Archive | January 9th, 2017

Propaganda intended to incite Americans: John McAfee on ‘Russian hacking’ claims

NOVANEWS

… from Russia Today

We have all been here before

[ Editor’s Note: John McAfee is certainly having a good time. The election is over and he is still getting lots of airtime for his debunking of the claimed Democratic party hack.

The Intel agency briefing that Trump got today was a Shakespearean event, “Much ado about nothing”. The community seems to have an addiction to circumstantial evidence, with the biggest thing reported being that high-level Russian officials were happy that Trump had won.

Well, hello! Trump had already said he was going to rebuild better relations with Russia, so of course they are happy he won. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence report had SEVEN pages on RT alone, kind of an indication they were scraping the barrel to fill the report with something.

With the major anti-Russian sanction shift we are seeing in the EU, the sanctions appear to be on the way out in 2017; and so may be Angela Merkel for the role she played in the ill-conceived effort, plus opening Germany to a wave of Muslim extremist terrorism and violence that could last for decades.

One of these days, a foreign Intel agency or “contractor” is going to slip a mini-nuke into some dumb suicide jihadi’s car bomb, and we are going to have another 9-11 style terror event, because the lack of public discussion on the proliferation of the small nukes is the biggest security risk we all face.

With all the stories that VT has run on mini-nukes, we have not had a single call from anyone of standing wanting to learn more. It is the classic ostrich head in the sand response, and it includes government, media, security and academia. Their demonstrated interest is zero.

What McAfee is doing with his banging the drum, we should have been seeing some of the security, defense and academic trade organizations doing. They are AWOL, and we need a hell of a lot more public pressure to point that out to themJim W. Dean ]

“Here’s lookin at ya”

– First published  …  January 06, 2017 –

Who is going to press the common sense button on this hacking story circus?

The sloppiness of the alleged DNC hack by itself proves it was not organized by a nation state, and the “utter nonsense” presented as proof of Moscow’s involvement is rather evidence of intelligence agencies being “ignorant and naïve,” John McAfee told RT.

Cybersecurity legend McAfee is one of the modern computer tech pioneers and the developer of the first commercial antivirus program, who has been in the business for the past 50 years.

He is also the CEO of MGT Capital Investments, and a former presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party.

The so-called evidence of the Russian involvement in the hacks not only looks like “the most deceptive propaganda was perpetrated on the American public” but actually proves quite the opposite, McAfee believes.

“In there are four facts which they claim prove that Russia did this hack. It was utter nonsense. The information was number one – Russian language was found in the malware. Number two – a Cyrillic keyboard was used. The forensic science can now tell what type of keyboard was used to develop a piece of a malware,” McAfee told RT.

“Number three – the compiler, the piece of software that compiles the code so that it can execute, always dated time stamps. The time stamps were in a time zone for the business hours of Moscow and St. Petersburg and other places in Russia and the number four that the IP address pointed to a Russian address.”

To make it simple for the American audience, McAfee metaphorically explained the situation:

“Seriously, if Russia declared war on us because we hacked Russia and the head of the CIA and the intelligence committee came to the Congress and they ask him ‘What happened?’ – ‘Oh, well you know we didn’t have time to remove English language, we didn’t have time to move the date stamp, the guy could not use a Chinese keyboard, so we gave him our regular keyboard. And also there was my wife’s birthday so I could not remove the IP address.’”

“Please, that person would be scheduled for a suicide,” McAfee concluded.

Thus, McAfee believes, the whole “Russian hacking” narrative is either “propaganda intended to incite the American people, to anger toward Russia for some reason, or our intelligence community is so ignorant and naïve that they should all be replaced.”

The Cybersecurity specialist believes that based on the presented evidence the hack “cannot possibly be an organized nation-state.”

“The hack on the DNC used a piece of malware a year and a half old and there have been many updates since then, McAfee said. “This was done by an independent one person kid that downloaded the software. Please, this is not an organized hack and certainly not a nation-state that did this.”

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Hacked or Leaked?

NOVANEWS

by Speer-Williams – Jsw4@mac.com

The American media keeps promoting the concept of a Russian hack of the DNC emails. There was likely no hack, but there was a leak from a Democratic insider.*

*Former British Foreign Ambassador Craig Murray told the UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, that he received the Podesta/Clinton emails on behalf of Wikileaks from a Democratic Party insider and whistleblower and not from any Russians.

UK Foreign Ambassador Craig Murray

Additionally, Mr. Julian Assange of Wikileaks has stated the DNC emails were leaks, not hacks, and were not from the Russian government or any other government.

But what is more important than who leaked or hacked the DNC emails is … Are the emails true?

What hopefully will prove to be clearly illustrative to a majority of the American people is how our current federal government and mainstream media have no interest in the criminality of Hillary Clinton (et al) that was proven by the leaked (or hacked) emails.

Forming public opinion is far more important to the controlling oligarchs than any form of justice. With their control of the US two-party-tyranny, the major media, and the intelligence agencies, the banking cartel has deceived the American public for decades.

Today, long time cyber security expert, John David McAfee torn into the four “proofs,”offered by the FBI and Homeland Security, that Russia hacked into the DNC emails. Mr. McAfee said that the FBI’s “proofs” were proofs Russia did not hack the DNC emails.

But who is John McAfee? To call him a cyber security expert is a bit of an under-statement. Mr. McAfee is a world-renowned authority on internet surveillance, personal privacy online, and global hacking. Mr. McAfee became a multi- millionaire with his anti-virus computer company, McAfee Associates.

The first FBI “proof” Mr. McAfee debunked was the assertion that the hacking contained the Russian language. McAfee simply pointed out that if the Russians wanted to keep their hacking a secret, they would not have used the Russian language.

The second FBI “proof” was a Russian keyboard was used in the hacking. Again, McAfee noted that certainly Russia would have used a different kind of keyboard if their hacking was indeed a clandestine operation.

The third “proof” is the software that compiles the code was dated and timed with the time and work day of Moscow. And of course, Mr. McAfee indicated that the Russians could have blocked out the stamp that indicated any time or date, or stamped a different time zone that was removed a long way from Russia.

The last FBI “proof” said that the IP address of the hacked emails pointed to Russia. McAfee said it would have been simple for the Russians to have removed that indication, or pointed it well away from Russia.

“But here’s the kicker,” said McAfee, “here’s why it could not have been an organized nation state to have hacked the emails. Because the hack on the DNC used an old piece of malware a year and a half old … and there have been many updates since then.

“Do you actually believe that the Russian services of intelligence who spend all their time improving their malware … then when they do an important attack they would use a very old piece of malware?

But what actually seems to prove the outrageous and lying propaganda of our intelligence agencies is the fact that the FBI has never actually accessed the DNC servers. So how did they come up with their four alleged “proofs?”

Remember intelligence agencies – no matter the country – are all in the business of lying for their masters. And their masters are not anyone we know.

At the end of his revelation, Mr. John McAfee had some advice for Mr. Trump: They should all be replaced!

But right now, it seems the prevailing belief the ruling Banking Controllers want is a large American public consensus for a war-like retaliation against Russia from the United States.

Has President Obama been ordered to take even more provocative actions (than he has already) against Russia during his last two weeks in office?

Posted in RussiaComments Off on Hacked or Leaked?

Happy New Year Donbass, from Killer John McCain and Co.

NOVANEWS

Yes, she was strangled in the Odessa massacre with the lamp cord and then her throat cut… to send a message of what was in store for Donbass

by Phil Butler

We will keep the Russians for the tapes of all the radio shows John did in North Vietnam, after disclosing the bombing routes of his fellow pilots

[ Editor’s Note: Hanoi John McCain continues to be the embarrassment he has long been, with no “coming to Jesus” moment anywhere on the horizon. If ever there was a threat to US national security, it rests between this man’s two ears.

VT readers are no stranger to McCain’s background. We are blessed with historically informed patrons here. They know that Arizona is a mob political state and is going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Never so little has been owed by so many to so few as McCain and Lindsey Graham. If it were not for their immunity, they should be doing long stretches in the slammer, but it seems they will have to wait until pearly gates time to settle up on that.

I thought the Ukies opening fire and breaking the Donbass ceasefire once again was possibly a first time original way to thank a US Congressman for making a speech. I worry about our American political system when people so debased are able to rise up to these high political positions, where they get to enjoy their Attila the Hun fantasies.

But what is becoming worse is this mantra we are hearing, even from the incoming Trump people about spreading “American values”. A country engaged in state-sponsored terrorism, and certainly not the only one, has some gall to toot their horn with that counterfeit slogan. We look around for opposition to confront them in Congress and generally find most all are drinking the Koolaid.

I keep thinking of Trump’s “drain the swamp” grandstanding; how easily he fired up the Tea Party folks with that Pied Piper magic, only to load his administration with NeoCons and banksters, and not a populist to be found among them. And we hear no reports of Tea Party people jumping off of buildings or bridges in shame.

With a NeoCon-controlled House and Senate and a reality TV show President, I fear we are all in a very dangerous position, one that the people of Syria and Donbass could tell us a lot about… American values that isJim W. Dean ]

_________

– First published  …  January 04, 2017

Meet the man that makes a bad joke out of representing America

On New Year’s Eve America’s two most famous warmongers, US Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) visited the troops of Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko in Mariupol overlooking the battle lines with self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s.

Then scant minutes after the American dignitary’s departure, the soldiers they promised aid and support to opened fire. Breaking the Minsk imposed truce for the hundredth time, the so-called “UKROPS” began shelling areas of the Donbass.

McCain, some will recall, was the top US cheerleader for the Maidan coup that unseated the standing Ukraine government and started the civil war that led to current west-east tensions. Now, with the Syria asymmetrical strategies thwarted, the Pentagon’s chief evangelist is back in Ukraine proclaiming the intentions of the military industrial complex he and Graham represent.

What is most striking about McCain in Ukraine at this moment, is the clearly desperate nature of his visit. This can be gleaned from watching this video segment of his speech from the square in Mariupol to the Ukraine people and the troops in the trenches. McCain showed the true hand of the players behind this civil war and others in this speech. He said, in part:

“In 2017 we will defeat the invaders and send them back to where they came from.”

The US Senator went on to address Russian President Vladimir Putin directly saying;

“You will never defeat the Ukrainian people and deprive them of their independence and freedom.” He had sworn to provide Poroshenko’s troops whatever is necessary to defeat those in East Ukraine, in his visit to the bunker on the front lines already.

The North Vietnamese saved McCain, where in a strange twist of fate he would end up torturing us with his warped vision of America

The significance of the Arizona senator’s promises cannot be underestimated here, as the Minsk accords call for a strictly peaceful settlement, military victories having no place in the potential accord.

McCain, his colleague Graham, and their constituents in Congress have done everything in their power to not only fun and promote ongoing conflict in the world, but they’ve joined the Obama administration in doing everything humanly possible to tie the hands of the incoming president.

McCain, on behalf of the defense corporations that have supported him and Graham for decades now, is dead set on a war on Russia. This is not a matter for conjecture.

Legislation just signed by outgoing President Barack Obama is the latest, and possibly most damaging bit of “revenge” Obama casts at Putin and anti-hegemony advocates before leaving. S.2943 – the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 sponsored by McCain, contains words and constraints that in essence prohibit Donald Trump from allying with Russia against ISIL or any foe, until the former Ukraine falls into the NATO sphere.

My colleague, geo-policy analyst Holger Eekhof delved into McCain’s efforts early in the drafting processes of this law. What he discovered was a hidden-in-plain-sight agenda that could lead to World War III. S.2943 states specifically:

“(Sec. 1233) Prohibits FY2017 funds from being used for bilateral military-to-military cooperation between the governments of the United States and Russia until DOD certifies to Congress that Russia has: (1) ceased its occupation of Ukrainian territory and its aggressive activities that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and (2) is abiding by the terms of and taking steps in support of the Minsk Protocols regarding a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Permits a waiver under specified conditions.”

Furthermore, this “McCain-Obama” law approves funding for the continued training, funding and equipping of “Anti-Assad” forces inside war torn Syria. McCain and his colleagues also rubber stamped a plan for the taking and “holding” of the eastern Syria city of Raqqa in the oil rich regions bordering Kurdistan. The significance of the latter bears special scrutiny given that Aleppo and most of western Syria is being retaken by the legitimate government of Assad.

McCain has been fully onboard the jihadi bandwagon

Raqqa, for those unfamiliar, is the key to Syria’s only real wealth of oil. This is the crux of the Syria regime change after all, the fragmentation or destruction of an Israel foe, coinciding with a robbery of still more oil riches from Middle Eastern sovereign peoples. The well is too deep to discuss here, but McCain and Obama have achieved at least part of what I believe the mission was all along.

TASS and other news agencies reported on the Minsk ceasefire breeches after Senator McCain’s visit, and I corroborated with my colleague on the ground in Donetsk who concurred. Minsk-2, signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, is ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) requiring the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement.

The deal is supposedly a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions. Clearly, John McCain, Barack Obama, and lawmakers like South Carolina’s Graham have no intentions of aiding in any such peaceful negotiations.

The only solution in this world for them, is an Obama-era solution. McCain and Graham are galivanting all around the frontiers of Russia bolstering the NATO message these last days, first in the Baltics, then Ukraine, and most recently in the Republic of Georgia. From my perspective both of them are reprehensible figures in American history, with their unprecedented posturing for war.

McCain, like Barack Obama and the other Washington reprehensibles, hammers a war drum no matter what. Peace and negotiations have no place in the military industrial complex playbook, and anyone with an ounce of intelligence can see it. Passing laws that propagate war behind he backs of the American people, McCain and these others are almost miraculous examples of what happens when a citizenry falls dead asleep at the wheel.

Just how my countrymen can stand idly by and watch proven profiteer puppets operate for special interests, it boggles the mind. McCain, the man who came to prominence for his POW role in the Vietnam War, has become what many consider the most heartless killer of a generation.

Millions have literally suffered and/or died via the policies of hegemony this man has championed. One can only hope that President Donald Trump can summon the necessary groundswell of support in Washington to ostracize their likes.

 

 

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Happy New Year Donbass, from Killer John McCain and Co.

Nazi spy satellite discovers secret Russian missile cache in Syria

NOVANEWS
Israel spy satellite discovers secret Russian missile cache in Syria

The pictures seemingly prove what western intelligence agencies have long suspected: Russia has provided Syria with a wide array of the most advanced missiles in its possession.

[Editor’s note: Iskander missiles in Syrian possession poses a very great threat to Israel. Iskander possesses the range to strike almost anywhere in Israel and the high mobility of the launchers makes them very hard to find and destroy before they launch. Russia may also arm Egypt, Iraq and Iran with Iskander, thus surrounding Israel with an array of ballistic missiles that could devastate the country.

This is a very real possibility that would significantly affect Israel’s security and would make even a madman like Netanyahu think twice about continued aggression and genocide against the Palestinians. In short, it would present a very real reason for Israel to actually follow UN resolutions. Ian]

 

Jerusalem Post
Israel spy satellite discovers secret Russian missile cache in Syria

An Israeli spy satellite has discovered a number of Russian mobile short-range ballistic missiles stockpiled in Syria, Channel 2 reported Friday.

In high definition photos taken by the Israeli “Eros B” satellite, the weapons, dubbed “Iskander” missiles, are clearly seen on trucks inside an army base in Latakia, located in western Syria.

The pictures seemingly prove what western intelligence agencies have long suspected: Russia has provided Syria with a wide array of the most advanced missiles in its possession.

Before Friday, evidence of the missiles had been scarce, given the fact that the Russians and Syrians had cached the weaponry in secretive strategic locations. Strong rainstorms, however, forced the Russians to transfer the missiles to different locations using trucks, leaving them exposed to documentation.

The “Iskander” missile, which has a range of up to 500 kilometers, is a medium range ballistic weapon that has the capacity to carry nuclear warheads and is superior to the older “scud” missile model.

Its accuracy is considered very high, while in tests the weapon can strike a target within a seven meter radius, as opposed to the scud which strikes within a 450 meter radius.

Syria has been engulfed in a bloody civil war over the past 5-years that has seen over 400,000 people killed and millions displaced from their homes. Russia has been an integral part in propping up current Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of carrying out crimes against humanity.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Russia, SyriaComments Off on Nazi spy satellite discovers secret Russian missile cache in Syria

Turkey agrees to pull back troops from Iraq, proof of foreign policy shift

NOVANEWS

Putin and Erdogan talking turkey in 2016

The Turkish dirty dance with the Kurds has been put on hold…for now

A senior Iranian official has welcomed Turkey’s decision to pull out its forces from Iraq and respect the Arab country’s territorial integrity as a positive move.

“This [issue] that the Turkish government has decided to observe good neighborliness with Iraq and respect Iraq’s territorial integrity is a positive step,” Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said on Saturday.

“We welcome any kind of friendship among regional countries … we do not welcome any tension between Turkey and Iraq,” he added.

After a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Baghdad on Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his administration has reached an agreement with Turkey over Baghdad’s demand for the withdrawal of Turkish military forces from a camp in the north of the Arab country.

“The prime minister and the delegation accompanying him confirmed that this issue will be solved in a satisfactory manner soon,” Abadi said.

Iraq’s state TV, which aired Abadi’s announcement, did not provide further details about the agreement over Turkey’s military presence in the Iraqi town of Bashiqa.

Turkey deployed about 500 troops to the facility last year, saying it was wary of potential attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists that are currently based in the Iraqi city of Mosul, near Bashiqa.

Iraq has repeatedly called on Turkey to withdraw its forces or risk a potential confrontation with the Iraqi military, which is currently battling Daesh in Mosul. Baghdad has also refused Ankara’s call for involvement in the operation to liberate Mosul. The Iranian official further stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation among countries in the Middle East region.

“The regional nations’ prosperity hinges on regional cooperation and prevention of any tension among neighbors,” Velayati pointed out.

He said regional countries should not interfere in the domestic affairs of each others, voicing Iran’s opposition to any meddling in the internal affairs of states. The Leader’s aide said neither Turkey nor Syria would benefit from the existing tension between the two countries.

He emphasized that stability in Turkey-Syria relations depends on the recognition of equal rights, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Turkey’s controversial deployment of troops to northern Iraq comes as Ankara continues with its military activities in neighboring Syria.

The Turkish operation, which began in August 2016, has faced similar criticism from the Syrian government. Turkey says it will continue the push which it says is meant to uproot Daesh and Kurdish militants.

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Turkey agrees to pull back troops from Iraq, proof of foreign policy shift

Militants surrender Wadi Barada water supply area to Syrian Army

NOVANEWS

Damascus had to make this deal, as with others, to be able to secure the water source and shift the troops to new fronts

… from Southfront

The days of mass executions of Syrian PoWs is coming to an end

[ Editor’s Note: The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is continuing its successful formula of pushing the jihadis out of threatening range of Damascus. This current group along the Wadi Barata river made a bad move when it poisoned the Damascus water supply, which forced the taking of their long held positions there.

You will see in the first video that the SAA holds the heights and has good observation on the enemy, limiting their ability to resupply or maneuver. Their radio traffic gives away their locations so the artillery can zero in on them, or use plane strikes if a larger target.

Assad would rather negotiate to have them take amnesties and move to Idlib, as that reduces the enemy fighting power, and avoids having to reduce these outlying Syrian towns to rubble, and more Army loses, which are becoming a thing of the past, including the mass executions of surrendered troops.

Assad, and the Russians know how critical that winning momentum is to obtaining a final ending to the major fighting. I qualify that, as I fear the losers will fall back to a guerrilla and suicide bombing campaign as a way of continued tormenting of the Syrian people.

There will also be a growing number of Western victims, as these angry losing jihadi fighters filter back into their home countries, where incredibly way too many can just walk through borders using their own passports, or smuggle themselves in via the many routes, like the ferries, with counterfeit passports. The Israelis might even give them a free passport.

If the opposition groups want to drag out the negotiation process, they will find themselves holding less and less territory, and seeing more and more Syrians returning to their homes, ending any fantasies the opposition may have of any political supremacy in the countryJim W. Dean ]

_________

– First published  …  January 07,  2017 –

The Syrian government and militant groups operating in the Wadi Barada area have reached a reconciliation agreement. The agreement was brokered by a delegation of Russian officers that had arrived the area.

According to the agreement:

  • Militant groups have to hand over light, medium and heavy weapons to the Syrian army;
  • All foreign militants have to withdraw from Wadi Barada. The can move to Idlib with light weapons;
  • Local members of militant groups can stay in Wadi Barada or move to Idlib;
  • Local members of militant groups that choose to stay in Wadi Barada will be pardoned by the government;
  • The Syrian army will enter villages in the Wadi Barada area and will set up checkpoints there.

Last night the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) made a major advance in Wadi Barada capturing Dahret al-Nhaylah which overlooks Kafr al-Awamid. This and participation of the Russian military delegation in the negotiations were key facts that pushed the so-called “opposition” to accept the terms of the agreement.

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Insane USIC report blames Russia for telling the truth

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Confession: I helped the “Russian hackers” (RT) “undermine Americans’ confidence in their ‘democracy’” (by telling the truth)

By Kevin Barrett

Donald Trump is right about one thing: The breathlessly-awaited United States Intelligence Community Report blaming Russia for hacking the 2016 election is a joke.

I’m not saying that as a Trump fan. From where I sit, the Trump Administration is shaping up to be a real disaster, possibly orders of magnitude beyond what we have experienced under Obama.

But the USIC Report is as dumb as anything Trump has ever said, which as we all know is about as dumb as dumb gets.

A third of the USIC Report is devoted to bashing Russia Today (RT). Why? Because two RT programs, “Breaking the Set” and “The Truthseeker,” have exposed US government corruption, and because RT “broadcast, hosted, and advertised third-party candidate debates.”

THAT is “undermining Americans’ confidence in their electoral processes”?! Dear Vladimir Putin: PLEASE undermine us some more! If you keep undermining us this way, we may eventually get our democracy back.

I have appeared on both “Breaking the Set” and “The Truthseeker.” They were RTs best two shows. Unfortunately, both were canceled due to pressure from “the Atlanticist faction” which is Russian for “Zionist bankster NATO stooges.”

“9/11 and Operation Gladio” (transcript here) was going viral and heading for millions of views on youtube when it was released during the run-up to September 11th, 2013.  Then the NSA (and/or the Israelis to whom they give all their raw data) took action. Suddenly the show disappeared from all search engines, including the youtube search engine. Emails including the url for the show disappeared into a black hole in cyberspace, never arriving yet never bouncing. This “hacking of American democracy” by our own USIC stopped the show from going viral and prevented Americans from learning things that could have helped them restore democracy to their country.

Listen to my Truth Jihad Radio interview with Elizabeth Woodworth on the “Search Engine Manipulation and Youtube Suppression” of this RT episode

Obviously RT’s real crime, according to the United States Intelligence Community, has been to occasionally tell the truth to the American people.

With an “intelligence community” like this, who needs a stupidity community?

The whole USIC report appears to be a red herring. Its real purpose, unfortunately, is not to undermine the Trump administration, which deserves all the undermining it can get. The USIC report is not even aimed at Russia. Its real target is alternative media.

The US “intelligence community” is really a bunch of drug-dealing mass-murdering criminals. In his new book The CIA as Organized Crime, Douglas Valentine argues that calling CIA drug-running, false flags, and other illegal activities “corruption” is inaccurate, because those activities are in fact the Agency’s real mission. The CIA, Valentine asserts, is “the organized crime branch of the US government.” (Listen to my new interview with Valentine here.)

RT is just the US alternative media with better production values. The USIC report is angry at the alternative media for exposing the truth and undermining Americans’ faith not just in elections, but in their entire government and the criminals who own it. So it uses the Russian Bogeyman to push the real talking point: “Anyone who tells the truth, and thereby undermines Americans’ faith in their almost infinitely corrupt institutions, is a pro-Russian traitor.”

I’m not pro-Russian. I’m pro-truth. I guess that makes me even more dangerous than RT.

I hope RT dumps the infiltrators responsible for canceling The Truthseeker and Breaking the Set and continues to “undermine Americans’ faith” by telling the truth.

And I plan to personally continue undermining Americans’ confidence in the horrific power structure that has taken over their country until that power structure finally collapses under its own weight.

 

Posted in RussiaComments Off on Insane USIC report blames Russia for telling the truth

1960s Soviet filmstrip shows USSR’s victory over the West and predicts FaceTime and self-driving cars

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A vision of life in 2017 shows remarkable prescience about today’s transport and mobile connectivity

An astonishing vision of life in 2017 has come to light, in which the Soviet Union is thriving and has prevailed over the capitalist West. The filmstrip, produced in 1960, reveals some intriguing views of how transport would look in the centenary year of the October Revolution.

B 1917 godu, “In the Year 2017,” produced at the Diafilm studio in Moscow in 1960, depicts a world in which Siberia and Alaska are connected by a high-speed, atomic-powered trains on a rail link over the Bering Strait, using a double-decker bridge.

The filmstrip loosely follows the story of a boy named Igor enjoying all the achievements of the USSR nearly a century after its creation, notably the travel possibilities.

Transport was arguably the greatest success of the Soviet era. The sprawling confederation was bound together by electrified railways, while Aeroflot was the world’s biggest airline until the collapse of the USSR. Yet the filmstrip suggests that revolutionary fervour could have produced even more ambitious transportation links.

In the filmstrip, an “International Metro Network” has been established along the far north of Eurasia, connecting cities and communities along the Arctic Ocean. The far north of Siberia is also connected via a series of ship canals with the Aral and Caspian Seas in the south.

Some predictions are remarkably accurate, such as a frame showing a live video link between Igor’s home and a cruise ship on the Black Sea — foreseeing technology such as Skype and FaceTime.

There is also an image which appears to feature autonomous cars. But there is no concept of Google maps nor tablet computers, with abundant depictions of newspapers and paper maps.

The filmstrip has 45 frames. At a time when projectors were in short supply in the Soviet Union, filmstrips provided an effective means of education — and propaganda.

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EU Did Not Commit Suicide. It Is Reinventing Itself

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Adelina Marini

The year 2016 started off quite depressing for the European Union. At the very beginning of the year forecasts started piling in of the impending suicide of the Union, and not just by anybody, but by its institutional leaders. euinside’s text about the upcoming suicide was the most-read one for the entire year 2016. Causes for the European political elite’s depressive condition were the refugee crisis, the economic aftermath of the crisis, and the upcoming Brexit. The Union, however, did not commit a suicide. Quite the contrary. Not only did it refuse to commit suicide, but it recalled why it exists in the first place and that this continues to be a valid reason to continue to live.

The question, which member states never answered

The depressive state consumed the Union again in the autumn after, at the beginning of summer, Brits did finally prefer to leave the EU. The annual address of the boss of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg, EPP), on the state of the EU was very depressing. After painting the bleak picture of the state of the Union, Mr Juncker set a task for the 27 for their informal summit in Bratislava, at which they were expected to draft their vision of the future of the Union. The task was to provide three reasons why the EU is necessary. Alas, they did not even make the effort to discuss this issue during their one-day gathering in the capital of Slovakia in mid-September. Moreover, some member states stated that due to the fact that Juncker is not the head of the Council, there were no discussions on his appeal.

The issue, however, is quintessential, so euinside decided to send out the same question to all member states, but it got replies from just a few. The answers were quite general in nature, but despite that some of them give some idea about what the direction that member states, which replied, want the Union to develop in. The most comprehensive and speedy reply came from Finland. Helsinki’s position is that the EU’s most important task is providing peace, security, prosperity, and the rule of law. Finland advocates for the community approach – meaning staying at the level of European institutions and European law, instead of intergovernmental agreements. “EU membership is a political choice that connects Finland to the Western community of values”, is written in the Finnish government’s programme.

Helsinki believes that the Union needs to be reformed to improve its functioning, but any amendments to the founding treaties need to be avoided. According to Finland, the EU needs to concentrate on the most important issues and does not necessarily need to deepen integration in all spheres. Main priorities to Finland are the energy union, the defence union, and cooperation in the field of security. The country is traditionally positioned against solidarity when it comes to bailing out states in trouble within the euro area.

Sweden, too, is against any changes in the founding treaties, but is also of the opinion that it is high time that member states begin administering the decisions, made by consensus. The Swedish government’s priorities are employment, a more ambitious programme for environment protection and fighting climate change, and a long-term sustainable migration policy, which guarantees the right to an asylum. Stockholm backs the position that all members must accept their responsibility in dealing with the refugee crisis. This means that “all member states have reception systems with sufficient capacity, a legally secure asylum process, an equivalent assessment of the need for protection and certain basic rights linked to the need for protection”.

Main priority to Estonia is taking advantage of the digital world. In a special article by the already former Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas it is said that it is high time that the four freedoms of the EU common market be joined by a fifth one – the free movement of data. This is something which the now former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves talked about during his address to the European Parliament in 2016 (this was also one of the most-read articles of euinside during the past year).

Austrian Prime Minister Christian Kern shared his belief that the EU is still capable of returning to its initial idea – being a project of hope. In his opinion, the main priority needs to be the battle against tax evasion by multinational companies. He thinks that although important, the issues of the powers of the boss of the EC, the Council, or the European Parliament have no direct effect on citizens. They are interested in whether the EU has improved their life perspective. “Europe must once more become an Enlightenment project, not simply one for the markets”, he wrote in a special article regarding the Bratislava meeting, which was forwarded to us by the Austria embassy in Zagreb as a reply to our question.

The reply of Hungary is not as Eurosceptic as could be expected. According to it, the EU needs common armed forces, an institutional reform, unity at the common market – which means protecting the four freedoms – innovation, and enlargement. According to Budapest, the main problem of European politics of today is the existence of a gap between the actions of European institutions and the expectations of societies in many member states. The first step to bridging that gap needs to be the reinstatement of trust, says the Hungarian reply. Hungary is of the opinion that the Union needs more time for diagnostics before making a decision on the reforms legal framework. The Hungarian position is that the EU should return to the idea that member states stand at the foundation, not European institutions. This position is well familiar from statements of Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán, who made no exception last year as well.

The EU put away the razor in Bratislava

The summit in the Slovak capital brought nothing radical, but its main achievement was managing to unite member states around a single reason for the existence of the EU – preserving peace. Several years ago this sounded as a cliché, but now it is more meaningful than ever. The year 2016 could be described as the year, in which the EU began reinventing itself. Looking back now it could be argued that a large portion of the depressive condition of some of the older European politicians were due to the realisation that the EU had given up on the ideology that dominated its evolution during the 20th century – federalism. This is mission impossible in the 21st century.

The EU chose to be pragmatic. Contrary to the feeling of disintegration and walking backwards, the EU actually worked hard on the creation of common policies. The European Border and Coastguard Agency is already a fact (based in Bulgaria), active work is being done on the creation of a defence union, as well as on the building of a security union. All this is happening without resorting to intergovernmental agreements or exceptions. Compared to previous community initiatives, the new ones may look less ambitious, but keeping in mind the expectations for disintegration and suicide, those are serious steps forward.

Agreement was reached to work on the global strategy of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (Italy, Socialists and Democrats). Despite having some serious zig-zagging, up to now there are no radical changes in the course of the euro area and economic policy in general. Some busy legislative activity went on in the EU throughout the year 2016. Noticeably there was work for more Union in the spheres where member states and their public opinion are aware they cannot deal with alone. Integration slowed down in other spheres and even took steps back, like with the work on the creation of a common European Prosecution, which would investigate European funds fraud.

Eroding the rule of law is the greatest risk for the EU

The biggest challenges the Union will face this year are the rule of law, losing the enlargement and, lastly, populism and Euroscepticism. The first one is the scariest for a Union, surrounded by authoritarian regimes, with illiberalism slowly starting to creep in the EU itself. Currently, the European Commission is waging a desperate war with Poland. Despite expectation that it will lack the courage to stand against the largest and strategically most important member state in the Eastern part of the Union, the Commission did wrap up the year with a new step against the government of Beata Szydło (or rather of Jarosław Kaczyński). On December 21, the First Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans (The Netherlands, Socialists and Democrats) sent out new recommendations to the government in Warsaw, concerning ending the Constitutional Court crisis.

The next step is moving toward the Union’s “nuclear bomb”, namely the activation of Article 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which takes away a member state’s right to vote in the Council. Should it come to this step, and surely Poland’s government will go all the way, it will make a precedent for the EU. At this stage, the Commission is left almost entirely by itself to deal with this problem. It receives support from the European Parliament, but it is a double-edged sword, for a major problem in the battle with risks faced by rule of law is that it is often blocked by partisan interests. Poland is not the first state the government of which undermines the rule of law. The first one was Hungary. The difference is thatthe ruling party in Poland, Law and Justice, is a member of the party of European Conservatives and Reformists.

They have the third largest group in the European Parliament, but because the majority of this group are British Conservatives, it is not very influential, nor consistent. In contrast to the ruling party in Hungary – Fidesz – which is a part of the largest and most influential party in the EU – the European People’s party. If the EU fails to prove that the rule of law is a value upheld by all, as it is written in Article 2 of the Treaty for the EU, in the long run this will create huge risks for the integrity and security of the Union.

Protecting the rule of law is in direct correlation to another very large risk to the EU – losing the enlargement, as euinside thoroughly reported. Should the EU fail in dealing with the problems with its fundamental values within the Union, then it will not have the legitimacy to ask those outside, and this is the foundation of its “soft” foreign policy. A re-orientation of foreign policy is currently underway, but the process is slow and not too ambitious, so this remains a challenge and most of all a security risk, for the bulk of the enlargement package is situated on the Balkan Peninsula.

Setting populism and Euroscepticism as a third and smallest risk was quite bold, but I do believe that the year 2016 brought huge victories to populists and Eurosceptics, although it is exactly this that will bring their doom. The Brexit is a guide to the harms of populism and this already produced results during the repeat presidential elections in Austria, which were not won by the far-right-wing candidate as expected. Greek populists too are losing support in the polls. In 2017, there are elections scheduled in the twin-engine of the European Union – France and Germany. The performance of the follower of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump Marine le Pen will prove my thesis that the end of populism is at hand.

Populism wins based on twisting facts or the intentional dropping of untruths. 2017 will be the year of fighting false news, myths, untruths, and propaganda. This battle is already underway in the European Union, but currently it is not coordinated but rather expressed in spontaneous actions or rather reactions. The important thing, however, is that thanks to the Brexit and Donald Trump’s election the masks of populists came down. This is a significant step in fighting them, but is also a challenge for mainstream parties, which do not look prepared to offer an alternative to their citizens. The biggest mistake of mainstreamers would be to offer more of what they have been offering for decades, and these are inadequate solutions in the 21st century.

It is very important that political parties do a deep analysis and come out clean in front of themselves and their voters. One of the reasons for the popularity of populists and Eurosceptics is that traditional parties failed to realise that their ideologies from the 20th century are invalid in the 21st. This allowed the appearance of extreme right-wing and extreme left-wing parties, which exploited the side effects of globalisation. Liberal forces lost much and practically there were no progressive political formations to point the way forward, instead of looking for solutions in the past. This is exactly what is needed at the European political scene, so that the Union itself can slide in comfortably into the 21st century and its global reality.

Translated by Stanimir Stoev

Posted in EuropeComments Off on EU Did Not Commit Suicide. It Is Reinventing Itself

Islamic State violence fuels culture wars and widens generation gaps

Reina nightclub attack

By James M. Dorsey

The Islamic State (IS) group’s New Year’s Eve attack in an upmarket luxury nightclub in Istanbul has fuelled culture wars in Turkey and Israel and laid bare aspirations among youth in socially restrictive Muslim societies for more liberal lifestyles.

In doing so, the attack on Istanbul’s Reina restaurant-cum-nightclub that killed 39 people, mostly tourists, highlighted wider societal tensions that underlie the wave of jihadist attacks that have hit Turkey and other Muslim societies in recent years. They point to a struggle that more often than not is fought by youth who opt for individual ways of carving out spaces in which they can circumvent restrictive social mores rather than organising politically.

To be sure, the IS’s multiple attacks in Turkey intend to primarily raise the cost of Turkish intervention in neighbouring Syria’s civil war. They are nevertheless also a violent effort to strengthen those societal forces in Turkey and elsewhere that favour a society based on a puritan interpretation of Islam’s social mores. Praising the attack, the IS noted that its “heroic caliphate soldier tore down one of the most famous nightclubs where Christians celebrated their polytheistic feast”.

The funeral of Lian Zaher Nasser, a 19-year-old from the town of Tira in the Galilee gunned down in the Reina nightclub attack, provided an anti-dote to the IS’s assertion. In doing so, it underlined the struggle for Islam’s soul in Israeli Palestinian society. Thousands, including Palestinian members of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and representatives of the Palestine Authority attended the funeral.

Lian Zaher Nasser, 19, from Tira in the Galilee, murdered in the Reina nightclub attack

Lian Zaher Nasser, 19, from Tira in the Galilee, murdered in the Reina nightclub attack

So did many young women, bent on defending Ms Nasser’s and their right to enjoy life in the face of criticism that she had violated Islamic mores by visiting a nightclub and celebrating New Year, a secular feast of the infidels. Their struggle often marks a rejection of the more traditional social mores of their elders.

… the IS’s multiple attacks in Turkey… are nevertheless also a violent effort to strengthen those societal forces in Turkey and elsewhere that favour a society based on a puritan interpretation of Islam’s social mores.

It is fought not only by defying traditional codes but also by young women seeking higher education in much the same way that football has emerged for young Palestinian men in Israel as what football scholar Tamer Sorek calls an “integrative enclave” that allows them to escape Israeli discrimination and Palestinian societal inhibitions. Their ambitions are fuelled by the fact that, unlike youth in predominantly Muslim societies elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, they are exposed to Israel’s more open society.

“This attempted slander is another murder of Lian,” Ala’a Abdulahi, a native of Tira who survived the attack on Reina, told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, referring to conservative criticism of their visit to the nightclub. “We arrived in Istanbul as independent young women and it is our right to celebrate the New Year’s in a well-known and exclusive club, and whoever this does not fit can go and break their head.”

Her words were echoed by municipal leaders of Tira. In his eulogy at Ms Nasser’s funeral, Mayor Mamoun Abd El-Hai said:

We are proud of Lian and her friends. We take pride in a young generation that is steadfast against the symbols of darkness and obscurity. We strive for life and young people among us who decide what is good and what is not. No one will force them to do anything. Those who try to impose their views, tell them: your position is unacceptable. These dark forces will not deter the young lovers of life. We represent true Islam. There is no place for those who adopt a false jihad.

The defence of Ms Nasser’s right to shape her own life reflects the divide aggravated by the Reina attack between secular and religious segments of society in Turkey which like Israel is far more open than most societies in the region. The impact of creeping ultra-conservatism in Turkey was evident in a statement in December by the Turkish government’s Directorate of Religious Affairs or Diyanet, declaring the celebration of New Year “alien” to Turkish values.

The statement followed an Islamist campaign seeking to persuade Turkish Muslims not to celebrate Christmas. In one incident, posters pictured Santa Claus being publicly punched by faithful Muslims. In another, ultra-nationalists organized a protest in which they pointed guns at the head of Santa Claus.

To be fair, Islamist groups in Turkey have a long history of opposition to celebrations of Christmas and New Year without resorting to violence. There is, moreover, no love lost between IS and the Diyanet, which the jihadists view as apostate.

We arrived in Istanbul as independent young women and it is our right to celebrate the New Year’s in a well-known and exclusive club, and whoever this does not fit can go and break their head. (Ala’a Abdulahi, Reina nightclub shooting survivor)

The attack has nonetheless sharpened the battle lines in Turkey where many secularists feel that the government’s promotion of conservative values and sweeping crackdown on critics in the wake of last July’s failed coup attempt has divided rather than united the country and deepened the social divide.

While Israeli Palestinians and Turks openly challenge conservative mores, Saudis need to be more circumspect even if they embrace the same values. Seven Saudis were among the victims of the attack on Reina.

Speaking to Al-Arabiya, Saudi journalist Mona al-Nasser stressed that Reina’s nightclub was in a separate section from the restaurant and criticised those who had condemned Saudis who frequented the establishment. “I had personally dined at Reina before and, like any other restaurant in Europe or in other Western cities, there are alcoholic beverages and music being played. Reina is one of the most elitist restaurants in Istanbul that is visited by many Arabs over the years,” Al-Nasser said.

All in all, the IS’s strategy may have backfired by attacking Reina. If anything, it has emboldened Muslim youth, particularly in countries whose nationals were among the victims, to stand up for their right to craft lives that reflect a more liberal, less restrictive interpretation of Islam. They more often than not take a stand individually in the quiet choices they make rather than in efforts to effect change collectively.

Posted in Middle East, TurkeyComments Off on Islamic State violence fuels culture wars and widens generation gaps


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