Power. There are things they want to do. They are striking a bargain: Give me my tax cut, I’ll protect your income tax returns. Lighten environmental regulations, and we’ll help you shut up the investigation into your Russia connection.

I know this is a common observation, but have you heard ever any Republicans in Congress actually articulate that rationalization?

You see it happen in front of your eyes. Politicians don’t talk that bluntly. Very few people admit to themselves when they’re doing the wrong thing. They come up with language for it.

They have to create these fake stories and fake controversies about the unmasking memos and now the terrible scandal of Fusion GPS and how dare they investigate Trump’s Russia connection? You do these things to distract yourself, you find ways to rationalize your behavior. They don’t forthrightly say what they’re doing, but they do forthrightly do it.

It seems like they’ve made a utilitarian justification, in their view, that by going alone with this presidency, they can get these things done, which they believe are for the greater good, and thus its worth putting up with all these other things.

For sure, but what they’ve signed up for is an ever-escalating set of demands. We now have met people in Congress demanding themselves the abuse of the FBI to investigate Trump’s political opponents.

Let me just give you one concrete example of how this works.

The head of the FBI is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The last president to fire a director of the FBI was Bill Clinton. When he fired him, there was first a credible accusation of wrongdoing. It was disputed how Sessions had used his expense accounts. And there was a process for investigating the wrongdoing. There was a record of the investigation. It was shared with the relevant members of Congress. There were weeks of consultation. Only after there was a real consensus between Congress and the president that Sessions had done something wrong, was he then fired. Trump, of course, did not of that with the firing of Jim Comey.

And he so obviously fired him, as he himself said, to shut down a criminal investigation — and that would normally be wrong — but Republicans started saying, “Well, the president has a right to fire the head of the FBI for any reason at all.” Well, that was never true before. The president did not have the power to fire the head of the FBI for any reason; Bill Clinton did not have that power. He had to fire the FBI director for cause and with consultation. So now there’s a new rule that the FBI director can be fired at any time for any reason, even to pretty blatantly protect himself from a criminal investigation. We changed that rule — and that’s dangerous. In no other democracy does the head of the state police force serve the personal interests of the head of government. The theory Republicans are using to defend the firing of Comey is a theory you only hear in undemocratic states.

Do you think there’s a point when Republicans get enough of what they want out of Trump and then decide Pence is one of their own, why not work to remove him and install Pence instead?

Not for a long time to come, because they will end up having to protect him. The more trouble he is in, the more they will have to protect him. If Republicans were to lose control of the House of Representatives or the Senate or both, they would need him more.

We could imagine that if he’s shown to be guilty, that he’s forced to resign, Mike Pence becomes president and everything is normal. But the questions won’t stop at that point. We’ll then start to say, “Well, gee, Mr. Pence, what did you know about all of this? You kept saying things on television that turned out not to be true?”

What happens is that when a party gets into trouble like this, you can’t just isolate the president and load all the guilt onto him and send him away. They will know that and stay protective; they will protect him because that’s the only way to protect themselves.

You speak with such contempt about the Republican Party of today and the behavior of its leaders. Why are you still a Republican?

Well first, I am a conservative person. I live in the District of Columbia, where we don’t really have a state government, but if we did, I’d want to have a Republican governor. I do prefer generally the priorities of the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.

Second, I think it’ really important — we need an honest, democratic, uncorrupt right-of-center party. And I’m committed to staying and fighting for such a party.

Do you think the Republican Party can recover from this? Is the damage irreversible?

Irreversible is a long time. We’ll have a Republican Party in 30 years. We’re going to have two parties and it’s very hard to re-invent them from the ground up; so in time, yes. But the immediate question is not one about the Republican Party. It’s one about the country.

Americans often have this idea where the story of democracy is one where things just go up and up and up. Andrew Jackson gets the vote for all white men, then the Civil War comes and blacks are freed and with the long period of struggle, black men get to participate in politics, and then comes the Women’s Suffrage movement and women join, then vote is lowered to 18-year-olds and more and more democracy all the time. But that’s not really how it happened. It goes forward and it goes backward. It went backward in the period after Reconstruction. In important ways, democracy went backward after the First World War.

We’re in a period right now around the world, and here in the United States, too, where democracy is on a backward trend. It is harder for people to vote in the United States in 2018 than it was in 2002. And Republicans are actively engaged in making it harder still.

I remember you were as vociferous a critic of Trump’s during the campaign as you are now.

And yet, amazingly enough, the great and good American people did not take my advice.

So how did Trump do it? How did he pull off the greatest political upset in modern history?

It’s not amazing that Trump won the election. Once you get the party nomination, you have, at worst, a 40-60 chance of winning the presidency. So he won the presidency for a variety of reasons, including Russian help.

The important question, the strange question, is how did he win a Republican Party nomination?

Because the whole party system exists — I mean, there are always demagogues, there are always malign personalities — the party system exists to screen those people out, to keep them away from the presidency.

That’s why there are so many primaries, there is such a process. It is so long, you have to raise so much money, all of that is designed to bias the president toward being a person that is accessible to everybody. So all of that failed. And that’s the important question.

I’ve heard that you won’t even walk past the White House anymore since Trump’s inauguration.

I try to avoid walking past it, yeah.

Why?

It’s too upsetting. You just look at it and say, “It’s in hands it should not be in.” There are people who are working in that building who would not be allowed on a visitor’s pass in a normal presidency. It’s going to take a lot of fumigation afterwards to make that building decent again.

Eyewitness descriptions of Israeli military court proceedings: “Great injustice”

Eyewitness descriptions of Israeli military court proceedings: “Great injustice”

Abdul-Khaliq, son of Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat, and  Mohammed Tamimi, cousin of Ahed Tamimi.

The Burnat family and the whole town of Bil’in have been targeted by Zionist forces for consistently and nonviolently resisting the Wall and the settlements. Activists from around the world join the weekly protests. Abdul-Khaliq was kidnapped in December and has been imprisoned ever since without charge, only months from his high school graduation.
The Tamimi family are global icons of courage – except in pro-Israel circles, where they are demonized – for their endurance as they are collectively punished for their decision to stand up to occupation forces. And like Bil’in, the entire town of Nabi Saleh has been targeted: on January 13, Israeli forces declared it a closed military zone.

from IMEMC News

Abdul-Khaliq’s day in court

(from Iyad Burnat’s Facebook post, January 28)

Iyad Burnat and his wife at the Ofir prison

The Ofir Military Court adjourns my son, Abdul-Khaliq’s, ‘hearing’ until 11 February. I attended the ‘hearing’ today, fifty days after my son’s abduction, and it was a long day of deliberate humiliations and insults.

My wife and I went through several gates and numerous humiliating body searches, and then we arrived at a yard where the detainees’ families wait to attend their children’s ‘hearings’. After two hours of waiting, we entered the ‘court’, and what a court it is!

A court filled with soldiers wearing military uniforms and a child in a cage, his feet in chains, wearing a brown uniform and a broad smile. A smile that says, I am strong! A smile to greet his mother and father in an atmosphere filled with animosity and hatred.

One of the soldiers told us to sit in an area reserved for families of the detainees and not to speak. Another soldier was ordered to recite the ‘charges’ against Abdul-Khaliq. He started to read, his eyes filled with mendacity and malevolence: Stone-throwing using a slingshot, nine times; causing severe damage to the Wall; Presenting a threat to a ‘security area’; Costing the State huge amounts in damages, along with numerous other charges.

Judge, prosecutor, and guards are all soldiers in uniform. I never felt that I was in a courthouse; rather, it was the scene of a great injustice, a part of the Zionist Occupation. After reading out the ‘charges’, the judge in military uniform spoke up to declare that the ‘hearing’ would be adjourned until Sunday, 11 February 2018.

Read If Americans Knew‘s December 14 report and action alert on Abdul-Khaliq Burnat here.


Muhammad Tamimi’s court date

(from Manal Tamimi’s Facebook post, January 28)

We just came back from my son Mohammad trial that we were allowed to attend for the first time since he was arrested 17 days ago , the judge didn’t give a decision about whether if he will keep him and interrogation as the Shabak asked or he will give his order to the Shabak to end the interrogation and send him to the prison , the decision will be taken within the coming couple of days.

Mohammad looks very tired, his face turned to yellow and he lost around 7 kilos or more of his weight, he don’t have enough food or sleep during the past 17 days and he went through so many interrogation sessions days and nights , despite this he still very strong and they couldn’t break him.

And this update from Popular Struggle Coordination Committee’s Facebook page:

30 January, 2018

Osama (left) and Mohammad Tamimi

The Tamimi Brothers, Muhammad and Osama Are Still under Interrogation by Israeli Intelligence (Shabak) at Baitah-Tekva Prison and Interrogation center in Solitary confinement.

On Sunday, Jan, 28.2018 the Israeli military prosecution requested the military judge at Ofer Military court for an extension of the investigation period with Muhammad Tamimi (19). The military judge has not approved the prosecution’s request yet after an appeal by Muhammad’s lawyer that 18 days being interrogated are enough.

Muhammad was arrested on January 10, 2018, one week after the release of his mother, Manal Tamimi, who was arrested on 29 December 2017 during a non-violent demonstration in front of Ofer Military court calling for the release of the other Tamimi women: Ahed, Nariman, and Nour (was released on Jan,5, 2018). Today Muhammad enters his nineteenth day of solitary confinement accompanied with continuous interrogation, which was expressed in the investigator’s reply to the lawyer’s question of the number of investigation sessions as “I cannot even count them because they are a lot.” The charges against Muhammad are still unknown as they are in “a secret file” as the lawyer was told.

Osama Tamimi (22) the brother of Muhammed and the son of Manal, has been arrested ten days after the arrest of Muhammed, Osama is currently subjected to similar detention conditions as his brother Muhammad at Baitah Tekva Prison and interrogation center.

Osama was arrested while going to his home in Nabi Saleh in the middle of the day. As a part of Israel’s constant violation of the Palestinians’ rights, Israelis did not call Osama’s family to inform them about the arrest, until they knew from a different source one day after the arrest. The situation of Osama is similar to Muhammad’s. The two brothers’ interrogation is being held by investigators from the Israeli Intelligence (Shabak) encountering harsh interrogation conditions in one of the worst investigation centers. The forms of ill-treatment employed against the Tamimi brothers include interrogation sessions that tantamount to 12 consecutive hours, depriving of sleep and other sensory deprivation, isolation and solitary confinement, and threats against the lives of their families.

The detention of the Tamimi brothers is part of the collective punishment against the Tamimi family from Nabi Saleh. Which all started from the arrest of Ahed (17) and her mother Nariman (42) since 19 Dec, 2017. It also included an announcement that any permits by the Tamimi people to enter Israel will be revoked. The Israeli occupation’s measures are as a tool to stop the Tamimi family from protesting against the occupation, which became a symbol of non-violent resistance in the occupied West Bank.

The Military judge will issue a decision in the third court hearing for Muhammad next Wednesday 31, Jan, 2018 of either finishing the interrogation or approving the appeal of the prosecution to extend the investigation for other 8 days. A decision on Osama’s case will also be issued in his court hearing on 4 February 2018. The proceedings pursued by both the military prosecution and court to keep the Palestinian detainees in custody and under long interrogation periods show that the justice system in Israel is being used as discriminatory policy towards Palestinians to sustain the occupying control over Palestinians, instead of serving justice and law and to quash the Palestinian non-violent resistance.

The popular committees call upon the international community and international organizations to intervene in order to protect the basic rights of the Palestinian people. Meanwhile, Palestinian children, men, youth and women are all united in resisting the occupation, risking their lives in face to face encounters with the occupation army, demonstrating in Gaza city, Jerusalem, Haifa, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Yaffa, and Hebron. We stand united across the different cities. As long as the occupation continues, we will keep resisting for a life of freedom, justice and dignity.

Read other reports on the Tamimi family from If Americans Knew here.

 

Jewish soldiers take ‘selfie’ with Injured Palestinian prisoners

Israeli soldiers take ‘selfie’ with Injured Palestinian prisoners

Israeli soldiers periodically take “selfies” with their prisoners. This 2015 photo is by a soldier who posted a series to her Facebook account in an album entitled: “Army… the most beautiful time of my life. :)”

After handcuffing and beating two brothers, one a teenager, Israeli soldiers took a “selfie” with the injured prisoners, a common practice. Israeli forces conducted 196 search and arrest operations across the West Bank, including nine children, between October 10 and October 23.

By IMEMC News

Two Palestinian prisoners, including one teenager, gave testimonies to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, detailing the abuse and harassment they faced at the hands of Israeli forces during their arrests.

The committee released a statement on Monday saying that Israeli forces raided the home of brothers Tariq Baajeh, 26, and Ahmad Baajeh, 19, in the Qalqilia-area town of Jayyus in the northern occupied West Bank around midnight on Sunday.

According to the brothers’ testimonies, soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded the brothers before transferring them to a military zone near Qalqiliya in a military jeep.

“The Baajeh brothers were assaulted and insulted the entire time they were held at the military zone,” the statement said, adding that after the soldiers beat up the brothers, soldier took a “selfie” with the injured brothers “in order to provoke them.” [Such actions are common. See this article about a 2015 incident.]

The brothers were then transferred to the Huwwara detention center near Nablus, and then to the Megiddo prison north of the West Bank, where they were strip searched.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Ma;an News Agency further reports.

According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 196 search and arrest operations across the West Bank, including nine children, between October 10 and October 23.

Human rights groups have widely documented the abuse of Palestinians by Israeli forces during night raids, and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions, which has long been the target of criticism by the international community.

Defense for Children International – Palestine has said their research showed that almost two-thirds of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces had endured physical violence after their arrest.

Take Action! Palestinian nonviolent leader’s son, Abdul-Khalik Burnat, abducted by Israeli occupation forces

Take Action! Palestinian nonviolent leader’s son, Abdul-Khalik Burnat, abducted by Israeli occupation forces

Abdul-Khalik Burnat, Jan. 2017, after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head with a rubber encased steel bullet. (Photo by Mohammed Yasin)

SEE UPDATES AT END OF POST (As of Dec. 16th the teens are still being held, so it is still important to take action)

On Dec. 10th Israeli soldiers kidnapped, beat, and detained the teenaged son of Palestinian nonviolence leader Iyad Burnat and two friends. The boys, who had gone out for pizza, are being held in Ofer Prison. A hearing will be held Dec. 14th to determine possible charges.

Israeli forces have frequently targeted the Burnat family because of their nonviolent resistance to Israel’s confiscation of farmland in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, depicted in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Five Broken Cameras.”

Israel has detained and imprisoned at least 230 Palestinians since President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement last week. Dozens of them have been children (see this and this.)

Please take the actions below on behalf of these boys and the numerous other Palestinian men, women, and children imprisoned by Israel. American citizens, please contact your Congressional representatives! (click here)

From Al-Awda:

Abdul-Khalik Burnat, 17 years old, the son of Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat, an active leader of the Nonviolent Resistance Movement in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, was kidnapped, beaten and detained on the night of December 10, 2017 while getting pizza along with his friends Hamzah Al-Khatib and Malik Rahdi.

Their whereabouts were unknown until Abdul-Khalik’s mother and father recently learned that he and his friends are in Ofer Prison near the city of Ramallah.

Abdul-Khalik’s village of Bil’in is heavily targeted by Zionist colonizing forces for arrests, repression and persecution, especially because the people of the village continually and consistently organize well-coordinated weekly peaceful demonstrations which include visits and support from international activists to defend their land from illegal Israeli settlements and the infamous apartheid Wall.

Abdul-Khalik is a senior in high school. He was focused on completing his finals before his kidnapping. He is planning on going to college abroad after graduating high school.

This is not the first time that Abdul Khalik has been targeted by Israeli colonizing forces. The last time was in January of 2017, when he was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. They also detained him in another night-time raid in March 2017, while he was under treatment for his injuries.

Iyad Burnat’s family has been repeatedly targeted and injured by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Burnat states, “All this violence that they use against me and my family is trying to stop us from what we’re doing [Nonviolent resistance].”

Abdul Khalik’s court date is this upcoming Thursday December 14, 2017. This arbitrary hearing is crucial and likely to determine whether to extend their detention (for interrogation), impose an administrative detention order or put charges in the military courts.

The family of Abdul-Khalik Burnat have urged international action and publicity to help them obtain justice for their son and his immediate release.

**

Unfortunately, Abdul-Khalik’s story is all too common. Every year, over 700 Palestinian children face military trials and military imprisonment at the hand of Israeli occupation soldiers. Palestinian children are subject to torture and abuse under interrogation, arbitrary military trials, denial of their right to education, physical and psychological violence and imprisonment without charge or trial on a regular basis.

Israel’s impunity and gross violations of the rights of Palestinian children continue with the silence and complicity of governments around the world, including the U.S. government that not only provides $3 billion in military funding each year to the Israeli occupation state but also recently declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, putting its stamp of approval on ethnic cleansing, settlement construction, land confiscation and blatant violation of international law.

Israeli soldiers with 16-year-old Fawzi al-Junaidi, Dec, 7, 2017, during protests in the West Bank city of Hebron. (Info here)

Canada and Europe continue to maintain free trade pacts and association agreements with the Israeli occupation. It’s time for real international pressure to defend Palestinian children like Abdul-Khalik Burnat – and all Palestinians – from apartheid, war crimes and brutal, racist injustice.

TAKE ACTION TO FREE ABDUL-KHALIK BURNAT!

DOWNLOAD THE FLYER FOR DISTRIBUTION

  1. For supporters in the US: Call your member of Congress to support H.R. 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. Tell them specifically about Abdul-Khalik’s case, and urge them to act for his release. Click here to tell your member of Congress to support the bill.
  2. For international supporters: Call your government officials and demand action for Abdul-Khalik Burnat and other Palestinian child prisoners.

Call your country’s officials urgently:
Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111

  1. Join one of the many protests for Jerusalem and distribute this information about Abdul-Khalik. Get others involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom! Build the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and complicit corporations like HP and G4S.
  2. Write to Israeli officials to demand the release of Abdul-Khalik Burnat and fellow Palestinian child prisoners.Write a message and email or fax it to the officials below. Contact information and sample letter follow:

Contact information:

Minister of Defence
Avigdor Liberman
Ministry of Defence
37 Kaplan Street
Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 73 323 3300
Email: minister@mod.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice
Ayelet Shaked
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem, 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 640 8402
Email: sar@justice.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Attorney General
Avichai Mendelbilt
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 3367
Email: ClassActionFiling@justice.gov.il

Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Sharon Afek
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Email: Mag@idf.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General

Commander of the IOF – West Bank
Major-General Roni Numa
GOC Central Command
Military Post 01149, Battalion 877
Israel Defense Forces, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 5741, +972 2 530 5724
Salutation: Dear Major-General Roni Numa

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan
Kiryat Hamemshala
PO Box 18182
Jerusalem 91181, Israel
Fax: +972 2 584 7872
Email: gerdan@knesset.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Sample Letter:

Dear Ministers,

I write today to demand the immediate release of Palestinian child prisoner Abdul-Khalik Burnat, the son of Iyad Burnat, nonviolent popular movement leader in the Palestinian village of Bil’in.

Abdul-Khalik and two of his friends were beaten and abducted by Israeli soldiers as they ate pizza on the evening of December 10. A dedicated high school student, Abdul-Khalik was in the middle of studying for his final exams when he was ripped away from his home and his studies.

Abdul-Khalik is 17 years old, and in his short life he has been detained and interrogated by armed Israeli soldiers, shot with a metal-coated rubber bullet, and suffered from severe traumas due to ongoing Israeli violence targeting his home village and his family.

Abdul-Khalik and his friends Hamzah Al-Khatib and Malik Rahdi are being held in Ofer military prison. They are not alone but are among approximately 300 Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention. Military detention and imprisonment of children violates their rights and creates lifelong trauma.

These boys have been targeted for nothing more than being Palestinian. I demand their immediate release.

Sincerely,


UPDATES:

Dec. 15: Burnat asked people share this letter on Facebook.

Dec 14: Iyad Burnat’s Facebook post:

Today was the first hearing at Ofer military court. The Israeli Occupation Prosecutor declared:
1. Charge is ‘Destruction of the Wall’ by these 17-year-olds
2. Confidential file of charges — not yet opened
3. Causing the Occupation hundreds of thousands of Shekels in damages
4. Investigation extended for another five days — more pressure on these minors
5. Hearing adjourned until Monday, 18 December 2017. Despite all of the above, all three youngsters are in high spirits, having turned the Hearing into a charade, laughing out loud and interrupting their jailers.


RELATED:

Calling Bono: Your Palestinian Gandhis Exist … In Graves And Prisons

Why Congress Hates Russia – Russiagate scandal

Russiagate scandal approaches its implosion point

Publication of GOP memorandum on surveillance abuses by Obama’s Justice Department threatens to blow lid off the scandal

It is becoming increasingly clear that the point of crisis in the Russiagate scandal has now been reached, and that it centres on the four page memorandum prepared by Republican Congressional investigators after their examination of the Justice Department’s documents on the evidence provided during the 2016 election by Obama’s Justice Department to the FBI to undertake surveillance of members of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Publication of this memorandum has just been agreed by the House Intelligence Committee.

The final decision whether or not to publish the memorandum lies with President Trump.

I think it is a foregone conclusion that he will decide to publish it, though I expect heavy lobbying from the Justice Department and the US intelligence community to persuade him not to.

All I would say about that is that if President Trump allows himself to be persuaded by whatever threats or promises the Justice Department and the US intelligence community make to him, then he is a fool.

I do not know what is in the memorandum, though FBI Director Christopher Wray, who read it on Sunday, was apparently profoundly shocked by its contents, leading him to demand the immediate resignation of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

What is known about the memorandum is that it concerns the Trump Dossier, and it is almost certainly not a coincidence that it has appeared at roughly the same time that demands have been coming from Senator Lindsey Graham for a second Special Counsel to be appointed to investigate the Justice Department’s and the FBI’s actions during the 2016 election, and when a request has been made by Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham for the Justice Department to look into the possibility of whether Christopher Steele – the Trump Dossier’s compiler – may have committed criminal offences because of contradictory things which he is supposed to have said to the media.

There are of course plenty of rumours about what the memorandum says.

The most plausible rumours that I have seen say that the memorandum says that a FISA warrant was obtained to institute surveillance of Carter Page without the FISA court been told that the evidence cited in support of the application for the warrant was based wholly on information provided by the Trump Dossier, and that the Trump Dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Allegedly the US attorney who represented the Justice Department when the application for this FISA warrant was presented to the FISA court, and who did not provide the FISA court with the  information that it came from the Trump Dossier which the Democrats had paid for, was none other than Rod Rosenstein, who is now the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and who was the Justice Department official who appointed Robert Mueller Special Counsel to investigate the Russiagate collusion allegations which are based on the Trump Dossier.

If this is true then I must say that Rosenstein’s position looks to me untenable, and I think he will have to resign.

Though I do not know whether legally speaking Rosenstein is caught in a conflict of interest of interest – my guess is that he is – I cannot imagine that the Republicans in Congress will tolerate his remaining in overall charge of the Russiagate inquiry after such a revelation, and I cannot see Rosenstein remaining Deputy Attorney General if he is stripped of his power to supervise Mueller’s inquiry.

Needless to say if Rosenstein is forced to resign, then it seems to me that Mueller’s days will also be numbered.  My guess is he will in that case resign immediately, though he might try to cling on.  If he does so he will only be there for a few days.

At that point Russiagate – or to be more precisely the legal investigation into the collusion allegations – will be finally over.

On the subject of whether or not the Justice Department and the FBI knew that the Trump Dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and by the Hillary Clinton campaign when it applied for the surveillance warrants to the FISA court, I must say that I agree with Representative Devin Nunes: it is all but inconceivable that they did not.

The very first question the FBI investigators would have asked Christopher Steele when he presented them with the first entry of the Trump Dossier back in early July 2016 was who was paying him, and he would have had to answer.

Even if all of Steele’s contacts were with Fusion GPS, and even if Steele only named Fusion GPS, that would have been enough for the FBI to trace the funding of the Trump Dossier back to the Democrats.  After all it was enough to set the Republicans in Congress on the right lead, and it beggars belief that the same would not have been the case for the FBI.

As it happens I suspect that there were many more contacts between the Democrats, the Justice Department and the FBI in the summer and autumn of 2016 than we know about, and I would not be surprised if the memorandum touches on them.

Perhaps the best evidence for the explosive contents of the memorandum is that the Democrats have felt obliged to produce their own memorandum in response to it.

Contrary to what Representative Adam Schiff is saying, the Republicans apparently agree that it should be published also.

The best discussion of all this – both about the contents of the Democrats’ memorandum and about the Republicans’ plan for eventual publication of the Democrats’ memorandum – has been provided by Byron York

…….there was also a rare moment of bipartisanship for the bitterly divided panel. At the same meeting, Republicans and Democrats voted unanimously to make the Democratic memo — the counter-memo to the Republican document — available to all members of the House.

That is the same process Republicans, under chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., followed with their memo. First, make it available to House members. (That happened on Jan. 18.) Later, after members of both parties have had a chance to read the memo, decide whether to release it to the public.

More than one Republican told me Monday that they plan to support releasing the Democratic memo to the public after a period of time comparable to the Republican example. (Republicans voted down a Democratic motion to make the Democratic memo public immediately, arguing that House members should have a chance to read it first.)

“Obviously we have gone through the process of letting our colleagues read our memo over the last several days, and I think that when the Democratic memo has gone through the same process, then it should have the same day in court, so to speak,” Republican committee member Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., told reporters after the session.

To no one’s surprise, ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was the first to make it to the cameras after the meeting Monday. He noted that the committee had voted to make the Democratic memo available to “members of the House that have been misled by the majority’s memorandum.” But he also spoke in a way that might have led a casual listener to conclude Republicans had voted to keep the memo completely under wraps. At one point he referred to “if and when the majority allows the minority memorandum to see the light of day.”

Now that the Democratic memo is available to everyone in the House, it remains to be seen whether Democrats will flock to read the memo as Republicans — about 200 of them — flocked to read the GOP memo. But what is clear is that some Republicans have already taken a look at the Democratic document, and it is, as expected, all about the GOP memo.

The Democratic memo, which like the Republican memo is classified and can only be viewed in a secure room, is an attempt to discredit the GOP document without making any larger point about the Trump-Russia investigation, said Republicans who have seen it.

“It was written by attorneys as a rebuttal to our memo, but it’s not going to move their argument forward,” noted one Republican member who has read the Democratic paper. “It’s too detailed, too confusing, and far more personal — they go after [Nunes] again and again.

The member noted that that Democratic memo contains far more classified information — names and sources — than the GOP paper. “It is much more revealing [of classified information],” he said. “It’s going to have to be heavily redacted before it can be released. We wrote our memo with the hope that it would be released to the American people. Their memo will have to be heavily redacted.”

Two other GOP members familiar with the memo echoed those points.

From this it is clear that the Republicans do not fear that the Democrats’ memorandum seriously challenges their own.

Rather it appears to have been concocted by the Democrats in order to muddle the issue and so as to give themselves counter arguments when the Republican memorandum is published.

Already that looks defensive, and the Republicans apparently feel that its verbose and legalistic style means that it fails to challenge their memorandum effectively.

One other fact in my opinion points strongly to the likely importance of the Republicans’ memorandum.

This is that though it has been the focus of all-absorbing discussion within the Washington political bubble for weeks, the liberal media in the US has barely spoken about it, and the media in Britain has ignored it entirely.

I have not come across a single reference to the memorandum in any British newspaper or on the BBC, which given the relentless way the British media has covered even the most insignificant and implausible of the Russiangate collusion claims made against Donald Trump is both significant and remarkable.

What it points to is deep concern and embarrassment within the British elite, which given Britain’s central role in triggering the Russiagate scandal is not surprising.

All I would say about that is that if the memorandum is as explosive a document as appears likely then the British media is once again failing the British people, who may struggle to understand when it is published and when Russiagate finally collapses how that has happened.

Putting that aside, the supporters of the Russiagate conspiracy theory have not been inactive over the last few weeks, and as the prospect of the publication of the memorandum looms they have been working overtime to keep the scandal alive and to prepare their defences.

One approach has been play up ‘non news’ stories such as the fact that Mueller’s investigators have questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions and may one day question Donald Trump.  Needless to say that is neither new nor important nor even interesting.

The second has been to speak ominously of ‘threats to Mueller’ supposedly coming from within the administration.

The most recent example of this is a strange story that President Trump supposedly planned to sack Mueller in June – very soon after Mueller was in fact appointed – only to be talked out of doing so following a row with White House Counsel Don McGahn.

President Trump has categorically denied this story – which has no independent corroboration – calling it ‘fake news’, but as now invariably happens his liberal opponents refuse to take his denial seriously, and despite his denial act as if the story has been proved true.

Personally speaking, I doubt that President Trump seriously intended to sack Mueller in June.  The political risks involved in doing so so soon after the botched sacking of former FBI Director James Comey, would have been too obvious and far too great for Trump to have seriously intended it.

Possibly Trump – who is an emotional man, and who is known to have deeply resented Mueller’s appointment – spoke wildly of sacking Mueller, only for this to provoke an angry rejoinder from McGahn, a tough and hardbitten who is apparently known to give as good as it gets.  However I doubt that Trump ever seriously planned to sack Mueller.

Most probably the whole story – like so many others which have appeared over the course of the Russiagate scandal – is as Trump says an invention.

Whether it is or not, of one thing there is no doubt, which is that it is a red herring.

Whatever Trump’s intentions towards Mueller might have been back in June, he has repeatedly denied that he has any plan to sack Mueller now, making what didn’t happen back in June entirely beside the point.

The third approach has been to try to distance the scandal from the Trump Dossier by pretending that it did not have the central role in creating the scandal that it obviously did.

Thus we have seen the attempt to play up the role of George Papadopoulos (discussed at length by me here).

Now we have a new story ultimately sourced from the Dutch media that Dutch intelligence supposedly hacked a Russian hacking group based in a university building in Moscow back in 2014.

Supposedly CCTV inside the building was also hacked, enabling pictures to be taken of the members of the hacking group.

As with so many Russiagate related stories this one turns out to be a great deal less impressive than it looks at first glance.

Firstly, that a hacking group might be operating in 2014 out a university building in Moscow should surprise no one.

The fact that the building in question is said to have been situated close to Red Square points to the building in question being one of the old buildings of Moscow State University.

The staff and students of Moscow State University undoubtedly include many people with both the skill and the inclination to become hackers, and that some of them might actually have become hackers should surprise no one.

That fact alone makes it overwhelmingly likely that what the Dutch came across was a private hacking group made up of staff and students from Moscow State University, and the fact that the group used hacking tools known as Cozy Bear which are widely available to hackers who know how to access the dark web all but confirms this.

That Russian intelligence operation was involved in an ultra sensitive hacking operation carried out from an inherently insecure location like a university building in the centre of Moscow is all but inconceivable, and that whole idea should be abandoned.

Moreover it seems from the reports that the Dutch did not in fact catch the hackers in the act of stealing the emails from the computers of the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta.  I say this because if they did the Dutch media stories would certainly have confirmed it.

The Dutch media reports say that the Dutch were able to monitor the group for roughly a year, from mid 2014 to mid 2015.  The alleged cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee are supposed to have begun in the summer of 2015 and to have continued until 2016.  That strongly suggests that the Dutch ceased monitoring the hacking group just before the cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee are supposed to have taken place.

Perhaps the cyber attacks (if they happened) really were the work of the group the Dutch came across, but it is clear that the Dutch do not know this.

In summary, the Dutch appear to have come across what was almost certainly a private hacking group consisting of staff and students from Moscow State University and operating from one of its buildings, but Russian intelligence was almost certainly not involved, and the Dutch have no proof that the group was involved in the hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee or of John Podesta.  Nor obviously do they have any proof that the group was involved in providing the emails which were stolen from those computers to Wikileaks.

Possibly intelligence reports from the Dutch of the Dutch discovery in 2014 of this Russian hacking group hardened belief within the US intelligence community in 2016 of Russian involvement in the theft and publication of the Democratic National Committee and Podesta emails.  If so then it was an exercise in deduction based on too few facts.

Regardless, what the hackers in Moscow were up to in 2014 and 2015 can have no bearing on the collusion allegations between the Trump campaign and Russia which are the heart of the Russiagate scandal.

A careful analysis of the story therefore reveals it to be – like the ‘revelations’ about Papadopoulos – simply another red herring.  Frankly publication of this story at this time looks like another attempt to bolster the Russiagate conspiracy narrative just at the moment when with the imminent publication of the Republicans’ memorandum it looks to be collapsing.

Publication of the Republicans’ memorandum, even it is as devastating as all the indications suggest it is, and even if it does trigger the resignations of Rosenstein and Mueller, will not spell the immediate end of the Russiagate conspiracy theory.

The Democrats and the media are heavily invested in it, and they will try to spin any resignations by Rosenstein and Mueller – or any pressure from the Republicans arising from the contents of the memorandum to get Rosenstein and Mueller to resign – as a Republican plot to suppress the truth.

That presumably is why the story of Trump planning to sack Mueller back in June is being brought up now.

The Democrats’ memorandum points to their chief line of attack: a legalistic defence of the actions of the Justice Department and the FBI and of the US intelligence community as a whole during the 2016 election in order to deny any wrongdoing and so as to keep the story focused on the collusion allegations.

With the media in the US and in Britain lending this line of attack its full support, and doubtless churning out more ‘non stories’ and red herrings of the sort I have discussed in the article, it is likely that for a time many people will continue to be confused and will be unsure where the truth lies.

Ultimately nothing can however disguise the fact that the surveillance of members of the Trump campaign during the election on the basis of unverified ‘evidence’ paid for by the Democrats and the systematic and illegal leaking of classified information in order to undermine Donald Trump both before and after he was inaugurated President actually took place.

By contrast the allegations of Russian leaking of the emails stolen from the computers of the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta have never been conclusively proved, whilst the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians which Mueller is supposed to be investigating never took place.

It may take a little time, but once all the facts are out in the open it is only a matter of time before most people finally see the truth.

The Duran


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Why Congress Hates Russia


Ukraine, Syria, Russiagate, the Media, and the Risk of Nuclear War

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My goal in writing about these things is to alert you to the problems and encourage you to share your concerns with people you know and with federal policy-makers. Right now, the entire gamut of political discussion all but excludes the topic nuclear war, so if some Senators, Members of Congress, and the President were to begin hearing from people that we’re concerned about the threat, and how easily it could happen, and that we want that threat removed, it would be some progress.

Why the focus on nuclear war? Because of all the pending potential disasters we may have to face, it’s the most sudden, inescapable, irrevocable. At some level, people know that, though they don’t like to think about it. Author Carl Boggs describes the reaction of the people of Hawaii when they received a false alarm about an incoming ICBM attack:

People scattered frenetically, mostly without logic or purpose or hope. Where to go? If this turned out to be one of Kim Jong Un’s powerful ICBMs, it could be over in 20 minutes. Repair to a shelter? None exist. Go to the basement? Sure suicide. Find a car or taxi and head for the hills? No time. … [T]he response was utter psychological numbness, paralysis – a dysfunctional yet comprehensible state of mind in the face of nuclear oblivion. … [T]he end seemed inescapable.

And because, as Mr. Boggs says upon hearing a talk by former nuclear war planner Daniel Ellsberg, it’s a lot less unlikely than most of us have been led to believe.

The American people have been lulled to sleep, distracted by endless media and political spectacles, while busy warmakers keep refining their insane nuclear blueprints … . More than 70 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pentagon elites still theorize and fantasize about the unthinkable, their demented plans far removed from the realm of political debate or even public awareness.[1]

The risk has been with us since the 1950s, but has become scarier beginning with the US-backed coup in Ukraine, and increased with US involvement in the war on Syria. It’s been heightened by plans for “modernization” of US warheads and delivery systems – plans initiated by President Obama and continuing or expanded by President Trump. And it’s heightened further by a Pentagon plan to develop a “low-yield” warhead for the submarine-based Trident missile, and a new nuclear-tipped sea-launched cruise missile.[2] I believe that expanding the range of options in this way would increase the likelihood that the weapons will actually be used.

In case you think I’m overstating the problem, you should know that almost everything in “Dr. Strangelove” – the Stanley Kubrick film in which nuclear war is started by a rogue military officer – was true.[3] “Doomsday” is an “Actual War Plan,” as Daniel Ellsberg says in a December 13, 2017 interview discussing his new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. [4]

Dan Ellsberg proposes a Six-Step Program for dismantling the Doomsday Machine:

  • A U.S. no-first-use policy;
  • Probing investigative hearings on our war plans in the light of nuclear winter;
  • Eliminating our ICBMs;
  • Foregoing the delusion of preemptive damage-limiting by our first-strike forces;
  • Giving up the profits, jobs, and alliance hegemony based on maintaining that pretense;
  • Otherwise dismantling the American Doomsday Machine.

Of course none of that will happen under present circumstances. It’s Ellsberg’s goal to contribute to developing an informed electorate that, recognizing the risk, will demand such actions.

Sleepwalking to Nuclear War

I hadn’t voted for him, but I thought I saw a silver lining in the election of Donald Trump. I had feared that Hillary Clinton’s call for “no-fly” zones over Syria, despite the presence of Russian warplanes already there at the request of the Syrian government, posed a serious risk of triggering World War III. I hoped we could oppose President Trump on everything else – which is to some extent happening – while basking in replacement of the New Cold War by rapprochement with nuclear-armed Russia. But the Democrats have helped put the kibosh on that possibility by determinedly blaming their electoral loss on Russia rather than accepting responsibility for it themselves, and that has unfortunately become the focus of much of the opposition.[5] Adam Shatz discusses many of the ways we could awaken (or not) to discover we had unwisely ignored the threat of nuclear war in “The President and the Bomb,” published in the November 16 issue of the London Review of Books.https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n22/adam-shatz/the-president-and-the-bomb . But as Mr. Shatz observes, the problems run much deeper than President Trump.

First, there is much to fear short of total nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. For example, it appears that even a “small” nuclear exchange, between, say, India and Pakistan, could trigger nuclear winter putting two billion people at risk.[6]

Regarding the two nuclear-armed superpowers, who between them possess some 15,000 nuclear warheads, the Cold War that ended in 1991 has lately been replaced by a New Cold War. U.S. and NATO provocations to Russia have reached a largely unheard crescendo in Ukraine, where a U.S.-backed coup installed a regime, essentially in the Russian belly, that’s riddled with neo-Nazis and hostile to Russia; in eastern Europe generally, where NATO war games have been held repeatedly just across the Russian border; and in Syria, where the U.S. continues to maintain an unlawful presence in proximity to Russian forces legitimately there at the invitation of the internationally recognized and constitutionally elected Syrian government. And in both Syria and Ukraine, there are signs the situation is becoming even more dangerous than it’s been for some time.[7]

These situations raise the risk of unintended nuclear war, as confrontation may lead at any time to escalation spiraling out of control. Dr. William Polk, a member of the White House team that handled the Cuban Missile Crisis, describes how in a confrontational situation, the logic of events could force the Russians and us to the next step and that step also to the next and so on, to the ultimate disastrous result without anyone having initially intended it.[8] Mr. Shatz concludes that what we once mistook for safety was more like sleepwalking. Former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin sums up the situation in similar terms:

“Under the false and demonizing imagery of ‘Putin’s Russia’ which has now taken hold in the United States and NATO world, the West is truly ‘sleepwalking’, as Kissinger, Gorbachev, [University of Kent professor Richard] Sakwa, [Princeton emeritus professor Stephen F.] Cohen and others have urgently warned, into a potential nuclear war with Russia. It is the Cuban missile crisis all over again, but actually worse now … [in part] because American policy under recent U.S. presidents has been so lacking in statesmanship, consistency or historical perspective where Russia is concerned.” (Return to Moscow, University of Western Australia, 2017, p. 255).

“Russian Meddling”

The claim of Russian meddling in the US election has brought US-Russia relations to what may be an all-time low, substantially contributing to the near-universal demonization of Russian president Vladimir Putin and of Russia itself in virtually all major media, with little or no discussion of the supposed evidence for the claim. A stellar exception is the London Review of Books, which published a critically important essay by RutgersUniversity professor Jackson Lears in the January 4, 2018 issue. Titled “What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking,” the article is an excellent overview and analysis of many of the issues the title suggests. The claim of Russian meddling in the election remains to this day evidence-free, although you would never know that from the treatment of the topic in the mainstream media. As Professor Lears observes:

Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free ‘assessment’ produced last January by a small number of ‘hand-picked’ analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only ‘moderate’ confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 US intelligence agencies contributed to the report. And indeed the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: ‘Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.’ Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those ‘hand-picked’ analysts.

But although Professor Lears refers to the reports of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity in his discussion of “Russian hacking,” it seems clear there must have been a leak, not a hack, because “the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack.” (“Was the ‘Russian Hack’ An Inside Job?”, July 25, 2017, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/25/was-the-russian-hack-an-inside-job/ .)

In any case, definitive claims about who was responsible (assuming, purely arguendo, it was a hack) face the fact that, according to Ray McGovern and William S. Binney, two members of VIPS,

On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents [the “Vault 7” trove of CIA documents] — ignored by mainstream media — showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs like Cyrillic markings, for example. (“Trumped-up Claims Against Trump,” May 17, 2017, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-trump-russia-phony-20170517-story.html ).

McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years; Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, was the agency’s technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting, and created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.

In other words, as Russian president Vladimir Putin has explained,

today’s technology is such that the final address can be masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one will be able to understand the origin of that address. And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual [so] that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. (Valdimir Putin’s televised interview on NBC (June 4, 2017), by NBC News’ Megyn Kelly, text published on the website of the President of Russia, June 5, 2017.)[9]

Demonization of Putin and Russia

The demonization of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russia itself is just part, albeit the most dangerous part, of a disinformation campaign flowing from the mainstream media. I don’t propose to present a full treatment of the subject here. But in broad outline, it’s my understanding that when the Cold War ended in 1991, Russian president Boris Yeltsin accepted the advice of Western neoliberal planners and dismantled much of the Russian “safety net,” with the result that the Russian economy tanked and millions of people faced terrific hardship. Vladimir Putin has been attempting to repair that situation, and his initial success is part of the reason for his popularity in Russia. That understanding comes from a number of articles I’ve read over the years, but primarily from Tony Kevin’s book Return to Moscow, mentioned above. I’m hardly an expert on internal Russian politics. But I’ve read many of the extensive public statements Mr. Putin has made since 2007, and with my primary concern being his role in international relations and with respect to the control of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, he strikes me as a statesman.[10] Yet as investigative journalist Robert Parry observes,

The demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia is … where the neocons and the liberal interventionists most significantly come together. The U.S. media’s approach to Russia is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. … For instance, the full story of the infamous Magnitsky case cannot be told in the West, nor can the objective reality of the Ukrane coup in 2014. The American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the “other side of the story.” Indeed to even suggest that there is another side to the story makes you a “Putin apologist” or “Kremlin stooge.”

Western journalists now apparently see it as their patriotic duty to hide key facts that otherwise would undermine the demonizing of Putin and Russia. Ironically, many “liberals” who cut their teeth on skepticism about the Cold War and the bogus justifications for the Vietnam War now insist that we must all accept whatever the U.S. intelligence community feeds us, even if we’re told to accept the assertions on faith.[11]

One result is a needless heightening of the dangers and risks outlined in this article.

US Foreign Policy

While acknowledging the “imperial hubris” behind recent multiple US military actions, Professor Lears calls them “failed crusades” in light of which “one may suspect humanitarian intervention is nothing more than window-dressing for a more mundane geopolitics – one that defines the national interest as global and virtually limitless.” But it seems to me that the invasion of Iraq, the destruction of Libya as a functioning state, and the sustained insistence on removing from office constitutionally elected (in a landslide, in 2014) Syrian president Bashar al-Assad are fairly clear evidence that in practice “the national interest” means the hegemony (“full spectrum dominance”) of the US military and the profits of multinational corporations, motivating a deliberate program of dismantling any force in the Middle East that may prefer (or, as in the case of Gaddafi’s Libya, promote regional) independence.

Although still registered as a Democrat, I hold out little hope that the Party will change fundamentally, even if that’s what winning elections requires. In his effort to find a silver lining behind the depressing array of clouds he discusses, Professor Lears briefly mentions Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis, a 33-page document posted at https://democraticautopsy.org, whose authors include Norman Solomon, founder of the web-based insurgent lobby RootsAction.org. I plan to review that document, but meanwhile back at election time I took the opportunity to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein – who not only proposes fundamental change but has lately, by the way, become another target of the congressional “Russiagate” investigations, so called.[12]

The Mainstream Media Disinform the Public

Addressing the problems discussed in this essay effectively will require a shared understanding of the basic facts. On the risk of nuclear war, for example, Dan Ellsberg’s goal is to contribute to the development of an informed electorate that, recognizing the risk, will demand appropriate actions. But unfortunately we humans have a variety of mechanisms to assist us in avoiding unpleasant facts, and many of us are inclined to use them; but to make matters worse, as author Patrick Lawrence has put it, “an extraordinary proportion of our public discourse now rests on nothing but ideologically inspired disinformation.” ( https://eastwestaccord.com/tipping-patrick-lawrence/ .) Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, calls the media’s role in this disinformation campaign “media malpractice.” As a recent illustration of it, Professor Cohen observes that new evidence that Washington broke its promise not to expand NATO “one inch eastward”—a fateful decision with ongoing ramifications—has not been reported by The New York Times or other agenda-setting media outlets; and he explains the significance of this fact. The US government, and the media, routinely blame the deterioration of relations with Russia and the New Cold War on “Russian aggression.” However, the newly disclosed evidence strengthen+s the case for directing the blame in the opposite direction, that is, at the West:

In 1990, Soviet Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed not only to the reunification of Germany, whose division was the epicenter of that Cold War, but also, at the urging of the Western powers, particularly the United States, that the new Germany would be a member of NATO. … Gorbachev made the decision based on assurances by his then–Western “partners” that in return NATO would never be expanded “one inch eastward” toward Russia. (Today, having nearly doubled its member countries, the world’s most powerful military alliance sits on Russia’s western borders.) At the time, it was known that President George H.W. Bush had especially persuaded Gorbachev through Secretary of State James Baker’s “not one inch” and other equally emphatic guarantees. Ever since Bush’s successor, President Bill Clinton, began the still ongoing process of NATO expansion, its promoters and apologists have repeatedly insisted there was no such promise, that it had all been “myth” or “misunderstanding,” and moreover that NATO’s vast expansion had been necessary and has been a great success, actual myths that Cohen also discusses.

Now, however, the invaluable National Security Archive at George Washington University has established the historical truth by publishing, on December 12 of last year, not only a detailed account of what Gorbachev was promised in 1990–91 but the relevant documents themselves. The truth, and the promises broken, are much more expansive than previously known: All of the Western powers involved—the US, the UK, France, Germany itself—made the same promise to Gorbachev on multiple occasions and in various emphatic ways. …

And yet, nearly a month [later], neither the Times nor The Washington Post, which profess to be the nation’s most important, reliable, and indispensable political newspapers, has published one word about this revelation. (Certainly the two papers are pervasively important to other media, not only due to their daily national syndicates but because today’s broadcast media, especially CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS, take most of their own Russia-related “reporting” cues from the Times and the Post.)[13]

Of course, there is an inclination on the part of some members of the public to welcome such disinformation, or simply to remain uninformed of unpleasant facts, such as the risk of nuclear war. More has been written on this subject than I can discuss here, but briefly, here are a couple of statements that provide an insightful exploration of the psychological issues that confront critics of U.S. foreign policy:

The only thing keeping westerners from seeing through the lies that they’ve been told about Syria is the unquestioned assumption that their own government could not possibly be that evil. They have no trouble believing that a foreigner from a Muslim-majority country [the reference is to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad] could be gratuitously using chemical weapons on children at the most strategically disastrous time possible and bombing his own civilians for no discernible reason other than perhaps sheer … sadism [these are references to “false flag” incidents in which, for example, one or another terrorist organization causes a chemical weapons attack and seeks to blame it on the Syrian government], but the possibility that their [own] government is making those things up in order to manufacture consent for regime change is ruled out before any critical analysis of the situation even begins.[14]

Ominously, this morning’s newspaper reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to “hold Russia accountable” for what seems clearly to be yet another false flag use of chlorine gas.[15]

I found it enormously helpful to read Ms. Johnstone’s essay in conjunction with another piece, by investigative reporter and photographer Vanessa Beeley, in which Ms. Beeley observes:

What we’ve been undergoing to a large extent is a form of psychological abuse, actually, by very narcissistic, hegemonic governments and officials for a very long time. It’s a form of gaslighting where actually our own faith in our ability to judge a situation, and to some extent even our own identity, has been eroded and damaged to the point where we’re effectively accepting their version of reality.[16]

Adam Shatz in the LRB and Australian diplomat Tony Kevin both use the metaphor of sleepwalking to describe what we appear to be doing with respect to the risk of nuclear war. Hopefully, the efforts of analysts and activists to wake us up will produce enough awareness in time, before we sleepwalk into the end of the world. Unfortunately, we will have to generate that awareness without the assistance of the mainstream media, and indeed in the teeth of a pervasive disinformation campaign.

Robert Roth is a retired public interest lawyer. He received his law degree from Yale in 1971 and prosecuted false advertising and consumer fraud as an assistant attorney general for New York (1981-1991) and Oregon (1993-2007).

Notes

[1] Carl Boggs in “Doomsday Panic in Hawaii,” January 23, 2018), https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/23/doomsday-panic-in-hawaii/ . For a useful discussion of “the myopic mindset of nuclear strategists and what we should be doing about it,” see Bo Filter, “The Prize—Extinction: Winning a Nuclear War?” (May 15-17, 2017), http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/15/winning-a-nuclear-war/ . This essay includes discussion of an important book I’ve seldom seen mentioned, Michio Kaku and Daniel Axelrod, To Win A Nuclear War: The Pentagon’s Secret War Plans (Black Rose Books, Montreal-New York, 1987).

[2] Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. Plans New Nuclear Weapons,” The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2018, p. 1.

[3] You can read about that in Eric Schlosser’s New Yorker piece, accessible at http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/almost-everything-in-dr-strangelove-was-true ; but for an update, see Mr. Schlosser’s “World War Three, By Mistake,” at http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/world-war-three-by-mistake .

[4] https://www.blackagendareport.com/daniel-ellsberg-doomsday-actual-war-plan .The book is reviewed in some detail in James Heddle, “Rational Insanity: the Mad Logic of America’s Nuclear ‘Doomsday Machine’” (January 9, 2018), at https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/09/rational-insanity-the-mad-logic-of-americas-nuclear-doomsday-machine/ .

[5] For a brief overview on that topic see my “The Evidence-Free Claims Against Trump and Syria (Undermining Peace Efforts and Threatening More War),” June 12, 2017, posted at http://www.unz.com/article/the-evidence-free-claims-against-trump-and-syria/ More recently, Adam Shatz discusses many of the ways we could awaken (or not) to discover we had unwisely ignored the threat of nuclear war in “The President and the Bomb,” published in the November 16 issue of the London Review of Books. https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n22/adam-shatz/the-president-and-the-bomb .

[6] Ira Helfand, MD, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, “Nuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk?”, Second Edition, 2013. For a much briefer summary, see Steven Starr, “Nuclear War, Nuclear Winter, and Human Extinction,” October 14, 2015, https://fas.org/pir-pubs/nuclear-war-nuclear-winter-and-human-extinction/ .

[7] For a brief treatment of the Ukraine situation, see “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” by University of Chicago professor John J. Mearsheimer, Foreign Affairs, September-October 2014, and a critique of that article and Prof. Mearsheimer’s reply in the November-December 2014 issue, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/author/john-j-mearsheimer. I posted a more elaborate discussion at https://healingjustice.wordpress.com/ . The current situation seems to be worsening rather than improving. See Gilbert Doctorow, “A Coming Russia-Ukraine War?”, https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/21/a-coming-russia-ukraine-war/ .On Syria, I wrote “What’s Really Happening in Syria: A Consumer Fraud Lawyer’s Mini-Primer,” which has been posted on the web at http://www.syriasolidaritymovement.org/2017/01/21/mini-primer-on-syria-by-former-assist-attorney-general-ny-oregon/ and also printed as a booklet, available from me at 1430 Willamette Street, # 366, Eugene, OR97401-4049. A recent brief update is by Mike Whitney, “Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation ,” January 19, 2018, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/19/trumps-plan-b-for-syria-occupation-and-intimidation/

[8] William K. Polk, “Cuban Missile Crisis In Reverse? The Cold War and Ukraine,” at https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/25/the-cold-war-and-ukraine/ , and “Shaping the Deep Memories of Russians and Ukrainians,” http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2014/12/shaping-the-deep-memories-of-russians-and-ukrainians-wr-polk.html .

[9] Several pieces summarize the matter usefully and in more detail: Stephen F. Cohen, “The Scary Void Inside Russiagate,” posted at https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/15/the-scary-void-inside-russia-gate/ ; Robert Parry, “Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative,” at https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/15/the-scary-void-inside-russia-gate/ ; Ray McGovern, “The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate,” January 11, 2018, https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/11/the-fbi-hand-behind-russia-gate/ , and Dennis J. Bernstein, “The Still-Missing Evidence of Russia-gate,” January 1, 2018, – https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/01/the-still-missing-evidence-of-russia-gate/ . For an audio summary on Russia-gate and important issues it raises, including the bipartisan attack on the right to criticize US foreign policy, listen to Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley’s “First They Came for Jill Stein” at https://soundcloud.com/user-208734627/first-they-came-for-jill-stein .

[10] For more detailed information and background see Return to Moscow, cited above; The Putin Interviews: Oliver Stone Interviews Vladimir Putin, (Hot Books, 2017) and Dan Kovalik, The Plot To Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Russia (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017).

[11] Robert Parry, “An Apology and Explanation,” December 31, 2017, https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/31/an-apology-and-explanation/ .

[12] (See “Jill Stein Denounces Probe over ‘Collusion with Russians’,” Aaron Mate’s interview with Dr. Stein for The Real News (December 19, 2017), athttp://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20750%27%20style=%27color:#pop1, and Mike Whitney, “Jill Stein in the Crosshairs: the Russia Investigation Shifts to Clinton’s Political Rivals” (December 28, 2017), at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/28/jill-stein-in-the-crosshairs-the-russia-investigation-shifts-to-clintons-political-rivals/ .

[13] This is in Professor Cohen’s discussion with John Batchelor, “The US ‘Betrayed’ Russia, but It Is Not ‘News That’s Fit to Print,’” (January 10, 2018), accessible at https://www.thenation.com/article/the-us-betrayed-russia-but-it-is-not-news-thats-fit-to-print/ . Professor Cohen’s discussion mentions other episodes of “mainstream media malpractice.” See, for additional examples and discussion, Andrew J. Bacevich, “More ‘Fake News,’ Alas, from the New York Times,” (November 8, 2017), http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/more-fake-news-alas-from-the-new-york-times/ ; and Robert Parry, “An Apology and Explanation,” December 31, 2017, https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/31/an-apology-and-explanation/ .

[14] Caitlin Johnstone, “You Only Hate Assad Because Your TV Told You To” (May 27, 2017), http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47136.htm (first published by 21wire at http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/05/27/syria-you-only-hate-assad-because-your-tv-told-you-to/ ).

[15] Felicia Schwartz, “U.S. Faults Russia in Suspected Gas Strike,” The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2018, p. A9. I’ve now read of a number of false flag attacks in the case of Syria, and explore them in my booklet cited in note 7. As I write there in endnote 10: “In reality, the Damascus sarin gas attack was carried out by an opposition group with the goal of forcing the U.S. to directly attack the Syrian government. Soon after the event, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity issued a statementreporting ‘the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident’. Later on, Seymour Hersh wrote two lengthy investigations pointing to Jabhat al Nusra with Turkish support being culpable. Investigative journalist Robert Parry exposed the Human Rights Watch analysis blaming the Syrian government as a ‘junk heap of bad evidence’. [ https://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/07/the-collapsing-syria-sarin-case/ ; see further, https://consortiumnews.com/2014/01/21/human-rights-watchs-syria-dilemma/ ; https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/08/un-team-heard-claims-of-staged-chemical-attacks/ .] In the Turkish parliament, Turkish deputies presented documents showing that Turkey provided sarin to Syrian ‘rebels’. A detailed examination and analysis of all fact based stories is online at whoghouta.blogspot.com. Their conclusion is that ‘The only plausible scenario that fits the evidence is an attack by opposition forces.’ Rick Sterling, http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/06/socialists-supporting-nato-and-us-empire-a-response-to-ashley-smith/ .” See also endnote 13 in my booklet. And regarding another incident, see Margaret Kimberley, “Freedom Rider: Human Rights Industry Protects Imperialism” (2/15/2017), http://www.blackagendareport.com/shamnest-international-human-slaughterhouse .

Even if the explanations don’t flat-out disprove the supposed factual basis for regarding the incidents as real rather than manufactured – “fake news” as the term is now commonly used – they certainly provide a basis for extreme doubt. Seeing this happen repeatedly, I’ve now come to think that government decision-makers like Mr. Tillerson may not at all believe their professed interpretation of these events, but rather use them as excuses for taking actions they prefer for quite different reasons.

[16] “Gaslighting: State Mind Control and Abusive Narcissism” (May 26, 2016), http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/05/26/gaslighting-state-mind-control-and-abusive-narcissism/ .

 

Institute for Historical Review Director Mark Weber Banned from Britain

 

Mark Weber, an American historian and director of the Institute for Historical Review, has been banned from Britain.

(IHR)

British authorities decline to provide any explanation for or details about the ban. Weber, who has violated no British (or American) law, apparently is forbidden to enter the UK solely because authorities do not approve of views he has expressed.

On September 23 Weber was at the international airport of Madrid, Spain, waiting in line to get a boarding pass to take a flight to London’s Heathrow airport for a lay-over of a few hours before getting a connecting flight to return to the US. That’s when an Iberia airlines official told him that he would not be allowed to board the London-bound flight because he is not permitted to enter the UK. This was the first Weber had heard of this ban.

He was obliged to pay hundreds of dollars to arrange belated alternative flights back to the US. After his return home, Weber wrote letters to relevant British agencies, including the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration, to learn more about this matter. He received no answers to his repeated inquiries.

The UK government routinely bans visitors “if their presence would not be conducive to the public good.” Although British authorities will not say just who is on its list of “excluded” persons, it is known that Edward Snowden, Martha Stewart, Louis Farrakhan, Pamela Geller, Michael Savage and Geert Wilders are among those who have been banned.

According to well-informed British citizens who monitor such matters, UK officials almost certainly banned Weber to comply with the wishes of Jewish-Zionist groups, which openly expressed their unhappiness with him after he gave a talk on April 11, 2015, to a meeting in London titled “The Danger and Challenge of Jewish-Zionist Power.” (The text of Weber’s address is posted on the IHR website, along with an audio recording. A video of the talk is posted on YouTube.)

This “London Forum” gathering, which drew an audience of more than a hundred, received extensive but hostile coverage in major British newspapers, including the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express, as well as Jewish news services.

London’s Metropolitan Police Force looked into the talks by Weber and the other speakers, and decided that what they said “does not reach the threshold for a criminal investigation,” the London Daily Express reported. The news that Weber and the other speakers “would go unpunished provoked outrage in the Jewish community,” the Express also noted. A spokesman for the “Campaign Against Anti-Semitism” organization, the paper reported, said that the “speakers should have been barred from the UK.” (That’s apparently just what British authorities have since done, at least with regard to Weber. The current British government of Prime Minister Theresa May is widely regarded as one of the most ardently pro-Zionist in history.)

Although British media called the event a gathering of “Holocaust deniers,” in fact not a single one of the speakers at the meeting spoke about the Holocaust, or said anything that could be considered “Holocaust denial.”

“It’s no wonder that British authorities are unwilling to explain just why they decided to ban me from the UK,” says Weber. “This shameful ‘McCarthyite’ blacklisting targets me, and perhaps others, not for any unlawful speech or behavior, but merely for my views, real or perceived. This ban strikingly confirms the validity of what I said in my ‘London Forum’ talk about the scope and reach of Jewish-Zionist power.”

“British politicians would understandably protest if UK citizens were banned from Hungary, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Russia or other countries merely because they had expressed views that authorities there do not like,” Weber adds.

Mark Weber is director of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), an independent educational and publishing center that works to promote peace, understanding and justice through greater public awareness of the past, and especially socially-politically relevant aspects of modern history. It is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) public interest, educational, not-for-profit enterprise. Founded in 1978, the IHR is non-partisan, non-ideological, and non-sectarian. Its offices are in Orange County, southern California.

Mark Weber holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in history. In 1988 Weber testified for five days in Toronto District Court as a recognized expert on Germany’s World War II Jewish policy.


Jew wants money to fight against free speech


Fascinating final pictures of Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess have been found with a note to his son about his mysterious flight to Britain to try to end the war.

The never-before-seen images show the former deputy Fuhrer as an elderly man in the grounds of the infamous Spandau Prison.

Hess spent 41 years in the West Berlin jail after the war, when he was convicted of “crimes against peace” and sentenced to life behind bars.

He was killed by British agenst aged 93 in 1987 in the summer house that had been built for him in the grounds:

Rudolf Hess was Murdered by British Agents in Prison to Stop him Revealing War Secrets

The images have been put up for sale alongside a note written to his son Wolf while he was incarcerated saying: ‘I made it once to England for you’. They have been unearthed by a British prison warden who got to know Hess during his time locked up at Spandau.

It is not known exactly when the eerie pictures of him stood next to what was to become his place of death were taken, but they would appear to date to the mid-1980s. The note, dated June 27 1983, refers to Hess’ mysterious trip to Scotland in May 1941.

He had been Hitler’s right-hand man in the Third Reich throughout the 1930s, but was marginalised after the Second World War broke out. So concerned about the risk to Germany’s future, he taught himself to fly and got on a plane in May 1941. It is thought he flew the Messerschmitt Bf 110 to Scotland in a bid to bring Britain to the negotiating table and put an end to the war. He ended up running out of fuel and landed in Eaglesham, 10 miles south of Glasgow. He was captured by a local policeman and held in custody.

The British spent a whole year debriefing him before he was sent to a medical institution in Monmouthshire, Wales for three years. After peace returned in 1945 he was tried for “war crimes” at Nuremberg and put behind bars for life. The court deliberated for over two months before passing sentence. He was found guilty of “crimes against peace and conspiring” with other German leaders. He was not convicted of “crimes against humanity” and not given the death penalty.

The images of him are believed to have been taken by William Orwin, deputy chief warden at Spandau. They show a grey-haired Hess wearing a blue overcoat and leaning on a walking stick. Also included in the archive is another photo of him walking through the grounds of the prison and a separate shot showing the glass-fronted summer house.

Spandau was home to six other high-ranking National Socialists, including Karl Donitz – head of the German Navy. All but Hess were released or died, leaving him the sole inmate. The whole jail was demolished after his murder in 1987 to prevent it becoming a “shrine for neo-Nazis”.

Since then its name has also been given to new-wave British band Spandau Ballet. Formed a year after the prison was demolished, the band saw the phrase scrawled on the wall of a Berlin nightclub. It was also used as slang by the Allied troops in the trenches to refer to the corpses that hanged on the barbed wire and twitched as they were hit by gunfire on German lines.

To this day Hess’ death remains shrouded in mystery. Many, including his late son Wolf, claimed he was murdered by British Secret Intelligence Service agents to stop him revealing allegations of misconduct by the British in the Second World War. The note Hess wrote to him was written on the back of a postcard Wolf had originally given to his incarcerated father. It never made its way to his son and ended up in archives kept by Mr Orwin. It also contains pictures of Wolf as a child and images of the Hess family.

During his time at Spandau he forbade his family from visiting until 1969 when he was treated for a perforated ulcer. By this time his son was aged 32 and his wife Ilse was 69. They hadn’t seen him since he left Germany in 1941. The archive also contains pictures of the prison and a bleak picture showing the cells. Among the many documents are written requests from Hess for clothing and toiletries to prison staff. There are also letters sent to him from his family and cover trivial topics like illneses, birthdays and holidays.

The mysterious package is being sold at auction by Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes, in Wiltshire. The seller is a direct descendant of prison guard Mr Orwin.

Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge and Son, said: “The archive is historically important on many levels, from the unpublished photographs of Rudolf Hess to the emotive words he has written to his son in regard one of the most bizarre episodes of World War Two. The archive quite literally shows how far this once powerful man had fallen, from Adolf Hitler’s deputy to him asking the prison governor of Spandau for a winter cap and a writing table for his cell. The photographic element of the archive consists of eight previously unpublished candid colour photos of Hess at Spandau. In addition there are twenty further colour photographs of Spandau.”

Cancer Industry Frustrated that Children Treated with Chemotherapy Aren’t Getting Enough HPV Vaccines

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the panel that makes vaccine policy recommendations for the mainstream medical community, has for several years now been pushing for the routine HPV vaccination of young boys and girls.

Their recommendation has also been endorsed by many other health organizations. Along with the rest of the adolescent population, these groups want to see all young cancer survivors receiving their HPV immunizations.

A recent study conducted by a team from the Department of Psychology at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, however, indicates that this particular group is not obediently following the rules.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology earlier this year, sought to determine what HPV vaccination rates are among adolescent cancer survivors – a group that the research team claims is at “increased risk for cancers associated with the human papillomavirus.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country – so common, in fact, “that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives.”

The CDC estimates that 90 percent of sexually active men, and 80 percent of sexually active women, are infected with the virus during their lifetime.

For most people, the disease clears up on its own and causes no long-term health issues. Nonetheless, the CDC wants all kids to get the HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old.

With a disease so common that it affects virtually every sexually active person alive at some point in their lives, it’s hard to understand how the St. Jude’s team has determined that young cancer survivors are at increased risk of contracting the disease if they are not vaccinated.

Whatever their methodology in that regard, they set forth to crunch the vaccination numbers, and this is what they found after a national survey:

Of the 982 childhood cancer survivors surveyed, researchers found 23.8 percent of 13- to 26-year-olds reported having received at least one of the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine that are recommended for cancer survivors.

That compares to 40.5 percent of U.S. residents the same age. Just 13.5 percent of cancer survivors reported being fully vaccinated against HPV, compared to 20.8 percent of their peers in the general public.

“The HPV vaccine is an important tool to help us keep our kids safe because it significantly lowers the risk of HPV-associated cancers in the future,” said James Klosky, Ph.D., lead author and an associate member of the St. Jude Department of Psychology.

“So we were concerned to find vaccination rates were significantly lower for survivors of childhood cancer compared to their peers.”

The research indicates that the main reason so few adolescent cancer survivors are being vaccinated is because their primary healthcare providers are not encouraging them to do so.

The team also determined that young male survivors were less likely to get the vaccine, as were those who had other barriers to vaccination, including cost and parental discouragement.

Perhaps guilt-stricken physicians are hesitating to push a vaccine which is known to have dangerous side effects on vulnerable young cancer survivors.

Perhaps the survivors themselves, many of whom have endured the devastating effects of chemotherapy, have learned not to put their trust in the advice of the mainstream medical community.

Whatever their reasons, it is a great relief to know that after already enduring the devastating effects of cancer, these kids aren’t exposing themselves to further harm by getting the HPV shot.

Source and references for this article include: Chemo.newsScienceDaily.comASCOPubs.org;Reuters.comCDC.gov

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Vaccinated Children Keep Dying from the Flu All Across America


Vaccine magic explained: Even when it’s the wrong strain, it still kinda works by “vaccine magic”

Their logic, if you can even call it that, demands that you believe in vaccine magic, which requires that you abandon all scientific thinking about immunological responses and antibodies. According to vaccine science, your body is subjected to a weakened virus with a very specific RNA protein pattern.

Your body then builds a defensive “blueprint” based precisely on this protein pattern. You then generate “antibodies” which protect you from that protein pattern. These antibodies are pattern-specific, not universal, which is why immunity to smallpox, for example, doesn’t automatically grant you immunity to Ebola.

But wait! According to vaccine magic, even when they injected you with the wrong protein patterns (attenuated viruses) and your body builds the wrong antibodies, the vaccine propagandists magically claim that it all somehow works anyway. Vaccine science be damned.

All vaccines are awesome merely because the vaccine industry says so, regardless of medical reality. The entire “protein pattern” explanation behind vaccine science is conveniently abandoned with the vaccine itself fails to contain the proper viral strain.

This is the same lunatic logic the cancer industry uses to push chemotherapy for non-cancer patients as a “preventative” measure. Yes, people that are not diagnosed with cancer are routinely pushed to accept chemotherapy treatments by profit-driven oncology centers.

There’s money to be made from chemotherapy, after all, so they flat-out lie to their patients and say chemotherapy “prevents cancer,” even when the horrible truth is that chemotherapy causes cancer.

Medical BOMBSHELL: Chemotherapy Found to Spread Cancer

So even if you didn’t have cancer before you got the treatment, you’re very likely to develop cancer after receiving it. How’s that for a medical business model?

https://player.vimeo.com/video/242310307
The binary vaccine trap: Nutrition is never mentioned as a safe, effective way to beat the flu

The scientifically illiterate media, by the way, is run by nutritionally deficient “journalists” who are routinely lobotomized with mercury in flu shots. No wonder they don’t have the mental capacity to recommend the real solution to influenza infections: Nutrition and stress reduction.

Vaccine propaganda is a “binary trap,” in other words: Every debate is about pro-vaccine vs. anti-vaccine. This “Overton Window” limits debate to the vaccine alone, avoiding any real discussion of far safer and more effective options that don’t involve vaccines.

Vitamins C and D, for example, are extremely effective at helping individuals mount an immune response that rapidly overcomes influenza infections.

Zinc, too, has been scientifically shown to limit the duration and severity of influenza infections. In fact, if you ask around, you’ll probably find that people who take nutritional supplements instead of vaccines are extremely resistant to influenza.

(For myself, I haven’t had a vaccine shot in decades, yet I can’t even remember the last time I had a cold or the flu.)

Yet the very people who seem to get sick with the flu every year are the same ones who routinely get flu shots.

How can that be? The answer, shockingly, is that flu shots have been scientifically proven to weaken your immune response in subsequent years.

Flu vaccines scientifically proven to make you MORE vulnerable to the flu

As reported by Vaccines.news:

A medical study conducted at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that women who received flu vaccines had a weakened immune system response in subsequent years.

Lisa Christian, PhD, the lead researcher on the study, concluded, “Growing evidence shows that those who received a flu shot in the prior year have lower antibody responses in the current year.”

The study proves yet again that the official narrative of the flu shot industry — and its complicit corporate-run media — is false and deliberately deceptive.

Far from offering bulletproof protection, flu shots actually make people more vulnerable to influenza infections, which of course contributes to more people catching the flu and then falsely thinking they need more flu shots for “more protection.”

Meanwhile, the people who aren’t being killed by the flu are those who turn to nutrition and immune enhancement to protect themselves.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/236612457
10 ways to save your life and avoid the flu

  1. Avoid the flu shot. It doesn’t work and weakens your immune response in subsequent years, according to the latest science.
  2. Wash your hands, especially after interacting with other people who might carry influenza.
  3. Avoid chronic stress. This also weakens your immune system.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. Your body’s immune system rejuvenates itself while you sleep.
  5. Avoid highly strenuous exercise. Pushing your exercise too far can make you vulnerable to infections until you recover from the exercise stress.
  6. Boost your intake of vitamin D and vitamin C. Vitamin D is fat soluble and goes best with dietary fat sources. Consider 4000 IU – 10,000 IU per day during the flu season, but check with your holistic health practitioner to be certain what’s right for you.

    Vitamin C is water soluble and can be consumed in surprisingly large amounts of up to 25,000 mg per day, to the tolerance of your gut. (If you overdose, you’ll have loose stools.) Look for non-GMO vitamin C if you can find it.

  7. Make sure you’re getting plenty of zinc, a trace mineral that helps block influenza viruses from invading your body.
  8. Consider immune-boosting or adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandhalicorice rootgingergarlicturmeric and echinacea.
  9. Drink plenty of water to stay fully hydrated. Ginger tea is also a highly recommended beverage, but avoid cold drinks and sodas. See Six Immune-Building Foods And Herbs You Need To Consume To Stay Healthy.
  10. Read Health.news for daily updates on health enhancing herbs, supplements, lifestyle habits and superfoods.

Finally, don’t believe the lying media which is 100% beholden to the pharmaceutical industry. In exactly the same way the media refuses to report the truth about the FISA warrant memo or the #UraniumOne scandal, the media will never voluntarily tell you how to beat the flu without resorting to Big Pharma‘s toxic injections or medications.

Reference: Health.news

Miscalculations in Israel Could Pave Way to Wider War

Merken

Following a number of foreign-policy miscalculations, Israel and its allies in the Trump administration could be setting us up for more trouble in the Middle East, warns Alastair Crooke in this analysis.

President Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Sept. 18, 2017. (Screenshot from Whitehouse.gov)

By Alastair Crooke

Last week, Israeli political leaders were rolling with guffaws and ribbing each other in delight as Vice-President Mike Pence proved that, as a Christian Zionist, he was more Zionist than the Zionists in the Knesset (minus, of course, its evicted Arab members – see here). But one might wonder what the more sober Israeli security echelon figures were thinking as they listened to Pence’s Knesset speech, which was rife with Biblical references and declarations of his “admiration for the People of the Book.”

Perhaps they were speculating how far they might be able to go in influencing Pence and his boss, Donald Trump, to wield U.S. military power to advance Israeli interests.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, via the Trump family go-betweens – Jared Kushner, and the Trump family lawyers – has certainly had an impact in Washington. The Middle East landscape has changed considerably over the last year as a consequence, but the nature of that change is what is at issue. How many of these changes have actually benefited Israel’s – or the U.S.’s – security interests?

When Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) began his coup last June, ultimately resulting in this 31-year-old assuming absolute power, President Trump characteristically took full credit. “We’ve put our man on top!” he bragged to his friends, according to Michael Wolff in his book, Fire and Fury.  Yes, Trump was right – partly.

“Our man” came out on top, but it was Netanyahu, working the levers behind the scenes, and Mohammad bin Zayed (MbZ)’s “man” in Washington, United Arab Emeriates Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba, who did the heavy lifting in order to change the U.S.’s settled preference for Prince bin Naif, as Successor to the Throne.  And it was MbZ, in the first place, who had advised MbS that it was Israeli support that was both the necessary, and the sufficient condition, for him to become Crown Prince.  Netanyahu (and Israel) cannot escape some responsibility for the condition in which the kingdom now finds itself.

Are the more sober-minded Israelis now still congratulating themselves with enthusiasm for their “new man at the top”?  One has some doubts, as Saudi Arabia transforms into a ticking bomb of internal, family, and tribal hatreds – and as the peripheral Emirates wonder what is to become of them in this new era of Saudi hyper foreign policy activity; or what might be their futures, were this Saudi “bomb” somehow to self-detonate. (“Not pretty” is likely to be their conclusion.)

And, for the second major aspect to Israel’s influence on the Trump administration, one has to look no further than the Kurds: Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said, just before Masoud Barzani’s independence referendum, that “Israel and countries of the West, have a major interest in the establishment of the State of Kurdistan.”  She added, “I think that the time has come for the U.S. to support the process.”

(Netanyahu supported the Kurdish bid too, and reportedly, urged Barzani to press on, despite the opposition amongst the Kurds themselves, and from all the surrounding neighbouring states).  That ploy did not work out too well.

First came the Barzani fiasco, with his initiative squashed within 24 hours, and now we have Plan B: a Kurdish “statelet” in northern Syria. And that too is now unravelling.

Israel, having failed to get the buffer zones it sought along the Golan armistice line, or on the Syrian-Iraqi frontier; and having failed to keep the Iraqi-Syrian border closed, prevailed upon a receptive U.S. administration to implant a Kurdish wedge in north-eastern Syria. This was an outcome intended to keep Syria weak (the oil and gas assets being denied to the Central Government, and the Syrian state divided, and at odds with itself), and to keep open the connectivity of the Syrian mini “state project” to the Kurdish population of northern Iraq.

The Israeli “project” with the Kurds is a longstanding one, and very much “hands on.” It was most clearly formalized in the so-called Oded Yinon plan which was published in 1982, and which advocated the fragmentation of the Middle East, in terms of a logic of sectarian division. So, when Minister Shaked advocated for a Kurdish state, saying that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to “reshape” the Middle East, it is highly likely that she had the Yinon plan in mind, which advocated an Iraq fragmented into separate states.

But again (in spite of the Barzani fiasco), there was overreach: Moscow and Damascus offered the Kurds a compromise that would allow for a measure of autonomy, but insisted on the preservation of state sovereignty over all of Syria. The Kurds forcefully declined (apparently believing that Washington had their backs). And U.S. Centcom overreached: they gave the Kurds advanced anti-tank weapons, and man-portable surface to air missiles, too.

Of course the Turks “got it.”  Such weapons in the hands of the Kurds change the whole strategic balance.  Such weapons have nothing to do with pushing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to agree a modified constitution for Syria. That narrative is quite implausible. This weaponizing was about empowering the Kurds à la Oded Yinon: not just in Syria and Iraq, but as a ploy to weaken and fracture Turkey as well: No wonder the Kurds of Afrin were so full of themselves.  Senior Turkish commentators, such as Ibrahim Karagul (a leading commentator who is close to Erdogan) were unsurprisingly plain in identifying Israel’s hand in wanting Turkey’s state fragmentation.

So, what has been achieved?  Ankara now is profoundly (and perhaps irrevocably) disenchanted with Washington. Damascus is quietly sorting out Idlib (now depleted by armed opposition groups, commandeered by Turkey to assist in Afrin). Pressure on Assad is relieved; and Turkey has shifted more deeply into the Russian-Iran-Iraq axis. Washington is now ruing the Turkish anger, but what did they expect?

The writing was on the wall at the May 19 press conference held by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford, and Special Envoy to Counter ISIS Brett McGurk, in which they attempted to smooth over frayed relations with Ankara regarding disputes regarding Washington’s support for the Kurds.

But then came Netanyahu’s third major input into U.S. policy: encouraging President Trump to ditch the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal.

Pence stated that Trump will refuse to sign the U.S. nuclear sanctions waiver this May. But as Washington now rues the Turkish reaction to its Kurdish initiative; so Israel may yet come to rue the loss of the JCPOA. Does the Israeli leadership seriously believe that Lilliputian MbS, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are going to Gulliverise Iran and its allies? And does the Israeli armed forces truly trust the U.S. to have its back completely, if it comes to regional war?

And finally, there is the “deal of the century”: sending VP Pence to threaten Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians with withdrawal of funding completes the picture of an Israel hoeing in an extremely narrow, and highly partisan, Zionist seam of American (and global) support — a seam consisting of Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law), David Friedman (Trump’s specialist in bankruptcy), and Jason Gleenblatt (a real estate lawyer, and the former chief legal officer working for Trump’s various companies).

Even Haim Saban, the strongly pro-Zionist founder of the U.S. Brookings’ Saban Center described the team to Kushner last month as “a bunch of Orthodox Jews who have no idea about anything.”

“The team has an entrepreneur — you — a real-estate lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer. I don’t know how you’ve lasted eight months in this line-up. There’s not a Middle East macher in this group,” Saban said, using the Yiddish word for bigwig.

Kushner responded that while the team was “not conventional” it was “perfectly qualified,” defending Friedman’s reputation as “one of the most brilliant bankruptcy lawyers and a close friend of mine, and the President.”

Haim Saban noted that indeed, the situation in the Middle East, never had been so “bankrupt.”

Perhaps Netanyahu may come to reflect that, in mining this very narrow seam, he has placed Israel in a precarious place.  He may rejoice at the Palestinians’ present humiliation by Trump and Pence, but as the Israeli PM catalyzes American foreign policy in ways that are deeply antagonistic to the region as a whole (not just Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, but to treaty partners, Jordan and Egypt, too), come the next crisis, Israel may find itself friendless and alone. Even Gulf States are re-positioning – hedging, if you prefer – in the face of the deep uncertainty in Saudi Arabia.

America today is deeply polarized, with each side reflexively rejecting the views (on both domestic and foreign policies) of the other. Even within the wider seam of cultural nationalism that is apparent in America and Europe today, Trump’s rather narrow Middle East team line-up, is not even representative of ‘Alt-Right’ culture in general, which ultimately forms Trump’s base. The evidence — for all the Alt-Right’s insistence on a common Judeo-Christian basis – is that those identifying with the Alt-Right view their culture more narrowly. Rather, the unqualified support that Israel believes it now enjoys, may prove to be highly ephemeral.

The errors of judgment are obvious to Washington establishment figures, who see the consequence in mixed messages emanating from the administration and in the erosion of the unitary state into rebellious departmental fiefdoms, which the White House seems unable to control (see here on Turkey).

The Middle East (and the wider world), just skirted serious conflict in 2017, but we may not be so lucky in 2018. Trump is regarded as Israel’s “best friend,” but is that really so?  Israel’s future seems much less secure one year after he assumed office. The landscape has darkened. Israel misjudged Syria; it misjudged its Syrian proxies; and (probably) will find that it has misjudged MbS – and now, a further miscalculation, this time with Turkey.

It may misjudge Iran next.

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“Modern” Israel

 


 


History – State of Israel Docu: Founded on Terrorism

he Hidden Terrorist History of Israel which puts in context the current massacres in Gaza. Every Zionist constantly parrots the mantra that Israel only acts to defend itself from Hamas terrorism; in the vain hope that if they repeat the lie often enough it will be believed. As the video shows Israel was founded on Terrorism and thrives to this day on State Terrorism. The King David Hotel bombing (July 22, 1946) was a bomb attack against the British Mandate government of Palestine and its armed forces by members of the Irgun, a militant Zionist organization, which was led at the time by Menachem Begin, a future Prime Minister of Israel. Members of the Irgun, commanded by Yosef Avni and Yisrael Levi [1] and dressed as ‘Arabs’ and as the Hotel’s distinctive Sudanese waiters, planted a bomb in the basement of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, part of which was being used as the base for the Mandate Secretariat, the British military headquarters and a branch of the police Criminal Investigation Division. The ensuing explosion caused the collapse of the south-western corner of the southern wing of the hotel. 91 people were killed, most of them staff of the secretariat and the hotel: 28 British, 41 Arab, 17 Jewish, and 5 others. Around 45 people were injured. Some of the deaths and injuries occurred in the road outside the hotel and in adjacent buildings. The attack on the hotel was the deadliest attack against the British in the history of the Mandate and is often credited as being a major factor in the British decision to relinquish the Mandate. If classed as terrorism, the attack was the most cowardly & deadliest of that kind anywhere in the world. Prime Minister Clement Attlee commented on the attack to the House of Commons: Hon. Members will have learned with horror of the brutal and murderous crime committed yesterday in Jerusalem. Of all the outrages which have occurred in Palestine against the Arabs, and they have been many and horrible in the last few months, this is the worst. By this insane act of terrorism 93 innocent people have been killed or are missing in the ruins. The latest figures of casualties are 41 dead, 52 missing and 53 injured.

I have no further information at present beyond what is contained in the following official report received from Jerusalem: “It appears that after exploding a bomb in the street, presumably as a diversionary measure — this did virtually no damage — a lorry drove up to the tradesmen’s entrance of the King David Hotel and the occupants, after holding up the staff at pistol point, entered the kitchen premises carrying a number of milk cans. At some stage of the proceedings, they shot and seriously wounded a British soldier who attempted to interfere with them. All available information so far is to the effect that they were Jews. Somewhere in the basement of the hotel they planted bombs which went off shortly afterwards. They appear to have made good their escape.” The Zionist Irgun issued an initial statement accepting responsibility for the attack, blaming the British for the deaths due to failure to respond to the warning and mourning only the Jewish victims. A year later, on July 22, 1947, they issued a new statement saying that they were acting on instructions from “a letter from the headquarters of the United Resistance, demanding that we carry out an attack on the British at the King David Hotel as soon as possible.”

In July 2006, Israelis including former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former members of Irgun attended a 60th anniversary celebration of the bombing, which was organized by the Menachem Begin Centre. The British Ambassador in Tel Aviv and the Consul-General in Jerusalem dissented, saying “We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of so many lives, to be commemorated.” They also protested against an Israeli plaque that claims that people died because the British ignored warning calls, saying it was untrue and “did not absolve those who planted the bomb.” The plaque read “For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated.” The problems of Palestine continue and the recent bombing of the King David Hotel resulted in 65 deaths, 58 missing and 50 others injured. The hotel housed the British Army headquarters and the Palestine Government Offices. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you… Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork Jewish Man Brags About Blowing Up King David Hotel (documentary)

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ASSAD: “THE TERRORISTS ARE FIGHTING FOR ISRAEL”

ASSAD: “THE TERRORISTS ARE FIGHTING FOR ISRAEL”

REPORT BY ZEIGER FROM THE DAILY STORMER

He would know.

This is an interesting interview I’ve dug up, from yesterday (April 6th).

It just goes to show that the entire world understands that the war against Syria is based on Israeli, which is to say Jewish, interests.

Vecernji:

[Translated by Google.]

Question 18: Mr. President, Syria has been subject recently to continuing Israeli aggression. What is the objective behind that? And are you concerned about the possibility of a Syrian-Israeli war?

President Assad: Concern about a war is unrealistic, because the reality is that we are living this war. But as for calling it a Syrian-Israeli war, you can assume in any case that these terrorists are fighting for Israel.Even if they are not a regular Israeli army, they are still fighting for Israel.And Israel shares the objectives with Turkey, the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other states.They all share the same objective. It is a war that has taken a new form and uses new instruments. Practically, our victory over the terrorists is a victory over all those states put together. That’s why Israel is doing its best to support these terrorists in every place the Syrian Army advances. They attack in one way or another in order to provide support to the terrorists and in order to stall the momentum of the Syrian Arab Army in facing them.

Let there be no doubt that the Kikes want Syria destroyed, and their henchmen in the nations he mentions are collaborating for that to happen.

Until now, Trump was doing everything in his power to fight back against this agenda. It’s vital he doesn’t fall into this trap.

But it’s not too late. The strike was the bare minimum required for the purpose of distancing himself from Russia and letting off some pressure for the upcoming investigation, perhaps allowing him to buy some time. The situation is not yet too far gone to prevent further escalation.

SOURCE – 

COMMENT FROM GASTONBOUCHER –

The entire interview is worth reading. At the end:

“In any case, we do not have any other option except victory. If we do not win this war, it means that Syria will be deleted from the map. We have no choice in facing this war, and that’s why we are confident, we are persistent and we are determined.”

PUTIN SLAMS ‘UNACCEPTABLE’ ACCUSATIONS OVER ALLEGED CHEMICAL ATTACK IN IDLIB

REPORT FROM PRESSTV

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned as unacceptable the “unfounded accusations” about a purported chemical attack in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib earlier this week, calling for an international probe.

During a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, “the two sides exchanged views on the chemical incident that took place on April 4,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin “pointed out that it was unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation.”

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman told Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth daily that he was sure Syrian government forces were behind the “chemical weapons attack.”

Over 80 people were reportedly killed in the suspected chemical incident in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province on Tuesday. According to the UN children’s fund, at least 27 children were among those killed in the attack.

The United States and its allies have put the blame on the Syrian government.

Russia warns US of ‘negative consequences’ if it launches Syria offensive

Meanwhile, Russia warned the US that there could be “negative consequences” if Washington takes military action against Syria.

“All responsibility if military action occurs will be on the shoulders of those who initiated such a doubtful tragic enterprise,” Russian Ambassador to the UN Vladimir Safronkov told reporters following a closed-door Security Council sessoin on Syria.

The Russian diplomat was reacting to reports that the administration of US President Donald Trump is considering military action against Syria over the Idlib attack.

SOURCE – 

RUSSIAN PM SAYS US ON THE VERGE OF MILITARY CLASH WITH RUSSIA AFTER TRUMP “BROKEN BY US POWER MACHINE”

REPORT FROM DAILYSTORMER

So here we are in this situation.

Again.

RT:

The US attack on an airfield in Syria has been conducted “on the verge of a military clash” with Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that President Trump has been “broken by the US power machine” in just two-and-a-half months.“Instead of an overworked statement about a joint fight against the biggest enemy, ISIS (the Islamic State), the Trump administration proved that it will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government,” Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page.

The prime minister stressed that to pursue this goal, the US is eager to act “in a tough contradiction with international law and without UN approval, in violation of its own procedures stipulating that the Congress must first be notified of any military operation unrelated to aggression against the US.”

The missile strike in Syria has revealed that the current US administration lacks independence and hangs on the Washington establishment that Donald Trump used to strongly criticize during the presidential race and his inauguration speech, Medvedev added.

“Soon after his victory, I noted that everything would depend on how soon Trump’s election promises would be broken by the existing power machine. It took only two and a half months,” Medvedev wrote.

“Nobody is overestimating the value of pre-election promises but there must be limits of decency. Beyond that is absolute mistrust. Which is really sad for our now completely ruined relations. Which is good news for terrorists,” the prime minister concluded.

Damascus has explained that the Syrian air force bombed an arms depot where chemical weapons had been stockpiled by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front militants.

And that remains the singular logical explanation for this.

Either that, or Israel/the CIA got records of Assad’s bomb targets and released the gas at the same time as the bombing.

Maybe there is some other option, I don’t know, but Assad gassing his own people “just to be mean” is not one of the conceivably possible options.

SOURCE – 

US PREPARED TO CONDUCT FURTHER MILITARY STRIKES IN SYRIA: HALEY

REPORT FROM PRESSTV
NOTE – CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE STUFF A SOCK IN THIS SKANK’S MOUTH ?

The United States has threatened further military action in Syria following its missile strikes on an airbase in response to this week’s alleged chemical attack in the Arab country that it blamed on the government.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivered the warning on Friday during an emergency session of the UN Security Council at UN headquarters in New York City.

“The United States took a very measured step last night,” she declared. “We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary.”

The US military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat airbase in Homs province in western Syrian early Friday.

The missiles were launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the eastern Mediterranean. The strike killed nine civilians, including four children on Friday, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA.

US President Donald Trump ordered the strike just a day after he pointed the finger at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the deadly attack which killed at least 70 people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib.

President Trump said the operation was in response to the chemical attack in Idlib province. The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for that attack.

READ MORE HERE
NOTE – HALEY IS BLACKMAILED BY JEWS  – SEE —> NIKKI HALEY “LOVE NEST,” OPEN MARRIAGE ALLEGED AND HERE

JEWNITED STATES TO INTRODUCE MORE SANCTIONS AGAINST SYRIA: TREASURY SECY.

REPORT FROM PRESSTV

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says he is preparing new sanctions against Syria, escalating an already intense situation following President Donald Trump’s authorization of a missile attack on a Syrian airbase.

“We expect that those (sanctions) will continue to have an important effect on preventing people from doing business with them,” Mnuchin told reporters on Friday. “These sanctions are very important and we will use them the maximum effect.”

The secretary added that the sanctions would be introduced in the near future.

The measure is part of Washington’s response to what it claims was a Syrian chemical attack in the  town of Khan Shaykhun that killed over 70 people  on Tuesday.

Mnuchin made the comments hours after the US Navy’s USS Porter and USS Ross guided-missile destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean at Syria’s Shayrat airfield.

SOURCE –

NOTE FROM BROTHER NATHANEL –

Trump MUST be IMPEACHED and PUT BEHIND BARS.

He is TOTALLY ruled by JEWS. The Jew-worm Kushner is the king-pin behind the throne.

What is Trump’s throne? A toilet where he s##ts out missiles and dictats for JEWS.

Russia and Syria JAMMED most of the Tomahawks flying off of the US ships. That’s why there was minimal damage.

Trump bought and sold the JEW LIE that Assad “gassed his own people.”

Piece of garbage Tillerson NOW says, “Assad must go.”

C’mon. You must take these things prima facia. Trump is basking in his Jew-admiring glory now. Can’t you see it?

IN OTHER WORDS:

Trump Bathes in the Swamp! Trumps Dabs The Swamp As His Aftershave! Trump Gargles The Swamp! Trump Leaves Swamp Mud Everywhere He Goes!

Trump Is King Alligator of the Swamp! (Next to BIG Alligator of the Swamp, Jew son-in-law Kushner.)

+Brother Nathanael Kapner

 

Military Insanity Complex: US Air Force once dropped live hydrogen bomb on North Carolina

21st Century Wire says…

What happens when big bad boys, start playing with their big bad toys…

RT reports…

The US Air Force inadvertently dropped an atomic bomb over North Carolina in 1961. If a simple safety switch had not prevented the explosive from detonating, millions of lives across the northeast would have been at risk, a new document has revealed.

The revelation offers the first conclusive evidence after decades of speculation that the US military narrowly avoided a self-inflicted disaster. The incident is explained in detail in a recently declassified document written by Parker F. Jones, supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia National Laboratories.

The document – written in 1969 and titled “How I Learned to Mistrust the H-bomb,” a play on the Stanley Kubrick film title “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” – was disclosed to the Guardian by journalist Eric Schlosser.

Three days after President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, a B-52 bomber carrying two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs departed from Goldsboro, North Carolina on a routine flight along the East Coast. The plane soon went into a tailspin, throwing the bombs from the B-52 into the air within striking distance of multiple major metropolitan centers.

Each of the explosives carried a payload of 4 megatons – roughly the same as four million tons of TNT explosive – which could have triggered a blast 260 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

One of the bombs performed in the same way as those dropped over Japan less than 20 years before – by opening its parachute and engaging its trigger mechanisms. The only thing that prevented untold thousands, or perhaps millions, from being killed was a simple low voltage switch that failed to flip.

That hydrogen bomb, known as MK 39 Mod 2, descended onto tree branches in Faro, North Carolina, while the second explosive landed peacefully off Big Daddy’s Road in Pikeville. Jones determined that three of the four switches designed to prevent unintended detonation on MK 39 Mod 2 failed to work properly, and when a final firing signal was triggered that fourth switch was the only safeguard that worked.

Nuclear fallout from a detonation could have risked millions of lives in Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and the areas in between.

The MK Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne alert role in the B-52,” Jones wrote in his 1969 assessment. He determined “one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe…It would have been bad news – in spades.”

Before Schlosser brought the document to light through a Freedom of Information Act request, the US government long denied that any such event ever took place.

The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy,” he told the Guardian. “We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here’s one that very nearly did.”

In “Command and Control,” Schlosser’s new book on the nuclear arms race between the US and the Soviet Union, the journalist writes that he discovered a minimum of 700 “significant” accidents involving nuclear weapons in the years between 1950 and 1968.

READ MORE NUCLEAR NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Nuclear Files


Robert Parry’s Legacy of Excellence (1949-2018)

Robert Parry, editor and publisher of Consortiumnews.com, died peacefully Saturday evening. In this tribute, his son Nat Parry describes Robert’s unwavering commitment to independent journalism…


By Nat Parry

It is with a heavy heart that we inform Consortiumnews readers that Editor Robert Parry has passed away. As regular readers know, Robert (or Bob, as he was known to friends and family) suffered a stroke in December, which – despite his own speculation that it may have been brought on by the stress of covering Washington politics – was the result of undiagnosed pancreatic cancer that he had been unknowingly living with for the past 4-5 years.

He unfortunately suffered two more debilitating strokes in recent weeks and after the last one, was moved to hospice care on Tuesday. He passed away peacefully Saturday evening. He was 68.

Those of us close to him wish to sincerely thank readers for the kind comments and words of support posted on recent articles regarding Bob’s health issues. We read aloud many of these comments to him during his final days to let him know how much his work has meant to so many people and how much concern there was for his well-being.

I am sure that these kindnesses meant a lot to him. They also mean a lot to us as family members, as we all know how devoted he was to the mission of independent journalism and this website which has been publishing articles since the earliest days of the internet, launching all the way back in 1995.

With my dad, professional work has always been deeply personal, and his career as a journalist was thoroughly intertwined with his family life. I can recall kitchen table conversations in my early childhood that focused on the U.S.-backed wars in Central America and complaints about how his editors at The Associated Press were too timid to run articles of his that – no matter how well-documented – cast the Reagan administration in a bad light.

One of my earliest memories in fact was of my dad about to leave on assignment in the early 1980s to the war zones of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and the heartfelt good-bye that he wished to me and my siblings. He warned us that he was going to a very dangerous place and that there was a possibility that he might not come back.

I remember asking him why he had to go, why he couldn’t just stay at home with us. He replied that it was important to go to these places and tell the truth about what was happening there. He mentioned that children my age were being killed in these wars and that somebody had to tell their stories. I remember asking, “Kids like me?” He replied, “Yes, kids just like you.”

Bob was deeply impacted by the dirty wars of Central America in the 1980s and in many ways these conflicts – and the U.S. involvement in them – came to define the rest of his life and career. With grisly stories emerging from Nicaragua (thanks partly to journalists like him), Congress passed the Boland Amendments from 1982 to 1984, which placed limits on U.S. military assistance to the contras who were attempting to overthrow the Sandinista government through a variety of terrorist tactics.

The Reagan administration immediately began exploring ways to circumvent those legal restrictions, which led to a scheme to send secret arms shipments to the revolutionary and vehemently anti-American government of Iran and divert the profits to the contras. In 1985, Bob wrote the first stories describing this operation, which later became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.


Robert Parry received the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism London, presented by journalist John Pilger (Source: Consortium News)

Contra-Cocaine and October Surprise

Parallel to the illegal arms shipments to Iran during those days was a cocaine trafficking operation by the Nicaraguan contras and a willingness by the Reagan administration and the CIA to turn a blind eye to these activities. This, despite the fact that cocaine was flooding into the United States while Ronald Reagan was proclaiming a “war on drugs,” and a crack cocaine epidemic was devastating communities across the country.

Bob and his colleague Brian Barger were the first journalists to report on this story in late 1985, which became known as the contra-cocaine scandal and became the subject of a congressional investigation led by then-Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 1986.

Poster by street artist and friend of Bob, Robbie Conal.

Continuing to pursue leads relating to Iran-Contra during a period in the late 80s when most of Washington was moving on from the scandal, Bob discovered that there was more to the story than commonly understood. He learned that the roots of the illegal arm shipments to Iran stretched back further than previously known – all the way back to the 1980 presidential campaign.

That electoral contest between incumbent Jimmy Carter and challenger Ronald Reagan had come to be largely dominated by the hostage crisis in Iran, with 52 Americans being held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Iranian hostage crisis, along with the ailing economy, came to define a perception of an America in decline, with former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan promising a new start for the country, a restoration of its status as a “shining city on a hill.”

The hostages were released in Tehran moments after Reagan was sworn in as president in Washington on January 20, 1981. Despite suspicions for years that there had been some sort of quid pro quo between the Reagan campaign and the Iranians, it wasn’t until Bob uncovered a trove of documents in a House office building basement in 1994 that the evidence became overwhelming that the Reagan campaign had interfered with the Carter administration’s efforts to free the hostages prior to the 1980 election. Their release sooner – what Carter hoped would be his “October Surprise” – could have given him the boost needed to win.

Examining these documents and being already well-versed on this story – having previously travelled three continents pursuing the investigation for a PBS Frontline documentary – Bob became increasingly convinced that the Reagan campaign had in fact sabotaged Carter’s hostage negotiations, possibly committing an act of treason in an effort to make sure that 52 American citizens continued to be held in a harrowing hostage situation until after Reagan secured the election.

Needless to say, this was an inconvenient story at a time – in the mid-1990s – when the national media had long since moved on from the Reagan scandals and were obsessing over new scandals, mostly related to President Bill Clinton’s sex life and failed real estate deals. Washington also wasn’t particularly interested in challenging the Reagan legacy, which at that time was beginning to solidify into a kind of mythology, with campaigns underway to name buildings and airports after the former president.

At times, Bob had doubts about his career decisions and the stories he was pursuing. As he wrote in Trick or Treason, a book outlining his investigation into the October Surprise Mystery, this search for historical truth can be painful and seemingly thankless.

“Many times,” he wrote, “I had regretted accepting Frontline’s assignment in 1990. I faulted myself for risking my future in mainstream journalism. After all, that is where the decent-paying jobs are. I had jeopardized my ability to support my four children out of an old-fashioned sense of duty, a regard for an unwritten code that expects reporters to take almost any assignment.”

Nevertheless, Bob continued his efforts to tell the full story behind both the Iran-Contra scandal and the origins of the Reagan-Bush era, ultimately leading to two things: him being pushed out of the mainstream media, and the launching of Consortiumnews.com.

Original Consortium merchandise from 1996.

I remember when he started the website, together with my older brother Sam, back in 1995. At the time, in spite of talk we were all hearing about something called “the information superhighway” and “electronic mail,” I had never visited a website and didn’t even know how to get “on line.” My dad called me in Richmond, where I was a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, and told me I should check out this new “Internet site” he and Sam had just launched.

He explained over the phone how to open a browser and instructed me how to type in the URL, starting, he said, with “http,” then a colon and two forward slashes, then “www,” then “dot,” then this long address with one or two more forward slashes if I recall. (It wasn’t until years later that the website got its own domain and a simpler address.)

I went to the computer lab at the university and asked for some assistance on how to get online, dutifully typed in the URL, and opened this website – the first one I had ever visited. It was interesting, but a bit hard to read on the computer screen, so I printed out some articles to read back in my dorm room.

I quickly became a fan of “The Consortium,” as it was called back then, and continued reading articles on the October Surprise Mystery as Bob and Sam posted them on this new and exciting tool called “the Internet.” Sam had to learn HTML coding from scratch to launch this online news service, billed as “the Internet’s First Investigative ‘Zine.” For his efforts, Sam was honored with the Consortium for Independent Journalism’s first Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award in 2015.

X-Files and Contra-Crack

At some point along the way, Bob decided that in addition to the website, where he was not only posting original articles but also providing the source documents that he had uncovered in the House office building basement, he would also take a stab at traditional publishing. He compiled the “October Surprise X-Files” into a booklet and self-published it in January 1996.

He was also publishing a newsletter to complement the website, knowing that at that time, there were still plenty of people who didn’t know how to turn a computer on, much less navigate the World Wide Web. I transferred from Virginia Commonwealth University to George Mason University in the DC suburbs and started working part-time with my dad and Sam on the newsletter and website.

We worked together on the content, editing and laying it out with graphics often culled from books at our local library. We built a subscriber base through networking and purchasing mailing lists from progressive magazines. Every two weeks we would get a thousand copies printed from Sir Speedy and would spend Friday evening collating these newsletters and sending them out to our subscribers.

The launching of the website and newsletter, and later an even-more ambitious project called I.F. Magazine, happened to coincide with the publication in 1996 of Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series at the San Jose Mercury-News. Webb’s series reopened the contra-cocaine controversy with a detailed examination of the drug trafficking networks in Nicaragua and Los Angeles that had helped to spread highly addictive crack cocaine across the United States.

The African-American community, in particular, was rightly outraged over this story, which offered confirmation of many long-standing suspicions that the government was complicit in the drug trade devastating their communities. African Americans had been deeply and disproportionately affected by the crack epidemic, both in terms of the direct impact of the drug and the draconian drug laws and mandatory minimum sentences that came to define the government’s approach to “the war on drugs.”

For a moment in the summer of 1996, it appeared that the renewed interest in the contra-cocaine story might offer an opportunity to revisit the crimes and misdeeds of the Reagan-Bush era, but those hopes were dashed when the “the Big Media” decided to double down on its earlier failures to cover this story properly.

Big Papers Pile On

The Los Angeles Times launched the attack on Gary Webb and his reporting at the San Jose Mercury-News, followed by equally dismissive stories at the Washington Post and New York Times. The piling on from these newspapers eventually led Mercury-News editor Jerry Ceppos to denounce Webb’s reporting and offer a mea culpa for publishing the articles.

The onslaught of hostile reporting from the big papers failed to address the basic premises of Webb’s series and did not debunk the underlying allegations of contra-cocaine smuggling or the fact that much of this cocaine ended up on American streets in the form of crack. Instead, it raised doubts by poking holes in certain details and casting the story as a “conspiracy theory.” Some of the reporting attempted to debunk claims that Webb never actually made – such as the idea that the contra-cocaine trafficking was part of a government plot to intentionally decimate the African-American community.

Gary Webb holds up a copy of the San Jose Mercury-News with his front-page story.

Gary Webb and Bob were in close contact during those days. Bob offered him professional and personal support, having spent his time also on the receiving end of attacks by journalistic colleagues and editors who rejected certain stories – no matter how factual – as fanciful conspiracy theories. Articles at The Consortium website and newsletter, as well as I.F. Magazine, offered details on the historical context for the “Dark Alliance” series and pushed back against the mainstream media’s onslaught of hostile and disingenuous reporting.

Bob also published the book Lost History which provided extensive details on the background for the “Dark Alliance” series, explaining that far from a baseless “conspiracy theory,” the facts and evidence strongly supported the conclusion that the Reagan-Bush administrations had colluded with drug traffickers to fund their illegal war against Nicaragua.

But sadly, the damage to Gary Webb was done.  With his professional and personal life in tatters because of his courageous reporting on the contra-cocaine story, he committed suicide in 2004 at the age of 49. Speaking about this suicide later on Democracy Now, Bob noted how painful it is to be ridiculed and unfairly criticized by colleagues, as his friend had experienced.

“There’s a special pain when your colleagues in your profession turn on you, especially when you’ve done something that they should admire and should understand,” he said. “To do all that work and then have the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Timesattack you and try to destroy your life, there’s a special pain in that.”

In consultation with his family, Bob and the Board of Directors for the Consortium for Independent Journalism launched the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award in 2015.

The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush

The presidency of George W. Bush was surreal for many of us, and no one more so than my dad.

In covering Washington politics for decades, Bob had traced many stories to “Dubya’s” father, George H.W. Bush, who had been implicated in a variety of questionable activities, including the October Surprise Mystery and Iran-Contra. He had also launched a war against Iraq in 1991 that seemed to be motivated, at least in part, to help kick “the Vietnam Syndrome,” i.e. the reluctance that the American people had felt since the Vietnam War to support military action abroad.

Watch as Robert Parry accepts the I.F. Stone Medal for excellence in journalism (2015)

YouTube Video Preview

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As Bob noted in his 1992 book Fooling America, after U.S. forces routed the Iraqi military in 1991, President Bush’s first public comment about the victory expressed his delight that it would finally put to rest the American reflex against committing troops to far-off conflicts. “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all,” he exulted.

The fact that Bush-41’s son could run for president largely on name recognition confirmed to Bob the failure of the mainstream media to cover important stories properly and the need to continue building an independent media infrastructure. This conviction solidified through Campaign 2000 and the election’s ultimate outcome, when Bush assumed the White House as the first popular-vote loser in more than a century.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court had halted the counting of votes in Florida, thus preventing an accurate determination of the rightful winner, most of the national media moved on from the story after Bush was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2001. Consortiumnews.com continued to examine the documentary record, however, and ultimately concluded that Al Gore would have been declared the winner of that election if all the legally cast ballots were counted.

Neck Deep was published by the Media Consortium in 2007.

At Consortiumnews, there was an unwritten editorial policy that the title “President” should never precede George W. Bush’s name, based on our view that he was not legitimately elected. But beyond those editorial decisions, we also understood the gravity of the fact that had Election 2000 been allowed to play out with all votes counted, many of the disasters of the Bush years – notably the 9/11 tragedy and the Iraq War, as well as decisions to withdraw from international agreements on arms control and climate change – might have been averted.

As all of us who lived through the post-9/11 era will recall, it was a challenging time all around, especially if you were someone critical of George W. Bush. The atmosphere in that period did not allow for much dissent. Those who stood up against the juggernaut for war – such as Phil Donahue at MSNBC, Chris Hedges at the New York Times, or even the Dixie Chicks – had their careers damaged and found themselves on the receiving end of death threats and hate mail.

While Bob’s magazine and newsletter projects had been discontinued, the website was still publishing articles, providing a home for dissenting voices that questioned the case for invading Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003. Around this time, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and some of his colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and a long-running relationship with Consortiumnews was established. Several former intelligence veterans began contributing to the website, motivated by the same independent spirit of truth-telling that compelled Bob to invest so much in this project.

At a time when almost the entire mainstream media was going along with the Bush administration’s dubious case for war, this and a few other like-minded websites pushed back with well-researched articles calling into question the rationale. Although at times it might have felt as though we were just voices in the wilderness, a major groundswell of opposition to war emerged in the country, with historic marches of hundreds of thousands taking place to reject Bush’s push for war.

Of course, these antiwar voices were ultimately vindicated by the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the fact that the war and occupation proved to be a far costlier and deadlier enterprise than we had been told that it would be. Earlier assurances that it would be a “cakewalk” proved as false as the WMD claims, but as had been so often the case in Washington, there was little to no accountability from the mainstream media, the think tanks or government officials for being so spectacularly wrong.

In an effort to document the true history of that era, Bob, Sam and I co-wrote the book Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, which was published in late 2007. The book traced the work of Consortiumnews, juxtaposing it against the backdrop of mainstream media coverage during the Bush era, in an effort to not only correct the record, but also demonstrate that not all of us got things so wrong.

We felt it was important to remind readers – as well as future historians – that some of us knew and reported in real time the mistakes that were being made on everything from withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol to invading Iraq to implementing a policy of torture to bungling the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Obama Era

By the time Barack Obama was elected the 44th president, Consortiumnews.com had become a home to a growing number of writers who brought new perspectives to the website’s content. While for years, the writing staff had been limited primarily to Bob, Sam and me, suddenly, Consortiumnews was receiving contributions from journalists, activists and former intelligence analysts who offered a wide range of expertise – on international law, economics, human rights, foreign policy, national security, and even religion and philosophy.

One recurring theme of articles at the website during the Obama era was the enduring effect of unchallenged narratives, how they shaped national politics and dictated government policy. Bob observed that even a supposedly left-of-center president like Obama seemed beholden to the false narratives and national mythologies dating back to the Reagan era. He pointed out that this could be at least partially attributed to the failure to establish a strong foundation for independent journalism.

In a 2010 piece called “Obama’s Fear of the Reagan Narrative,” Bob noted that Obama had defended his deal with Republicans on tax cuts for the rich because there was such a strong lingering effect of Reagan’s messaging from 30 years earlier. “He felt handcuffed by the Right’s ability to rally Americans on behalf of Reagan’s ‘government-is-the-problem’ message,” Bob wrote.

He traced Obama’s complaints about his powerlessness in the face of this dynamic to the reluctance of American progressives to invest sufficiently in media and think tanks, as conservatives had been doing for decades in waging their “the war of ideas.” As he had been arguing since the early 1990s, Robert insisted that the limits that had been placed on Obama – whether real or perceived – continued to demonstrate the power of propaganda and the need for greater investment in alternative media.

He also observed that much of the nuttiness surrounding the so-called Tea Party movement resulted from fundamental misunderstandings of American history and constitutional principles. “Democrats and progressives should be under no illusion about the new flood of know-nothingism that is about to inundate the United States in the guise of a return to ‘first principles’ and a deep respect for the U.S. Constitution,” Bob warned.

He pointed out that despite the Tea Partiers’ claimed reverence for the Constitution, they actually had very little understanding of the document, as revealed by their ahistorical claims that federal taxes are unconstitutional. In fact, as Bob observed, the Constitution represented “a major power grab by the federal government, when compared to the loosely drawn Articles of Confederation, which lacked federal taxing authority and other national powers.”

Motivated by a desire to correct falsified historical narratives spanning more than two centuries, Bob published his sixth and final book, America’s Stolen Narrative: From Washington and Madison to Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes to Obama, in 2012.

Along with revenues from book sales, growing donations from readers enabled Bob to not only pay writers but also to hire an assistant, Chelsea Gilmour, who began working for Consortiumnews in 2014. In addition to providing invaluable administrative support, Chelsea also performed duties including research, writing and fact-checking.

Political Realignment and the New McCarthyism

Although at the beginning of the Obama era – and indeed since the 1980s – the name Robert Parry had been closely associated with exposing wrongdoing by Republicans, and hence had a strong following among Democratic Party loyalists, by the end of Obama’s presidency there seemed to be a realignment taking place among some of Consortiumnews.com’s readership, which reflected more generally the shifting politics of the country.

In particular, the U.S. media’s approach to Russia and related issues, such as the violent ouster in 2014 of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, became “virtually 100 percent propaganda,” Bob said.

He noted that the full story was never told when it came to issues such as the Sergei Magnitsky case, which led to the first round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, nor the inconvenient facts related to the Euromaidan protests that led to Yanukovych’s ouster – including the reality of strong neo-Nazi influence in those protests – nor the subsequent conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Bob’s stories on Ukraine were widely cited and disseminated, and he became an important voice in presenting a fuller picture of the conflict than was possible by reading and watching only mainstream news outlets. Bob was featured prominently in Oliver Stone’s 2016 documentary“Ukraine on Fire,” where he explained how U.S.-funded political NGOs and media companies have worked with the CIA and foreign policy establishment since the 1980s to promote the U.S. geopolitical agenda.

Bob regretted that, increasingly, “the American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the ‘other side of the story.’” Indeed, he said that to even suggest that there might be another side to the story is enough to get someone branded as an apologist for Vladimir Putin or a “Kremlin stooge.”

This culminated in late 2016 in the blacklisting of Consortiumnews.com on a dubious website called “PropOrNot,” which was claiming to serve as a watchdog against undue “Russian influence” in the United States. The PropOrNot blacklist, including Consortiumnews and about 200 other websites deemed “Russian propaganda,” was elevated by the Washington Post as a credible source, despite the fact that the neo-McCarthyites who published the list hid behind a cloak of anonymity.

“The Post’s article by Craig Timberg,” Bob wrote on Nov. 27, 2016, “described PropOrNot simply as ‘a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds [who] planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.’”

As Bob explained in an article called “Washington Post’s Fake News Guilt,” the paper granted PropOrNot anonymity “to smear journalists who don’t march in lockstep with official pronouncements from the State Department or some other impeccable fount of never-to-be-questioned truth.”

In late 2016, the Washington Post helped to promote a fraudulent McCarthyist defamation website called “PropOrNot”.

The Post even provided an unattributed quote from the head of the shadowy website. “The way that this propaganda apparatus supported [Donald] Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” the anonymous smear merchant said. The Post claimed that the PropOrNot “executive director” had spoken on the condition of anonymity “to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”

To be clear, neither Consortiumnews nor Robert Parry ever “supported Trump,” as the above anonymous quote claims. Something interesting, however, did seem to be happening in terms of Consortiumnews’ readership in the early days of the Trump presidency, as could be gleaned from some of the comments left on articles and social media activity.

It did appear for some time at least that a good number of Trump supporters were reading Consortiumnews, which could probably attributed to the fact that the website was one of the few outlets pushing back against both the “New Cold War” with Russia and the related story of “Russiagate,” which Bob didn’t even like referring to as a “scandal.” (As an editor, he preferred to use the word “controversy” on the website, because as far as he was concerned, the allegations against Trump and his supposed “collusion” with Russia did not rise to the level of actual scandals such as Watergate or Iran-Contra.)

In his view, the perhaps understandable hatred of Trump felt by many Americans – both inside and outside the Beltway – had led to an abandonment of old-fashioned rules of journalism and standards of fairness, which should be applied even to someone like Donald Trump.

“On a personal note, I faced harsh criticism even from friends of many years for refusing to enlist in the anti-Trump ‘Resistance,’” Bob wrote in his final article for Consortiumnews.

“The argument was that Trump was such a unique threat to America and the world that I should join in finding any justification for his ouster,” he said. “Some people saw my insistence on the same journalistic standards that I had always employed somehow a betrayal.”

He marveled that even senior editors in the mainstream media treated the unproven Russiagate allegations as flat fact.

“No skepticism was tolerated and mentioning the obvious bias among the never-Trumpers inside the FBI, Justice Department and intelligence community was decried as an attack on the integrity of the U.S. government’s institutions,” Bob wrote. “Anti-Trump ‘progressives’ were posturing as the true patriots because of their now unquestioning acceptance of the evidence-free proclamations of the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.”

An Untimely End and the Future of Consortiumnews

My dad’s untimely passing has come as a shock to us all, especially since up until a month ago, there was no indication whatsoever that he was sick in any way. He took good care of himself, never smoked, got regular check-ups, exercised, and ate well. The unexpected health issues starting with a mild stroke Christmas Eve and culminating with his admission into hospice care several days ago offer a stark reminder that nothing should be taken for granted.

And as many Consortiumnews readers have eloquently pointed out in comments left on recentarticles regarding Bob’s health, it also reminds us that his brand of journalism is needed today more than ever.

“We need free will thinkers like you who value the truth based on the evidence and look past the group think in Washington to report on the real reasons for our government’s and our media’s actions which attempt to deceive us all,” wrote, for example, “FreeThinker.”

“Common sense and integrity are the hallmarks of Robert Parry’s journalism. May you get better soon for you are needed more now then ever before,” wrote “T.J.”

“We need a new generation of reporters, journalists, writers, and someone always being tenacious to follow up on the story,” added “Tina.”

As someone who has been involved with this website since its inception – as a writer, an editor and a reader – I concur with these sentiments. Readers should rest assured that despite my dad’s death, every effort will be made to ensure that the website will continue going strong.

Indeed, I think that everyone involved with this project wants to uphold the same commitment to truth telling without fear or favor that inspired Bob and his heroes like George Seldes, I.F. Stone, and Thomas Paine.

That commitment can be seen in my dad’s pursuit of stories such as those mentioned above, but also so many others – including his investigations into the financial relationship of the influential Washington Times with the Unification Church cult of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the truth behind the Nixon campaign’s alleged efforts to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson’s Paris peace talks with Vietnamese leaders in 1968, the reality of the chemical attack in Syria in 2013, and even detailed examinations of the evidence behind the so-called “Deflategate” controversy that he felt unfairly branded his favorite football team, the New England Patriots, as cheaters.

Reviewing these journalistic achievements, it becomes clear that there are few stories that have slipped under Consortiumnews.com’s radar, and that the historical record is far more complete thanks to this website and Bob’s old-fashioned approach to journalism.

But besides this deeply held commitment to independent journalism, it should also be recalled that, ultimately, Bob was motivated by a concern over the future of life on Earth. As someone who grew up at the height of the Cold War, he understood the dangers of allowing tensions and hysteria to spiral out of control, especially in a world such as ours with enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all life on the planet many times over.

As the United States continues down the path of a New Cold War, my dad would be pleased to know that he has such committed contributors who will enable the site to remain the indispensable home for independent journalism that it has become, and continue to push back on false narratives that threaten our very survival.

Thank you all for your support.

***
This story was originally published yesterday on Consortium News.


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The US and Turkey inch closer to war in Syria

Will Erdogan be crazy enough to start a regional battle against both the US and Russia on Syrian soil?

The ongoing Turkish offensive in Syria, aimed at eradicating US ally Kurdish forces, has significantly strained the relationship between Washington and Ankara.

Turkey’s Afrin campaign follows Erdogan’s promise to “strangle” the US-backed Border Security Force (BSF) in Syria, risking a direct conflict with US troops operating on the ground with Kurds in Syria.

To make matters more complicated, Russian planes have been spotted overhead as the Turkish convoy drives through Idlib province.

As Zerohedge tries to untangle the geo-politcal knot in Syria, we wonder if Erdogan will be crazy enough to start a regional battle against both the US and Russia at the same time on Syrian soil, or will Russia flip and side with Turkey in its “defensive offensive” yet as it careens to a military confrontation with US troops?We expect to find out in the immediate future.

Zerohedge reports…

Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey’s foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

Speaking on CNN, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.”

Last week Turkish troops crossed into Syria in an push to drive US-backed Kurds out of Afrin. As part of the Turkish offensive, which is grotesquely code-named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, president Erdogan warned that the offensive could soon target “terrorists” in Manbij, some 100km east of Afrin.

“With the Olive Branch operation, we have once again thwarted the game of those sneaky forces whose interests in the region are different,” Erdogan said in a speech to provincial leaders in Ankara last week. “Starting in Manbij, we will continue to thwart their game.”

But not if the US is still there, unless for the first time in history we are about to witness war between two NATO members. And the US has no intention of moving.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesperson for the US-led coalition, told Kurdish media on Sunday that American forces would continue to support their Kurdish allies – despite Erdogan’s threats.

“Turkey knows where our forces are in Manbij, and what they are doing there, and why they are there –to prevent any kind of escalation between the groups who are in that area,” Dillon told Rudaw TV. “The Coalition will continue to support our Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against ISIS. We have said this all along, and we have said this with the Kurdish elements of the SDF. We will provide them equipment as necessary to defeat ISIS.”

However, in an apparent miscommunication, US NatlSec Adviser H.R. McMaster said a day earlier that the United States would no longer provide weapons to YPG fighters or the Democratic Union Party (PYD) – sending mixed messages about Washington’s relationship with the Kurds.

The latest Turkish offensive in Syria has further strained the already contentious relationship between Washington and Ankara. A White House spokesman remarked last week that the operation “risks conflict between Turkish and American forces” in Syria. In an unprecedented step, last week the Turkish presidency went so far as to correct the White House readout of the phone conversation between Trump and Erdogan, explicitly accusing Trump of lying.

The Afrin campaign follows Erdogan’s vow to “strangle” the US-backed Border Security Force (BSF) in Syria. As discussed previously, the US-led coalition announced in January that it would help create the 30,000-strong BSF, half of which would be comprised of the Kurdish-dominated SDF.

Meanwhile, confirming that Turkey has no intention of backing down, and if anything will keep pressing on assuring an armed confrontation with the US is inevitable, Jenan Moussa with Arabic Al Aan TV, reports that “a huge story is developing right now.” Namely, that a big Turkish army convoy including APCs drove thru HTS controlled Idlib in Syria heading towards AlEis, a rebel controlled frontline with Syrian gov forces &allies. Turkish army convoy was escorted whole time by Al-Qaeda linked HTS group.”

1/ Huge story developing right now. Big Turkish army convoy including APCs drove thru HTS controlled Idlib in Syria heading towards AlEis, a rebel controlled frontline with Syrian gov forces &allies. Turkish army convoy was escorted whole time by AlQaeda linked HTS group. @akhbar

3/ This is worth paying attention to. According to multiple opposition activists on the ground, who are tracking the Turkish army convoy in Idlib, the Russians are bombing a village 2 kms infront of the convoy. As a result, the Turkish convoy has come to a halt. @akhbar

4/ I just made this map. Have a look at it in order to better understand the situation. The Turkish army convoy has stopped around Kafr Halab. The Russians are bombing &Syrian regime is shelling area around Al-Qammari. The convoy is intended for Al-Eiss so it can’t pass. @akhbar pic.twitter.com/XzkdudigKR

View image on Twitter

4/ I just made this map. Have a look at it in order to better understand the situation. The Turkish army convoy has stopped around Kafr Halab. The Russians are bombing &Syrian regime is shelling area around Al-Qammari. The convoy is intended for Al-Eiss so it can’t pass. @akhbar pic.twitter.com/XzkdudigKR

5/ Here is another video of the Turkish army convoy when it was still driving earlier through Idlib before the Russians started bombing the route. I am just sharing it so you know how big this convoy is. @akhbar pic.twitter.com/iaOBR8Se0Q

According to Moussa, Russian planes were in the sky as the Turkish convoy drove through HTS controlled Idlib province. 

The planes even bombed 15 KMs away from the convoy. “So big question now: Is the Turkish convey moving with the approval or in defiance of the Russians?”

Seems for now the Russians are not going to allow the Turkish army convoy to pass. I am hearing from one source on the ground that the convoy will go back in the direction of Turkey. I am in touch with sources on the ground in Idleb & will update as news develops.

Due to nearby Russian bombing &Syrian shelling, witnesses on the ground now say that the Turkish military convoy has basically turned off its lights and is waiting in the area. We are trying to find out if they will turn back or continue advancing despite warnings.

The Duran
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US Congressman Matt Gaetz tells Alex Jones: The Clintons may be facing justice “very soon”

The FBI Has Launched Criminal Investigations In Little Rock, Arkansas.

Congressman Matt Gaetz joined Infowars’ Alex Jones via Skype to announce that the FBI is conducting investigations in order to oust criminals from the bureau involved with Clinton crimes.

Gaetz warned Clinton Foundation pay-to-play scammers that “justice may be coming VERY SOON.”

Via The Gateway Pundit

Kicking off the nearly 14 minute interview, Alex Jones asked Rep. Gaetz, “What happens when [Robert Mueller’s] house of cards falls? They’ve shown they never give up.”

“Well, you’re right about that Alex, but they are going to be like cornered rats when this entire investigation is shown to be the fraud that it is,” Gaetz replied.

“It’s built on a rotten foundation and I suspect they’ll have to go into major defense mode over Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.”

“There’s a lot of people that paid bribes to the Clinton Foundation, that still may be getting a benefit out of this government and when they find out their house of cards is falling, we may see a very strong reaction and they may have to really start to explain themselves.”

Jones then asked Gaetz if the FISA memo’s release, coupled with President Trump’s focus on draining the swamp, is going to lead to indictments.

“Well there have been credible media reports that the Little Rock field office is actually investigating elements of bribery and corruption with the Clinton Foundation, particularly as it’s related to Uranium sales that may have not been in our nation’s interest,” Gaetz replied.

The Florida Republican told Jones he believes the Clintons and their associates should be worried that front line agents are running the probe, not D.C. hacks.

“Justice may be coming to their doorstep very soon,” Rep. Gaetz warned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY0cvh6Efrc

The Duran
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Neoliberalism and the New World Order. IMF-World Bank “Reforms”, The Role of Wall Street

Wall Street behind Brazil Coup

Global financial warfare as outlined in professor Chossudovsky’s writings.  

Wall Street Behind Brazil Coup d Etat; 

The role played by the IMF and World Bank in the economies of debtor nations, 

The Real Plan in Brazil, 

The imposition of the Washington Consensus; 

Loss of national sovereignty, 

Neoliberal institution funding of grassroots movements; 

The main corporate actors of the New World Order; 

The function of propaganda and the process of global impoverishment and destruction of nation states.

Full Transcript:

This is Guns and Butter.

Monetary policy really defines the sovereignty of a country. It’s the ability of a country to actually finance its own developments through lending to the private sector, the building of public infrastructure and so on. And that is ultimately what economic sovereignty is all about. It’s the ability of a country to use its monetary instruments to finance development, and that ability is denied under the prevailing relations that these countries have with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and the creditors.

I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Michel Chossudovsky. Today’s show: Neoliberalism and the New World Order.

Michel Chossudovsky is an economist and the founder, director and editor of the Centre for Research on Globalization based in Montreal, Quebec. He is the author of 11 books including The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, War and Globalization: The Truth Behind September 11th, America’s War on Terrorism and The Globalization of War: America’s Long War Against Humanity. Today we discuss global financial war as outlined in Professor Chossudovsky’s article “Wall Street Behind Brazil Coup D’état,” the role played by the IMF and World Bank in the economies of debtor nations, the Real Plan in Brazil, the imposition of the Washington Consensus, loss of national sovereignty, neoliberal institution funding of grassroots movements, the main corporate actors of the new world order, the function of propaganda, and the process of global impoverishment and the destruction of nation-states.

* * * * *

Bonnie Faulkner:
 Michel Chossudovsky, welcome, again.


Michel Chossudovsky:
 Delighted to be on the program on these very important issues of the new world order.

Bonnie Faulkner: In our recent program “Global Warfare: Is the US-NATO Going to Attack Russia?” you talked about global nuclear conventional and non-conventional war. Non-conventional war includes global financial warfare. Let’s take one of the most recent examples, regime change in Brazil. Your recent article, “Wall Street Behind Brazil Coup D’état,” lays out an argument that control over monetary policy and macroeconomic reform was the ultimate objective of the Brazilian coup d’état against Dilma Rousseff. What is the evidence?

Michel Chossudovsky: The evidence is the following. When Luiz Inácio da Silva, President Lula, set up his government back in 2003, he appointed a former CEO of a Wall Street bank, FleetBoston Financial Global Banking, to head the Central Bank of Brazil. It was in a sense like appointing the fox in charge of the chicken coop, so to speak, and what was disturbing there is that all the major appointments which the progressive Workers Party government (PT) implemented – namely the ministry of finance, the central bank, the Bank of Brazil, which is a development bank – they were held by neoliberals. In fact, the IMF had given its support to the Lula government and in fact they even congratulated the Lula government on its austerity measures and so on.

Henrique de Campos Meirelles, who was president of the Central Bank of Brazil and also former president of FleetBoston Financial Global Banking before he headed the Central Bank of Brazil, stayed in that position until the presidency of Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff. Dilma Rousseff, in fact, appointed a career Ministry of Finance official to head the Central Bank and Meirelles was dropped from the government.

Now, this was, from my standpoint, a very significant move because it was a message to Wall Street saying, “We decide on key appointments in the spheres of economy and finance.” And the coup led to the installation of a provisional government led by Michel Temer, i.e. an interim government. Essentially what they did from one day to the next was to appoint a new finance minister, who happened to be this notorious individual, Henrique de Campos Meirelles, (right) the former CEO in Wall Street. He was appointed finance minister. Again, then, they put together a team of appointments to key positions.

It’s not only the fact that Campos Meirelles is a Wall Street appointee; he’s also a US citizen. And Campos Meirelles then appoints his man to the central bank whose name is Ilan Goldfajn. Ilan Goldfajn was chief economist with one of Brazil’s major private financial institutions and Ilan Goldfajn happens to be an Israeli citizen, and he also happens to be a very close friend of Stanley Fischer, who was previously number two at the IMF, then he became governor of the Bank of Israel, and Stanley Fischer currently holds the number two position at the US Federal Reserve. He’s a vice-chair of the US Federal Reserve. For emphasis, both Ilan Goldfajn and Stanley Fischer have US citizenship. Goldfajn was head of the Central Bank of Brazil, was born in Israel, and he has dual citizenship. I’m not criticizing his citizenship but I’m focusing on the crony relationships between these individuals.

So now you have a central bank governor who has a close personal relationship with Stanley Fischer,number two at the Fed. Known and documented, it’s always the number-two man that calls the shots ultimately and that’s where all the policy formulations are made. So that’s the background.

Lula and GWB

Now, where do, let’s say, left progressive movements come in? Well, they came in right at the outset of the Lula administration and European, North American, Latin American progressives applauded in chorus, celebrating the victory of a socialist government against the neoliberal agenda, and they said ‘victory against neoliberalism.’ It wasn’t a victory against neoliberalism; it was in fact the cooptation of a Workers Party leadership, not the grassroots, by Wall Street with a whole set of Wall Street appointments, which started with Lula and up to certain points was disrupted under Dilma Rousseff.

Bonnie Faulkner: How much power does the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank wield over Brazil’s economy?

Michel Chossudovsky: Let me open a parenthesis there. Very often people say the IMF, World Bank, they establish these harsh conditionalities on developing countries, they force them to implement these harsh austerity measures and so on and so forth. That is a correct description of IMF/World Bank activities. The structural adjustment programs that are imposed on developing countries are deadly. But it is not the IMF and the World Bank, which are in fact bureaucracies, which call the shots. The IMF and the World Bank are instruments of Wall Street. They’re instruments of the private banking nexus. The IMF and the World Bank, they have their independence, their Bretton Woods institutions, but legally they are connected to the United Nations. It’s a very hazy relationship but they’re supposed to be connected to the United Nations. The fact is they’re not.

But they don’t call the shots. It’s Wall Street that calls the shots, and it’s very convenient for Wall Street to have these Washington-based institutions which then, through intergovernmental relations, will establish links with governments.  These are intergovernmental bodies.

Now, what I’m suggesting here is that as far as appointments are concerned, the IMF, the World Bank have a very significant impact. They’re part of the so-called Washington Consensus, which is also linked up to the Wall Street Consensus. We notice that very often it’s a former World Bank official who is appointed to the ministry of finance. That was the case in 1991 when Finance Minister in India, Manmohan Singh, who later became prime minister, was appointed to the Ministry of Finance and he implemented what was called a New Economic Policy, which led to devastation. It was supported by the World Bank.

In other words, the World Bank and the IMF have their people on the inside. I would say more the World Bank, because the World Bank can be in the ministries. It can be in the ministry of finance, in the ministry of agriculture and so on, and ultimately there’s a consensus in terms of policymaking which emerges.

But then if you’re talking about the impact that let’s say these loan agreements have, they’re devastating because they will say, ‘You have to cut your budget in all the social sectors, health, education, etc. You have to close down the hospitals, close down or privatize some of the schools, introduce user fees,’ and in effect what these institutions do is to precipitate countries into poverty, and they also contribute to the destabilization of the national economy. We see that in many countries.

In Venezuela, in fact, what they’ve done is very similar to what they did or has some relationship to what they did in Chile in 1973. They create conditions of collapse of commodity markets, scarcity of commodities, rising inflation, breakdown of distribution of goods, not to mention problems of urban security and organized crime, etc., etc. in Caracas. Those are engineered conditions. Of course, they’ve also created conditions which have bankrupted the state because the price of oil has collapsed from over $100 a barrel to something of the order of $30 a barrel, and this has contributed to the bankruptcy of the Venezuelan government.

Bonnie Faulkner: What is the Real Plan in Brazil?

Michel Chossudovsky: It is very important. Really, the Real Plan is a plan to essentially to dollarize all internal debt operations, so that the country doesn’t really have a monetary policy. It links the national currency to the dollar and it means that it has to be supported by Forex transactions to maintain that parity. And then it really means that whenever, let’s say, if you want to use your monetary policy to mobilize internal resource it turns out to be dollarized. It’s the same plan that they had in Argentina under Menem.

Bonnie Faulkner: You write that, “The objective of the coup d’état was to deny Brazil’s sovereignty in the formulation of macroeconomic policy.” Why is Wall Street or the United States against a nation’s sovereignty?

Michel Chossudovsky: That’s a very important question and it really has to do with monetary policy. Monetary policy really defines the sovereignty of a country. It’s the ability of a country to actually finance its own development through lending to the private sector, the building of public infrastructure and so on. To do that, you have to be able to increase the levels of internal debt. We do it in the United States and Canada and so on. We use debt operations to fund the infrastructure, roads, schools and hospitals.

But what is at stake in developing countries is that the currency is dollarized and in currency markets it’s upheld by dollar-denominated debts, which have to be incurred to support the currency. So that when you start expanding the money supply to finance development – it’s a difficult and complex mechanism – you really have to borrow in dollars, and really what it means is that your currency really is a proxy. It’s a dollarized currency, so that each time you want to build a road or a bridge or a hydroelectric complex using your domestic resources, you have to increase your indebtedness in dollar terms. In other words, the internal debt becomes a foreign debt.

That is ultimately what happened in Brazil with the Real Plan. The Real Plan established the real as the Brazilian currency on a peg with the US dollar, sustained by persistent propping up of the currency to maintain that parity. And what it meant is that Brazil was indebting itself in terms of dollars and each time it expands let’s say its levels of expenditure and so on so forth it ultimately has to borrow in dollars. What that means, to get back to the question, is that it’s Wall Street that controls monetary policy and all actions of internal development, funding infrastructure, schools, roads and so on, requires borrowing dollars to do it.

I’ll give one example of this. Vietnam, in the wake of its normalization with the United States, decided to initiate a major project of repairing the country’s main highway, which links the capital, Hanoi, in the north to Ho Chi Minh City, or what was formerly known as Saigon. It’s called Road Number 1. The east coast of the United States also has a road linking New York right down to Miami.

What happened is that the project was to repair the road, and for that they had to have an international tender by construction companies coming in – big multi-million dollar contracts – and to repair the roads they needed foreign capital. But in fact, what the foreign capital would do was to subcontract with local enterprises which then would build the road. What happens under that type of mechanism is the transformation of an internal debt into an external debt. You don’t need to bring in foreign capital to repair a road, or even to build a road. The technologies are there, the know-how is there, and you don’t need much investment in terms of capital or materials. It’s all local.

And that disturbs the mechanics. Immediately these financial institutions, once they normalize with the country they will say, ‘Okay, we’re going to lend you money under World Bank project to build a road but there has to be an offer of tender to international construction companies, etc. And then the money we lend you, you use it to pay these companies.” That’s how countries get indebted and they are unable under World Bank, IMF auspices to mobilize internal debt operations. I’ve seen this in numerous countries. There’s what is called the PIP, Public Investment Program, which is a list of projects and the World Bank ultimately goes through this list and they can choose which ones they want to finance, and they override the government in the choice of investment projects.

That is ultimately what economic sovereignty is all about: It’s the ability of a country to use its monetary instruments to finance development, and that ability is denied under the prevailing relations that these countries have with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and the creditors.

Bonnie Faulkner: Well then, it’s true that if a country can issue its own debt internally, then they can control that policy and the effects it has. But if the debt is externalized, then all the control is taken away from them, right?

Michel Chossudovsky: Precisely. You’ve formulated it exactly. That is the nature of that relationship. Once they are brought into the nexus of these international financial institutions, which monitor their investment projects and provide funding, then that funding is external, is dollarized, and in turn it is then subject to conditionalities imposed by the creditors of a policy nature. So they will say, ‘Oh. We helped you build that road and you now have a $50 million, $100 million debt. You now have to repay that debt.’ Then the government says, ‘Well, we don’t have any money to repay it.’ Then they will say, ‘Okay, we will lend you money but then you have to accept certain policy conditionalities which we will impose – in other words, close down your hospitals and your schools.’ That’s the way that these austerity measures work. Then they’ll say, ‘Well, you have to privatize.’ So in effect, the process of making countries indebted is the key to taking control of their sovereignty.

Now, in the European Union the mechanics are somewhat different. There’s the famous Maastricht Treaty, which goes back prior to the Eurozone, and the Maastricht Treaty establishes the basis whereby the individual member-states cannot fund their development from central bank operations. And ultimately then, of course, you have the European Central Bank, and this in a sense creates conditions whereby the individual member-states, particularly the weaker ones like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, virtually their sovereignty is derogated because they can’t use their resources. They don’t have a national currency to finance their own development. Then what happens is that their assets are taken over, privatization, impoverishment and so on so forth.

We see it happening in several European countries. Greece is, of course, a notorious example where this mechanism has occurred. And the European Central Bank in effect is playing a role which is in some regards similar to that of the IMF, in another context, of course. The IMF is acting in relation to Brazil, but the IMF more recently has also acted in relation to countries like Greece and Portugal.

Bonnie Faulkner: Right. And I think it’s important for people to understand that if a government creates its own debt, or creates its own credit, it can use that to help the economy and not to destroy it. For instance, let’s just say theoretically that the Fed in the US, let’s say it was part of the Treasury or even as it is now, privatized. If they issued no-interest loans to states or whatever they could use that to help the economy rather than destroy it, right?

Michel Chossudovsky: Well, absolutely. The thing is, it’s not money which creates real economy wealth. By real wealth I’m not talking about the wealth of individuals; I’m talking about infrastructure, schools, hospitals, roads and so on. The resources in the United States of America are there. It’s the real economy. It’s the people plus the resources plus equipment and so on which ultimately will lead to projects. Then you need mechanisms which will mobilize those resources, and they could be loans at zero percent interest or they could be, of course, commercial loans at very high interest.

There could be all sorts of impediments to the increase of public expenditure in support of projects because, again, the Treasury is ultimately under the surveillance of Wall Street, of the Federal Reserve, which in turn is also an appendage of Wall Street.

Monetary policy is central to any kind of societal project, and that’s why the debate, let’s say, on the democratization of monetary policy is so crucial, of the banking system in general. So that if we have a banking system which is controlled by JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and so on, we’re not going to necessarily be able to fund the things that we want to fund. We’ll be funding casinos, we’ll be funding entertainment complexes and hotels and so on, but we’re not going to be funding the basic social infrastructure which will uplift the standards of living of millions of people. I think that is the situation which characterizes US monetary policy.

I should mention that a large share of public expenditures is allocated to produce weapons. It’s the military-industrial complex, it’s the so-called defense contractors, and those again require … Well, it has to do with government debt, it has to do with spending patterns, it has to do with the Treasury, but again, when creditors call the shots and decide what has to be funded in terms of infrastructure, the tendency is to fund precisely areas such as defense rather than schools and hospitals.

Bonnie Faulkner: So then, using Brazil as an example, what is the effect then of imposing the Washington Consensus on Brazil? How does it benefit the US and what are the negative effects on Brazil?

Michel Chossudovsky: Well, the case of Brazil is certainly not unique. I think what distinguishes Brazil from other developing countries, particularly in Latin America, is that first of all it has a population of over 200 million people. It’s a large country in its own right, with tremendous resources and infrastructure and so on. But what characterizes this relationship let’s say between Washington/Wall Street on the one hand and Brazil on the other is the fact that by taking control of monetary policy, you ultimately take control of the real resources of a country.

The objective is not simply to occupy the central bank or the ministry of finance. The objective is ultimately to be able to take control over major areas of Brazil’s economic development process through privatization, through the buy-up of Brazilian companies and so on and so forth. We’ve seen this developing in the course, I would say, of the last 20 years, that US dominant financial and economic corporate interests are appropriating large sectors of this wealthy economy. We’re talking about resources, mining, forestry but also industrial development.

The name of the game is privatization and countries like Brazil – but let’s take another case, countries like South Korea, with tremendous industrial capabilities. When the IMF imposed its devastating reforms in 1997 during the so-called Asian Crisis, and they imposed it on South Korea. The objective was ultimately to confiscate real assets – literally, to confiscate real assets. But they didn’t only confiscate real assets, they took over banking, they took over research institutes. Ultimately through financial manipulation you acquire oversight on another country’s resources. You will find similar occurrences in other countries.

To get back to Brazil, Brazil is a very wealthy country and there’s lots of assets to be taken over. And we see that now the rules of the game are to take over assets. We see it in Greece now with the conditions imposed by German, French and American creditors on the Greek Ministry of Finance.

That is the order of the day – that it’s not only sovereignty which is at stake; it’s the plunder of national economies by international financial institutions leading to transfer of wealth whereby these US companies take over large sectors of the economy through a process of manipulation.

Bonnie Faulkner: In your article, “Counter-propaganda as an Instrument of Peace: Fidel Castro and the Battle of Ideas, the Dangers of Nuclear War,” you write that, “A worldwide process of impoverishment is an integral part of the new world order agenda.” Describe what you consider to be the new world order.

Fidel Castro and Michel Chossudovsky, Havana, 2010

Michel Chossudovsky: Well, the new world order is a hegemonic project of ultimately conquering sovereign countries and in a sense corporatizing their governments. It’s the very structures of macroeconomic reform but it’s also the trade initiatives – the TTIP, the TTP, the two major areas of trade integration, the Atlantic and the Pacific, which ultimately transfer the powers of policymakers into the hands of corporations.

Now that, in effect, has already occurred. We don’t have independent governments, sovereign governments anymore, even in Western countries. We can go back to let’s say to the era of … Well, in Europe we might go back to Charles de Gaulle or in Britain we might go back to Harold Wilson, but those types of heads of state, heads of government are no longer around. In the United States we have individuals which are really the instruments of the corporate lobby groups. They’re not providing any leadership. I don’t think that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can provide any leadership with regards to decision making. They will abide by the instructions which are transmitted to them by their corporate sponsors. And then, of course, there’s also a consensus as to what is politically correct, as to what you do.

The new world order is a global capitalist system. It’s based on hegemony; it’s based on military power. I think one would also say that it is characterized by the outright criminalization of politics. The fact is that we don’t really have honest people in government anymore, very few. It’s also the fact that in the course of the last 20 or 30 years, all socialist and/or social democratic projects have been eliminated in one form or another. We can think of Nicaragua back in the early ‘80s. Of course, Guatemala, El Salvador. As well we can think of Vietnam obliterated through the Vietnam War, Cambodia, Indonesia from the early/mid-60s. We can look at Chile, Argentina, Mozambique, Angola, Algeria, numerous countries whose projects have been obliterated and destroyed. In other words, there’s no longer any nationalism and there’s no longer any reformist government which acts on behalf of its population.

There’s no longer what we might call representative government. That is the new world order. It’s the concentration of power by corporations. It is also not necessarily a smooth process, because those corporations are waging their own battle against one another. They’re merging, they’re buying up, they have manipulations directed against their competitors.

But ultimately what’s happening is that the world is being precipitated beyond poverty. It’s no longer an issue of mass poverty; it’s also an issue of total despair. In other words, we had an era where we talked about the globalization of poverty. I spent many years investigating that theme. But I have the hunch that now we’re talking about something quite different. It’s beyond the globalization of poverty. It’s not only the impoverishment of large sectors of the world population; it is precipitating people into total despair and it’s the destruction of the institutional fabric, the collapse of schools and hospitals which are closed down, the legal system disintegrating, borders are redefined.

Essentially this stage, which goes beyond impoverishment, is the transformation of countries into territories and we see it occurring in the Middle East. The objective for Iraq and Libya and Yemen is certainly to transform a country into a territory, and then you recolonize it. You’re in a very different environment to that which has prevailed until recently.

Bonnie Faulkner: What are the main corporate actors of the new world order?

Michel Chossudovsky: I would say, broadly speaking, that the main corporate actors of the new world order, first of all it’s Wall Street and the Western banking conglomerates, and that includes also the offshore facilities, the Cayman Islands and so on. We’ve talked a lot about that with the Panama Papers, but in effect all those offshore locations are controlled by the large banking institutions. And of course, it’s also linked up to money laundering and drugs and so on.

The military-industrial complex, at least, that’s what Eisenhower called it, regrouping the so-called defense contractors – they’re not defense contractors, they’re war contractors – the security, the mercenary companies, international outfits on contract to the Pentagon, the large private security companies such as G4S, which in some sense was also connected to the Orlando event.

Then you have, of course, the energy companies, the Anglo-American oil and energy giants. They’re very important. And then you have the biotech conglomerates which increasingly control agriculture and the food chain and Monsanto is of course, part of that. Monsanto, Cargill and the big corporate food companies are part of that.

Then overlapping with the biotech conglomerates you have Big Pharma, the large pharmaceutical companies, and I should say that those large pharmaceutical companies also overlap with the military-industrial complex because they’re also producers of chemical and biological weapons. Then you have, of course, the communications giants, the media conglomerates, which are part of the propaganda arm of the new world order.

There’s overlap between all of these various very broad categories, but I think that essentially, to summarize, Wall Street and the Western banking conglomerates, the military-industrial complex, the Anglo-American oil and energy giants, the biotech conglomerates, Big Pharma and the global media conglomerates.

Bonnie Faulkner: Describe the process by which local protest grassroots movements against neoliberal policy are co-opted by the very forces of neoliberalism.

Michel Chossudovsky: This is a very important question, because the consequences of neoliberalism, as we see in different parts of the world, create conditions of mass protest. What has occurred is that the seats of power of the new world order, primarily Wall Street, the financial conglomerates, they not only control the governments which are implementing these neoliberal policies, but they also indirectly control the protest movement, which is funded by the corporate tax-free foundations.

It’s not to say that all protest movements are funded by Wall Street but in effect, if we start to look into the whole nexus of non-governmental organizations, what we have is that many of these organizations, NGOs, civil society organizations historically linked to the protest movement are in fact funded by private foundations including the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the McCarthy Foundation, among others. The Tides Foundation has a mandate to fund progressive organizations. It’s a multi-million-dollar foundation and it just so happens that the Tides Foundation is then receiving grants from several of the corporate foundations including the Rockefellers and the Fords. So what is at stake is that the entities which are opposed to neoliberalism are in a sense funded by neoliberalism.

You take the situation, let’s say, of Occupy Wall Street. Well, Occupy Wall Street on the one hand has a mandate to go against Wall Street, but then when you start to examine who is behind them, who is funding them, they’re funded by tax-free foundations. So Wall Street funds the protest movement against Wall Street. Very convenient.

Now, just to go back to Brazil, because it’s very important.  At the inception of Lula’s government in 2002, 2003, the World Social Forum was created. And what were they doing? They were celebrating the victory of the PT government, of the Worker’s Party of Brazil over neoliberalism. Yet if we go back to the origins of the World Social Forum, well, the World Social Forum was funded by the Ford Foundation. And we know that the Ford Foundation has links to US intelligence – in fact, historical links to US intelligence. There we can quote a former president of the Ford Foundation who said, and I quote, “Everything the Ford Foundation did could be regarded as making the world safe for capitalism, reducing social tensions by helping to comfort the afflicted, provide safety valves for the angry and improve the functioning of government.” That is the mandate of the Ford Foundation which funds dissent, namely the people who don’t like the capitalist system who are protesting but at the same time, through this mechanism, the elite foundations establish the limits of the protest movement, and in a sense they manufacture dissent.

In essence, by providing the funding as well as the policy framework, these tax-free foundations are in a position to manipulate and to establish the boundaries of dissent. My experience is that the rituals of the elites consist in inviting so-called civil society leaders into their inner circles with a view to establishing dialogue and so on and so forth, and ultimately what this consists of, is essentially to co-opt them. And you co-opt them by financing them, and the World Social Forum is a good example of that. Many of these non-governmental organizations have been caught in the nexus of corporate funding and they are consequently not in a position really to challenge the fundamental goals of this new world order’s agenda.

Bonnie Faulkner: How does propaganda function as an integral part of the new world order? For example, is intelligence embedded in the mass media? And then, as well, could you talk about some of the alternative media?

Michel Chossudovsky: Well, certainly the mass media or the mainstream media has historical links to intelligence agencies. This is known and documented. It’s clear that the mainstream media is there to support a consensus with regard to foreign policy, it’s there to distort events, but it’s got to such an extent … The mainstream media hasn’t always been like that. If we go back to the Vietnam War, we had critical reporting on what was happening, up to a point. But if we start to look and see how does the mainstream cover the war in Syria? Well, they forget to mention that ISIS, the Islamic State, is supported covertly by United States.

They actually will admit it and then they will in a sense refute their own lies. They will admit it in so many words. They’ll say, ‘Oh, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are supporting the ISIS.’ But Turkey and Saudi Arabia are allies of the United States. Saudi Arabia doesn’t act without consulting Washington. So there we have a mainstream media which has evolved towards essentially presenting the lie as the truth, and that’s a fundamental relationship. Because when the lie becomes the consensus there’s no turning backwards.

And when I say the lie becomes the truth or the lie becomes the consensus, it’s to say the United States is waging a war against terrorists. Ah, but you failed to mention that the terrorists are actually funded by the United States and they were created by the CIA. Everybody knows that but at the same time we don’t really believe in it anymore, and we believe in the lie. So it’s not to say that the truth is obfuscated. It’s a different mechanism. It’s the truth which becomes the lie and the lie becomes the truth, so that people have to believe the lie even though they know that the lie is a lie. It’s not the truth, so to speak.

I’ll give you another example. We know that there are torture chambers in Guantanamo. Everybody knows it, and nobody is in the process of hiding it. But what the media will do is provide legitimacy to torture. It will also provide legitimacy to going in and killing people in Libya or assassinating the head of state or bombing … Well, Syria’s more complex because there they say that the bombing is done by the government against their own people, but of course, that lie doesn’t really hold up anymore.

But essentially that is what is at stake. It’s that the media, as an instrument of propaganda, has turned realities upside down. It has created a consensus which people dare not question. It upholds war as a humanitarian endeavor, as a peacemaking undertaking.

In effect what this means is that both politics as well as the media are criminalized, because we have criminals in high office which are involved in making war in the name of peace, and then we have a media which serves as propaganda to uphold those lies. And at the same time, it means that the media is complicit in the criminalization of the state. Without the media serving as an instrument of propaganda the military agenda would not have a leg to stand on. The whole construct of US foreign policy would collapse like a deck of cards if it were subjected to truthful analysis within the media and confrontation and so on – but that does not happen.

And there you have also the complicity of intellectuals and you have the complicity of the universities and the think tanks and so on. There’s a politically correct way of studying let’s say international affairs which is set. You don’t discuss the role of the United States in supporting terrorist organizations, you don’t underscore the fact that 30% of the population of North Korea was wiped out due to US bombings, you don’t say anything about the almost one million Indonesians who were assassinated on the orders of the CIA in the mid-60s. All of this, of course, is documented in the archives but it’s never the object of any kind of debate, and then history is erased. History is erased and we are led to believe that the United States is involved in a global crusade to instill democracy and Western values. There’s a lot of skepticism, however, which is unfolding in relation to media disinformation.

Now, you asked the question on alternative media, and alternative media, I think, is also going through a period of crisis because there are certain segments of the alternative media which in fact are controlled by the mainstream. There’s the whole issue of half-truths and half-lies. Then there’s the issue of saying, ‘Well, you know, we’re fighting terrorism,’ but if we had proceeded otherwise there wouldn’t be terrorist organizations. But still, again, the fundamental truths are not revealed in many of these alternative media formulations.

And what I think is very important is if we want to disarm a military agenda, we need a very cohesive counter-propaganda campaign. We have to wage that counter-propaganda campaign without being funded by those who are behind the propaganda campaign, so to speak. That’s the problem with some of the alternative media. They’re funded by corporate foundations so that they are in a sense very much limited in the things that they can say against the new world order. Again, if I’m thinking of the United States, the links that progressive groups have to the Democratic Party of course, is a constraint in their ability to let’s say take a position with regard to major issues of US foreign policy.

Bonnie Faulkner: Michel Chossudovsky, thank you very much.

Michel Chossudovsky: Well, delighted to be on the program again.

* * * * *

I’ve been speaking with Michel Chossudovsky. Today’s show has been Neoliberalism and the New World Order. Michel Chossudovsky is the founder, director and editor for the Centre for Research on Globalization based in Montreal, Quebec. The Global Research website, GlobalResearch.ca, publishes news articles, commentary, background research and analysis. Michel Chossudovsky is the author of 11 books, including The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, War and Globalization: The Truth Behind September 11th, America’s War on Terrorism, The Globalization of War: America’s Long War Against Humanity as well as co-editor of the anthology, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the 21st Century. All books are available at GlobalResearch.ca.

Guns and Butter is produced by Bonnie Faulkner, Yarrow Mahko and Tony Rango.

Visit us at gunsandbutter.org to listen to past programs, comment on shows, or join our email list to receive our newsletter that includes recent shows and updates. Email us at faulkner@gunsandbutter.org. Follow us on Twitter at gandbradio.

This transcript is a project of globalresearch.ca and gunsandbutter.org

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Karen Hudes – World Bank in Collusion with the Jesuits.


NWO

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‘Kremlin List’ portrays those featured as ‘enemies of US,’ signals ‘breakdown of ties’

‘Kremlin List’ portrays those featured as ‘enemies of US,’ signals ‘breakdown of ties’
Moscow has reacted to the US Treasury ‘Kremlin List’ by saying it is tantamount to a breakdown of ties, de facto calling those featured “enemies” of Washington. The list includes the whole Russian government.

“You can see that de facto everybody [included on the list] is called an enemy of the US,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, stated on Tuesday.

He added that the text and the headline of the document are written in accordance with the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, signed into law by US President Donald Trump in 2017.

The spokesman said that the list has created an “unprecedented situation” and will be further analyzed in Moscow.

Earlier, top Russian senator Vladimir Dzhabarov said that the move amounts to almost a complete breakdown of ties between Moscow and Washington.

Formally our countries have relations, but including in the sanctions list almost all our country’s leadership means that those relations automatically break down,” Dzhabarov, who is First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs noted.

He also called it “gross interference” in Russia’s internal affairs.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said earlier on Tuesday that the US Treasury’s ‘Kremlin List’ resembles a Who’s Who of Russian politics.

Dvorkovich said he was not surprised to find his name on the list.

“As a member of the government, I was obliged to be on this list, the entire government is there, so there is nothing surprising. It is a list of individuals who are obviously the leading ones in Russian politics and business. This is not a sanctions list; it’s a list which is used for further decisions and assessments. We will continue to monitor the situation. There are no grounds for any action yet,” he told journalists in Novosibirsk.

US Treasury’s list resembles ‘Kremlin telephone book’ rewritten by US special services – Russian Senator https://on.rt.com/8y0p 

The US Treasury’s ‘Kremlin List’ infringes on the principles of relations between the countries, making cooperation with Russia in different spheres practically impossible, Frants Klintsevich, the deputy head of a Russian upper house committee, said.

“I do not know what will follow this report, but its very appearance is unprecedented,” he noted.

The US Treasury’s list resembles a “Kremlin telephone book,”rewritten by the US special services, Senator Konstantin Kosachev said. It simply points to the fact that US intelligence “is desperate to find some provable compromising material on Russian politicians,”Kosachev wrote on Facebook.

Business Ombudsman Boris Titov, who is also the leader of Russia’s Party of Growth, said he was “taken aback” when he found his name on the list.

Noting that the US list also featured Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, and Anna Kuznetsova, the children’s rights commissioner for the Russian president, Titov likened the measure to a kidney punch. “They [the US] hit the ‘pianists’ playing for everyone, not for those in power. They have hit those who decent people usually do not shoot,” Titov told Interfax on Tuesday. “Our job is to protect people from those in power… apparently, it is advantageous for the [US] to reduce the effectiveness of civil institutions [in Russia].”

The list came under fire from Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who is also named.

“Such lists could not be thought of even in the worst periods of history. Measures like these do not split, they unite [people],” he wrote on VKontakte (VK).

The US Treasury’s list features a total of 114 Russian political figures, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, head of Russian Security Service (FSB) Aleksandr Bortnikov, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, as well as all Russian ministers, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu among them.

The ‘Kremlin List’ also names as many as 96 Russian businessmen – from the heads of the biggest banks to heads of major transport companies. It also includes top Russian businessmen Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich.


Qatar to expand largest US airbase in MidEast to make it permanent, plans to host Navy

Qatar to expand largest US airbase in MidEast to make it permanent, plans to host Navy
Qatar plans to add 200 more housing units to the Al-Udeid Air Base, crucial to the US-led counter-terrorist campaign, so that US troops deployed there on a permanent basis can feel “at home,” Qatar’s defense minister said.

Among far-reaching plans outlined by Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, Minister of State for Defense and Deputy Minister of Qatar, the Gulf kingdom is renovating its naval ports so that the US Navy can be deployed to the country in addition to some 10,000 US servicemen stationed at Al-Udeid air base near Doha.

To ensure the US troops lack nothing during their long-term deployment, Qatar “have decided immediately to build 200 units for the officers and officers’ families,” as well as a new school within the compound.

“It will very soon become a family-oriented place for our American friends there. We want more of the families to be stable and feel more comfortable in their stay,” Attiyah said, speaking at the discussion hosted by the US-think tank the Heritage Foundation on Sunday.

Calling Al-Udeid a “full city” in itself, the minister reiterated the Americans are always “welcome” in the country “regardless of what the region thinks.”

He also for the first time revealed a “big plan” by Qatar to “make Al-Udeid permanent.”

“Colleagues in the US Department of Defense are reluctant to mention the word permanent, but we are working from our side to make it permanent,” he stressed.

The minister estimated that “80 percent of aerial refueling in the region is from Udeid,” meaning that the bulk of the US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria would be impossible if not for Qatar’s cooperation.

“We’re the ones that keep your birds flying,” he noted.

The base has been home to the US Combined Air Operations Center for the Middle East since 2003 and has gained on importance for the US military since the launch of the US-led coalition campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The ongoing strife between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Yemen, which cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June last year, accusing it of supporting terrorism, sparked concerns that the base could be caught in the diplomatic crosshairs. Despite US President Donald Trump escalating the row by, in turn, branding Qatar a “high-level sponsor of terrorism” at the onset of the crisis, the US and Qatari military did not cease cooperation and even called a joint exercise.

“Our missions out of Al Udeid Air Base are continuing and have not been impacted,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said at the time.

The Saudi-led block imposed a travel and economic blockade on Qatar and set a 13-point ultimatum with which Doha refused to comply, denouncing the allegations against it as “lies” and launching complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the boycott. The resulting stalemate forced Washington to halt some military exercises with Gulf countries in October.

READ MORE:UAE museum ‘annexes’ Omani territory, deletes Qatar in map mishaps

According to Attiyah, it’s up to Trump to end the lingering conflict for which he needs only to pick up a phone and make a number of calls.

“At the moment, I think the only person who can solve the GCC crisis is President Trump. And I think he can solve it in a phone call,” the minister said, adding that although Qatar “can discuss anything,” it will not tolerate pre-conditions and will not give up its sovereignty.

“We’re tough people. We don’t accept pre-conditions. But at the same time, we’re very open to discuss issues that worry them,” he stressed, noting that the only beneficiaries of the crisis are actual terrorists.

The Worst of the Nasty Odors Stinking Up Our World Today……..

Jewish Supremacism–The Worst of the Nasty Odors Stinking Up Our World Today

 

It’s never a small slice of heaven when someone (obviously handicapped viz-a-viz grasping the finer points of social etiquette) decides it’s in his or her best interest to fumigate the area with an unannounced (and unwanted) digestive eruption. Worse still are those who somehow get their kicks from doing it, and who can’t imagine a funnier, wittier way of telling a joke than to shit their pants and stink the place up and watch the subsequent reactions from the innocent victims around him.

They exist, for sure, and just WHY on earth they engage in such behavior will forever remain a mystery, even to the best and brightest amongst us. Best explanation is that it’s just bad rearing, plain and simple. After all, even dogs don’t foul their own areas and that’s not something they even have to be taught…

There are other times however–as crazy as it sounds–that despite it not being a little slice of heaven nevertheless can be an absolute Godsend when Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so has an ‘announcement’ to make and does so in a manner bold, brash and without the slightest concern for what may come afterwards.

I know what you’re saying, but believe me, it’s true. There are some people who’ve got the world fooled concerning their social status and who use that artificially-created status to wreak havoc on our otherwise pleasing-to-the nose world. Essentially rotten to the core, nevertheless the perfume they use in masking their true nature results in them having the world wrapped around their finger to the point that no matter what they do they come out of it smelling like a rose.

Given enough time however, they eventually do themselves in with their own arrogance. Thinking the rest of us are too stupid or that our sense of smell is too dulled to ever figure out who dunnit, inevitably they tire of holding in it and let loose with something that would wake the dead.

One such case occurred recently, although to relatively little fanfare. Had it been anyone else, and particularly from the Muslim community, why the country where the little eruption had taken place would already have been bombed into oblivion and its leaders sent an invoice for the bullets. The event in question, although certainly not easy on the nostrils, nevertheless is one of those cases for which we should all thank the maker, given that it goes a long way towards explaining why our little Garden of Eden has turned into such a cesspool these days.

Imagine the scene…a synagogue–a PLACE OF WORSHIP, FOR GOD’S SAKE–and not just ANY place of worship, but indeed in the very headquarters of God Himself–Israel…He–Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas party–mounts the steps to the podium, clears his throat, adjusts his glasses, shuffles his papers, opens his mouth to speak, and then, with no warning whatsoever–

KABOOM.

–belches out a whopper of a heart-stopper that could (or at least SHOULD) have been heard from space.

“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow and reap while we Jews sit like an effendi (royalty) and eat…That is why gentiles were created…Their sole purpose is to serve Jews…Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the people of Israel…In Israel, death has no dominion over them…With gentiles, it is like with any other person – they need to die, but God gives them longevity. Why? Because this (the gentile) is his servant…Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. That’s why he (the gentile) gets a long life, to work well for the Jew…”

Now, lest some assume the ol’ Rebbe had a sudden attack of indigestion that caused all this ill wind to burst forth and pollute an otherwise breathable/livable environment, think again. Why, it was just a mere few weeks ago where he was heard giving a sermon calling down genocide against Gentiles simply based on their status as such. And he is not alone, as he and his fellow travelers are no longer bothering to hide anymore the foul air coursing through the bowels of Jewish thinking. Anyone needing proof merely get a copy of ‘The King’s Torah’ written by Rabbi Shapira, with its licensing of murdering Gentiles, even innocent children, if it passes the Jewish sniff test.

Nor should we make the mistake of assuming their stinking up the place is limited to just belching such racist, elitist comments as the dirty old man and his fellow perverts are wont to do. It is an across-the-board phenomenon. Actually the statements–as raunchy as they are to both the nostrils and the soul, are mild compared to what happens when they are put into practice–

Operation Cast Lead. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The daily murder of Palestinian children ‘for sport’. Harvesting organs from Gentiles at gunpoint. Economic exploitation/ruination. De-moralizing entire swaths of civilization through unchallenged Jewish domination of the media. The complete corruption of every political office all the way up to the President all the way down to the county dog catcher.

Yes, that’s right ladies and germs, the nose knows and it is definitely not a case of ‘the one who smelt it dealt it’. And yes, as bad as it is, as much as it causes our eyes to water and our throats to burn, we should be rejoicing whenever stink bombs like this go off. The urge to pinch the nose, cover the mouth and start looking around frantically for a polite place to throw up is completely understandable, but the fact is that we need this, BIG TIME. Despite touching off our collective gag reflex and leaving us gasping for fresh air, nevertheless this (and other similar events) will be their undoing and our salvation one day. Why?

Because, it’s exactly the kind of rude, crude, and socially-unacceptable ‘cheese-cutting’ like this that exposes the artiste for the true, face-down-in-the-gutter barbarian he is and leaves no doubts concerning his civility and bearing. Remember all that stuff dealing with a ‘light among nations’ and a ‘holy, priestly people’ we have been fed since our earliest days at Sunday school?

Well, what could be more raw and undiluted than this? There’s nothing ‘silent but deadly’ about it. It’s as loud as any typical Jewish military campaign–be it Gaza or Iraq–resulting in the killing or wounding of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children and prime efface evidence as to why there is this thing known as ‘the Jewish problem’ in the world, and more importantly, why there always has been.

He didn’t just think this up yesterday. This kind of thinking is as old as the hills. In these kind of raw, unvarnished, uncensored ‘Rabbis Gone Wild’ vignettes, we get to see the real face of the creature we are dealing with here, the REAL face of Jewish thinking that has got us all by the family jewels these days. Why is there this thing known as war in the Middle East? SIMPLE–IMAGINE THESE ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS–people who shit on your front porch, smear it all over your door and then shoot you when you complain about it or try to clean it up. People who view the rest of us as their God-appointed slaves, or, in the rebbe’s own words, no better than donkeys–JACKASSES.

Doubtless those within the Jewish community, and particularly the organized Jewish groups whose job is to walk around with a can of air freshener anytime someone from within la famiglia engages in such business will embarrassingly explain away little faux pas such as these with the excuse that it does not represent ‘true’ Judaism that carries the effervescence of heaven and everything good and that this was just an unusual attack of spiritual indigestion.

To which all of us ‘in the know’ can respond with an emphatic ‘BULLSHIT’, no pun intended. This is the real deal. All that fluff we have been told–certainly throughout the centuries but specifically in the last 60 years or so–about the Jews just wanting to ‘live in peace’ with others, how they are ‘misunderstood’ and ‘helpless victims to anti-Shemitism’ all just got flushed right down the crapper with that little slip of the tongue. In the 60 or so seconds that it took the ol’ Rebbe to have his bowel movement of the heart, mind, and soul, he made clear to the entire world why Jews have been hated throughout history and always will be, as long as they entertain such thoughts. How does that old saying go–‘Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks?’ Truer words were never spoken.

Now, fortunately for those of us in the jackass community, we will get it. We will be able to competently put 2 and 2 together in coming up with 4. Sadly however, they–those who live by words such as those uttered by the ol’ Rebbe, will not. Rather, they will continue with the eternal drama, crying out loud with all their typical fanfare whenever there is some eruption of anti-Jewish activity with ‘Woe…woe…woe…Why us, Lord?…WHY US…?’

The Italians–God bless ‘em, have an old saying that pretty much sums it up–

‘Gli ospiti come sono pesci. Dopo tre giorni, puzza…’

–Which, when translated goes something like this–

‘Guests are like fish…After 3 days, its stinks…’

And even moreso for unwanted ones, and if there were ever a more unwelcome and uninvited guest to the dinner table of nations, it is Israel and her extended family of racists, narcissists, murderers and thugs.

As with all mixed blessings, we, the jackasses of humanity, can take solace in the fact that the continued belching of such foul, sulphuric comments from more and more Jewish leaders worldwide will inevitably result in a much-needed clearing of the air, and hopefully–not just an enduring, but indeed–a permanent one.

© 2010 Mark Glenn


Jerusalem Killings: Zionist Terror Comes Home to Roost

The attack by two Palestinians on a synagogue in Jerusalem in which four orthodox Jews were killed, is not a random act but rather the sad consequence of Zionist terrorism committed against the Palestinian people over a period of decades.

As tragic as the recent killings are—and we here at DavidDuke.com condemn all bloodshed, no matter who commits them—the reality is that they were the work of people driven to extremism and violence by the behavior of Jewish Supremacists.

The huge coverage of the attack in Jerusalem has made worldwide front pages news—but the Jewish Supremacist-controlled mass media will censor out the reasons why such a terrible act has occurred.
In addition, they will not mention the almost daily acts of terrorism committed by the Zionists against the Palestinians.

cnn-terror

The history of violence in Palestine is as old as the Zionist movement. Prior to the decision by the World Zionist Congress in 1897, Jews and Palestinians lived alongside each other in Palestine in relative peace.

The Palestinians, although subjects of the Ottoman Empire, regarded themselves as a nation in their own right, and had no particular argument with the small Jewish and Christian communities in their land.

However, the launch of the Zionist movement, which was a new manifestation of Jewish Supremacism, changed this relationship. Suddenly, the full weight of international Jewish organizations was brought to bear in the Jewish colonization of Palestine.

From the late 1890s onwards, increasing numbers of Jews were brought to Palestine, legally and illegally, by the Zionist movement. Each new wave of Jewish settlers resulted in the displacement of the Palestinian population—and when the latter protested, the Zionists turned to naked terrorism to drive their enemies away.

After Palestine came under British rule at the end of the First World War, the Zionists increased their violence against the Palestinians to push ahead with their plan to seize Palestine.

The British, sympathetic to Zionism and to the plight of the Palestinians, attempted to strike a balance—but the unreasonableness and violence of the Jewish Supremacists forced their hand, and soon a state of war existed between the Zionists and the British mandate authority in Palestine.

Anti-Zionist demonstration at Damascus Gate, 8 March 1920.
Anti-Zionist demonstration at Damascus Gate, 8 March 1920.

During this period—from 1920 to 1948—Zionist terrorists carried out attacks through groups such as the Irgun, the Lehi (also known as the Stern gang), the Haganah and the Palmach. Their victims were the British authorities and Palestinians alike, all with the aim of driving both those groups out of Palestine.

For example, the “Nebi Musa” riots broke out in 1920 after gangs of Zionists attacked Muslims during the Muslim celebration of that name in Jerusalem (as reported in The Times of April 8, 1920).

In 1929, the so-called “Palestine Riots,” also known as the “Western Wall Uprising,” or the “1929 Massacres” took place, when clashes broke out after Zionists started erecting segregated prayer facilities at the “Western Wall” in Jerusalem to separate themselves from the Palestinians. These constructions violated the until-then observed rule that not Muslims, Christians or Jews would build any structure in Jerusalem which interfered with any group’s access to the holy sites in the city.

Hundreds of people on both sides were killed, and many more injured—most of the latter wounds being inflicted by the British authorities attempting to restore order.

A Palestinian protest gathering in session in the Rawdat el Maaref hall, following the 1929 violence.
A Palestinian protest gathering in session in the Rawdat el Maaref hall, following the 1929 violence.
Palestinians demonstrate in Jaffa's central square against the plans of the British government to increase Zionist immigration into Palestine, 27 October 1933.
Palestinians demonstrate in Jaffa’s central square against the plans of the British government to increase Zionist immigration into Palestine, 27 October 1933.

By the mid 1930s, it was clear to the Palestinian leadership that unless something drastic was done, the rate of Jewish colonization of Palestine would inevitably—and soon—result in the extinction of the Palestinian people.

After suffering decades of Zionist terror, some Palestinians started fighting back in 1936—and this signaled a dramatic upturn in the violence.

The beginning of the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. British riot police clash with Palestinian demonstrators protesting Britain's pro-Zionist policies (specifically increasing Zionist immigration into Palestine), Central Square, Jaffa, 12 June 1936.
The beginning of the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. British riot police clash with Palestinian demonstrators protesting Britain’s pro-Zionist policies (specifically increasing Zionist immigration into Palestine), Central Square, Jaffa, 12 June 1936.

In the 11 years leading up to the creation of the state of Israel in Palestine in 1948, Zionist extremists who lived in the territory of Palestine under the British Mandate used terrorism as a military strategy to accelerate the establishment of an independent Jewish state.

Their violence was directed against the British authorities who governed Palestine and against the Palestinian indigenous population throughout Palestine.

Over 5,000 Palestinians and dozens of British military personnel in the Zio-terror attacks of that time.

While Zionist terrorist groups assassinated UN personnel, murdered British officers and attacked British military headquarters to overthrow the Mandate, they terrorized Palestinian inhabitants in order to provoke mass flight, displacement and migration.

The Irgun was one of the main Jewish terrorist organizations, and their attacks included:

• Al-Quds massacre, December 1937: Member of the Irgun hurled a hand grenade at the marketplace near al-Quds mosque, killing and injuring dozens.

• Haifa massacre, March 1938: Members of the Irgun and Lehi gang throw grenades at Haifa market, killing 18, and injuring 38.

• Haifa massacre, July 1938: The Irgun explodes booby trapped vehicles in Haifa market, killing 21 and injuring 52.

• Balad El-Sheik Village Attack, June 1939: This Palestinian village was attacked by members of the Haganah, the Main Jewish Defense. Five villagers were kidnapped and murdered.

• King David Hotel Bombing, July 1946: Led by Menachem Begin, the Irgun planned and carried out the bombing of the King David Hotel, the British military headquarters in Jerusalem in July 1946 in order to destroy documents proving the terrorist campaigns of Zionist groups. The attack killed 28 Britons, 17 Jews, 41 Palestinians and 5 others for a total of 91 victims.

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• Attack on the British Officers’ Club at Goldschmidt House, March 1947: This Jerusalem attack killed 17 British military and intelligence officers.

• In July 1947, the Irgun kidnapped, tortured, murdered and mutilated the bodies of two British army Intelligence Corps soldiers, Sergeant Clifford Martin and Sergeant Mervyn Paice.

A precursor to ISIS: Two British soldiers executed by the Jewish terrorist organization Irgun, July 1947. A copy of the Irgun's execution orders is pinned to one of the soldiers. . The bodies had been mutilated, with their penises cut off. The area around the bodies had been mined, and the bodies booby-trapped—so that when the first body was cut down it exploded, wounding a British officer.
A precursor to ISIS: Two British soldiers executed by the Jewish terrorist organization Irgun, July 1947. A copy of the Irgun’s execution orders is pinned to one of the soldiers. . The bodies had been mutilated, with their penises cut off. The area around the bodies had been mined, and the bodies booby-trapped—so that when the first body was cut down it exploded, wounding a British officer.

• Bombing of the Jerusalem Railway Station, October 1947: The Irgun bombed the Jerusalem Railway Station in addition to mining roads and attacking army vehicles.

During World War II, some Zionist terrorist groups called a temporary halt in their terror campaign against the British, but continued it against the Palestinians.

Some of the Zionist terrorist groups—such as Lehi—even continued attacking the British, and famously offered, in writing, to fight on Germany’s side as late as 1941 if the Hitler government would agree to recognize a Jewish state in Palestine (the offer was turned down by the National Socialist rulers of Germany).

The Lehi committed the following acts of terrorism:

• Assassination of Lord Moyne, November 1944: Assassinated in Cairo, Egypt, Lord Moyne was the highest ranking British government representative in the Middle East at the time. The Lehi targeted him because of his support for a Middle Eastern Arab Federation.

Wanted Poster of the British Palestine Police Force offering rewards for the capture of Zionist Stern Gang terrorists: Jaacov Levstein (Eliav), Yitzhak Yezernitzky (also known as Yitzhak Shamir, later to become a Prime Minster of Israel), and Natan Friedman-Yelin, all for violent terrorist acts committed against the Palestinian people. Shamir later boasted of killing Lord Moyne in 1944.
Wanted Poster of the British Palestine Police Force offering rewards for the capture of Zionist Stern Gang terrorists: Jaacov Levstein (Eliav), Yitzhak Yezernitzky (also known as Yitzhak Shamir, later to become a Prime Minster of Israel), and Natan Friedman-Yelin, all for violent terrorist acts committed against the Palestinian people. Shamir later boasted of killing Lord Moyne in 1944.

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• Cairo-Haifa Train Bombings, Early 1948: A few months before the 1948 Israeli-Arab war, the Cairo-Haifa train was bombed several times, attacks claimed by or attributed to the Lehi. An attack in February killed 28 British soldiers, and wounded 35 more. An attack in March killed 40 civilians, and wounded 60 more.

The Cairo to Haifa express train carrying British troops was sabotaged by Jewish terrorists, killing five soldiers and 3 civilians.
The Cairo to Haifa express train carrying British troops was sabotaged by Jewish terrorists, killing five soldiers and 3 civilians.

• Deir Yassin Massacre, April 1948: Commandos of Lehi and Irgun headed by Menachim Begin attacked Deir Yassin, a village of 700 Palestinians, ultimately killing between 100 and 120 villagers.5 The Master Mind behind the Deir Yassin massacre, Begin justified the attack in his book The Revolt: “Arabs throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of ‘Irgun butchery, ’were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede.”

The Deir Yassin massacre. Today  Israel's "Holocaust" memorial Yad Vahsem, overlooks the site.
The Deir Yassin massacre. Today Israel’s “Holocaust” memorial Yad Vahsem, overlooks the site.

• Assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, September, 1948: Count Bernadotte, a UN Peace mediator who had come to the Middle East 1948 to modify the Palestine partition plan in an effort to resolve Arab-Jewish disputes, was also assassinated by the group.

Wanted Poster of the British Palestine Police Force offering rewards for the capture of Zionist Igrun terrorists: Menachem Bergin (circled, later a Prime Minster of Israel), Arieh Ben Eliezer, Leib Boykjo, Reuben Franco and Marek Kahane.
Wanted Poster of the British Palestine Police Force offering rewards for the capture of Zionist Igrun terrorists: Menachem Bergin (circled, later a Prime Minster of Israel), Arieh Ben Eliezer, Leib Boykjo, Reuben Franco and Marek Kahane.

• On 12 December, Irgun placed a car bomb opposite the Damascus Gate, killing 20 people.

• On 4 January 1948, the Lehi detonated a lorry bomb in Jaffa’s Town Hall, killing 15 Arabs and injuring 80.

• During the night between January 5 and 6, 1948, the Haganah bombed the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 24 people.

• On January 7, 1948, Irgun members in a stolen police van rolled a barrel bomb into a large group of civilians who were waiting for a bus by the Jaffa Gate, killing around 16.

• On February 17, 1948, an Irgun bomb went off in the Ramla market, killing 7 residents and injuring 45.

• On February 28, 1948, the Palmah organized a bombing attack against a garage at Haifa, killing 30 people.

After the establishment of the state of Israel, these terrorists were incorporated into the Jewish state. Menachem Begin transformed the Irgun into a political party called Herut. The Lehi became the Moledet party which today continues to openly advocate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, territories now occupied by Israel.

Terrorist leaders Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir later became Prime Ministers of Israel.

Palestinians driven into the sea at Jaffa Harbor, late April 1948. With the land routes cut off by the Haganah, tens of thousands of the citizens of Jaffa and neighboring villages fled by boat: south to Gaza and Egypt, and north to Lebanon.
Palestinians driven into the sea at Jaffa Harbor, late April 1948. With the land routes cut off by the Haganah, tens of thousands of the citizens of Jaffa and neighboring villages fled by boat: south to Gaza and Egypt, and north to Lebanon.

The record of the Zionist state since then, with regard to its treatment of the Palestinian people is well known. Repeated acts of terrorism, violence, ethnic cleansing, racist discrimination and expulsions have marked the decades since 1948, with the latest “Operation Protective Edge” which killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, women and children alike.

Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”—is it any wonder that Palestinians are driven mad with revenge?
Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”—is it any wonder that Palestinians are driven mad with revenge?

The best summary one can have for the continued loss of Palestinian land due to Zionist terrorism can however been seen in this map, which shows Palestinian territory in green, marked from 1947 to the present day.

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The attitude of Jewish Surpemacists to their enemies in the Middle East is not limited to Palestine.

Who can forget former Secretary of State and Jewish Supremacist Madeleine Albright who said that 500,000 dead Iraqi Children was “worth it”…..she went on to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama.

Only when the full history of violence and bloodshed—as committed by the Zionists against the Palestinians—is understood, can the recent actions of a handful of extremists in Jerusalem be explained. The sad deaths in Jerusalem are the consequences of decades of Zionist terrorism coming home to roost.

How They Do It–Discussing Iran, Netanyahu Meets Putin and says ‘Holocaust Teaches Us to Stand Up to Murderous Ideologies’

Netanyahu accompanies Putin to a new exhibit on the Sobibor death camp in the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow

Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Moscow to discuss Iran’s meddling in Syria and Lebanon.

As they headed into their meeting Netanyahu said: “I think that the main lesson of the rise of the Nazis and then the defeat of the Nazis is that we have to face murderous ideologies in time and with power.”

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“This is our mission today as well,” Netanyahu said, noting that their meetng was to focus on the countries’ “joint efforts to promote security and stability in our region, and of course our mutual cooperation between Russia and Israel.”

The two leaders were meeting at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, where together they toured a new exhibit on the Sobibor death camp. At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu emphasized that both countries had a “common struggle against the greatest evil that humanity has known.” He also stated “the awful price paid by the Jewish people, and the Russian people, and the great sacrifice of 20 million Russians alongside our 6 million, and the heroism of the Red Army in achieving victory over the Nazis.”

Netanyahu is expected to raise Israel’s right to operate to prevent the smuggling of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syrian territory.

Before Netanyahu flew for the lightning five-hour visit to meet Putin Monday, he said such coordination was essential to stymie Iranian attempts to solidify their forces on the ground there.

“This is something we are adamantly opposed to and are working to stop,” Netanyahu said in comments just before flying to Moscow.

Netanyahu said he and Putin will also be talking about Iranian inroads in Lebanon, Israel’s northern neighbor. He said Iran was trying “to turn Lebanon into one big missile site, a site for manufacturing precision missiles against the State of Israel. This is something we are not prepared to tolerate.”

Netanyhahu was accompanied by Minister Zeev Elkin, a member of the security cabinet who is considered to have close ties with Russian officials, as well as National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and outgoing Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi.

The meeting, which was set up earlier this month during a telephone conversation in which the two leaders exchanged New Year’s greetings, also dealt with U.S. President Donald Trump’s ultimatum to Europe on amending the nuclear deal with Iran.

On the issue of Iran’s growing presence in both Syria and Lebanon, Israel’s main goal is to maintain its freedom of action in both countries’ airspace.

Israeli officials have said they retain the right to operate to prevent the smuggling of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syrian territory.

The Israeli delegation will also seek to understand how Russia envisions its future involvement in the region and to gauge how strongly it opposes the American effort to reopen the nuclear deal.

Specifically, although Israel has assumed the Russians would oppose any changes in the agreement, Netanyahu has been keen to find out how willing they are to put themselves on the line over this issue.

Netanyahu’s visit with Putin to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center’s new exhibit of the Sobibor death camp had symoblic resonance after a diplomatic crisis erupted between Israel and Russia after Poland decided not to include Russia in a project to build a museum and memorial to the camp’s victims in which Israel was included.

The Nazis closed Sobibor following an uprising led by Alexander Pechersky, a Jewish officer in the Soviets’ Red Army, and Russia was angry at Israel over its exclusion from the project even though Israel made clear that it had no objection to Russian participation.

Netanyahu’s visit to the Jewish Museum was meant to ease this crisis. But it is also a way for Russia to poke Poland in the eye, just after Poland’s parliament infuriated Israel by passing a law which is widely seen as suppressing discussion of the role Poles played in the Holocaust.

Last month, Putin made a surprise visit to a military base in Syria and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad there. The Kremlin said at the time that “Russia gave the broadest military backing to the government in Syria, our longtime ally, in the country’s civil war.” According to that announcement, Putin said once again that Russia would withdraw its troops from the country, but would leave limited forces at the Hemeimeem air force base, near Latakiya, as well as at the naval base in Tartus. The Russian president also said that if terrorism in Syria “raises its head,” Russia will strike back at the terrorists with full force.

In a speech to the soldiers, after announcing the withdrawal of troops, Putin said: “Friends, the homeland awaits you.” Russian television footage shows Putin getting off the plane at the military base and shaking hands with Assad. According to Russian media reports, Assad thanked Putin for his soldiers’ contribution to the fighting in Syria.

About three weeks earlier, Assad visited Russia. According to the Kremlin’s announcement at the time, the leaders agreed that the focus of efforts in Syria were changing from a military operation to “eradicate terror,” to the search for a political solution. “We have a long way to go before we declare a complete victory over the terrorists, but the military operation is indeed in its final stages,” Putin said, after the meeting in Sochi, on the Black Sea. “I think the most important thing now, of course, is political questions.”

Shortly after his meeting with Assad in Russia, Putin held a summit on the issue of Syria with Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At the meeting, Rohani said that the foreign involvement in Syria should be ended but that any foreign presence in the country would be acceptable on condition the foreigners were invited by the Syrian government. Rohani did not mention specific countries. He added that the last terror cells in Syria must be uprooted and that conditions are ripe for a political settlement.

Assassination : Two Israelis participated in Hamas assassination attempt, reveals Lebanon

Smoke rises from parked vehicle belonging to Muhammed Hamdan, who is allegedly member of Hamas, after it exploded in Sidon, Lebanon on January 14, 2018 [Ali Hankir / Anadolu Agency]

Smoke rises from parked vehicle belonging to Mohamed Hamdan, member of Hamas, after it exploded in Sidon, Lebanon on January 14, 2018 [Ali Hankir / Anadolu Agency]
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Lebanese security forces revealed on Monday that two Israeli officers participated in the assassination attempt on Hamas official Mohamed Hamdan in Sidon two weeks ago. According to Al-Akhbar, Israeli intelligence not only commissioned local agents to kill Hamdan, but also had its own team in Lebanon; an Israeli woman planted the bomb and her male colleague detonated it. They left the country using Georgian, Swedish and Iraqi passports.

After the assassination attempt, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz told the Zionist state’s Army Radio, “If Israel was involved in the bombing, then the target would not survive with minor injuries.” Nobody is fooled by this attempt at a disclaimer.

The information obtained by Al-Akhbar indicates that investigators uncovered the Israeli officers’ false identities and photographs, the date that they entered and left Lebanon, their respective roles in the operation and the nationality they made use of in order to move inside Lebanon freely. Lebanon’s Intelligence Gathering Division also identified two Lebanese suspects: Mohammed H travelled to Turkey overnight on 15 January, where he was arrested by local officers after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri contacted Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. The suspect claimed that he was an Israeli citizen to avoid being extradited back to Lebanon; he is now known to have been working for the Israelis for at least five years. Sources told Al-Akhbar that he revealed that surveillance of Hamdan’s movements began more than seven months ago, before he moved to his home where the assassination attempt took place.

Hamas: Initial indications point to Israeli involvement in Hamdan assassination attempt

According to investigators, the second Israeli agent was Mohammed B, who was the main operative in this operation. He was responsible for monitoring Hamdan closely, using a warehouse he rented near the Hamas leader’s house on the pretext of storing clothes. The warehouse was apparently cleared of incriminating evidence before the operation took place. Mohammed B left Lebanon overnight on 14 January to Turkey then headed for the Netherlands via Rome. His role was not restricted to surveillance. His superiors told him to accompany a woman from Beirut to Sidon in order to plant the bomb that was placed under Hamdan’s car.

Smoke rises from parked vehicle belonging to Muhammed Hamdan, who is allegedly member of Hamas, after it exploded in Sidon, Lebanon on January 14, 2018 [Ali Hankir / Anadolu Agency]

Smoke rises from parked vehicle belonging to Mohamed Hamdan, member of Hamas, after it exploded in Sidon, Lebanon on January 14, 2018 [Ali Hankir / Anadolu Agency]

Mohammed B and the unknown woman moved to Sidon at night on Thursday 11 January. It is understood that they wanted to plant the bomb that night because Hamdan used his car only on Fridays and Sundays, due to the school where he teaches being closed on those days. They were disturbed by one of Hamdan’s neighbours, who told intelligence officers that he questioned their presence in the car park. The man believed to be Mohammed B told him that he wanted to wash his hands and that he was from the warehouse. He also mentioned the name of the building’s porter, saying that he was aware of their presence.

After speaking to witnesses, the Lebanese investigators built up a picture of Mohammed B. When he was identified, they interrogated his wife and family members and obtained photographs of him. They also drew a sketch of the woman, whom the witnesses said had East Asian features and wore glasses.

Mohammed B and the unknown women eventually planted the bomb on Saturday night, 13 January, and then went to Beirut. She left the country through Beirut International Airport to go to Qatar, and from there to a third country that has not yet been determined.

Assassination attempt on Hamas official in Lebanon leaves him wounded

On Sunday morning, 14 January, Mohammed B went with an unknown man to Sidon and watched Hamdan’s car from more than 100 metres away. Hamdan opened the car door and started the engine before getting inside; this probably saved him for more serious injury or death, because the bomb was detonated by the unknown Israeli, who thought that the Hamas man had got into the driver’s seat.

After a detailed investigation, both of the Israelis were identified from their no doubt false passports. The man used dual nationality Iraqi and Swedish passports, and the woman used Georgian documents. The investigators are looking into the possibility that more Israeli agents were involved.

Security and political sources in Lebanon hinted at the similarities between the assassination attempt and the killing of Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai in early 2010, and the role of Israeli intelligence in the operation. Most of the hit squad in Dubai are known to have been Israelis using false passports of other states.


How Mossad blew it: The gripping story of how Israel’s ‘brutally efficient’ secret service botched that Dubai assassination

The time was 8.30pm. In the lobby of the five-star hotel in Dubai, soft music was playing as expensively dressed people gathered for dinner.

Up in the second-floor corridor, a middle-aged guest was nonchalantly returning to his room, number 230. When he opened the door, there were four men – all highly trained killers, all wearing baseball caps – waiting for him.

They quickly overpowered the unsuspecting guest, and jabbed a needle in his leg. It contained succinylcholine, a muscle relaxant used in anaesthetics. Quick-acting and powerful, it began to paralyse the victim’s muscles – his breathing would soon stop, then his heart. But the hitmen could not wait for its effects to run their course; time was of the essence as they were afraid of discovery.

Assassins: Two of the killers follow al-Mabhouh (bottom) to find out what room he is staying in

Assassins: Two of the killers follow Mahmoud al-Mabhouh (bottom) to find out what Dubai hotel room he is staying in. The Irish government today called on Israel to withdraw an employee at its Dublin embassy

Through the spy hole in the door they could see maids and porters passing in the corridor, and they knew the unblinking eyes of CCTV cameras had already recorded their movements in the public parts of the hotel.

Impatiently, one of the four assassins seized a pillow and pushed it down hard on the face of the man as he lay semi-conscious on the bed. As his life ebbed away, they quickly placed a medicine bottle on the bedside table to make it look as if he took medication for heart problems.

They also rearranged the bedclothes to make it look as though their victim had just laid down for a rest, and replaced the pillow. They did not notice that a small spot of their victim’s blood had got on to the pillow as they suffocated him.

Then, they slipped out using a special device to lock the door and put the chain on from the outside, leaving the ‘Do not disturb’ notice swinging gently from the handle.

They were gone from the hotel within minutes, and from Dubai within hours.

At this stage, it looked as though they had got away with it. This was a murder mystery that was intended to be just that – a mystery that would never be investigated, let alone solved.

But the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas commander and alleged Palestinian arms dealer, in the Al Bustan Rotana hotel was badly bungled – the assassination team were all caught on CCTV and, inevitably, the killing caused an international storm.

It was not so much the murder itself that caused the outcry, but the fact that the passports of 12 British citizens who live in Israel – and those of four other nations – were stolen and used by the killers.

This week, the row was reignited when the investigation by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency into the stolen passports was made public. They concluded Israeli officials had taken the passports of innocent people and secretly cloned them for use in the killing.

Soon after, the British government expelled a diplomat from the Israeli embassy. Britons visiting Israel were also advised not to hand over their passports unless strictly necessary. Israel still refuses to confirm or deny they were behind the killing.

Passport Stolen: Evan Dennings
Passport stolen: Gail Folliard
Passport stolen: Chester Halvey

Passports stolen: Evan Dennings, Gail Folliard and Chester Halvey

If it was their foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, that did it – and most of the world thinks it was – then it was not the clean, clinical hit for which they are notorious.

The question is: Why did they bungle it? To find out, I set off in the footsteps of the hit squad and their target for the BBC’s Panorama programme. I visited the malls and car parks in Dubai where they met, and the five-star hotels they stayed at.

I talked to members of the Israeli secret service, former assassins and to the families of both Mahmoud al-Mabhouh and of the Jewish men he himself had killed.

It was January 19 this year that the plot began to unfold. At Dubai airport the cameras that are everywhere in this country picked up two men, travelling on British passports, arriving from Frankfurt just after midnight.

They were the advance guard, and in the next few hours they would be joined by other members of the hit squad – co-ordinators, surveillance teams and the executioners themselves.

The team spread out in several hotels – they did not yet know where their target would stay. A blonde woman posing as Gail Folliard, and carrying an Irish passport, checked into the Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel at 1.21am, and took the glass lift to her room on the 11th floor.

She whiled away the time until dawn, ordering a snack on room service, before going out to a shopping mall, and emerging later with carrier bags.

Next stop was another hotel, where CCTV picked her up going into the toilet and emerging in different clothes and a dark wig. Gail’s cool behaviour in front of the cameras makes it clear that she, and the others, were aware of the CCTV all around them.

The disguises that Gail and others adopted – wigs, glasses, even beards – looked amateurish. But they never believed these pictures would become crucial evidence. They underestimated the ability of the Dubai police to piece together thousands of images, uncover the plot and point the finger at the Mossad.

The action shifted to the Al Bustan Rotana hotel when the target checked in that afternoon. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was travelling under a false name, and no one knows what he was doing in Dubai.

As well as a tourist destination and business hub, Dubai is a place where shady deals are done, too. Israel says Iran was supplying rockets to Hamas through al-Mabhouh, and that those rockets were fired from Gaza into Israeli cities.

Al-Mabhouh knew that he was a wanted man. A year ago, in an interview to Al Jazeera television, he said: ‘They call me the fox. I have eyes in the back of my head – the Israelis have tried to kill me three times.’

Footage proves it: A policeman talks colleagues through the video gathered from Dubai's massive network of security cameras, which showed the killers and their support team interacting

Footage proves it: A policeman talks colleagues through the video gathered from Dubai’s massive network of security cameras, which showed the killers and their support team interacting

Whatever he was up to in Dubai, al-Mabhouh wanted to keep a low profile. He brought no bodyguard, and this time ‘the fox’ was remarkably careless about his travel plans – even booking his plane over the internet.

The Al Bustan Rotana is a luxurious but low-key place, typical of the Gulf’s business hotels where hundreds of people meet and greet and stay fleetingly each day.

It was perfect for the killers – anonymous and bustling, with its large marble-floored central lobby, several lifts and long corridors with identical rooms.

Mabhouh was followed by two of the hit squad, who were dressed as tennis players. They squeezed into the lift with him to discover his room number.

Then, one of their co-conspirators called from a nearby business centre to book the room opposite – 270. Luckily for them, it was available. Over the next few hours, while al-Mabhouh was out in Dubai, some of the team moved into room 270, using it as a base to look at room 230 and set their trap.

Gail arrived, and it is clear from the CCTV that she was the co- ordinator, moving between the second floor and the look-out teams in the lobby.

At 6.32pm, the execution team arrived – four tough-looking men carrying bags, with baseball caps pulled down over their faces.

The room I stayed in at the Al Bustan was just like the ones that al-Mabhouh and the killers used – executive-style decor, a small bathroom just inside the door, which was perfect for hiding in, and the usual electronic lock operated with a key card.

Around 8pm on the night of the killing, CCTV cameras show one of the team distracting a hotel guest who is about to walk along the second-floor corridor.

At exactly this time the electronic records show someone was tampering-with the lock of room 230. When al-Mabhouh came back to his room half an hour later, the cameras in the ceiling recorded his last walk as his thick-set figure disappeared around a corner.

Fifteen minutes later he was dead. Thanks to the ‘Do not disturb’ notice the killers had left on the door, it would be 16 hours before the death was discovered.

Fatal error: Mahmoud bragged on TV about slaughtering an Israeli soldier, which is thought to have led Mossad to decide to kill him

Fatal error: Mahmoud bragged on TV about slaughtering an Israeli soldier, which is thought to have led Mossad to decide to kill him

With a bottle of medicine left by the bed, it looked at first as if he had died of natural causes. But once Hamas told the Dubai police his real identity as a top official in their military wing, the whole scenario changed and an autopsy was ordered.

This is where the biggest mistake the hit squad made was revealed.

In their rush to finish off al-Mabhouh by suffocating him, they had left a spot of blood on the pillow and bruising on his face – tell-tale signs which led to tests.

These showed he had been injected with a drug. And that meant it was murder. The CCTV footage of everyone in the hotel that night was gathered together, and the pictures were crosschecked with photos from passport scans at the airport – isolating the suspicious characters in the hotel.

That soon led to the discovery that the killers had abused the passports of five Western nations, and stolen the identities of real people in some cases.

I followed in the footsteps of the killers and their victim in Dubai, and now I wanted to know what people in Israel thought.

There was no sympathy for al-Mabhouh here – he has been wanted in Israel for murder for years.

He and two other militants, dressed as religious Jews, picked up a young soldier hitchhiking home for the weekend in southern Israel 21 years ago.

Al-Mabhouh shot Ilan Saadon at point-blank range as he got into the car, and then buried him. Saadon’s family did not know for seven years where the body was.

Last year, al-Mabhouh boasted of killing Ilan Saadon, along with another Israeli soldier, in his television interview. ‘The blood came out like a fountain, and he was shouting “Mother, mother!”‘ said al-Mabhouh.

Some Israelis believe it was this public gloating that sealed Mabhouh’s death warrant – that and his role as an arms dealer.

The family of Ilan Saadon still keep a shrine to his memory, filled with pictures of the tall, smiling, young man.

‘My mother has never got over it,’ his sister Mazal Huta told Panorama. ‘I don’t care who killed al-Mabhouh – I just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.’

That was the feeling, too, among many of the people I talked to on the streets of Tel Aviv. They nodded, smiled and winked when I asked them if Mossad was behind the hit.

It was clear what they thought, clear, too, that most people here are proud of the Mossad – they see them as the protectors of a tiny state in a hostile region.

Since the Munich Olympics in 1972, when Palestinians massacred Israeli athletes, the government has sanctioned assassinations abroad.

The Mossad systematically hunted down and killed 11 Arabs they believe were responsible for the deaths at Munich.

Israel is suspected of being behind more than 40 such killings, and since 9/11 they claim their secret war against Islamic extremism has become everyone’s battle.

‘Targeted assassination is unfortunately a necessity of this modern world,’ Rami Igra, a former senior officer in the Mossad, told me. ‘War today is not fought on the beaches of Normandy, but in the streets of London and Tel Aviv.’

How different the view is on the war-torn streets of Gaza, al-Mabhouh’s home. The posters of him are beginning to fade, but they will always see him here as a martyr and hero.

His family were not surprised to hear of his death. ‘The Israelis, the Mossad, have been after him for years,’ his father, Abdul Raouf, told me. ‘We expected this to happen one day.’

The family want western nations to take a tougher line with Israel – especially countries like Britain whose passports were used.

My last stop was the airport in Tel Aviv. On leaving the country, I must admit I hesitated for a moment before I handed over my passport.

This is one of the places which, the British detectives discovered, was a key to the passport mystery. It was here that British passport holders had their passports taken away for longer than usual by Israeli officials.

The forgeries that were made were expert, and highly likely to have been the work of a state-intelligence agency in Israel, according to the British government.

The mistakes the hit squad made – the method of killing, the passports, the failure to credit the Dubai police with the ability and determination to solve this case – have turned an unwelcome spotlight on the Mossad.

Israel is still not saying anything. But if it was the Mossad that killed al-Mabhouh – and there is every indication it was – the operation has seriously undermined the spy agency’s reputation for ruthless efficiency.

• Jane Corbin’s programme, Passports To Kill, will be shown on BBC1 at 8.30pm tonight.

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