We Are Living in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era

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By Richard Edmondson

Recently Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made an interesting comment. He described the time we are living in as a “post-truth” era. It’s a very apt, on-target description.

Lavrov made the comment at the Munich Security Conference, held February 17-19 in Munich, Germany. In his remarks at the gathering he spoke of the need for nations to seek harmony by advancing justice and also by practicing “modesty,” as he termed it. It’s hard to find fault with such a proposal.

“If everyone adopts that approach,” said Lavrov, “we could overcome the period of post-truth fast and resist information wars imposed on the international community.”

“Information wars” in a “post-truth” era–this of course is what we are experiencing now.

Lavrov also said that the expansion of NATO “has led to an unprecedented level of tension over the last 30 years in Europe,” and yet Russia now nonetheless seeks a relationship with the US based upon “pragmatism, mutual respect, and an understanding of special responsibility for global stability.”

Compare Lavrov’s remarks to those of Vice President Mike Pence, who represented America at the conference. Pence alluded to President Trump’s desire for better relations with Russia, but at the same time he also adopted a belligerent tone, calling for Russia to be held “accountable” for events in Ukraine.

“In regard to Ukraine we must hold Russia accountable and demand that they honor the Minsk agreements, beginning by deescalating the violence in eastern Ukraine,” Pence said.

He also spoke of “Russia’s efforts to redraw international borders by force,” an apparent reference to the alleged “forced annexation” of Crimea. Despite claims perpetually made by the media in this post-truth era, Crimea was not annexed by force. A referendum was held there on March 16, 2014 in which more than 96 percent of the people voted to join Russia. The referendum took place after the US had sponsored a coup in Kiev, overthrowing the legitimate, democratically-elected government.

One wonders: does Pence believe the US should be held “accountable” for organizing the coup which triggered the Ukrainian conflict in the first place? Apparently he does not.

Another US speaker at the conference in Munich was Sen. John McCain, who discussed what he views as the indispensable role that America and the rest of the West have played in advancing “truth,” and in advancing the current global order as well as the “prosperity” that the West now supposedly enjoys.

“We must take our own side in this fight,” said McCain. “We must be vigilant. We must persevere. And through it all, we must never, never cease to believe in the moral superiority of our own values—that we stand for truth against falsehood, freedom against tyranny, right against injustice, hope against despair.”

McCain made no mention of America’s shameful support for terrorists in Syria, and it defies logic of course to describe the US, whose mainstream media are widely recognized as the number one purveyors of fake news, as standing “for truth against falsehood” in today’s world.

The Arizona senator also described the West as having ushered in an “unprecedented period of security and prosperity that we have enjoyed for the past seven decades”–and of course for the wealthiest one percent, we are, no doubt about it, in an “unprecedented” period of prosperity. But the unemployment rolls and the numbers of homeless people on the streets of America would suggest that the “prosperity” has not been enjoyed by all. McCain may not be “certified,” as such, but he does appear to be a fully-fledged lunatic.

The unprecedented period of security and prosperity that we have enjoyed for the past seven decades did not happen by accident. It happened not only because of the appeal of our values, but because we backed them with our power and persevered in their defense. Our predecessors did not believe in the end of history—or that it bends, inevitably, toward justice. That is up to us. That requires our persistent, painstaking effort. And that is why we come to Munich, year after year after year.

McCain objectified his laudatory comments in terms of “the West,” for of course he was speaking at a conference held in the EU. But in his use of the words “we” and “us,” what he really meant was America. America is the “indispensable” and “exceptional” nation–this is the ideology relentlessly, one might even say fanatically, adhered to by US leaders and the mainstream media.

So it seems that while we get truth out of a Russian official like Lavrov, we get delusions, reverie, fantasy, and outright lies from our own leaders. Americans, I would say for the most part, are good, decent people. How did we end up in this fix?

Perhaps worth recalling are the words of Jesus: “The last will be first, and the first will be last.” If that principle applies to nations as well as to individuals, then the implications for America are not good.

By the way, those words–about the last becoming first and the first becoming last–appear in one form or another in Matthew 19:30 and again in 20:16, as well as in Mark 10:31 and Luke 13:30. Additionally, in Luke 9:48 we have Jesus telling his disciples that, “the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest,” this after overhearing them arguing about which one was to become the “greatest.”

And let us not forget also the episode related in the Gospel of John of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. What we can conclude, then, is that the practicing of humility was a central tenet of Jesus’ teachings. Perhaps little wonder that Jesus was not terribly popular with his fellow Jews. Jewish “exceptionalism” (or more specifically “chosenness”) was, and still is, a central component of Judaic belief.

And yes, what we have in America are leaders who, rather than practice humility, spout boastful words like McCain’s. Thus it should come as no surprise we now find ourselves in a “post-truth” era. After all, boasting and lying are two human traits which go very much hand in hand.

I often wonder when, if ever, we will have a leader who will make Americans proud to be Americans again. Sadly it has been a very long time since we had one.

‘Open Bethlehem’–Podcast Discussion on Palestinian Film

Recently the good folks at We Hold These Truths uploaded a podcast featuring a discussion on the film, “Open Bethlehem.” That’s the trailer of the film you see above. The description of the podcast is below:

Victories for the struggle for peace and justice for Palestinians come slowly, but are coming more frequently. We discuss the inspiring documentary Open, Bethlehem by Palestinian filmmaker, Leila Sansour. and her Bethlehem passport project designed to put wings to her film. We also talk about a recent, major victory in Boulder, Colorado where a resolution to make the Palestinian city of Nablus a sister city to Boulder was passed by the city council over strong opposition from vocal, local Zionists.

You can go here to access the full podcast. And you can also go here to visit the “Open Bethlehem” website and here to apply for your own Bethlehem passport. Should you be issued a passport, you will automatically become eligible to become an official ambassador of the holy city where Jesus was born. Here is a picture of former President Jimmy Carter being issued his own passport:

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The passport reads as follows:

“In that the bearer of this passport is a citizen of Bethlehem; that they recognize this ancient city provides a light to the world, and to all people who uphold the values of a just and open society; that they will remain a true friend to Bethlehem through its imprisonment, and that they will strive to keep the ideals of Bethlehem alive as long as the wall stands; we ask you to respect the bearer of the passport and to let them pass freely.”

Assad to Belgian Media: Europeans Only Follow US Master

A comment on this video from Uprooted Palestinians reads: “More sense from Assad in 3 minutes than from the West in 6 years.” I would have to concur, and I would add that Assad’s “following-the-US-master” comment would probably equally apply to Western so-called “human rights” organizations as well.

Last week I commented on a report by Amnesty International accusing the Syrian government of operating a “human slaughterhouse” at a prison near Damascus. Now comes a Human Rights Watch report alleging that the Syrians used chemical weapons in their liberation of Aleppo from terrorist control. The report, which can be found here, also implicates Russia, but relies upon information given by “journalists” from the Aleppo Media Center, the organization that produced the “boy in the ambulance” photo last year–a photo believed by some to have been staged.

The Amnesty report, published on February 7, and the HRW report, released February 13, would seem to be a one-two punch aimed at the Syrian government and coming as the Pentagon is now reportedly considering recommending that the US send “conventional ground combat forces” for the first time into Syria.

The Syrian government has responded to the HRW report in an article just published today at SANA.

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Syria Dismisses HRW Chemical Weapons Report as Unprofessional and Non-Credible

Damascus, SANA – The Syrian government denies categorically the false allegations brought up in the report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the Syrian forces and their allies used toxic substances in the operation to liberate Aleppo, an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Wednesday.

“The fact that the Human Rights Watch organization relied on the terrorists’ media sources and on absolutely non-credible false witnesses proves the lack of credibility of the report,” the source said in a statement to SANA.

“This report comes to justify the terrorists’ defeat and the victories of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies,” the source added.

It dismissed the HRW report as “unprofessional” and “non-scientific” and based on distorting facts, stressing that the report will definitely lose ground when faced with any scientific study or legal evidence.

“The Syrian Arab Republic, which has met all its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, strongly condemns this misleading report that came out in implementation of Western agendas before the convening of meetings in Astana and Geneva and any other meetings that might be held later on the Syrian file,” the Foreign Ministry source said.

The source reiterated Syria’s condemnation of the use of toxic chemical weapons by any part, in any place and for any reason, stressing that all these allegations will not discourage it from continuing its war against the terrorist organizations and their backers.

H. Said

Indian-Jewish ‘Lost Tribe’ Members to Settle in Occupied Palestine

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[ Ed. note -We now have a new group of “Jewish settlers” coming to lay claim to Palestinian land–only in this case they are coming all the way from India. I received the link to the following article by email sent from a friend of mine who comments as follows:

“Been to Nazareth…and Nazarene Illit is a duplicate suburb that bisects the Palestinian community of Nazareth…a beautiful small hilly small city w/lovely Palestinian churches and mosques in the older part but the govt will use these newly “chosen” to upset the ongoing struggles. The Naz.Illit is strictly jewish SETTLER….pushing them into a traditional Christian city of Nazareth….having already installed a BAPTIST EVANGELICAL COLLEGE from central Texas to play divide and conquer there with young people. A total absolute mess. Chaos reigns. Wish you could see the postcard beauty of Nazareth from every angle as it used to be….with a gigantic church at the very top of the mountain there….huge tourist draw… with the influx of these 3000 Beni Menashe Indians followed by another 7000 waiting to travel there thus 10,000 new immigrants influx should drive all sorts of wedges between many different groups….an incidious plan crafted to cause the most chaos possible no doubt.”

The new arrivals will be settled in the town of Nazareth Illit, also called Upper Nazareth, whose former mayor, Shimon Gapso, once issued a ban on Christmas trees. This putative “lost tribe” of Jews, who are being transplanted from northern India, is referred to as the Bnei Menashe. Wikipedia is not the best source of information on Middle East issues, but here is what they say about them:

The Bnei Menashe are made up of Mizo, Kuki and Chin peoples, who all speak Tibeto-Burman languages, and whose ancestors migrated into northeast India from Burma mostly in the 17th and 18th centuries…Prior to conversion in the 19th century to Christianity by Welsh Baptist missionaries, the Chin, Kuki, and Mizo peoples were animists; among their practices were ritual headhunting.[5] Since the late 20th century, some of these peoples have begun following Messianic Judaism. The Bnei Menashe are a small group who started studying and practicing Judaism since the 1970s in a desire to return to what they believe is the religion of their ancestors. The total population of Manipur and Mizoram is more than 3.7 million.

The Bnei Menashe number below 9,000; several hundred have emigrated to Israel. In 2003–2004 DNA testing showed that several hundred men of this group had no evidence of Middle Eastern ancestry.

Sounds very much like another case of those who “claim to be Jews, but are not.” Meanwhile, Palestinians who have been exiled from their homeland still are denied the right of return. The author of the JTA article below, however, seems to think that’s fine and dandy.

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By Josefin Dolsten

(JTA) — One hundred and two members of the Jewish community in India, who trace their heritage to one of Israel’s lost tribes, are moving to Israel this week.

The immigrants, who hail from the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram — home to the second largest concentration of the country’s Bnei Menashe community, as they are called — will arrive in Israel on Tuesday and Thursday. The move is being facilitated by Shavei Israel, a nonprofit that seeks to connect “lost” and “hidden” Jews to the Jewish state.

The group plans to live in the city of Nazareth Illit, where other members of their community have already settled. Some 3,000 Bnei Menashe have immigrated to Israel in recent years, with another 7,000 remaining in India.

Their move represents the first time in three years that members of the Bnei Menashe community from Mizoram have moved to Israel, according to a statement by Shavei Israel.

“After 27 centuries of exile, this lost tribe of Israel is truly coming home,” said Shavei Israel founder Michael Freund. “But we will not rest until all the remaining Bnei Menashe still in India are able to make aliyah as well.”

Freund, a conservative writer and former aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said his organization was hoping to bring more than 700 Jews from India to Israel this year.

In December, as they have in years past, thousands of members of the Bnei Menashe community gathered to celebrate Hanukkah in the town of Churachandpur, in the northeastern state of Manipur.

I have links to Russia!

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One wonders: what exactly does it mean to have “links” to Russia? Does a phone conversation qualify? Maybe, simply watching an RT video will get you so labeled. I guess if you’re not getting your news principally from CNN or the Washington Post then surely you must be a brainwashed dupe–one deserving of pity and who is, of course, in dire need of reeducation. Or maybe even, in the deranged minds of Trump haters, simply listening to Tchaikovsky will get you branded a Russky sympathizer. If this is the case, then I plead guilty. I have Russian “links”!

Israel seems on its way to outlawing Wagner. Maybe we’ll ban Tchaikovsky here in America. At any rate, we seem to have entered a new McCarthy era here in the US. Or perhaps more precisely we might think of it as a reverse McCarthy era. This time the witch hunts are being waged by liberals; this time the smears and false accusations are devices  employed by the left rather than the political right.

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Trump’s National Security Adviser Forced to Resign After Lying About Being a KGB Agent

By Rudy Panko | Russia Insider

We’ve really hit rock bottom, folks.

Links?

As NBC reports, Flynn “misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his communications with Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States.”

This is what qualifies as having “links” to Russia? A telephone conversation? We thought that a major part of being in government was “talking with people”?

Oh, but this saga of espionage and intrigue just gets better.

Our friends at NBC News claim that Flynn was forced to resign after it was learned that “the Justice Department [had] informed the White House that it believed he could be subject to blackmail”.

That’s the opening line. If you have the patience to read ten more paragraphs, you learn this:

A senior intelligence official confirmed to NBC News last week that Flynn discussed the sanctions, which the Obama administration imposed to punish Russia for its campaign to interfere in the presidential election.

The intelligence official said there had been no finding inside the government that Flynn did anything illegal.

A senior official told NBC News on Monday night the president and his top advisers had been “agonizing” over what to do about Flynn for days. The official, who was involved in the discussions, says the situation became unsustainable — not because of any issue of being compromised by Russia — but because he had lied to the president and the vice president.

So Flynn did nothing illegal. There are no “links” with Russia. He just lied to the President about a telephone call. (He probably didn’t, actually, but was forced to “take a bullet for the team.” Because apparently the media and half of America will not tolerate telephone conversations with Russians. The horror!)

Thank God we caught this KGB sleeper agent before it was too late!

Who will be exposed next? Maxine Waters?

Mother Russia is waiting for you, Comrade Flynn! It’s time to come home.


The 1812 Overture was composed by Tchaikovsky to celebrate Russia’s victory over France in 1812. Let’s keep in mind it was Napoleon who invaded Russia, not the other way around. In Russia the war is referred to as “The Patriotic War of 1812.”

Historical account of the war:

Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace.[10] The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions.[11]

The Grande Armée was a very large force, numbering 680,000 soldiers (including 300,000 of French departments). Through a series of long marches Napoleon pushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk in August. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, but the Russian army slipped away from the engagement and continued to retreat into Russia, while leaving Smolensk to burn.[12] Plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians.[13]

As the Russian army fell back, Cossacks were given the task of burning villages, towns and crops.[10] This was intended to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. These scorched-earth tactics greatly surprised and disturbed the French, as the willingness of the Russians to destroy their own territory and harm their own people was difficult for the French to comprehend.[14] The actions forced the French to rely on a supply system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field. Starvation and privation compelled French soldiers to leave their camps at night in search of food. These men were frequently confronted by parties of Cossacks, who captured or killed them.

The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months. The continual retreat and the loss of lands to the French upset the Russian nobility. They pressured Alexander I to relieve the commander of the Russian army, Field Marshal Barclay. Alexander I complied, appointing an old veteran, Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, to take over command of the army. However, for two more weeks Kutuzov continued to retreat as his predecessor had done.

On 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 soldiers and resulting in 70,000 casualties. The French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, leaving the French without the decisive victory Napoleon sought.[15]

Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. In another turn of events the French found puzzling, there was no delegation to meet the Emperor. The Russians had evacuated the city, and the city’s governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered several strategic points in Moscow set ablaze.[16] Napoleon’s hopes had been set upon a victorious end to his campaign, but victory in the field did not yield him victory in the war. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace, and both sides were aware that Napoleon’s position grew worse with each passing day. Napoleon stayed on in Moscow looking to negotiate a peace, his hopes fed in part by a disinformation campaign informing the Emperor of supposed discontent and fading morale in the Russian camp. After staying a month Napoleon moved his army out southwest toward Kaluga, where Kutuzov was encamped with the Russian army.

The French advance toward Kaluga was checked by a Russian corps. Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for a decisive action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a superior position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement, confirming that the Russians would not commit themselves to a pitched battle.[17] His troops exhausted, with few rations, no winter clothing, and his remaining horses in poor condition, Napoleon was forced to retreat. He hoped to reach supplies at Smolensk and later at Vilnius. In the weeks that followed the Grande Armée starved and suffered from the onset of the Russian Winter. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, and a general loss of discipline and cohesion in the army. When the remnants of Napoleon’s army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 effective soldiers remained; the Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured.

One can’t help wondering if NATO troops may end up meeting the same fate.

Fake News or Real? CNN has Pentagon Planning Ground Troop Invasion of Syria and Russian Spy Ship off US Coast

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Just within the past hour or so CNN has published two stories which may fall into the category of “fake news” (it’s of course hard to tell these days).

In one article, here, the network is reporting that the Pentagon is considering recommending sending “conventional ground combat forces” into Syria in order to “speed up the fight against ISIS.” So far the only US troops that have been sent into Syria are small units of special forces, and as the article notes, the deployment of conventional ground troops “would significantly alter US military operations in Syria.”

In the other report we are told that a Russian spy ship is presently lurking “30 miles off the coast of Connecticut,” and that “the vessel is outfitted with a variety of high-tech spying equipment and is designed to intercept signals intelligence.”

The same report also alleges that a US ship, the USS Porter, “had three encounters with Russian aircraft” while sailing in the Black Sea last Friday. The Russians carried out a “mock attack” against the ship, the article claims.

Both reports are based upon unnamed US officials.

CNN has been accused by Trump of spreading fake news. At the same time, Trump appointed Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis to head the Defense Department. Mattis has said that US policy in Syria “needs to be reviewed and perhaps energized on a more aggressive timeline.”

‘It’s a vicious battle’–The Media’s War on Trump from a Russian Perspective

Posted on February 14, 2017

The commentary given in the above video is by Russian journalist Dimitry Kiselyov, of Russia 1 TV. You might pay special attention to the magazine covers he features starting at about 1:15. Of course in a video under four minutes long Kiseloyov is able to give only a small part of the picture. Moreover, the video was uploaded yesterday–prior to the resignation of Michael Flynn and the media storm which erupted as a result.

The media are trying to make it impossible for Trump to govern the country, and the artificial uproar over Flynn, whose only crime seems to be that he had a phone conversation with the Russian ambassador, would but seem to underscore this. The ranting and raving over the departing national security advisor underscores something else as well: how badly the elites in this country want a war with Russia. They are pining for it in every fiber of their being.

One of the more devious and disingenuous public comments I came across today was a tweet by Nancy Pelosi: “Michael Flynn has proven he cannot be trusted to serve America’s best interests and national security instead of Russia’s.”

Even worse? General Flynn lied to the American people about whether his conversations with the Russian Ambassador ever happened.

Michael Flynn has proven he cannot be trusted to serve America’s best interests and national security instead of Russia’s.

I’m guessing Pelosi is well aware that placing Israel’s interests above America’s has been routine policy in the Congress for a good number of years.

Trump has made some terrible choices in his picks for positions within his administration, but Flynn was actually one of the better ones (not perfect certainly, but at least more palatable than some). Trump’s acceptance of his resignation could be viewed as a retreat, which would suggest the media attacks are starting to get to him.

Flynn served 32 years in the US Army, including stints in Afghanistan as well as Iraq. How all these attacks against him will play out with the public remains to be seen. To be sure, Trump, as president, still has a lot of public support, and the backlash generated against the media could turn out to be even greater than that generated against the president himself.

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