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Oliver Stone’s ‘Israel’ remarks CENSORED by Stephen Colbert’s Late Show

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By Adam Garrie | The Duran 

Reports have surfaced that during his heated exchange with Stephen Colbert, Oliver Stone responded to statements from Colbert repeating the tired narrative about Russia interfering in the US election by bringing up an elephant in the room that many media outlets have totally ignored.

Stone said of alleged and thus far totally unproved Russian interference,

“Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia, why don’t you ask me about that?”

Colbert, quick to end that part of the discussion replied,

“I’ll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel”

This section of the interview was edited out of the final broadcast, but multiple sources, including many pro-Israel sources testify to the existence of the in-studio exchange.

Few could reasonably deny that the pro-Israel lobby in the US is extremely power, well funded and influential.

Oliver Stone touched on a deeply important issue, one that clearly did not fit the anti-Russia stance of Stephen Colbert and his producers.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Media0 Comments

A “Liberal” who never trusted “Main Stream Media”

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Not so sure if you are like me, but I am a liberal, not a Democratic or Republican liberal, but liberal in the sense that I feel the government must represent and must be at the service of the people, All the people, not only Wall Street, the Lobbyists and Washington Think Tanks.

I am a Liberal who believes that the purpose of government is to service and protect. To service by providing all the basic services citizens need from education to health care, to roads, to infrastructure, to science and research, to social services among others. To protect by providing for national defense with priority on national domestic defense and providing good quality police and fire services to its citizens. Not so sure if we need to have 70 bases all over the world.

I am liberal because I believe citizens have a duty and must contribute to the political process by not a contribution to the corrupt and failing two party system, but to vote in every single election irrespective of the quality or stupidly of the candidates.

I am a liberal who believes that citizens have an equal obligation toward to the state in the same way the state has an obligation towards its people. There is nothing for free; and if you want services, you better pay for it.

There is No free lunch.

I am also a liberal who never trusted or believed in America’s Main Stream Media – from CNN to MSNBC, to Fox News, CBS, NBC, ABC, New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times or Chicago Tribune among others. I also don’t believe in the lies and incitement coming out of the like of Rush Limbaugh, who gets paid $40-million a year to make a fool of himself and to make greater fools of those who listen and believe in the “bullshit” that comes out of his mouth.

You see, I do have a major and serious problem with Main Stream America, because it was never honest about any coverage, and its stories always fit the political or ideological values and opinions of its managing editors. To stay the Main Stream Media is the guardian of the nation and people’s interest is a big lie; and it stretches the truth to make it “fake news”.

You see, my problems with American media began in the late 60’s, when I was unable to get even a “letter” to the editor published that spoke of the Israeli Occupation, while seeing comments and editorials from the other side having so much space in all major media. The Palestinians simply did not exist and are denied a voice or a forum to tell their story – only Jews and Israel have the right to tell their stories. The same story continues today. My files are full of rejected comments and letters to the editors of newspapers, such as the New York Times, Washington Post even the Chicago Tribune.

Of course, I learned to know better. Perhaps the best statement I read about America’s Main Stream Media came from someone who knows much better than I.

Dean Ben Bagdikian, former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley said it best:

“With a country’s widest disseminators of news, commentary and ideas firmly entrenched among a small number of the world’s wealthiest corporations. It may not be surprising that their news and commentary is limited to an unrepresentative narrow spectrum of policies.”

As we watch the news these days, with a major Cold War going on between President Trump and Main Stream Media, one would think that Main Stream media is the most powerful branch of government, really “the Fourth Branch”.

Why is our media and Congress so upset about Russia’s interference in our elections, when our “friend and ally” Israel has been doing it for 50 years, determining and controlling our national and international agenda and paying hundreds of millions to our national and state representatives? No one wants to talk about that of course.

You see, the “Fourth Branch” is unelected and never accountable to the people, yet it decides for us and for the nations. It decides whom we should vote for, and it decides which wars we should support, and it decides which criminal regime or countries we should support. We are never free to make up our mind. Main Stream media got us hyped up to go to war on Iraq and it sold us a bill of lies, and it gave us “imbedded journalists” with invading US troops, as if it were a reality show. The recent GCC conflict showed it best when “opinion makers” are on the payroll of one country or the other.

You see, I do have a problem and I am sure you do the same thing. Think about this. “In 1983, 50 corporations controlled most of the American media” from the magazine to movies, to books and publications houses, to radios among other media.

That number dropped to almost in half decade later. By 1992 only six corporations became the major owners of Main Stream media like Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany and Viacom.

It is true that major newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post continued to be owned by a public corporation, but the editorial board continues to follow certain political and ideological lines. It is true of the Chicago Tribune, LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

Now add to this. The largest 100 media corporations like Time Warner, which owns AOL and CNN, own 80% of the top 20 online news sites.

Now imagine that someone like Rush Limbaugh earns $40 million a year to spew his bullshit and tell the people who earned less than $30,000 a year how good they have it and how bad the politics is in the country. And think that someone like Megan Kelly or Bill O’Reilly getting over $20 million a year for few hours of media time only to tell us what we should think. How can the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly or Megan Kelly or Rachel Maddow represent our best interests?

Yes, I do have a major problem with Main Stream media – never liked it, never trusted it, and certainly never felt it represented my best interests. I hope it does not represent your best interests too. They are not our guardians and certainly, no one appointed them as our trustees or the trustees for the nation. They speak for their bosses and only for their bosses and never for the general interests of the American public.

We all should be glad that the Internet so far allows me to publish and exchange my thoughts with you. You and I never have a chance to be published in Main Stream media, never.

Your thoughts… ?

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In the War on Media Disinformation, the Truth is our Most Valuable Weapon

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Global Research has worked to bring its readers critical news, information, and analyses to reverse the tide of mainstream media disinformation. We have been the important reference of first choice for many of our readers in our coverage of topics like SyriaIraq, Palestine, Iran, the global economic crisis, GMO’s, civil rights, …

Global Research’s work is critical in the face of corporate media lies and we have managed to remain completely independent, acting as a vital information portal. But we still need all the help we can get. Without the support of our valued readers, the Global Research websites would not exist or grow. Spread the message, tell friends, introduce Global Research to discussion groups and classes, distribute our stories, post them on your blogs and social media pages.

It’s time for change, time to choose peace over violence, facts over lies. In the words of Michael Carmichael:

“Global Research is the essential tool for international activists, analysts and observers. Cutting-edge analyses and commentaries by the boldest and most incisive writers bring readers up-to-the-minute information that is simply not available from any other source. I rely heavily on Global Research, and I commend it to anyone seriously interested in comprehending the raging tides of events constantly flooding into our world.”
Michael Carmichael, Planetary/USA (For list of all articles, click here)

Making a donation or taking out a monthly or yearly membership with Global Research means making an ongoing commitment to brave, honest journalism and, ultimately, to peace. If we are to face the real demons threatening our small and beautiful planet, the truth is our most valuable weapon, and Global Research will fight on to bring us closer to it.

Will you join us?

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Permanent Warfare Sustained by Media Propaganda

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Ghosts of Vietnam Era Inform American Leaders in 2017 as They Plan Billion Year War

 

“USCENTCOM commanders announced today that they intend to maintain their presence in [Afghanistan, Iraq and Qatar] until the sun runs out of hydrogen, thus committing the US to the longest duration deployment in human history. When asked how they planned to maintain the presence in the three countries for a projected length of 4 to 5 billion years, planners said ‘we’re working on a plan for that. We don’t have one yet, but not having a plan or an intelligent reason to do something has never been much of an impediment for us in the past; we don’t foresee it being a big show stopper for us in the future either.’ 

Among the options that were being discussed was an innovative program to “interbreed” the deployed personnel. “We are going to actively encourage the military members in these countries to intermarry and raise children that will replace them in the future. Sure, it may be a little hard on some of our female service members, since there currently are about 8 men for every woman over there, but we expect that to be Overcome by Events (OBE) as the sex ratios will even out in a generation or two.

In any case the key to the plan is to make these assignments not only permanent, but inheritable and hereditary. For example, if you currently work the Joint Operations Center (JOC) weather desk, so will your children, and their children, and their children, ad infinitum. We like to think of it as job security.”Captain (Combined Joint Task Force-180)

Coincident to the Pentagon’s request for thousands more US soldiers to be shipped off to Afghanistan comes the massive vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBID) attack in Kabul that has killed nearly 100 and wounded 400 others. Among the wounded are said to be about a dozen US citizens who, likely, are defense and support contractors. The Taliban vehemently denied any involvement in the attack. The Islamic State, or an affiliated group, is the likely suspects.

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A wounded man at the site of a huge explosion in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Wednesday. The bombing killed at least 80 people and injured hundreds. No group has taken responsibility for the attack. (Source: Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

And so the world is off to the races again with a news cycle that features the routine victim portrayals, on scene interviews, expert analysis, and statements from leaders around the world condemning the attack and vowing to carry the fight to the evil doers. A billion year crusade indeed!

Americans watch the carnage on television or the Internet and empathize for, maybe, 10 minutes. Then, at their own peril, it is back to soap operas, video games, sporting events, the mobile device and the Game of Thrones television series: Seems like much of the world does the same thing. We are into civilian body counts on television, or the Internet, now with an occasional US soldier’s death reported. This is not dissimilar to watching body counts during the Vietnam War only civilians lead the gruesome counts.

Mini-Tet Offensives

Meanwhile, the Kabul attack becomes a prop to support the Pentagon’s request for more US troops to support Afghanistan, Iraq and the eternal global war on terrorism. But how are a few thousand US soldiers sent to and fro going to bring the Taliban to its knees or stop terrorist attacks from happening anywhere in the world? Even as the Islamic State is being squashed in Iraq and Syria, they are able to create havoc in Baghdad, Kabul, the Philippines and Manchester, UK.

Don’t we need 500,000plus soldiers as we did in Vietnam to crush the adversaries? Why the incremental increases Why not seek the services of 1 million American citizens via the draft to go and get the job done in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria?

The suicide attacks are mini-Tet Offensives: They remind world leaders and military planners that they are largely helpless to eliminate terrorist attacks. The relatively low numbers of reinforcements requested by the Pentagon are puzzling. If the US wanted to annihilate the Taliban and the Islamic State, they’d get the Whole of American Society involved in the task. Most Americans don’t care about US military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria.

The Haunting

“In a New York Times article dated August 7, 1967, two unidentified generals were quoted who stated that he had destroyed a single North Vietnamese division three times:

“‘I’ve chased main-force units all over the country and the impact was zilch. It meant nothing to the people. Unless a more positive and more stirring theme than simple anti-communism can be found, the war appears likely to go on until someone gets tired and quits, which could take generations.’”

The other general’s quote was

‘Every time Westmorland makes a speech about how good the South Vietnam Army is, I want to ask him why he keeps calling for more Americans. His need for reinforcements is a measure of our failure with the Vietnamese.’”

Replace the “anti-communism and Vietnamese” with the Taliban, Islamic State or any terrorist group and the sentiments from 1967 are relevant in 2017.

In many ways, American society is culturally fragmented and stove-piped in three factions: Left, right and center. This is not dissimilar to the late 1960’s, early 1970’s. Aggressive Alt-Righter’s have taken up the mantel of Neo-White Nationalism, an ideology that finds friends in a Republican White House and Justice Department Attorney General Jefferson Sessions.

The Democrat Left still bemoans Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump in 2016 and has, as yet, no aggressive platform to counter the Alt Right or appeal to its lost followers. The Independent Center looks Left and Right and disdains the rigid, uncompromising ideology they hold. If the stovepipes crack open in the worst way, the streets are where passions will be fought for as they were during the Vietnam era.

Vietnam

There are other similarities to the Vietnam experience. President Donald Trump’s administration is in disarray and under investigation by the US Justice Department. CNN reports that former FBI director James Comey will testify in the US Senate that Trump pressured him to halt the investigation into Russian influence operations during the 2016 presidential race. The country is already, officially a nation at war and is even flirting with a war against North Korea. To top it off, Trump just declared war on the planet on June 1 by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords. The Trump Administration is cornered and dangerous.

It’s hard not to draw comparisons with the Vietnam War experience. The convergence of the anti-war and anti-racism movements, the criminal investigations of  president Richard Nixon, and a cultural sea change challenging the established order was, then, unprecedented. Its ghosts seem to be haunting the American Republic at this moment in time.

According to the History.com:

Though U.S. and South Vietnamese forces managed to hold off the Tet Offensive Communist attacks, news coverage of the offensive (including the lengthy Battle of Hue) shocked and dismayed the American public and further eroded support for the war effort. Despite heavy casualties, North Vietnam achieved a strategic victory with the Tet Offensive, as the attacks marked a turning point in the Vietnam War and the beginning of the slow, painful American withdrawal from the region.”

History does repeat itself simply because humans are repetitive creatures.

“And corruption is stranglin’ the land. The police force is watching the people and the people just can’t understand. We don’t know how to mind our own business, ’cause the whole world’s got to be just like us. Now we are fighting a war over there but no matter who’s the winner we can’t pay the cost.” Steppenwolf Monster, 1969.

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Who Controls the Information Space and Why

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By Jean Perier – New Eastern Outlook 

Recently behind-the-scenes rules and restrictions being used by Facebook have fallen into the hands of Guardian reporters. According to their report, moderators employed by the tech giant are entitled to decide what exactly the 2 billion users of this social network can or cannot publish on their pages. This report has provoked a massive discussion on the absence of any ethical norms that could prevent the tech giant from exercising censorship, along with disputes about the determination of US intelligence agencies to spy on their citizens in violation of the USA Freedom Act.

The fact that the US created the Internet as a tool of exercising control over information space, as a convenient environment for espionage, collecting dirty facts and spreading lies has been established long ago. For those naive few who refuse to believe the facts, one can only be reminded of the old saying: There’s no such thing as a free lunchBut who owns the allegedly free Internet? Who created it and why?

According to Reuters, last year alone the US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted 151 million phone calls of American citizens, in spite of the fact that Congress has allegedly limited the ability to exercise surveillance for intelligence agencies by adopting the USA Freedom Act, according to which courts must decide when to allow intelligence agencies to collect information about a person suspected of criminal activity.

However, the all-encompassing control of US intelligence services over the world’s information space has been uncovered by an unending stream of publications in American and foreign media sources, showing that the United States is grossly violating even the most basic human rights, by creating a system of electronic interception and processing of all sorts of data about users on the Internet.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that every aspect of our day-to-day lives is being controlled: phone conversations, short text messages, everything we write on social media networks or send via email. Thus, the British Guardian confirmed the existing exchange of information about intercepted electronic messages of both US citizens and British citizens established by US intelligence agencies and the British Government Communications Headquarters. Even British courts recognized that such cooperation that existed for at least seven years is unlawful, since they were carried out in violation of international conventions on human rights.

In addition, the Guardian has also revealed that phone tapping that Mi-5 and Mi-6 authorized in order to intercept private consultations between UK citizens and their lawyers in a bid to guarantee the authorities an upper hand during trials, constitutes a violation of both national laws and international norms.

The Intercept has also revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its British partners from the Government Communications Headquarters stole the encryption keys of the world’s largest SIM card manufacturer – Gemalto, situated in the Netherlands. This allowed intelligence agencies from both nations ever since to tap all sorts of phone conversations and intercept any data sent via a mobile device carrying a SIM card produced by Gemalto.

In late 2014, the Wall Street Journal has also revealed the practices that allowed US intelligence agencies to record information stored on millions of cell phones across the US through the use of special spyware. Additionally, Wikileaks released CIA documents that show this agency is capable of intercepting messages sent via encrypted message apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

It should be noted that US intelligence agencies have been pretty methodical in the collection of information that in one way or another could be used not just against ordinary citizens, but even against leading political figures. When in October 2013 a scandal erupted with the National Security Agency’s wiretapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone, it turned out that the NSA had been carrying out such intrusions for more than ten years by that time. Back then, the scandal was downplayed and no actual changes in those malicious practices were pursued.

So how many more revelations about the total control that US intelligence agencies exercise over information space should be published before Washington’s open mockery of human rights and freedom of speech is finally challenged and stopped?

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Independent Journalists Reveal America’s Sinister War in Syria

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By Tony Cartalucci 

Syria is not experiencing a “civil war.” It is being targeted by both proxy and direct military force organized by the United States and its allies for the explicit purpose of dividing and destroying yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Worse than that, the United States is employing tactics to transform Syria’s heterogeneous multi-ethnic and religious communities into segregated ghettos, and using this as a means of dividing and conquering the nation and even the region.

The US is also widely employing the abhorrent tactics of socioeconomic, psychological, and armed terrorism to break the Syrian people completely and absolutely.

Unlike in Libya and Iraq, however, US plans in Syria have been confounded. And because of this, ample time has elapsed for independent journalists to travel to, record, and report what is actually transpiring versus the intentional, malicious, and continuous lies told by the West’s mainstream media.

One of these journalists is Patrick Henningsen of 21st Century Wire, whose recent trip to Syria had him cross paths and interview others frequently visiting and sharing their experiences and findings from the besieged nation.

The picture painted is one that cannot be ignored.

For those who have already decided to believe the Western media based on “activist accounts,” the accounts provided during a recent audio interview published by 21st Century Wire is at least as equally compelling. However, for those who truly desire to discover the truth, critical thought and additional research will reveal the latter to be telling a truth consistently and intentionally obfuscated by the Western media.

Imperialism’s Fingerprints: Weaponized Ethnic-Segregation

In an interview with British journalist Tom Duggan, the process of terrorists from internationally designated terror organizations like Jabhat Al Nusra and the so-called “Islamic State” targeting communities along sectarian lines is described. While the Western media has confirmed the sectarian nature of the ongoing conflict, what Duggan and Henningsen’s accounts reveal is that Syria was multi-ethnic, with communities enjoying integration and diversity based first on being Syrian, then based on their respective religious and ethnic identities, long before the conflict began.

Intermarriage and sociopolitical exchanges were common before the conflict, and only since 2011 have ethnic and religious tensions begun to expose fault lines within communities based solely on fear created and perpetuated by foreign-backed terrorist organizations like Al Nusra and the Islamic State.

Pointed out was the fact that both US foreign policy regarding Syria and Al Nusra and the Islamic State’s goals, aim to see a Syria divided along sectarian lines.

While Al Nusra and the Islamic State attempt to cut Syria’s sectarian-diverse communities up literally with bullets and blades, the US has over several years repeatedly presented multiple maps of Syria divided into sectarian-based micro-states – effectively eliminating Syria as a functioning and unified nation-state. While the US omits the “secret ingredient” to make its fictional maps a reality, it is demonstrably clear that terrorist organizations are the ones on the ground attempting to draw these new maps.

Libya – besieged, divided, and destroyed by US-led NATO aggression in 2011 – has suffered a similar fate and currently exists as a cautionary example of what may become of Syria should US plans succeed. Libya will no longer contest US special interests geopolitically or otherwise in its current form as a failed, divided, and destroyed state.

The premeditated and systematic nature of this attempted division and destruction of Syria matches verbatim the tactics employed for centuries by the British Empire – and before that – the Roman Empire.

It is a fundamental tactic not of humanitarian-motivated interventionists, but of imperialists. The crass nature of these tactics – simultaneously promoted by the West and designated terrorist organizations – explains why the Western media has attempted to portray Syria as ethnically and religiously divided before the conflict began, rather than as a process of intentional division and destruction unfolding as part of US foreign policy.

Similar tactics have been employed in Iraq as well, with much greater success. And even as far as Thailand in Southeast Asia, the groundwork is being laid for similar tactics to be employed to divide and weaken states targeted by Washington for regime change – highlighting the global nature of America’s neo-imperial proclivities.

Daily Terrorism Carried Out By “Rebels,” Not Against Them 

While the Western media has flooded headlines for years regarding the alleged atrocities carried out by the Syrian government and its allies against so-called “moderate rebels,” it has muted coverage of atrocities committed in turn by militants fighting the Syrian government and its people. These accounts are muted, because while they are technically “reported,” the obvious nature of these atrocities is often glossed over – sometimes even spun or lionized – rather than presented in a the same straightforward manner accusations against Damascus are.

During Henningsen’s interview with Duggan, the destructive and indiscriminate nature of improvised artillery systems used by terrorists in Syria was described. The narrative is one that equals any tale of “barrel bombs” employed by the Syrian government – perhaps even surpassing them – because while the Western media claims the Syrian government is using helicopters to drop ordnance into areas using direct line of sight, improvised artillery used by terrorists called “hell cannons” do not have direct line of sight to their targets.

This means that those using hell cannons have no way of knowing who, or even what they are hitting. They are blindly firing canisters full of deadly shrapnel – according to Western reports – up to a mile away.

The Daily Mail describes the hell cannon as:

Firing improvised explosives with a range of around a mile, this is the homemade weapon of choice of the Free Syrian Army known as the ‘hell cannon’.

The cannon has been widely used during the conflict in besieged cities such as Aleppo and usually fires out highly modified propane gas cylinders. 

The hell cannon could only ever be used as an absolutely indiscriminate weapon. With no way to reliably aim it, and no way to know definitively where rounds are landing, the result is predictable mayhem brought upon government forces and innocent civilians alike. With the vast majority of those living down range from the terrorists’ hell cannons being civilians, not soldiers, the likelihood of innocent people being maimed or killed by them is much higher.

For average readers of reports like the Daily Mail’s, “Syrian rebels strike back with the HELL CANNON: Aleppo fighters build devastating homemade weapon that shoots propane gas cylinders,” five minutes of critical thought will lead them to this conclusion.

Those operating among the West’s media – trained in journalism and in reporting events – when writing articles like those appearing in the Daily Mail, are thus making the conscious decision to intentionally, maliciously, and continuously lie regarding the methods and means used by terrorists they repeatedly refer to as “moderate rebels.” The double standards illustrated by the Daily Mail alone regarding “barrel bombs” versus “hell cannons” indicates concerted and serial attempts to misinform audiences and manipulate public perception.

Similar revelations are revealed during Henningsen’s interview with Duggan regarding the terrorists’ use of hospitals, schools, and mosques as military centers – knowing full well that any attempt by Damascus and its allies to target them would be politically exploited by their Western sponsors both from behind the podiums of public offices and within press rooms across the West.

Perhaps most ironic of all – is that US operations in Syria allegedly targeting terrorists, when hospitals, schools, and mosques are hit – produce admissions from across the Western media that – indeed – terrorists are using such facilities as military bases – admissions the Western media refused to make during the Syrian government’s operations to retake cities like Homs, Hama, and Aleppo.

Keeping an Open Mind

For those attempting to make sense of Syria’s ongoing conflict, or any other conflict being reported on by the Western media – the deep and concerted conspiracy that surrounded the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 alone should provide pause for thought before unquestioningly believing narratives produced from these same collection of Western media sources regarding other conflicts.

There are alternative organizations and media platforms operating in Syria, producing videos, audio interviews, and pages of information on a daily basis giving alternative insight into the conflict that people around the world can watch, listen to, and read. While no one is bound to believe Western or alternative narratives – for those genuinely pursuing the truth – both need to be considered, researched, and vetted factually, rationally, and within a historical and logical context.

Narratives of a “humanitarian” motivated West seeking to end conflict and bring a brighter future to Syria simply do not add up in any context.

The special interests promoting regime change in Syria have a decades-long track record of deceiving the public, dividing and destroying nations, and leaving a path of destruction cutting across entire regions of the planet. While Western audiences are tempted to believe Western narratives regarding Syria in pursuit of US-backed regime change, nations like Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine smolder in the ruination of Western military intervention. By adding up the big picture, it is clear that alternative media sources are providing invaluable insight into global conflict the Western media has systematically and intentionally covered up for years.

Shifting in the minds of the global public the perceived reputation of Western media organizations versus their demonstrated serial deceptions is the first step toward truly ending conflicts like that raging in Syria, and truly bringing peace and a better future to the people trapped within these conflicts.

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BBC goes full Big Brother in recent announcement

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OffGuardian

Brought to our attention by Mark Doran, a new BBC document dated May 2017 contains this bizarre threat to its licence-payers:

9. Offensive or inappropriate content on BBC websites

If you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to BBC websites or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on any BBC service, the BBC may use your personal information to stop such behaviour.

Where the BBC reasonably believes that you are or may be in breach of any applicable laws (e.g. because content you have posted may be defamatory), the BBC may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties such as your employer, school email/internet provider or law enforcement agencies about the content and your behaviour.

Here’s Mark’s screen cap of the doc:

Not only is this freakishly (yes, there’s no other word) Orwellian, it’s completely vague. Are the words “objectionable” and “disruptive” going to be employed like the words “hate” (currently being used to shut down discourse on social media), and “fascist” (currently being used by (often fascist) neoliberals to brand any serious criticism of globalism and the corporatocracy), to outlaw and/or punish dissident views? And what about “defamatory”? Is anyone calling Theresa May a malfunctioning Thatcher-bot going to be shopped out to her lawyers by the Beeb?

Clarification, at the very least, is urgently needed. Better still, the BBC should backtrack and guarantee it will remain a broadcast corporation and NOT presume to act as an arm of the state security system.

If you’re a concerned UK citizen, don’t hesitate to contact the BBC to express your views – though be prepared for a follow-up visit from the cops.

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War Veterans Ask “Democracy Now” for Real Investigative Reporting on Syria

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War Veterans Ask “Democracy Now” for Real Investigative Reporting on Syria. “Many Progressives Seem Totally Blind”
Interview with Daniel Borgstrom, Veterans for Peace-East Bay, Chapter 162 by Ann Garrison
 
Soldiers of the U.S. Army 3rd squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment as the troops of the "Dragoon Ride" military exercise arrive at their home base at Rose Barracks in Vilseck April 1, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Amy Goodman, host of the Pacifica Network’s flagship news hour “Democracy Now” is on a speaking tour of the country to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. When she appeared in Berkeley, East Bay Veterans for Peace, Chapter 162 were outside the First Presbyterian Church beforehand to distribute copies of their “Open Letter to Amy Goodman and Democracy Now: We Need Better and More Diverse Coverage on Syria.” Dissident Voice had published the essay on April 15.

I spoke to Daniel Borgstrom, a former U.S. Marine, who wrote it for his vets group.

*     *     *

Ann Garrison: Daniel, first, when and where did you serve in the U.S. Marine Corps?

Daniel Borgström: I spent four years in the USMC, 1959 to 1963. That was during the Kennedy years, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC in 1961, when some 1,400 counter-revolutionaries landed on a beach in Cuba. We thought we’d be sent to back them up, so it looked like we’d be seeing action in Cuba. The atmosphere of the whole base was electric; guys had their field gear out, were wearing their hunting knives and stuff, looking very much like a regiment of Boy Scouts eagerly gearing up for a camping trip.

But we didn’t go. JFK refused to send us. And I remember being terribly disappointed at the time. Now I look back and realize what a courageous president Kennedy was. He stood up to the warmongers and said NO. I believe he paid for that with his life about 3 months after I got my discharge. According to the official story, JFK was killed by an average marksman using a totally unsuitable weapon, who nevertheless performed the most phenomenal feat of marksmanship ever known.

AG: And when did you begin to protest US wars?

DB: That was around 1970, nearly a decade after my discharge. I didn’t start out my life being a left-wing person. At first I was gung-ho, pro-war. When President Johnson bombed North Vietnam over the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I cheered. It took awhile – a long while – for me to figure things out. After my discharge, I took off and traveled around the world for a few years — Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Japan. Even Afghanistan.

Some people tell me I “missed the sixties,” but I did see the sixties, though from a different perspective.

While abroad I met and talked with many people, locals as well as travelers like myself, travelers from a dozen countries. Many were students, others were farmers, workers or shopkeepers. I talked with veterans who’d fought on different sides in different wars – World War II, the Algerian conflict, the Six-Day War. A Frenchman who’d fought in Algeria told me about his experiences and about popular resistance to that war. Some French soldiers had refused orders to fire at non-combatants.

Somewhere in the course of these experiences I came to realize that a lot of what I’d been told and assumed to be true just wasn’t so. There wasn’t any single moment of enlightenment; there were many. Like when I visited my Aunt Julia in Sweden; she was a Socialist and she must’ve been really disappointed to find that her American nephew was so poorly informed as to what went on in the world. She tried to wake me up.

But back to your question. I came back to America around 1970, and it was a whole different America from the one I’d left. Everything seemed different. There were huge antiwar demonstrations. No one had protested war or anything else in the America I remembered.

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I listened to all the arguments against the Vietnam War and pretty soon I joined an antiwar veterans group. We believed that, as former military personnel, we could be especially effective in speaking out. It was our response to the warmongers and pundits who were saying, “Support our boys in Vietnam! The antiwar protesters are just college kids who don’t know what life is all about.

“Just ask a GI! Ask any veteran! They’ll tell you why we’re in Vietnam!” they claimed.

“Okay, fine, good!” we answered. “So ask us. We’re ex-GIs and we’ll be glad to tell you.”

On rare occasions journalists did actually ask us and give us good coverage, but that was very rare because what we had to say wasn’t part of the official story that the mainstream media (MSM) was there to tell.

On one occasion about 15 of us were arrested for occupying an Air Force recruiting office, and the MSM reported a whole lot of data about us, our names, our ages, etc., but NOT the fact that we were ex-GIs. I still have the newspaper clippings of that.

Another time, on December 29, 1971, we occupied the offices of the South Vietnamese consulate in Downtown San Francisco’s Flood Building. We did get good media coverage that day, but not during the trial that followed.

Thirteen of us ex-GIs went on trial together for trespassing, failure to disperse, and failure to obey a police officer; we could have all been sentenced to six months in jail. The trial lasted four weeks and there was a lot of really dramatic antiwar testimony in that courtroom – four weeks of it that the MSM refused to cover. We asked reporters why they wouldn’t come in and see the trial, and they told us they’d been ordered NOT to cover it.

Actually the trial was covered by the “underground” newspapers, as they were called back then. The Berkeley Barb, Good Times, The Tribe, and a bunch of others. I used to write for some of them; that’s how I got my start as a writer. Nowadays I write for websites.

At the end of the four weeks, the jury found us not guilty, despite abundant evidence that we’d done exactly what we were charged with. One of the jurors was a former U.S. Navy officer who took our side, and the whole jury was affected by the pervasive antiwar passion of the time.

After the verdict, the MSM did finally publish a rather bland article, not really saying much.

I often hear those times called “The Golden Age of Media.” Nonsense! The MSM was as biased then as now. Anyone doubting that should read Carl Bernstein’s 1977 article “The CIA and the Media.”

I have many nostalgic memories of our veterans group. We had good times. On Saturday nights we’d get together and watch horror movies. That was before the age of VCRs; we watched them on TV. And we’d go on excursions up in Marin County, up to Point Reyes and other interesting places together. Of course we’d march in antiwar demonstrations and join in singing songs like “We ain’t gonna study war no more.” Then the next weekend we might take our guns and go out to some shooting range for target practice.

AG: And why had you enlisted back in 1959?

DB: The short answer is: there was no KPFA or Pacifica affiliate station where I grew up in the Puget Sound area of Washington. “We have to defend the country against Communism!” That’s what I grew up hearing, constantly. Nobody questioned that. They described Communism as really awful – SURVEILLANCE STATES. What they described was pretty much like the surveillance state we live in today here in the US, and that was what I joined the USMC to defend our country against.

AG: So you owe a lot of your current opposition to US wars to coverage you’ve heard on Pacifica’s KPFA-Berkeley, including Democracy Now?

DB: I listen to KPFA almost daily and it’s been really important in helping me to keep up on events in a rapidly changing world. I hear reports on KPFA that the MSM simply doesn’t cover. Nevertheless, it was my travels and experiences in Europe, Asia and the Middle East that initially opened my eyes to seeing things in a new way.

AG: And why are you and East Bay Vets for Peace, Chapter 162, asking Democracy Now (DN) for better and more diverse coverage of the Syrian conflict?

DB: Partly it goes back to my memories from 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis. Strangely, I had no concept at the time of just how incredibly close we came to being wiped off the face of the earth. But when I think about it now, it makes me shudder. And now it looks like we could be headed for another nuclear face-off.

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The warmongers in Washington – and that includes a lot of Democrats as well as Republicans – seem determined to pick a fight with nuclear-armed Russia. Many progressives seem totally blind to the danger, and Amy Goodman of DN is among them. Syria looks like a serious danger spot where US military forces could literally clash with Russian forces.

The warmongers in Washington seem determined to use the story of Assad bombing his own people with chemical weapons – specifically, sarin gas. The MSM plays that story big time, and Amy Goodman echoes it on DN. She features guests who promote the story, allowing them to give one-sided coverage, without convincing evidence to back their claims. She ignores investigators with evidence to the contrary about the sarin gas. People like Theodore Postol of MIT and Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity have looked at this and reported finding no convincing evidence, but they do not get featured on her show.

We’ve been down this road before. “Gulf of Tonkin” and “WMDs in Iraq” are two big lies that come to mind, but there’ve been many more, including “Remember the Maine” in 1898. In each case there was no convincing evidence, and the lack of it didn’t seem to matter.

For many years now, Amy Goodman’s DN has been my favorite radio show, and also that of a lot of progressives. Progressives like me listen to her, and she has a responsibility to properly inform us of what’s going on. Right now she should be investigating and exposing those lies that could lead to war. Instead, she’s promoting those lies, the “Assad-did-it-again” story, “gassing his own people.” So it’s time for her listeners to speak out.

I mentioned that at a meeting of our Veterans for Peace chapter, and got volunteered to write a letter to Amy. We mailed it via USPS to her a month ago, but still have no response. It was an open letter, and it was also posted on Dissident Voice and other websites. It was even posted to Telesur in Spanish. So even if Amy doesn’t read her mail, it’s a pretty fair assumption that she’s aware of our letter, but as I said, she hasn’t responded so far.

Meanwhile, Amy has continued – with only rare exceptions – to promote the “Assad-did-it-again” stories, featuring guests such as Anand Gopal on her show.

Then we heard Amy was coming to Berkeley on her speaking tour. She was coming on Sunday, May 14th, so we decided to pass out our open letter outside the event. The evening before the event, I spoke to you on KPFA’s Evening News about our plan. As I said then, no hard evidence has been presented on Democracy Now, but they seem to accept the story.

Image result for 59 tomahawk missile syria

As a former soldier, I see no military rationale or advantage for using chemical weapons in the situations where Assad is accused of using them. I saw no political advantage either. On the contrary; the sarin gas story put so much pressure on Trump that he finally ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at a Syrian Army air field.

So, on Sunday, May 14th, we showed up at the door of the event with 300 copies of our open letter to pass out. I must admit I had been a bit worried over how people might take it. After all, these were Amy’s dedicated fans. I was also a fan of Amy, or had been at least.

I arrived shortly before the doors opened, and there were a dozen or so people waiting to get in. I passed out the letter and people read it while they stood in line waiting. Then a man turned to me and said, “Thank you for writing this. I totally agree.” Others said similar things. One said he’d heard about it on KPFA the previous evening, and I told him that was me on the air. “Good for you,” he said, or words to that effect.

Finally the doors opened, more people arrived and I was hurrying to pass out copies of the letter as they were hurrying to get in and get seats, so it wasn’t possible to get in a lot of conversations as at first. We’d hoped to go in and ask Amy to respond to our letter during the Q and A, but the tickets were already sold out.

We’re now thinking of writing an online petition to Amy. That’ll be our next step. It’s important that people hear about this and speak out. Just because somebody happens to be a major star in the progressive world doesn’t mean that they should be beyond criticism.

Posted in USA, Media, SyriaComments Off on War Veterans Ask “Democracy Now” for Real Investigative Reporting on Syria

NEO – Western Fake News guns aimed at foreign leaders

NOVANEWS

Thai prime minister, Prayut Chan-O-Cha

Fake News: Asia’s “Autocrats” vs Asia’s Autocrats

by Joseph Thomas, … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

“Mixed traffic”

[ Editor’s Note: We are beginning to not only see more of alternative media challenge the Fake Media giants, but seeing it done in a professional way, via something that used to be known as “investigative journalism”.

That was before the big consolidated media houses considered that vein of reporting “old school” and a threat to their consistent efforts to “manage public perceptions” via what and how they reported stories.

Joseph Thomas has picked a plump target with how media can spin “who is an autocrat” to please a constituency they are serving, either inside their ownership structure, or to curry favor with outside powers like governments and big business powers.

As Thomas points out below, Thailand does not have a reputation of being run by Boy Scouts. The same could be said for most of Asia, and the world for that matter. But he rakes the AFP for its attempts at branding the current Thai PM as America’s new autocrat friend, knowing the vast majority of the public is not aware of the autocrat he replaced, who had tight relations with the US and West because he was their guy.

VT has been able to bring our readers this level of reporting in Asia due to our partnership with New Eastern Outlook in Moscow, where we have access to their deep bench of writing talent. For an editor like myself, going to the NEO site to look for good material to bring over is like a visit to an organic writers’ farmers market, where one gets to pick from among the best available.

Gordon and I did a first radio interview with a South African station this morning, partly due to not only our Syria coverage, but the breadth and depth of the material they found at VT, which included our NEO material. Good work finds a good audience, and we will keep building in this directionJim W. Dean ]

Jim’s Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPalJimWDean@aol.com

This includes research, needed field trips, Heritage TV Legacy archiving, and more – Thanks for helping out

– First published  …  May 06,  2017 –

Mounting evidence suggests media outlets across the United States and Europe are selectively labeling leaders from around the world as “autocrats,” “despots” and “dictators” based not on their actual human rights records, policies or actions, but rather on where they fall along the spectrum of obedience to and complicity with the ambitions of Wall Street, Washington, London and Brussels.

No clearer example of this can be seen than the media’s treatment of current Thai prime minister, Prayut Chan-O-Cha. In an AFP article titled,Thai junta chief accepts Trump invite,” the media service claims:

Thailand’s junta chief has accepted an invitation to visit the White House from President Donald Trump, his spokesman said Monday, the latest autocrat to be embraced by the US leader.

In an attempt to justify AFP’s claims of the Thai prime minister being an “autocrat,” AFP states:

Thailand’s former army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha seized power three years ago, anointing himself prime minister and ushering in the kingdom’s most autocratic government in a generation.  The coup strained ties with the Barack Obama administration as the military jailed dissidents, banned protests and ramped up prosecutions under the kingdom’s draconian lese majeste law.

In reality, AFP is intentionally misleading readers while grossly mischaracterising the current state of politics in Thailand. AFP is also contributing to a much larger deception regarding the principles the United States allegedly stands for and US foreign policy in actual practice.

Thailand’s “Autocrat” Ousted a Very Real (US-backed) Autocrat

The 2014 coup after which Prime Minister Prayut assumed power, ousted a regime which up to the very eve of the coup was mass murdering protesters in the streets.

Protests spanning 2013-2014 were aimed at removing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from power for a series of abuses, corruption and the fact that she served openly as a proxy for her brother, Thaksin Shinwatra, ousted from power earlier, convicted of corruption and currently residing abroad as a fugitive.

During the protests, the Shinawatra regime organised cadres of heavily armed militants who used assault rifles, grenades, grenade launchers and other weapons to attack demonstrators, at some points during the crisis, on a nightly basis. Up to 20 would die and many more left injured or maimed.

Thaksin Shinawatra, who served as Thai prime minister from 2001 to 2006, stands guilty of serial abuses of human rights including a 2003 “war on drugs” that left approximately 3,000 innocent people extrajudicially executed in the streets over a 90 day period. Human Rights Watch would, at the time, catalogued Shinwatra’s bout of mass murder in two reports, Thailand’s ‘war on drugs’,” and Not Enough Graves.”

Under Shinawatra’s administration, his political enemies were systematically targeted with both intimidation and assassination. Media critical of his policies and actions were also systematically targeted with both legal and physical intimidation. The New York Times in a 2005 article titled, Thaksin accused of ‘dirty war’ on media,” would report:

Prime Minister Thaksin has an agenda all his own. Although he is the founder of a telecommunications empire and keen to project Thailand as a fast-modernizing part of the global economy, Thaksin has little tolerance of the criticism aired in a free press. His concentrated political power and the considerable resources of his family’s commercial empire have been combined to muzzle critics in both the broadcast and print media.

Worse than mere “muzzling,” Shinwatra’s administration also presided over the systematic assassination or attempted assassination of critics. According to Amnesty International, 18 human rights defenders were either assassinated or disappeared during his first term in office.

While AFP’s article accuses the current Thai government of “ushering in the kingdom’s most autocratic government in a generation,” the facts clearly indicate it replaced the most autocratic and abusive government in a generation. Only through intentional and repetitive dishonesty has AFP convinced readers otherwise.

And AFP not only failed to mention Shinwatra’s time in office, or the abuse and violence carried out under his sister’s regime leading up to the 2014 coup, AFP also failed to mention two failed, incredibly violent bids by Shinawatra to seize back power via street protests organised by him and his supporters in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

The former of the two attempts saw nearly 100 killed as armed militants mingled with protesters and fought gun battles against government troops and carried out large scale arson within Thailand’s capital of Bangkok.

As to why Shinawatra’s serial crimes against humanity have been glossed over by media organisations like AFP, it is a simple matter of Shinawatra being a willing collaborator with US and European interests, while the current Thai government has leaned more toward its neighbours in Asia for closer ties.
AFP’s article would even admit as much, referring to Thailand as a “former staunch US ally that has moved closer to Beijing since the coup.”

It’s clear then that the current Thai government’s status as “autocratic” stems not from actual metrics of freedom, peace and stability being enjoyed or repressed in Thailand, but from the ability (or now, inability) of the United States to influence Thailand’s internal political affairs and policies. Many of those reportedly “repressed” by the Thai government are in fact US-funded and directed agitators engaged in political, economic and even armed subversion.

The AFP, through its reporting, exposes itself as yet another outlet engaged in lobbying, not journalism, despite the carefully constructed reputation it uses to carry that lobbying out behind a smoke screen.

US Hypocrisy Explained

The media meme of “Trump embracing autocrats” exists in an alternate reality. In this reality, regardless of who occupies the White House, the US has backed some of the worst dictatorships in modern history.

This includes Saudi Arabia which has enjoyed US support for decades and who participated in the largest arms deal in American history, not under Trump, but under Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barrack Obama.

Closer to Asia, Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi quite literally contrived an entire office to place herself in power in order to circumvent the nation’s constitution banning  political candidates who themselves or their children hold duel citizenship. And since taking power, Suu Kyi and her political party have doubled down on a violent campaign of ethno-terror waged against the nation’s Rohingya minority.

Suu Kyi’s ability to sidestep US and European condemnation stems from her long-term commitment to the interests of Wall Street, Washington, London and Brussels ahead of those of Myanmar itself. When Suu Kyi appears to be cosying up to Beijing, US and European fronts posing as rights advocates “gently” remind the world of her and her support base’s aversion to the “Rohingya” people.

Regarding Trump’s invitation to Thailand’s prime minister, it should be noted that meetings alone are meaningless. Obama had met with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi several times and apparent cooperation between Libya and the United States was underway before a US-led war was launched against the North African nation and both Gaddafi and virtually all immediate members of his family were targeted for arrest or assassination.

Ultimately, the AFP story is just one of many constituting genuinely “fake news,” entirely contrived by political motivation, and utterly divorced from journalistic integrity.

Thailand’s current government remains far from ideal with much room for improvement, but to characterise it as an “autocracy” while states like Myanmar and Saudi Arabia are given free passes, along with the previous, brutal regime that was ousted in Thailand before the current government took power, is intentionally dishonest.

AFP’s story is part of a systematic process of distorting reality in order to place public pressure on governments targeted for regime change.

Thailand is currently one of those governments being targeted, and just as US and European media lied ahead of regime change elsewhere, the mischaracterisation of Thailand’s political crisis indicates increased tensions, not rapprochement, lie ahead between Washington and Bangkok.

Posted in MediaComments Off on NEO – Western Fake News guns aimed at foreign leaders

Zionist New York Times’ Prejudice against Imprisoned Palestinian Leader Barghouti

NOVANEWS

The New York Times’ Prejudice against Imprisoned Palestinian Leader Marwan Barghouti

 

The New York Times’ failure to provide “sufficient context” goes well beyond not explaining Israel’s charges against Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti.

Last month, imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarian Marwan Barghouti was provided op-ed space by the New York Times to explain why he and his fellow inmates were going on a hunger strike. Instructively, the article caused an uproar not because of Israel’s violations of their rights, but because Mr. Barghouti’s bio stated simply that he “is a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” Under criticism, the Times added an editor’s note stating:

This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization. Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy.

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The Times’ public editor, Liz Spayd, also wrote an article titled “An Op-Ed Author Omits His Crimes, and The Times Does Too, in which she praised the decision to add this editorial note because of “the need to more fully identify the biography and credentials of authors, especially details that help people make judgments about the opinions they’re reading.”

What the Times has done here, however, is not provide readers with information to help them judge Barghouti for themselves, but to prejudge Mr. Barghouti for them.

The title of Spayd’s article implicitly judges Barghouti as guilty. The inherent assumption of her headline is that since he was convicted in an Israeli court, therefore he must have been guilty of the crimes he was accused of.

The boldness of this assumption is all the more remarkable since it was specifically to highlight Israel’s abuses—including his lack of a fair trial—that Mr. Barghouti wrote his op-ed.

Ms. Spayd writes that Barghouti wrote the piece

“to draw attention to a mass hunger strike for what he calls Israel’s arbitrary arrests and poor treatment of Palestinian prisoners.”

This statement assumes that it is merely Mr. Barghouti’s opinion that Israel makes arbitrary arrests and treats prisoners poorly. This assumption, too, fails to provide readers with details to help readers make an objective judgment.

Had Ms. Spayd wished to be objective, she would have acknowledged that Israel’s abuses against Palestinian prisoners have been extensively documented.

Image result for hunger strike palestineIt wouldn’t have taken Spayd long to determine whether Barghouthi’s “claim” was true; she could have Googled “arbitrary arrests occupied Palestinian territory” and clicked on the first result (at the time of this writing) to read the section from Amnesty International’s annual global report on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. She could have scrolled down and read the details under the subheading “Arbitrary arrests and detentions”, as well as the following section, “Torture and other ill-treatment”.

She could also have clicked on the second result and read the report of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the occupied territories and scrolled down to read the sections “Torture and ill-treatment in detention”, “Administrative and arbitrary detention”, and “Arrest and Detention of Children”.

Spayd could have clicked the link provided in Barghouti’s op-ed to the report of the Inter-Parliamentary Union finding that Israel’s “numerous breaches of international law”, including Barghouti’s unlawful arrest and transfer to Israel, made it “impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial.”

As Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian parliament, recently wrote in Newsweek with respect to Barghouti’s conviction,

It is a conviction that says nothing about him and everything about the Israeli judicial system, just as the conviction of Mandela and his sentence to lifetime imprisonment said more about the apartheid regime then [sic] about those fighting it.

Likewise, the Times’ addendum and the public editor’s commentary tell readers nothing about Mr. Barghouti and everything about the nature of the Times’ reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Another assertion of Mr. Barghouti’s that Ms. Spayd could have also easily verified is that “eight Nobel Peace Prize laureates, 120 governments and hundreds of leaders, parliamentarians, artists and academics around the world” have campaigned for his release.

In theRobben Island Declaration for the Freedom of Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian Prisoners, which was inaugurated from Nelson Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island, South Africa, signatories—including Nobel Peace Prize Laureates former US President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mairead Maguire—called for his release, noting that

The treatment of Palestinian prisoners from the moment of their arrest, during interrogation and trial, and during their detention, violates norms and standards prescribed by international law.

Had the Times’ Public Editor dug a bit deeper, she could have discovered that Israel had admittedly tried twice to assassinate Barghouti before the decision was made to capture him, and that

“The army officers who captured Barghouti are convinced that he should now be set free. The same view was held by Ehud Barak”—the former Prime Minister of Israel.

“Have you lost your mind?” Barak, who was a private citizen at the time of Barghouti’s arrest, asked Shin Bet Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz.

“What’s the story with Barghouti? If it’s part of your struggle against terrorism, it’s meaningless. But if it’s part of a grand plan to make him a future national leader of the Palestinians, then it’s a brilliant scheme, because what’s really missing in his résumé is direct affiliation with terrorism. He will fight for the leadership from inside prison, not having to prove a thing. The myth will grow constantly by itself.”

Spayd might also have noted that Barghouti has consistently called for non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation, has expressed his unequivocal support for “the idea of two states for two nations”, and has been heavily critical of the existing Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership. Polls have consistently shown that if there were to be elections in which Barghouti was a candidate, he would handily win.

As Barghouti wrote in a 2002 Washington Post op-ed,

Let us not forget, we Palestinians have recognized Israel on 78 percent of historic Palestine. It is Israel that refuses to acknowledge Palestine’s right to exist on the remaining 22 percent of land occupied in 1967….

I still seek peaceful coexistence between the equal and independent countries of Israel and Palestine based on full withdrawal from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and a just resolution to the plight of Palestinian refugees pursuant to U.N. resolutions. I do not seek to destroy Israel but only to end its occupation of my country.

The Post’s bio for Barghouti read,

“The writer is general secretary of Fatah on the West Bank and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council.” He was unlawfully imprisoned in Israel three months later.

Even the government of the United States has advocated Barghouti’s release from prison.

Image result for elliott abrams

Elliot Abrams, writing at the Council on Foreign Relations, makes the same fallacious assumptions as the Times’ public editor, his headline declaring,The New York Times Calls a Convicted Terrorist a ‘Parliamentarian’”. With the editor’s addendum and Spayd’s commentary, it’s the New York Times rather calling a parliamentarian a convicted terrorist.

Far from providing Times readers with “sufficient context” to “help people make judgements about the opinions they’re reading”, what the newspaper’s public editor has done is to prejudge the op-ed contributor. Liz Spayd rather tells readers what judgement they are supposed to make about Barghouti while denying them the relevant context that would allow them to make up their own minds.

The editorial note appended to Barghouti’s op-ed was intended to inform readers the crimes Barghouti was accused and convicted of, but its purpose was not to provide sufficient context to help people make an objective judgment. Rather, its purpose was to prejudice the reader’s opinion of Barghouti—otherwise the Times editors would also have noted that the op-ed contributor was correct to say that he did not receive a fair trial and that Israel’s capture and transportation of Barghouti to a prison in Israel was itself a violation of international law.

Spayd closes by writing that she is

“pleased to see the editors responding to the complaints, and moving to correct the issue rather than resist it. Hopefully, it’s a sign that fuller disclosure will become regular practice.”

Fuller disclosure of relevant context from the New York Times would indeed be a welcome change. For the Times editors to act with such blatant prejudice in the name of objective journalism is rank hypocrisy—but par for the course for America’s “newspaper of record”.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, MediaComments Off on Zionist New York Times’ Prejudice against Imprisoned Palestinian Leader Barghouti

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