Archive | November 24th, 2016

Turkey’s “Unofficial” Invasion: Syrian Airforce Responds by Targeting Turkish Ground Forces in Northern Aleppo

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syrian military

Last night, the Syrian Air Force delivered air strikes on the Turkish Armed Forces near the ISIS controlled town of al-Bab in northern Syria, according to local sources in the Aleppo province.

The Turkish military confirmed that three Turkish soldiers and 10 others wounded (one of them seriously)were as result of an air strikes thought to be carried by the Syrian military. The wounded soldiers were taken to the hospital in the Turkish province of Gaziantep, bordering Syria.

Ankara added that the attack occurred at around 3:30 am (0030 GMT) in the course of the Turkish-led military operation (code-named Operation Euphrates Shield) in the area of al-Bab.

Click to see the full-size map

 At the same, non-official Turkish and Syrian sources said that the attack resulted in killing over 5 Turkish soldiers and wounding of 16 others.Meanwhile, intense fighting is ongoing between Turkey-led forces and Kurdish YPG forces in the province of Aleppo.

Turkey-led forces attacked YPG units in the villages of Boghaz, Sab Weran, Sheikh Nasir and Yulanli and seized the villages of Barshaya and Jib Al-Dam from them. Turkish airstrikes reportedly hit YPG positions in the town of Arimah that Kurdish forces had seized from ISIS.

Major escalation took place between the YPG and Turkey-led forces after the Kurdish group succeed in preventing pro-Turkey militants from encircling and seizing the key town of al-Bab, controlled by ISIS. (More about tensions around al-Bab can be found here)

Air strikes delivered on the Turkish Armed Forces by Syrian warplanes is likely a signal that Damascus will oppose to the ongoing military build-up of Turkish army in northern Syria.

This also could be an answer to recent Turkish artillery strikes on Syrian army in the province of Latakia.

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Gaza: Nazi Crime against Humanity

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Israeli Closure of the Gaza Strip: A Crime against Humanity

Investigate Persecution Arising out of Ongoing Gaza Closure, Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Urge ICC Prosecutor

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Today, Palestinian human rights groups urged the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to examine the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip, which has denied two million Palestinians a panoply of fundamental rights for nearly a decade, as the crime against humanity of persecution under the Rome Statute. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Al-Haq, and Aldameer submitted a 145-page file to the ICC Prosecutor setting out the factual and legal basis for the case.

Since June 2007, Israel has instituted a comprehensive closure on the Gaza Strip in which it has denied the free movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza, amounting to collective punishment. The Gaza Strip, a constituent part of the State of Palestine, is frequently described as the world’s largest open-air prison.

“The siege on Gaza is unprecedented and is a form of collective punishment. The aim of the closure and the occupation is to de-develop Gaza, to strip Palestinians of their dignity and send Gazan society back to the Middle Ages,” said Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR.

“Israel’s absolute control over Gaza’s borders and population has set back generations of Palestinians who cannot travel, access education, receive medical treatment, or engage with the outside world. The ICC must urgently proceed to investigate the crimes against the Palestinian population in Gaza.”

Issam Younis, Director of Al Mezan, further stated that “efforts to ease the closure – which is cruel by design and amounts to a crisis of dignity – have been woefully unsuccessful, as evidenced by the ineffectiveness of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism. A full lifting of the closure is required and the protection of civilians must be ensured.”

The four Palestinian human rights organizations maintain that the closure of the Gaza Strip has been disproportionate, discriminatory and not justified by military or security purposes. In fact, the current restrictions on the movement of goods and persons into and out of the Gaza Strip are imposed as punitive and persecutory measures. The organizations conclude that a reasonable basis exists to believe that the crime against humanity of persecution is being committed. Persecution entails the denial of fundamental rights on the basis of identity of a group. In this case, the organizations assert that Palestinians are being denied their rights to life and physical security, to work, to education, to health, to adequate food, water and housing, to family life, to travel, to freedom from discrimination, and ultimately the right to dignity.

“The closure, which is the result of a comprehensive package of suffocating restrictions, deliberately fragments the Palestinian territory and severely violates fundamental human rights of the Palestinian population. The ICC Prosecutor has a golden opportunity to bring an end to the suffering of the entire Palestinian population,” said Shawan Jabarin, Director of Al-Haq.

The Prosecutor is currently engaged in a preliminary examination on the Situation in Palestine in order to determine whether or not to proceed into investigations of alleged crimes committed on the territory of the State of Palestine. Palestine became a State Party to the Rome Statute of the ICC on 1 April 2015, which vested the ICC with jurisdiction over crimes committed since 13 June 2014. The ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

To coincide with the submission to the ICC, the Palestinian human rights organizations have prepared an executive summary of the submission and a short documentary video illustrating the impact of the closure on daily life in Gaza.

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Demonizing Russian Media

Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to the media after a live broadcast nationwide phone-in in Moscow

One of the West’s top points in condemning Vladimir Putin’s “regime” since 2007 has been his alleged suppression of democratic institutions, including an assault on media freedom and imposition of government-directed propaganda. This week, the accusation was repeated in a resolution of the European Parliament calling for stronger counter-measures in defense of European values against “information warfare” from Moscow.

The charges — that Russian media are only an instrument of state propaganda directed at the domestic population to keep Russian citizens in line and at foreign audiences to sow dissent among Russia’s neighbors and within the European Union — are taken as a matter of faith with almost no proofs adduced. Anyone who questions this “group think” is immediately labeled a “tool of Putin” or worse.

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

I experienced this firsthand in March 2015 when, as one of three debaters on “The Network,” a Euronews public affairs program, I objected to remarks by a fellow panelist, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee Elmar Brok, who maintained that Putin crushed all liberties and his country has no free press.

Based on my familiarity with the many different political lines of the Russian print media and of the patently unintimidated Kremlin-critics behind the national radio station Ekho Moskvy and television station Dozhd’, I countered that, for example, Russian coverage of events in the Donbass was more multi-sided and free than coverage in the U.S.

Brok lashed out with the slanderous question: “And how much did the Kremlin pay you to say that?” The broadcaster then allowed this video-taped exchange to air freely.

I have ruminated on this exchange ever since and sought incontrovertible proof of the relative freedom of expression on Russian broadcast media. My close examination of the wildly popular political talk shows on Russian television first as a spectator and then as a participant has provided just that.

I have written previously about my initial experience going back six months to when I first took part in a program on the Rossiya 1/Vesti 24 state channel, Yevgeni Popov’s “Special Correspondent.” I mentioned at the time the nearly permanent presence on these programs of domestic opposition figures as well as of foreigners from the U.S., Ukraine, Poland and Israel, in particular, who could be counted on to present views on the political topic of the day’s discussion at sharp variance with the Kremlin line.

Assessing the Talk Shows

In early autumn I appeared on the same presenter’s new show “Sixty Minutes,” as well on what is probably the most respected show of this genre, “Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev,” another Rossiya 1 production. Soloviev has done feature-length television interviews with Vladimir Putin and may be considered to be as close to power as people in this medium get. His personal views are probably more nationalist than the ruling United Russia party, but on his shows he, too, gives time on air to very diverse Russian and foreign views.

Some of the estimated 12 million Russians who took part in Immortal Regiment parades across the country over three days in May 2016. (RT photo)

In the past month, I broadened my experience with the Russian talk show format by participating in shows on the other major state channel, Pervy Kanal (“Time Will Tell”) and on the country’s largest commercial television channel, NTV (“The Meeting Place”). This accelerated learning was facilitated by the U.S. presidential elections, which made Russian-speaking talking heads from America like myself a rather hot commodity on Russian television at least briefly.

In speaking to fellow panelists during break time, in interviews with presenters, I gathered some inside information about the production side of the talk shows, including their target audiences, their technical aspects and their substantive positioning.

Anyone looking over Russian television programming in general quickly finds that talk shows as a format take up a very large part of broadcast time. Of course, the focus of talk shows may be highly diverse, and political talk shows were traditionally an evening phenomenon, as is the case with the Rossiya 1 shows cited above, while daytime programming more typically focuses on housewives’ concerns, daydreams of romance or tips for cooking, and the like.

In this sense, it was a bold move when two years ago Pervy Kanal decided to launch a daily two-hour political talk show (“Time Will Tell”) in mid-afternoon. As expected, the target audience proved to be stay-at-home women and viewers aged 50 and above, although it appears there are also a fair number of viewers watching the program in the work place.

Going Daytime

The ratings captured by this show typically are in the 20s, meaning that 20 or so percent of all television viewers in Russia at the given time are tuned to the given program, yielding an audience numbering in the millions. On Nov. 9, when I appeared on the show dedicated to analysis of the U.S. election results, the numbers spiked to 30 percent, as one might well understand given the very great interest among ordinary Russians in the outcome of the race for the U.S. presidency and the outlook for war or peace.

A Russian orchestra performing at Palmyra’s Roman theater on May 5, 2016, after Syrian troops, backed by Russian air power, reclaimed the ancient city from the Islamic State. (Image from RT’s live-streaming of the event.)

As “Time Will Tell” presenter Artyom Sheinin explained to me, the decision to appear on daytime television called for certain production decisions differentiating the programs from the evening talk shows. Firstly, the expectation of a less sophisticated audience meant that the language of panelists should be free of political science jargon and allusion to little known names or philosophies.

Said Artyom, panelists are asked to pitch their arguments as they would “talking to their kids, their mom or their lover.’’ On the other hand, overly calm discussion is not seen as a benefit. The presenter explains that his audience sitting at home at mid-day is in need of “an adrenaline shot,” and the normal penchant of Russian panelists to shout down one another in a free-for-all is not discouraged in the way it is on evening programming. The evening viewer is assumed to have come home from work and is seated in his armchair before the television, wants his nerves soothed more than excited.

All Russian political talk shows on the main channels are produced in the afternoon, Moscow time, and all feature on screen the caption “Live On Air.” However, where and when these shows are broadcast live versus rebroadcast from video tapes is another matter.

For example, the Rossiya 1/Vesti programs are broadcast live to the Russian Far East, where they appear at the end of prime-time evening broadcasts. Then they are re-broadcast at local evening prime time in each of the eight other time zones of the Russian Federation lying to the west, showing last in Moscow.

In this regard, two years ago when it launched “Time Will Tell,” Pervy Kanal took a second unparalleled risk by broadcasting live to Moscow in the afternoon. From a political standpoint, this was like a high-flying trapeze act without the benefit of a safety net.

In fact all of these programs are also video-taped, and all the major channels make the tapes available for internet viewing on their websites in full or shortened versions.

Similar Formats

Just as Russian television has often copied studio design and presentation formats from American television (I think in particular of the way the “Tonight Show” has been replicated on major Russian channels), so they copy from one another. In fact, if you turn on any of the political talk shows I cited above, you will find rather similar studios with live audiences.

Indeed, at Pervy Kanal, the producers remark

A military parade on Red Square. May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

jokingly that when NTV decided to launch its own after oon talk show, “The Meeting Place,” that network picked up not only the production format and studio design but also some of the production staff. The format of having male-female pairs of talk show hosts also has spread widely in the industry.

But there appears to be a significant difference between these shows on the degree to which they are “scripted” by management upstairs, the degree to which they are free discussion. Perhaps the most scripted is this season’s new entry at Rossiya 1, “Sixty Minutes,” in which presenters Yevgeni Popov and Olga Skabeyeva are reading off teleprompters and the audience applause is aggressively prompted. On the other hand, the lead presenter on Pervy Kanal’s “Time Will Tell,” Artyom Sheinin proudly says that he has no script handed to him, that what he says on air is what he himself prepared or is thinking at the time.

One ubiquitous fact is that the panelists are not scripted and if anyone is cut off in mid-sentence it is by other panelists vying for the microphone, not by the presenter keeping the political line of discourse in check. Except in the case of senior politicians, who are given the respect their rank demands, no panelist is safe from interruptions and the audience encourages a culture of gladiators in the arena, with applause punctuating the debates.

On NTV there is the additional expression of audience disapproval, but that is rare. The benefits of these ground rules go to the quick-witted as well as to the loudest voices, whatever their political complexion.

The culture of these talk shows is permeated by a newsroom mentality. Some of the presenters, especially on Rossiya 1/Vesti 24, come from television journalism and have gotten their appointments as a reward for successful work in the field, especially in hazardous areas. Such was the background of talk show host Yevgeni Popov, who for years reported from Ukraine, initially during the Orange Revolution days and later during the Maidan protests.

The content of each program on all channels is subject to change at the last minute as are the list of invited panelists in case of breaking news. This favors inviting panelists who are living in the Moscow area. They can be invited and disinvited at short notice. In fact, all the major political shows on the three channels I observed from inside use many of the same Russian and foreign panelists chosen from among political scientists at universities or think tanks, journalists and Duma or Federation Council members.

Western Voices

To be sure, not all panelists come down to the studio. A very few lucky experts are given air time from remote locations, their close-up image projected onto a wall-sized screen.

One such “regular” on the Rossiya 1/Vesti 24 channel is Dimitri Simes, president of The Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C. These vignette appearances get special treatment, without any interruption from other panelists and only respectful questioning from the host.

Panelists in greatest demand can be seen leaving one show early so as to be able to get over to another studio on a different channel when there is the rotation of panelists between advertising breaks. None is in greater demand than the American Michael Bohm, who in the dark days of worsening relations with the West provided all channels with highly fluent statements in Russian of the latest policy position of the Washington Consensus, often accompanied by Russian folk expressions.

This has been especially appreciated by television producers representing the more hardline supporters of the Kremlin for whom Bohm is the kind of American the audience loves to hate, his every remark justifying demands for greater military expenditures by the Kremlin. Nonetheless, it remains true that through Bohm and a few other Westerners on these shows, the full blast of Western critiques of Kremlin policy gets prime broadcasting time in Russia.

The senior politicians brought in as panelists come from all the Duma parties, not just the ruling United Russia. In the past half year, I noted in particular the frequent presence of the leader of the nationalist LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, while Gennady Zyuganov of the Communists or Sergey Mironov, leader of Just Russia, have been rare birds.

On the other hand, there have been frequent appearances by the Liberals of the Yabloko party, which never made it past 1 percent of votes cast in the latest parliamentary elections, not to mention the minimum 5 percent threshold for Duma representation.

The talk show programs are prepared with great professionalism. Behind each there is extensive research to find appropriate archival and/or latest visuals. The administrative chores involved in arranging logistics for the panelists chosen are also considerable. The team members I have encountered were uniformly dedicated, working crazy hours to get their job done.

Encouraging Strong Opinions 

I also noted a peculiar complicity between the staff “handlers” and us panelists. Clearly, production staff is rewarded for finding “fresh blood” panelists who play out well, and they make sure that their dogs in the race are well tended with coffee, tea, and, if needed, a shot of brandy during breaks to keep their spirits high.

On the Rossiya 1/Vesti 24 talk shows presenters and the panelists all are wired with headset microphones. However, on both Pervy Kanal and NTV, only the presenters are wired, while panelists are seated next to production assistants holding microphones, which they make available upon request. Indeed, the assistants act as coaches to newcomers like myself, whom they urge to speak louder, speak faster, etc. to get the greatest debate effect out of us.

In conclusion, my firsthand experience with the Russian political talk show phenomenon left me with no doubt that this is bona fide journalism serving the public interest, exposing the broad Russian television audience, from everyone’s parents and grandparents to business leaders and university dons, to a great many different competing and well-presented views on the major issues of the day, both domestic and international.

This reality is sharply at variance with what U.S. and Western European mainstream media would have us believe about Putin’s Russia.

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Canada is Building up its Military Presence in Iraq. Involved in Mosul Offensive?

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The Canadian authorities have indirectly confirmed that its military are taking part in the international coalition’s offensive in Mosul and are engaged in close combat with ISIS terrorists. It took more than two years for the government to recognize the evident.

The Canadian army has been fighting ISIS since 2014 when, violating the principles of international law, US President Barack Obama approved of a targeted military involvement.

Then, IMPACT, a special program against ISIS, was designed. The Canadian government claimed that advisers sent to Iraq wouldn’t be engaged in military actions and that their involvement would be incomprehensive and end in short terms.

It should be noted that initially, the previous government headed by the Conservatives decided to send 70 instructors and six military aircraft to Iraq. Later, the new Liberal government built up the number of troops in the country. Along with this, while in opposition, the Liberals blamed the conservative government for the fact that the Canadian military took part in combat instead of training the Iraqi security forces.

Eventually, the newly-elected government decided to deploy extra 200 troopers in Iraq who now are engaged in the ground military operation on the side of the Kurdish Peshmerga units. The Canadian military were spotted by a Reuters correspondent by Hassan Shami village several km to the east of the frontline. He stated that troopers spoke in English and had maple leaf insignias.

This information was confirmed by other sources. The National Post reported in May that Canadian forces were on the frontline helping Peshmerga to recapture Mosul.

According to official statements of the Canadian government, the military are really engaged in military action in Iraq but are solely defending themselves. It’s unclear, however, how the Mosul offensive can be considered ‘defensive.’

In his turn, Canadian Special Forces Commander Michael Rouleau confirmed the Canadian involvement in military actions and noticed that troopers are engaged in a substantial number of clashes with terrorists.

Probably, Rouleau’s statements had a specific purpose. First of all, they are a part of the information campaign to justify the Canadian engagement in the offensive side by side with Kurds which has been exposed in photos published in social media. The active participation requires heavy weaponry that will lead to increased number of boots on the ground.

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This reminds one of Afghanistan when Canada covertly deployed their Joint Task Force 2, elite special forces, in mid-2001. Then, only in January 2002, it was officially announced that Canadian troops had joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul.

Now, once again, the government claims the military won’t be engaged in combat but in reality they are participating in combat activities.

It should be reminded that the liberals’ electoral campaign the previous year included a promise to put an end to all Canadian military involvement in Iraq.

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Trump Transition: As Secretary of State, Tulsi Gabbard offers potential for Peace with Syria, Russia

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So far as world peace and prosperity goes, most of the names currently being kicked around for America’s top diplomatic position do not inspire a great deal of confidence. It’s easy to feel uneasy when you see recycled neoconservative hawks like John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, or old hands like Mitt Romney who previously stated that ‘Russia is America’s greatest threat.’  

As far as potential picks go for Secretary of State, none is more interesting than the potential that Democratic Congresswoman  Tulsi Gabbard brings to the table. President-Elect Donald Trump invited Hawaii’s Gabbard to New York City this week for a meeting regarding possible involvement in the new Presidential Administration. She’s got a lot going for her – as an Iraq War veteran with deep understanding of the perils of US interventions overseas, she also brings with her some common sense geopolitical context – a refreshing change from the off-the-shelf, neoliberal interventionist juggernaut previously driven by the hawkish Hillary Clinton, or the flippant public tirades and baseless insults leveled at Russia by the like of Samantha Power.

With an apparently more experienced Romney ahead of her in the queue, Gabbard is certainly a long shot, but considering the mess left behind by eight years of clandestine fee-for-all and the chronic absent-minded Obama era interventionist policy blunders, not to mention (but we will) the hysterical public meltdowns by US State Dept spokespersons like John Kirby, Jen Psaki and Marie Harf – you can’t help but consider the fresh approach that someone like Gabbard might offer.

1-tulsi-gabbard-trumpGabbard (photo, left) also understands the dangers posed by salafist and Wahabi extremists like ISIS, and most certainly would push back against the Obama Administration and the CIA’s dubious (and technically illegal, by way of US and international law) policy of arming and supporting various and sundry ‘moderate rebel’ extremists (terrorists) in Syria – like Al Nusra Front, Arar al Sham, Nour al-din al-Zenki and many others – all favored by western covert subterfuge teams as instruments of ‘regime change’ in Syria.

In terms of independence, Gabbard has already made it clear that her stint would not involve capitulating to her GOP cabinet cohorts, adding that if she was to disagree with President Trump, “I will not hesitate to express that disagreement.”

Previously, Gabbard was Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), but suddenly resigned earlier this year in protest after pointing out her party’s unfair favoring of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during their party’s primaries. Following the Wikileaks disclosures, it turns out that Gabbard was on the right side of history, while her detractors in the DNC leadership hierarchy like Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (forces to resign over the Sanders affair was exposed) and Donna Brazile (caught cheating with CNN by passing questions to the Clinton campaign) ended up on the wrong side of history. Here we can see a positive pattern emerging for Gabbard, and it gets better.

SEE ALSO: Trump’s Foreign Policy: Russia, Syria, Iran and Cabinet Neocons

Regarding foreign policy, Gabbard’s stance on Syria is remarkable, and holds great potential for a resolution to the 5 year conflict (not a civil war), as well as a chance to make positive inroads with Russia and other countries who have been perennial foes of both the Obama and Bush Administrations. Because of this, Gabbard has many enemies from on both the Republicans and Democratic chambers alike. Washington, with all of its untoward influence from the cartel of military defense contractor giants, and foreign lobbies like Israel and Saudi Arabia, will not go quietly overnight.

In a major departure from the abject failure of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry proxy war debacle in Syria, Gabbard said this about her alignment with Trump policy objectives and diffusing a tense situation in Syria:

“However, I believe we can disagree, even strongly, but still come together on issues that matter to the American people and affect their daily lives. We cannot allow continued divisiveness to destroy our country… I shared with him my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country and the world,” she said. “It would lead to more death and suffering, exacerbate the refugee crisis, strengthen ISIS and al-Qaeda and bring us into a direct conflict with Russia, which could result in a nuclear war. We discussed my bill to end our country’s illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government and the need to focus our precious resources on rebuilding our own country and on defeating al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups who pose a threat to the American people.”

Critics have remarked about her young age (35 years old) and lack of political experience. However, consider how much experience both of the previous Secretary of States had in John Kerry and Hillary Clinton – and yet, they have presided over one unmitigated foreign policy disaster after another, whether in Libya, Syria, Yemen or the Ukraine. Quite possibly, history will look back on these two Obama appointees as the worst ever Secretary of States to hold that position. This is no exaggeration when you pause and take a sober look around the Middle East today.

Aside from the novelty of her relative youth in relation to typically older diplomats, Gabbard’s authenticity and character comes across in her public speaking, and thus she could be very effective, and no doubt very popular internationally. She’s also gone against the party line on Syria. Once again, there she is on the right side of history, while her more experienced party leaders are on stuck on the wrong side. While boldly challenging the party line won’t win you any favors in the partisan cesspool of the DC swamp, it shows the sort of character required to lead a team for successful bilateral consensus-building at the international negotiations table. In terms of the US public relations image internationally, this is an intangible benefit that you simply cannot put a price on, because right now, Washington’s chief priority should be mending some of the serious rifts left behind by a previously derelict State Dept. Gabbard has the potential to paint US diplomacy in an entirely new light, and a positive one at that.

The biggest mistake a Trump White House could make is to place a neoconservative, or hawkish Secretary in place who might help to reboot talking up a war with Iran, or use NATO to press against Russia at its doorstep.

So the real question should not be about Gabbard’s relative experience, but rather can she be what the previous Secretaries could not – a diplomat.

It’s a long shot, but she has the potential to mend a fractured Middle East and also revamp relations with Russia – which means a more peaceful and stable world. Not a bad a thought.

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Human Rights Violations: North Korea vs. the U.S.

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UN Third Committee Resolution L.23 IN, Legitimizes Stranglehold Economic Sanctions., Used as a Means to “Obliterate” North Korea

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On November 15, 2016 the United Nations Third Committee adopted the resolution:  “Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” 

Among the co-sponsors of the Resolution were United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, etc. 

Disassociating themselves from the resolution, which they denounced as invalid, were China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, and three other countries opposed to the biased character and double standards that typify “country-specific” resolutions.  The co-sponsors of this resolution are themselves guilty of  criminal human rights violations.

The very concept of human rights has been fraudulently used to such a degree that it bears no resemblance to Eleanor Roosevelt’s original inspiration for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Indeed, the term has become the antithesis of concern for human rights, and is now being used as yet another ploy, a Trojan Horse, to infiltrate, destabilize and ultimately overthrow independent governments which are anathema to Western Oligarchies

At the United Nations Third Committee meeting of November 15, 2016, an urgently needed “No-Action Motion” was introduced by Belarus, opposing the “country-specific” resolutions as “deeply flawed and arbitrary instruments of coercion.”

Agenda item L.23 on the Situation of Human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the most flagrant example of these resolutions which are being used as instruments of coercion, and an example of the scandalous double standards on human rights which have become a lethal excuse by which Western capitalist powers have corrupted the United Nations into becoming, itself, an instrument of coercion.

The destruction, by US-NATO military bombardment, of states independent of western oligarchic control, was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 1973, which were used to violently impose regime change in Iraq and Libya.  “Human Rights” is the contemporary equivalent of the “White Man’s Burden” which was used, in earlier times, to justify imperialistic conquest.

Resolution L.23 on the DPRK is an intellectually and morally bankrupt piece of propaganda, so clumsily cobbled together that its accusations of human rights violations more conspicuously apply to its sponsors, including the US, and UK  than to the DPRK, and the contrivances of the resolution are intended to hasten the economic genocide being inflicted on the people of the DPRK, and which the UN, through its barbaric sanctions regime is dishonorably facilitating.

Resolution L.23 

“expresses its very serious concern at continuing reports of violations of human rights such as torture and other cruel, inhuman conditions of detention; rape, public execution; extrajudicial and arbitrary detention; the absence of due process and the rule of law; extensive use of forced labor..”

The resolution is intended to legitimize the sanctions stranglehold on North Korea, and increase the suffering of the people of the DPRK for the sinister purpose of inciting chaos and regime change in that tiny country, one of the few remaining socialist economies in the world.

This deceptive politicization of the concept of human rights for the nefarious purpose of facilitating an oligarchic geopolitical agenda is now debasing and discrediting the very concept itself.  In classic Orwellian style, the countries whose economic systems, based on profit maximization, most notoriously abuse human rights are condemning the countries whose socialist economies are founded on the most humanitarian principles and practice. That the UN tolerates this disgraceful  scam morally discredits the organization, and may lead to its ultimate demise.

Resolution L.23 on the DPRK may easily be refuted, almost line by line, with examples of barbaric human rights abuses systematically committed by the very same countries which co-sponsored the resolution, and these barbaric practices are documented in such pristine Western publications as  The New York Times, The New Yorker,  Harper’s, and numerous other publications which  catalogue human rights abuses over centuries, but an examination of the most recent decades will suffice.

US Human Rights Record. Recent History

In September, 1971, at the infamous Attica political prison  (described as a “correctional facility”) in New York,  1,300 political prisoners rebelled against the brutal treatment they were enduring during their incarceration.  This action symbolized a class revolution of mostly impoverished African Americans, and some white citizens, mostly destitute, arising from their enslavement and demanding human dignity.  Tragically, they had no weapons to defend themselves. Political prisoners in Attica included members of the Black Panther Party, the Puerto Rican Young Lords, the Weather Underground, and numerous other political organizations within the USA.

Four days after the uprising, Governor Rockefeller, in a notorious action typical of systemic capitalist repression and constituting a crime against humanity, ordered armed troopers to enter the prison, where they massacred and tortured the prisoners who had protested against the hellish conditions of their imprisonment .  The recently published masterpiece, entitled “Blood in the Water,” by United States historian Heather Ann Thompson documents the horrific tortures inflicted during the murderous repression of unarmed prisoners.  Among those slaughtered in the massacre ordered by Governor Rockefeller, was  “Kenny Malloy, His skull had been riddled with so many bullets that his eye sockets were shredded by the shards of his own bones.”

Invading with chemical poison CS gas, orthochlorobenzyldene, the heavily armed state troopers began murdering the unarmed prisoners.  The tortures to which the “surviving prisoners were subjected were described by victim Frank Smith:

Page 487:  “ He was chained to a table.  ‘They say you like to play football, we’re going to put this football into you nigger, and then we’re going to kill you.’  The torturers shoved a football under his chin, and told him if he let it drop, they would shoot him.  As recounted by Smith, the troopers kicked him ‘repeatedly in the testicles, and were spitting on me, dropping lit cigarettes on me…I would flex my body to make the cigarette fall off me, so it wouldn’t burn too long.’”  “ his legs hung over the edge of the table for six hours until they started to go numb.  ‘my head was hurting, my back was hurting, and the most excruciating pain I had was in my testicles.  It was a very excruciating pain in my genital area.’  He was then forced to run through a gauntlet with fifty armed officers on both sides, with broken glass on the floor.  Still completely naked, he endured the blows of ax handles and the baton with pig handles as he was forced to run this gauntlet.  The pain had been horrendous, ‘unbearable pain;  my testicles, my fingers gouged, and arms and back,’ accompanied by endless barrage of vile racial attacks, slurs.”

This was standard torture of the prisoners, including rape:

”An officer pulled out a Phillips screwdriver and told the naked inmate to get on his feet or he’d stab the screwdriver in his rectum…then he just started stabbing him.”

When the prisoners’ attorney, the great civil rights lawyer William Kunstler, witnessed the carnage of mangled dead bodies strewn everywhere on the ground,  Kunstler, who had grasped that this was a  legitimate political rebellion, wept uncontrollably at the sight of fascism’s  work.  And, of course, Governor Rockefeller, the man responsible for the massacre, was never held accountable, but history condemns him for perpetrating this infamous state terror.

The New Yorker, May 2, 2016 describes current torture and murder of mentally disabled prisoners in Florida prisons.  This is documented in an article by Eyal Press.  As prisoner Darren Rainey, diagnosed as schizophrenic, had defecated in his cell, after being tormented by his guards,  he was, as punishment, put in a “shower,”  “locked in a stall whose water supply was delivered through a hose controlled by the guards.  The water was over one hundred and eighty degrees, hot enough to brew a cup of tea…It was later revealed that Rainey had burns on more than ninety percent of his body, and that his skin fell off at the touch.”

Rainey was boiled to death in the shower, but it was learned that many other prisoners had been subjected to the same torture of being boiled alive.  None of the perpetrators of this torture were held accountable.  Prisoners were routinely beaten.  Other prisoners were starved, some starved to death.  Any witnesses who might have spoken against this abuse were threatened and silenced.

On May 15, 2016, the exact day on which Resolution L.23 against the DPRK was adopted at the UN Third Committee, The New York Times published a front page article describing the torture of prisoners in a jail in Utica, New York.  In addition to the usual tortures of defenseless prisoners, anal rape is common.

“Prisoner Raymond Broccoli recounted:  “as he lay on the floor an officer hissed, ‘You want to know what it feels like to feel weak?’ The guard then jammed something metal into his rectum.”  Other prisoners described being anally raped….  When a guard ordered Pablo Dones, 58 to stand up, Mr. Dones, who had recently undergone hernia surgery said he struggled to his feet. ‘I made it to one knee and the guard kicked me right where I had the operation.’  He screamed in pain, he said, but another guard grabbed him and began banging Dones’ head against the wall.  ‘He was hitting me against the wall so many times, my head went right through it.’”

Of course the recent historic record includes the famous cases of Abner Louima, raped in police custody with a broomstick rammed up his rectum, which perforated his intestines, necessitating surgery and months of hospitalization, and the case of the Amidou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant who stood in the vestibule of his own home, and was shot to death there 41 times by police officers.  The police who murdered him were acquitted of all charges.

Suffice to demonstrate that right up to the very moment at which the US hypocritically co-sponsored resolution L.23 condemning the DPRK, the heinous human rights abuses to which the US is subjecting its own citizens continue to be staggering.

Among its preposterous allegations,  Resolution L.23

“expresses  grave concern about the impact of diverting resources to advance nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programmes on the humanitarian and human rights situation of the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

The worst offender of this criminal diversion of resources into nuclear weapons is the USA, which this year authorized expenditure of one trillion dollars in development of advanced nuclear weapons.  And a report by the New York based charity, “Meals on Wheels,” stated that 2 million elderly citizens in the United States must constantly choose between buying food or buying urgently needed medicines.  5 million Americans are deprived of adequate food altogether.  Almost 10 million Americans, and a vast number of elderly persons live below the poverty level.   The figures of the homeless and hungry in the United States are enormous, while the government neglects its own citizens, leaving many to starve, and beg, while squandering 1 trillion dollars on developing advanced nuclear weapons.

Resolution L.23 on the Human Rights Situation in the DPRK “underscores its very serious concern at the systematic abduction, denial of repatriation and subsequent enforced disappearance of persons, on a large scale and as a matter of state policy, including those from other countries…”

On November 14, 2016, in its report on Preliminary Examination Activities of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the ICC is planning major investigation into war crimes tantamount to crimes against humanity committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The report states, section 211:

“Members of the US armed forces and CIA appear to have subjected numerous persons in Afghanistan, and others transported to secret prisons in Poland, Romania, Lithuania and elsewhere to torture, ‘outrages upon personal dignity and/or rape.”  The report states in section 212:  “These alleged crimes were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,”  section 213 states:  “The office considers these alleged crimes were committed in furtherance of a policy or policies aimed at eliciting information through the use of interrogation techniques involving cruel or violent methods which would support US objectives.”  It is important to point out that Poland, Romania and Lithuania were among the co-sponsors of the resolution against the DPRK, and these  same countries were also the very sites of the notorious secret CIA prisons to which abducted prisoners were flown to be tortured.  These “co-sponsors” are accessories to war crimes.

L.23 accuses the DPRK of “all-pervasive and severe restrictions on freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief,…torture, imprisonment of individuals exercising their freedom of opinion, etc…”

The United Nations has imposed no sanctions against Saudi Arabia, which has inflicted a 10 year imprisonment and a punishment of 1,000 lashes upon journalist Raif Badawi, for criticizing Saudi Arabia’s hardline religious establishment.  Edward Snowden lives in exile for exercising his human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The UN has imposed no sanctions upon their countries which are violating the basic rights of their own citizens.

Resolution L.23 arbitrarily targets the DPRK in an attempt to fraudulently “justify” imposing further strangling sanctions on the DPRK, singled out for its nuclear program (though 9 other countries possess nuclear weapons, and one has already used them.)

It is therefore imperative to highlight the fact that the DPRK voted “Yes” on First Committee Resolution L.41:

“Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations,” which aims at the total prohibition of nuclear weapons.  This is indisputable evidence that the DPRK’s nuclear program is defensive, a protection against nuclear attack by the US.  It is also imperative to note that the US voted “No” on the very same resolution, again evidence that the US has no intention of giving up its own enormous and potentially world shattering nuclear arsenal, one of the most profitable industries, which essentially provokes and impels other nations to obtain nuclear weapons in defense against imminent or potential attack.

DPRK is a socialist country, and the ferocious determination of capitalist powers to obliterate socialism, despite strong evidence that capitalist economies are failing to provide the basic necessities of life for their citizens, is threatening world stability.  And despite the fact that the barbarous UN Security Council Resolution 2270 sanctions have inflicted enormous economic hardship and suffering on the people of the DPRK, their government remains committed to universal free medical care, free education, free housing and equality between men and women.

Resolution 2270 is based almost exclusively on the widely discredited Commission of Inquiry which contains statements by defectors, highly paid to concoct gruesome and false statements of human rights violations within the DPRK, statements refuted by the defector community itself, and the central statement on which the Commission of Inquiry report is based was later repudiated by the very defector himself, Shin Dong-hyuk , who admitted he had lied and falsified his statements.

Section 2 of L.23 expresses

“very serious concern about discrimination “which classifies people on the basis of assigned social class or birth…”

It is important here to mention the 2016 report by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law.  The report is entitled:  “Excessive Use of Force By the Police Against Black Americans in the United States.  Page 23 of the report states:

“Police violence which disproportionately affects black Americans, also intersects with discrimination based on socio-economic status, gender, mental health and sexual orientation and gender identity, among other factors.  The cities where some of the highest profile police killings have occurred in the past two years – including Ferguson, Missouri (where Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer) and Baltimore, Maryland (where Freddie Gray died in police custody) are marked by long histories of economic inequality drawn along racial lines.  These persistent inequalities stem from both explicit government policies and implicit social dynamics.”

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic admitted that the report by the Commission of Inquiry, (which was based on statements by defectors highly paid to provide the salacious fabrications they understood were sought by the “inquiry,”)  does not meet the standard of proof required for consideration in court.

And directly contradicting the report of the Commission of Inquiry are reports by Dr. Brandon K. Gauthier, an American historian who recently traveled within the DPRK, and favorably described his impressions and regular interactions with citizens living within North Korea.  He described these “normal people living normal lives, as quite comfortable within their nation, and revealing little distress or fear,” contrary to the portrayal of the DPRK by Western propaganda.  Dr. Gauthier described, in a recently published article, how, witnessing the US-NATO devastation of Iraq and the demolition of Libya, followed by the extrajudicial murder of Khadafy, after he had renounced efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, convinced Kim Jong Il that “only one weapon could prevent the chance of a foreign attack on North Korea”:  a nuclear weapon.

And as a famous American mainstream media reporter, accredited to the UN was overheard saying to Chinese Ambassador Liu at a reception:

“If I were Kim Jong-un witnessing the attack on Libya, and the torture-murder of Khadafy, after he had abandoned their nuclear program, I’d hold on to my nukes!!!”

And recalling the 80 million bombs which, according to CNN on September 6, 2016, the US dropped on tiny Laos during the Vietnam war, one can understand the constant terror of suffering such an attack which is endured daily by the DPRK.

It is a courageous small progressive nation trying to survive in a struggle where they are David confronting Goliath.

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Human Rights Violations: North Korea vs. the U.S.

Who is Behind “Fake News”? Mainstream Media Use Fake Videos and Images

CNNvideo1b1

The mainstream corporate media is desperate.

They want to suppress independent and alternative online media, which it categorizes as “fake news”. 

Readers on social media are warned not to go onto certain sites. 

The intent of this initiative is to smear honest reporting and Truth in Media.

Our analysis confirms that the mainstream media are routinely involved in distorting the facts and turning realities upside down. 

They are the unspoken architects of “Fake News”.  

One area of routine distortion is the use of fake videos and images by the mainstream media. 

Four Notorious Cases of  Media Distortion

These are four examples and there are many more. The manipulation of videos and images is routine. In some cases, they revealed by readers, independent media and social media. In most cases they go undetected. and when they are revealed, the media will say “sorry” we apologize: they will then point to technical errors. “we got the wrong video”

What is important to emphasize that these media distortions are invariably deliberate.

1. Coverage of CNN 2008 Riots in Tibet

Chinese Cops with khaki uniforms and Indian Style Moustaches

The video footage, which accompanied CNN’s John Vause’s report, had nothing to do with China. The police were not Chinese, but Indian cops in khaki uniforms from the Northeastern State of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Viewers were led to believe that demonstrations inside China were peaceful and that people were being arrested by Chinese cops.

Chinese Cops in Khaki Uniforms?

1′.27-1′.44″ video footage of “Chinese cops” and demonstrators including Buddhist monks. Chinese cops are shown next to Tibetan monks

Are these Chinese Cops from Gansu Province or Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, as suggested by CNN’s John Vause’s Report?

REPORT ON CHINA, MARCH 14, 2008



Alleged Chinese cops in khaki uniforms repressing Tibet demonstrators in China, CNN, March 14, 2008  1’38″, 1’40″ (images above)

Their khaki uniforms with berets seem to bear the imprint of the British colonial period.

Khaki colored uniforms were first introduced in the British cavalry in India in 1846.

Khaki means “dust” in Hindi and Persian.

Moreover, the cops with khaki uniforms and mustache do not look Chinese.

Look carefully.

They are Indian cops.

The videotape shown on March 14, 2008 by CNN is not from China (Gansu Province or Lhasa, Tibet’s Capital). The video was taken in the State of Himachal Pradesh, India. The videotape of the Tibet protest movement in India was used in the CNN report on the Tibet protest movement within China. CNN got its countries screwed up.

For the full report on Global Research click Here

2. BBC Coverage of the War on Libya, 2011

Green Square Tripoli. Libyans Celebrating “Liberation” and the Victory of Rebel forces over Gadaffi waving Indian Flags

Examine the footage: It’s not Green Square and it’s not the King Idris Flag (red, black green) of the Rebels.  

Its the Indian flag (orange, white and green) and the people at the rally are Indians.

Perhaps you did not even notice it.

And if you did notice, ”it was probably a mistake”.

Sloppy journalism at the BBC or outright Lies and Fabrications? Recognize the flags?

Indian Flag  (see right)

Libya’s Rebel Flag (King Idris)

 

Terrorists “celebrating” in Green Square

There is no celebration. It is a NATO sponsored massacre which has resulted in several thousand deaths.

But the truth cannot be shown on network television. The impacts of NATO bombings have been obfuscated.

The rebels are heralded as ”liberators”.

NATO bombing is intended to save civilian lives under The Alliance’s R2P mandate.  But the realities are otherwise: the civilian population is being terrorized by the NATO sponsored Rebels.

The images must be switched to conform to the “NATO consensus”.

Death and destruction is replaced by fabricated images of celebration and liberation.

See the full report on Global Research

3. CNN and BBC on 9/11.

The Report on the Collapse of WTC Building Seven Occurred Prior to the Collapse

Fake News regarding the Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed.

The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event.

See the images below: WTC Building Seven is still standing.

(See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

“CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.” (see below)

4. The March 2016 Brussels Terrorist Attacks.

Belgian Media Used Video of a 2011 Moscow Airport Terrorist Attack

Brussels News media Dernière Heure at dhnet.be as well as La Libre reported on the terror attacks by providing a CC Camera Airport Surveillance Video of the terror attacks. 

The published video footage was fake as documented by a blog posting on Media Part

The video pertains to a terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on 24 January 2011 (posted on youtube in November 2013).

The  report of DHnet.be on the Brussels airport attack used the video of the Moscow 2011 attack with the date of the Brussels attack: (22/03/2016) pasted onto the Russian video.

Below is the screenshot of DH’s report.

And the screenshot of  La Libre at http://lalibre.be,

And here is a screenshot of the January 2011 terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedova International Airport published on youtube in November 2013 followed by the full youtube video of the Moscow attack:

According to the BBC (January 24, 2011) report (which includes the video), the Moscow 2011 airport attack  resulted in 35 dead.

Read Complete article on Brussels Fake Videos

Concluding Remarks

The lies and fabrications of the MSM are not the result of “sloppy journalism”.

They are deliberate and are intended to mislead the public.

The mainstream media routinely uses fake images and videos in its coverage of the war on Syria.

The campaign against alternative and independent media seeks to limit freedom of expression.

Posted in MediaComments Off on Who is Behind “Fake News”? Mainstream Media Use Fake Videos and Images

Who’s the Biggest Peddler of Fake News?

Médias mainstream

Everyone’s talking about “fake news” …

Google Trends shows that – starting in late October – that phrase absolutely exploded in terms of internet searches:

fake-news-google-trendsIn the last month, ObamaMerkelCNN, the New York TimesWashington Post and many other mainstream media have warned about the dangers of fake news.

There certainly is a lot of fake news.  And some of it is by anti-establishment types trying to discredit American institutions with false reports.

But – as we document below – the government and mainstream media are by far the biggest purveyors of fake news.

The Government’s Been Deploying Propaganda On U.S. Soil for Many Years

The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found in 1975 that the CIA submitted stories to the American press:

Wikipedia adds details:

After 1953, the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA. By this time, Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning off funds intended for the Marshall Plan [i.e. the rebuilding of Europe by the U.S. after WWII]. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers.

In 2008, the New York Times wrote:

During the early years of the cold war, [prominent writers and artists, from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Jackson Pollock] were supported, sometimes lavishly, always secretly, by the C.I.A. as part of its propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the most successful use of “soft power” in American history.

A CIA operative told Washington Post owner Philip Graham … in a conversation about the willingness of journalists to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories:

You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.

Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein wrote in 1977:

More than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters.

***

In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

***

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were [the heads of CBS, Time, the New York Times, the Louisville Courier‑Journal, and Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include [ABC, NBC, AP, UPI, Reuters], Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.

***

There is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements.

***

The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management.

***

Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings.

***

Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.

***

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Time magazine’s foreign correspondents attended CIA “briefing” dinners similar to those the CIA held for CBS.

***

When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,” said a former deputy director of the Agency. “Frank Wisner dealt with him.” Wisner, deputy director of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, was the Agency’s premier orchestrator of “black” operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his “mighty Wurlitzer,” a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press.)

***

In November 1973, after [the CIA claimed to have ended the program], Colby told reporters and editors from the New York Times and the Washington Star that the Agency had “some three dozen” American newsmen “on the CIA payroll,” including five who worked for “general‑circulation news organizations.” Yet even while the Senate Intelligence Committee was holding its hearings in 1976, according to high‑level CIA sources, the CIA continued to maintain ties with seventy‑five to ninety journalists of every description—executives, reporters, stringers, photographers, columnists, bureau clerks and members of broadcast technical crews. More than half of these had been moved off CIA contracts and payrolls but they were still bound by other secret agreements with the Agency. According to an unpublished report by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Representative Otis Pike, at least fifteen news organizations were still providing cover for CIA operatives as of 1976.

***

Those officials most knowledgeable about the subject say that a figure of 400 American journalists is on the low side ….

“There were a lot of representations that if this stuff got out some of the biggest names in journalism would get smeared” ….

An expert on propaganda testified under oath during trial that the CIA now employs THOUSANDS of reporters and OWNS its own media organizations. Whether or not his estimate is accurate, it is clear that many prominent reporters still report to the CIA.

4-part BBC documentary called the “Century of the Self” shows that an American – Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays – created the modern field of manipulation of public perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used his techniques.

John Pilger is a highly-regarded journalist (the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson remarked, “A country that does not have a John Pilger in its journalism is a very feeble place indeed”). Pilger said in 2007:

We now know that the BBC and other British media were used by the British secret intelligence service MI-6. In what they called Operation Mass Appeal, MI-6 agents planted stories about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, such as weapons hidden in his palaces and in secret underground bunkers. All of these stories were fake.

***

One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. “I have to tell you,” said the spokesman, “that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don’t have to do any of that. What is the secret?”

Nick Davies wrote in the Independent in 2008:

For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it.

The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. I’ve spent the last two years researching a book about falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media.

The “Zarqawi letter” which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004 was one of a sequence of highly suspect documents which were said to have been written either by or to Zarqawi and which were fed into news media.

This material is being generated, in part, by intelligence agencies who continue to work without effective oversight; and also by a new and essentially benign structure of “strategic communications” which was originally designed by doves in the Pentagon and Nato who wanted to use subtle and non-violent tactics to deal with Islamist terrorism but whose efforts are poorly regulated and badly supervised with the result that some of its practitioners are breaking loose and engaging in the black arts of propaganda.

***

The Pentagon has now designated “information operations” as its fifth “core competency” alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own “psyop” element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department’s campaign of “public diplomacy” which includes funding radio stations and news websites. In Britain, the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations in the Ministry of Defence works with specialists from 15 UK psyops, based at the Defence Intelligence and Security School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire.

In the case of British intelligence, you can see this combination of reckless propaganda and failure of oversight at work in the case of Operation Mass Appeal. This was exposed by the former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter, who describes in his book, Iraq Confidential, how, in London in June 1998, he was introduced to two “black propaganda specialists” from MI6 who wanted him to give them material which they could spread through “editors and writers who work with us from time to time”.

The government is still paying off reporters to spread disinformation. And the corporate media are acting like virtual “escort services” for the moneyed elites, selling access – for a price – to powerful government officials, instead of actually investigating and reporting on what those officials are doing.

One of the ways that the U.S. government spreads propaganda is by making sure that it gets its version out first. For example, the head of the U.S. Information Agency’s television and film division – Alvin A. Snyder – wrote in his book Warriors of Disinformation: How Lies, Videotape, and the USIA Won the Cold War:

All governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.

***

Another casualty, always war’s first, was the truth. The story of [the accidental Russian shootdown of a Korean airliner] will be remembered pretty much the way we told it in 1983, not the way it really happened.

In 2013, the American Congress repealed the formal ban against the deployment of propaganda against U.S. citizens living on American soil. So there’s even less to constrain propaganda than before.

One of the most common uses of propaganda is to sell unnecessary and counter-productive wars. Given that the American media is always pro-war, mainstream publishers, producers, editors, and reporters are willing participants.

It’s not just lying about Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction … the corporate media is still selling lies to promote war.

Former Newsweek and Associated Press reporter Robert Parry notes that Ronald Reagan and the CIA unleashed a propaganda campaign in the 1980’s to sell the American public on supporting the Contra rebels, utilizing private players such as Rupert Murdoch to spread disinformation. Parry notes that many of the same people that led Reagan’s domestic propaganda effort in the 1980’s are in power today:

While the older generation that pioneered these domestic propaganda techniques has passed from the scene, many of their protégés are still around along with some of the same organizations. The National Endowment for Democracy, which was formed in 1983 at the urging of CIA Director Casey and under the supervision of Walter Raymond’s NSC operation, is still run by the same neocon, Carl Gershman, and has an even bigger budget, now exceeding $100 million a year.

Gershman and his NED played important behind-the-scenes roles in instigating the Ukraine crisis by financing activists, journalists and other operatives who supported the coup against elected President Yanukovych. The NED-backed Freedom House also beat the propaganda drums. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Shadow Foreign Policy.”]

Two other Reagan-era veterans, Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan, have both provided important intellectual support for continuing U.S. interventionism around the world. Earlier this year, Kagan’s article for The New Republic, entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” touched such a raw nerve with President Obama that he hosted Kagan at a White House lunch and crafted the presidential commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of Kagan’s criticism of Obama’s hesitancy to use military force.

***

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is bigger than ever ….

Another key to American propaganda is the constant repetition of propaganda. As Business Insider reported in 2013:

Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, a highly-respected officer who released a critical report regarding the distortion of truth by senior military officials in Iraq and Afghanistan ….

From Lt. Col. Davis:

In context, Colonel Leap is implying we ought to change the law to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will.”

The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 appears to serve this purpose by allowing for the American public to be a target audience of U.S. government-funded information campaigns.

Davis also quotes Brigadier General Ralph O. Baker — the Pentagon officer responsible for the Department of Defense’s Joint Force Development — who defines Information Operations (IO) as activities undertaken to “shape the essential narrative of a conflict or situation and thus affect the attitudes and behaviors of the targeted audience.”

Brig. Gen. Baker goes on to equate descriptions of combat operations with the standard marketing strategy of repeating something until it is accepted:

For years, commercial advertisers have based their advertisement strategies on the premise that there is a positive correlation between the number of times a consumer is exposed to product advertisement and that consumer’s inclination to sample the new product. The very same principle applies to how we influence our target audiences when we conduct COIN.

And those “thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs” appear to serve Baker’s strategy, which states: “Repetition is a key tenet of IO execution, and the failure to constantly drive home a consistent message dilutes the impact on the target audiences.”

Government Massively Manipulates the Web, Social Media and Other Forms of Communication

Of course, the Web and social media have become a huge media platform, and the Pentagon and other government agencies are massively manipulating both.

Documents released by Snowden show that spies manipulate polls, website popularity and pageview counts, censor videos they don’t like and amplify messages they do.

The CIA and other government agencies also put enormous energy into pushing propaganda through movies, television and video games.

Cross-Border Propaganda

Propaganda isn’t limited to our own borders …

Sometimes, the government plants disinformation in American media in order to mislead foreigners. For example, an official government summary of America’s overthrow of the democratically-elected president of Iran in the 1950′s states, “In cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological effect in Iran and contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq” (page x).

The CIA has also bribed leading foreign journalists.

And CNN accepted money from the brutal Bahrani dictatorship to run pro-monarchy propaganda.

Everyone Who Challenges the Status Quo Is Labeled As a Purveyor of “Fake News” … Or Worse

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of the press from censorship by government.

Indeed, the entire reason that it’s unlawful for the government to stop stories from being printed is because that would punish those who criticize those in power.

Why? Because the Founding Father knew that governments (like the British monarchy) will always crack down on those who point out that the emperor has no clothes.

But the freedom of the press is under massive attack in America today …

For example, the powers-that-be argue that only highly-paid corporate media shills who will act as stenographers for the fatcats should have the constitutional protections guaranteeing freedom of the press.

A Harvard law school professor argues that the First Amendment is outdated and should be abandoned.

When financially-savvy bloggers challenged the Federal Reserve’s policy, a Fed official called all bloggers stupid and unqualified to comment.

And the government is treating the real investigative reporters like criminals … or even terrorists:

  • The government admits that journalists could be targeted with counter-terrorism laws (and here). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing aboutbad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge
  • In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank of America to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this)

Posted in USA, EuropeComments Off on Who’s the Biggest Peddler of Fake News?

Hillary Clinton Leads by Two Million in US Popular Vote

H-Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote over Republican Donald Trump now tops 2 million votes, according to a tabulation of results reported by each state and reported by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Clinton has received 64,223,958 votes to Trump’s 62,206,395, with several million more votes remaining to be counted, mainly mail ballots in California postmarked by November 8 but received by election authorities after that date. Vote counting in California is slowed by the length of the ballot, which includes a large number of complex referenda proposals.

Under the antiquated Electoral College system, which grossly over-represents smaller rural states at the expense of California and other heavily urbanized states, Trump has won 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. A vote in the Electoral College, set for December 19, will officially entitle Trump to take the oath of office next January 20.

Clinton’s lead of 2 million votes is far greater than the margin in any previous US presidential contest in which the popular vote loser was installed as president by the Electoral College. Her margin of victory in the popular vote, approaching 2 percent, is greater than that of seven candidates who actually won the presidency.

The antidemocratic character of Trump’s election “victory” has not deterred leading Democrats, from Obama and Clinton on down, from prostrating themselves before the “president-elect.” The newly elected Senate Democratic leader, Charles Schumer, made one passing reference to Trump losing the popular vote, suggesting this meant he had no “mandate,” but he drew no conclusions from this about either the policies or the personnel of the new administration.

Trump himself raised the subject Tuesday in the course of his hour-long, on-the-record discussion with editors, reporters and columnists of the New York Times. He noted criticism that he had not won the popular vote, and then argued that he could have done so if he had campaigned in the most populous states such as California, New York and Texas.

No one at the Times pressed the issue with him—or any other issue, for that matter. The transcript records a generally cordial discussion, punctuated at least 15 times by laughter. No one would guess, reading the transcript, that the newspaper had excoriated Trump not only in its editorial pages and op-ed columns, but also in its news pages, declaring him unfit for the presidency and a threat to American democracy. The verbal broadsides are forgotten, replaced by bowing and scraping before the new “commander-in-chief.”

Despite the media cover-up, however, Trump’s heavy defeat in the popular vote is significant. It underscores the fact that his installation in the White House is not the product of an embrace of his ultra-right policies by the American people.

Democratic candidates have won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections, but in two of the six popular vote victories, the Democratic candidate—Al Gore in 2000 and now Clinton in 2016—fell short in the Electoral College.

In 2000, when Gore won nationally by 540,000 votes, the election was stolen through the Supreme Court intervention to halt the counting of legal votes in Florida. The notorious Bush v. Gore decision effectively awarded Florida’s electoral votes to Bush and made him president.

A group of computer scientists and election lawyers charged this week that the 2016 election result is equally dubious. They presented a report to leading Democrats, including Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and general counsel Mark Elias, arguing that the vote totals in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania had been manipulated in favor of Trump.

The 56 electoral votes from the three populous industrial states were all awarded to Trump, who carried each state by a narrow margin: 27,000 votes in Wisconsin, 9,000 votes in Michigan, and 70,000 votes in Pennsylvania. If these electoral votes shifted to Clinton, she would win the Electoral College by 288 to 250.

The argument, presented by Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, is suggestive, but not conclusive. It relies on the finding that Clinton received disproportionately fewer votes in counties that used electronic voting machines compared to counties that used paper ballots and optical scanners. In Wisconsin, the only state analyzed in detail, Clinton may have lost as many as 30,000 votes, more than Trump’s margin of victory.

The analysts did not claim definitive proof, but urged the Democratic Party to file challenges in the three states to force reexamination of the tabulation and, if possible, full recounts. The deadlines are approaching fast: Friday, November 25 for Pennsylvania; Monday, November 28 for Wisconsin; and Wednesday, November 30 for Michigan.

There have long been suspicions of data manipulation by electronic voting machines, partly because of anecdotal reports of error—voters claiming they cast a vote for one candidate only to see the machine record it as a vote for another—and partly because the machines are manufactured by companies run by CEOs with close ties to the Republican Party.

The current claims, however, may well serve as an effort to whitewash the dismal performance of the Democratic Party in key working-class areas, particularly among minority workers in inner-city Milwaukee, Detroit, Pittsburgh and other urban centers.

There are additional problems with the claims of electronic manipulation. Michigan conducts voting entirely by means of paper ballots with optical scanners, making such manipulation difficult. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has an entirely electronic voting system, with no paper ballots. However, the state government is under a Democratic Party administration, and would therefore seem unlikely to steal the election for Trump.

Moreover, there have been attempts to link charges of election manipulation to the Russia-baiting by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party during the months before the election, when the Democrats claimed that the Russian government was responsible for hacking into the emails of campaign chairman Podesta and the Democratic National Committee. No evidence was ever presented of a Russian role in the release of these emails, which proved politically embarrassing, and the warnings that Moscow planned to disrupt the functioning of polling places on Election Day proved to be a false alarm.

The main obstacle to any serious investigation into possible rigging of voting machines or state tabulations, however, is the attitude of the Democratic leadership, above all the Obama White House, which has embraced Trump and promised a “smooth transition” to what will undoubtedly be the most reactionary, militaristic and dictatorial government in American history. New York magazine, which first reported the claims of vote manipulation in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, noted the stance of the Obama administration, writing, “Also complicating matters, a senior Clinton adviser said, is that the White House, focused on a smooth transfer of power, does not want Clinton to challenge the election result.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Hillary Clinton Leads by Two Million in US Popular Vote

Trump and the “Collapse of Capitalism” (COC): Foibles, Fables and Failures, The Financial Press and its Keepers

NOVANEWS
Global Research
economist-trump

US officialdom and their media megaphones have systematically concocted narratives having less to do with political reality and more with their hallucinogenic world view.  Pre-election and post-election reportage weaves a tapestry of fiction and fantasy.

We will discuss the most pernicious of these remarkable foibles and fables and their predictable failures.

1. Collapse of Capitalism 

The pundits, prestigious editorialists and ‘economists with gravitas’, have convinced themselves that the election of Donald Trump would ‘lead to the Collapse of Capitalism (COC)’. 

They cited his campaign attacks of globalization and trade agreements, as well as his ‘reckless’ swipes at speculators.  In reality, Trump was criticizing a specific kind of capitalism.  The pundits overlooked the variety of capitalisms that constitute the US economy.  With their snouts deep in the trough, their own vision was limited; their curly tails blindly twirled meaningless formulae on blackboards; their ample backsides flapping away in place of their mouths.  Thus occupied, they easily ignored Trump’s glorification of national capitalism.

Trump followed the legacy of protectionism in US policies established by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton and carried into the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and others.  Capitalism comes in various forms and is promoted by different protagonists at different times in our history.  Some leaders have championed such economic sectors as domestic energy production, manufacturing, mining and agriculture and depended largely on the local labor markets.  Nevertheless, the pundits’ dream of a final collapse of capitalism with the rise of Trump turned into a real stock market bonanza, the ‘DOW’ boomed to record levels, and monopolists rubbed their hands in anticipation of larger and more lucrative merger and acquisitions.

The world’s largest billionaire bankers had bankrolled Secretary Hillary Clinton, the ‘million-dollar-a-speech’ War Goddess.   Blankfein, Soros and the dirty dozen had bet heavily against the populist-nationalist Donald Trump and they lost.  Their pre-paid political manifestos, addressed to the readers of the NY Times, flopped and sputtered: Most readers and investors in domestic markets had placed their bets on ‘The Donald’.  Their domestic celebrations pumped up the market after the election.  The unimaginable had happened: George Soros had bet and lost!  The ‘deplorable’ electorate preferred the obnoxious nationalist to the obnoxious speculator. ‘Who’d a thunk it?’

2.   Color-coded ‘Manhattan Spring’ 

From electoral losers to street putschists, the speculators and their whiny media mouthpieces strive to overthrow the election process. 

Against the tens of millions of free voters, the speculators bankrolled a few thousands demonstrators, drunk with their own delusions of starting a color-coded ‘Manhattan Spring’ to overthrow the elected President.  

Decked out in black ‘anarchist chic’, the window vandals and historically illiterate students were energized by the promise to replicate the putsches in Kiev and Tbilisi.  They took to the streets, cracked a few some windows and signed thousands of ‘on-line petitions’ (while denouncing Trump as the ‘Second Coming of Kristalnacht’).   The media magnified the theatrics as a sort of uprising to restore their loser-emancipator to the throne – the bleery-eyed Jean D’Arc of the Hedge Funds.  The losers lost and Hillary will hopefully retire to count her millions.  The stock market soared to record heights.

3. The four most influential financial newspapers, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Financial Times (FT), the New York Times (NYT) and the Washington Post (WP) had deeply mourned their ‘Paradise Lost’

Long-gone was the rotting vassal-state of Russia under Boris Yeltsin 1991 – 2000, source of so much Western pillage.  Their bile turned to venom, directed at the new Nemesis:  Putin.   The election of Vladimir Putin led to a remarkable economic and social recovery for Russia.  From a Western controlled gangster-capitalist ‘thug-ocracy’, Russia has become a modern global power asserting its own sovereignty and national interests.

Gone are the days when Harvard economists could sack Russia of millions through their various ‘democracy’ foundations and Wall Street bankers could launder billions from the criminal oligarchs.  Pentagon planners had dismantled Russian bases throughout its previous Warsaw Pact neighbors and set up NATO bases on Russia’s borders. 

State Department functionaries had overthrown elected pro-Russian regimes in the Ukraine, Georgia and as far afield as Libya.  These were the unfettered joys of the US unipolar rulers and their stable of prestigious press pimps and academics, until Putin arrived to spoil the party.  And in the run-up to the US election, the Clintonites and their Democratic entourage in the media launched the most frenzied demonic attack accusing Vladimir Putin of financing Trump’s campaign, of hacking Clinton’s messy, unsecured e-mail messages to undermine elections, of bombing Syrian hospitals full of children, of preparing to invade Latvia and Poland etc., etc.  If there is one sliver of truth in the vassal press, it is that the demonic changes made against Putin reflected the gory reality of Hillary Clinton’s well-documented policies.

Clinton’s model for a democratic Russia was the drunken President Yeltsin, bankrolled by thugs as they gorged themselves on the corpse of the USSR.  But Vladimir Putin was elected repeatedly by huge majorities and his governance has been far more representative of the Russian electorate than those of the recidivist loser, Hillary Clinton.  Russia didn’t ‘invade’ the Ukraine or Crimea.  It was the ‘potty-mouthed’ Victoria Nuland, US Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, who boasted of having tossed a mere 5 billion dollars into neo-fascist–kleptocratic putsch that took over Ukraine and who famously dismissed the concerns of the European Union…with her secretly recorded ‘F— the EE’  comment to the US Ambassador!

At some point, reality has to bubble up through the slime: Putin never financed Trump – the billionaire financed his own campaign. On the other hand, Clinton was bankrolled by Saudi despots, Zionist billionaires and Wall Street bankers.  The mass media, the WSJ, FT, NYT and the WP, dutifully served the same stale, old sexist gossip about Trump in support of the sweet and sour, wide-eyed Madam Strangelove, who never hesitated to rip the lives out of thousands of Muslim women in their own countries.  The media celebrated Madame Clinton’s nuclear option for Syria (the ‘No-Fly Zone’) while it ridiculed Trump’s proposal to negotiate a settlement with Putin.

The media accused Trump of being a sexist, racist, anti-immigrant villain, all the while ignoring Secretary of State Clinton’s blood-soaked history of bombs and destruction, of killing of tens of thousands women in the Middle East and Africa and driving hundreds of thousands among the two million sub-Sahara Africans formerly employed in Libya under Gadhafi’s rule onto rotting ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

Who in Madame’s media count the millions of people dispossessed or the 300,000 killed by the US-promoted mercenary invasion of Syria?  Where were the feminists, who now dredge up Trump’s crude ‘crotch talk’, when millions of women and children of color were killed, injured, raped and dispossessed by Madame Clinton’s seven wars?  Given the choice, most women would prefer to defend themselves from the stupid words of a vulgar misogynist over the threat of a Clinton-Obama predator drone ripping their families to shreds.  Nasty, juvenile words do not compare with a history of bloody war crimes.

It is much easier to denounce Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump than to analyze the consequences of Madame Candidate Clinton’s policies. The mass media, subservient to Clinton, wave the flag of  ‘worker struggles’ and highlight ‘capitalist exploitation’ when they describe China, Russia and the businesses of US President-Elect Trump.  But their perspective is that of the ‘Uni-Polar Empire’.  They cite non-unionized worker protests in Chinese factories and peasants fighting the rapacious developers.

They cite corrupt oil sales in Russia.  They find cheap immigrant labor employed on Trump’s building projects.  The media describe and defend Hong Kong separatists.  They heap praise on the Uighar, Chechen and Tibetan terrorists as “freedom fighters” and “liberators”.  They fail to acknowledge that, as bad as worker exploitation is in these examples, it is far less horrific than the suffering experienced by millions of local and immigrant peasants and workers who have been injured, killed and rendered jobless and homeless by US bombing campaigns in Libya and US invasion-destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. The imperial media’s phony ‘anti-capitalist-exploiter stories’ against Trump, Putin and the Chinese are mere propaganda rhetoric designed to entice leftists, influence liberals and reinforce conservatives by playing on workers’ plight inflicted by national adversaries instead of imperial conquests and egregious crimes against humanity.

These financial scribes are very selective in their critique of economic exploitation: They denounce political adversaries while churning out vapid cultural stories and reports on the ‘eclectic tastes’ of the elite.  Their weekend cultural pages may occasionally contain a critique of some predatory financiers next to a special feature on an unusual sculptor or successful upwardly mobile immigrant writer.  Day after day, the same financial media publishes predictable ‘bootlickeries’ masquerading as reports on vulture capitalists, warmongers and imperial warlords.  They court and offer advice to Wall Street, the City of London and Gulf State sheikdoms.  They write in blubbering awe at the bold multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions, which eliminate competitive prices and establish effective monopolies.  Then they deftly turn to rant against President-Elect Donald Trump’s pronouncements on workers’ rights – he is ‘the demagogue threatening free-market … capitalism’.

The fear and loathing of the ‘Wildman’ Trump, so evident in the four most prestigious English language newspapers, is nowhere to be found in reference to Secretary Clinton’s pathological glee over the gruesome torture-murder of the injured President Gadhafi by her allied jihadi tribesmen.  The global and domestic implications of the US Secretary of State expressing glee and high pitched squeals on viewing the filmed torture and final ‘coup de grace’ on the wounded head of the Libyan President was never analyzed in the respectable press.  Instead, the press superficially covers the plight of millions of immigrants and refugees who would never have left their jobs and homes were it not for the US destruction of the Middle East and North Africa.  The respectable media defend the US officials directly responsible for the plight of these migrants flooding and threatening to destabilize Europe.

The same newspapers defend the ‘human rights’ of Chinese workers in local and US-owned factories who out-competed domestic American factories, but ignore the plight of millions of unemployed and destitute workers trying to survive in the US war zones and Israeli-occupied territories.

The Presidential elections made millions of American voters starkly aware of the mendacity of the mass media and the corruption of the Clinton political elite.

The media and the Clinton-elite denounced the Trump voters as ‘deplorables’ and totally mischaracterized them.  They were not overwhelmingly unemployed, bitter former industrial workers or minimum wage, uneducated racists from the gutted ‘heartland’.  ‘Angry white male workers’ constituted only a fraction of the Trump electorate.  Trump received the vote of large sections of suburban middle class professionals, managers and local businesspeople; joined by downwardly mobile Main Street shopkeepers, garage owners and construction contractors.  A majority of white women voted for Trump.  City household residents, still trying to recover from the Obama-Clinton era mortgage foreclosures, formed an important segment of the Trump majority, as did underpaid university and community college graduates – despairing of ever finding long-term stable employment.  In short, low-paid, exploited and precarious business owners and service sector employees formed a larger section of the Trump majority than the stereotyped ‘deplorable angry white racists’ embedded in the media and Clinton-Sanders propaganda.

Post-election media has magnified the political significance and size of the anti-Trump demonstrations.  Altogether the demonstrators barely surpassed a hundred thousand in a country of 100 million voters.  Most have been white students, Democratic Party activists and Soros-financed NGOs.  Their demonstrations have been far smaller than the huge pro-Trump public rallies during the campaign. The pro-Clinton media, which consistently ignored the size of Trump’s rallies, doesn’t bother to make any comparison.  They have focused exclusively on the post-election protest, completely papering over the outrageous manipulation by which the Democratic National Committee under ‘Debbie’ Wasserman Schultz cheated Clinton’s wildly popular left-wing rival, Bernie Sanders, during the primaries.

Instead, the media has been featuring Clintonesque ‘feminist’ professionals and ‘identity’ political activists, ignoring the fact that a majority of working women voted for Trump for economic reason.  Many politically conscious African-American and Latino women knew that Clinton was deeply involved in policies that deported 2 million immigrant workers and family members between 2009 – 2014 and destroyed the lives of millions of women of color in North and Central Africa because of her war against the government of Libya.  For millions of female and male workers, as well as immigrants – there was a ‘lesser evil’ – Trump.  For them, the Donald’s nasty remarks about women and Mexicans were less disturbing than the real history of Hillary Clinton’s brutal wars destroying women of color in Africa and the Middle East and her savage policies against immigrants.

The more bizarre (but transient) aspect of the anti-Trump smear campaign came from a hysterical section of the pro-Hillary ‘Zionist Power Configuration’ (ZPC) and ‘Israel-First’ crackpots who accused him and some of his appointees of anti-Semitism.  These venomous propagandists slapped the Manhattan real-estate mogul Trump with an odd assortment of labels:  ‘fascist’, ‘misogynist’, ‘anti-Israel’, Ku Klux Klan apologist and White Nationalist.  The Minnesota Senator and former comedian Al Franken described Trump’s critique against Wall Street Bankers and finance capital as ‘dog whistles’ for anti-Semites, labeling the candidate as a 21st century disseminator of the ‘Protocols of Zion’.  Senator Franken darkly hinted that ‘rogue’ (anti-Semitic) agents had infiltrated the FBI and were working to undermine Israel’s favorite, Clinton.  He even promised to initiate a post-election purge of the FBI…upon Clinton’s victory… Needless to say, the Senator’s own rant, published (and quickly buried) two days before the election in the Guardian, did not help Madame Hillary with the security apparatus in the United States.  History has never been a strong point with the Comedian Senator Al Franken, who should have know better than to threaten the deep security state: his Mid-West predecessor Senator Joseph McCarthy quickly deflated after he threatened the generals.

The accusations of anti-Semitism against Trump were baseless and desperate:  The Trump campaign team has prominently included Jews and Israel-Firsters and secured a minority of Jewish votes, especially among smaller businesspeople supporting greater protectionism.  Secondly, Trump condemned anti-Semitic acts and language and did not appeal to any of the extremist groups.

Thirdly (and predictably) the Zionist Anti-Defamation League (ADL) slapped an anti-Semitic ‘guilt by association’ label on Donald Trump because of his consistent criticism of US wars and occupations in the Middle East, which Trump had correctly pointed out cost the US over two trillion dollars – money that would have totally rebuilt the failing US infrastructure and created millions of domestic jobs.  For the loony ADL, the US wars in the Middle East have enhanced Israel’s security and thus any opposition to these wars is anti-Semitic or ‘guilt by association’.

The ADL directors, who have raked in over $3 million dollar salaries over the past 5 years ‘protecting’ US Jews, objected to Trump because Hillary Clinton was the darling of the pro-war Israel-First lobbies and Obama-Clinton appointees.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka (a convert to Judaism) is married into a prominent Orthodox Jewish family with strong ties to Israel; the Trump clan is close to elements among the Israeli elite, including the uber-racist Netanyahu.  These hysterical slanders against ‘Trump the Anti-Semite’ reflect the fact that the most prominent domestic Jewish power bloc, ‘the 52 Presidents of American Jewish Organization’ had invested heavily in Hillary Clinton.  No matter what the cost, no matter what the land grab, no matter how many Palestinians were ‘killed or maimed by Jewish settler-vigilantes’; the State of Israel could always count on Clinton’s unconditional support.  The Lobby would not need to ‘petition’ their ‘First Woman’ President; Madame Hillary would have anticipated Israel’s every desire and even embellished their rhetoric.

In the end, Senator Al Franken’s rabid anti- Trump rant went too far … vanishing from the Guardian website in less than one day.  Influential Zionist organizations turned their backs on the Senator Comedian; the Zionist Organization of America reprimanded the ADL for its intemperate slanders – sensing that Clinton could lose.

The Franken-Zionist power structure’s last-ditch efforts to attack Trump must have provoked a very negative response within the US ‘deep state’.  There can be no doubt that the entire intelligence, military and security elites struck back and put their organizational ‘thumb on the scale’. The FBI’s release of damaging documents related to Secretary Clinton undermined the ADL’s candidate in the run-up to the election and hinted at an interesting power struggle behind the curtains.

The FBI’s release of confidential documents, likely including epistles from Chappaqua to and from Tel Aviv, linked tangentially to the pedophilic crimes of the disgraced Congressman (and former Clinton ally) Anthony Weiner was a heavy blow.  The Netanyahu Cabinet put distance between themselves and their favorites, probably telling AIPAC leaders to muzzle Al Franken and pretend his threats to purge the FBI had never been launched.  They were clearly worried that their lunatic attack dogs could set the entire US Security State on a hostile track against Israel.

The Franken-ADL trial balloon fizzled and disappeared.  The intelligence establishment pounded the final nail into the coffin of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential aspirations.   She even briefly accused the FBI of ruining her candidacy – hinting at some partial but oversimplified truth. A Zionist darling to the end, Hillary would never dare to identify and castigate the crazy and incompetent Zionist provocateurs that had helped to turn the Deep State against Madame Secretary.

A last note: 

Once Clinton lost and Trump took ‘the prize’, the Zionist Power Structure deftly switched sides:  the former ‘Anti-Semite’ candidate Trump became ‘Israel’s Best Friend in the White House’.  None of the 52 leading Zionist organizations would join the street protests.

The foibles, fables and failure of the financial press and their keepers lost the elections but are back, hard at work, remaking President-Elect Trump into a global free marketer.

Posted in USAComments Off on Trump and the “Collapse of Capitalism” (COC): Foibles, Fables and Failures, The Financial Press and its Keepers


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