Western Media Parrots “Israeli” Lies: July 2006 War An Example

18/07/2021

Western Media Parrots “Israeli” Lies: July 2006 War An Example

Western Media Bias towards ‘Israel’: 

By Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi*

Western media generally has always played a pivotal role in misinforming rather misleading the public instead of supplying them with correct information and news; in short not telling them the truth.

All preaching and rhetoric of honesty, fairness, accuracy and transparency become obsolete, especially when it comes to our region and specifically to what used to be called the Arab Israeli conflict. To be more specific, the Western-backed ‘Israeli’ occupation to Palestine has the lions share in the field of propaganda. A propaganda which aims at polishing the ‘Israeli’ Image and distorting the Palestinian one.

This issue was not only limited to occupied Palestine and the resistance there but it has extended and stretched to include all those who resist or fight the US ‘Israeli’ occupation in any place in the region. Lebanon is not an exception.

The examples about the Western media bias towards ‘Israel’ are numerous. If we recall the ‘Israeli’ occupation of Lebanon we can find so many.

First and most importantly, the terminology.

The Western media presents ‘Israel’ as “a peaceful democratic ‘state’ which is always “defending itself against fanatic terrorists and dictator regimes and countries.” These definitions are not only misleading and incorrect but they are very dangerous because they justify the ‘Israeli’ continuous crimes against its enemies in most of the cases they are innocent civilians and children.

The big lie that ‘Israel’ and its Western allies tried to sell was that Palestine was empty without people and the ‘Israelis’ made a miracle as they came and turned the desert into a heaven on earth. This is the translation of the ‘Israeli’ slogan: a land without people to people without land.

In July 2006 war, the writer of this article has had the opportunity to meet scores of Western journalists from different European and American nationalities. I did so many interviews and answered hundreds of questions. It was a real and complete shock how most of the media personnel are grossly misinformed about the basics or the alphabet of the issue.

I had to inform many of them about the nature of the struggle and how it started and how does it unfold and manifest itself every now and then.

The ‘Israeli’ narrative is the one prevalent: “‘Israel’ is a civilized tolerant entity, it is a victim, and it is seeking to live in harmony, coexistence and peace with its surroundings, while its ‘enemies’ are pursuing every effort to destroy it.”

The ‘Israeli’ aggressions, incursions, occupations are crucial and necessary and they are actions of “self-defense.” ‘Israel’ resorted to them as a last choice and only after it has exhausted all other means.

The mainstream media in the West and in many so-called Arab outlets especially in the Gulf region has the ‘Israeli’ narrative as their official line of news. This is very telling about the size and severity of the distortion taking place.

If the journalists and media people who are supposed to inform people with accuracy about the real ongoing events and the facts are that ignorant, manipulated and biased, what one can expect from the average person in the street. This is a systematic distortion of facts with catastrophic consequences on many levels.

If the Western official line of media is biased to ‘Israel’ and telling lies to people to support ‘Israel’, then the responsibility of the informed activists and human rights advocates is very big. With the presence of social media and public applications and platforms the alternative media should be activated.

An urgent action is needed to be organized and coordinated by all those individuals and organizations who are fully aware of the situation to inform the world public about the real facts.

The task and mission performed by our media outlets as an axis of resistance is very distinguished and significant but it is not sufficient to strike the necessary balance with pro-‘Israeli’ media.

More voices are needed here, they are there we only need to make them join the circle to build our system and narrative. This is very urgent, crucial and vital now more than any time in the past.

*Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi is a Member of Hezbollah’s Bloc at the Lebanese Parliament. He is also a Professor of Media Studies and Social Studies at the Lebanese University. He obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK.

Fake News London Guardian Kremlin Papers Report

 July 18, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US/Western dark forces never quit proving that they’re hostile to what just societies hold dear.

Time and again, their press agent media show they long ago abandoned what journalism is supposed to be — banning it on issues mattering most.

On domestic issues, they support privileged interests at the expense of most others — notably by pushing health destroying flu/covid jabs, instead of warning about their hazards.

On all things geopolitical mattering most, they stick to state-approved talking points — notably US/Western rage for control of planet earth, its resources and populations.

Days earlier, a fake news London Guardian report turned truth on its head as follows, saying:

“Vladimir Putin personally authorized (sic) a secret spy agency operation to support a ‘mentally unstable’ Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council (sic), according to…leaked Kremlin documents (sic)” — that don’t exist.

No responsible editors would permit publication of the above claim no evidence suggests, made up rubbish alone with no credibility — part of longstanding US/UK Russia bashing.

Yet in true fake news Guardian tradition, it defied reality by claiming a Trump White House “would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them ‘social turmoil’ in the US (sic) and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position (sic).”

Not a shred of evidence was presented by the Guardian to support what it falsely called “genuine…documents.”

More bald-faced Big Lies followed, including by saying:

A so-called Kremlin “expert department recommended…’all possible force’ to ensure a Trump victory (sic).”

Time and again, phony claims like the above about Russia and other foreign nations are debunked as Big Lies that won’t die.

Throughout US history from inception to the present day, no credible evidence ever suggested foreign inference in its electoral process — what dark forces in Washington do repeatedly against other nations worldwide. 

Political scientist Dov Levin earlier documented over 80 times that US dark forces interfered in the electoral process of other nations from end of WW II to year-2000.

Since then, the US illegally tried to influence the outcome of elections or overall political process in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, and elsewhere. 

What could a foreign nation hope to achieve by meddling in so-called US elections?

Farcical when held, both right wings of the one-party state take turns running things — serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary people at home and abroad.

US diabolical actions also include attempted color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, political assassinations — most recently against Haiti’s president — and wars by hot and/or other means against nations free from imperial control.

In response to the Guardian’s fake news, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it “pulp fiction,” adding:

The report “is complete nonsense.”

It’s “the hallmark of an absolutely low-quality publication.” 

“Either (it’s) trying to increase its popularity or is sticking to a rabidly Russophobic line.”

Ill-conceived trash best describes what no evidence supports because none exists — just baseless accusations with nothing supporting them.

Time and again, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and other nations free from US imperial control are falsely accused of all sorts of things they had nothing to do with.

Indisputable evidence reveals US high crimes of war, against humanity, and other dirty tricks against one nation after another, targeting ones named above and many others.

In his books and Anti-Empire reports, the late William Blum documented US high crimes.

Calling them “worse than you imagine,” he once explained the following:

“If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy (throughout) the past century, this is what crawls out: invasions, bombings, (subversion), overthrowing governments, suppressing (popular) movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing ‘news,’ death squads, torture, (chemical), biological (and nuclear) warfare, (radiological contamination), drug trafficking, mercenaries,” police state repression, and endless wars on humanity.”

That’s what the scourge of US hegemonic rage is all about.

Stressing it’s not a pretty picture, Blum said it’s “enough to give imperialism a bad name.” 

Millions of corpses attest to US ruthlessness, a rogue state exceeding history’s worst over a longer duration, operating globally, willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it, the human cost of its wars and other barbarism of no consequence.

Blum called democracy “America’s deadliest export,” the way it should be is abhorrent to the US and its imperial partners.

Directly and through its press agent media like the Guardian, Russia and other sovereign independent countries are bashed for not bending to higher powers in Washington, London and other Western capitals.

As for dubious Guardian claims about covert Russian support for Trump over Hillary in 2016, they’re not worth the (toilet) paper they’re written on.

A Final Comment

The Russiagate hoax throughout Trump’s tenure was all about delegitimizing his triumph over media darling Hillary — a Big Lie still refusing to die despite no evidence supporting it.

It remains one of the most shameful political chapters in US history, exceeding the worst of McCarthyism.

Ignored was House testimony by former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (2010 – 2017), saying:

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting (or) conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” adding:

“I do not recall any instance when I had direct evidence of” alleged Trump team-Russia collusion.

Congressional and Mueller probes were exercises in mass deception.

They found no evidence suggesting Russian meddling in the US political process because there was none.

The Mueller probe notably laid an egg, ending with a whimper, not a bang.

His 19-lawyer team, 40 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff spent around $25 million.

They issued 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, over 230 orders for communication records, interviewed about 500 individuals, and made 34 politicized indictments on dubious charges unconnected to his mandate.

Despite all of the above from May 2017 – March 2019, it struck out, finding no evidence of Russian US election interference — because there was nothing to find.

Yet phony claims otherwise remain like a bad aftertaste — the fake news Guardian report the latest example of yellow journalism instead of the real thing.

Biden Regime Escalates War on Russia and China by Other Means

July 11, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Hostile to peace, stability, cooperative relations with other countries, and rule of law principles, Biden regime hardliners escalated illegal sanctions war on Russia and China.

On Friday, a US Commerce Department press release said the following:

Its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) “added 34 entities to the (illegal US) Entity List,” falsely claiming:

It’s “for their involvement in, or risk of becoming involved in, activities contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US (sic),” adding: 

“Of these 34 entities, 14 are based in…China.”

The Biden regime falsely accused them of “enabl(ing) Beijing’s campaign of repression (sic), mass detention (sic), and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim minority groups in” Jinjiang (sic).  

Claiming the “PRC continues to commit genocide (sic) and crimes against humanity (sic)” is unsupported by evidence because there is none. 

“Commerce added another five” Chinese firms to its Entity List — on the phony pretext of “supporting the PRC’s military modernization programs related to lasers and C4ISR programs.” 

In response to the above hostile actions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the following:

“The so-called (US) ‘entity list’ is in essence a tool for suppressing specific companies and industries in China under the pretext of human rights, and means the US uses to destabilize Xinjiang and contain China.” 

“China firmly opposes this.”

“China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and foil US attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

Three Russian firms and six nationals were also illegally targeted.

According to the Biden regime, they’re blacklisted for “attempt(ing) to procure items, including US-origin items, for activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the US (sic).”

In response to the hostile action, Russia’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov said the following:

“This is another confrontational step as part of Washington’s deliberate efforts to restrict the access of domestic enterprises to high-precision technologies from abroad,” adding: 

“This fundamentally contrasts with the statements of US authorities, including during…Geneva (talks last month), about the need to normalize the entire range of bilateral relations.”

The Biden regime blacklisted “Moscow-based companies engaged in microelectronics.” 

“At the same time, the US side again did not provide any specifics (on alleged) violations.

“They used the notorious ‘likely,’ saying that our companies allegedly bought electronic components from the USA for some Russian military programs.”

“This approach does not stand up to scrutiny.”

According to Eurasia Group analyst Ali Wyne:

“A tightening nexus of military frictions, technological competition and normative clashes will reinforce the momentum behind selective disentanglement between the United States and China,” adding:

“While the economic and security risks of an unconstrained embrace have come into sharper view in recent years, the risks of a wholesale rupture merit closer consideration.”

The same goes for Russia, Iran and other US targeted countries for refusing to yield to a higher authority in Washington.

Separately, White House press secretary Psaki said the Biden regime is assessing whether so-called ransomware attacks on US businesses occurred with Kremlin knowledge or “approval.”

On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov explained the following:

“We are constantly accused of hacking, undermining interests of almost all Western countries, but so far our multiple proposals to seriously start a joint work – in order to substantially…solve the emerging issues and deal with real difficulties – have been left without a specific response” by Washington.

Despite both countries agreeing to work cooperatively on this issue, the US side did nothing to fulfill its pledge. 

It’s further proof that it can never be trusted, and that diplomatic outreach to its regimes is a colossal waste of time virtually always.

On Friday, Putin spoke with Biden’s double by phone, an exercise of futility like Geneva talks that accomplished nothing positive.

Reportedly, Biden’s impersonator told Putin “we will respond” against so-called ransomware attacks regime hardliners falsely accuse Russia of ignoring or endorsing.

Putin reportedly said that despite Russia’s outreach to work with the Biden regime cooperatively on his issue and others, the US side stonewalled Moscow’s outreach.

Since undemocratic Dems usurped power by the most brazen election fraud in US history, Biden regime relations with Russia sank to a post-WW II low.

Nothing in prospect suggests improvement ahead. Just the opposite is most likely.

A Final Comment

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the Biden regime of serious human rights abuses domestically and abroad — in breach of core international law and its own Constitution.

One of the most egregious examples abroad is Washington’s trade embargo and other hostile actions against Cuba for the past six decades with no relief in prospect.

For the 29th straight year last month, the US voted against lifting its de facto blockade of the island state.

So did apartheid Israel — in defiance of support for Cuba by 184 other nations.

US hostility toward the island state is all about its independence from hegemonic control, the same thing true for Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other nations for the same diabolical reason.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also accused the Biden regime of racial and other discriminatory policies against Americans, notably of African, Latin, and Asian ethnicity, adding:

US “citizens’ rights of access to information are being violated by large (domestic) private corporations” in breach of their legal obligations.

Systemic violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms” persist throughout the West.

Yet their ruling regime refuse “to bring the (unacceptable) situation under control.”

Al Mayadeen English: To Defy Monopolies

July 1 2021

Visual search query image

Ghassan Ben Jeddou 

Source: Al Mayadeen

We, the family of Al Mayadeen, are all treading the path of freedom in the face of hegemony and supremacy.

Al Mayadeen Family Welcomes Its Newest Member

On the ninth anniversary of the launch of Al Mayadeen Media Network, we were late in issuing Al Mayadeen net in English, yet here it is; our first English platform is now officially released, after two previous Arabic and Spanish editions.

Indeed, it was an amiss delay, we admit that, but to be honest, it was intentional… This step was not among our political, professional, and financial priorities. Moreover, we aimed first to consolidate our base media system that marked our start, to avoid any risk of being overburdened; otherwise, our plans would have gone awry, and our potentials would have been scattered.

Our main concern was to address the Arab public opinion. Who can forget the circumstances under which Al Mayadeen was established prior to the actual fulfillment of our dream? Who can forget that we were in the midst of blood-shedding and destructive Arab, regional, and international conflicts? Can we ever forget the “Decade of Fire” fueled by media outlets blinded and driven by all forms of ignorance and distortion campaigns, to the extent that they actually became essential collaborators in crimes and destruction? We were and still are at the heart of the public opinion battle.

Launching Al Mayadeen website in Spanish was based on a well-considered strategic media decision. We, the Al Mayadeen family, are part of the Global South, in the frame of a true engagement and belonging and not only as a biased partner. The Global South is rich and embraces tens of languages and diverse cultures. Yet, we dare say, it enjoys the same humanitarian options and strategic prospects, all treading the path of freedom in the face of hegemony and supremacy. To that end, Al Mayadeen Español, our second online making, was born.

And today, in chronological and not in preference order, we introduce our third online making, Al Mayadeen English. The time has finally come for this new project to step into the light and shine. This constitutes a new stage in formulating discourse and presenting rich content to our English-speaking followers. There is more to say, but everything will be left at the appropriate time.

We address every speaker and reader of the English language, wherever they may be. We are not going to confine ourselves by aiming for a particular type of audience. We will not corner ourselves in one direction. We’re not going to constrain ourselves to ignorant propaganda and incitement showmanship. At the same time, we will not lose our editorial, cultural, and political identity in the name of fraudulent openness. We will not drain ourselves in conceptual battles. We will not waste our efforts in hypocritical and opportunistic appeasement.

We have been very clear and vocal about our public policies, which we announced since establishing Al Mayadeen. With our pens and voices, we will defend our right to free and boost pluralistic media. We will stand against worldwide media unilateralism. Due to our friends support in international media, we will contribute to establishing a professionally sound and fearless media environment. Open to new cultures, yet politically and strategically steadfast; Al Mayadeen English is for everyone.

It is Al Mayadeen English; its focus will be on the new generations and renewed minds, using modern and scientific language. The news platform is welcoming and accessible. This feature will allow our social media platforms to expand to every home and business; with nothing other than positive engagement, it will be a voice for the free people. It will be a platform that respects reason – unreservedly.

Al Mayadeen is a constructive force in our Arab media environment. It is also a force of influence in public opinion.

Al Mayadeen English joining Al Mayadeen Online is a modest yet well-established step. It is rooted, unwavering, and resilient. It constitutes of a young crew led by an intelligent and creative administration. Thus, this site may usher in a new era for Al Mayadeen.

Today, a website and social media platforms are launched, but tomorrow, it could be greater!

We wish Al Mayadeen English all the luck and success.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Imam Khamenei: Westerners’ Impudence Strange, Odd

28/06/2021

Imam Khamenei: Westerners’ Impudence Strange, Odd

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei criticized French government and other Western states for being just so-called advocates of the human rights and said Westerners’ effrontery is something strange and odd.

Imam Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting held in Tehran on Monday with Judiciary Chief, and Iran’s president-elect, Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi and staff of the office.

The meeting was held in commemoration of the June 28 martyrdom of Ayatollah Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti – the first Judiciary chief of Iran – and 72 others in 1981.

The Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization [MKO] terrorist outfit was behind the attack.

As His Eminence noted, MKO at that time did commit a big crime against the Iranian nation.

“Members of the MKO terrorist group are walking free in France and other European countries,” Imam Khamenei said.

“The French government and others shamelessly preach human rights despite hosting these killers, supporting them, and even giving them the podium in their national parliaments,” His Eminence said. “That is to say, the brazenness of these Westerners is really an extraordinary and strange thing.”

Their confession to those crimes and murders are available, Imam Khamenei underlined, noting that “however, they are freely living in and traveling to France and other European countries which are so-called supporters of the human rights.”

Imam Khamenei also thanked Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi for bringing about a great change to the Judiciary since he assumed office more than two years ago.

“In these two years and a few months that he was in charge of the Judiciary, he really worked hard, he strove, and good things were achieved in the Judiciary,” Imam Khamenei said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, His Eminence hailed the June 18 presidential election as “truly an epic”, saying no one can take the magnificence of the election away from the country. 

“Where in the world is it common to see that all members of the opposition propaganda apparatus get actively involved to scare people away from voting in the election,” Imam Khamenei said.

“Attempts are still made – they [the opposition] write letters and speak via the cyberspace – to deny the greatness of this election, but to no avail,” His Eminence said.

“This effort is in vain. Analysts who had their eyes fixed on this election understand what has happened.”

‘Many US commentators have never BEEN to countries they comment on, see entire world from Washington perspective’ – Stephen Kinzer

moi

June 27, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Much of Western media is a mixture of sensationalist accusations and fear mongering about ‘enemy’ states. It is difficult to find perspectives divorced from US foreign policy, American journalist Stephen Kinzer has told RT.

I asked the author and journalist Stephen Kinzer how the corporate media came to be so devoid of honest content and discussed the rise of censorship by Big Tech.

Kinzer is a Boston Globe columnist and formerly a correspondent for the New York Times. With over two decades of experience reporting from around the world, including areas being targeted by American imperialism, Kinzer can offer a much needed critique on the state of journalism today.

He started as an independent journalist in Central America in the mid-70s, when few journalists were going there, later reporting from Central Asia, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Europe.

I’m sometimes asked why I developed a different perspective on the world than many other people who comment in the American press,” he told RT. “I always seem to be the skunk at the foreign policy garden party. Why is that?

Upon reflection, I think it has to do with the way that I learned about the world. Many people who write about the world in the United States learned about the world the same way: they went to international relations schools, they went to work on congressional staffs, then they worked at think tanks. And they’re very steeped in this Washington-centric view of the world.”

Unlike such journalists and commentators, Kinzer learned journalism by going places and writing firsthand what he saw and heard.

I learned about the world from the perspective of the people who were the victims of American foreign policy. I was in the places where people were getting bombed. I saw American foreign policy from the perspective of the rest of the world.”

Having myself learned journalism the same way, I appreciated his words. And I had a followup question about the concept of journalistic qualifications, something my detractors have claimed I lack.

According to Kinzer, there are many qualifications for being a journalist that are much more important than what school you went to or what you studied.

The most important one is independent thinking. The great curse of our press in the West is willingness to accept the official narrative,” he said. 

In his view, many American journalists are merely stenographers. 

They’re sitting down at a press conference, they write down what some government spokesman says, then they go and print that in a newspaper. You hardly even need to have a sentient human there, you can get an algorithm to probably put most of those stories together.

And when you want to have a story that’s very well-sourced, they call the State Department, and the Defense Department, and several think tanks, and some congressmen. And they think, ‘Well I sure covered the landscape on this one!’”

But that, Kinzer argues, is not what covering the landscape is about. 

The great qualification you need for a journalist is the confidence to go out and see for yourself, and believe that your eyes are actually telling you more than press releases from some other country.

Indeed, much of the lies and war propaganda about Syria, for example, have come from journalists situated in Istanbul, Beirut, or North America, most who have never been to Syria, or if they have – not in the past decade.

It’s amazing to see how many people have built reputations as commentators on foreign countries and world affairs who have never been there, have no idea, beyond vague tropes, of what those countries are,” Kinzer said. “It’s because they are seeing the entire world from Washington’s perspective, and don’t think there is any other perspective worth having,” he added.

It’s truly amazing, I’ve seen the decline of this profession into such willing subservience. We don’t have any core of regular columnists or people trying to challenge established narratives. We do have voices that pop up periodically, but they’re so drowned out by the regular columnists who just voice the same tropes over and over again,” Kinzer said. 

The intellectual laziness of the American press in covering the world has never been as extreme as it is now. It’s just as dangerous in most of what’s called NATO countries to be contradicting the narrative as it is in the United States.”

Tremendous desire of CIA to control news 

In 2014, German journalist and editor, Udo Ulfkotte, told RT he had been forced to publish works not written by him under his own name (or risk being fired), including things “written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service.” 

According to Kinzer, the CIA “has had a massive, long-term effort to influence” the Western media dating back to the Cold War era. 

The CIA has placed its own people, people who are on its payroll, in the offices of major news outlets over many decades. There was a large project the CIA called ‘Operation Mockingbird’ aimed specifically at trying to influence the US press, and particularly what the US press writes about the world,” he said. 

He recalled that in 1954, “when the CIA was planning to overthrow the government of Guatemala… because its president was ‘communist’, a New York Times reporter there started writing stories saying that actually the president is not communist and that land reform is only answering a desperate need of starving Guatemalans.” 

At CIA Director Allen Dulles’ request, the publisher agreed to keep the correspondent, Sydney Gruson, out of Guatemala. 

Now that’s an extreme example. But, the motivation behind it is still there. There is a tremendous desire on the part of the CIA to control news.” 

While not surprised that the CIA would interfere in journalism, Kinzer was emphatic about his disgust that journalists toe the line.

What I don’t like is that journalists go along with this! Power has so many levers, why should journalists become yet another one of them. We are the ones that are supposed to be questioning. It’s the job of reporters not to submit themselves to that.

‘Press a button, and the narrative changes’

Kinzer also noted how media narratives can suddenly change, like a switch has been flipped. 

It’s so interesting that when power decides to change the narrative, it happens right away.

I can remember just six months ago turning on my PBS News Hour, in the US, and seeing a very longreport with General Dunford and Kelly Ayotte and a bunch of these right wingers who had come up with a big report about Afghanistan. And it was about why we can’t leave Afghanistan, we have to stay. It was a 10-minute report, and no other voices, nobody came on to say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s nonsense.’ Everybody was saying, ‘We have to stay in Afghanistan forever.’

Suddenly, the president of the United States decides, OK, we’re gonna withdraw. And now, suddenly, it’s acceptable to say, ‘That whole Afghanistan thing was a disaster.’ Somebody just has to press a button, then the narrative changes, then everybody is allowed to say what the president said. But if you had said it one day before, you would have been in a lot of trouble.

You have to wait for the general narrative to change, then you can change your narrative, but don’t do it until power tells you it is acceptable to change.”

Later in our conversation, he gave the example of writing about Israel, which he said was hard to do, until recently.

Suddenly, in recent weeks even, it’s become a little more OK to be critical of Israeli policies, because some people in Washington are now a little more critical.

Big Tech censorship on the rise

In the past several years, there has been an increase in social media giants deciding what content is acceptable and what “violates” so-called “community standards.” And as I wrote recently, it has gotten to the point where Twitter issues scary warnings about “unsafe” or “spammy” content from websites the social media platform deems dangerous, potentially scaring readers away. 

Commenting on the matter, Kinzer said that “the power of private companies to decide what people see and don’t see is greater now than ever.

As for censorship by the outlets he has written for, Kinzer said he was lucky to be writing from places that editors really didn’t have the knowledge to tell him how to report. “Nobody called me and said ‘I know everything about Uzbekistan and this is wrong.’”

That said, he does maintain that in writing his columns, some subjects are either taboo or you would have to frame them in the usual anti-Russia manner common in Western media.

It’s very hard to get a story in the American press about Russia that’s anything other than fitting into the cliches. I’ve had trouble writing about Russia, because the narrative that Putin is something other than a killer is not welcome in the United States. And I’ve had trouble writing about Syria. And of course, it’s very difficult to write about Israel.

Lather, rinse, repeat

On the 10-year anniversary of the war on Syria, I wrote about how, mind-bogglingly, Western media and pundits continue to repeat the cliched and debunked rhetoric and lies that have been recycled year after year.

Kinzer addressed this technique, the repetition of narratives.

I had an editor at the New York Times years ago who told me: A lot of journalism is about repetition. And boy does the American press do that. We have been told certain things about certain countries so many times over. And it just seems like the truth.

“‘The evils that have taken hold of Russia. The daily genocide that’s happening under the killers in Syria…’ You don’t need to go, you don’t need to check, it’s just like the air, it’s like an obvious fact.

I even see it in what’s happened to the Pulitzer Prize for International Journalism,” he said, adding that in 2020 it “predictably” went to a series of reports on “how evil Russia is” and this year – to a series of reports on “how evil China is.” 

The Pulitzer, he argued, is supposed to encourage original reporting, “not people that just scribble down what officials say, and then put it in nicer prose, and use phrases that are calculated to make people believe that government opinion is actual fact.

The job of journalists is to rebel against the narrative. We are out there as the eyes and ears of the world. If you don’t want to do it, fine, but don’t pretend that you’re doing it, and sit in your little cubicle and think of the stereotypes you’ve been fed and just regurgitate them. That is not journalism, it’s just public relations.”

In conclusion, Kinzer recalled a quote by Mark Twain: “The majority is always wrong. When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”

Indeed, time and again when the majority has written about “weapons of mass destruction,” “chemical attacks,” Iraqi troops “killing babies in incubators,” and other Washington-contrived narratives, those courageous few who have stood up against those lies-based-narratives have proven to be honest journalists. 

If only more journalists would follow.  

Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

June 25, 2021

by Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

In what can only be called an act of piracy, the US government “seized” several pro-resistance media outlets in a coordinated attack this week. One of the outlets that were siezed was Presstv.com. Other web domains, including Palestine al-Youm, a Palestinian-directed broadcaster, Karbala TV – the official television of the Imam Hussein (PBUH) shrine in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, Iraqi Afaq TV, Asia TV and al-Naeem TV satellite television channels, as well as Nabaa TV which reports the latest stories about Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, were also seized.

Citing bogus reasons such as “threat to national security”, the US regime once more proved what a great leader of democracy and freedom it indeed is. Apparently, Washington believes that it cannot win a free and fair debate with outlets such as PressTV, so the only way to “win” is to prevent others from presenting their viewpoint. Imagine if other countries did the same thing and seized CNN or Fox News’ website. The US would probably start a war if countries like Iran or North Korea made such moves. The self-worshipping West loves to criticize other countries for “suppressing free media” while they portray themselves as a safe haven for “opinions of all kinds”.

The fact that the United States ranks last in media trust — at 29% — among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries, doesn’t seem to matter. That’s worse than Poland, worse than the Philippines, worse than Peru, yet Washington still seems to have the “moral” right to condemn these countries as well, because any lack of trust in US media is explained as being the result of “foreign disinformation campaigns” and totally not related to the fact that the US media only exists to manufacture consent for Washington’s continued imperialist aggression.

Ironically, the suppression of information is happening while Washington funds and supports perhaps hundreds of propaganda networks such as BBC Persian, VOA Iran and ManotoTV, all known for disseminating vulgar and unprofessional propaganda. Some of these networks are being run by the family members of the Shah of Iran and via using the Iranians’ plundered wealth, to openly call for violent regime change and the return of the degenerate monarchy. Other networks, connected to John Bolton’s close friends in the MEK terrorist cult, openly call for terrorist attacks inside Iran. These are the people that want “democracy” for Iran, and these are the people that Washington supports.

If it hadn’t been proven a thousand times before, then this pathetic move proved once more that America’s claim about advocating freedom and democracy as well as freedom of expression is nothing more than a lie and hypocrisy. Washington is and has always been morally bankrupt, however, this recent act of thuggery shows that Washington, known for lecturing other governments overseas about free speech, democracy, and freedom of expression, is also scared and panicking.

Of course they are afraid. Is it a coincidence that these seizures happened right now? No! The Iranian nation elected what the westerners call a “hardliner” president. They know that the game of “diplomacy and talks”, which they use to stall the lifting of sanctions, is over. President-elect Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi won’t be as kind to them as the previous administration has been. He has already declared that there will be no talks with Washington over the US return to the JCPOA. On top of that, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement has rejected the Saudis shameful “peace proposal” and are in their way to capture the crucial city of Ma’rib, further humiliating Washington. So Washington resorted to silencing the world’s poorest country, which is under siege by land, sea and air in what can only be called a genocide.

There is absolutely no way for Washington to save face here. It is clear that they are terrified as the pro-resistance outlets are getting their messages across. More and more people are seeing Washington for what it is: a terrorist entity that takes pride in killing and starving people who refuse to bow down to them. This coincides with Washington’s waning influence in the region of West Asia, or as they call it, the “Middle East”. (the term “Middle East” is a colonial term from the British Empire era in which Europeans believed that they were the centre of the world, while West Asia was “the near east”).

Apparently, hundreds of US troops, aircraft and air defence batteries are being withdrawn from the puppet Persian Gulf kingdoms, as the Biden administration allegedly wants to focus on Russia and China instead. In reality, this is Washington’s way of quietly leaving the region as they know and understand what the inevitable alternative would be – getting kicked out of the region with force. Throughout the region, from Syria and Iraq, to Palestine and Yemen, the forces of colonialism and imperialism are losing ground and influence. Their repeated and continued atrocities and crimes are fuelling the fire in our hearts as more and more people, not just in the region, but worldwide are realizing the criminal nature of the imperialists.

This is not the first time nor the last time that the imperialists and their tools have silenced the voices of dissent. Throughout the years, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousand blogs, and social media pages have been shut down for supporting Syria, Palestine or Yemen. I have personally had 4 social media accounts shut down over the years, for supporting Syria’s legitimate government, for posting pictures in loving memory of Martyr Soleimani and for speaking out against the genocide going on in Yemen. But I will not back down, nor will I give up, and neither should anyone who has spoken out against the savage actions of the imperialists. It should never be forgotten that they silence and shut us down because they fear us, not because they are morally superior to us.

Resistance must continue on all fronts. Every act of aggression should be seen as an opportunity to show the world what liars and hypocrites the Western warmongers are who think that they can win the hearts of the people of this region through their lies and crude propaganda while bombing the people’s homes and loved ones.

America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

June 17, 2021

By Caitlin JOHNSTONE

During an astonishingly sycophantic press conference after the Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin, President Biden posited an entirely hypothetical scenario about what the world would think of the United States if it were interfering in foreign elections and everybody knew it.

When AP’s Jonathan Lemire asked the president of the most powerful government in the world what “consequences” he’d threatened the Russian leader with should the Kremlin interfere in US elections going forward, Biden meandered his way through one of his signature not-quite-lucid word salads, and then said the following:

“Let’s get this straight: How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries, and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he is engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country that is desperately trying to make sure it maintains its standing as a major world power.”

The fact that the entire press corps did not erupt in side-splitting laughter at this ridiculous utterance is in itself proof that western news media is pure propaganda. The United States has directly interfered in scores of foreign elections since it began its ascent to global domination at the end of the second World War, to say nothing of all the coups, color revolutions, proxy conflicts and regime change military invasions it has also participated in during that time. The US openly interfered in Russia’s elections in the nineties, and literally just tried to stage a coup in Bolivia by interfering in its democratic process. The US is far and away the single most egregious offender in the world on this front, which is largely why it is perceived around the world as a greater threat to democracy than any other government.

This is not a secret, internationally or in the United States. Anyone who has done any learning about the US government’s actual behavior on the world stage knows this. Hell, a former CIA director openly joked about it on Fox News a few years ago.

Fox’s Laura Ingraham unsurprisingly introduced former CIA Director James Woolsey as “an old friend” in a 2018 interview about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm, in which Woolsey unsurprisingly talked about how dangerous Russian “disinformation” is and Ingraham unsurprisingly said that everyone should actually be afraid of China. What was a bit surprising, though, was what happened at the end of the interview.

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Ingraham asked in response to Woolsey’s Russia remarks.

“Oh, probably,” Woolsey said with a grin. “But it was for the good of the system in order to avoid the communists from taking over. For example, in Europe, in ’47, ’48, ’49, the Greeks and the Italians we CIA-”

“We don’t do that anymore though?” Ingraham interrupted. “We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?”

Woolsey smiled and said said “Well…”, followed by a joking incoherent mumble, adding, “Only for a very good cause.”

And then they both laughed.

The fact that not one person in the press pool questioned or criticized Biden’s outrageous remarks tells you everything you need to know about the western media and what its real function is. This is further illustrated by the rest of the behavior of these odious propagandists during the summit, which was illustrated quite well by the glowing praise of Democratic Party insider Andrea Chalupa on Twitter:

“The winners of #GenevaSummit2021 are the White House press corp,” Chalupa said. “Excellent questions confronting Putin and challenging Biden on holding a summit with a ruthless dictator. And they literally held their ground when shoved by Putin’s security and propagandists.”

That actually says it all. Western reporters are forbidden by their oligarchic owners from ever confronting power in any meaningful way; the closest they’re ever allowed to get to punching up is challenging the leaders of CIA-targeted governments, and demanding to know why their own officials aren’t being more hawkish and aggressive toward those leaders.

As RT’s Murad Gazdiev pointed out, “ABC, NBC, BBC, CNN, and many other Western outlets were invited for Putin’s press conference. No Russian media was invited to Biden’s press conference.” The whole thing was a navel-gazing, masturbatory cold war propaganda orgy where western “journalists” made up fantasies about their soup-brained leader staring down Putin, where they yelled nonsense about Alexei Navalny at the Russian president and then fangirled at Biden’s response.

Can anyone imagine a US corporate journalist screaming at Biden: “Why do you fear Assange so much?”

Always easy to condemn the acts of the governments your country tells you to see as Enemy. Much harder – and way more meaningful – to challenge your own government’s repression. https://t.co/CtzeU37pn3

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 16, 2021

Real journalists go to Belmarsh Prison for exposing US war crimes. Western propagandists ask Putin why he’s such a doodoo dumb dumb poopy head and then dream about Pulitzers all night.

Western news media exists to funnel propaganda into the minds of the public. It is controlled by plutocrats who work in alliance with opaque government agencies to weave narratives about why the US government needs to do the things it had already planned on doing anyway. This gets more obvious by the day.

caityjohnstone.medium.com

Statements after Putin / Biden summit

June 16, 2021

Source

Statements after Putin / Biden summit

Russian-American consultations began with a restricted-format meeting that included Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

After that the talks continued in an expanded format.

Following the summit, the US – Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability was adopted.

U.S. – Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability

June 16, 2021

We, President of the United States of America Joseph R. Biden and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, note the United States and Russia have demonstrated that, even in periods of tension, they are able to make progress on our shared goals of ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war.

The recent extension of the New START Treaty exemplifies our commitment to nuclear arms control. Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

Consistent with these goals, the United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust. Through this Dialogue, we seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.

http://en.kremlin.ru/supplement/5658


President Putin: News conference Q&A following Russia-US talks

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

I am at your service. I think there is no need for long opening remarks since everyone is familiar with the topics of discussion in general: strategic stability, cyber security, regional conflicts, and trade relations. We also covered cooperation in the Arctic. This is pretty much what we discussed.

With that, I will take your questions.

Question: Good evening,

Perhaps, you can name the topics that were discussed especially closely? In particular, Ukraine is of great interest. In what context was it touched upon, was the situation in Donbass and the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO discussed?

One more thing: before the talks, there were great expectations about the ambassadors of the two countries returning to their stations in the respective capitals. In particular, your assistant, Yury Ushakov, said that this was possible. Have these decisions been made? How did the talks go in general?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: With regard to the ambassadors returning to their stations – the US ambassador to Moscow, and the Russian ambassador to Washington, we agreed on this matter, and they will be returning to their permanent duty stations. When exactly – tomorrow or the day after tomorrow – is a purely technical issue.

We also agreed that the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation and the US State Department would begin consultations on the entire range of cooperation on the diplomatic track. There are things to discuss, and an enormous backlog [of unresolved issues] has piled up. I think both sides, including the American side, are committed to looking for solutions.

With regard to Ukraine, indeed, this issue was touched upon. I cannot say that it was done in great detail, but as far as I understood President Biden, he agreed that the Minsk agreements should be the basis for a settlement in southeastern Ukraine.

As for Ukraine’s potential accession to NATO, this issue was touched upon in passing. I suppose there is nothing to discuss in this respect.

This is how it was in general terms.

Question: Mr President, you said strategic stability was one of the topics. Could you tell us in more detail what decisions were made on this issue? Will Russia and the United States resume or start talks on strategic stability and disarmament, and, in particular, on the New START Treaty? Do they plan to start talks on extending New START, perhaps revising its parameters or signing a new treaty altogether?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: The United States and the Russian Federation bear special responsibility for global strategic stability, at least because we are the two biggest nuclear powers – in terms of the amount of ammunition and warheads, the number of delivery vehicles, the level of sophistication and quality of nuclear arms. We are aware of this responsibility.

I think it is obvious to everyone that President Biden made a responsible and, we believe, timely decision to extend New START for five years, that is, until 2024.

Of course, it would be natural to ask what next. We agreed to start interdepartmental consultations under the aegis of the US Department of State and the Foreign Ministry of Russia. Colleagues will determine at the working level the line-up of these delegations, the venues and frequency of meetings.

Question: Hi, Matthew Chance from CNN. Thank you very much for giving me this question.

First of all, could you characterise the dynamic between yourself and President Biden? Was it hostile or was it friendly?

And secondly, throughout these conversations did you commit to ceasing carrying out cyberattacks on the United States? Did you commit to stopping threatening Ukraine’s security? And did you commit to stop cracking down on the opposition in Russia?

Vladimir Putin: I will begin with a general assessment. I believe there was no hostility at all. Quite the contrary. Our meeting was, of course, a principled one, and our positions diverge on many issues, but I still think that both of us showed a willingness to understand each other and look for ways of bringing our positions closer together. The conversation was quite constructive.

As for cyber security, we have agreed to start consultations on this issue. I consider this very important.

Now about the commitments each side must make. I would like to tell you about things that are generally known, but not to the public at large. American sources – I am simply afraid to mix up the names of organisations (Mr Peskov will give them to you later) – have said that most cyberattacks in the world come from US cyberspace. Canada is second. It is followed by two Latin American countries and then the United Kingdom. As you can see, Russia is not on the list of these countries from whose cyberspace the most cyberattacks originate. This is the first point.

Now the second point. In 2020 we received 10 inquiries from the United States about cyberattacks on US facilities – as our colleagues say – from Russian cyberspace. Two more requests were made this year. Our colleagues received exhaustive responses to all of them, both in 2020 and this year.

In turn, Russia sent 45 inquiries to the relevant US agency last year and 35 inquiries in the first half of this year. We have not yet received a single response. This shows that we have a lot to work on.

The question of who, on what scale and in what area must make commitments should be resolved during negotiations. We have agreed to start such consultations. We believe that cyber security is extremely important in the world in general, for the United States in particular, and to the same extent for Russia.

For example, we are aware of the cyberattacks on the pipeline company in the United States. We are also aware of the fact that the company had to pay 5 million to the cybercriminals. According to my information, a portion of the money has been returned from the e-wallets. What do Russia’s public authorities have to do with this?

We face the same threats. For example, there was an attack on the public healthcare system of a large region in the Russian Federation. Of course, we see where the attacks are coming from, and we see that these activities are coordinated from US cyberspace. I do not think that the United States, official US authorities, are interested in this kind of manipulation. What we need to do is discard all the conspiracy theories, sit down at the expert level and start working in the interests of the United States and the Russian Federation. In principle, we have agreed to this, and Russia is willing to do so.

Give them a microphone – part of the question remained unanswered.

Remark: That’s correct and thank you very much for coming back to me, sir.

So, there were two other parts to the question. The first one is: did you commit in these meetings to stop threatening Ukraine? Remember the reason this summit was called in the first place, or the timing of it, was when Russia was building up lots of forces close to border. And the second part of the question, third part of the question was: did you commit to stopping your crackdown against the opposition groups inside Russia led by Alexei Navalny?

Vladimir Putin: I did not hear that part of the question – either it was not translated, or you just decided to ask a second question.

With regard to our obligations regarding Ukraine, we have only one obligation which is to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. If the Ukrainian side is willing to do this, we will take this path, no questions asked.

By the way, I would like to note the following. Back in November 2020, the Ukrainian delegation presented its views about how it was planning to implement the Minsk Agreements. Please take a look at the Minsk Agreements – they are not a confidential document. They say that, first, it is necessary to submit proposals on the political integration of Donbass into the Ukrainian legal system and the Constitution. To do so, it is necessary to amend the Constitution – this is spelled out in the agreements. This is the first point. And second, the border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine along the Donbass line will begin to be occupied by the border troops of Ukraine on the day following election day – Article 9.

What has Ukraine come up with? The first step it proposed was to move Ukraine’s armed forces back to their permanent stations. What does this mean? This means Ukrainian troops would enter Donbass. This is the first point. Second, they proposed closing the border between Russia and Ukraine in this area. Third, they proposed holding elections three months after these two steps.

You do not need a legal background or any special training to understand that this has nothing to do with the Minsk Agreements. This completely contradicts the Minsk Agreements. Therefore, what kind of additional obligations can Russia assume? I think the answer is clear.

With regard to military exercises, we conduct them on our territory, just like the United States conducts many of its exercises on its territory. But we are not bringing our equipment and personnel closer to the state borders of the United States of America when we conduct our exercises. Unfortunately, this is what our US partners are doing now. So, the Russian side, not the American side, should be concerned about this, and this also needs to be discussed, and our respective positions should be clarified.

With regard to our non-systemic opposition and the citizen you mentioned, first, this person knew that he was breaking applicable Russian law. He needed to check in with the authorities as someone who was twice sentenced to a suspended prison time. Fully cognisant of what he was doing, I want to emphasise this, and disregarding this legal requirement, this gentleman went abroad for medical treatment, and the authorities did not ask him to check in while he was in treatment. As soon as he left the hospital and posted his videos online, the requirements were reinstated. He did not appear; he disregarded the law – and was put on the wanted list. He knew that going back to Russia. I believe he deliberately decided to get arrested. He did what he wanted to do. So, what is there to be discussed?

With regard to the people like him and the systemic opposition in general, unfortunately, the format of a news conference precludes a detailed discussion, but I would like to say the following. Look, I think I will not say anything complicated, it will be clear for everyone. If you find it possible to objectively convey this message to your viewers and listeners, I would be very grateful to you.

So, the United States declared Russia an enemy and an adversary. Congress did this in 2017. US legislation was amended to include provisions that the United States must maintain democratic governance rules and order in our country and support political organisations. This is in your law, US law. Now let’s ask ourselves a question: if Russia is an enemy, what kind of organisations will the United States support in Russia? I think not the ones that make the Russian Federation stronger, but the ones that hold it back, since this is the goal of the United States, something that has been announced publicly. So, these are the organisations and the people who are instrumental in the implementation of the United States’ policy on Russia.

How should we feel about this? I think it is clear: we must be wary. But we will act exclusively within the framework of Russian law.

Transcript to be continued.


Remarks by President Biden in post-summit Press Conference

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/06/16/remarks-by-president-biden-in-press-conference-4/June 16, 2021 • Speeches and Remarks

Hôtel du Parc des Eaux-Vives
Geneva, Switzerland

7:20 P.M. CEST

(There is some French bleedthrough at the start of the audio for a few moments)

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s been a long day for you all.  (Laughs.)  I know it was easy getting into the — the pre-meeting.  There was no problem getting through those doors, was it — was there?

Anyway, hello, everyone.  Well, I’ve just finished the — the last meeting of this week’s long trip, the U.S.-Russian Summit.

And I know there were a lot of hype around this meeting, but it’s pretty straightforward to me — the meeting.  One, there is no substitute, as those of you who have covered me for a while know, for a face-to-face dialogue between leaders.  None.  And President Putin and I had a — share a unique responsibility to manage the relationship between two powerful and proud countries — a relationship that has to be stable and predictable.  And it should be able to — we should be able to cooperate where it’s in our mutual interests.

And where we have differences, I wanted President Putin to understand why I say what I say and why I do what I do, and how we’ll respond to specific kinds of actions that harm America’s interests.

Now, I told President Putin my agenda is not against Russia or anyone else; it’s for the American people: fighting COVID-19; rebuilding our economy; reestablishing our relationships around the world with our allies and friends; and protecting our people.  That’s my responsibility as President.

I also told him that no President of the United States could keep faith with the American people if they did not speak out to defend our democratic values, to stand up for the universal rights and fundamental freedoms that all men and women have, in our view.  That’s just part of the DNA of our country.

So, human rights is going to always be on the table, I told him.  It’s not about just going after Russia when they violate human rights; it’s about who we are.  How could I be the President of the United States of America and not speak out against the violation of human rights?

I told him that, unlike other countries, including Russia, we’re uniquely a product of an idea.  You’ve heard me say this before, again and again, but I’m going to keep saying it.  What’s that idea?  We don’t derive our rights from the government; we possess them because we’re born — period.  And we yield them to a government.

And so, at the forum, I pointed out to him that that’s why we’re going raise our concerns about cases like Aleksey Navalny.  I made it clear to President Putin that we’ll continue to raise issues of fundamental human rights because that’s what we are, that’s who we are.  The idea is: “We hold these truths self-evident that all men and women…”  We haven’t lived up to it completely, but we’ve always widened the arc of commitment and included more and more people.

And I raised the case of two wrongfully imprisoned American citizens: Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed.

I also raised the ability of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty to operate, and the importance of a free press and freedom of speech.

I made it clear that we will not tolerate attempts to violate our democratic sovereignty or destabilize our democratic elections, and we would respond.

The bottom line is, I told President Putin that we need to have some basic rules of the road that we can all abide by.

I also said there are areas where there’s a mutual interest for us to cooperate, for our people — Russian and American people — but also for the benefit of the world and the security of the world.  One of those areas is strategic stability.

You asked me many times what was I going to discuss with Putin.  Before I came, I told you I only negotiate with the individual.  And now I can tell you what I was intending to do all along, and that is to discuss and raise the issue of strategic stability and try to set up a mechanism whereby we dealt with it.

We discussed in detail the next steps our countries need to take on arms control measures — the steps we need to take to reduce the risk of unintended conflict.

And I’m pleased that he agreed today to launch a bilateral strategic stability dialogue — diplomatic speak for saying, get our military experts and our — our diplomats together to work on a mechanism that can lead to control of new and dangerous and sophisticated weapons that are coming on the scene now that reduce the times of response, that raise the prospects of accidental war.  And we went into some detail of what those weapons systems were.

Another area we spent a great deal of time on was cyber and cybersecurity.  I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructure should be off limits to attack — period — by cyber or any other means.  I gave them a list, if I’m not mistaken — I don’t have it in front of me — 16 specific entities; 16 defined as critical infrastructure under U.S. policy, from the energy sector to our water systems.

Of course, the principle is one thing.  It has to be backed up by practice.  Responsible countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory.

So we agreed to task experts in both our — both our countries to work on specific understandings about what’s off limits and to follow up on specific cases that originate in other countries — either of our countries.

There is a long list of other issues we spent time on, from the urgent need to preserve and reopen the humanitarian corridors in Syria so that we can get food — just simple food and basic necessities to people who are starving to death; how to build it and how it is in the interest of both Russia and the United States to ensure that Iran — Iran — does not acquire nuclear weapons.  We agreed to work together there because it’s as much interest — Russia’s interest as ours.  And to how we can ensure the Arctic remains a region of cooperation rather than conflict.

I caught part of President’s — Putin’s press conference, and he talked about the need for us to be able to have some kind of modus operandi where we dealt with making sure the Arctic was, in fact, a free zone.

And to how we can each contribute to the shared effort of preventing a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan.  It’s very much in — in the interest of Russia not to have a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan.

There are also areas that are more challenging.  I communicated the United States’ unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

We agreed to pursue diplomacy related to the Minsk Agreement.  And I shared our concerns about Belarus.  He didn’t disagree with what happened; he just has a different perspective of what to do about it.

But I know you have a lot of questions, so let me close with this: It was important to meet in person so there can be no mistake about or misrepresentations about what I wanted to communicate.

I did what I came to do: Number one, identify areas of practical work our two countries can do to advance our mutual interests and also benefit the world.

Two, communicate directly — directly — that the United States will respond to actions that impair our vital interests or those of our allies.

And three, to clearly lay out our country’s priorities and our values so he heard it straight from me.

And I must tell you, the tone of the entire meetings — I guess it was a total of four hours — was — was good, positive.  There wasn’t any — any strident action taken.  Where we disagreed — I disagreed, stated where it was.  Where he disagreed, he stated.  But it was not done in a hyperbolic atmosphere.  That is too much of what’s been going on.

Over this last week, I believe — I hope — the United States has shown the world that we are back, standing with our Allies.  We rallied our fellow democracies to make concert — concerted commitments to take on the biggest challenges our world faces.

And now we’ve established a clear basis on how we intend to deal with Russia and the U.S.-Russia relationship.

There’s more work ahead.  I’m not suggesting that any of this is done, but we’ve gotten a lot of business done on this trip.

And before I take your questions, I want to say one last thing.  Folks, look, this is about — this about how we move from here.  This is — I listened to, again, a significant portion of what President Putin’s press conference was, and as he pointed out, this is about practical, straightforward, no-nonsense decisions that we have to make or not make.

We’ll find out within the next six months to a year whether or not we actually have a strategic dialogue that matters.  We’ll find out whether we work to deal with everything from release of people in Russian prisons or not.  We’ll find out whether we have a cybersecurity arrangement that begins to bring some order.

Because, look, the countries that most are likely to be damaged — failure to do that — are the major countries.  For example, when I talked about the pipeline that cyber hit for $5 million — that ransomware hit in the United States, I looked at him and I said, “Well, how would you feel if ransomware took on the pipelines from your oil fields?”  He said it would matter.

This is not about just our self-interest; it’s about a mutual self-interest.

I’ll take your questions.  And as usual, folks, they gave me a list of the people I’m going to call on.

So, Jonathan, Associated Press.

Q    Thank you, sir.  U.S. intelligence has said that Russia tried to interfere in the last two presidential elections, and that Russia groups are behind hacks like SolarWinds and some of the ransomware attacks you just mentioned.  Putin, in his news conference just now, accepted no responsibility for any misbehavior.  Your predecessor opted not to demand that Putin stop these disruptions.  So what is something concrete, sir, that you achieved today to prevent that from happening again?  And what were the consequences you threatened?

THE PRESIDENT:  Whether I stopped it from happening again — he knows I will take action, like we did when — this last time out.  What happened was: We, in fact, made it clear that we were not going to continue to allow this to go on.  The end result was we ended up withdrawing — they went withdrawing ambassadors, and we closed down some of their facilities in the United States, et cetera.  And he knows there are consequences.

Now, look, one of the consequences that I know — I don’t know; I shouldn’t say this; it’s unfair of me — I suspect you may all think doesn’t matter, but I’m confidence it matters to him — confident it matter to him and other world leaders of big nations: his credibility worldwide shrinks.

Let’s get this straight: How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries, and everybody knew it?  What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he is engaged in?  It diminishes the standing of a country that is desperately trying to make sure it maintains its standing as a major world power.

And so it’s not just what I do; it’s what the actions that other countries take — in this case, Russia — that are contrary to international norms.  It’s the price they pay.  They are not — they are not able to dictate what happens in the world.  There are other nations of significant consequence — i.e. the United States of America being one of them.

Q    Mr. President, just a quick follow on the same theme of consequences.  You said, just now, that you spoke to him a lot about human rights.  What did you say would happen if opposition leader Aleksey Navalny dies?

THE PRESIDENT:  I made it clear to him that I believe the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia.

I’ll go back to the same point: What do you think happens when he’s saying, “It’s not about hurting Navalny,” this — you know, all the stuff he says to rationalize the treatment of Navalny — and then he dies in prison?

I pointed out to him that it matters a great deal when a country, in fact — and they asked me why I thought that it was important to continue to have problems with the President of Syria.  I said, “Because he’s in violation of an international norm.  It’s called a Chemical Weapons Treaty.  Can’t be trusted.”

It’s about trust.  It’s about their ability to influence other nations in a positive way.

Look, would you like to trade our economy for Russia’s economy?  Would you like to trade?  And, by the way, we talked about trade.  I don’t have any problem with doing business with Russia, as long as they do it based upon international norms. It’s in our interest to see the Russian people do well economically.  I don’t have a problem with that.

But if they do not act according to international norms, then guess what?  That will not — that only won’t it happen with us, it will not happen with other nations.  And he kind of talked about that — didn’t he, today? — about how the need to reach out to other countries to invest in Russia.  They won’t as long as they are convinced that, in fact, the violations —

For example, the American businessman who was in house arrest.  And I pointed out, “You want to get American business to invest?  Let him go.  Change the dynamic.”  Because American businessmen, they’re not — they’re not ready to show up.  They don’t want to hang around in Moscow.

I mean, I — look, guys, I know we make foreign policy out to be this great, great skill that somehow is, sort of, like a secret code.  Pract- — all foreign policy is, is a logical extension of personal relationships.  It’s the way human nature functions.

And understand, when you run a country that does not abide by international norms, and yet you need those international norms to be somehow managed so that you can participate in the benefits that flow from them, it hurts you.  That’s not a satisfying answer: “Biden said he’d invade Russia.”  You know, it is not — you know.  By the way, that was a joke.  That’s not true.

But my generic point is, it is — it is more complicated than that.

David Sanger.  I thought I saw David.  There he is.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  In the run-up to this discussion, there’s been a lot of talk about the two countries spilling down into a Cold War.  And I’m wondering if there was anything that you emerged from in the discussion that made you think that he —

THE PRESIDENT:  With your permission, I’m going to take my coat off.  The sun is hot.

Q    — anything that would make you think that Mr. Putin has decided to move away from his fundamental role as a disrupter, particularly a disrupter of NATO and the United States?

And if I could also just follow up on your description of how you gave him a list of critical infrastructure in the United States.  Did you lay out very clearly what it was that the penalty would be for interfering in that critical infrastructure?  Did you leave that vague?  Did he respond in any way to it?

THE PRESIDENT:  Let me answer your first — well, I’ll second question, first.

I pointed out to him that we have significant cyber capability.  And he knows it.  He doesn’t know exactly what it is, but it’s significant.  And if, in fact, they violate these basic norms, we will respond with cyber.  He knows.

Q    In the cyber way.

THE PRESIDENT:  In the cyber way.

Number two, I — I think that the last thing he wants now is a Cold War.  Without quoting him — which I don’t think is appropriate — let me ask a rhetorical question: You got a multi-thousand-mile border with China.  China is moving ahead, hellbent on election, as they say, seeking to be the most powerful economy in the world and the largest and the most powerful military in the world.

You’re in a situation where your economy is struggling, you need to move it in a more aggressive way, in terms of growing it.  And you — I don’t think he’s looking for a Cold War with the United States.

I don’t think it’s about a — as I said to him, I said, “Your generation and mine are about 10 years apart.  This is not a ‘kumbaya’ moment, as you used to say back in the ’60s in the United States, like, ‘Let’s hug and love each other.’  But it’s clearly not in anybody’s interest — your country’s or mine — for us to be in a situation where we’re in a new Cold War.”  And I truly believe he thinks that — he understands that.

But that does not mean he’s ready to, quote, figuratively speaking, “lay down his arms,” and say, “Come on.”  He still, I believe, is concerned about being, quote, “encircled.”  He still is concerned that we, in fact, are looking to take him down, et cetera.  He still has those concerns, but I don’t think they are the driving force as to the kind of relationship he’s looking for with the United States.

Jennifer.  Jennifer Jacobs.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Is there a particular reason why the summit lasted only about three hours?  We know you had maybe allotted four to five hours.  Was there any reason it ran shorter?

Also, did — President Putin said that there were no threats or scare tactics issued.  Do you agree with that assessment, that there were no threats or scare tactics?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.

Q    And also, did you touch on Afghanistan and the safe withdrawal of troops?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.  Yes, yes, and yes.  Let me go back to the first part.

The reason it didn’t go longer is: When is the last time two heads of state have spent over two hours in direct conversation across a table, going into excruciating detail?  You may know of a time; I don’t.  I can’t think of one.

So we didn’t need, as we got through, when we brought in the larger group — our defense, our intelligence, and our foreign — well, our — my foreign minister — wasn’t the foreign minister — my Secretary of State was with me the whole time — our ambassador, et cetera.  We brought everybody in.  We had covered so much.

And so there was a summary done by him and by me of what we covered.  Lavrov and Blinken talked about what we had covered.  We raised things that required more amplification or made sure we didn’t have any misunderstandings.  And — and so it was — it was — kind of, after two hours there, we looked at each other like, “Okay, what next?”

What is going to happen next is we’re going to be able to look back — look ahead in three to six months, and say, “Did the things we agreed to sit down and try to work out, did it work?  Do we — are we closer to a major strategic stability talks and progress?  Are we further along in terms of…” — and go down the line.  That’s going to be the test.

I’m not sitting here saying because the President and I agreed that we would do these things, that all of a sudden, it’s going to work.  I’m not saying that.  What I’m saying is I think there’s a genuine prospect to significantly improve relations between our two countries without us giving up a single, solitary thing based on principle and/or values.

Q    There were no threats issued?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, no.  No.  There were no threats.  There were — as a matter of fact, I heard he quoted my mom and quoted other people today.  There was — it was very, as we say — which will shock you, coming from me — somewhat colloquial.  And we talked about basic, basic, fundamental things.  There was a — it was — and you know how I am: I explain things based on personal basis.  “What happens if,” for example.

And so, there are no threats, just simple assertions made.  And no “Well, if you do that, then we’ll do this” — wasn’t anything I said.  It was just letting him know where I stood; what I thought we could accomplish together; and what, in fact — if it was — if there were violations of American sovereignty, what would we do.

Q    Can you share what you asked him about Afghanistan?  What was your particular request for Afghanistan and the U.S. troops?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, he asked us about Afghanistan.  He said that he hopes that we’re able to maintain some peace and security, and I said, “That has a lot to do with you.”  He indicated that he was prepared to, quote, “help” on Afghanistan — I won’t go into detail now; and help on — on Iran; and help on — and, in return, we told him what we wanted to do relative to bringing some stability and economic security or physical security to the people of Syria and Libya.

So, we had those discussions.

Yamiche.

Q    Thanks so much, Mr. President.  Did you — you say that you didn’t issue any threats.  Were there any ultimatums made when it comes to ransomware?  And how will you measure success, especially when it comes to these working groups on Russian meddling and on cybersecurity?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it’s going to be real easy.  They either — for example, on cybersecurity, are we going to work out where they take action against ransomware criminals on Russian territory?  They didn’t do it.  I don’t think they planned it, in this case.  And they — are they going to act?  We’ll find out.

Will we commit — what can we commit to act in terms of anything affecting violating international norms that negatively affects Russia?  What are we going to agree to do?

And so, I think we have real opportunities to — to move.  And I think that one of the things that I noticed when we had the larger meeting is that people who are very, very well-informed started thinking, “You know, this could be a real problem.”  What happens if that ransomware outfit were sitting in Florida or Maine and took action, as I said, on their — their single lifeline to their economy: oil?  That would be devastating.  And they’re like — you could see them kind of go, “Oh, we do that,” but like, “Whoa.”

So it’s in — it’s in everybody’s interest that these things be acted on.  We’ll see, though, what happens from these groups we put together.

Q    Can I ask a quick follow-up question?

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  The third one, yes.  Go ahead.

Q    Mr. President, when President Putin was questioned today about human rights, he said the reason why he’s cracking down on opposition leaders is because he doesn’t want something like January 6th to happen in Russia.  And he also said he doesn’t want to see groups formed like Black Lives Matter.  What’s your response to that, please?

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  My response is kind of what I communicated — that I think that’s a — that’s a ridiculous comparison.  It’s one thing for literally criminals to break through cordon, go into the Capitol, kill a police officer, and be held unaccountable than it is for people objecting and marching on the Capitol and saying, “You are not allowing me to speak freely.  You are not allowing me to do A, B, C, or D.”

And so, they’re very different criteria.

Steve.  Steve Holland, Reuters.

Q    President — sorry — President Putin said he was satisfied with the answer about your comment about him being a “killer.”  Could you give us your side on this?  What did you tell him?

THE PRESIDENT:  He’s satisfied.  Why would I bring it up again?  (Laughs.)

Q    And now that you’ve talked to him, do you believe you can trust him?

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, this is not about trust; this is about self-interest and verification of self-interest.  That’s what it’s about.  So, I — virtually almost — almost anyone that I would work out an agreement with that affected the American people’s interests, I don’t say, “Well, I trust you.  No problem.”  Let’s see what happens.

You know, as that old expression goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  We’re going to know shortly.

Igor, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

Q    Hello, Mr. President.  Hello, Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT:  You want to go on the shade?  You can’t — can you see?

Q    Thank you.  Yeah.  Yeah, yeah.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  All right.

Q    Yeah.  So, I think you know attacks in civil society and the free — free press continue inside Russia.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.

Q    For example, Radio Free Europe —

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.

Q    — Radio Liberty; Voice of America; Current Time TV channel, where I work, are branded foreign agents — and several other independent media.  So, we are essentially being forced out in Russia 30 years after President Yeltsin invited us in.

My question is: After your talks with President Putin, how interested do you think he is in improving the media climate in Russia?

THE PRESIDENT:  I wouldn’t put it that way, in terms of improving the climate.  I would, in fact, put it in terms of how much interest does he have in burnishing Russia’s reputation that is not — is viewed as not being contrary to democratic principles and free speech.

That’s a judgment I cannot make.  I don’t know.  But it’s not because I think he — he is interested in changing the nature of a closed society or closed government’s actions relative to what he thinks is the right of government to do what it does; it’s a very different approach.

And, you know, there’s a couple of really good biogra- — I told him I read a couple — I read most everything he’s written and the speeches he’s made.  And — and I’ve read a couple of very good biographies, which many of you have as well.

And I think I pointed out to him that Russia had an opportunity — that brief shining moment after Gorbachev and after things began to change drastically — to actually generate a democratic government.  But what happened was it failed and there was a great, great race among Russian intellectuals to determine what form of government would they choose and how would they choose it.

And based on what I believe, Mr. Putin decided was that Russia has always been a major international power when it’s been totally united as a Russian state, not based on ideology — whether it was going back to Tsar and Commissar, straight through to the — the revolution — the Russian Revolution, and to where they are today.

And I think that it’s clear to me — and I’ve said it — that I think he decided that the way for Russia to be able to sustain itself as a great — quote, “great power” is to in fact unite the Russian people on just the strength of the government — the government controls — not necessarily ideologically, but the government.

And I think that’s the — that’s the choice that was made.  I think it — I — I’m not going to second guess whether it could have been fundamentally different.  But I do think it does not lend itself to Russia maintaining itself as one of the great powers in the world.

Q    Sir, one more question —

Q    One more on COVID — on COVID-19, Mr. President —

Q    Sir, could we ask you one more question, please, sir?  Thank you, sir.  Did military response ever come up in this conversation today?  Did you — in terms of the red lines that you laid down, is military response an option for a ransomware attack?

And President Putin had called you, in his press conference, an “experienced person.”  You famously told him he didn’t have a soul.  Do you now have a deeper understanding of him after this meeting?

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Q    Mr. President —

Q    But on the military — military response, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, we didn’t talk about military response.

Q    In the spirit, Mr. President, of you saying that there is no substitute for face-to-face dialogue, and also with what you said at NATO that the biggest problems right now are Russia and China — you’ve spoken many times about how you have spent perhaps more time with President Xi than any other world leader.

So is there going to become a time where you might call him, old friend to old friend, and ask him to open up China to the World Health Organization investigators who are trying to get to the bottom of COVID-19?

THE PRESIDENT:  Let’s get something straight.  We know each other well; we’re not old friends.  It’s just pure business.

Q    So, I guess, my question would be that you’ve said that you were going to press China.  You signed on to the G7 communiqué that said you — the G7 were calling on China to open up to let the investigators in.  But China basically says they don’t want to be interfered with anymore.  So, what happens now?

THE PRESIDENT:  The impact — the world’s attitude toward China as it develops.  China is trying very hard to project itself as a responsible and — and a very, very forthcoming nation; that they are trying very hard to talk about how they’re taking and helping the world in terms of COVID-19 and vaccines.  And they’re trying very hard.

Look, certain things you don’t have to explain to the people of the world.  They see the results.  Is China really actually trying to get to the bottom of this?

One thing we did discuss, as I told you, in the EU and at the G7 and with NATO: What we should be doing and what I’m going to make an effort to do is rally the world to work on what is going to be the physical mechanism available to detect, early on, the next pandemic and have a mechanism by which we can respond to it and respond to it early.  It’s going to happen.  It’s going to happen.  And we need to do that.

Thank you.

Q    Any progress on the detained Americans, sir?

Q    What did Putin say about Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed?

Q    Sir, what do you say to the families of the detained Americans?

Q    President Biden, why are you so confident Russia —

THE PRESIDENT:  The families of the detained Americans, I have hope for.

Q    Say it again; we can’t hear you.

THE PRESIDENT:  I said the families of the detained Americans came up and we discussed it.  We’re going to follow through with that discussion.  I am — I am not going to walk away on that issue.

Q    Why are you so confident he’ll change his behavior, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior.  Where the hell — what do you do all the time?  When did I say I was confident?  I said —

Q    You said in the next six months you’ll be able to determine —

THE PRESIDENT:  I said — what I said was — let’s get it straight.  I said: What will change their behavior is if the rest of world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world.  I’m not confident of anything; I’m just stating a fact.

Q    But given his past behavior has not changed and, in that press conference, after sitting down with you for several hours, he denied any involvement in cyberattacks; he downplayed human rights abuses; he even refused to say Aleksey Navalny’s name.  So how does that account to a constructive meeting, as President — President Putin framed it?

THE PRESIDENT:  If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.

Thank you.

Inventing Enemies to Wage Perpetual War

April 25, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Washington needs enemies to advance its hegemonic agenda for unchallenged global control.

Since none exist, they’ve been invented throughout US history — first against Native Americans, then against foreign nations.

Post-WW II, the US attacked nonbelligerent North Korea preemptively, a state of perpetual war on humanity has existed for over 70 years with no signs of US regimes stepping back from the brink — just the opposite.

Its wars rage at home and abroad in multiple theaters by hot and/or other means.

US dark forces have draconian aims in mind.

They include concentrating wealth in privileged hands exclusively, creating ruler/serf societies at home and abroad, instituting draconian social control, and large-scale depopulation.

The latter involves mass-jabbing maximum numbers of people with toxic experimental drugs that don’t protect and may eliminate countless millions or billions of people in the months and years ahead if nothing is done to challenge and stop this diabolical war on humanity.

Distracted by bread and circuses, a mind-manipulated US public shows no signs of awakening to reality.

No matter how often most Americans were fooled before, they’re easy marks to be duped again repeatedly.

Abroad, the Pentagon’s empire of bases are platforms for waging endless wars on humanity.

Washington’s main enemies are peace, stability, cooperative relations with the world community of nations, the rule of law, and countries free from its control — notably China, Russia and Iran.

If global war erupts ahead, it’ll be made-in-the-USA — most likely in the South China Sea or Taiwan Strait, the Middle East, or Europe’s heartland bordering Russia.

US controlled fascist tyranny in Kiev is key to advancing Washington’s hegemonic aims.

Sharing a near-1,500 mile land and sea border with Russia, Ukraine is used by US dark forces as a dagger aimed at its heartland.

Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained that Washington has gone all-out to portray nonbelligerent Russia as an aggressor state — notably by phony accusations disconnected from reality.

“If you spend years communicating an idea to your own people and to the world at large, using mass media, issuing reports and making alarmist publications that depict Russia as a warmonger nation that’s about to strike” preemptively, most people in the West and elsewhere are easily fooled to believe it, she said — because mainstream truth-telling is suppressed.

Western and many other nations bow to US interests — even when compromising their own.

According to Zakharova, if a US ruling regime asked “Germany” or another nation “to stop breathing,  will it obey?” 

“Will it stop breathing? Or will it realize finally that not breathing will mean dying?”

For a nation-state, it means lost sovereignty to a higher power abroad — along with betrayal of their people by abandoning their rights in service to a foreign power.

Last September, Vladimir Putin called for cooperative Russian/US relations “in the field of security in the use of information and communication technologies.”

According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry last week, his proposal “envisage(d) the adoption of a set of practical measures on resetting bilateral relations in the sphere of using information and communications technologies, including the restoration of specialized dialogue formats and channels of communication, (including) high level ones,” adding:

His initiative includes “reaching an agreement on preventing incidents in information space, exchanging guarantees of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, as well as reaching a global agreement on taking political commitment by nations to refrain from attacking each other with the use of” information technology or other means.

As expected, his good faith outreach fell on deaf ears in Washington, especially after Biden replaced Trump by brazen election rigging.

A state of permanent US war on Russia by other means is longstanding, recklessly escalated by Biden regime hardliners.

The same thing is ongoing against China and other nations free from scourge of US hegemonic control.

During his annual state of the nation address last week, Putin stressed that “(u)nfriendly actions toward Russia do not cease,” adding:

Moscow will find “asymmetrical, speedy and tough” ways to defend its national interests if hostile nations (like the US) refuse dialogue.

A clash of civilizations exists between hegemon USA and nations free from its control.

Because of US rage to control planet earth, its resources and populations, is global war 3.0 just a matter of time?

Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation

Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation

April 15, 2021

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, find that specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation — in particular, efforts to undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections and democratic institutions in the United States and its allies and partners; to engage in and facilitate malicious cyber-enabled activities against the United States and its allies and partners; to foster and use transnational corruption to influence foreign governments; to pursue extraterritorial activities targeting dissidents or journalists; to undermine security in countries and regions important to United States national security; and to violate well-established principles of international law, including respect for the territorial integrity of states — constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
Accordingly, I hereby order:
Section 1.  All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(a)  any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, and, with respect to subsection (a)(ii) of this section, in consultation with the Attorney General, or by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, and, with respect to subsection (a)(ii) of this section, in consultation with the Attorney General:
(i)    to operate or have operated in the technology sector or the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, or any other sector of the Russian Federation economy as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State;
(ii)   to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, any of the following for or on behalf of, or for the benefit of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation:
(A)  malicious cyber-enabled activities;
(B)  interference in a United States or other foreign government election;
(C)  actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad;
(D)  transnational corruption;
(E)  assassination, murder, or other unlawful killing of, or infliction of other bodily harm against, a United States person or a citizen or national of a United States ally or partner;
(F)  activities that undermine the peace, security, political stability, or territorial integrity of the United States, its allies, or its partners; or
(G)  deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions, including through the use of digital currencies or assets or the use of physical assets;
(iii)  to be or have been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of:
(A)  the Government of the Russian Federation;
(B)  an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section; or
(C)  an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;
(iv)   to be a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of the Russian Federation;
(v)    to be a spouse or adult child of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a)(ii) or (iii) of this section;
(vi)   to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:
(A)  any activity described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section; or
(B)  any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(vii)  to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b)  any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, a government whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to chapter V of title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations or another Executive Order, and to be:
(i)    a citizen or national of the Russian Federation;
(ii)   an entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation or any jurisdiction within the Russian Federation (including foreign branches); or
(iii)  a person ordinarily resident in the Russian Federation.
(c)  any person determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in or attempted to engage in, cutting or disrupting gas or energy supplies to Europe, the Caucasus, or Asia, and to be:
(i)   an individual who is a citizen or national of the Russian Federation; or
(ii)  an entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation or any jurisdiction within the Russian Federation (including foreign branches).
(d)  The prohibitions in subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the date of this order.
Sec. 2.  The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include:
(a)  the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b)  the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 3.  (a)  The unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of noncitizens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1 of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and the entry of such persons into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, is hereby suspended, except when the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, determines that the person’s entry would not be contrary to the interests of the United States, including when the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, so determines, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General, that the person’s entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives.
(b)  The Secretary of State shall implement this authority as it applies to visas pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish.
(c)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this order as it applies to the entry of noncitizens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish.
(d)  Such persons shall be treated by this section in the same manner as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
Sec. 4.  (a)  Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b)  Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 5.  I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 6.  For the purposes of this order:
(a)  the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(b)  the term “Government of the Russian Federation” means the Government of the Russian Federation, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, and any person owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of the Russian Federation;
(c)  the term “noncitizen” means any person who is not a citizen or noncitizen national of the United States;
(d)  the term “person” means an individual or entity; and
(e)  the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 7.  For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual.  I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.
Sec. 8.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order.  The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions within the Department of the Treasury.  All departments and agencies of the United States shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 9.  Nothing in this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government or the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programs, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, and contractors thereof.
Sec. 10.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).
Sec. 11.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 15, 2021.


Lee Camp: How Corporate America Supports Racism, Hatred & Exploitation (in New & Fun Ways!)

By Lee Camp

Source

Corporate America Social Justice
Corporations like General Mills and ExxonMobil aren’t going to save us from white supremacist violence or climate annihilation with their piddly tweets.

modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago.

So I believe we can all admit that there are large groups of racist pricks wandering around our country — usually armed, rarely friendly. Everyone knows it. I bet even the racist parents of a 32-year-old white supremacist know he’s a dick. At Thanksgiving dinner they probably tell him, “Listen, Robbie. We’re very proud of you. We love what you’ve done with hating Black people online. But the thing is — you’re kinda a dick. Can you just be more polite? Just approach people slowly and kindly ask if they would like to be racist with you. You don’t have to make such a scene — with all the guns and the camo.”

Anyways, I bring this up because I don’t think we’re going to solve America’s militant hate group problem until we get the help of Fruit by the Foot and Gushers. …You heard me.

We all know that this country will not heal without further efforts from the gummy candy community. I mean, you remember when they solved racist policing in this country, don’t you? In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Gushers literally tweeted, “Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black community and your voices. We’re working with Fruit by the Foot on creating space to amplify that. We see you. We stand with you.”

t just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? Gushers was there for Black lives. (Although this tweet does raise the question, “If Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black Community” then what would it be? Do gummy candies taste different if there aren’t Black people around? What would be the point of that? Why invent a racist candy like that?)

Point being, after Gushers’ unprecedented alliance with Fruit by the Foot (both of which are owned by General Mills), racist police brutality in America ceased to exist (one assumes). And so, building on that success, I think we clearly need another gummy-based Manhattan Project to tackle the unnerving prevalence of extremist hate groups and racist ideology. Perhaps if they made a statement that only good little Proud Boys get Fruit by the Foot? That might do it.

Or perhaps (he writes knowingly) this could be just one of the countless examples of corporate America trying to act like they aren’t an actual negative force on community, sustainability, fairness, and equality.

Chevron and ExxonMobil and banks and credit card companies and franchise restaurants all often tell us they care about Black Lives or care about the LGBTQ+ community or are working to create a safe space for folks with disabilities or they tell us we’re all in this together.

No. We. Aren’t.

Corporations only care about you as far as they can extract profit from you. That is their only goal. The moment Black lives or white lives or Asian lives don’t make them a profit, they no longer give a shit. The moment people try to demand something from them that will benefit the community and world but not improve their bottom line, those companies are not there to listen — just look at  the current fight for unionization at Amazon. Or try going up to Wells Fargo and saying, “Hey, I saw your ad that we’re all in this together. I was so glad to hear that. Really made me feel blisstastic. Seeing as we’re all in this together, I would like to ask you to stop funding oil pipelines that are killing, um, everything. Oh, and also can you stop working with weapons contractors, too? They like to kill children and stuff. So what do ya say? ….Hello? Hello? I thought we were in this together? …Does this mean you also won’t babysit my cockatoo next week?”

Corporate America does not care about you or me or any of us outside of what they can extract from us, and that’s as true for Betty Crocker as it is for ExxonMobil. For example, it has become a problem in America that workers (the ones lucky enough to still have a job or three) are working themselves to the bone. People literally fall asleep or collapse on the job. They’re trying to work non-stop in order to afford meaningless consumer goods like, well, health care. And it’s kind of common sense that if we raised the minimum wage or gave workers free child care and more paid time off then they wouldn’t be suffering so much. So Ford Motor Company saw this problem and said, “Hold my beer.”

The good people at Ford have come out with a new answer to this tragic issue. It’s a hat that keeps you awake while you’re collapsing on the job. No, really. The commercial writes itself — “Just strap this thing to your fucking head while your subconscious brain is telling you that if you don’t sleep soon you’ll DIE, and the hat will tell your conscious brain, “NO! Fight the urge to give in to your urgent biological needs!”

’m hopeful Ford will soon come out with a version of this dystopian headgear that connects to a long tube which you just place up your backdoor so it can vacuum out any waste your body needs to expel. Once you have that device bolted into your skull and secured up your rear, you’ll actually be able to drive for upwards of 56 hours without hitting the brake pedal once. There is a small chance brain matter will ooze out your ears and your heart will explode. But if that happens — guess who’s getting Employee of the Month?!

Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed. These corporations have become largely decoupled from reality, from humanity, from sustainability, and from the environment. Any time they take a breather from their rapacious, glutinous greed to belch out some tired exclamation of care for social justice or care for environmental rejuvenation or care for ending inequality and hate — those moments are beyond meaningless. In fact, those moments are actually harmful due to the number of people who honestly believe they mean something, who think the corporate world can ever be a force for good rather than the center of our own waltz off the cliff.

If we want to end oppression, we must end inequality. If we want to end inequality, we must evolve beyond our rancid exploitative socioeconomic system and the corporations that thrive in it.

US Phony War on ISIS and Other Jihadist Groups it Created and Supports

April 4, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

ISIS, al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra spinoffs, and likeminded jihadist groups are US created and supported monsters.

They’re used by the Pentagon and CIA as proxy foot soldiers to advance diabolical US imperial interests.

Recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed, they’re deployed by US dark forces to Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere to commit atrocities that include CW attacks on defenseless civilians —wrongfully blamed on governments Washington wants replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes it controls.

The US replenishes the ranks of these groups with new recruits.

There’s no shortage of them around in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, as well as in the Indo/Pacific and elsewhere.

Time and again, US officials perpetuate the myth of wanting these elements eliminated — while seeking new recruits to replace ones killed in battle by Russian airpower and militaries of targeted nations.

Serial liar Trump defied reality, falsely claiming his regime eliminated “100% of the caliphate…in Iraq and Syria (sic).”

In January 2020, Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy head Hashed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were martyred by Pentagon assassins for successfully combatting the scourge of US supported ISIS. 

According to Pentagon connected Military.com and Navy Times propaganda on Friday, the USS USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group began so-called Operation Inherent Resolve flight operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq (sic).

Throughout US post-9/11 Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa wars of aggression against invented enemies, US air, ground and naval operations supported and continue supporting ISIS and likeminded jihadist groups.

It’s what the Eisenhower strike group and US 6th fleet are engaged in now.

Their operations have nothing to do with “provid(ing) a wide range of options to our nation and allies in deterring adversarial aggression and disruption of maritime security and regional stability” — as a navy press release falsely claimed.

Ongoing operations are all about advancing US imperial interests by waging endless preemptive wars on invented enemies.

In Syria, Russian and Assad government aerial operations alone are combatting the scourge of US supported ISIS and other jihadist groups.

Days earlier, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov said US ruling regimes use ISIS and likeminded jihadists to prevent conflict resolution in Syria.

Days earlier, the Pentagon and CIA reportedly transported dozens of ISIS fighters to locations in Syria where they want them used to attack government forces and civilians.

While government troops — greatly aided by Russian airpower — liberated most Syrian territory, US and Turkish forces illegally occupy northern parts of the country.

The Pentagon and CIA infest parts of its south, and pockets of ISIS jihadists show up wherever their US handlers deploy them.

US supported Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an al-Qaeda offshoot, operates in Syria’s Idlib province.

Southfront called HTS “a brutal, radical terrorist group,” adding:

A leaked video showed the group “training children for combat in Greater Idlib.”

Aiding its ruthlessness, US Public Broadcasting (PBS), one of its many propaganda arms, interviewed HTS leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani.

Giving him air time on US national television showed virtual PBS support for the jihadist group in cahoots with the Biden regime.

US hot wars rage endlessly in multiple theaters, using ISIS and other jihadist proxies.

Phony US claims about military operations against ISIS and other jihadists divert attention from its support for these cutthroat killers.

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses

MARCH 30 ,2021

By Rick Sterling

Source

In the past few months, Grayzone journalist Aaron Mate has interviewed two former ambassadors to Syria: former UK Ambassador Peter Ford and former U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford.  

The two ambassadors have a common surname but dramatically different perspectives. This article will compare the statements and viewpoints of the two diplomats.

UK Ambassador Peter Ford (PF)

Newsnight: Peter Ford warns of 'bloodbath' if Syria's Bashar al-Assad goes  | World | News | Express.co.uk

Peter Ford trained as an Arabist and served in the British foreign service in numerous cities including Beirut, Riyadh, and Cairo. He was Ambassador to Bahrein from 1999 to 2003, then Syria from 2003 to 2006.  From 2006 until 2014 he was a senior officer with the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.  

The interview with UK Amb. Peter Ford (PF) shows why he is exceptional former diplomat. He analyzes and criticizes western aggression against Syria. 

PF describes the current situation:

“The Syrian government forces control about 70% of the country. There’s that pocket of jihadi fighters controlling Idlib province and a couple of patches of neighboring provinces, and then you’ve got the big—what I call the wild east of Syria—the big triangle of land up all the way along the thousand miles along the Turkish border and then down the Iraqi border, and that is effectively a US protectorate. There are US forces there being helped on the ground by basically Kurdish militia, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.”

PF describes the crushing economic sanctions:

“It’s utterly shocking…The policy has been effective in the sense that Syrian people are suffering every day. There are long queues for bread, long queues for gasoline. The policy of sanctions and denial of assistance for reconstruction has been effective, but what kind of policy is it that tries to immiserate a whole country? It’s delusional because it’s not even going to work….

“The experience of 10 years of this conflict is that the Syrian government is amazingly resilient. They’ve been on the ropes many times in this conflict and pulled through largely because they have the support of great swaths of the Syrian populace. Assad is not going to buckle under this new increased economic pressure. It is utterly delusional to believe that this cynical, callous policy could work.”

PF analyzes the US troops in north eastern Syria.

“By their mere presence, they’re preventing the advance of the Syrian government forces. The result is that the Syrian people are denied the great oil and grain wealth of that triangle, the territory. And, so the war over the last year has been more an economic war than a military war…

“The troops are there basically as a tripwire, a deterrent, so that if the Syrian government forces advanced, they would trip over a few American soldiers and that would incur the massive intervention of the US Air Force. This is what it comes down to. They don’t even need big numbers of troops to create the tripwire.

“Even so, it’s interesting that the architects of this policy in the permanent government of the US found it necessary to deceive the head of the executive, the President, keep him in the dark about the numbers…. So, the deceit that has gone on—on every level—is jaw-dropping to me as a former ambassador and an insider in the British system. I find it absolutely incredible.”

PF describes what the war is and is NOT about.

“US policy is NOT about installing in Syria a democratic government, because there is no prospect of that while the US is effectively supporting Islamist fanatics, and while it’s supporting elsewhere in the Middle East regimes like the feudal regime of Saudi Arabia. No, it’s not about democracy. It’s about helping Israel on the one hand and scoring points against Russia on the other. And when it comes down to it, that is what this whole war is really about, from the US standpoint.”

PF analyzes accusations Syrian government used chemical weapons.

“The world has amnesia over Iraq, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the Colin Powell dossier proof presented to the UN. It’s like Groundhog Day when you hear the claims made about Assad, the use of chemical weapons.

“In the first place, it would make no practical sense for Assad to use chemical weapons; it could only ever have been an own goal. If he wanted to invite heavy Western intervention, he would not have gone about it any other way. You’d have to be incredibly either twisted or delusional to believe that Assad could have been so stupid as to do the one thing—use chemical weapons—which would bring about, or possibly bring about, his obliteration.

“I’m quite convinced this is an elaborate hoax. A series of hoaxes. It’s very revealing that not one of the alleged instances of use of chemical weapons was investigated on the ground by any UN or other international investigations, with the sole exception of Douma. And why Douma? Because that was a piece of territory that the government forces managed to recover immediately after the alleged incident, so that the US and its allies were unable to keep away the international investigators…. That ultimately is the purpose of the chemical weapon hoaxes—to justify the occupation of northeast Syria and the continuing cruel economic pressure.”

PF comments on the senior staff from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who say they did NOT find evidence of chemical weapons attack and their findings were changed by management.

“These gentlemen [from OPCW]) drafted a report stating that they found evidence that was consistent with staging of an incident, rather than an authentic incident. And ever since, they have been vilified, condemned, undermined. And the campaign against the truth goes on and on and on….”

PF comments on the role of the “White Helmets”.

“The White Helmets’ role is absolutely crucial, pivotal to the Western effort to undermine Syria through these accusations of use of chemical weapons. I think, basically, what happened is that Western governments realized that after the Iraq debacle, that if they were going to use claims about WMD, chemical weapons, whatever, again, they were going to have to produce some kind of smoking gun.

“And this is the role of the White Helmets. They produced the phony pictures of phony incidents which constitute the smoking gun. And that is absolutely pivotal to the propaganda to justify the bombing and the relentless economic and military pressure on Syria…. Western governments [have] been funding the White Helmets to the tune of about $50 million a year. That’s peanuts compared to what they see as the advantages of bringing Syria to its knees.”

PF predicts what may happen ahead.

“I think things are likely to get worse, rather than better.

“What we’ll probably see is simply a continuation of the status quo. The current policies will simply be extended…. to prolong the conflict, to prevent Assad gaining military victory, the continuation of economic warfare to try to bring Assad to his knees and force him to sign a suicide note, which would be acceptance of elections on US terms. I’m sure these policies will be continued.

“But there’s a question mark over whether policy might not become even more adventurous and interventionist with a beachhead of a few thousand soldiers already occupying part of Syria. I greatly fear that Biden might be tempted to increase those numbers, put some military pressure on the Syrian government forces, create more no-fly zones. Already, there’s effectively a no-fly zone over that big triangle of territory that’s occupied by the US forces and Kurdish allies. An attempt might be made to create the no-fly zone of Idlib, which would be ironic. It would mean that the US Air Force was the air wing of al-Qaeda…

“I’m definitely not optimistic. And I fear things could get even worse.”

US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF)

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses - LA Progressive

Robert S. Ford was a U.S. diplomat in numerous cities including Algiers and Cairo. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrein from 2001 to 2004, then Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006. As an Arabic speaker,  he may have helped Ambassador John Negroponte launch the “El Salvador option” (death squads) in Iraq.  Robert S. Ford was Ambassador to Syria from the end of 2010 until 2014 when the US terminated diplomatic relations with Syria. He has continued as an unofficial advisor on Syria policy.

In contrast with the Peter Ford interview, the interview with US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF) is a case study in public relations. Interviewer Aaron Mate asks important questions but RSF deflects the questions, claims ignorance of new revelations, and repeats standard talking points on Syria.

RSF acknowledges there has been “mission creep” for US troops in Syria.

“American troops were sent into Syria originally to fight ISIS.  Now that that job is more-or-less finished, we have a sort of mission creep where now the American forces are there not to defeat ISIS—ISIS is already defeated…   But now, so what are the Americans doing?  Well, now they sort of changed the mission to putting pressure on Damascus, the Assad government, trying to get the Iranians out, trying to limit the Russian influence.”

RSF implies the sanctions on Syria are just.

“Sanctions is a different question, Aaron.  I think a lot of it is emotional here in the United States.  There’s a desperate desire for justice after all the war crimes committed in Syria.  And I think getting rid of the sanctions is going to be a much harder battle to fight in the Congress.  So, the sanctions have very strong approval in Congress…”

RSF maintains the initial protests were “almost entirely peaceful”

“In March and April, May into June, the protests were almost entirely peaceful. That’s not to say there was no violence.  In the first protest, for example, in Daraa, in which we’re now coming up on the 10-year anniversary, yeah, the protesters did attack the telephone office [Syriatel] that’s owned by Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf.  They did attack a court building…”

[Fact check: RSF neglects to mention seven police were killed in the “almost entirely peaceful” Daraa protest.]

RSF acknowledges US allies were sending weapons early but claims the US began sending weapons in 2013.

“Those countries [Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey] did send in weapons before the Americans…

 “I supported arming factions of the Free Syrian Army as early as the summer of 2012.  And it took the president a year to get to a decision.”

[Fact check: US Central Intelligence Agency was sending weapons from Benghazi Libya to Syria in Oct 2011.]

RSF compares the Free Syrian Army to the anti-Nazi resistance in WW2.

“The United States never gave anti-tank weapons to al-Qaeda…. the number might be half a dozen.

“I want you to think about this in historical context. Do you think when the Americans airdropped weapons into the French resistance against the Nazis in France, do you think the Nazis never got their hands on any of those air drops?… 

“The leakage to the al-Qaeda elements, there was a small amount of leakage, but much, much, much more of their weaponry came from the Assad government, either, because the Assad soldiers were corrupt, as we said, we talked at the start about corruption.  They sold them, or in some cases, they surrendered, and with that, huge caches of weaponry made their way into al-Nusra hands.  The amount of material that al-Nusra got from the United States wouldn’t have lasted them for a day of combat.”

Fact check:  This claim is preposterous. As reported by Janes Defense, the US supplied nearly one thousand TONS of weapons in December 2015, much of which ended up in Nusra (Al Qaeda) hands. Nusra obtained weapons when they over-ran Syrian military bases, but otherwise they were amply supplied with weapons by the Gulf monarchies, Israel, Turkey, the US and UK. 

RSF claims the Syrian government has primary responsibility for the war and are the “bad guys”.  

“What I hope your listeners will take away from this is that it is not an equal combat on both sides; is not an equal responsibility on both sides.  One side from the beginning was using torture and shooting at innocent people, thousands of arrests.  And one side was trying peacefully, for a very large part, to bring about change.  And, unfortunately, in this instance, the bad guys won.”

Fact check:  The campaign against Syria has been waged by a coalition of western powers, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies. About 121 thousand Syrians in the Syrian army and militias have died defending their country.

RSF claims that Syria is responsible for the war refugees and destabilizing its neighbors.

“Even had Turkey, Qatar and the United States, Saudi Arabia, stayed out of it, there still would have been huge refugee flows trying to escape from those same brutal Syrian security forces, and they still would have flooded the borders of Lebanon and Jordan and of Turkey, which is itself destabilizing, particularly in Lebanon, but some places like Jordan, Turkey.  Therefore, you can’t just say that all these other countries intervened in sovereign Syrian territory.  The Syrian government itself was taking actions which were destabilizing to its neighbors.”

Fact check: Most refugees fled when their neighborhoods were taken over by militants and became battle zones, NOT because they were afraid of Syrian security.

RSF criticizes Turkey but thinks Syrian government bears primary responsibility.

“I’m never going to justify the Turks allowing Salafi jihadists to go into Syria.  I think that I’ve already said that that was a bad mistake.  And we criticized them at the time of playing with snakes.  I’m never going to justify it.  But I have to say, Aaron, that in the end, they came in response to what the Assad government was already doing.  And so, the principal responsibility … do the Americans have a share of responsibility?  Of course, we do.  Yeah.  It was our anti-tank missiles blowing up Syrian government tanks, and not just a few; I mean, hundreds of them.

“I think we have to go back to where it started in 2011.  And that’s with the Syrian government…”

RSF says he is not aware of the huge scandal at the OPCW but believes Syria has used chemical weapons.

“I’m not familiar with that controversy within the OPCW…. 

“But I guess I would just say this, Aaron.  There’s plenty of documentation by the UN’s joint investigative group with the OPCW that looked at incidents in Syria chemical weapons use, from 2013 onwards.  They’ve issued several reports…. So, the 2018 incident, I don’t know about that report, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on multiple instances, the same government that bombs hospitals, the same government that bombs bakeries, the same government that kills people in detention routinely.  Look at the photos that were brought up by the military defector.  You know, why would you think they wouldn’t use chemical weapons?  Why would you think they would suddenly have moral scruples against these?   It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

[Fact check: the OPCW scandal has confirmed manipulation of that organization by the US and west. The “military photographer” refers to the ‘Caesar torture photos’ propaganda stunt.]

RSF wants to increase humanitarian aid to Syria refugees.

“Something the Americans could do that would be hugely helpful is to increase humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees that number some five million, particularly in Lebanon, where their living circumstances are precarious, very precarious, but also in Jordan and Turkey…  I’d like to spend less on the military operation and much more on humanitarian aid.

“And then there is the issue of Northwest Syria, Idlib, where the UN is in charge of an operation getting humanitarian aid to some two million displaced Syrian civilians.”

[Fact check and observation:  Idlib province is dominated by Nusra (Al Qaeda). Robert Ford seems to want to perpetuate the AQ stronghold and refugee crisis by supplying aid to Idlib and foreign countries while preventing return of refugees and rebuilding war torn Syria.]

Conclusion

Both ambassadors speak Arabic and have intimate knowledge of Syria.

Robert S. Ford criticizes some past decisions and tactics, but not the assumptions or right of the US to violate the UN Charter and commit aggression against Syria.

Meanwhile, Peter Ford is doing his best to expose the reality of the situation, contrary to government and media bias and falsehoods. Like Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Ritter and Katharine Gun, he is using his special knowledge to publicly challenge the claims and assumptions of western policy. With Ellsberg it was about Vietnam. With Ritter and Gun, it was about Iraq. With Peter Ford, it is about Syria.

The full interview with UK Ambassador Peter Ford is well worth watching or reading.

The Endless War: Afghanistan Goes On and On

APRIL 02 ,2021

By Philip Giraldi

Source

All indications are that the Pentagon will be able to maneuver more effectively in Washington than on the battlefield.

Given the present atmosphere in Washington in which there is no lie so outrageous as to keep it out of the mainstream media, a great deal of policy making takes place without even key players in the government knowing what is going on behind their backs. Of course, there is a long tradition of government lying in general but most politicians and officials have probably convinced themselves that they are avoiding the truth because complicating issues might lead to endless debate where nothing ever gets done. There may be some truth to that, but it is a self-serving notion at best.

The real damage comes when governments lie in order to start or continue a war. The Administration of George W. Bush did just that when it lied about Iraq’s secular leader Saddam Hussein seeking nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and developing delivery systems that would enable Iraq to attack the U.S. with the nukes. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice knew she was not telling the truth when she warned that “the problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” She also was a key player in the Bush team approval of the CIA’s use of torture on captured al-Qaeda.

Rice is, by the way, not in jail and is currently a highly esteemed elder statesman serving as Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Likewise for her friend and patron Madeleine Albright who famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. imposed sanctions were worth it. In the United States the only ones who are ever punished are those who expose the crimes being committed by the government, to include a number of whistleblowers and journalists like Julian Assange.

The active American military role in lying probably started at Valley Forge but it came into prominence with the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which was an alleged attack by the North Vietnamese on U.S. Navy ships that led to an escalation in Washington’s direct role in what was to become the Vietnam War, which produced 58,000 American dead as well as an estimated three million Vietnamese. No one was punished for faking the casus belli and today Vietnam is a communist state in spite of the martial valor of the U.S. Army.  Overall commander of US forces in Vietnam General William Westmoreland, who died in 2005, repeatedly advised the media and the White House that the American military was “winning” and there would be victory in six more months. General Westmoreland knew he was lying, as the Pentagon Papers subsequently revealed, and he also proved reluctant to share his plans with the White House. He even developed a contingency plan to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam without informing the president and Secretary of Defense.

Prize winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter has written an article “Trump Administration Insider Reveals How US Military Sabotaged Peace Agreement to Prolong Afghan War” that describes how the brass in the Pentagon currently are able to manipulate the bureaucracy in such a way as to circumvent policy coming out of the country’s civilian leadership. The article is based in part on an interview with retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a decorated combat arms officer who served as an acting senior adviser to the Secretary of Defense during the last months of Donald Trump’s time in office.  He would have likely been confirmed in his position if Trump had won reelection.

Porter describes the negotiations between the Taliban and Trump’s Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, which began in late 2018 and culminated in a peace agreement that was more-or-less agreed to by both sides in February 2019. The Pentagon, fearing that the war would be ending, quickly moved to sabotage a series of confidence building measures that included disengagement and cease fires. In short, US commanders supported by the Pentagon leadership under Secretary of Defense Mike Esper as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued to attack Taliban positions in spite of the agreements worked out by the diplomats, blaming all incidents on the Taliban. They also used their “perception management” media contacts to float fabricated stories about Taliban activity, which included the false account of Russians paying Taliban fighters bounties for every American they could kill.

After the 2020 election, which Donald Trump appeared to have lost, Esper, Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie and the senior field commander General Scott Miller took the offensive against any withdrawal by sending a memo to the president warning that no troops should be removed from the country until “certain conditions” had been met. An enraged Trump, who believed that the disengagement from Afghanistan was the right thing to do, then used his authority to order a withdrawal of all US troops by the end of the year. He also fired Esper, replacing him with Christopher Miller as SecDef and brought in Macgregor, who had openly expressed his belief that the war in Afghanistan should be ended immediately as well as the wars in the Middle East.

Macgregor and Miller reasoned that the only way to remove the remaining troops from Afghanistan by year’s end would be to do so by presidential order. Macgregor prepared the document and President Trump signed it immediately. On the next day November 12th, however, Colonel Macgregor learned that Trump had subsequently met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Acting Secretary Miller. Trump and Miller were told by Milley and O’Brien that the orders he placed in the memorandum could not be executed because a withdrawal would lead to a surge in violence and would damage chances for an eventual peace settlement. Trump was also told that an ongoing US presence in Afghanistan had “bipartisan support,” possibly a warning that he might be overruled by Congress if he sought to proceed. Trump later agreed to withdraw only half of the total, 2,500 troops, a number that has continued to remain in place under President Joe Biden. A current agreement has the US withdrawing those last soldiers, together with allied NATO troops, by May 1st but it is under attack from Congress, think tanks, the mainstream media and the military leadership for the same reasons that have been cited for staying in Afghanistan over the past twenty years and predictably Biden has folded. Last week he announced that some American soldiers will remain in country to maintain stability after the deadline.

The story of Trump and Afghanistan is similar to what took place with Syria, where plans to withdraw were regularly reversed due to adroit maneuvering by the Pentagon and its allies. It remains to be seen what Joe Biden will do ultimately as he is being confronted by the same forces that compelled Trump to beat a retreat. The more serious issue is, of course, that the United States of America portrays itself as a nation that engages only in “just wars” and which has a military that is under control and responsive to an elected and accountable civilian government. As Afghanistan and Syria demonstrate, those conceits have been unsustainable since the US went on a global dominance spree when it launched its War on Terror in 2001. All indications are that the Pentagon will be able to maneuver more effectively in Washington than on the battlefield. It will continue to have its pointless wars, and its bloated “defense” budgets.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert Received ‘Israeli’ Training for Spying in Iran

Kylie Moore-Gilbert Received ‘Israeli’ Training for Spying in Iran

By Staff, Agencies

Political commentator Professor Tim Anderson shed light on the case of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British citizen who served a prison sentence over espionage charges in Iran, highlighting US media’s dishonesty in intentional concealing of the truth about Tehran’s assertion that the academic lecturer had passed a special training course under the Zionist regime’s direct supervision for her spying mission in the country.

Dr. Anderson, the director of the Center for Counter Hegemonic Studies [CCHS] in Australia, said in an article published on the center’s website on Friday that the American news mogul Rupert Murdoch’s media outlet had spread misinformation over the convicted ‘Israeli’ spy, Gilbert, who returned home to Australia from an Iranian jail late last year.

The media outlet claimed that Gilbert had been held in a “hellhole” in Iran for no reason at all.

The British-Australian academic was freed from Tehran’s Evin prison in November after serving about two years of her 10-year jail term.

Iranian media reported that Gilbert had passed a two-year special training course in the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories for her spying mission and she had become fluent in Persian during the course and got prepared to perform espionage activities inside Iran.

Anderson said he had provided Murdoch journalist Stephen Rice with evidence that Gilbert had engaged in ‘Israeli’ “leadership training” for her spying mission in Iran through a fellowship offer in the Ein Prat ‘Israeli’ leadership academy at the Alon Shvut settlement, one of many illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Anderson added that Gilbert had received a scholarship for the course from Tikvah Fund, an institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people.

As cited by the CCHS’s website, Anderson said, “Stephen Rice was either too lazy or too dishonest” to look at the links he had sent him, and that Rice had mentioned in one ‘Israeli’ article that the linked article said nothing about “leadership” or “training” and those words were an “invention” by Anderson.

“Murdoch’s Megaphone @riceyontheroad was either too lazy or dishonest to recognize ‘Israeli’ sources backing Iran’s assertion that @KMooreGilbert took ‘Israeli’ leadership training in a militarized colony at the heart of Palestine’s occupied West Bank,” Anderson also said in a tweet.

Anderson also underlined that Rice pretended Gilbert’s ‘Israeli’ “leadership training” did not exist and he misled his readers.

“This willful ignorance and distortion of facts allows the Murdoch stable to keep representing the US backed regional wars in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen as humanitarian exercises,” he noted.

Gilbert traveled to different Iranian cities as part of her mission and gathered information.

Unaware that she was being watched by Iranian intelligence forces, the woman went to religious and tourist places in order to make her sojourn in Iran look normal.

She later tried to get in touch with some figures and targets to obtain economic and military information about Iran as well as the anti-‘Israel’ resistance front, but she was arrested in September 2018.

Following legal and judicial proceedings, the spy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for acting against Iran’s national security through her intelligence cooperation with the ‘Israeli’ regime.

Australian-British received Israeli training for spying in Iran, analyst affirms

Saturday, 03 April 2021 10:33 AM  [ Last Update: Saturday, 03 April 2021 10:43 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian woman who served a jail sentence in Iran for espionage

A political commentator has shed light on the case of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British citizen who served a prison sentence over espionage charges in Iran, highlighting US media’s dishonesty in intentional concealing of the truth about Tehran’s assertion that the academic lecturer had passed a special training course under Israel’s direct supervision for her spying mission in the country.

Tim Anderson, the director of the Center for Counter Hegemonic Studies (CCHS) in Australia, said in an article published on the center’s website on Friday that the American news mogul Rupert Murdoch’s media outlet had spread misinformation over the convicted Israeli spy, Gilbert, who returned home to Australia from an Iranian jail late last year.

The media outlet claimed that Gilbert had been held in a “hellhole” in Iran for no reason at all.

Canberra: British-Australian serving time in Iran for spying is well

Canberra: British-Australian serving time in Iran for spying is well

Canberra says its envoy to Iran has visited a British-Australian woman serving time in Iran for espionage and found her well, contrary to media claims about the inmate’s health condition.

The British-Australian academic was freed from Tehran’s Evin prison in November after serving about two years of her 10-year jail term.

Iranian media reported that Gilbert had passed a two-year special training course in Israeli occupied territories for her spying mission and she had became fluent in Persian during the course and got prepared to perform espionage activities inside Iran.

Anderson said he had provided Murdoch journalist Stephen Rice with evidence that Gilbert had engaged in Israeli “leadership training” for her spying mission in Iran through a fellowship offer in the Ein Prat Israeli leadership academy at the Alon Shvut settlement, one of many illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Anderson added that Gilbert had received a scholarship for the course from Tikvah Fund, an institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people.

As cited by the CCHS’s website, Anderson said, “Stephen Rice was either too lazy or too dishonest” to look at the links he had sent him, and that Rice had mentioned in one Israeli article that the linked article said nothing about “leadership” or “training” and those words were an “invention” by Anderson.

“Murdoch’s Megaphone @riceyontheroad was either too lazy or dishonest to recognize Israeli sources backing Iran’s assertion that @KMooreGilbert took Israeli leadership training in a militarized colony at the heart of Palestine’s occupied West Bank,” Anderson also said in a tweet.

#Murdoch‘s Megaphone @riceyontheroad was either too lazy or dishonest to recognise #Israeli sources backing #Iran‘s assertion that @KMooreGilbert took Israeli leadership training in a militarised colony at the heart of #Palestine‘s occupied West Bank. https://t.co/zcjnIOcyuR https://t.co/Esl4OBhyLt pic.twitter.com/gCGpBAVZol— tim anderson (@timand2037) April 3, 2021

Anderson also underlined that Rice pretended Gilbert’s Israeli “leadership training” did not exist and he misled his readers.

“This willful ignorance and distortion of facts allows the Murdoch stable to keep representing the US backed regional wars in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen as humanitarian exercises,” he noted.

Gilbert traveled to different Iranian cities as part of her mission and gathered information.

Unaware that she was being watched by Iranian intelligence forces, the woman went to religious and tourist places in order to make her sojourn in Iran look normal.

Video: Iran swaps Israel’s spy for three nationals jailed abroadIran releases an Australian-British citizen, who was serving a prison sentence for spying for Israel, in exchange for three Iranians detained abroad on false charges.

She later tried to get in touch with some figures and targets to obtain economic and military information about Iran as well as the anti-Israel resistance front, but she was arrested in September 2018.

Following legal and judicial proceedings, the spy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for acting against Iran’s national security through her intelligence cooperation with the Israeli regime.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Iran: IRIB’s full documentary on Kylie Moore Gilbert (in Farsi, partial English translation below)

Rough translation of the first part of the Farsi narration:

“About two years ago Kylie Moore Gilbert, who is an Australian-British citizen, under the cover of research about Iran and Islam, came to Iran. She was born in 1987 in Australia in a Christian family but afterward converted to Judaism.

When she was 25 she got a boyfriend and this person helped her become a member of Mossad.

On the recommendation of Mossad she started her study in Asia and the Middle East. During the course she studied the Arabic, Hebrew and Japanese languages.

After that she married the man Ruslan Hodorov, who was also a member of Mossad.

On her first mission she went to Syria. After that mission she started to work on the Iranian nuclear program. As part of that mission she was obliged to collect information about the ways Iran bypassed sanctions and found the connections and ways of communication of the Resistance Axis members.

To do so Mossad drew up a program for her. After a two year course she was appointed as an inspector, so that when some Iranians went to Israel, she was the person in charge of inspecting and investigating them.

After all these events, when Mossad became sure that she was capable of working on Iran, they embedded her as an academic researcher and created her cover as the study of Iranian ethics and religion.

They sent her to a University in Qom. Under this pretext she was able to travel to Iran twice. On the first trip she was learning about Iranian ritual and traditions, and on the second, during Muharram, the time people are mourning for Imam Hussein, she came to collect information.

At first she did not try to link with political figures, but after a while changed her route and tried that. However Iranian intelligence, from her first visit, knew that she was a spy. Two years ago they arrested her and pressed charges. She was sentenced to ten years in jail. After two years the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to release her [in exchange for other prisoners] and send her home.”

Max Blumenthal debunks US accusation of China’s ‘genocide’ against Uighurs

Source

Max Blumenthal debunks US accusation of China’s ‘genocide’ against Uighurs

April 01, 2021

Max Blumenthal documents the deceptions behind the US government’s accusation that China is committing “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, picking apart NED-funded studies that rely on botched statistics and exposing extremist Adrian Zenz and his error-filled research

. This was part of a panel discussion held on March 19, 2021, hosted on Daniel Dumbrill’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdw1N…

China Slaps Biden Regime with Taste of its Own Medicine

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Handing imperial USA a taste of its own toxic medicine is long overdue.

China partly delivered with hopefully much more of the same to come.

On Saturday, Beijing sanctioned a short list of US and Canadian officials in response to unacceptable “moves (by their ruling regimes) of imposing unilateral, disinformation-based sanctions on relevant individuals and entity in China’s Xinjiang,” Xinhua reported.

Beijing’s announcement said targeted US and Canadian officials “are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao…and Chinese citizens and institutions are prohibited from doing business with the relevant individuals and having exchanges with the relevant entity,” adding:

US and Canadian ruling regimes “must stop political manipulation on Xinjiang-related issues, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs in any form, and refrain from going further down the wrong path.” 

“Otherwise, they will get their fingers burnt.”

Separately in China’s report on US human rights abuses — released last week —  the State Council Information Office of China slammed US covid related assaults on ordinary Americans, its fantasy democracy, social unrest, widening divide between rich and most others, and its trampling on the rule of law.

Under both right wings of its war party, the US is a world leader in smashing other countries to advance its imperial interests.

It serves privileged interests exclusively at home at the expense of most others.

It’s an unparalleled global menace.

Under selected, not elected, figurehead president Biden, hardliners around him handle affairs of state because he’s too cognitively and physically deteriorated to handle them on his own.

The self-styled “beacon of democracy” model for other nations to emulate is a laughing stock on the world stage.

It’s “exceptional” only in waging war on humanity worldwide.

In short order, the Biden regime showed it’s vying to exceed the worst horrors of its predecessors at home and abroad.

Its hostility toward China, Russia, Iran and other nations free from US control risks igniting global war 3.0.

China’s official People’s Daily broadsheet slammed the US and other Western regimes for “fabricating lies and spreading rumors about Xinjiang affairs…”

What’s going on is all about wanting China’s development contained and undermined.

“Xinjiang-related issues are not human rights issues at all.” 

They’re all “about countering violent terrorism, radicalization and separatism.” 

“There have never been such things as ‘genocide, forced labor or religious oppression’ in the autonomous region.”

Phony claims otherwise by the US and West are bald-faced Big Lies.

Over the past 40 years, Xinjiang’s population more than doubled from 5.5 to 12 million.

In the last 60 years, the region’s GDP surged more than 200-fold.

Over the same timeframe, life expectancy rose from “30 to 72 years.”

“The region is experiencing its most auspicious period of development ever in history, with sustained social stability, people living in peace and contentment, as well as unity among all ethnic groups.” 

“Basic rights of the residents, including the rights to life, health and development are guaranteed. These are undeniable facts.”

“In recent years, a total of more than 1,200 diplomats, officials of international organizations, journalists and religious personnel from over 100 countries have visited Xinjiang and seen the region with their eyes.”

“What they witnessed was entirely different from” Western misinformation, disinformation and fake news. 

Vicious US-led Western Big Lies are used as a phony pretext to sanction China.

On Saturday, Beijing retaliated. The previous day, it slammed Britain for sanctioning its officials — based on phony accusations of human rights abuses.

China’s Foreign Ministry slammed the Boris Johnson regime for sanctioning Chinese officials and entities based on Big “(L)ies and false information.”

China’s charge d’affaires in London Yang Xiaoguang warned of further retaliation if Britain continues “going down the wrong path,” adding:

“The Chinese side never stirs up trouble, but we are not afraid of trouble.” 

“We hope that the UK side will immediately take effective measures to correct its wrongs and take concrete steps to foster favorable conditions for the healthy development of China-UK relations.”

It’s not coming from Britain, the US or other Western countries.

Beijing knows what it’s up against and is ready to respond as needed.

The (London) Sunday Times reported that the Biden and Johnson regimes aim to cobble together an anti-China coalition to counter Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.

According to Johnson’s reinvention of reality, China is “buying up great parts of the developing world” in Africa and elsewhere (sic), adding:

“We need to come up with an alternative so that countries have a choice. The West needs to do this.”

In sharp contrast to US-led Western exploitation of other nations and their people, China fosters cooperative relations.

Days earlier, the Johnson regime said Britain considers Russia a “hostile state (sic).”

It calls China a commercial “competitor.”

In response to its retaliatory sanctions on the US, interventionist Blinken said the following on Saturday:

The Biden regime “condemns…baseless (PRC) sanctions (sic).”

At the same time, Blinken repeated US-spread Big Lies about “human rights abuses in Xinjiang” that don’t exist.

The above remarks show that the US reserves the right to attack other countries by hot and/or other means — while crying foul in response to justifiable retaliation.

The US is by far the leading human rights offender worldwide, including abuses against ordinary Americans.

Nations free from its imperial control operate by higher standards — including respect for international law the US and its imperial partners long ago abandoned. 

According deputy director of the National Human Rights Education and Training Base of Southwest University of Political Science and Law Zhu Ying:

Beijing is considering imposition of further sanctions on hostile to its interests Western nations and their officials.

On Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry said its “government is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and urges the relevant parties to clearly understand the situation and redress their mistakes.”

Dismal Sino/Western relations are likely to worsen ahead, not improve.

Authorities in Beijing are prepared to counter Western actions that are hostile to its interests.

After 10 Years of Civil War in Syria, US (Quietly) Declares Defeat but Won’t Go Home

March 25th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

Syria Media Bias
After a decade of bombing, invasions, exoduses and economic strife, it is clear that there are precious few winners in the Syrian Civil War — or from the rest of the Arab Spring, for that matter.

DAMASCUS, SYRIA — This March marks the 10-year anniversary of the Arab Spring and the protests that rocked Syria, which were a starting point for the ongoing civil war. That conflict has led to over half a million deaths and nearly 13 million people displaced, according to some estimates.

Now, after 10 years of attempts to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad, it appears that many in the U.S. government and media are quietly conceding defeat.

“We tell Syria’s human stories so that the ‘victors’ don’t write its history,” ran the headline of a CNN article marking the anniversary. Who the victors are is not spelled out explicitly, although it is clear that the reference is to the Syrian government. In explaining the reasons for the violence, the article tells us:

The Assad regime gunned down those who called for a peaceful transition to democracy. Gulf countries sent in suitcases of cash with a wink and a nod towards more religiously conservative fighting units. Assad let former al-Qaeda members and other criminals out of jail. The U.S., at the peak of its involvement, half-heartedly trained some ‘moderate’ rebels, many of whom went on to join the ranks of extremist groups.

Thus, Assad is presented as an ally of al-Qaeda, while forces the U.S. and its allies “half-heartedly” supplied and trained register merely as “religiously conservative fighting units” and “moderate rebels,” inverting reality on its head.

The New York Times was less cryptic in its description of the outcome of the conflict, its headline reading “Having Won Syria’s War, al-Assad Is Mired in Economic Woes.” While accepting military defeat in Syria, the U.S. appears to be using its economic power to make sure there can be no clear victory for Assad, enacting waves of sanctions that have crushed the country’s economy, leading to power outages, food shortages, inflation and falling wages.

In its article covering a potential change in Syria policy by the Biden administration, the Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted one former Obama official who said the international take-home message is that “the Syria war is over, Assad has won, Assad will be in power as long as he is breathing oxygen.”

Those in the current administration are more tacit in their acceptance of the situation on the ground. A joint statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his European counterparts last week asked for a nationwide ceasefire, promising that they were not “abandoning” the conflict or Syria’s people, whatever it might look like. The statement also condemned the fast-approaching presidential elections as neither free nor fair, historically a very good indicator that they expect the result to go against their interests. “It’s clear that the regime will leverage the upcoming presidential elections in May to unfairly claim Assad’s legitimacy,” said the United States’ acting deputy ambassador to the UN, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, last week. “The United States will not recognize these elections unless they are free, fair, representative of Syrian society, and supervised by the United Nations,” he added.

The prospect of holding a proper election in a country destroyed by ten years of constant war is indeed very dim. With food prices rising, millions displaced, and millions more having fled abroad, just surviving is a task enough for many. Last month the World Food Program warned that a record 12.4 million Syrians — more than half of the population — are currently food insecure. This is an increase of around 4.5 million from last year. Over the past 12 months, the price of basic foodstuffs has increased by an average of 236%. Some of this is down to U.S. sanctions, with Washington apparently deciding that — as in Venezuela, Cuba and other nations — if the U.S. cannot overthrow the government, it will fall back on starving the country as a punishment.

Ten years of violence

While the conflict is universally described as a civil war, from the outset it has been dominated by foreign groups. March 15, 2011 saw the Arab Spring spread to Syria, with large demonstrations against Assad’s rule in many major cities. However, this unrest was quickly overtaken by armed groups whose goal was to take the country by force. In July of that year, the Free Syrian Army was established, quickly receiving considerable Western backing. Almost immediately, the country of 21 million people became a proxy war for various regional and world powers, including Turkey, the United States and its European allies, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. At one point, the CIA was spending almost $1 billion per year training and fielding an army of jihadists. Fighters came from as far afield as Libya and Xinjiang province in China to join their ranks.

A U.S.-backed anti-government fighter mans a heavy automatic machine gun, left, next to an American soldier as they take their positions at Tanf, a border crossing between Syria and Iraq (Hammurabi’s Justice News/AP)
A US-backed anti-government fighter mans a heavy machine gun next to a US soldier in al Tanf. Hammurabi’s Justice News | AP

The bitter fighting and terrible violence on all sides led to a refugee crisis for a country that had historically been a haven for victims of war in the region. The famously secular nation also became a stronghold for the Islamic State. With the help of Russian forces, ISIS was beaten back, but to this day, a number of foreign powers continue to occupy the country militarily. One of them is the United States, which last month launched a strike on a town on the Syria/Iraq border, dropping 1.75 tons of explosives and reportedly killing 22 people. Between 2014 and 2019, the U.S. and its allies dropped at least 118,000 bombs and missiles on Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also continues to militarily occupy Syria’s oil fields, hamstringing the nation’s efforts to recover economically.

A short spring, a long winter

Unfortunately, Syria is far from the only country that has been left in a much worse state than what it was in ten years ago. In 2011, the Arab Spring sparked hope across the Middle East, capturing the world’s attention for months as, one after another, movements arose challenging the power of undemocratic governments. Yet few, if any, can be said to have succeeded.

Egypt was the centerpiece of the uprising, as hundreds of thousands of people poured into Tahrir Square in Cairo. Dictator Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign and Mohamed Morsi was elected president in a democratic election. Yet barely a year later many were in the streets again, begging the military to overthrow him. The resulting coup brought General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to power, establishing a dictatorship every bit as brutal as Mubarak’s. Sisi has signalled his intent to remain in power until at least 2034, which, considering his age, is effectively a lifetime appointment.

In Libya, protests against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule were used as a pretext by NATO for regime change, sparking a bitter civil war, Gaddafi’s assasination, and the rise of Al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces that turned the once-rich country into a failed state, replete with slave markets.

Meanwhile, Yemen is now commonly described as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” where 24 million people need assistance, including 20 million with little or no access to clean water. Yesterday, Oxfam warned that the country is reaching a tipping point, amid a massive spike in COVID-19 cases and a feared outbreak of cholera. The cause for the crisis is clear: the Saudi-led onslaught against the country, which, in turn, has its roots in the constitutional crisis sparked by the Arab Spring protests.

Few remember that the Arab Spring actually started in Western Sahara. But over the past 10 years, the country is being progressively eroded, as Morocco continues to occupy it militarily, building a succession of walls and annexing its most valuable land. As a result, the fortunes of the Sahrawi people are as bad as ever.

After a decade of bombing, invasions, exoduses and economic strife, it is clear that there are precious few winners in the Syrian Civil War — or from the rest of the Arab Spring, for that matter. There are, however, millions of losers. Chief among them are the people of Syria, who have seen their country torn apart as foreign powers, great and minor, wrestle for control of their nation. While the U.S. and its media might be tacitly conceding defeat, few are proclaiming victory.

22 Years Ago: NATO’s Illegal and Criminal Invasion of Yugoslavia

By Nebojsa Malic

Global Research, March 23, 2021

Global Research 26 March 2005

This article by renowned author Nobojsa Malic was first published on March 26, 2005

In the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted nation thought the name of the operation was “Merciful Angel .” In fact, the attack was code-named “Allied Force ” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too much success), there was nothing noble in NATO’s aims. It attacked Yugoslavia for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a quickie in the Oval Office: because it could.

Most of the criticism of the 1999 war has focused on its conduct (targeting practices, effects, “collateral damage”) and consequences. But though the conduct of the war by NATO was atrocious and the consequences have been dire and criminal , none of that changes the fact that by its very nature and from the very beginning, NATO’s attack was a war of aggression: illegal, immoral, and unjust; not “unsuccessful” or “mishandled,” but just plain wrong.

Illegal

There is absolutely no question that the NATO attack in March 1999 was illegal . Article 2, section 4 of the UN Charter clearly says:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Some NATO members tried to offer justification. London claimed the war was “justified” as a means of preventing a “humanitarian catastrophe,” but offered no legal grounds for such a claim. Paris tried to create a tenuous link with UNSC resolutions 1199 and 1203 , which Belgrade was supposedly violating. However, NATO had deliberately bypassed the UN, rendering this argument moot.

Article 53 (Chapter VIII ) of the UN Charter clearly says that:

“The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council.” (emphasis added)

Furthermore, Article 103 (Chapter XVI ) asserts its primacy over any other regional agreement, so NATO’s actions would have been illegal under the UN Charter even if the Alliance had an obligation to act in Kosovo. Even NATO’s own charter – the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 – was violated by the act of war in March 1999:

“Article 1

“The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. […]

“Article 7

“This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.” (emphasis added)

The attack violated other laws and treaties as well: the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 (violating the territorial integrity of a signatory state) and the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (using coercion to compel a state to sign a treaty – i.e., the Rambouillet ultimatum ).

Yugoslavia had not attacked any NATO members, nor indeed threatened the security of any other country in the region; it was itself under an attack by a terrorist , irredentist organization. What NATO did on March 24, 1999 was an act of aggression, a crime against peace .

Illegitimate

Perfectly aware that the bombing was illegal, NATO leaders tried to create justifications for it after the fact. They quickly seized upon a mass exodus of Albanians from Kosovo, describing it as “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide .” But as recent testimonies of Macedonian medical workers who took care of Albanian refugees suggest, the Western press was engaging in crude deceit , staging images of suffering refugees and peddling the most outrageous tall tales as unvarnished truth.

Stories abounded of mass murder, orchestrated expulsions, mass rapes, seizure of identity papers, even crematoria and mine shafts filled with dead bodies. Little or no evidence was offered – and not surprisingly, none found afterwards. The stories were part of a Big Lie , aimed to justify the intervention, concocted by professional propagandists, and delivered by the KLA-coached refugees. The KLA ran every camp in Macedonia and Albania, and there are credible allegations they organized the exodus in many instances. Albanians who did not play along were killed.

Eventually, the “genocide” and other atrocity stories were debunked as propaganda. But they had served their purpose, conjuring a justification for the war at the time. They had allowed NATO and its apologists to claim the war – though “perhaps” illegal – was a moral and legitimate affair. But there should be no doubt, it was neither .

Unjust

Even if one can somehow gloss over the illegal, illegitimate nature of the war and the lies it was based on, would the war still not be justified, if only because it led to the return of refugees? Well, which refugees? Certainly, many Kosovo Albanians – and quite a few from Albania, it appears – came back, only to proceed to cleanse it systematically of everyone else. Jews, Serbs, Roma, Turks, Ashkali, Gorani, no community was safe from KLA terror , not even the Albanians themselves. Those suspected of “collaborating” were brutally murdered, often with entire families.

According to the Catholic doctrine of “just war ,” a war of aggression cannot be just. Even if one somehow fudges the issue, “the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

The evil conjured by NATO’s and KLA’s propaganda machine was indeed grave. But it was not real. In contrast, what took place after the war – i.e., under the NATO/KLA occupation – is amply documented. At the beginning of NATO’s aggression, there were fewer dead, fewer refugees, less destruction, and more order than at any time since the beginning of the occupation. NATO has replaced a fabricated evil with a very real evil of its own.

Monument to Evil

What began six years ago may have been Albright’s War on Clinton’s watch, but both Albright and Clinton have been gone from office for what amounts to a political eternity.

For four years now, the occupation of Kosovo has continued with the blessing – implicit or otherwise – of Emperor Bush II, who launched his own illegal war in Iraq . Kosovo is not a partisan, but an imperial issue; that is why there has been virtually no debate on it since the first missiles were fired.

Albright and KLA leader Hashim Thaci, Rambouillet, 1998

Six years to the day since NATO aircraft began their onslaught, Kosovo is a chauvinistic, desolate hellhole.

Serbian lives, property, culture, and heritage been systematically destroyed , often right before the eyes of NATO “peacekeepers.” Through it all, Imperial officials, Albanian lobbyists, and various presstitutes have been working overtime to paint a canvas that would somehow cover up the true horror of occupation.

Their “liberated” Kosovo represents everything that is wrong about the world we live in.

It stands as a monument to the power of lies, the successful murder of law, and the triumph of might over justice. Such a monument must be torn down, or else the entire world may end up looking like Kosovo sometime down the line. If that’s what the people in “liberal Western democracies” are willing to see happen, then their civilization is well and truly gone

%d bloggers like this: