Archive | December 14th, 2016

Westerners’ minds disoriented with fake news on Syria

NOVANEWS
By: Anthony Hall

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Press TV 

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has accused the United States, France and Britain of spreading fake news and and waging a psychological warfare over the situation in Syria’s Aleppo. The three countries have claimed that the Syrian government targeted civilians in eastern Aleppo, with US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power accusing Syrian forces of killing some 80 civilians in the last few days.

Anthony Hall, editor-in-chief of the American Herald Tribune, believes Westerners’ minds are completely “disoriented” with a barrage of fake news, adding there has been an enormous psychological warfare campaign to totally confuse them about what is going on in Syria.

“And now in Aleppo we are presented with this image of rebels as if these are human rights activists who have just been standing there trying to bring about better human rights in Syria, ignoring the reality of this tremendous infusion of weaponry, of psychological warfare, of resources, Saudi Arabia’s role, Qatar’s role, NATO’s role in creating this whole confused situation in Syria,” he told Press TV on Wednesday.

By defeating the terrorists in Aleppo, he said, Russia demonstrated that the United States military campaign against Daesh is “phony”.

Less than a month ago, Syrian army forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, started a wholesale push to drive the militants out of their stronghold in the city’s eastern side, making great strides in the process.

Hall said there is overwhelming evidence that Daesh is a creation of the same process that created al-Qaeda and an extension of 9/11 wars.

According to the analyst, the “Angelo-American Zionist empire” is seeking to divide and break up the Middle East so that Israel can thrive and continue its expansionary policies towards a greater Israel.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and UN have put the death toll from the Syria conflict at more than 300,000 and 400,000, respectively.

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It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Totalitarianism, and I Don’t Mean Russia

NOVANEWS

Image result for Totalitarianism CARTOON

By F. William Engdahl

If we smell precisely the stench of the totality of steps taken in NATO countries in recent months, especially in the United States and the European Union, we can smell the stench of totalitarian rule or some would call it, fascism, being quietly imposed on our basic human freedoms. Some recent examples give pause for reflection as to where we are allowing our world to drift.

Let’s begin with a most ominous, bizarre, Jesuitical interview that the Roman Catholic Pope Francis gave to a Belgian paper December 7, comparing what he calls defamatory news to what he called the “sickness of coprophagia.” He stated:

QUESTION – A final question, Holy Father, regarding the media: a consideration regarding the means of communication…

POPE – The communications media have a very great responsibility…It is obvious that, given that we are all sinners, also the media can…become harmful… They can be tempted by calumny, and therefore used to slander, to sully people, especially in the world of politics. They can be used as a means of defamation: every person has the right to a good reputation, but perhaps in their previous life, or ten years ago, they had a problem with justice, or a problem in their family life, and bringing this to light is serious and harmful… This is a sin and it is harmful. A thing that can do great damage to the information media is disinformation: that is, faced with any situation, saying only a part of the truth, and not the rest. This is disinformation… Disinformation is probably the greatest damage that the media can do, as opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth. I believe that the media should… not fall prey – without offence, please – to the sickness of coprophilia, which is always wanting to communicate scandal… And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, it can do great harm.

Coprophilia is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “marked interest in excrement, especially the use of feces or filth for sexual excitement.” And coprophagia is eating feces by humans, literally, eating shit.

What people precisely, Holy Father, have a “tendency to towards the sickness of coprophagia”? Is this the dominant sickness of the human race? And if not, why do you make such a disgusting likeness between eating shit and citizens who read about politicians and their misdeeds or media that report on same? And who is to judge if factually true dissemination of facts about political figures from their past is relevant or not to help voters judge their character? I would say the comments are a perfect example of what he pretends to condemn.

Were it only a single, off-the-cuff remark by a religious figure, we could dismiss it along with claims such as the papal infallibility declaration proclaimed by the Vatican I on 18 July 1870. However, precisely because of such dogma and of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and its Pope, notably in the countries of Western Europe, the United States and Latin America, such vague and dangerous remarks ought to be taken seriously as a signal of what lies ahead for the public freedom of speech.

“Fake News”

The papal comments on coprophagia and journalism come amid an explosion of charges in the USA and EU that Russia is planting “fake news” as it is now being called, about Hillary Clinton in the US media by way of certain alternative media. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, said “fake news” was a “huge problem” the campaign faced in the recent US election: “I still think we have to investigate what happened with Russia here. We cannot have foreign, and I would say foreign aggressors here, intervening in our elections. The Russian were propagating fake news through Facebook and other outlets, but look, we also had…Breitbart News, which was notorious for peddling stories like this.”

Online stories that claimed a Washington D.C. pizza restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, was used by candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta for child sex, the so-called “Pizzagate” Scandal, is now being used to drum up popular opinion for censorship of the Internet as well as Facebook and other social media.

Senior New York Times reporter David Sanger wrote a vague, anonymous “according to senior Administration sources,” article on December 9 under the headline, “Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, US Concludes.” What we are seeing is precisely the kind of fake news that Hillary Clinton and the Pope talk about. But it is mainstream establishment media doing the fakery.

The fakery is being orchestrated by the highest levels of the mainstream media in collusion with NATO circles and intelligence agencies such as the CIA, which has saturated the ranks of mainstream media with their disinformation agents according to former CIA head William Colby, who once allegedly said, “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”

The campaign will continue, likely with some horrendous stories about some psychopath taking a gun and bursting into Comet Ping Pong pizza place shooting innocent customers, because it was said he read in alternative media fake news about the pedophile ring. That already took place, but the man fired no shots. The population is being manipulated to accept extreme censorship of internet and other alternative media, something unimaginable just months ago.

Like clockwork, the “fake news” campaign has spread to the European Union. After announcing she will run again in 2017 for Chancellor, Angela Merkel spoke ominous words suggesting government censorship of independent “populist” (sic) media might be necessary: “Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms and we have to learn to deal with them.” She declared, “we must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it… Populism and political extremes are growing in Western democracies..” Her remarks came after Google and Facebook cut off ad revenue to what they declared to be “fake” news sites.

In the EU, especially Germany, populist has an implicit negative or even fascist connotation as in “right-wing populist” parties who oppose Merkel’s open door to war refugees policies, or who these days oppose almost anything her heavy-handed government puts forward.

War on Cash

Now if we begin to see stealth propaganda preparing us to accept severe clampdowns on the one remaining free media, the Internet and related social media, we can also see an equally ominous, indeed, totalitarian move to create acceptance for the idea we give up the right to hold paper money, giving private, often corrupt, banks total control over our money, and in turn giving government agencies total control over where we spend for what.

This is the so-called cashless society. Arguments put forward are that elimination of cash will be more convenient to consumers or that it will eliminate or greatly reduce organized crime and shadow economy that evades taxation. In the EU, Sweden has already virtually eliminated cash. Sweden cash purchases today are down to just three per cent of the national economy compared to nine per cent in the Eurozone and seven per cent in the US. Public buses don’t accept cash. Three of Sweden’s four largest banks are phasing out the manual handling of cash in bank branches. Norway is following the same path.

In France today, it’s now illegal to do cash transactions over €1,000 without documenting it properly. France’s finance minister Michel Sapin, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, blamed the attacks on the ability of the attackers to “buy dangerous things with cash.” Shortly after the Hebdo attacks he announced capital controls that included the €1,000 cap on cash payments, down from €3,000, to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy.” In high-inflation Eurozone €1,000 is not a huge sum.

Even in conservative Germany, a leading member of the Merkel coalition proposed to eliminate the €500 note and capping all cash transactions at €5,000. Some weeks later the European Central Bank, where negative interest rates are the order of the day, announced it would end issue of €500 notes by December 2018 arguing it made it too easy for criminals and terrorists to act.

And in the United States, as the campaign to sell skeptical citizens on cashless digital bank payments increases, JP Morgan Chase, the largest and one of the most criminal banks in the US, has a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets. The bank bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and it prohibits storage of “any cash or coins” in safe deposit boxes. So if you have a rare cold coin collection, you better stuff it in the mattress…

Negative Rates and Cashless Citizens

As long as cash–bills and coins of a national currency–are the basis of the economy, the central banks of the USA and EU as well as Japan, are unable to impose a severe negative interest rate policy much beyond the flirtation today by the ECB and Bank of Japan. If central bank rates were to go very negative, banks would be charging customers the absurd charge to make them pay to keep their cash on deposit or in savings at those banks. Naturally, people would revolt and withdraw in cash to invest in gold or other hard, tangible valuables.

Harvard economist and member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve, Kenneth Rogoff, an advocate of the “war on cash,” noted that the existence of cash “creates the artifact of the zero bound on the nominal interest rate.” In his 2016 book, The Curse of Cash, Rogoff urged the Federal Reserve to phase out the 100-dollar bill, then the 50-dollar bill, then the 20-dollar bill, leaving only smaller denominations in circulation, much like what the mad Modi has just done in India.

Any serious observer of the world economy, especially of NATO nations in Europe and North America since the financial crisis of September 2008, would have to realize the current status quo of zero or negative central bank interest rates to prop up banks and financial markets is not sustainable. Unless cash is eliminated that is.

On April 5, 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102, “forbidding the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.” That was rightly denounced by many as outright theft, confiscation of privately held gold, by the Government.

Radical solutions such as done by President Roosevelt in 1933, yet in a monetary order where gold no longer dominates, is clearly becoming more attractive to the major bankers of Wall Street and the City of London. Rather than confiscate citizens’ gold, today the Gods of Money would have to find a way to steal the cash of citizens. Moving to their “cashless” banking, limiting how much cash can be withdrawn and then eliminating cash entirely as Swedish banks are doing would enable tax authorities to have perfect totalitarian control on every citizen’s use of money. Moreover, governments could decree, as did FDR, that cash above certain levels must be taxed under some or another national declaration of emergency.

As such bold, radical moves advance, they would of course be vociferously attacked not on CNN or The New York Times or Financial Times or other mainstream media tied to those criminal financial institutions, but in alternative media. Keep in mind it was the uncritical New York Times and Washington Post that uncritically retailed the fake news that led to declaration of war on Iraq in 2003, namely that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction aimed at Washington. That war has spread death and destruction of a scale unimaginable. No one complained at the time about that fake news.

The protest over moves to confiscate citizens’ bank holdings would come through alternate, independent media such as Zero Hedgeor countless others. Recently, US media uncritically republished a purported list of “fake news” blogs and websites prepared by Assistant Professor of Communications at Merrimack College, Melissa Zimdars. Zero Hedge was on it.

This is not about endorsing or not endorsing any alternative blog or website. It is about the essential freedom of us all to be able to read and decide any and all opinions or analyses and not to have government decide what I am or am not allowed to read. It’s about the freedom to keep privacy about what I choose to buy and not leave a digital trail that my bank could release to the tax authorities or to Homeland Security or the FBI, or sell to profiling consumer operations. Controlling public communication and controlling private money would go a long way to creation of the perfect totalitarian state. Not a good idea, I would say.

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The End in Aleppo: A Confused, Emotive Story Plays Out in International Media

NOVANEWS

afp_aleppo-celebrations

As was clear a few days ago when the Syrian Army liberated the Old City of Aleppo, it was just a matter of time before the remainder of rebel-held Aleppo would be recaptured.

The dramatic, wildly conflicting, reports circulating in the last 24 hours confirm that Aleppo has been fully liberated by the government forces: or about “99%”, according to official Syrian state sources. And I said a few days ago that when President Assad “declares victory”, it will be interesting to see how international leaders and agencies respond: well, that’s basically where we are now. 

The coverage of these events has been incredibly dramatic and unsettling; and also, as mentioned, highly conflicting as usual. To start with, what is called a ‘liberation’ of Aleppo by many – particularly in Syria – is being presented as a ‘massacre’ by Syrian government forces by various Western officials and news outlets, in keeping with the same disparity of portrayal that has characterised the entire Syrian conflict since 2011. Or it has been depicted as the ‘fall’ of Aleppo instead of the ‘liberation’.

Either way – and whatever you want to call it – the ‘rebels’ in Eastern Aleppo are done. As I thought would be the case months ago, the foreign-backed rebel occupation of Eastern Aleppo is over before Christmas; Syrian official sources have in fact reportedly explained that they want to finish all of this before the next US president is sworn in in mid-January.

An estimated 3,500 civilians left the remaining rebel-held parts of Aleppo via the Russian-organised humanitarian corridors over the last 24 hours. In the preceding two days, Russian agencies reported that some 13,000-plus civilians – including nearly 6,000 children – had also evacuated the eastern neighbourhoods (general estimates seem to be around 20,000), where they had been essentially held hostage by armed jihadists. According to the same sources, some 728 gunmen handed over their weapons and were evacuated to western neighborhoods where their legal status was to be determined in accordance with Bashar Assad’s amnesty decree.

Per that agreement, fighters of Syrian origin are – according at least to the official statements – afforded the opportunity to return to their normal lives in exchange for laying down their weapons; a policy that echoes the same (though unsuccessful) offers Gaddafi had made to Libyan rebels in 2011. What’s interesting about the language here, however, is that it doesn’t specify what will be done about NON-Syrian fighters – of which we know there are a great many. Perhaps the Syrian government should make a formal offer/request to all the foreign governments who allowed fighters or mercenaries into Syria for those governments to come collect their people.

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As is to be expected by now, however, a very different version of events is being presented in international media, in which there is talk of Syrian government forces carrying out a massacre in Eastern Aleppo. There has also been a dramatic level of lionisation of the falling rebels in Eastern Aleppo, with headlines like ‘The Revolution is Over’ and with widespread coverage of ‘activists’, as well as children, sending their ‘final messages’ on Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

Whether any of it is true or not is another matter; in this ‘post-truth world’ we’re in, as some are calling it, everything is either Western propaganda, Russian propaganda, or Syrian government propaganda. Ascertaining precise truth is often very difficult.

But what the coverage we’ve been seeing on mainstream outlets does is create a very powerful image of brave, noble victims facing their deaths and literally saying goodbye to the outside world, some of the messages having a resigned, bittersweet tone, while some others complain that the West and the UN did nothing to come and save them from the slaughter. The narrative has an almost cinematic quality. 

Some of this may be true in some sense or to some extent. But some of it presumably isn’t; and there’s something about the idea of people facing bombardment, ground troops and their imminent deaths taking time to post messages to Twitter or other platforms to say “goodbye” to their international audiences that doesn’t strike me as likely.

It also strikes as unlikely that, with Western officials having spent months *predicting* that Russia and Assad would carry out a final ‘massacre’ in Eastern Aleppo, the government would then go and do exactly that. Or that – if they weregoing to do that – they would leave the Internet connections in rebel-held territory unhindered for ‘activists’ and rebels to continue sending out anti-government messages and accusations to the outside world.

For that matter, if Eastern Aleppo has no food or medicine, no supplies or services, does it really still have perfectly functioning Internet good enough for Skype calls to the BBC, such as have been broadcast this morning?

Maybe it does – I’m not an electrical engineer or Internet expert. But one wonders, really, whether the White Helmets are even *in* Aleppo. It’s a serious question – we know, for example, that during the Libyan Civil War in 2011 a ‘reconstruction’ of Tripoli was created in Qatar to fake ‘footage’ of events in the Libyan capital.

A number of mainstream media outlets have reported civilians being lined up and executed by the government forces, as well as a report of children being burned alive.

There doesn’t appear to be any substantial evidence or imagery of alleged Syrian government crimes of that type having been carried out, even in articles that seem to be taking those claims at face value. I’m not dismissing the possibility that such things might’ve happened (in the ugliness of war, such things could certainly be happening; and it was never a great idea for Iranian/Shia militias to be used in Syria to deal with predominately Sunni Arab rebels; though Assad arguably simply needed the help) – I’m just asking where the evidence is.

In this example of how much of the media is covering the Aleppo situation, what’s interesting is how obvious pictures of rebel fighters are nevertheless labelled by the report as “activists” instead of fighters or even as people fighting “for civilians”. The infamous White Helmets are of course also cited a lot as the reliable source for what is happening.

CNN reports ‘Relatives of Free Syrian Army rebels, including women and children, were among those executed, activist Mohammad Basbous of the Aleppo Media Center told CNN Monday. “Every hour, butcheries are carried out,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding evidence to earlier reports from the United Nations of atrocities against a large number of civilians.’

It’s worth noting that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has already long since been debunked as a virtually one-man operation located in London. CNN, to its credit, does add that it ‘has not been able to verify the execution reports.’

The Independent also cites the SOHR in reporting that ‘at least 79 civilians, including women and boys, had been lined up against walls by pro-government militias and shot in the neighbourhoods of Fardous and Saliheen’. Again, given that the pro-government forces on the ground aren’t all Syrian Army, but include Iranian militias, I am not dismissing these claims out of hand. But, even in reporting this, The Independent admits these are ‘Unconfirmed reports’.

UN officials are reporting that ‘Syrian pro-government forces have been entering homes in eastern Aleppo and killing those inside, including women and children’.

Russian officials refute this claim: and no real evidence as yet has been provided. It is also interesting that the wording has it that ‘pro-government forces’ are accused of doing this, as opposed to ‘government forces’; and if there have genuinely been killings of this type going on, is that choice of wording significant? It does seem odd that Assad’s government would evacuate thousands of civilians via humanitarian corridors and then allegedly massacre other civilians inside the neighborhoods. It also seems odd that Assad would even offer amnesty to surrendering rebels and yet then have his forces murder unarmed civilians.

The one reason I would remain open to the possibility that these killings have occurred is because we know the Syrian Army isn’t acting alone on the ground, with much of the ‘pro government’ fighting being carried out also by Iranian/Shia militias and Hezbollah: and anything could happen amid on-the-ground tensions, particularly when deeply-felt sectarian hatred is involved.

Another source cited by some outlets – Brita Hagi Hasan, the ‘president of the Aleppo local council’ – says there is “documented evidence” that civilian men under 40 were being targeted by government forces. But Brita Hagi Hasan of the ‘Aleppo Local Council’ – just like the London-based SOHR – is based in France and not Aleppo. Again, I’m not dismissing those claims, just urging scepticism.

If images also do emerge of murdered victims, we would have no way of knowing who carried out the killings: we’ve been here in this double-bluff territory before, with the Houla massacre, with the sarin attacks, and various other killings in the course of the Syrian war. And it has been clear that rebels in Eastern Aleppo have also been killing people, which means imagery of bodies or victims doesn’t actually prove or explain who the perpetrators are. As I typed that sentence, I feel a little sick in my stomach, because I know I’m making it sound like an abstraction instead of the real-life horror and human cost that it is we’re talking about. But that is precisely what war is: fucked up, horrible and dehumanising.

It should also be borne in mind that the reason for such a concerted propaganda exercise as Aleppo falls to the Syrian government would be because the war in Syria is not considered over by foreign parties: and therefore the widespread perception that the Syrian government forces – and Russia – carried out a massacre in Eastern Aleppo would still be very useful going forward (potentially even as a final, last-ditch premise for humanitarian intervention or regime-change).

As usual, RT presents the entirely opposite story, reporting that civilians fleeing rebel-held Aleppo have claimed the rebels had been executing people and committing war crimes.

The case – largely undocumented in mainstream media outlets – has been made for a long time already that civilians in Eastern Aleppo were being held there as human shields. As Eva Bartlett (a regular visitor to Syria) was writing just days ago, ‘Family members of civilians still there [in Aleppo] say their loved ones are being used as human shields by groups like the Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, or Nour al-Din al-Zenki — the so-called “moderate rebels” and “opposition forces” backed by the United States, NATO, Israel and Gulf allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.’

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There has also been, for days, seemingly reliable footage and reports of civilians leaving rebel-held Aleppo and seeking refuge in government-held territory and of government forces opening up humanitarian corridors and overseeing evacuations of civilians prior to major offensives. There have also been scenes shown of civilians celebrating the liberation of Eastern Aleppo. In the interests of balance, I will acknowledge that RT showing positive footage isn’t necessarily any less bias or selective as CNN or the BBC depicting negative coverage: and that RT would, by default, be presenting a very one-sided version of events.

But, in keeping with the general nature of propaganda and accusation and counter-accusation that has been going on in regard to Syria for several years now, there is little reason to take Western media coverage of Aleppo now – at the end – with any more trust than before. Particularly if groups like the White Helmets are still being cited as primary sources for information.

If civilians have been killed – by either side – it is a tragedy. And I also genuinely feel sympathy for even some of the armed rebels who may have been fighting to the end and met their deaths: because I am, by nature, compassionate and not bloodthirsty.

But, as much as people might want to paint them firmly as victims of the Syrian government or Russia, they are just as much victims of foreign governments and agencies who for years now have filled their heads with hopes of a military victory in Syria, and – even after Russian intervention – continued to fill their heads with hopes of military victory in Aleppo and promises of undying, unwavering support: yet, in the end, left them there to face a final, futile battle, like the disposable, cannon fodder they always were.

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Bakersfield police kill elderly man with dementia

NOVANEWS

Image result for US police kill elderly man PHOTO

RT 

A retired cotton gin operator out for a walk was shot and killed by a Bakersfield, California police officer. Police were responding to a call about a man with a gun, but found no weapon anywhere near the scene.

Francisco Serna, 73, was shot and killed in the early hours of Monday after Bakersfield police responded to a 911 call about a man “outside with a gun, armed with a revolver,” local media reported.

After a witness pointed to Serna, one officer fired several rounds and killed him, Bakersfield PD spokesman Sergeant Gary Carruesco told KBAK.

Serna was declared dead at the scene, around 1:15am local time (09:15 GMT) on Monday, according to the Kern County coroner.

According to his family, Serna suffered from early stages of dementia and his medication made him paranoid. He often took a walk when he had trouble sleeping, the family said. Serna was in the neighbor’s driveway when police shot and killed him.

Eight shots were fired, the family told KERO.

“My dad did not own a gun. He was a 73-year-old retired grandpa, just living life,” Rogelio Serna told the Los Angeles Times. “He should have been surrounded by family at old age, not surrounded by bullets.”

Police had visited the Sernas twice before, because Francisco in his confusion activated a medical alarm, Rogelio Serna added.

The officer who shot Serna has not been named, and has been placed on administrative leave as is the policy in such situations.

Police searched the scene for a weapon, but found none, Sgt. Carruesco said.

Bakersfield is a city of around 365,000 in the San Joaquin Valley, halfway between Los Angeles and Fresno.

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Counter-Propaganda Bill Quietly Creates US Propaganda Factory

NOVANEWS
By John Laurits 

On Thursday December 8th, the US senate quietly passed the National Defense Authorization Act or the ‘NDAA’ ) for the fiscal year of 2017. Basically, the NDAA is passed every year to re-approve & add to the United States’ so-called “defense” spending — which is sort of like Christmas for the officials who run the profitable death-machine called “US foreign policy.” However, many would likely be shocked by the ridiculous & terrifying laws that our treacherous congress usually buries inside the yearly bill — for example, congress just used the NDAA to create a “Global Engagement Center,” headed by the Secretary of State. Sounds harmless, right? Well, it might seem that way until you realize that “Global Engagement Center” is code for our new “Ministry of US Propaganda.”

Counter-Propaganda = Propaganda

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Where congress buried their approval of official, state-funded propaganda

Hidden in the fantastically boring depths of the 1,576-page NDAA, in §1259C, below Subtitle E, labeled “Other Matters,” below Title XIII, is approval for the funding of a new propaganda agency which will be managed by the secretary of state. The text was pretty much lifted word-for-word from the Portman-Murphy Countering Disinformation & Propaganda Act,” except that congress changed the name from the slightly ominous-sounding “Center for Information Analysis and Response” to a happier “Global Engagement Center.” Among other things, the center’s function is to —

develop, plan, and synchronize… whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign propaganda and disinformation directed against United States national security interests and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests
— §1259C, a3

Or — to put it simply — they’re going to help the US government distribute information that will support their interests, especially those interests that face scrutiny in other countries. However, as I’ve written about before, it’s often very difficult or impossible for the public to verify whether the godless communists or whoever else are actually messing with us or whether our public officials are only making excuses for their own corruption.

Regardless, it seems reasonable to assume WikiLeaks-style journalism (like the email leaks during our “elections”) will now be considered “foreign propaganda and misinformation...”

A Threat to a Free & Open Press
& to Free Thought in Education

If this isn’t a big enough red flag for you already, consider the fact that, not only does the new Ministry of Propaganda plan to “proactively advance fact-based narratives,” they plan on doing it with the help of both our schools & the private sector:

To establish cooperative or liaison relationships with foreign partners and allies… and other entities, such asacademia, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector
— §1259C, a5

Or, in other words, they’ll be planting their people in academic situations & working with pretty much any industry they think will enhance their propaganda’s reach & effectiveness. The section even approves funding to spy on journalists, social media groups, political parties, & NGOs — all of this is to “proactively advance fact-based narratives,” of course. See for yourself — the NDAA lists one of the center’s functions as:

“Identifying current and emerging trends in… information obtained from print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations… and the use of covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations and governments…
— §1259C, b4

Is this the end of journalism?

Lastly, I’d like to show you the part of all of this that, as a journalist, I find most worrying:

AUTHORITY FOR GRANTS.—The Center is authorized to provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally-funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes:
[…]to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States
— §1259C, f(1) & §1259C, f(1)D

In plain English, this is saying that the US is going to start subsidizing journalists, researchers, & even schools who agree with the regime — which, incidentally, will punish & potentially threaten the viability of truly independent media altogether.

Government Propaganda is Dangerous

Now, this bill does contain vague wording, like the Global Engagement Center’s function being “to demonstrate new technologies, methodologies and concepts relevant to the missions of the Center,” which could mean pretty much anything. This has always been one of congress’ favorite tricks — to pass legislation that could be interpreted in different ways, so that they can deny responsibility while making funds available to do whatever they want.

That means that this legislation is a lot like a loaded gun — harmless in one person’s hands but potentially devastating & destructive in the hands of another, depending on how the scope & language of the bill is interpreted. Which “new technologies” will they “demonstrate” and what will the “missions of the Center” be? Which “populations” will they “target” and who’s “fact-based narratives” will they be “targeted” with? What will the “interests” of the US be, who is “foreign,” & will journalists who report this foreign “disinformation” be considered propagandists for foreign agents?

The answers to these questions depend on who is in charge of interpreting them — which means that the most important question of all is do you trust the United States, and particularly the incoming administration, to make those decisions?

I know I don’t.

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How Pro-Israel Neocons Pushed for War in Iraq

NOVANEWS

Image result for Israel Neocons CARTOON

 

By: Alison Weir

If Americans Knew

Articles mentioned in the video:

“White Man’s Burden,” by Ari Shavit, Ha’aretz, April 3, 2003: http://iakn.us/2ggApnF

“Perles of Wisdom for the Feithful,” by Akiva Eldar, Ha’aretz, October 1, 2002: http://iakn.us/2hkzdzo

“The Bush Neocons and Israel,” by Kathleen and Bill Christison, Counterpunch, December 2002: http://iakn.us/2h1ajEi

“Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration,” by Stephen Green, Counterpunch, February 2004: http://iakn.us/2ggBcVi

Books mentioned in the video:

“The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel” by Dr. Stephen J Sniegoski: http://iakn.us/2geT2mJ

“The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War” by Muhammad Idrees Ahmad: http://iakn.us/2hoz4Hn

“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt: http://iakn.us/2gfPFAR

Some additional books with information on this topic:

“Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market” by Janine R. Wedel: http://iakn.us/2hoBKEW

“Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton” by Diane Johnstone: http://iakn.us/2gojmhO

Wedell discusses the “massive and concerted ‘information’ effort conducted by the Neocon core and their associates, with crucial participation from certain columnists and reporters, that was essential in taking the United States to war in Iraq.”

“….beginning in the mid-1970s, they employed methods ranging from the creation of alternative intelligence; to might-be-authorized, might-not-be authorized diplomacy; to setting up pressure groups; to suspending standard government process, always contesting government information, assessments, and expertise. These methods—perfected over the years—would be deployed in full force in the Neocon core’s effort to take the United States to war in 2003.”

Johnstone states: “…the neocons gained notoriety as architects of the disastrous invasion of Iraq. The main thinker behind this war was Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Paul Wolfowitz…”

“…two veterans of the defunct PNAC, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, returned in 2009 to found the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI). Robert Kagan is the current leading neocon theorist and the husband of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, instigator of the Ukrainian coup in early 2014.”

For information on the early roots of the Israel lobby, please see Alison Weir’s book, “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel”: http://iakn.us/AOBJ-book

More information at http://ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/ne…

Posted in USA, IraqComments Off on How Pro-Israel Neocons Pushed for War in Iraq

Nazi Defense Minister Outlines Plan to Divide Syria and Iraq along Sectarian Lines

NOVANEWS

Image result for Israeli Defense Minister CARTOON

Israeli Defense Minister Outlines Plan to Divide Syria and Iraq along Sectarian Lines
American Herald Tribune

Israel’s “defence” minister Avigdor Lieberman has penned an article for Defense News to explain his regime’s struggles in a turbulent Middle East.

In a similar tone to those of the Israeli politicians, Lieberman wastes no time to call the legitimate forces of Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon as terrorist forces. He says, “The massive convulsions that in recent years have swept through North Africa and erupted in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and elsewhere throughout the region, and which have seen the empowerment of semi-territorial terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah, represent an earthquake of historic proportions. Multi-ethnic states such as Libya, Syria and Iraq have descended into chaotic civil wars as many aspects of the region’s enduring political order, whose origins lie in the aftermath of World War One, disintegrate.”

Lieberman goes on to draw three conclusions as the solutions for ending the crisis in the Middle East. The second conclusion is clearly a call to attack the sovereignty of the independent countries. Lieberman says, “many of the countries in the Middle East were established artificially, as a result of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and based on colonial considerations that did not take into account the pattern of habitation and the deep sectarian rifts within the respective societies.

Thus, to genuinely solve the region’s problems, borders will have to be altered, specifically in countries like Syria and Iraq. Boundaries need to be redrawn between Sunnis, Shia and other communities to diminish sectarian strife and to enable the emergence of states that will enjoy internal legitimacy. It is a mistake to think that these states can survive in their current borders.

A similar conclusion holds true for the Israeli-Palestinian arena and for the borders that will ultimately need to be drawn for the achievement of a stable two-state outcome. We need “out of the box” analysis to avoid being misled by habitual ways of thinking.”

One can not better understand the reason behind the “civil wars” in Syria and Iraq without reading Israel’s defense minister’s call to divide Syria and Iraq.

Posted in Middle East, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazi Defense Minister Outlines Plan to Divide Syria and Iraq along Sectarian Lines

Nazi forces shoot Palestinian activist

NOVANEWS

Nazi forces shoot Palestinian activist with rubber-coated steel bullet for taking photos

rubber-coated-steel-bullet-wm-600x529Nazi forces on Monday evening shot a Palestinian activist in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet during a raid in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya while he was attempting to take photos and video footage in the neighborhood, according to a local committee.

Members of a local follow-up committee in al-Issawiya told Ma’an that committee member Muhammad Abu al-Hummus was “documenting Israeli violations and provocations” when an Israeli soldier “threatened to shoot him in the head if he didn’t leave.”

Shortly after the threat was made against him, another Nazi soldier then shot a rubber-coated steel bullet at Abu al-Hummus from an approximate distance of 25 meters, hitting him in the leg.

Prior to the shooting, Nazi forces and police officers had stormed the town and deployed in its alleys “in a provocative manner,” started stopping drivers, and arbitrarily issued a number of traffic fines to locals, according to the committee.

After being informed of the forces’ arrival into the town, Abu al-Hummus began taking photos and writing notes about their activities.

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi forces shoot Palestinian activist

UK P M Zionist Theresa May renews vow of servility to I$raHell

UK Prime Minister Theresa May renews vow of servility to Israel

Theresa May - friend of Israel

Nureddin Sabir, Editor, Redress Information & Analysis, writes:

Two weeks to the day after the deputy leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Tom Watson, assured Zionist lobbyists of his complete and unconditional subservience to Israel, his prime minister, Theresa May, has gone even further.

Staunchly pro-Balfour Declaration

Addressing more than 800 guests of the Zionist lobby group, Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), she delivered what the Israeli news website Ynet described as “a staunchly pro-Israel speech… during which she declared her government’s unwavering support for Israel” and “proclaimed her unequivocal opposition to boycotts” of the apartheid state.

Rather than apologise for the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which began the still-ongoing colonisation of Palestine and sowed the seeds of an endless nightmare for the Palestinian people, she hailed it as “one of the most important letters in history”.

Jewish colonies

According to Ynet, Mrs May stated her belief that the so-called two-state solution “offered the only plausible blueprint for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians”.

However, as with Mr Watson she forgot to mention the Jewish colonies in the West Bank – illegal under international law – which rule out any possibility that a viable and secure Palestinian state could be set up in the occupied territory.

Theresa May with Israel's UK Envoy Mark Regev and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Photo: Jon Rifkin)

Theresa May with Israel’s UK ambassador Mark Regev and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Photo: Jon Rifkin)

Since the Israeli aggression of 1967, Israel has build more than 230 Jewish colonies in the occupied Palestinian territories, housing more than 550,000 Jewish colonists at the cost of approximately USD 30 billion, making it impossible to set up a secure and viable Palestinian state in the territory – itself only 22 per cent of Palestine before the ethnic cleansing and colonisation of 1948.

Mrs May lauded Israel as “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance, an engine of enterprise and an example to the rest of the world for overcoming adversity and defying disadvantages”. She said that “it is only when you walk through Jerusalem or Tel Aviv that you see a country where people of all religions and sexualities are free and equal in the eyes of the law”.

Apartheid state

Unsurprisingly, she forgot to mention a few facts. As the journalist Jonathan Cook reminds us,

  • Israel has nationalised 93 per cent of Palestinian-owned land in the country so that Jewish citizens can exclude Palestinian Arab citizens;
  • Israel has separate citizenship laws – the Law of Return (1950) and the Citizenship Law (1952) – based on ethnic belonging;
  • Israel has designed its citizenship laws to confer rights on Jews who are not actually yet citizens or present in the state, privileging them over Palestinian Arabs who do have citizenship and are present in the state;
  • Israel defers some of what should be its sovereign powers to extra-territorial bodies – the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund – whose charters obligate them to discriminate based on ethnic belonging;

“Anti-Semitism”

Mrs May used the occasion to announce that the UK is formally adopting a definition of anti-Semitism agreed on earlier in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). As Ben White states in the Independent,

That particular definition, drafted with the help of pro-Israel advocacy groups, was the subject of serious critique for its conflation of genuine anti-Semitic bigotry on the one hand, and criticism of or opposition to Zionism and the state of Israel on the other.

It is that definition which has now been resuscitated, and endorsed by a Tory government that has already sought to intimidate Palestine solidarity activism and undermine civil society boycotts.

Not just the Tory government, one hastens to add,  but the opposition Labour Party too which, with the exception of its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is, as we saw with the fawning flunky Mr Watson just two weeks ago, is hell-bent on being at least as Zionist as the most rabid of Israel’s colonists.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on UK P M Zionist Theresa May renews vow of servility to I$raHell

Delegitimising Israel: Nobody does it better than the Israelis themselves

Israel's self-delegitimisation

While America stifles free speech, Ireland opens up the debate on Israel’s legitimacy and exceptionalism
By Stuart Littlewood

As the US Senate was busily passing its Anti-Semitism Awareness Act aimed at silencing anyone who dares question Israel’s legitimacy or exceptionalism, conference organisers in Ireland were planning the exact opposite.

The US bill relies on the “3 Ds”. It is anti-Semitic to “Demonise” Israel, apply a “Double-standard” to Israel or “Delegitimise” Israel. Do any of these things and you’ll be clobbered and criminalised.

At the centre of this legislation is a definition of criminal anti-Semitism cooked up by the State Department and itself based on a controversial definition handed out by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

The US Department of State’s document Defining Anti-Semitism includes this gem:

DELEGITIMISE ISRAEL: Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist.

The laugh is that Israel does a splendid job of delegitimising itself without any outside help. In the wake of the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, which granted the Jews territory within defined borders, they declared statehood in 1948 without borders, grabbing as much extra land as they could by armed terror and ethnic cleansing. The new state of Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949 was conditional upon honouring the UN Charter and implementing UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 and 194. It failed to do so and to this day repeatedly violates provisions and principles of the charter.

Israel even fails to comply with the provisions of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement of 1995 which requires adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and states that “respect for human rights and democratic principle constitute an essential element of this agreement”, in return for trading privileges. It gets the privileges without delivering on the obligations.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague ruled that construction of what’s often referred to as the Apartheid Wall breaches international law and Israel must dismantle it and make reparation. Israel nevertheless continues building its hideous wall with American tax dollars. The ICJ also ruled that

all states are under an obligation not to recognise the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction.

Has Washington forgotten?

Of course, the Israelis have also been delegitimising the Palestinians by denying them their right to self-determination for the last 68 years.

Questioning the founding of the Israeli state and its nature

Here in the UK a conference to examine Israel’s legitimacy and how its behaviour squares with international law was supposed to have been held at Southampton University last spring but was cancelled for the second year running when the university put obstacles in the way. In 2015, permission was granted then withdrawn; this year, the Zionist thought police again made its displeasure known and again applied enormous pressure. The organisers were told they would have to find thousands of pounds to meet extra security costs as the university authorities feared mass protests. The guardians of free expression and the pursuit of knowledge had caved in.

So next year the conference will be held between 31 March and 2 April at University College Cork, an offshoot of the National University of Ireland. Described as

a ground-breaking historical event on the road towards justice and enduring peace in historic Palestine… The conference will raise questions that link the suffering in historic Palestine to the manner of Israel’s foundation and its nature. It aims to generate a debate on legitimacy, responsibility and exceptionalism under international law as provoked by the nature of the Israeli state. It will also examine how international law could be deployed, expanded, and even re-imagined, in order to achieve peace and reconciliation based on justice… Speakers include leading scholars from Law, Politics, Philosophy, Theology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History and other disciplines.

Panel-sessions will provide a much needed platform for scholarly debate and disagreement on the big questions. The organisers say, quite bluntly, that in some countries – particularly the United States and the United Kingdom – there’s a chilling repression of academic freedom when it comes to critique of Israeli state policy. This forced a decision to move the conference to Ireland.

What is the role of international law in political struggles?

The conference, under the title “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility, and Exceptionalism”, will tackle questions concerning the manner of Israel’s foundation, its nature and its legitimacy. The main focus appears to be the role international law could play in political struggles. In the Palestinians’ case, international law has spoken but still waits to be implemented. It continues to be studiously ignored by the very people who loudly pretend to champion the rule of law. The conference wants to shift public debate towards injustice and violence in historic Palestine resulting from the manner in which the state of Israel was founded.

In the Palestinians’ case, international law has spoken but still waits to be implemented. It continues to be studiously ignored by the very people who loudly pretend to champion the rule of law.

For good measure, the conference hopes to encourage the new generation of Palestinian lawyers and scholars to expand the use of international law beyond the “1967 occupation” scenario.

Zionists are going to freak out with fury.

The list of confirmed speakers is impressive, coming from many different directions. But not all. I see no-one from the churches of Western Christendom which surely have a crucial stake in the Holy Land and deplore the never-ending cruelty inflicted on its Muslim and Christian communities.

In my travels during the run-up to Christmas I often pop into churches to admire the festive decorations and displays, and especially the children’s art which usually takes pride of place. I always ask the minister or senior official the same question: “Do you have any links with the Holy Land?” And nearly always I receive a blank look while canned music plays carols like O Little Town of Bethlehem and the children’s pictures depict the Nativity. I then say: “If you go to Bethlehem and see what the Israelis have done to it, you’ll vomit, and weep, and vomit again. You’ll never forget.”

Do these canting Christians in the comfort of their leafy suburbs really believe that God rejoices in His Son’s birthplace being surrounded by an evil 8-metre prison Wall with gun towers? Or in the fact that His 21st century disciples allow the suffering to go on and on and on – not just in Bethlehem but right across the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza?

The West Wing – Holy Land Map

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Delegitimising Israel: Nobody does it better than the Israelis themselves

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