Archive | February, 2018

Russiagate and the Neo McCarthyite War on Alternative Media and Political Dissent

NOVANEWS

It has been a long year ever since January 20th of last year. Not only because of the ever-ensuing embarrassments of the Commander in Chief with such frequency it can be difficult to follow, but also – and I would say especially – because of the incessant daily media focus on the so called “Russiagate” scandal, a conspiracy which seeks to prove a collusion between the Putin and the Trump administration in order to successfully steal the 2016 presidential election win away from Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton. 

The United States and the Russian Federation have a long history of mutual hostility – famously dividing the East and West into a bipolar world during the Cold War – and the vision of Russia is among many Americans still that of the Soviet bad guys. The Cold War was not a pleasant time for many obvious reasons, but in the minds of the American left, the McCarthy era is one that still sticks, and its apparent return is something that seems to concern only a minority on the left – including myself. Now for the unacquainted, McCarthyism can be described as “the vociferous campaign against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions carried out under Senator Joseph McCarthy in the period 1950–4. Many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs, though most did not in fact belong to the Communist Party” (source). It was a clever way used by the US government to frame and condemn all the big left leaning civil rights and social justice movements that were happening during the Cold War era. Professors, academics, independent media platforms, politicians or activists with left leaning messages were being labelled as Soviet agents by the US government, discrediting them completely of any legitimacy in the eyes of the American people through the widespread Red Scare. What has been happening in the last year can be seen as a mirror of the same mentality, except that “Soviet spy” has today been replaced by labels such as “Kremlin agent” or “Russian bot”.

It isn’t news that what is often referred to as the “American Left” of the Democratic party is in reality nothing more than a neo-liberal party slightly more to the center/left than the GOP. So in this article, when I am referring to the terminology “American Left”, and the one subject to the revamped McCarthyism, I am in fact talking about the often anti-establishment, anti-imperialistic and even sometimes anti-capitalistic left – the one that threatens the current neo-liberal status quo. So as I elaborate my case, I just want to make it clear that I am referring to the latter.

One of the greater, larger left-wing media presence on US ground is undoubtedly RT America (RT short for Russia Today). Hosting many US critical segments such as Redacted Tonight  by Lee Camp, On Contact  with Chis Hedges and Breaking The Set  with Abby Martin, RT America comes out as a prominent side-narrative to the mainstream medias such as MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR and so forth. Yet last year, RT America has had to register itself as a “foreign agent”, on the basis of a very weak report by the Director of National Intelligence. Reasons for this decision as stated in the report claims to be that RT regularly covers surveillance, civil liberties, protest movements, the environmental impacts of fracking and Wall Street greed. Other more establishment friendly foreign news media on US soil such as BBC America have not had to register as a foreign agent. So far, only RT. Facebook (known for working closely with the US government) has even gone as far as marking RT articles shared on its platform as spam The Intercept did find out recently as well that Facebook does censor certain of its pages on behalf of governments, so more of the same behaviour is expected to be seen more in the future.

Where the delegitimization of leftist media really strikes is in the realm of “fake news”-stamping and propaganda-flagging. The Washington Post backed the website project PropOrNot.com which frames in a sort of ‘blacklist’ news medias that they believe are Russian Propaganda, with usually no evidence to back up their claims. Many independent news outlets are to be found on their list, and none of the major media conglomerates (unless they’re Russian, of course). In the same vein, Facebook has decided to team up with established media outlets such as AP and ABC News to find out and decide what is or is not “Fake News”.

Apparently, Americans are believed to be too unwise to figure it out for themselves, and if alternate narratives and opinions are being held, it must be because they have fallen victim of fake news. BBC has even gone as far as taking the teaching role in spotting “fake news”. The concept seems to be that social media platforms and mainstream media outlets are to tell the population what is real and what is a lie. The same outlets that pushed the war in Iraq, Syria, Libya, as well as the current Russiagate narrative. Media outlets that are ramping up on US intelligence spokesmen for their news segments, despite the fact that they are historically known to lie and deceive the American people. These same people are to tell us what is the truth. It is my belief that one of the only way such a development has become possible lies in the fact that the Democratic party and its voters have a newfound love for the FBI, NSA and CIA, thanks to the Russiagate conspiracy.

During the last year, James Comey and Robert Mueller have incessantly been praised by the media as American heroes and patriots saving the American people from the Kremlin puppets that Trump and his administration are accused to be (with very little evidence so far). It would seem that in this day and age, the Democrats would rather side with the deep state than with reason. Through programs such as COINTELPRO and Operation Mockingbird, the FBI and CIA have spent decades and millions of dollars deceiving and crushing any movement that dared to challenge the two-party system. For “the resistance” movement to embrace US intelligence agencies and the lies they propagate is an extremely reckless and dangerous move, and by doing so they are not only consciously trying their best to harm the current administration, but unconsciously harming the many media outlets, journalists, activists and politicians who hold a different view on the world than the Washington narrative, and who are now all being flagged as Kremlin agents pushing Russian propaganda.

During the last year we have been told not only that Trump’s campaign colluded with the Kremlin, but also that Bernie Sanders, Green Party leader Jill Stein and even that UK’s Jeremy Corbyn did. So have we been told about whistleblowers Julian AssangeEdward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, and many of RT America’s journalists who have their shows and articles published on RT America for the sole reason that RT is one of the only outlets allowing their differing viewpoints on American politics. Many Russiagate sceptics on Twitter have received messages directly from Twitter informing them that they might have fallen victim to Russian propaganda because they had retweeted or were following certain accounts they deemed to be associated with the Kremlin. From my own personal experience, I cannot count how many times I have seen Russiagate sceptics being called-out by liberals for being Kremlin agents or Russian bot accounts – all because of the many, many Russia-Kremlin-Trump stories that have been promulgated over the last year. It has paralyzed a large portion of the centre-left to not even move an inch more towards the left, and has condemned those who have.

There is a paranoia happening in the US political establishment, remarkably similar to the one experienced during the Cold War era. It doesn’t matter whether the Russia-Collusion story is true or not (let’s not forget the United States has itself meddled in countless foreign elections ever since the end of WWII, even in Russia in 1996), it matters more what this ongoing investigation and grotesque media-hype is doing to the American public – and by extension to the rest of the world. The US-Russia relation is worse today than at the high point of the Cold War, all thanks to this constant Putin bashing and the fact that NATO is slowly encircling the Russia in Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, the Arctic, the Middle-East and Asia. Despite the West promising not to expand NATO an inch Eastwards as part of the German reunification deal, such promises have not been kept. But of course, most of the general population is fine this politically unwise expansion of NATO, “because you know, Russians are bad” (satire).

If there is a threat to national and global security today, and a threat to free speech and independent media, it is not coming from Putin or the Kremlin – but rather from the United States. And until the American left gathers itself and stops listening to the warmongering pundits and establishment journalists parroting the Washington narrative, we have nothing but a bleak future in front of us with regards to the relation between thte two old nemesis nuclear superpowers.

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Why One War When We Can Have Two!

Featured image: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with troops stationed at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, April 21, 2017. (DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley)

`We will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists, but great-power competition – not terrorism – is now the primary focus of US national security.’  Henceforth Russia and China will be America’s main enemies, with Iran and North Korea thrown in for good measure.

So declared US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, last week in a statement of profound importance for the world.

For the past seventeen years, the US military has been laying waste to the Muslim world in the faux `war on terrorism.’  Afghanistan, Iraq, much of Syria, Somalia, Pakistan – all have been heavily bombed. US B-52’s and B-1 heavy bombers have tried to pound those resisting American ‘guidance’ into submission.

In Afghanistan, America’s longest war, President Donald Trump ordered a doubling of bombing against Taliban forces battling US occupation.  Now, the US is running very low on bombs, guided munitions and even air-to-air missiles for some reason.  Stores of munitions are being rushed from the US Pacific command to the Mideast.

At the same time, the US is fast running out of Muslim targets to bomb, now that the bogeyman ISIS has vanished into thin air and US air attacks in Syria are being minimized for fear of clashing with Russia.  Iran still remains on the US potential hit list.

Which brings us back to General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis.  He is quite right that so-called terrorists (that’s anyone who actively opposes the Lex Americana) pose no real life or death threat to the US mainland.

But if so, how then to maintain the $1 trillion US military budget?  Well, of course, trot out those good old ‘Reds Under Our Beds.’  Actually, the Pentagon has been planning a new war with China for the past three years, a mainly air and naval conflict to dominate China’s coasts and seas.   The Pentagon is loading up on new aircraft, missiles, satellites and naval craft for the next Pacific War, and trying to enlist India as an ally against China.

But what then about Russia?  Not so easy.  The likely theater for a US-Russia clash is on the Baltic coast, Ukraine, the Black Sea or Syria.  In this case, the US would be confronted by the same problem that afflicted France in the fall of 1939.

Few people know that it was France that first attacked Germany, not the other way around.  Responding to the German invasion of Poland, France and Britain declared war on Germany.  French divisions began to invade Germany’s Rhineland.  But after a few skirmishes the French high command, under the inept Gen. Maurice Gamelin, didn’t know what to do next.  Germany was large, and the defensive-minded French did not anticipate occupying its entire country.

After a brief demonstration, the French Army withdrew behind the Maginot Line.  Hitler did not counter-attack in hope he could forge a peace treaty with London and Paris.  Winston Churchill and his fellow imperialists furiously sought to push Britain into war with Germany.  But months of inactivity went by, known as the ‘Sitzkrieg’ or ‘drôle de guerre’ until Germany acted decisively.

This would also be America’s problem in a war against Russia.  How deep into Russia to attack (assuming no use of nuclear weapons)?  How to protect ever lengthening supply lines?  Napoleon and Hitler faced the same challenges and failed.

Of course, this supposes the US is ready for war.  In truth, neither the US and NATO nor Russia are in any way prepared to fight a real war on land, sea and air. Military forces on both sides have been so run down and depleted by little wars and budget cuts that there are serious shortages of war stocks and aging equipment.

Key NATO member Germany is in a shambles.  Its feminized military, run by a nice but incompetent lady defense minister, could not fight its way out of a paper bag.   France is not much better off.  The US armed forces and Britain are critically short of spares, munitions, transport, and armor.  Russia’s once mighty Red Army is short of everything.  Both east and west are simply unready for a real war.

As if there is any reason for one. There is not.  Those jackanapes in the US Congress and media trying to inflate online mischief by 20-something Russian hackers into a second Pearl Harbor are crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.

A final respectful note to Gen. Mattis (my dad was a marine):  A good general does not pick a fight with two, far–away major powers at once.  The trick is to turn them against one another. Declaring a future war against China and Russia is a crazy idea.  Only draft-dodgers and generals who lost the Vietnam War could come up with it.


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The Authoritarians Who Silence Syria Questions

I am loath to draw more attention to the kind of idiocy that passes for informed comment nowadays from academics and mainstream journalists. Recently I lambasted Prof Richard Carver for his arguments against BDS that should have gained him an F for logic in any high school exam.

Now we have to endure Brian Whitaker, the Guardian’s former Middle East editor, using every ploy in the misdirection and circular logic playbook to discredit those who commit thought crimes on Syria, by raising questions both about what is really happening there and about whether we can trust the corporate media consensus banging the regime-change drum.

Whitaker’s arguments and assumptions may be preposterous but sadly, like Carver’s, they are to be found everywhere in the mainstream – they have become so commonplace through repetition that they have gained a kind of implicit credibility. So let’s unpack what Whitaker and his ilk are claiming.

Whitaker’s latest outburst is directed against the impudence of a handful of British academics, including experts in the study of propaganda, in setting up a panel – the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media – to “provide a source of reliable, informed and timely analysis for journalists, publics and policymakers” on Syria. The researchers include Tim Hayward of Edinburgh University and Piers Robinson of Sheffield University.

So what are Whitaker’s objections to this working group? Let’s run through them, with my interjections.

Whitaker: They dispute almost all mainstream narratives of the Syrian conflict, especially regarding the use of chemical weapons and the role of the White Helmets search-and-rescue organisation. They are critical of western governments, western media and various humanitarian groups but show little interest in applying critical judgment to Russia’s role in the conflict or to the controversial writings of several journalists who happen to share their views.

Western governments and western corporate media have promoted a common narrative on Syria. It has been difficult for outsiders to be sure of what is going on, given that Syria has long been a closed society, a trend only reinforced by the last seven years of a vicious civil-cum-proxy war, and the presence of brutal ISIS and al Qaeda militias.

Long before the current fighting, western governments and Israel expressed a strong interest in overthrowing the government of Bashar Assad. In fact, their desire to be rid of Assad dates to at least the start of the “war on terror” they launched after 9/11, as I documented in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations.

Very few corporate journalists have been on the ground in Syria. (Paradoxically, those who have are effectively embedded in areas dominated by al Qaeda-type groups, which western governments are supporting directly and through Gulf intermediaries.) Most of these journalists are relying on information provided by western governments, or from groups with strong, vested interests in Assad’s overthrow.

Should we take this media coverage on trust, as many of us did the lies promoted about Iraq and later Libya by the same western governments and corporate media? Or should we be far more wary this time, especially as those earlier regime-change operations spread more chaos, suffering and weapons across the Middle East, and fuelled a migrant crisis now empowering the far-right across much of Europe?

Whitaker and his ilk are saying we should not. Or more disingenuously, Whitaker is saying that the working group, rather than invest its energies in this supremely important research, should concentrate its limited resources on studying Russian propaganda on Syria. In other words, the researchers should duplicate the sterling efforts of Whitaker’s colleagues in daily attributing to Russian President Vladimir Putin the superpowers of a James Bond villain.

Here’s a counter-proposal: how about we leave well-funded western governments and media corporations to impugn Putin at every turn and on every pretext, while we allow the working group to check whether there is a large (larger?) mote in the west’s eye?

Whitaker: The worrying part, though, especially in the light of their stated intention to seek ‘research funding’, is their claim to be engaging in ‘rigorous academic analysis’ of media reporting on Syria.

Is this really so worrying? Why not allow a handful of academics to seek funds to try to untangle the highly veiled aid – money and arms – that western governments have been pumping into a war tearing apart Syria?

Why not encourage the working group to discern more clearly the largely covert ties between western security services and groups like the White Helmets “search-and-rescue service”? One would think supposedly adversarial journalists would be all in favour of efforts to dig up information about western involvement and collusion in Syria.

Whitaker: But while members of the group are generally very critical of mainstream media in the west, a handful of western journalists — all of them controversial figures — escape similar scrutiny. Instead, their work is lauded and recommended.

More of Whitaker’s circular logic.

Of course, the few independent journalists (independent of corporate interests) who are on the ground in Syria are “controversial” – they are cast as “controversial” by western governments and corporate journalists precisely because they question the consensual narrative of those same governments and journalists. Duh!

Further, these “controversial” journalists are not being “lauded”. Rather, their counter-narratives are being highlighted by those with open minds, like those in the working group. Without efforts to draw attention to these independent journalists’ work, their reporting would most likely disappear without trace – precisely the outcome, one senses, Whitaker and his friends would very much prefer.

It is not the critical thinkers on Syria who are demanding that only one side of the narrative is heard; it is western governments and supposedly “liberal” journalists like Whitaker and the Guardian’s George Monbiot. They think they can divine the truth through … the corporate media, which is promoting narratives either crafted in western capitals or derived from ties to groups like the White Helmets located in jihadist-controlled areas.

Again, why should the working group waste its finite energies scrutinising these independent journalists when they are being scrutinised – and vilified – non-stop by journalists like Whitaker and by big-budget newspapers like the Guardian?

In any case, if official western naratives truly withstand the working group’s scrutiny, then the claims and findings of these independent journalists will be discredited in the process. These two opposed narratives cannot be equally true, after all.

Whitaker: The two favourites, though, are Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley — ’independent’ journalists who are frequent contributors to the Russian propaganda channel, RT. Bartlett and Beeley also have an enthusiastic following on ‘alternative’ and conspiracy theory websites though elsewhere they are widely dismissed as propagandists.

“Widely dismissed” by … yes, that’s right, Whitaker’s friends in the corporate media! More circular logic. Independent journalists like Bartlett and Beeley are on RT because Whitaker’s chums at British propaganda outlets – like the Guardian and BBC – do not give, and have never given, them a hearing. The Guardian even denied them a right of reply after its US-based technology writer Olivia Solon(whose resume does not mention that she was ever in Syria) was awarded a prominent slot in the paper to smear them as Kremlin propagandists, without addressing their arguments or evidence.

Whitaker: [Bartlett and Beeley’s] activities are part of the overall media battle regarding Syria and any ‘rigorous academic analysis’ of the coverage should be scrutinising their work rather than promoting it unquestioningly.

There is no “media battle”. That’s like talking of a “war” between Israel, one of the most powerful armies in the world, and the lightly armed Palestinian resistance group Hamas – something the western corporate media do all the time, of course.

Instead there is an unchallenged western media narrative on Syria, one in favour of more war, and more suffering, until what seems like an unrealisable goal of overthrowing Assad is achieved. On the other side are small oases of scepticism and critical thinking, mostly on the margins of social media, Whitaker wants snuffed out.

The working group’s job is not to help him in that task. It is to test whether or how much of the official western narrative is rooted in truth.

Returning to his “concerns” about RT, Whitaker concludes that the station’s key goal:

is to cast doubt on rational but unwelcome explanations by advancing multiple alternative ‘theories’ — ideas that may be based on nothing more than speculation or green-ink articles on obscure websites.

But it precisely isn’t such “green-ink” articles that chip away at the credibility of an official western consensus. It is the transparently authoritarian instincts of a political and media elite – and of supposedly “liberal” journalists like Whitaker and Monbiot – to silence all debate, all doubt, all counter-evidence.

Because at heart he is an authoritarian courtier, Whitaker would like us to believe that only crackpots and conspiracy theorists promote these counter-narratives. He would prefer that, in the silence he hopes to impose, readers will never be exposed to the experts who raise doubts about the official western narrative on Syria.

That is, the same silence that was imposed 15 years ago, when his former newspaper the Guardian and the rest of the western corporate media ignored and dismissed United Nations weapons experts like Scott Ritter and Hans Blix. Their warnings that Iraq’s supposed WMD really were non-existent and were being used as a pretext to wage a disastrous colonial war went unheard.

Let’s not allow Whitaker and like-minded bully-boys once again to silence such critical voices.

*

Jonathan Cook is a Nazareth- based journalist and winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism.


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Mueller’s Comic Book Indictment Is a Threat to All of Us. “Controlled Explanations”

NOVANEWS

We continue to hear from a variety of uninformed or corrupt people that there is “clear evidence” that Russia interfered in the US presidential election.  We hear it from the Atlantic Council, a mouthpiece for the military/security complex. 

We hear it from a nutcase in the British Labour Party. 

We hear it from Washington Post and, of course, from all the other professional liars at the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, etc. 

We hear it from Internet columnists.  

We hear it from Newt Gingrich on Fox News and from politicians in both parties.

We hear it from Bloomberg news from Henry Meyer and Kevin Cirilli.  

The truth of the hoax indictment is available, but it is not reported by the MSM. This website has reported the facts about the indictment as has Moon of Alabama and David Stockman. Even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his press conference announcing Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians told us part of the truth when he said at the 5 minute, 22 second mark that 

“there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity.  There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”  

Rosenstein goes on to say that the suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a trial, which, of course, will not take place as the indicted charges are make-believe and the US has no jurisdiction over the indicted Russians.  

Is this the way the presstitutes and politicians are reporting it?

Of course not.  Mueller’s comic indictment is being treated as proof that the Russian government interfered in the election.  In other words, the presstitutes and politicians are purposely deceiving the public at home and abroad. The corrupt American media and political system misrepresent Mueller’s unproven accusation as proof of guilt.  

Note that Rosenstein waited until the end of his press conference to tell us that Mueller’s indictment is not supportive of the Russiagate allegation of a Trump/Putin conspiracy that stole the election from Hillary.  Note also that Rosenstein does not tell us that what Mueller has indicted is a private Russian internet marketing bait-click scheme whose purpose was to make money, not influence the US presidential election.  See this for example, and this and this.

The presstitutes have not explained the charges that comprise the indictments of the 13 Russians. It is important to understand what these charges are. As Mueller’s charges themselves make perfectly clear,  the indictment has nothing to do with stealing an election.  The Russians are charged with committing violations of visa laws by disguising the true reason for their trip to the US. They are charged with fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, email accounts and  bank accounts, apparently by using false names and stolen identities.  In other words, the crimes, even if they were committed, do not relate to the Russiagate allegations of a Trump/Putin conspiracy to steal the presidential election. 

As I read the indictment, these illegalities are alleged to constitute a conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering in the election.  However, according to the indictment, the conspiracy to defraud began in 2014 before it was known Trump would be a presidential candidate.  So who was the unknown candidate at the time who was to benefit from the interference?  Why would Russians interfere in an election when they do not know who the candidates will be?  Apparently, both Mueller and the American presstitute media are too stupid to see the relevance of this question.

Why hasn’t the media explained any of this and asked how it amounts to a Putin/Trump conspiracy to steal the election?  What is wrong with the American people that they cannot see this by themselves.  Why do they need it explained to them?  Is it because they are too lazy to care enough to know the truth?  

David Stockman, a former member of the House of Representatives and a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, accurately describes Mueller’s indictment as a “comic book indictment” and “a great big nothingburger.” 

Stockman points out some of the facts that Mueller, Rosenstein, Fox News, CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, BBC, etc., have failed to tell us:

“The nefarious ‘troll farm’ in St. Petersburg that comprises nearly the totality of Mueller’s case is not a Russian intelligence agency operation at all.”

“Nowhere in the entire 37 pages is there even a clause linking Prigozhin’s Hobby Farm to the SVR (foreign intelligence service), the FSB (counter-intelligence and anti-terrorism), the GRU (military intelligence service), any other agency of the Russian State—-or even some purported Kremlin back channel to Putin.”

The question is: Why is the entirety of the print and TV media, a huge chunk of the Internet and social media, a majority of Congress, the entirety of the military/security complex and even a Disney movie, “His Double Life,” determined to elevate “the Russian threat”? 

The Disney movie concludes with these words across the screen:  Russian agents “are your neighbors. Your co-workers. Your friends. Your husbands.”  The “Russian agents” are not only under your bed, but also in bed with you! (Notice that the Russian agents are men, not women, thus in keeping with Identity Politics.)

We know that the military/security complex owns the media.  Apparently the complex owns Hollywood as well.

Keep in mind how rare truth is told and how unlikely you are to hear and read the truth.

The concentration during the Clinton regime of the diverse and partly independent media into the hands of six mega-corporations created the ability to control the explanations the public is given. Now the ruling oligarchy is moving to bring the Internet under control as well. 

Richie Allen, the host of the most popular independent radio show in Europe, found his Google/YouTube channel deleted yesterday.  1,400 videos of interviews with former CIA officers, bankers, journalists, scientists, including yours truly, simply disappeared. These were largely videos providing counter-narratives to the official explanations.  YouTube has a policy that allows deletion of videos that offend people who have been brainwashed and find it painful to have their beliefs challenged.  In other words, anything that does not adhere to the official explanations is considered bullying and harassment to the brainwashed masses who are no longer to be permitted the choice between the blue pill and the red pill.

Google/YouTube censorship is hitting other sites also: see this and this

The decision to control all explanations fed to Americans was made years ago. Clearly, the concentration of 90% of the US print, TV, and radio media in the hands of six mega-companies during the Clinton regime was a major step forward.  Other concentrations, such as Google/YouTube, have followed. All of these concentrations are illegal under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, but the act is no longer enforced, because according to the neoliberal junk economists, “markets are self-regulating.” 

In the absence of a diverse and independent media, there is no such thing as democracy and government accountable to the people. By controlling explanations, the ruling oligarchs can use government for whatever best serves them. The people are the losers.

The Trump presidency is the perfect timing for the oligarchs to take over control of all information. The liberal/progressive/left hate Trump so much that they are willing to ignore the proven fact that Russiagate was a FBI/Obama/Hillary conspiracy against Trump in order to use the false accusation as a weapon against Trump.  Gun control advocates and Identity Politics are willing to turn a blind eye to the unanswered questions about school shootings and terrorist bombings in order to get more gun control and police power to suppress “white supremacists.”  Partisan in their approach, they do not consider that the same power will be used against them.

As far as I can tell, the vast majority of young Americans have no idea what is at stake.  Most will never realize that their reality consists of controlled explanations. They will never know the truth about anything.

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No Chemical Weapons Used by Assad in Syria? Reality Check ‘Video’

NOVANEWS
   

It was a stunning announcement, stunning because of what was said and maybe equally as stunning because it was honest.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis says there is no evidence that the Syrian government used sarin gas on its own people.

It is a narrative we have been pushing back on for years. So what does this mean for U.S. policy in Syria? And will President Trump continue to push for war in Syria, or will he return to the positions of candidate Trump who said the U.S. should stay out of it?

Let’s give it a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

The statement is getting very little media coverage but it is a very big deal.

According to Defense Secretary James Mattis, there is no evidence that the Syrian government has used sarin gas on its own people.

Here is exactly what Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon:

“We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used.”

“We do not have evidence of it.”

“We’re looking for evidence of it, since clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions.”

Mattis insists that he wasn’t refuting the claims. But in a sense, he did.

According to Newsweek, in 2017 a White House memorandum was quickly produced and then declassified to justify an American Tomahawk missile strike against the Shayrat airbase in Syria.

The justification used was that Assad had used chemical weapons on his own people. Then President Trump himself insisted that there was no doubt that Syrian President Assad had killed his own people with banned chemical weapons.

But Mattis also didn’t qualify the statement to just the Syrian airbase strike. That means that the 2013 gas attack in Ghouta also was not proven to be Assad.

At that time, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were demanding congress approve use of force against Assad. Obama said this from the rose garden as he said American destroyers armed with Tomahawk missiles were on standby in the Mediterranean Sea.

“I’m prepared to give that order, but having made my decision as commander in chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.”

Congress did not approve that use of force, but then applauded Trump for his use.

For his part, in this latest statement, Mattis says that “aid groups and others” had provided evidence of the Syrian government using sarin.

But as I have extensively reported over the past few years, there is much evidence that the so called Syrian freedom fighters are actually ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters. And there is evidence that they have used chemical weapons.

Other problems with the claims of Assad using sarin: in the 2013 Ghouta event, the sarin came from home-made rockets, which were favored by insurgents.

Also, according to Newsweek:

“In the 2013 event, the White House memorandum seemed to rely heavily on testimony from the Syrian white helmets who were filmed at the scene having contact with supposed sarin-tainted casualties and not suffering any ill effects.

“Carla del Ponte was unable to fulfill her U.N. joint investigative mechanism mandate in Syria and withdrew in protest over the United States refusing to fully investigate allegations of chemical weapons use by ‘rebels’ who are actually jihadis, allied with the American effort to oust President Assad (including the use of sarin by anti-Assad rebels).”

According to the Times of London:

“Carla del Ponte, head of the independent UN commission investigating reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, told a Swiss-Italian television station that UN investigators gleaned testimony from victims of Syria’s civil war and medical staff which indicated that rebel forces used sarin gas – a deadly nerve agent.

“‘Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,’ del Ponte said in the interview, translated by Reuters.

‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,’ she added.”

It was the involvement of those jihadis posing as Syrian rebels that made then-candidate Trump state emphatically that he wouldn’t intervene and help oust Assad as Hillary Clinton wanted to do.

Candidate Trump pushed back heavily against intervention. He warned that ISIS was likely to take over Syria if Assad were ousted, just as they have in Iraq and Libya.

And yet the U.S. is only escalating fighting.

Four Russian nationals, and perhaps dozens more, were killed in fighting between pro-government forces in eastern Syria and members of the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, according to Russian and Syrian officials—that according to the New York Times.

Russia says that no members of the Russian armed forces were killed and that any Russians fighting alongside the Syrians were mercenaries.

So what you need to know is that candidate Trump was clear when he pointed to the bush policy in Iraq and the Obama/Clinton policies in Libya and Syria that have only strengthened the creation and spread of ISIS and jihadism.

Candidate Trump rightly pointed out that these policies had failed and that it was insanity to keep pursuing those policies and expecting a different outcome.

So why is President Trump now embracing those insane policies that if continued will undoubtedly leave another power vacuum in the Middle East which will be filled with jihadis?

Posted in SyriaComments Off on No Chemical Weapons Used by Assad in Syria? Reality Check ‘Video’

Guns and Liberty in America

NOVANEWS

Featured image: A White House protest held by Teens for Gun Reform last week in the wake of the Florida school massacre. (Lorie Shaull / Flickr)

The proliferation of guns in American society is not only profitable for gun manufacturers, it fools the disempowered into fetishizing weapons as a guarantor of political agency. Guns buttress the myth of a rugged individualism that atomizes Americans, disdains organization and obliterates community, compounding powerlessness. Gun ownership in the United States, largely criminalized for poor people of color, is a potent tool of oppression. It does not protect us from tyranny. It is an instrument of tyranny.

“Second Amendment cultists truly believe that guns are political power,” writes Mark Ames, the author of “Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond.” “[They believe that] guns in fact are the only source of political power. That’s why, despite loving guns, and despite being so right-wing, they betray such a paranoid fear and hatred of armed agents of the government (minus Border Guards, they all tend to love our Border Guards). If you think guns, rather than concentrated wealth, equals political power, then you’d resent government power far more than you’d resent billionaires’ power or corporations’ hyper-concentrated wealth/power, because government will always have more and bigger guns. In fact you’d see pro-gun, anti-government billionaires like the Kochs as your natural political allies in your gun-centric notion of political struggle against the concentrated gun power of government.”

American violence has always been primarily vigilante violence. It is a product of the colonial militias; the U.S. Army, which carried out campaigns of genocide against Native Americans; slave patrols; hired mercenaries and gunslingers; the Pinkerton and Baldwin-Felts detective agencies; gangs of strikebreakers; the Iron and Coal Police; company militias; the American Legion veterans of World War I who attacked union agitators; the White Citizens’ Council; the White League, the Knights of the White Camellia; and the Ku Klux Klan, which controlled some states. These vigilante groups carried out atrocities, mostly against people of color and radicals, within our borders that later characterized our savage subjugation of the Philippines, interventions in Latin America, the wars in Korea and Vietnam and our current debacles in the Middle East. Gen. Jacob H. Smith summed up American attitudes about wholesale violence in the Philippines when he ordered his troops to turn the island of Samar, defended by Filipino insurgents, into “a howling wilderness.”

Mass culture and most historians do not acknowledge the patterns of violence that have played out over and over since the founding of the nation. This historical amnesia blinds us to the endemic violence that defines our culture and is encoded in our national myth. As historian Richard Slotkin writes in “Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier 1600-1860,” the first of his three magisterial works on violence in American society, our Jacksonian form of democracy was defined by “the western man-on-the-make, the speculator, and the wildcat banker; [in a time] when racist irrationalism and a falsely conceived economics prolonged and intensified slavery in the teeth of American democratic idealism; and when men like Davy Crockett became national heroes by defining national aspirations in terms of so many bears destroyed, so much land preempted, so many trees hacked down, so many Indians and Mexicans dead in the dust.”

“The first colonists saw in America an opportunity to regenerate their fortunes, their spirits, and the power of their church and nation,” he writes, “but the means to that regeneration ultimately became the means of violence, and the myth of regeneration through violence became the structuring metaphor of the American experience.”

“A people unaware of its myths is likely to continue living by them, though the world around that people may change and demand changes in their psychology, their ethics and their institutions,” Slotkin writes.

The metaphors we use to describe ourselves to ourselves are rooted in this national myth. We explain our history and our experience and seek our identity in this myth. This myth connects us to the forces that shape and give meaning to our lives. It bridges, as Slotkin writes,

“the gap between the world of the mind and the world of affairs, between dream and reality, between impulse or desire and action. It draws on the content of individual and collective memory, structures it, and develops it from imperatives for belief and action.”

The historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz in her book “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment” also illustrates how the racist, white settler vision of the world continues to color our perception of reality. She writes:

The populist frontier ideology has served the U.S. ruling class well for its entire history and once again found tremendous resonance in the Vietnam War as another Indian war. A key to John F. Kennedy’s political success was that he revived the “frontier” as a trope of populist imperialism, speaking of the “settling” of the continent and “taming” a different sort of “wilderness.” In Kennedy’s acceptance speech in Los Angeles at the 1960 Democratic Convention, he said: “I stand tonight facing west on what was once the last frontier. From the lands that stretch 3,000 miles behind me, the pioneers of old gave up their safety, their comfort and sometimes their lives to build a new world here in the West. … We stand today on the edge of a new frontier.” The metaphor described Kennedy’s plan for employing political power to make the world the new frontier of the United States. Central to this vision was the Cold War, what Richard Slotkin calls “a heroic engagement in the ‘long twilight struggle’ against communism,” to which the nation was summoned by Kennedy in his inaugural address. Soon after he took office, that struggle took the form of the counterinsurgency program in Vietnam and his creation of the Green Beret Special Forces. “Seven years after Kennedy’s nomination,” Slotkin reminds us, “American troops would be describing Vietnam as ‘Indian Country’ and search-and-destroy missions as a game of ‘Cowboys and Indians’; and Kennedy’s ambassador to Vietnam would justify a massive military escalation by citing the necessity of moving the ‘Indians’ away from the ‘fort’ so that the ‘settlers’ could plant ‘corn.’ ”

The gun culture permits a dispossessed public, sheared of economic and political power, to buy a firearm and revel in feelings of omnipotence. A gun reminds Americans that they are divine agents of purification, anointed by God and Western civilization to remake the world in their own image. Violence in America is not about the defense of liberty or radical change. It is an expression of domination, racism and hate. American vigilantes are the shock troops of capitalism. They butcher the weak on behalf of the strong.

“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer,” the English novelist and essayist D.H. Lawrence wrote. “It has never yet melted.”

There are some 310 million firearms in the United States, including 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles and 86 million shotguns. The number of military-style assault weapons in private hands—including the AR-15 semi-automatic rifles used in the massacres at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.—is estimated at 1.5 million. The United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, an average of 90 firearms per 100 people.

“Total gun deaths in the United States average around 37,000 a year, with two-thirds of those deaths being suicides, leaving approximately 12,000 homicides, a thousand of those at the hands of the police,” writes Dunbar-Ortiz. “Mass shootings—ones that leave four or more people wounded or dead—now occur in the United States, on average, at the pace of one or more per day. Disturbing as that fact is, mass shootings currently account for only 2 percent of gun killings annually. The number of gun deaths—37,000—is roughly equal to death-by-vehicle incidents in the United States per year.”

If the ruling elites feared an armed uprising, a draconian form of gun control would instantly be law. But the engine of gun ownership is not the fear of government. It is the fear by white people of the black and brown underclass, an underclass many whites are convinced will threaten them as society breaks down. Guns, largely in the hands of whites, have rarely been deployed against the state. In this, the United States is an exception. It has a heavily armed population and yet maintains political stability. The few armed rebellions—the 1786 and 1787 Shays’ Rebellion, the 1921 armed uprising by 10,000 coal miners at Blair Mountain in West Virginia—were swiftly and brutally put down by militias and armed vigilantes hired by capitalists. These uprisings were about specific grievances, not systemic change. Revolution is foreign to our intellectual tradition.

As jobs and manufacturing are shipped overseas, communities crumble, despair grips much of the country and chronic poverty plagues American families, the gun seems to be the last tangible relic of a free and mythic America. It offers the illusion of power, protection and freedom. This is why the powerless will not give it up.

“In the heartland, these are people who feel they’ve been the victims of sustained economic violence at the hands of tyrannical governments of both parties,” writer and editor Daniel Hayes wrote in The New York Times in 2016. “In 2008, Barack Obama’s notorious misstep got one thing right: Rural people will ‘cling’ to guns. Not because they are sad or misguided, but because it is the last right they feel they still have: a liberty at least, in place of opportunity.”

“Outsourcing and guns: These are the twin issues animating Trump voters in rural Kentucky,” he wrote. “The two are linked and feed off each other; the only difference between them is that white rural voters see outsourcing as a losing battle, whereas protecting and expanding Second Amendment rights is the only policy they’ve been able to get politicians to move on. For that reason alone, it is totemic.”

The Second Amendment, as Dunbar-Ortiz makes clear in her book, was never about protecting individual freedom. It was about codifying white vigilante violence into law.

“The elephant in the room in these debates has long been what the armed militias of the Second Amendment were to be used for,” Dunbar-Ortiz writes. “The kind of militias and gun rights of the Second Amendment had long existed in the colonies and were expected to continue fulfilling two primary roles in the United States: destroying Native communities in the armed march to possess the continent, and brutally subjugating the enslaved African population. …”

Attacks on the gun culture and the gun violence that plagues the nation are seen by many gun owners as an attack on their national identity. The more powerful the weapon, the more powerful the gun owner feels. There are those among the marginalized and enraged who are tempted, especially because of easy access to assault-style weapons, to use their guns in mass killings to cleanse the world. The lone killer, almost always a white male, is celebrated by Hollywood and in our national myth and “frontier psychology.” This peculiar American veneration of violence, Slotkin writes, “reaches out of the past to cripple, incapacitate, or strike down the living.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Guns and Liberty in America

“How Dare you Say Peace is the Answer.” … Fear is a Much Better Alternative

NOVANEWS
obama soldiers globalresearch.ca

Relevant article selected from the GR archive, first published by Global Research on February 28, 2015

The following email was sent to me by a Global Research reader, widow of an American serviceman, an unspoken victim of  America’s wars.

Her response shows how effective war propaganda has become, in turning concepts up side down.

Western civilization is threatened, the ISIS bogeyman seeks World domination. Our American way of life is threatened. 

She blames the enemy for the death of her husband, rather than the US government. 

I offered to send her my book regarding the impacts of nuclear war. I signed my email with the words “For Peace”.

She responded by saying:  “How dare you think peace is the answer.”

War is the solution, she says. “total annihilation is the answer. .. What we have to do is to teach nations to fear us”:  

Have we become so complacent of fear that we will not use mass destruction against the Middle East. We did it against Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end all threats from  those who have no regard for other humans?  [first email]

 In response  to your email, I am a military brat  and have good experience with war.

Have you ever been to a little place called Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran, or Iraq.  I had 6 very good friends, drafted  to Vietnam, who never returned.

I am a war widow and raised an 18 month old son, alone!!

How dare you think peace is the answer.

For countries, that threaten our way of life, war is not good enough to slap hands, total annihilation is the answer.

If we had done that,  ISIS would not be beheading people.

They are encouraging our own people to join ISIS to retaliate against America.

Are you ready to live under ISIS world domination? Remincent of a little man named Adolf Hitler, who annihilated 6 million  Jews.

If we can teach nations to fear us, then we wouldn’t  need war, then our precious military would not die on foreign soil, leaving families devastated.

Think about that. Peace, Fear is a much better alternative. [second email]

(minor editing by M.Ch.)

The Victims of War Propaganda

Her response is the product of a propaganda campaign within the US Armed Forces.

She is the victim of America’s wars, the widow of an American serviceman. She is also the victim of war propaganda which instills hatred and upholds war as the solution.

Upon reading her message,  I felt that the most important thing to do was to reach out to her, and the victims of war propaganda, provide them with concepts and information, which will enable them to know the truth about US led wars.

More broadly Americans are misinformed as to the true nature of America’s wars. “Wipe out the rest of the world to ensure the security of the American homeland.”

Going after “Islamic terrorists”, carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to “protect the Homeland” are used to justify a military agenda. This has become a consensus shared by millions of people. In turn, “The Global War on Terrorism” is presented as a “Clash of Civilizations”.

Evil folks are lurking. A good versus evil duality prevails, which instills in the minds of millions of people the notion that war is a humanitarian undertaking.

What is required is counter-propaganda to sensitize our fellow-citizens, with a view to confronting the stream of lies emanating from the US government and the mainstream media. This campaign should be extended to members of the Armed Forces and their families.

Spread the word far and wide.  Reverse the Tide. Obama’s “Global War on Terrorism” is Fake, it’s a criminal undertaking.

The fundamental issue, which is obfuscated by the media is that the Islamic State (ISIS) is a creation of US intelligence, which is used to destabilize and destroy sovereign countries as part of a global war of conquest.

Posted in USAComments Off on “How Dare you Say Peace is the Answer.” … Fear is a Much Better Alternative

Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions

In the past, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) justified its militarization of large swaths of Eastern Europe by pointing to the omnipresent threat of terrorism, or some ‘rogue’ foreign state, inherently understood to be Iran. Today the mask has slipped and it is no longer denied that NATO’s primary target is Russia.

But first, a trip down nightmare lane. The road to ruin – at least as far as US-Russia relations were concerned – began immediately following the 9/11 terror attacks. Three months after that fateful day, in December 2001, George W. Bush informedVladimir Putin that the US was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a strange move considering that the treaty had kept the peace between the nuclear superpowers since 1972. This geopolitical “mistake,” as Putin rightly defined it, allowed the US to begin the process of deploying a missile defense system, smack on the border with Russia, allegedly to shield the continent against an attack by Iran. Never mind the fact that Tehran had absolutely no reason, not to mention the wherewithal, to carry out such a suicidal mission. But Washington has never been one to let facts get in the way of a forced move on the global chess board.

Thus, the Bush administration advocated on behalf of a land-based missile defense system with interceptors based in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. However, due to serious objections from Russia, not to mention the apprehensive citizens of the host countries, the plan had reached an impasse in 2008 – just as Obama was replacing Bush in the White House. Some would call that impeccable timing. What happened next can only be described as a devious sleight of hand on the part of Washington.

In September 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obamaannounced to great fanfare that the US would “shelve” the Bush plan. This announcement was received in Moscow and beyond as a sign that America’s first black president was truly the real deal when it came to working on behalf of global peace. Suddenly, it appeared that the Bush reign of error had been an ugly anomaly, a bad eight-year dream. That grand illusion lasted for about as long as it took to read that sentence.

Image on the right is then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and then-President Barack Obama

Related image

Barack Obama, the man who had seduced the global masses with his velvety albeit telepromoted delivery, shifted gears the very next day, announcing that the US would be deploying, in four phases, sea-based SM-3 interceptor missiles in Eastern Europe instead. An opinion piece in the New York Times, penned by then Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, provided all the information to understand that the world had been hoodwinked.

“Steady technological advances in our missile defense program — from kill vehicles to the abilities to network radars and sensors — give us confidence in this plan,” Gates wrote. “The SM-3 has had eight successful tests since 2007, and we will continue to develop it to give it the capacity to intercept long-range missiles like ICBMs. It is now more than able to deal with the threat from multiple short- and medium-range missiles — a very real threat to our allies and some 80,000 American troops based in Europe that was not addressed by the previous plan.”

“We are strengthening — not scrapping — missile defense in Europe,” he concluded.

With the benefit of hindsight and common sense, it seems that Washington’s plan from the start was to move forward with the sophisticated SM-3 system; the bulky Bush initiative just provided the necessary distraction to usher in the advanced Obama plan, which presents a major threat to the global strategic balance.

But all that is ancient history compared to what is happening today. Under the guise of ‘Russia aggression,’ a concept that was peddled to the unsuspecting masses based on the fake news of a Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine and Crimea, compounded by claims that Russia somehow swayed the 2016 US presidential elections, US-led NATO has dropped all pretensions and declared open season on Russia. Combined with Donald Trump’s empty threat that the US would exit NATO if member states did not start spending more on defense (2 percent of annula GDP), Eastern Europe has become a veritable hothouse of paranoia-driven militarization.

In what the Kremlin has described as the greatest amassing of military assets on its border since World War II, NATO troops and hardware have set up camp from as far north as Estonia, down through Latvia and Lithuania, into Romania and Poland, where the rotation of US troops is now standard operating procedure.

Meanwhile, massive military games aimed at deterring the Russian bogeyman continue unabated on Russia’s border. In April, British journalist Neil Clark described just one of these exercises, dubbed Summer Shield. The NATO military exercises “got underway at the Adazi military base. Soldiers from Latvia, the US, Bulgaria, Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, the UK, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Germany and also non-NATO member Sweden are taking part in the drills,” Clark wrote.

He then went on to make a rather unsettling yet accurate observation:

“Today’s mantra regarding ‘Russian aggression’ is the 2003 equivalent of ‘Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction,’ to be repeated ad nauseam by anyone supporting NATO’s Drang nach Osten. And like the WMD claim, it’s based on zero evidence.”

Such reckless behavior would have been difficult to fathom less than a decade ago.

But these are brave new times, and American madness has settled upon the realm of foreign relations like a noxious cloud, forcing client states to crack open their tattered wallets or be left out in the cold when the big, bad Russian bear comes a knocking.

An MFOR rocket is launched from a HIMARS (Source: United States Department of Defense U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Consider the case of Romania, one of Europe’s poorest countries. Prompted by Donald Trump‘s warning that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members must fork over 2 percent of their GDP on military spending, Bucharest just made a down payment on a $1 billion American-made M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), as well as four new multi-function corvettes.

Romanian Defence Minister Mihai Fifor told Jane’s that these exorbitant purchases would “improve Romania’s national and allied defense capability” and emphasized that Romania’s commitment to the 2% of GDP spending cap “for the next 10 years is strong”.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said,

“We want those procurement programs to also strengthen our defence industry based on offset arrangements where possible”.

This was not the first American military incursion into Romania under the guise of guarding against Iran and other alleged rogue players.

In May 2016, the US activated its $800 million missile shield in Romania, which Russia obviously views as a direct threat.

“At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, and worse than that, they can be rearmed with 2400km-range offensive missiles even today, and it can be done by simply switching the software, so that even the Romanians themselves won’t know,” Vladimir Putin told reporters during a visit to Greece in May 2016.

“We have been saying since the early 2000s that we will have to react somehow to your moves to undermine international security. No one is listening to us,” Putin warned.

It remains to be seen how long NATO tone deafness will continue before the militarization of Eastern Europe gets completely out of control and the situation becomes untenable. Or perhaps the point of no return has already come to pass and, fait accompli, we are merely enjoying an illusory calm before the storm.

Posted in NATO, RussiaComments Off on Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions

US Intends Indefinite Illegal Occupation of Syrian and Iraqi Territory

NOVANEWS:
 

All US wars and related occupations are flagrantly illegal, Trump continuing what his predecessors began.

Pentagon and State Department officials lied, claiming Washington needs no congressional or other authorization to maintain a military presence in Syria and Iraq.

US-installed puppet Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi was pressured to accept the indefinite presence of US forces in the country.

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad slammed their presence in northern and southern parts of the country, earlier saying:

“Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other(s).

Russia operates in Syria by invitation. So do Hezbollah fighters and Iranian military advisors. US forces are there illegally – waging naked aggression by terror-bombing and support for terrorists, seeking regime change.

Last March, Assad blasted Washington, saying wherever US forces are sent, “they only create a mess. They are very good at creating problems and destroying, but they are very bad in finding solutions,” adding:

Without US-led foreign intervention, war would “only take a few months” to end. It never would have been launched.

Washington intends indefinite missions wherever it shows up. Last month, Rex Tillerson lied saying

“(t)he Trump administration’s counterterrorism policy is quite simple. It is to protect Americans at home and abroad from attacks by terrorists.”

The only threat they face is state-sponsored terrorism, no others from terrorist groups Washington created and supports.

Tillerson lied claiming “Syria remains a source of severe strategic threats,” adding US forces will remain in the country indefinitely “to protect our own national security interest.”

They illegally occupy Syrian territory for regime change. Throughout its history, Syria never threatened US security.

The Pentagon and State Department lied, claiming ISIS terrorists in Syria give Washington legal justification for US forces to remain indefinitely in Syria and Iraq.

The Trump administration turned truth on its head, claiming a legal right to strike Syrian forces and Iranian military advisors it believes threaten US troops and terrorist fighters it supports and falsely calls “rebels.”

According to Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Mary Waters,

“the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend US, coalition, or partner forces engaged in operations to defeat ISIS and degrade Al Qaeda.”

Washington created and supports ISIS and al-Qaeda, Waters failed to explain. US forces operate illegally in all its war theaters.

Trump has no legal authority to wage war anywhere without Security Council approval. All US wars are illegal acts of aggression against sovereign nations threatening no one.

Congress has appropriation authority. It can end US wars by cutting off funding, the way US involvement in Southeast Asia ended in April 1975.

Efforts began with the Church/Cooper June 30, 1970 amendment (attached to a supplemental aid bill), stipulating no further spending for soldiers, combat assistance, advisors, or bombing operations in Cambodia.

The 1972 Church/Case amendment to end all funding for US military operations in Southeast Asia, except for withdrawal subject to the release of prisoners of war, was the first congressional legislation to end the Vietnam war.

In June 1973, Congress passed the Church/Case amendment ending all funding after August 15.

On April 30, 1975, US forces completed their withdrawal from the rooftop of its Saigon embassy, ending over a decade of war – based on the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing war without declaring it, based on a false flag incident.

Congress can end illegal US wars today the same way it did in the 1970s. Figures like Senators Frank Church, William Fulbright, George McGovern, and others like them aren’t around today.

Even conservative Senator Richard Russell, Lyndon Johnson’s mentor in the Senate, called war in Southeast Asia the “damn worse mess I ever saw,” telling LBJ the territory wasn’t a “damn bit” important to America.

US wars of aggression rage today in multiple theaters. Virtually no congressional profiles in courage exist to stop them.

No House or Senate members argue publicly against endless US wars. None publicy support peace.

Nothing is being done to cut off war funding. Instead, military budgets are increased.

The vast majority of House and Senate members publicly support Washington’s imperial war agenda – including self-styled progressive Bernie Sanders.

Without strong opposition, endless US wars continue, others in the wings to be launched.

Catastrophic nuclear war is ominously possible against one or more nations threatening no one.

America’s imperial agenda is humanity’s greatest threat!

Posted in USA, Iraq, SyriaComments Off on US Intends Indefinite Illegal Occupation of Syrian and Iraqi Territory

Deployment of U.S. Ground-based Intermediate Range Nuclear Missiles in Europe against Russia

NOVANEWS

A Recurring Nightmare: Deployment of U.S. Ground-based Intermediate Range Nuclear Missiles in Europe against Russia

The Art of War
 

The plan was announced three years ago, during the Obama administration, when Pentagon officials declared: “In front of Russian aggression, the United States is considering the deployment of ground-based missiles in Europe” (the manifesto, 9 June 2015).

Now, with the Trump administration, the plan is officially confirmed. In the 2018 fiscal year the Congress of the United States authorized the financing of “a program of research and development of a ground-based mobile Cruise missile”. It is a nuclear missile with an intermediate range (between 500 and 5500 km), similar to the 112 Cruise nuclear missiles deployed by the US in Comiso in the 1980s.

They were eliminated, along with the Pershing 2 ballistic missiles deployed by the US in Germany and the Soviet SS-20 deployed in the USSR, by the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF), stipulated in 1987. It prohibits the deployment of ground-based missiles with a range between 500 and 5500 km.

Washington now accuses Moscow of deploying missiles of this category and declares that, “if Russia continues to violate the INF Treaty, the United States will no longer be bound by this treaty”, ie the United States will be free to deploy ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe.

However, a decisive fact is ignored: the Russian missiles (assuming their range is intermediate) are deployed in a defensive position in the Russian territory, while the US intermediate-range missiles would be deployed in an offensive position in Europe close to the Russian territory. It is as if Russia deployed nuclear missiles pointed at the United States in Mexico.

As the US / NATO escalation continues, the deployment of such missiles in Europe is increasingly likely.

Meanwhile, in early February, Ukraine tested a ground-based intermediate-range missile, which was certainly produced with US assistance.

The new US nuclear missiles – much more precise and faster than the Cruise missiles of the Eighties – would be deployed in Italy and probably in Eastern countries too, adding to the B61-12 nuclear bombs that US will deploy in Italy and other countries since 2020.

In Italy, the new Cruise missiles would probably again be positioned in Sicily, although not necessarily in Comiso. On the island there are two US installations of primary strategic importance.

The MUOS ground station of Niscemi, one of the four on a world scale (2 in the US, 1 in Australia and 1 in Sicily) of the satellite communications system that connects all US forces, even nuclear, anywhere of the world they are.

JTAGS, a satellite reception and transmission station for the US «anti-missile shield», which is about to become operational in Sigonella. It is one of five worldwide (the others are in the United States, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan). The station, which is transportable, is used not only for anti-missile defense but also for attack operations, launched from forward-deployed bases such as those in Italy.

In the “Nuclear Posture Review 2018″ the Pentagon declares: “The United States commit nuclear weapons forward-deployed to Europe, to the defense of NATO. These forces provide an essential political and military link between Europe and North America”.

By linking us to their strategy not only militarily but politically, the United States increasingly transform our country into a forward-deployed base of their nuclear weapons pointed at Russia, therefore into a forward-deployed target at which Russian nuclear weapons are pointed.

Posted in USAComments Off on Deployment of U.S. Ground-based Intermediate Range Nuclear Missiles in Europe against Russia

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