Ex-US Officer to Al-Manar: My Country’s Government Stands on the Wrong Side

November 25, 2022

Former US army officer Scott Bennett stressed that the American people have been through years deceived by the pro-Zionist media, underlining importance of addressing these crowds in a bid to “let them know the truth” about Palestine, Hezbollah and other resistance factions in the region.

In a recent exclusive interview, the ex-officer in the US’ 11th Psychological Operations Battalion revealed to Batoul Wehbe, the Editor-in-chief of Al-Manar English Website, how the US administration funded ISIS (ISIL), Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front and other terrorists.

He narrated how he was jailed by the US government after he exposed the US support to Takifris in the region.

Mr. Bennett also slammed double standards in dealing with Ukraine and Palestine, as he revealed that the 9/11 attacks in 2001 was plotted by the Zionists.

“Americans Brainwashed”

The former US officer described the American people as “brainwashed”, noting that they “need to wake up” and stand by the Palestinian people against Israeli crimes.

He pointed to a change in the political powers in the world, “with the decrease of the western influence and the rise of independent states.”

Asked about the possibility of having a third Intifada in Palestine, Mr. Bennett said: “we may be in the verge of the Israelis being foolish enough to start another fight but if they do they will lose it and they will also recognize no one in America or Europe supports Israel’s genocide, apartheid and racist bigotry.”

Ukraine: Hypocrisy, Double Standards
Talking about Ukraine, the former Psychological officer slammed what he called “hypocrisy and double standards” in dealing with Ukraine and Palestine.

In this context, he stressed that Ukraine is “a wasted effort”, adding that the US and the EU “stand on the wrong side” while Russia “stands on the right side.”

Affirming that Russia has already won the war against Ukraine, he pointed to US’ betrayal of Europe and destroying its gas ability, expecting a ‘revolution’ against Washington in the European countries this winter.

Bennet Exposed US’ Financing of Terrorists

Asked to define terrorism, Dr. Bennett narrated how he came out as a “different man” after being jailed because of a report he handed over to the US army command that exposed the US government’s financing of terrorists.

He also mentioned that he had worked with American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Hezbollah and Sayyed Nasrallah Psychological Tactics

Praising Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah as a powerful speaker, Mr. Bennett hoped that Sayyed Nasrallah can address the western crowds and “tell them the truth.”

He noted meanwhile, that America “is greatly suffering as t’s embroiling with all kinds of perversions,” stressing that this country “needs to be spiritually healed.”

9/11 Attacks Plotted by Zionists, CIA

The US Psychological analyst lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “war criminal.” In this context, he revealed that the Zionist entity’s Mossad was behind the 9/11 attacks in 2001, alongside with intelligence of several other countries.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

The BBC’s abysmal coverage of Qatar’s World Cup

The British state-owned broadcaster’s refusal to show Qatar’s Opening Ceremony reeks of hypocrisy

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Omar Ahmed

November 21 2022

The FIFA World Cup held in Qatar is probably going to be the worst in the 92-year history of the tournament, but not for the reasons most are thinking.

Aside from the fact that it is being held for the first time in winter due to the soaring summer temperatures of the Persian Gulf – and apart from the many off-field controversies surrounding the event – this year’s World Cup has kicked off with shockingly biased coverage by the BBC.

The choice of Qatar to host the prestigious global football tournament was always going to be one steeped in controversy – a West Asian Muslim nation, for one, had never snagged a prize this big, and of such global significance.

So from the onset, bribery scandals implicating the Qataris with the corrupt-prone FIFA organization ran rife. True or not, to date there exists no hard evidence linking Qatar and its successful bid to host the World Cup.

The first World Cup in West Asia

Then there was the cultural aspect: a conservative, Arab, Asian, Muslim-majority emirate was deemed unworthy of hosting the world’s most important football event. The biases run deep: consider, for instance, that this World Cup is only the second ever to be hosted in Asia – the world’s biggest continent – after Japan-South Korea co-hosted in 2002.

Alcohol and football spectating often go hand in hand, and the Qataris have already made headlines by announcing two days before the tournament a ban on the sale of alcohol inside stadiums. This, despite a contractual agreement between FIFA and US beer giant Budweiser, which enjoyed exclusive official sponsor rights to sell its drinks at the World Cup.

However, these issues can and have by and large been overlooked by most football fans and the media. The elephant in the room, has always been the issue of Qatari human rights and whether it is therefore “unfit” to host the world’s greatest sporting event, after the Olympics.

These pressing issues, so championed by the liberal west, include democracy, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and the plight and treatment of migrant workers – most of these from South Asia. Yet while some of the charges are valid talking points, they are accompanied by an all too familiar feeling of western double standards.

The BBC snubs the Opening Ceremony

The BBC, which has built a global reputation for its renowned football coverage throughout the decades – including many memorable World Cups – has let itself down immensely over its refusal to air Qatar 2022’s Opening Ceremony.

The opening show, after all, is every host nation’s chance to introduce itself to the rest of the world and put on a dazzling and meaningful display of its heritage, culture, and a means to project its soft power. Yet millions of television viewers in the UK were deprived of witnessing the spectacle Qatar had painstakingly organized. This was British petulance and pettiness on display for all the world to see.

From the very outset, BBC presenter and former footballer Gary Lineker set a scathing tone with a disclaimer-like segment prior to the program. “It’s the most controversial World Cup in history and a ball hasn’t even been kicked,” he said before listing the aforementioned controversies.

“Against that backdrop, there’s a tournament to be played – one that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football, say FIFA. Well, we will – for a couple of minutes at least.”

He wasn’t joking either. For a good 20 minutes, the show intended to display the opening ceremony of the first World Cup in West Asia, was instead an insufferable bore of virtue-signaling by the BBC and its panel of pundits.

Online backlash against the BBC

Naturally, this deviation from the main subject was picked up on social media by both popular, verified users, and average football fans, alike. The people tuned into the BBC, not only for the opening ceremony, but you guessed it – for football.

British media personality Piers Morgan was among those who slammed the BBC over its “outrageously disrespectful” coverage for not broadcasting the opening ceremony and playing petty politics. “If they’re that appalled, they should bring home their vast army of (British) employees & spare us this absurd hypocrisy,” he added.

These sentiments were echoed across Twitter, with many users describing the BBC’s coverage as a “disgrace.” Others pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of the pundits, who despite criticizing the Qataris and essentially boycotting the opening ceremony, still will be getting paid to film the month-long spectacle in the country.

Selective moral outrage

What has been remarkable, though, has been the incessant moral outrage that has emerged in the build-up to this competition – noticeably absent not only in all previous World Cups, but also interestingly enough, in the last tournament which was hosted in Russia – the villain of the hour, and Europe’s current security bogeyman.

That 2018 World Cup opening ceremony was neither snubbed, nor were LGBT rights or any other human rights issues invoked. Remember that this was four years after the annexation of Crimea – a prelude to the current, on-going Russian military operation in Ukraine.

At the time, the BBC’s coverage proceeded as normal, despite publicized accusations of “sports washing.” Likewise, the BBC had no qualms about broadcasting the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, in spite of (unsubstantiated) western claims of a Uyghur genocide.

So why has Qatar been singled out? Some observers have pointed to Islamophobia, which truth be told, may be a far too simplistic assumption, although there has definitely been obvious cases of this in certain western media coverage. What is true is that Arabs and Muslims remain pretty much the only global demographic left against which racist and ethnic bashing are not only allowed, but roundly applauded.

Linekar’s fellow pundits include female ex-footballer Alex Scott who tried to defend her presence in Qatar despite criticizing the country’s human rights record, “Because I love my job,” she argued – which she justified by having these “harder conversations.”

“You think about four years ago, I was the first female pundit for the BBC at a World Cup. You think about how far we’ve moved in four years.” Interestingly enough, not only did she share her commentary in the last World Cup in Russia, but she was also seen pictured with President Vladimir Putin. Clearly “human rights” were of no concern to her back then.

Former footballer Alan Shearer’s moral outrage against Qatar is also ironic, given that he is a vocal proponent of Saudi Arabia’s takeover of his beloved hometown club, Newcastle United. The Saudis, after all, practically wrote the textbook on repression and rights violations. Why hasn’t he opposed lucrative Saudi investment in the Magpies?

Perhaps feeling compelled to address the Saudi acquisition while discussing the World Cup in Qatar, Shearer did say: “Do I love the impact that it has had on Newcastle? Absolutely. Newcastle are buzzing and playing some great football.”

“Also, do I think that the Saudis and other countries should be held to account over human rights? Absolutely yes.”

What about the next FIFA World Cup?

The virtue signaling we are witnessing will likely continue to be throughout the rest of the World Cup. The BBC have already taken the unprecedented step of placing politics at the forefront of their sports coverage.

In terms of consistency, then, it will be interesting to see where they go with the next FIFA World Cup to be jointly hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico. Will the BBC snub the opening ceremony to protest rampant US police brutality, its dismal human rights record, its illegal wars, arms sales to despotic regimes, or its on-going theft of Syrian oil?

How about Canada’s arms trade with Saudi Arabia which contributes directly to the devastating war in Yemen where tens of thousands have died and millions are on the verge of starvation? And let’s not forget the narco-state that has emerged in Mexico, where kidnapping and capital crimes now rule the streets, with little pushback from the government.

Of course, the British government’s mouthpiece will have no objections with those host nations. No, the BBC will not spare even a second to point out those deadly crimes that affect tens of millions more people than whatever-Qatar-did-wrong.

Ultimately, for football fans around the world who eagerly waited four long years for this tournament, it won’t be hard to watch this Qatari World Cup. It will only be hard to watch it on the BBC.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Debunking the myth of ‘de-politicizing’ sports

November 20, 2022 

Source: Agencies

By Ahmad Karakira 

Ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, calls to de-politicize sports seem ridiculous and senseless upon examining the inseparable historical connection between sports and politics.

Debunking the myth of ‘de-politicizing’ sports

A few days before the 2022 Qatar World Cup, French President Emmanuel said that sport should not be politicized.

“I think we must not politicize sport,” said Macron, whose national team is defending the title it won in Russia in 2018.

Macron, who will go to Qatar if the French team reaches the semifinals, said it was “a very bad idea to politicize sport,” noting that France will host the Olympic Games in 2024.

This comes amid a wave of criticism that Qatar is being subjected to over reports that many migrant workers — predominantly from South Asia and South-East Asia and Africa — have suffered from exploitation and widespread labor abuses while working on the Gulf country’s World Cup projects.

Doha is also accused of allegedly paying bribes to some football federations in exchange for winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup on its territory.

It seems that the French President is contradicting himself and has apparently “forgotten” his interference and role in ensuring that French player Kylian Mbappe remains in France with his current team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), as well as forcing coach Didier Deschamps to call Real Madrid player Karim Benzema to the French national team and participate in the 2020 European Championship, as per investigative journalist Romain Molina.

It also seems that Macron has forgotten that his country’s football federation did politicize sport and was the first to call for the expulsion of the Russian national team from the 2022 World Cup following the start of the war in Ukraine, showing clear double standards and turning a blind eye on several other issues pertaining to human rights, such as Israeli occupation crimes against Palestinians for example.

Soon after the Ukraine war broke out, numerous sports governing bodies suspended Russia from international competitions. However, these bans coincided with unprecedented support for Ukraine despite these bodies banning any other form of political or religious expression on the field.

A history lesson

Aside from the French President’s shallow argument, let’s not forget that, historically, sports have always been intertwined with politics and used as a theater to promote political ideology, voice political messages and criticism, shift diplomatic feuds to sports arenas, and whitewash human rights violations by political regimes – also known as sportswashing.

Several sports clubs around the world were even established on the basis of politics, were influenced by their founders who are usually into politics, and their fans follow certain political ideologies.

Felix Jakens, head of Priority Campaigns and Individuals at Risk at Amnesty International UK, defines sportswashing as “a process or moment where a country with a bad human rights record attempts to use sport as a way to create positive PR to clean up its image and deflect attention away from its human rights record.”

For example, when Italy was awarded the right to host the second FIFA World Cup in 1934, Italian fascist Benito Mussolini saw it as an opportunity to whitewash his regime’s image in front of the international community, despite the heinous crimes committed at the time.

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini awarding the 1934 World Cup to Italy’s players (AP)

Similarly, Adolph Hitler used the 1936 Olympics held in Germany in an attempt to promote Nazism and prove the superiority of the Aryan-race athletes.

Adolph Hitler during the Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany in August 1936 (AP)

The same can be said about Argentina organizing the 1978 World Cup under the dictatorship of General Jorge Videla, where matches would be played a few meters away from where thousands of dissidents were being tortured.

On the other hand, the sports arena was also used, by athletes and fans, to protest injustice and show support for rightful causes.

In fact, when late boxing champion Muhammed Ali was drafted into the US Army to take part in the Vietnam war in 1966, the African-American athlete expressed his rejection of the decision, saying, “I will say directly, no, I will not go 10,000 miles to help kill innocent people.”

As a result, Ali was stripped of his title and suspended from boxing before the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in June 1971.

Boxing Heavyweight champion Muhammed Ali 1965 (AP)

In a related context, after receiving the gold and bronze medals for the men’s 200-meter race at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, African-American runners John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised a fist in a Black Power salute in protest of mistreatment and systematic racism in one of the most iconic images of 20th-century sports.

Despite being demonized by the press and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later expelling the two from the Games, Smith said this act of activism “was a cry for freedom and for human rights” and that “we had to be seen because we couldn’t be heard.”

Tommie Smith and John Carlos (Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)

Most recently, in continuation of Carlos and Smith’s activism in the sports arena, several athletes all over the world “take a knee” before the start of games in protest of police brutality and systematic racism and in support of their victims, and multiple sports federations and clubs have endorsed this cause, especially after the death of African American George Floyd, who was brutally killed by a white police officer in the US city of Minneapolis.

When it comes to fandom, in late 2018, fans of the Raja Athletic Club of Casablanca (RCA), known for their endless support for the Palestinian cause, impressed the world with a new chant called “Fbladi Dalmouni,” i.e. “In my country, I suffered from injustice.”

The lyrics of the chant recount the suffering of the Moroccan youths and blame the country’s government for corruption, the economic situation, and oppressing freedom of expression.

RCA fans are only one example of the political messages and numerous causes that sports fans express during events in order to grab attention and make their voices heard against injustice and oppression.

Another example is notably Celtic F.C. fans, who have always openly declared their support for the Palestinian cause by abundantly raising Palestinian flags in their stadium, all whilst chanting pro-Palestinian anthems. FIFA usually fines the Scottish Football Association over Celtic fans’ acts of solidarity with the Palestinian people, deeming it “not appropriate for a sports event.”

In stark contrast, FIFA, along with other major sports bodies, allow themselves to practice double standards and violate their rules by hailing acts of solidarity with Ukraine.

As such, it becomes clear that amid such political activism in sports, as well as other similar acts, a call such as Macron’s to de-politicize sports seems ridiculous and senseless upon examining the inseparable historical connection between sports and politics.

The French President’s call is also unjust and would deprive athletes and fans of a huge platform to voice their opinion and shed light on their causes in a world full of injustices.

World Cup 2022.. How to involve the international conflict in the football event?

Related Stories

Macron’s statements; clear proof of interference in Iranian affairs

14 Nov, 2022 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The remarks of the French President that the alleged “revolution” in Iran will have an impact on the Iranian nuclear talks corroborate the Iranian accusations of French meddling in the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron (AFP)

During an interview for France Inter radio on Monday, November 14, the French President estimated that the current alleged “revolution” in Iran has an impact on the nuclear deal negotiations. The interview was recorded Friday with Elysée, after Emmanuel Macron’s meeting with four members of delegations of Iranian regime-change mouthpieces, as described by Fars news, including a Washington-based journalist, Masih Alinejad

Macron commented on the Western-induced hysteria surrounding the Iranian riots, saying that the “revolution changes a lot of things,” adding that “the regime is weakened by Iran’s internal situation and the demands that are hard to obtain.”

He called for international sanctions against Iranian officials saying, “I am in favor of a strong diplomatic reaction and sanctions on the figures of the regime who have a responsibility” in what he called “the repression of this revolution,” in an interview for France Inter radio.

Read next: Dirty money: Meet the US agent driving the CIA-led riots in Iran

Macron described the crackdown as “unprecedented,” adding, “We don’t rule out any option,” he said, noting that Iran’s government was already the target of numerous sanctions.

He repeatedly used the word “revolution” to describe what was happening in Iran, while accusing the government of “cracking down” on the western-instigated riots. 

Was it a mere coincidence that when he welcomed pro-Western Iranians who are strong advocates of regime change in Iran he brought up the issue of the so-called “revolution” having an impact on Iran’s nuclear talks? Or does it stand as clear proof of the real intentions of the west, particularly France in this case?

As a matter of fact, one can only say that the French President has actually confessed to interference in Iran’s affairs, albeit indirectly and unintentionally, having brought up the impact of the riots on the nuclear talks, which only confirms the Iranian accusations of Western interference in the country.

But how is it so? The answer lies in Iran’s statements via different officials all along, from day one. 

Western meddling in Iran

The Assistant Commander of the IRGC for Political Affairs, Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, confirmed on November 11 that one of the enemy’s goals in destabilizing the country and trying to repeat the Syrian scenario in Iran is to influence the nuclear negotiations and obtain some concessions.

During a speech at a symposium entitled “From protests to riots,” Javani said all the “enemies have united to confront the government in Iran.” 

In the same context, Iranian Army Commander, Maj. Gen. Seyyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, considered on November 7 that the riots in Iran were part of the US plan to disrupt the negotiations on the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Read next: When double standards reign, Western ‘humanity’ dies between the lines

Mass riots began in Iran in mid-September in connection with the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Iranian authorities have accused Western countries of fueling the riots, and European diplomats were given a note of protest in connection with anti-Iranian media reports and calls to overthrow the country’s government.

“The recent unrest in Iran was part of US efforts to disrupt the negotiations in Vienna [on the JCPOA],” Mousavi was quoted as saying by Iranian state broadcaster IRIB.

Foreign intelligence services behind riots

Foreign intelligence was never absent from the Iranian arena ever since the riots started.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the Iranian Parliament’s presiding board, Nizamuddin Mousavi, stated that the Minister of Interior submitted a report on recent developments in the investigation into Mahsa Amini’s death.

On September 23, the Iranian Minister of Interior Ahmad Vahidi confirmed that “reports, evidence, and medical examinations confirm that Amini was not beaten,” which refutes western media claims that the Iranian woman was brutally beaten while in morality police custody. 

Mousavi said that “there are individuals linked to foreign organizations, intelligence services, and terrorist groups that had a hand in fomenting the recent riots.” He pointed out that “estimates indicate that some 45,000 people formed networks across the country, some of whom have been arrested.”

Who trained the riot leaders?

In the same context, Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi revealed that the leaders of the recent riots in Iran received training in seven countries.

Referring to the recent riots, Vahidi considered that the enemy harnessed all its energies, including the media, in order to undermine national unity but suffered defeat in the face of the vigilance and insight of the coherent Iranian people that were able to thwart this scheme.

It is noteworthy that in late October, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and the IRGC’s intelligence wing revealed that intelligence obtained by Tehran indicates that the CIA and allied intelligence services planned a conspiracy against the Islamic Republic.

“The conspiracy’s goal is to commit a crime against the Iranian people and the territorial integrity of Iran,” the statement underlined.

“The main perpetrators were the CIA, the British and Saudi intelligence services, the Israeli Mossad, and the intelligence services of other countries,” it read, indicating that “the planning and the execution of the majority of the riots were carried out by the Mossad in collaboration with terrorist organizations.”

French nationals confess to unrest in Iran

It is worth noting that Iran released a video on October 6 of two French citizens, Cecile Kohler and Jacque Paris, arrested for espionage in Tehran. The two are unionists with France’s National Federation of Education, Culture, and Vocational Training.

In the clips, Kohler confessed to being an “intelligence and operation agent of French foreign security service.” The two French nationals infiltrated into Iran as tourists on April 28 but turned out to be spies for Western intelligence agencies.

According to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, the duo attempted to foment instability and social disorder earlier in June when some teachers took to the streets in peaceful protests to demand fair wages and better working conditions.

Read next: Iranian intelligence arrests element linked to detained French spies

Macron’s ‘double standards’ exposed through social media

Some wrote on social media platforms against Macron’s anti-Iran statements, highlighting the French President’s double standards. Some reminded him of France’s colonial past, stating that Iran will teach him a lesson this time, while others slammed him for undertaking the mission of defending what he called a “revolution” to describe riots in a country while turning a blind eye to the crimes and slavery practices of Qatar. 

Translation: While France is on the verge of exploding, Macron allows himself to give Iran lessons, while not saying a word about Qatar and its crimes and slavery practices. 

Translation: France decided not to learn from its past interferences in the internal affairs of other countries. Iran will teach it that.

Now, what about the French protests, and how did Macron handle them? The President demonstrated utmost hypocrisy by criticizing Iran while his people were prevented from merely expressing themselves during the recent French protests. 

Macron confidently defended the Iranian riots as a “revolution”, while designating the French protests as riots. He criticized the Iranian government’s “violent suppression” while allowing his security forces to crack down on protests against the deteriorating livelihood in France.

Moreover, 100 injuries were reported in clashes between environmentalists and French police at a protest on October 31 against the building of a sizable water reservoir for farm irrigation in western France, according to the authorities. About 60 gendarmes and 30 demonstrators were injured in the protest, which the authorities tried to suppress in the Sainte-Solin area.

Additionally, tens of thousands of French people took to the streets last month in protest of the government’s performance, Macron’s economic plans for the country, and the rising costs of living. The protests were predominantly led by the country’s leftist coalition.

So, technically, when people protest for their most basic rights in a European country, they are attacked and beaten under the pretext of putting an end to riots. 

In stark contrast, the actual riots taking place in Iran, coupled with vandalism, violence, murders, and arson, which are in fact instigated by the very natural death of Mahsa Amini, are hailed as acts of “democracy” that ought to be protected by all means necessary, even if that leads to the violation of a country’s sovereignty and interference in its internal affairs through collaborators and proxies, such as the terrorist groups MEK and ISIS.

The aim behind all that is going on in the Islamic Republic of Iran is terrorizing and fomenting unrest in the West Asian country after all the development and progress it has achieved at all levels. Rising as a key influential player in the region, all eyes, whether friends’ or foes’, remain focused on the Islamic Republic either to build or to tear down bridges.

Related Stories

Sit-in marks 38 years since Georges Abdallah’s imprisonment

October 23, 2022 

The United Campaign for the Liberation of Lebanese revolutionary Georges Abdallah stages a sit-in in front of the French Embassy in Beirut.

A sit-in protest in front of the French embassy in Beirut.

    The United Campaign for the Liberation of Lebanese revolutionary Georges Abdallah, alongside a number of activists, staged a sit-in in front of the French embassy in Beirut on Saturday.

    The annual sit-in commemorates his arrest on October 24, 1984, and calls for his release, which has been constantly denied despite numerous judicial and political victories.

    Abdallah has so far served 38 years in prison, which makes him the longest-held prisoner in Europe. He was accused of assassinating US and Israeli diplomats and was sentenced based on these accusations.

    Abdallah completed the minimum portion of his life sentence in 1999, but French authorities denied his nine parole requests. The judiciary agreed several times to these requests, given that the French Interior Ministry planned on deporting him, but that decision was never taken.

    Seven years after his latest parole request, the Lebanese revolutionary changed his strategy and is now back before the judiciary requesting that he be deported from France.

    A member of the United Campaign for the Liberation of the Lebanese revolutionary, Mohamed Hoteit said: “On the 38th anniversary of Abdallah’s arrest, and in conjunction with a protest at the Lannemezan Prison in France, as well as rallies in several Arab and international capitals, including Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Palestine, we stand here in front of the French embassy to demand Abdallah’s release, which had been possible in 1999, but French authorities rejected his nine parole requests.”. 

    “A decision to release Abdallah was made in 2003, but it was put on hold due to a political decision made by the French government, as well as clear, public, and explicit pressure from the US – ‘Israel’s’ biggest ally,” he added.

    A Wikileaks document about former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails revealed that between January 10-14, 2015, she sent an email to former French Minister of Foreign Laurent Fabius, saying that “although the French Government has no legal authority to overturn the Court of Appeal’s January 10 decision, we hope French officials might find another basis to challenge the decision’s legality.”

    In other words, the US ordered the French government to stomp over its legal system and over the principle of separation of powers.

    Read more: France’s ‘robust’ ties with “Israel” keep Georges Abdallah in prison

    Atef Al-Ibrik, a leading member of the People’s Democratic Party, stated that “it is forbidden to release Abdallah since it will be considered as a victory for the Resistance whether in Lebanon or Palestine.”

    Addressing French President Emmanuel Macron, the campaign questioned how the latter “urges Ukrainians to resist, supplying them with lethal weapons, despite the fact that Ukraine is thousands of kilometers far from his country while condemning just cause of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.”

    In his only statement in regard to the war in Ukraine, Abdallah underlined the hypocrisy of the imperialist camp, notably by turning a blind eye to the presence of neo-Nazi Ukrainian battalions, while criminalizing pro-Palestinian movements.

    More evidence of “Russian” atrocities in the Ukraine!!

    October 15, 2022

    No traces of beating, internal bleeding found on Amini’s body: Report

    21 Sep 2022 22:53

    Source: Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    The Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran Province says the autopsy conducted on Mahsa Amini’s body revealed no bleeding or rupture in her internal organs.

    A still image from Iranian CCTV showing Mahsa Amini

      The Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran Province said Wednesday that there are no traces of beating or wounds on the head and face of the late Iranian Mahsa Amini.

      “Concerning the misleading information about blood coming out of Amini’s ears and a fracture at the base of her skull, we, forensic doctors, confirm that there are no signs of bruising or swelling on her eye and no fracture in her skull either,” the Director General said. 

      The forensic report showed that there are no signs of skull fracture, and the autopsy conducted on Amini’s body revealed no bleeding or rupture of her internal organs.

      According to the Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran, more time is needed to find the actual cause of Amini’s death in order to issue a final report based on the results of the analysis of the taken samples.

      It is worth noting that “Mahsa Amini underwent a brain surgery in a hospital in Tehran in 2006,” as revealed by the Director General. 

      It is noteworthy that Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian pointed out Tuesday that “an investigation was ordered into the tragic death of Mahsa, who, as the President said, was just like our own daughters.”

      According to the Iranian Minister, “to Iran, human rights are of inherent value unlike those who see it a tool against adversaries,” hinting at the US. 

      https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfdGltZWxpbmVfbGlzdCI6eyJidWNrZXQiOlsibGlua3RyLmVlIiwidHIuZWUiLCJ0ZXJyYS5jb20uYnIiLCJ3d3cubGlua3RyLmVlIiwid3d3LnRyLmVlIiwid3d3LnRlcnJhLmNvbS5iciJdLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdGltZWxpbmVfMTIwMzQiOnsiYnVja2V0IjoidHJlYXRtZW50IiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd190d2VldF9lZGl0X2JhY2tlbmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib24iLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3JlZnNyY19zZXNzaW9uIjp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6Im9uIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd19jaGluX3BpbGxzXzE0NzQxIjp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6ImNvbG9yX2ljb25zIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd190d2VldF9yZXN1bHRfbWlncmF0aW9uXzEzOTc5Ijp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6InR3ZWV0X3Jlc3VsdCIsInZlcnNpb24iOm51bGx9LCJ0Zndfc2Vuc2l0aXZlX21lZGlhX2ludGVyc3RpdGlhbF8xMzk2MyI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJpbnRlcnN0aXRpYWwiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2V4cGVyaW1lbnRzX2Nvb2tpZV9leHBpcmF0aW9uIjp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6MTIwOTYwMCwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd19kdXBsaWNhdGVfc2NyaWJlc190b19zZXR0aW5ncyI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJvbiIsInZlcnNpb24iOm51bGx9LCJ0ZndfdHdlZXRfZWRpdF9mcm9udGVuZCI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJvZmYiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1572191212215627777&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fenglish.almayadeen.net%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Fno-traces-of-beating-internal-bleeding-found-on-aminis-body%3A&sessionId=3542bd8da26d0b3aa786bb23bbf8bcfa531a6f95&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1bfeb5c3714e8%3A1661975971032&width=550px

      Mahsa Amini is a 22-year-old Iranian whose case has been exploited by several Western media outlets in order to further promote Iranophobia by fabricating lies and making use of her medical condition that led to her death merely for political purposes.

      Mainstream and social media outlets were swarmed with trumped-up news, as some media outlets, mostly Western, claimed that an alleged brutal arrest led to the death of Amini. 

      Following the incident, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called Amini’s family, confirming that he had ordered the incident to be investigated carefully.

      “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones. Please accept my condolences,” Raisi told Amini’s family.

      Earlier, Iranian Judiciary Chief, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, stressed that the judiciary will closely investigate the case of Amini’s death, assuring her family that he has ordered the judicial bodies to carry out a thorough investigation of the case.

      The story as it is

      After contacting several official sources in Iran, Al Mayadeen learned that Amini was never assaulted, beaten, or abused, and the proof was CCTV footage that slammed western reports as fake and fabricated.

      The incident, recorded by the CCTV, shows a female police officer approaching Amini and pointing at her hijab. Amini and the officer entered into a verbal disagreement, after which the officer turned around and left Amini alone.

      At this point, and without any physical altercation taking place between the two – contrary to western media reports which claimed that Amini was brutally beaten – Amini fainted and it was later reported that she fell into a coma. The police officer can be seen rushing to support Amini to prevent her from falling. Amini was then transferred to the hospital for treatment. 

      The video shows that there was no violence and no beating whatsoever and that not even an arrest was made. Official sources told Al Mayadeen that Amini had a brain tumor and that she has been undergoing treatment for some time prior to the incident. Medical records confirm Amini’s multiple visits to the hospital for treatment.

        Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

         SEPTEMBER 11, 2022 

        PROTESTOR HOLDS SIGNS SUPPORTING BDS, THE MOVEMENT FOR BOYCOTTS, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL, AT ‘TEL AVIV SUR SEINE’ IN PARIS, AUGUST 13, 2015. (PHOTO: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

        Source

        By Haider Eid

        “If only it (Gaza) would just sink into the sea
        – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 1992

        In 2008 Gaza was bombed by Israeli Apache helicopters and American-made F16 fighter planes for 22 days, ultimately causing the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians. Israel, with the impunity it has enjoyed since its establishment, decided to come back into Gaza four times since then and repeat the same crimes by launching areal strikes, killing more than 4000 civilians, including hundreds of children, women, elderly, and injuring thousands. In fact, over the past 15 months alone, apartheid Israel has carried out two extensive military assaults on Gaza, killing hundreds, including more than 80 children, and injuring thousands, destroying vital infrastructure, while maintaining its 15-year illegal siege on the 2.4 million Palestinians here.

        Israel’s airstrikes which always damage essential infrastructure and terrify the civilian population are a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and are war crimes which are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict. 

        But Israel continues to get away with these war crimes and crimes against humanity. The “international community” does not seem seriously interested in the suffering of the native Palestinians. Neither does it even try to show concrete sympathy with those children who get killed in broad day light. After all, they are not Ukrainians, i.e., white.  In fact, while the American president apparently thinks that while “Israel has the right to defend itself,” the same right does not apply to Palestinians. This is in spite of the multi-tiered oppression of Palestinians by Israel, from apartheid to military occupation and colonization, and in spite of the deadly, hermetic siege imposed on Gaza for more than 15 years, so much so that Israel has even been using ‘calorie count’ to limit Gaza food during the blockade. 

        This, however, has been Israel’s policy for a long time. In 1992, the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin wished that Gaza “would just sink into the sea.” The Oslo Accords, signed by Rabin, brought more misery into the lives of the 2 million inhabitants of this besieged, impoverished, occupied, small strip of land. The fact that Gazans are not born to Jewish mothers is enough reason to deprive them of their right to live equally with the citizens of the state of Israel. Hence, the Israeli logic goes, like the Black natives of South Africa, they should be isolated in a Bantustan, in accordance with the Oslo terms, without calling it so; and if they show any resistance to this plan, they must get punished severely by transforming the entire strip into an “open-air prison.” 

        Both the US and the European Union display ignorance in the face of the brutal reality caused by Israel to GazaAs a result of Israel’s blockade on most imports and exports and other policies designed to punish Gazans, about 70% of Gaza’s workforce is now unemployed or without pay, according to the United Nations, and about 80% of its residents live in grinding poverty. About 1.2 million of them are now dependent for their day-to-day survival on food handouts from U.N. or international agencies; an increasing number of Palestinian families in Gaza are unable to offer their children more than one meager meal a day, often little more than rice and boiled lentils. Fresh fruit and vegetables are beyond the reach of many families. Meat and chicken are impossibly expensive. And fish is unavailable in its markets because the Israeli navy has curtailed the movements of Gaza ‘s fishermen. No wonder, a report by the UN predicted that by 2020, Gaza would become “unlivable.” 

        We are left with one option: people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

        The UN, EU and the international community by and large have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Apartheid Israel. The corpses of hundreds of dead children and women have failed to convince them to act. We are, therefore, left with one option; an option that does not wait for the United Nations Security Council, namely, the option of people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

        The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in 1976 Soweto Uprising. This campaign ultimately contributed to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state.

        Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza, like Soweto and Sharpeville, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it until it complies with international law. Like black South Africans, Palestinians deserve freedom, justice and equality.  Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

        Will the West’s greed and hatred lead to the end of the world?

        August 12, 2022

        Source

        By Aram Mirzaei

        It can certainly be said that the risk for nuclear war is far greater today than it was less a year ago. Ever since the conflict in Ukraine began, the collective West and its vassals, also known as the “international community” have been engaged in a hybrid war against Russia, stopping just short of direct confrontation. Although some EU leaders like Borrell seem to think that the West is an active combatant in the conflict. “We must explain to our citizens that this is not someone else’s war,” Borrell said in an interview published by newspaper El Pais on Thursday. “The public must be willing to pay the price of supporting Ukraine and for preserving the unity of the EU.”

        We are at war. These things are not free,” he added.

        The same Borrell offered his thoughts on Western hypocrisy and double standards in international affairs, with regards to the Zionist slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza this past week. “We are often criticized for double standards. But international politics is to a large degree about applying double standards. We do not use the same criteria for all problems,” he told El Pais newspaper, as cited on Thursday. A rare piece of honesty for a man who makes his living by lying and deceiving others. Yet he failed to mention why those double standards exist. International politics is only about applying double standards when you’re an imperialist and colonizer. Of course he wouldn’t mention that they don’t “use the same criteria for all problems” when it is his masters in Tel Aviv that are the ones waging war on defenceless people.

        So this proves that the West throwing tantrums to the left and right over Ukraine really has nothing to do with concern for civilian lives lost. Because when the Zionists massacre children with impunity, the “international community” is pretty silent.

        Illegal sanctions, rabid Russophobia, and supplying Kiev with heavy weaponry despite the known dangers of doing so, all show the West’s deeply rooted hatred of Russia. If anyone was still delusional to think that this hatred had anything to do with President Putin only, then these past months should’ve proven that it is Russia and the Russians that the “international community” hates with a passion. Why else would they ban Russian athletes, journalists and even ordinary citizens? Of course, the case would’ve been much different had Russia given up on its sovereignty and offered its territory to Washington. Only a non-sovereign and non-independent Russia can be considered “democratic” in the eyes of this “international community.”

        The same hatred can be seen towards any country that has chosen independence over subservience to the West. The self-worshipping and racist West has always hated those who resist Western attempts to colonize and ravage their countries. This is why they also hate China and Iran with a passion. Yes, yes, I am also aware that they even hate their own non-Western allies because of the racist nature of the West.

        Over the years since the fall of the Eastern Bloc, China and Russia, adopted a policy of cooperation with the United States and tried to make the Americans understand that it is possible to interact instead of confronting each other. It can be said that the peak of this policy was when Putin even proposed Russia’s membership in NATO. Putin’s purpose in bringing up Russia’s membership in NATO was to determine whether NATO is still seeking to destroy Russia or not. Well, it quickly became completely clear to Russia that the Americans are looking for Russia’s destruction through the expansion of NATO right up to Russia’s borders.

        The Americans are doing the same thing in East Asia, and despite the fact that China has tried to engage with them through interaction and not confrontation, they are officially and unofficially seeking to destroy China. Nancy Pelosi’s childish attempt to create tensions between China and Taiwan and setting the stage for war in this region is an example of the same type of animosity that Washington has engaged in with Russia. Maybe if there was no war in Europe, the Americans would have done something to start a war in East Asia, but it seems that they saw that currently, they cannot fight on two fronts and they preferred to delay the process of starting a war in East Asia.

        This American policy is no different from the policies that caused the start of World War I and II, and the continuation of these policies can lead the world to a third world war, which due to the existence of weapons that can destroy the world many times over, it is possible to imagine that the start of such a war may be the end of humanity.

        Today, it is no longer a secret or a “crazy delusion” that the West is in a state of decline. It has been for some time but the average person wouldn’t have noticed this years ago. There’s no hiding it today, and the only ones left to deny this reality are die-hard liberals – or rather die-hard Empire supporters. These people, often journalists in the West, have gone on full denial mode and make up stories and fantasy scenarios of “Russia’s imminent collapse”. Try watching German or British coverage of Ukraine and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
        In their desperation, they’ve reached such pathetic lows that they are now speculating over Putin’s health, presenting sad lies made up by “anonymous former MI6 agents” with “deep insight” into what’s going on the Kremlin, as absolute truth. The same desperation can be seen among Western politicians. They don’t live under any illusions and are fully aware of the imminent collapse that the West is facing. We observers shouldn’t be under any illusions either: the West won’t just accept defeat , especially not to those it considers to he inferior.

        As the West declines, concurrently new powers are rising in the world. A multi-polar world is emerging with Russia, China and Iran leading it. But with the emergence of a multi-polar world, the dangers of nuclear war also grows.

        Whenever the US is desperate to prove its “superiority”, it always resorts to Hollywood style showboating in an attempt to remind the world of its “awesome powers.” Take Nancy Pelosi’s provocative and dangerous stunt in Taiwan recently, or the concurrent “assassination” of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Al-Qaeda leader who according to the Taliban had been dead for months before the US, in true Hollywood fashion claimed to have killed him while he was on a balcony. Washington was quick to emphasize that no other person was killed and that the building wasn’t even destroyed, despite being allegedly hit by a missile. Biden took to the press and basically threatened the entire world: “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you’re a threat to our people, the US will find you and take you out.”

        The problem with these stunts is that sooner or later nobody is going to take them seriously anymore. Thus begins a dangerous and vicious spiral where the US constantly must take more risks to project its supposed power, leading it directly into confrontation with China, Russia or Iran as Washington keeps crossing more and more red lines.
        Washington’s bruised ego, together with rabid racism and self-worship is a dangerous combo for an empire that is desperate to preserve its hegemony. Remember that it is the same regime that did not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Japan, and still takes pride in doing so.

        As the West is declining and possibly collapsing, one has to wonder if their hatred for the rest of the world is greater than their sense of self-preservation. If their “world order” isn’t going to prevail, will they allow humanity to even exist?

        EU Admits: Yes, Double Standards Applied in Ukraine, Palestine!

        August 12, 2022

        By Staff, Agencies

        The EU’s foreign-policy chief Josep Borrel has admitted that double standards permeate international relations, after being asked in an interview why Brussels was far more willing to support the people of Ukraine than the people of Gaza. The Middle East conflict is not in the EU’s hands, he said, pointing the finger at the US.

        “We are often criticized for double standards. But international politics is to a large degree about applying double standards. We do not use the same criteria for all problems,” he told El Pais newspaper, as cited on Thursday.

        Earlier in the interview, Borrell had said that supporting Kiev against Moscow was a “moral imperative” for Western nations.

        “Resolving the situation with those people trapped in an open-air prison, which Gaza is, is not in the hands of the EU,” the diplomat said. He called the squalid living conditions in Gaza “scandalous” and “a shame,” but would not be drawn on the origins of the humanitarian crisis.

        Gaza is under a blockade by the apartheid “Israeli” entity.

        Borrell explained that “there is no solution to the Middle East conflict without a very strong commitment on the part of the US.” Many attempts were made in the past, but at the moment there appears to be no path forwards, he concluded.

        Western Foreign Policy Created Ukraine Crisis, is Creating Crisis with China

        June 09, 2022

        From Brian Berletic on New Eastern Outlook

        https://journal-neo.org/2022/06/08/western-foreign-policy-created-ukraine-crisis-is-creating-crisis-with-china/

        Two recent events, both overshadowed by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, help illustrate how the same problematic aspects of Western foreign policy driving the Ukrainian conflict are hard at work in provoking conflict with yet another global power, China.

        Western complaints about an alleged naval base China is accused of building in Cambodia and an altercation between Chinese and Canadian patrol aircraft in the North Pacific reflect growing tensions between an inflexible and declining Western unipolar order and a rising China that increasingly refuses to subordinate or explain itself to the West upon the global stage.

        While peaceful coexistence would not only be possible but preferable in regards to global peace, stability, and prosperity, the US-led “rules-based international order” has openly declared its intentions of inhibiting China’s rise and has demonstrated just how far in terms of disrupting global peace, stability, and prosperity the US and its allies are willing to go to achieve this.

        China’s “Secret Navy Base” 

        The Washington Post in an article titled, “China secretly building PLA naval facility in Cambodia, Western officials say,” would claim:

        China is secretly building a naval facility in Cambodia for the exclusive use of its military, with both countries denying that is the case and taking extraordinary measures to conceal the operation, Western officials said. 

        The Washington Post already reported that:

        The establishment of a Chinese naval base in Cambodia — only its second such overseas outpost and its first in the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region — is part of Beijing’s strategy to build a network of military facilities around the world in support of its aspirations to become a true global power, the officials said.

        The unnamed Western officials failed to point out just how far China actually has to go to become a “true global power” in terms of building military installations abroad. A 2021 Al Jazeera article titled, “Infographic: US military presence around the world,” noted that, “The US controls about 750 bases in at least 80 countries worldwide and spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined.”

        The notion that China’s activities in Cambodia are “secret” is also questionable. Both China and Cambodia are surely aware of the full extent to which China is or isn’t involved at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base. Neither nation is required to provide an explanation to the United States whose own shores are located thousands of miles away.

        While the Washington Post accuses China of using  “a combination of coercion, punishment and inducements in the diplomatic, economic and military realms,” to “bend” nations to Beijing’s interests, it is actually the United States who threatens not only Cambodia, but nations throughout Southeast Asia, all of whom seek to cultivate constructive ties with China.

        Late last year, according to AP in their article, “US orders arms embargo on Cambodia, cites Chinese influence,” Cambodia was openly penalized simply for its growing ties with China. The article would claim:

        Beijing’s support allows Cambodia to disregard Western concerns about its poor record in human and political rights, and in turn Cambodia generally supports Beijing’s geopolitical positions on issues such as its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

        The construction of new Chinese military facilities at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base is a point of strong contention with Washington.

        Clearly, US claims about Chinese foreign policy is pure projection. The US would be pressed to cite specific “punishments” China has dispensed to nations simply for cultivating ties with the US. The US, on the other hand, not only imposed various economic penalties on Cambodia’s government, Washington has also sponsored opposition forces who openly aim to overthrow the current Cambodian government.

        In a 2017 Phnom Penh Post article titled, “Sokha video producer closes Phnom Penh office in fear,” a senior Cambodian opposition leader – Kem Sokha – would be quoted as saying:

        “…the USA that has assisted me, they asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they can change the dictator [Slobodan] Milosevic,” he continues, referring to the former Serbian and Yugoslavian leader who resigned amid popular protests following disputed elections, and died while on trial for war crimes. 

        He would also claim:

        “I do not do anything at my own will. There experts, professors at universities in Washington, DC, Montreal, Canada, hired by the Americans in order to advise me on the strategy to change the dictator leader in Cambodia.” 

        If Cambodia, whose constitution prohibits the presence of foreign military facilities on its territory, is willing to risk public backlash for allowing China to construct a “secret base” there, it might be as a means of preventing the country from becoming the next Ukraine.

        Canada’s “Global Jurisdiction” vs Chinese Sovereignty 

        Also in the headlines recently is a row growing between China and Canada over the latter’s air patrols “monitoring” North Korea.

        A Reuters article, “China warns Canada over air patrols monitoring North Korea sanctions busting,” would claim:

        China’s foreign ministry warned Canada on Monday of potential “severe consequences” of any “risky provocation,” after Canada’s military last week accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol aircraft monitoring North Korea sanctions busting.

        “The UN Security Council has never authorized any country to carry out military surveillance in the seas and airspace of other countries in the name of enforcing sanctions,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing. 

        And indeed, the UN has not authorized Canada or any other nation to fly air patrols to enforce sanctions on North Korea. The Canadian patrol aircraft are so far from Canada’s own territory, they are actually based in Japan throughout the duration of these “monitoring” missions.

        The United States’ self-appointed role as arbiter of who can and cannot construct military bases around the globe and Canadian patrol aircraft assuming global jurisdiction including off China’s own shores and around its neighbor’s shores, are illustrations of American exceptionalism (and by extension, the exceptionalism of their closest allies).

        This exceptionalism led to the crisis in Ukraine which followed the US overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government in 2014.  The US began a process of militarizing the nation which shares a substantial border with the Russian Federation. Whereas the US was allowed to send its military to Ukraine to train forces for an eventual war with Russia, the US and its allies decried Russian military deployments within Russia’s own territory to put in check the growing threat Ukraine was being transformed into.

        Whereas the US was able to interfere deeply in Ukraine’s internal political affairs, Russia was accused of backing separatists in the Donbas region and thus of fuelling the 8 year war that precipitated ongoing military operations in Ukraine today.

        Likewise, the US is able to maintain hundreds of military bases around the globe, including those constructed as part of illegal wars of aggression and subsequent occupations. China, however, is apparently “wrong” for the potential use of part of an existing Cambodian naval facility, with Cambodia’s consent.

        US allies like Canada are able to fly “patrol aircraft” thousands of miles from their own shores to “monitor” territory near Chinese shores and those of their neighbors, but China is unable to scramble its own aircraft to intercept and monitor these “patrols.”

        In the past, this exceptionalism went unchecked. Because of China’s rise, there is a growing sense of balance being reintroduced into what has been until now a unipolar world order. While the US government and the Western media will complain about China’s growing ties both economically and militarily throughout the Indo-Pacific region, there is little the US can do to stop it. Its increasingly coercive and aggressive policies to punish nations seeking to do business with China may disrupt whatever balancing act many nations have been performing between East and West, driving them deeper into partnership with China and thus only succeed in isolating the US itself.

        Only time will tell if the US continues down this increasingly destructive path, Ukraine being only the most recent victim of American exceptionalism, or if the US begins finding a constructive role within the emerging multipolar world.

        Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

        Whose Lies Can You Trust?

        May 29, 2022

        Source

        by James Rothenberg

        I read that we’ve entered a “post truth” age. I dislike the term because it seems too sure of itself, as if it encompasses all there is to encompass. As if it should come to mean the same thing to everyone. The worst is “holocaust”, a word I’ve forbidden myself to use for the reasons just mentioned.

        Sure, something’s been accelerating. It’s hard to miss the competitive manipulation taking place in the “information age”, another shorthand though with more authenticity. At a certain point in his presidency, the Washington Post catalogued 10,000 of Donald Trump’s lies. They were practically giddy about it. “Now we’ve got him!”, they seemed to be saying. “10,000!”.

        Isador Feinstein Stone published the newsletter, I. F. Stone’s Weekly, from 1953-1971. Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Eleanor Roosevelt were among the first subscribers. (If the reader is unimpressed, this is a good place to stop.) As an investigative journalist, Stone’s bedrock principle was that all governments lie. It’s tempting to say that we find too few like him today. More to the point, there are always and everywhere too few like him. They are the anti-authoritarians.

        Once we accept as a given that all governments lie, it reduces to, whose lies can you trust? The answer is easy. You’ll trust the lies of your own country before any other. An example of “post truth”? No, the truth about the lies.

        To lie is to be at cross-purposes with the target of the lie. It exposes an adversarial relationship between the two. The unavoidable conclusion is that government is in an adversarial relationship with its own people. How do these cross-purposes come to exist between our government and the people it lies to?

        First we should define the sides in this internal conflict because it’s not just government on one side. Multinational corporations have become such a potent force that government must consult with them, and vice versa. Their symbiosis is based on capitalism with a revolving door existing between the public and private sector. When you’re high up in one, you’re not far from the other.

        We wouldn’t know we were being lied to without government’s microphone, the mega corporations that disseminate information to us, also a potent international force. And then, easy to overlook, what is government but the only two competing political parties in America, “both sides of the aisle”. There is an aisle, and Democrats and Republicans do sit on opposing sides. And they do have their differences. Otherwise you couldn’t tell them apart. But these differences largely run along cultural lines, and increasingly so.

        Not that these are unimportant. They’re very important, but the parties come to be identified mainly by their stances and clashes on sexuality, civil rights, reproduction, religion, immigration and skin color to the exclusion of what could be the most crucial area to disagree on, but isn’t.

        Are we to assume that because they differ so strongly on certain things, that their agreement on other things is a good indication of their virtue? I think not because such conformity is less a sign of reasoned judgment than of subordination to larger interests. The result of their general agreement is that we have no major political party independent of capitalist imperialism as promulgated by Wall Street, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the intelligence/security industry.

        This is where the “national interest” is manufactured, the great secret plans that are hammered out for our own good. Ordinary people cannot be entrusted to determine the interests of their own country because they might be at odds with the manufactured kind.

        Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 2003, of whether or not we should invade Iraq. No, forget that. That’s not a good example. The public was in favor of it. But why? For months we were the target of an intense propaganda campaign to sway our support for a decision to attack that had already been made. If you convince people that we’re fighting them “over there” so that we don’t have to fight them “over here”, well, that figures to be enough to win them over.

        Now go back to 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Much talk about a “peace dividend”. Nice ring to it. The United States has had the lion’s share of the world’s wealth since WW2, and now it had the wealth and no viable rivals anywhere in sight.

        However, it was considered to be in the “national interest” to expand NATO, an alliance solely formed to counter the communist menace of the Soviet Union, which no longer existed. There was to be no peace dividend. It’s a made-up thing anyway.

        Since then, 13 countries have joined NATO pushing east toward Russia’s borders. Russia’s leadership regards it as a provocation. You can argue against this but only if you wouldn’t consider it a provocation if Russia had formed a military alliance with Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, or any of the three. I suspect patriotic Americans will reject this dialectic.

        Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 1991, of whether or not we should expand our military alliance with its attendant costs, or whether we should reap the dividend by seeking a more cooperative relationship with the whole of Eurasia including the Middle East. Missing was the propaganda campaign to win our support for a peace dividend so that we could spend “over here” instead of “over there”.

        People will instinctively choose peace over war. We are naturally possessed of that much empathy for others. You have to be marshaled into killing. That we identify with peoples’ suffering is evident in all the Ukrainian flag flying. That’s people, not states. States deal in straight power concepts. It is in the anarchist spirit to resist this.

        To declare that Ukraine is a pawn in a great-power game greatly overstates the country’s role. A pawn can force a win by checkmate or through progression. A better metaphor is Ukraine is the board the game is being played on. The main players are the United States and Russia.

        The US-led NATO contingent would like to diminish Russia as a regional power so that it can fully concentrate on its primary target, China. Russia would like to diminish NATO and expand its influence throughout Eurasia.

        On February 4, Russia and China formally announced a strategic partnership, essentially declaring their intention to remake the world order. This wouldn’t have come as a surprise to the United States because it sits atop the existing world order — precariously — and knows perfectly well about the threat China poses to its hegemony. Russia needs China. China doesn’t need Russia, but finds it useful. This accounts for its “hands off” policy in Ukraine.

        Putin seems to have calculated, correctly, that the United States has no appetite for a direct military clash over Ukraine. The partnership building with China was likely decisive in ordering the strike. The United States is in full-hypocrisy mode when Nancy Pelosi pledges, “to help the Ukrainian people as they defend democracy for their nation and for the world.”

        You’re supposed to be oblivious to the United States orchestrated coup, in 2014, that removed a democratically elected Ukrainian president because he was not sufficiently pro-West. The script never changes. But you can trust it.


        James Rothenberg writes on U.S. social and foreign policy.

        “Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

        17 May 2022

        Source: Al Mayadeen English

        Atilio A. Boron 

        How long will Washington’s double discourse last?

        “Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

        Israeli government troops assassinated Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, one of the leading figures of Al Jazeera TV network. Yet, Washington and the Western media and governments remain silent in complicity against this unspeakable crime, not only for the murder itself but also for the vicious attack on freedom of the press. Can you imagine how these governments and their dependent press would have reacted if this crime had been committed against a Venezuelan-American journalist in Venezuela? This news would have been the cover of all the newspapers in the West and the subject of all the radio and television programs, denouncing the brutality of the Maduro “regime”. But, since the crime was committed by the Israelis, what prevails is silence and concealment of the information. Again, the damn double standard of the empire!

        Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot dead while covering an Israeli army incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. A Palestinian colleague of the murdered journalist, Ali Samudi, was also attacked by Zionist bullets and was shot in the back, fortunately not causing fatal injuries. The “Israel” Defense Force confirmed that it carried out an operation Wednesday morning in the Jenin refugee camp, but denied that they have shot at journalists present at the scene. However, Israeli army sources assured that there was an exchange of fire on the ground and Defense Minister Benny Gantz himself told the foreign press at night that the army “was not sure how the journalist died. Maybe it was a Palestinian who shot her, the shot could also have come from our side, we are investigating,” Gantz said. Nevertheless, one of the photographers from the French news agency AFP said that Israeli forces were firing in the area and that he saw the body of the Al Jazeera reporter on the ground. In addition, he said that there were no armed Palestinians in the area.

        Al Jazeera called on the international community to hold “Israel” responsible for the “intentional” death of the journalist. “In a flagrant murder that violates international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces cold-bloodedly murdered the Al Jazeera correspondent in the Palestinian territories,” the channel said. Qatari Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater said on Twitter that the correspondent was shot “in the face” and called the act “Israeli state terrorism.” For its part, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), the autonomous Palestinian government based in the West Bank, described the journalist’s death as an “execution” and as part of the Israeli effort to hide the “truth” of its occupation of the West Bank. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that these protests will find an echo in the Western press, completely controlled by US imperialism and its European lackeys.

        Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid assured that his country wanted to join an “investigation into the sad death of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh” and stressed that “journalists must be protected in conflict zones”, for which “Tel Aviv” has “the responsibility to get to the truth.” The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called for the facts to be investigated by “both parties” in a transparent manner. In a completely hollow speech the diplomatic stressed that the “absolute priority” of the United States is “the protection of American citizens and journalists”, something blatantly false. Beautiful words, devoid of any substance because the United States and Western countries have been endorsing the genocidal policies of the state of “Israel” since 1948, and there is nothing to suggest that this policy will be changed in the near future, especially in the context of the Ukrainian war.

        For its part, Amnesty International (AI) pointed out that the “increase in unlawful killings” in recent times is one more example of the need to put an end to “Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians.” In an unusually harsh public statement, the organization denounced what could be “extrajudicial executions” against Palestinians. It also said that “the murder” of the journalist “is a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which “Israel” locks up Palestinians. “Israel” is killing Palestinians left and right with impunity. How many more must die before the international community acts to hold “Israel” accountable?” questioned AI’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Saleh Higazi. This statement is in line with a recent declaration by Noam Chomsky, who accused the Israeli government of practicing genocidal policies in Gaza, the largest open-air prison in the world according to his words. The sad culmination of this policy followed by the neo-Nazi government of “Israel” was the scandalous repression that occurred during the funeral of Abu Akleh, which offends the most basic canons of human rights. However, despite these brutal transgressions and “Israel”‘s escalation of repression in recent weeks -in which at least 31 people were killed- the American government continues to monolithically support the slaughterers of the Palestinian people.

        How long will Washington’s double discourse last? How is it that Biden, who claims to be recognized as a champion of human rights, supports a regime like the Israeli one that, since its foundation, has systematically violated the human, social and economic rights of the Palestinians stealing their land, destroying their houses and condemning them to a trickle-down genocide?

        The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

        Can Europe overcome hatred, racism, embrace universalist spirit of refugee convention?

        April 17 2022

        Source: Al Mayadeen

        Ruqiya Anwar 

        The hardship of white Ukrainian refugees was humanized by the United States and Europe, while the West showed racism and double standards when it came to hosting refugees from the global south that were escaping western funded wars in the first place.

        Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov described Ukrainian refugees as Europeans concluding “These are intelligent individuals”

        The Ukraine crisis has caused one of Europe’s greatest and fastest refugee migrations since World War II ended. A massive amount of people had fled to neighboring countries. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as many as four million people could evacuate the country in the next weeks. The European Union (EU) estimates that there will be seven million refugees by the end of the year. 

        It has revealed significant disparities in the treatment of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa, particularly Syrians who arrived in 2015. However, Europe’s radically divergent responses to these two crises serve a warning lesson for those seeking a more humane and generous Europe. The distinctions also explain why some of those fleeing Ukraine, particularly African, Asian, and Middle Eastern, are not receiving the same lavish treatment as Ukrainian citizens (Tayyaba, 2022).

        However, we are aware that this is not how the international protection regime has worked in Europe, particularly in countries now hosting Ukrainian refugees. Racist and xenophobic language towards refugees and migrants, particularly those from Middle Eastern nations, pervades public discourse in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania, and hostile actions such as border pushbacks and draconian detention measures have been taken in the past.

        Notably, Hungary, since the 2015 refugee crisis, the country has refused to accept refugees from non-EU countries. Non-European refugees, according to Prime Minister Victor Orbán, are “Muslim invaders” and migrants are “a poison”, and Hungary should not welcome refugees from diverse cultures and religions to preserve its cultural and ethnic unity. 

        More recently, in late 2021, the atrocious treatment of refugees and asylum seekers stranded on Belarus’s borders with Poland and Lithuania, most of whom were from Iraq and Afghanistan, provoked an outcry across Europe. Belarus has been accused of turning these people’s misfortune into a weapon by luring them to Belarus to travel to EU countries in retribution for EU sanctions.

        Whereas hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian migrants pour into neighbouring nations, clutching their children in one arm and their valuables. And leaders from nations like Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania have greeted them.

        While hospitality has been praised, it has also brought significant disparities in the treatment of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, particularly Syrians who arrived in 2015. Some of them claim that the language used by politicians currently welcoming refugees is upsetting and cruel.

        According to Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, “These are not the refugees we’re familiar with. These are Europeans. These are intelligent individuals. They are well-educated individuals. This is not the type of refugee surge we’ve seen before, with people whose identities we didn’t know, people with murky pasts, and even terrorists”.

        However, when over a million individuals walked into Europe in 2015, there was initially a lot of support for refugees fleeing crises in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There were also instances of animosity, such as when a Hungarian camerawoman was caught on camera kicking and potentially tripping migrants near the country’s Serbian border (CNC, 2022)

        The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Arab Uprisings of 2011 increased the number of refugees attempting to enter Europe. Even Turkey, which already hosts over 4 million migrants and asylum seekers, including 3.6 million Syrians, could not effectively accommodate them. However, the reception of these minority refugees in European countries has been overwhelmingly unfavourable.

        Hundreds of Afghan, Syrian, Iraqi, and other asylum seekers were stranded in Poland-Belarus woodlands and marshes in 2021, without shelter, food, or water in subzero temperatures and facing constant assaults from Polish and Belarusian border authorities. At least a dozen people were killed, including children. Yet, the European Union refused to open the border.

        Significantly, although walls are an inadequate means to handle the movement of refugees and migrants, wall-building has been on the rise in the region since the 1990s. Then, the European continent celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. According to a 2018 Transnational Institute analysis, the primary goal of these walls is to dissuade refugees and asylum seekers from the Global South.

        Greece finished building a wall along its border with Turkey in 2021 to keep Afghan asylum seekers out. The Spanish government now intends to construct the world’s tallest wall in northern Morocco, where it claims the power to block migrant access into Spain, which is only 250 miles away.

        Lithuania has been constructing an 11-foot-high steel fence with 2-inch-thick razor wire on its border with Belarus since 2021 to prevent migrants from the Middle East and North Africa from entering the country. EU states have agreed to accept Ukrainian refugees for up to three years without requiring them to seek asylum. Poland has stated that it will absorb 1 million Ukrainians. Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Moldova, Greece, Germany, and Spain are among the countries that have already opened their borders.

        Unfortunately, these double standards have shown in the attitude of non-Ukrainians leaving Ukraine’s conflict. Students and refugees from the Middle East have been subjected to racist abuse, obstruction, and violence while attempting to exit Ukraine in increasing numbers. Many others said they were barred from boarding trains and buses in Ukrainian cities because Ukrainian nationals were given precedence; others said they have violently moved aside and halted by Ukrainian border guards when attempting to pass into neighbouring countries.

        There were tales about non-white refugee communities that had gone unrecorded and unpublished. Despite their huge number and agonizing battles across countries and continents, millions of Syrian refugees remained anonymous and blankly depicted in the media. While standing in line at the border and seeking to get crucial services, a number of non-Ukrainians of colour, including Africans, Afghans, and Yemenis, have experienced prejudice.

        The astonishing double standards were on full display in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis and the early phases of the conflict that followed. The hardship of white Ukrainian refugees was humanized by the United States and Europe, as well as their different political spectrums. When the refugees were Arabs or Muslims, Black or Brown, however, it remained vehemently divided.

        Moreover, the Polish authorities detained people and refused them to enter the country. The refugee crisis in Ukraine provides Europe with not only an important opportunity to demonstrate its generosity, humanitarian values, and commitment to the global refugee protection regime, and it also provides a critical opportunity for reflection, Can Europe’s people overcome widespread racism and hatred and embrace the universalist spirit of the 1951 Refugee Convention? All member states must apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination as to race, religion, or country of origin.

        The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

        Bahrain: The Regime Is Being Bullheaded, While the Opposition Is Determined

        April 13, 2022

        By Latifa al-Husseini

        Those who have kept pace with Bahrain’s pro-democracy uprising, which started in February 2011, may be under the mistaken impression that the movement is letting up or perhaps that it died out. And while it’s true that its leading figures are unjustly and arbitrarily imprisoned, the demands remain unchanged.

        These demands are yet to be achieved. Political rights, social justice, and economic transparency are what Bahrainis are calling for. But these calls are falling on the regime’s deaf ears as the struggle continues.

        Eleven years of domestic and international appeals demonstrate that the passage of time didn’t turn the page on the conflict. The Al Khalifa regime is proving that it is resistant to change and development. Despite all the changes in the world, the regime maintains its arrogance. It does not think about development and taking the initiative to solve the severe crisis. The people lack confidence in the government, and there is no solution looming on the horizon. Talking today about a positive step toward a comprehensive political solution is unrealistic, as common ground on key issues is inexistent. The people have not yet obtained guarantees that reassure them that tomorrow will indeed be better.

        The former deputy for Bahrain’s Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society and prominent opposition leader Ali Al-Aswad tackles the details of the deepening crisis in a comprehensive interview with al-Ahed News.

        Al-Aswad argues that the main reason for the crisis is the authorities’ lack of awareness regarding the unmet demands of the people, who want to be part of the political and economic decision-making process.

        Meanwhile, the ongoing imprisonment of Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman, remains a key focus for the opposition group. Al-Aswad claims that Al-Wefaq has options that might help close this file.

        Regarding Manama’s normalization with “Israel”, Al-Aswad offers assurances that the move won’t be embraced in Bahrain, as the people completely reject the idea of occupation.

        Below is the full text of Al-Aswad’s interview:

        * Can the opposition abroad relate to the concerns of the citizens at home?

        The opposition abroad has become a fait accompli. After Al-Wefaq was dissolved in Bahrain, it had to work abroad. We started working in London in 2011, and this has continued in many Arab capitals, Europe, and America. All the efforts made by the opposition, whether political or in the field of human rights, are in the interest of our people at home, and we are their voice after they had their voices stifled.

        * In light of the growing tyranny: suppressing opposition voices and imprisoning their leaders, citizenship revocations, rising unemployment and the hiring of foreigners, and normalization, how will reform be achieved? How is the regime responding to the demands of the people?

        I do not think that the authorities in Bahrain are aware of the nature of these demands. They believe that these demands are directed against the survival of the ruling family, while the people of Bahrain see that they are in the interest and future of the country. There is a misunderstanding between the two sides. There is concern on the part of the ruling family that if these demands were fulfilled, their existence will weaken or disappear. The main idea of these demands is for us to be partners in the homeland.

        * The opposition today is completely absent from the political and economic decision-making process. Is its presence, at the very least, in the legislative authority necessary, or should it remain outside this system?

        The presence of the opposition in the legislative authority without any political project or any dialogue or settlements does not serve the political process. Rather, it will be a sham or a silent role, as is the case with the current parliament or the Shura Council.

        * The budget deficit in Bahrain is substantial, and there is constant talk of corruption and unconvincing state revenues. To what extent can we say that the regime is corrupt? What is the extent of this corruption?

        The public debt is 15 billion dinars [$40 billion], which is too huge for oil imports or revenues. A country that depends mainly on more than 80% on oil cannot achieve sustainable development or a free and fair economy without transparency. The stealing is ongoing and being done in one way or another. The money is going to influential figures in the state. The issue of the stolen lands that the opposition talked about in the 2006 parliament remains unresolved and the lands have not been returned to their owners. All the state property mentioned in the famous report in parliament has not been recovered. Rather, there are more lands that are being seized by those in power. The country’s resources are also being taken and the Bahraini environment is being destroyed, without any deterrent to these actions. The presence of a strong parliament and an effective opposition on the ground may open such files.

        * On the opposite side of deficit, we often hear about percentages of non-oil revenues. For example, the growth rate of the non-oil economy reached 2.8%. Are these numbers really correct?

        Non-oil growth does not depend on taxes imposed by the state on citizens, but the Bahraini regime calculates this growth from tax revenues on citizens. There is no clear economic plan in Bahrain that pushes the wheel of development forward and increases the rate of growth that can only be achieved in a fair and free economy, in parallel with transparency, accountability, political stability, and human rights that make this country a haven for investors. This increases the internal growth rates. There is no external money being pumped into the country now. Bahrain depends on oil money and aid. We have not heard of any major investors who brought billions to Bahrain for a number of reasons, the most important of which is the political instability and the country’s exposure to many shocks. Not achieving this is in the interest of the authorities in terms of obtaining Gulf aid without any trouble, aid for armaments, and others relating to the royal court. Everything is under the pretext that we are exposed to dangers from neighboring countries.

        * Does Al-Wefaq affect in some way the decisions taken by the authorities?

        We have no doubts about this. There is a very clear effect of Al-Wefaq. Even if the association, registered and licensed by the Ministry of Justice, was absent, the authorities know that the majority of the Bahraini people who voted in the 2006 and 2011 elections are from Al-Wefaq.

        Even at the present stage, if Al-Wefaq is not represented in Parliament, it has wide support that has influence on the ground, whether it rejects the state’s internal or external policies.

        * After the former Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim’s statement regarding the issue of Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman, did you sense any intention to move this file and free His Eminence?

        We are trying to get Sheikh Ali out of prison. The case is malicious, and it is being proven everyday through the emergence of new evidence, the latest of which is the statement of the former Qatari foreign minister. He confirmed that what he discussed with Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General on the phone was done in the presence of the King. This is the most important point on which the authorities relied to say that Sheikh Salman and the two deputies, Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali Al-Aswad, were plotting against the authorities. The accusation has been discredited. From the beginning, it was not true. It was an idea within a Gulf initiative announced by Al-Wefaq and international and Gulf parties concerned with this matter at the request of Saudi Arabia.

        Al-Wefaq welcomes any international or local effort, and it has been working since the announcement of the last interview in order to find correct, legal and political ways to help solve this file and close it.

        * In your opinion, does the recent request of US President Joe Biden from the State Department to provide a report on political detainees in Bahrain have a serious impact in your opinion?

        The media influence is perhaps stronger. There is a request from the US administration. We want more action than what the US administration, which is selling weapons to Bahrain at the same time, is saying.

        It stopped punishing the Bahraini authorities for their human rights violations by allowing an arms deal recently! Bahrain does not need that. Perhaps the authorities are doing this as a price to buy America’s silence about the dire political and legal reality.

        * Here, we are asking about the goal of Manama’s permanent armament, sometimes through “Israeli” military systems and sometimes through American launchers?

        There are no military benefits to Bahrain. The United States views the Gulf states as a market for selling weapons, and this is what former US President Donald Trump said in his talk about Bahrain’s abundant money.

        * What about the recent positions of the great national authority, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem, and him stressing on the importance of the opposition’s unity and the Islamic mentality’s rejection of the ongoing normalization? According to your assessment, is there a plan to breach the opposition’s ranks?

        The opposition really needs to organize its relations, and I think it is capable of that. The division is not in its favor, and it is now in a much better situation than before. The demand Al-Wefaq and Waad are calling for is constitutional monarchy, while the unregistered political organizations are calling for other demands.

        There are those who are talking about overthrowing the regime, about a republic, and other options. Some see them as unrealistic demands that cannot mature or be correct. It is the right of all the people to think about the form of the system, but we are talking about realistic matters. Bahrain, as a constitutional monarchy from the Al-Wefaq perspective, can serve as a successful model.

        For us, implementing a constitutional monarchy is possible, but for the authority, it takes from its powers. The models that were promoted after the National Action Charter were European and far from logical. Perhaps, the authorities wanted to say we have a constitutional monarchy with an authoritarian regime above it. This problem that we objected to. We have repeatedly called for an amendment that would allow the people of Bahrain to implement the real articles of the constitution and that the people are the source of the authorities. This is what Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem is talking about. As for the idea of splitting the ranks, there is no doubt that the authorities are trying to do so.

        The real people of Bahrain have had a worry throughout history that the authorities are buying time and wasting it without any results. This is why we find different and high ceilings. Accordingly, we say that the opportunity for the authorities today is better than tomorrow to achieve the demand for a constitutional monarchy.

        * The last attempt by the regime, at least in the media, was the meeting that brought together His Eminence Sayyed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi with King Hamad bin Isa. Can we say that the political dialogue is completely frozen?

        Undoubtedly, a number of local files and issues were discussed during this meeting. His Eminence Sayyed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi’s desire for the authority to solve local political and humanitarian issues was very clear, but we did not see any positive development after the meeting or any initiatives to resolve the political crisis or even the human rights file.

        * Will the upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections in October be a formalism or is it possible for Al-Wefaq to support candidates in some way?

        Elections in the presence of a political isolation law do not mean anything. This law prevents associations that were dissolved by the authorities after the 2011 movement, such as Amal, Waad, and Al-Wefaq, from taking part. When the opposition is not represented in Parliament, the latter will be a formality. There is no opposition in the current parliament. It is completely silent and agrees with everything the authority is doing. It was unable to open a basic file after the Manama authorities decided to normalize with the Zionist entity. The Bahraini parliament was not allowed to speak as the “Israeli” Knesset did. Bahrain, basically, did not endorse the Abraham Accords through the councils. Rather, the authority made the decision unilaterally and warned those who would talk about the matter by questioning them. It limited the matter to the state and its higher authorities. The authority did not even allow any member of Parliament to wear anything that symbolizes Palestine or reminds people of the cause. It even took the initiative two days ago to condemn the heroic Tel Aviv operation, ignoring the right of the Palestinian people and all the violations they are subjected to.

        * How does normalization affect the daily lives of Bahrainis?

        Normalization did not enter any Bahraini home. The people completely reject the idea of normalization and the existence of the occupation. They cannot stand talking about “Israel”. They take part in night rallies that have consistently rejected the authority’s projects since the first Manama conference in 2019, which was a prelude to the normalization project. Normalization is clear between the authorities and the occupation. Bahrainis, Sunnis and Shiites, will not agree to normalization, and if there is an opportunity to express their opinion today, even if the demonstrations are unauthorized, they will be widely expressed. The people of Bahrain have been reviving the International Quds Day every year on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, and they continue to mark it. We call on the people of the country to commemorate this great occasion that honors and expresses their mentality rejecting this Zionist occupation.

        They Saw and Heard the Truth — Then Lied About It: Media on Donbass Delegation Omitted Mention of Ukraine’s 8 Year War on the Autonomous Republics

         

        Photos from site of Ukraine’s March 14 missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

        Source

        -by Eva K Bartlett, April 5, 2022

        *Following is a lengthy overview of my recent re-visit to the Donbass, on a two day media delegation, with a brief critique of some of the media’s slanted reporting. It is also a follow up from my 2019 visit to hard hit areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It is now 8 years of Ukraine’s war on the people of the Donetsk & Lugansk Republics.

        Point of impact of March 14 Ukrainian missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

        In the last week of March, I stood on a central Donetsk main street next to two of the impact points of a Ukrainian missile attack that had killed 21 civilians and injured nearly 40 more on March 14. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) maintains that their military intercepted Ukraine’s Tochka-U ballistic missile, and that not all of the cluster munitions inside had exploded in the city streets, thereby lessening the already terrible bloodshed it caused. Indeed, if all of the munitions had exploded, it would have been a bloodbath more horrific than the 21 killed.

        Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

        Near the ATM, there were flowers and candles laid in memory of the civilians murdered that day, with haunting photos nearby depicting the aftermath of the bombing, the grisly scenes of the dead and the maimed—scenes you will generally never see blasted across Western corporate media, just as the same media were silent when terrorism struck civilian areas in Syria.

        I’m intimately familiar with war zones, and with Western corporate media’s white-washing of the perpetrators’ crimes (Israeli crimes against Palestinians; Western-backed terrorists’ crimes against Syrians; Ukrainian military and Nazi crimes against the civilians of the Donbass—and also against Ukrainians proper), so the lack of media coverage on this recent Ukrainian war crime doesn’t surprise me.

        They don’t report on it, or the myriad Ukrainian war crimes prior, because it doesn’t suit their narrative, a narrative that erases the eight years of Ukraine’s war against the four million people of the Donbass republics, killing at least 14,000 people, to give a modest estimate.

        War crimes investigator, Ivan Kopyl, spoke about Ukraine’s March 14 attack, noting, “The warhead of a Tochka-U missile contains 50 cassettes of cluster munitions. We managed to find 28 traces of cluster explosions on the soil…A Tochka-U missile changes its orientation just before landing, so after it flies on a trajectory it makes a turn and falls vertically down before detonating at a certain height. The fragments then shower the surface in a radius of approximately 150 meters.”

        I have one of those cluster fragments, a twisted and jagged square-shaped piece of metal—seemingly harmless looking on its own, but deadly when flying through the air at high speed, in great numbers.

        The attack occurred around noon, when this central city street—not a military area, but a civilian one—would have been busy. Photos show a gutted bus and gutted cars. Pensioners, Koply noted, would have been lined up at the ATM right where the blasts occurred. “There was also damage to a yard where there are two kindergartens – there were several craters there,” he noted.

        The strike on the heart of the city is among the latest in Ukraine’s litany of war crimes.

        Ukraine again bombed Donetsk following the March 14 attack. Donetsk News Agency reported on March 30 that the Ukrainian forces’ bombing had killed one person and seriously injured four others. One of the girls injured in that attack fell into a coma, the DPR Ombudsman noted.

        And just now, there’s been news of another Ukrainian Tochka-U attack. According to RT, at least 50 people (including 5 children) were killed at a railway station in Kramatorsk, where thousands of people were waiting for evacuation trains. Eduard Basurin, a representative of the DPR People’s Militia, stated that the attack was a missile containing prohibited cluster munitions.

        Gonzalo Lira writes:

        “This is a fragment of the missile that hit the Kramatorsk train station…The AFU has blamed the Russians, but this picture of the missile shows that it is indisputably a Tochka-U rocket — used exclusively by the Ukrainian side. It’s the same kind of missile that two weeks ago hit the center of Donetsk and killed 27 civilians.

        What’s that saying? Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times . . .”

        As of March 31, the Ombudsman reported that there’s been 6,010 deaths, including 96 children, since Ukraine’s war began in 2014. And that’s only with regards to the DPR. In the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which has also been under Ukrainian fire since 2014, as of late February, 1,762 civilians had been killed, including 35 children.

        During my 2019 visit to the DPR, I went to the northern city of Gorlovka, of which I wrote:

        “Gorlovka was hardest hit in 2014, especially on July 27, when the center was rocked by Ukrainian-fired Grad and Uragan missiles from morning to evening. After the dust settled and the critically-injured had succumbed to their wounds, at least 30 were dead, including five children. The day came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

        A monument commemorates the Gorlovka victims of Ukrainian bombings and sniping from 2014-2017. Near a sculpture of an angel, over 230 names fill the marble slabs, the first dedicated solely to children, 20 of them.”

        Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

        At the site of the March 14 bombing, DPR head Denis Pushilin spoke, outlining the chronology the last 8 years, from the violent coup in Ukraine and subsequent increase in radical Ukrainian nationalism, to the two republics’ decision to push for autonomy, to Ukraine unleashing hell on the 4 million people and continual violations of the (2014 & 2015) Minsk Agreements and the massive amounts of weapons pumped from the West to Ukraine (see also). [*Note: I’ll be adding a subtitled clip of his words in the next day or two.]

        School and Hospital shelled by Ukrainian forces

        The town of Volnovakha—on the road between Donetsk and Mariupol further south—was secured by DPR forces nearly two weeks prior to our visit. Entering the town, we passed destroyed homes and buildings, which was expected, as there was heavy fighting to liberate the area held by the Ukrainian forces.

        As they did in their copy-paste reporting on liberated areas of Syria, most Western media reports on Volnovakha focus on the destruction, without any context as to why it occurred—these residential areas were occupied by Ukrainian forces, and not all of the destruction was from DPR forces’ fighting against the Ukrainian forces: the Ukrainian forces themselves fired on homes, and according to hospital staff, on the hospital itself.

        In addition to not giving this context, most Western media in general depict the liberating forces as deliberately and wantonly destroying everything in sight. Some media went as far as to claim that Putin himself had destroyed the town. This cartoonish narrative, so prevalent in Western reports whitewashing terrorism in Syria and now in whitewashing Ukrainian forces’ crimes, unfortunately does achieve its intended effect: duping Western viewers into believing the opposite of reality–that the liberators are the war criminals.

        Again, just as terrorist factions in Syria occupied schools and hospitals, so too do Ukrainian forces, including in Volnovakha. When DPR forces had liberated the city, they found foreign weapons used by Ukrainian forces inside the hospital. [See also: Western Media Quick to Accuse Syria of ‘Bombing Hospitals’ – But When Terrorists Really Destroy Syrian Hospitals, They Are Silent]

        In a central area of Volnovakha, Russian soldiers handed out humanitarian aid to lines of residents, including: bags of canned goods, fresh bread, water.

        According to Alexander Yurievich Kachalov, the interim mayor, Ukrainian forces used civilians as human shields. “They made sure to destroy as much infrastructure as possible. They bombed buildings in order to leave ruins after they left, to make it harder for us to restore.”

        This was common in Syria. Terrorist factions destroyed buildings and vehicles when fleeing, while leaving mines and booby traps on streets and in houses, to kill still more civilians and soldiers.

        A woman waiting in line for humanitarian aid said, “They say Russia did this. This wasn’t Russia, Ukraine did it, destroyed everything here! They shot at our hospital. I work there. The new children’s and infection units have been destroyed. The outpatient clinic was destroyed. And then they left. They took the medical staff’s car and went away.”

        At the destroyed hospital, Chief Physician, Viktor Fedorovich Saranov, said:

        “[The Ukrainian Army] were there. There were tanks on our territory. There were guns and Grads outside the territory.  I asked them to act in accordance with the Hague and Geneva conventions. I asked them to leave the hospital. They said it was war.

        Many people come to us from nearby houses under fire. About 500-600 people came to our basement. We gave everyone three meals a day.

        The second and third floors were occupied here. We were preparing for a long siege, and then it turned out like this: they conducted an attack. They evacuated the soldiers. And they mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day, when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.” The ICU, he said, had already been evacuated.

        A woman who said she had worked at the hospital as a nurse for nearly 58 years said:

        “On the 28th I was home alone. They soon started shelling. How can they do it with their local hospital? With patients here. They were laying in corridors, as they had been evacuated. They said there was no one in the hospital, no staff, no patients. This is a lie.”

        Later, researching, I came across this news (*warning, graphic video at the link):

        “Foreign mercenaries who were wounded in the Volnovakha hospital were shot by their own before leaving the city so that they could not tell anything. All the wounded have a control shot in the temple or the back of the head.”

        On the road back towards Donetsk, we stopped at a school that had been shelled in late February.

        According to Victoria Terichenko, head of the Dokuchaevsk city administration’s Department of Education, the shelling was by Ukrainian forces.

        “Of course, Ukraine. There were only Ukrainian troops there. We had no military here, we were only civilians here.”

        Fortunately, children weren’t at school at the time of the shelling, but Terichenko said a nursery school in the area had been shelled, with children inside, but again, fortunately, not on the side of the building shelled.

        Horrors of Ukraine’s War on the People of the Donbass Republics

        Ukraine’s relentless bombing and sniping of the people of Donbass is bad enough, along with it being ignored by Western press and politicians.

        But in its eight years of warring on a people who rejected the rule of ultra-nationalists and Nazis, who just wanted to live autonomously, speak their own language, remember their history (Ukraine has rewritten history to glorify Nazis and Nazi collaborators and to vilify those who defeated Nazism, namely the Soviets), Ukraine has committed war crimes as heinous as ISIS and their co-terrorists in Syria, with more and more testimonies coming out of mass graves, rapes, torture of civilians and Donbass soldiers, beheadings. None of this shocking given the crimes these extremists commit against even Ukrainian civilians and journalists.

        Along a sidewalk flanking a central park, there is a row of photos containing incredibly disturbing images of murdered LPR civilians.

        Elders slaughtered on benches and in wheelchairs, the corpse of an infant, mass graves, a room used to imprison and torture people, the insignia of the notorious rapists and murderers of the “Tornado” battalion.

        One photo shows Nazi graffiti left on a wall.

        These are similar to the graffiti I saw in January 2009 left by Israeli soldiers who occupied the home of a Palestinian family, half of which had been killed by Israeli-fired White Phosphorous. One of the slogans written in Hebrew was: “Next time it will hurt more.” This, to the family whose infant had burned alive due to the White Phosphorous bombing, and whose surviving family members were badly mutilated from the prohibited weapon. In another house in eastern Gaza, likewise occupied and desecrated by Israeli soldiers, more hate and death graffiti had been left for the traumatized inhabitants.

        Different people and places–same violent hatred of the population being targeted.

        In the same park area, there is a monument to two journalists killed in 2014 by Ukrainian forces. Had these journalists been killed by Russia or Syria, their names would have been on the front pages of news sites and TIME magazine covers. In Syria, dozens of journalists have been killed by terrorist forces, to the silence of not only Western media but also of the groups supposedly advocating for journalists’ rights and safety.

        In Shchastia, north of Lugansk, more civilians received humanitarian aid in the liberated town.

        Humanitarian aid being handed out in Shchastia, a town north of Lugansk, liberated in early March.

        Western Delivered Weapons on Display

        In the two republics, we saw some of the vehicles and weapons captured from Ukrainian forces. Telesur journalist Alejandro Kirk spoke to me about these captured weapons and vehicles, noting the many foreign made weapons sold to Ukraine. Western countries continue to sell weapons to Ukraine.

        On March 20, journalist Alexander Rubinstein wrote of the West’s exorbitant shipping of billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine over the years. He noted:

        “At least 32 countries have announced their intention to ship billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine for use against Russian forces in Ukraine. Photographic evidence shows that these weapons have already ended up in the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries – units which have already received training and arms the US and its NATO allies.

        All of this builds on $3.8 billion in military aid from the United States to Ukraine, the training of 55,000 Ukrainian soldiers by Canada and the United Kingdom, and a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency.

        …weapons furnished by NATO allies have been placed in the hands of the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi former paramilitary organization incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.

        The governments of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have presided over a massive program to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers for a full-scale war with Russia. Trainees have included top commanders of the Azov Battalion.

        In late February, the European Union opened the floodgates of weapon shipments to Ukraine, approving financing through the aptly-named “European Peace Facility” to reimburse countries sending weapons to the country to the tune of $500 million USD. Another $55 million USD is earmarked for non-lethal military aid.

        This February, the State Department announced $350 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, bringing “the total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.”

        Another $200 million was sent in early March, and following Zelensky’s March 16 appeal to Congress for more weapons, Biden is reportedly set to dole out another $800 in military aid including 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-tank systems, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, 400 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 100 tactical drones, 25,000 sets of body armor and 25,000 helmets. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

        These figures add to the $2.5 billion in military aid the US delivered between 2014 and the summer of 2021, bringing the total to $3.8 billion.”

        Missing Context: What the Donbass People Have Endured In 8 Years of Ukraine’s War

        After my September 2019 visit to the DPR, I wrote about the mostly elderly civilians I met who were living in battered homes damaged by Ukrainian shelling and heavy machine gun fire just 500 meters and 600 meters from Ukrainian forces. They remained there, they told me, mostly because they had nowhere else to go. Some spoke to me on camera, others were afraid of Ukrainian retaliation were they to be interviewed.

        But their stories were all pretty much the same: at night, when the observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) left, the Ukrainian terrorizing began, with shelling throughout the night.

        I also met a couple who had been living for 6 years in the stinking, dank, basement of a battered school, after Ukrainian bombing destroyed their home.

        The DPR press officer who accompanied me and provided translations, spoke of how Ukrainian forces used weapons prohibited under the Minsk Agreements.

        Irina Dikun, head of the administration of Zaitsevo, another frontline village, spoke at length on the Ukrainian bombing that erupted nearly every night.

        “They are destroying street by street in the town. They take one street and destroy it house by house. Then they turn to another street. There was a school, and a nursery school, before, but they were both destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.”

        As in Syria, when schools and hospitals are actually destroyed (in Syria by terrorist factions), the same media that howls over militarized hospitals being targeted, the same media that also manufactures stories that never even occurred, is silent when the destroying is actually done, by Ukrainian forces.

        In Zaitsevo, Irina explained fire trucks and medics couldn’t reach targeted homes, because the ambulances themselves became targets for Ukrainian forces (as happens in Gaza, where medics are targeted by Israeli forces, as I myself witnessed).

        During that 2019 visit, I also interviewed some of the defenders of the DPR, painted by Western media as “separatists”, “pro-Russian forces” and other such descriptions meant to dehumanize. The same Western media so quick to humanize terrorists, including one who chewed the organ of a dead Syrian soldier.

        One more relevant note from that visit: Dmitri asked what people in the West think about the fact there is a Nazi state in Europe. I replied that most people don’t know, because of the media whitewashing.

        Which brings me to my recent return to the Donbass: I was curious to see whether the journalists on the same delegation as me would report truthfully, partial truths, or fabricated lies. As it turned out, my skepticism was warranted.

        Distortions and Omissions of Some Western Media on the Ground in the Donbass

        Telesur’s report gave the historical context needed to understand the present, including the coup in Ukraine, the active neo-Nazis in Ukraine (many of whom re entrenched in the Ukrainian army), the past eight years of Ukraine’s war on the Donbass, the 14,000 killed during these years, and the media blackout on the suffering of the Donbass people.

        Sky News’ report was good, mentioning the civilians killed in Donbass by Ukraine’s war, including the March 14 attack and the school shelling, while also giving air time to the DPR’s Pushilin.

        Neither of the two French channels’ (FranceInfo and TF1Info) reports on the delegation’s visit mentioned the March 14 Tochka-U attack, even though we visited the site & Pushilin spoke of it at length, much less the roughly 8,000 civilians killed in the two republics alone. I couldn’t find mention of the Azov or other Nazi battalions participating in the atrocities against the Donbass people, even though we heard about them and saw the graphic photo display in Lugansk. Their reports were framed as, “this is what Russia wants us to see,” regarding the humanitarian aid and reclaimed towns.

        And of course, they focused greatly on the destruction, but not on the reasons for it, the implication being that the Russians and the “pro-Russian separatists” were responsible.

        The chief physician of the hospital in Volnokava spoke at length and did specifically state the Ukrainian army had occupied the hospital, as did the nurse I cited, both of whom addressed the group of journalists.

        FranceInfo’s mention of the hospital was framed as, “The Russians accuse the Ukrainians of having bombed it.” They included a few seconds of the chief physician saying he didn’t know who had done it, there were soldiers in the area, he didn’t know who.

        But actually, the physician spoke to us for about several minutes, during which—as I wrote earlier—he did specifically talk about the presence of the Ukrainian army in the hospital.

        One journalist asked: “Why did such destruction happen?” To which the chief physician replied, “I don’t know. They were military. And who they were: military, national battalions, army? I don’t know.”

        That’s the bit France TV cherry picked, omitting his previous words about the Ukrainian army occupying the hospital, as well as omitting what he said afterwards: “There was Ukrainian territory on that side and the rockets were from that side. They mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.”

        Likewise, TF1Info included just a few seconds of the physician’s words on the Ukrainian cannons and machine guns at the hospital, but then followed up with the presenter’s caveat: it is one of the arguments often presented by the Kremlin—in spite of the fact that not only he, but the nurse and many people I encountered in the town specifically blamed the Ukrainian army for occupying the hospital and attacking it themselves when leaving.

        If there were any further TF1Info reports from their journalist’s visit which might have included mention of Donbass’ dead, I couldn’t find them. Likewise, of FranceInfo.

        This tactic of cherry picking quotes and omitting information is a standard corporate media war propaganda tactic and, unfortunately one seen over and over in Syria and elsewhere.

        Journalist Vanessa Beeley wrote of one particularly horrific and sadistic terrorist massacre of 200 Syrian civilians, including 116 children, in April 2017, killed by an explosion as they were being evacuated from their terrorist besieged villages. She wrote of one traumatized woman who lost 20 family members (10 dead, 10 missing) having witnessed the attack.

        “Then, after the filming session (by various agencies, including Dubai based Orient News & Qatari Al Jazeera) which lasted approximately ten minutes, she and the other parents were forced back onto the buses, at gunpoint, and locked inside. They had to watch, while the armed militia collected the dead, dying and mutilated bodies of their community’s children and flung them in the back of trucks and Turkish ambulances, before driving them away from their families in Rashideen.

        Not one western media outlet questioned why these injured, dying and disoriented children were being piled on top of one another in the back of a truck that obviously belonged to Nusra Front.”

        In fact, as they did routinely in their Syria coverage, media essentially relegated these dead civilians as unimportant, because their deaths didn’t fit the corporate narrative, even when civilians were repeatedly targeted by horrific terrorist bombings, mortars and missiles.

        Global Media Abusing the Suffering of the Donbass to Further Anti-Russia War Propaganda, Just as They Did in Syria…

        It is already bad enough that Western media generally don’t report on Ukraine’s relentless shelling of the Donbass, but all the more disgusting when it depicts a scene from the March 14 bombing of Donetsk as if it was a bombing of Lvov by Russia.

        “The aftermath of the bombing of Donetsk by Ukrainian “Tochka-U” missile, used by Italian newspaper “La Stampa” as an image from Lvov
        *Propaganda noted in this article: The Hard Facts about Ukraine and Donbass
        At the site of the Tochka-U missile attack in Donetsk, photos of the moments after the bombing, including the scene depicted in Western media as in Lvov. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

        This isn’t the only instance. More recently, various Western media have used footage showing a multi-story apartment building in Donetsk that was bombed by Ukraine on March 30 to infer that the scene depicted was actually of Ukrainian areas that had been bombed by Russia. If you followed the war propaganda around Syria, you would be aware that this practice is common, not accidental.

        New York post using Donetsk bombing photo to infer the scene was Kiev or elsewhere, under Russian bombing. The article has since been updated, photo removed. They would say it was a mistake. With corporate media, it never is. Luckily, at the time, some observers caught the lie.

        And as with war propaganda on Syria, some media will use footage not even from Ukraine:

        I could add paragraphs of examples of how Western media did this in Syria, but for the sake of brevity will state simply that this is one of many deceitful and deliberate propaganda tactics used to both downplay the hell civilians are suffering under Ukraine’s bombing, and instead to pretend Ukraine is the victim. How the journalists that propagate such lies live with themselves, I’ll never understand.

        Finally, a word to some in independent media who feel the need to denigrate Russia’s denazification operation in Ukraine by snidely putting “special operation” in quotation marks, or others who took to social media to tell the world they don’t like war, and denounced Russia for its military operation (to stop a war): The people of the Donbass don’t like war, they didn’t ask for Ukraine to unleash hell upon them. Such posturing disrespects the at least 14,000 killed by Ukraine’s war.

        As journalist Roman Kosarev, who has covered the war eightyears, said: “Russia isn’t starting a war, Russia is ending one.

        Fabricating Putin Quotes, Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia: How Low Can the West Go?

        April 10, 2022

        Source: Al Mayadeen

        Rick Sterling 

        There has been massive and widespread publicity about Ukraine. It is a simple Hollywood script:  Ukraine is the angel, Russia is the devil, Zelensky is the hero and all good people will wear blue and yellow ribbons. 

        Fabricating Putin Quotes and Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia: How Low Can the West Go?

        Mobilizing a population to vilify and hate a targeted enemy is a tactic that leaders have used since before the dawn of human history, and it is being used to demonize Russia and Vladimir Putin in the current conflict. If we want to join the march to war, we can join the hate fest.  But if we want a more objective and honest assessment of events, we must rely upon facts that our government and its cheer-leading mainstream media are not anxious for us to view. 

        In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all things Russian are being punished. Russian athletes, including paraplegics, are barred from international sports competitions. Century-old Russian writers and musicians such as Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky are being removed from bookshelves and concerts. Even Russian bred cats are not exempt. 

        If such actions are justified, why was there no such banning of US athletes, musicians, or writers after the US invasion of Iraq?  Moreover, why are so few people outraged by the bombing and killing of 370,000 Yemeni people?  Why are so few people outraged as thousands of Afghans starve because the United States is seizing Afghanistan’s national assets which were in western banks?   

        Why Ukraine?

        There has been massive and widespread publicity about Ukraine. It is a simple Hollywood script:  Ukraine is the angel, Russia is the devil, Zelensky is the hero and all good people will wear blue and yellow ribbons. 

        Maintaining this image requires propaganda to promote it, and censorship to prevent challengers from debunking it. 

        This has required trashing some long-held western traditions. By banning all Russian athletes from international competition, the International Olympic Committee and different athletic federations have violated the Olympic Charter which prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. 

        Censorship

        The West prides itself on free speech yet censorship of alternative viewpoints is now widespread in Europe and North America. Russia Today and other Russian media outlets are being blocked on the internet as well as cable TV. Ironically, numerous programs on RT were hosted by Americans, for example, journalist Chris Hedges and comedian Lee Camp. The US is silencing its own citizens.  

        Censorship or shadow banning is widespread on social media. On April 6, one of the best informed military analysts, Scott Ritter @realScottRitter, was suspended from Twitter. Why?  Because he suggested that the victims of Bucha may have been murdered not by Russians, but rather by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and the US and UK may also be culpable. 

        The 2015 Netflix documentary titled “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” deals with the Maidan (Kiev central square) uprising of 2013-2014.  It ignores the most essential elements of the events: the management provided by the US and the muscle provided by ultra-nationalists of the Right Sector and Azov Battalion. The attacks and killing of Ukrainian police are whitewashed away.  

        By contrast, the 2016 documentary “Ukraine on Fire” provides the background and essential elements of the conflict.  It is not available on Netflix and was banned from distribution on YouTube for some time. 

        Most people in the West are unaware of the US involvement in the 2014 Kiev coup, subsequent US funding and training of ultra-nationalist and Neo Nazi battalions, and the eight-year war in eastern Ukraine resulting in fourteen thousand deaths. 

        Sensational Accusations 

        Backed by US and UK intelligence agencies, Ukraine knows the importance of the information war. They make sensational accusations that receive uncritical media coverage. When the truth eventually comes out, it is ignored or buried on the back pages. Here are a few examples: 

        – In 2014, eleven civilians were killed in eastern Ukraine when an apartment was hit in rebel-held territory.  Ukraine tried to blame Russia even though no bombs were coming from Russia and the population is ethnically Russian. 

        – At the beginning of the current conflict, Ukrainian President Zelensky claimed that soldiers on Snake Island died heroically rather than surrender. Actually, all the soldiers surrendered. 

        – Ukraine and western media claim a maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed by Russia. Evidence shows the hospital was taken over by Ukrainian military forces on March 7, two days before the bombing on March 9.  

        – The latest sensational accusations are regarding dead civilians in Bucha, north of Kiev. Again, there is much contrary evidence. The Russian soldiers left Bucha on March 31, the mayor of Bucha announced the town liberated with no mention of atrocities on March 31, the Azov battalion entered Bucha on April 1, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry published a video of  “Russian” atrocities on April 3. 

        In most cases, western media does not probe the accusations or use simple logic to ask if they make sense.  However in the case of Bucha story, the NY Times had to acknowledge they were “unable to independently verify the assertions by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.” 

        Self Censorship 

        In addition to actual censorship, there is widespread self-censorship. Instead of reading what the Russians are saying, western political “analysts” engage in outlandish amateur psychology and speculation. With no factual basis, they speculate about what Putin wants and his mental state. 

        This is convenient if one does not want to deal with real issues and arguments. 

        Most western analysts and journalists are afraid or unwilling to read or listen to what the Russian leaders say. That is unfortunate because those speeches are more clear and direct than those from western politicians who rely on public relations, spin, and platitudes.   

        Fabricating quotes 

        Ignorance of Russian foreign policy is such that Truthout online magazine recently published an article that contains a sensational but completely invented quote from Putin. It says,

        Putin here is clear enough: “Ukraine has no national rights that Russians are bound to respect. Prepare for reunification, reabsorption, or some other euphemism for subaltern status with Mother Russia.”

        Putin said no such thing and any moderately knowledgeable person would recognize this to be fake. 

        When I emailed the co-author, Carl Davidson, asking where the quotation came from, he admitted inventing it. This is significant because the statement goes to the core of what the conflict is about. Is Russia trying to absorb all of Ukraine? Do they intend to occupy Ukraine?  Anyone who reads the speeches of Putin and Lavrov, such as here and here and here, knows they do not. Davidson’s fabricated quote suggests he has not read the speeches himself.

        Ukraine in the Global Context 

        The article with the made-up quote contends that “Putin is part of a global right-wing authoritarian movement that seeks to ‘overthrow’ the 20th Century.”  This analysis is close to that of the US Democratic Party, which sees the major global division being between “authoritarianism” vs “democracy”.   

        It is highly US-centered and partisan, with Putin somehow lumped with Trump. It is also self-serving, with US Democrats as the embodiment of “democracy”.  It is completely contrary to a class analysis. 

        This faulty analysis has major contradictions. It is well known that Biden is unpopular. Biden’s latest approval rating is under 42%. It is less well known in the West that Putin is popular in Russia. Since the intervention in Ukraine his approval rating has increased to over 80%.  

        Also largely unknown in the West, most of the world does NOT support the Western analysis of the Ukraine conflict.  Countries representing 59% of the global population abstained or voted against the condemnation of Russia at the UN General Assembly. These countries tend to see US exceptionalism and economic-military domination as a key problem. They do not think it helpful to demonize Russia and they urge negotiations and a quick resolution to the Ukraine war.  

        Cuba said, “History will hold the United States accountable for the consequences of an increasingly offensive military doctrine beyond NATO’s borders which threatens international peace, security and stability…. Russia has the right to defend itself.” 

        South African President Ramaphosa blamed NATO saying, “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.”

        The Chinese representative said, “The final settlement of the Ukraine crisis requires abandoning the Cold War mentality, abandoning the logic of ensuring one’s own security at the expense of others’ security, and abandoning the approach of seeking regional security by expanding military blocs.” 

        Many western anti-war movements are critical of Russia’s invasion. Others, such as the US Peace Council, see the US and NATO as largely responsible. However they all see the necessity of pressing to stop the war before it gets worse.  

        In contrast, the western military-industrial-media complex is fueling the war with propaganda, censorship, banning, demonization and more weapons. It appears they do not want a resolution to the conflict. Just as they supported NATO pushing up against Russia, knowing that it risked provoking Russia to the point of retaliation, they seem to be pushing for a protracted bloody conflict in Ukraine, knowing that it risks global conflagration.  Yet they persist, while crying crocodile tears.  

        The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

        Youtube Censors Truth on Bucha

        April 5, 2022

        By  VT Editors

        https://www.bitchute.com/embed/Mn4ht0GfZe3f/

        and the censored version from youtube..

        VT Editors

        VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

        Ian Williams: Deterioration of Intl. Human Rights Mechanisms Blamed on “US Defense of Israel” (VIDEO)

        April 1, 2022

        Mark Seddon and renowned journalist and President of the Foreign Press Association – New York City, Ian Williams, shine a light on the ongoing crises in Palestine and Ukraine. (Photo: Video Grab, Supplied)

        By Palestine Deep Dive

        In a lively and illuminating discussion with Palestine Deep Dive (PDD), Mark Seddon and renowned journalist and President of the Foreign Press Association – New York City, Ian Williams, shine a light on the ongoing crises in Palestine and Ukraine.

        The show titled “Occupation of Ukraine – Occupation of Palestine: International Law & the Cry for Consistency” pays special attention to exposing the hypocrisy of the global community when it comes to upholding the so-called “international rules-based” order.

        Highlighting the creeping-prolonged injustice Palestinians have been exposed to, and how it has become normalized to those removed from it, Williams says:

        “It’s like the frog in the pan as the water warms up and they don’t notice. It’s too late when its skin starts searing off. If you plunge the frog into the hot water, it tends to notice right away and jump… Of course, the Palestinians have noticed that their skin is falling off with the heat, but the rest of the world hasn’t because the rest of the world has gone along with it incrementally.”

        Praising Ukrainian resistance, Williams ponders whether Palestinians would be in a better position had they received similar levels of Western support:

        “I have to say that the Ukrainians surprised everyone with their resistance. Maybe if the Palestinians had been armed in 1967 and their governments had trusted them, then there might well have been a different ending… The real fact is that the Israelis have lied through their teeth for years and the West has chosen to believe them because the alternative, doing something about it, was too much. We’ve discussed the reason for that in this. There’s domestic lobbies, there’s geopolitical things.”

        Expanding on the double standards in the Western response to Ukraine compared to Palestine, Seddon remarks:

        “Of course, the Russian invasion was an absolute shock, not least to the Ukrainians, many of whom didn’t believe that it would happen, and part of their country is now being occupied… Of course, people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Golan, which is an outright annexation, will say, well, hold on a minute, we’ve been occupied for 50 years, and if we start calling for sanctions, people say, oh no, you can’t call for sanctions and boycotts and divestments…”

        Williams responds by arguing that Palestine advocates should be drawing parallels between Ukraine and Palestine wherever possible:

        “Well, the worst thing we could do, or the Palestinians and their supporters could do, is to say, well, we are not interested because there’s no case there because we’re suffering. They should immediately try to associate at every level… These comparisons are invidious and must be made often over and over. The legalities are there. You hit upon it there. It’s indisputable for everyone concerned that the Golan was the acquisition of foreign territory by force”

        Seddon was also keen to emphasize the duplicity of the corporate media:

        “By the way, we don’t mind showing video footage of brave Ukrainians making Molotov cocktails, they’re freedom fighters, but if it comes to Palestinians making Molotov cocktails or Western Saharans, well, they’re terrorists. This grotesque double standards, isn’t it, really that sticks in a lot of people.”

        Williams also expressed disappointment in Western media for its lack of meaningful reporting on Palestine:

        “Most people have an infinite tolerance for the sufferings of others over a long period, and that’s what’s been happening with the Palestinians. The stuff doesn’t get into the media.”

        Looking more closely at recent events at the United Nations, Seddon reported on Thursday’s United Nations Human Rights Committee vote supporting accountability for Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories. The U.S. voted against it.

        With UK and Ukraine abstaining, Seddon said it is, “disappointing given the fact that most Ukrainians, if they knew what was happening in Israel-Palestine, would immediately identify with the Palestinians.”

        This week at the UN’s Human Rights Council, Zainab Al-Qolaq, a survivor of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in May which killed 22 members of her family, delivered a speech asking the international community whether “real actions” will be taken to prevent similar atrocities from taking place.

        Questioned whether he thinks the UNHRC will indeed take much notice of her powerful contribution, Williams responded: “It depends on the rest of us whether we keep it going.”

        Seddon goes on to probe Williams on the reasons for today’s apparent lack of authority in institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). Williams responds arguing the United States, by shielding Israel from legitimate accountability, has eroded the potential of such institutions in being a genuine force of authority:

        “…there is no doubt whatsoever that the US defense of Israel at all costs over the years has led to a profound deterioration of international human rights mechanisms. The fact that anytime action is taken, the US springs up regardless of the facts to defend Israel, means that everybody else in the world say, “If not Israel, then why them.” If you don’t get Netanyahu, why you’re getting Milošević. It has allowed every crook genocidal maniac and kleptomaniac in the world to get out of jail free card or get out of jail cheap card because, if Israel can do it, so can we.”

        He also emphasized Biden’s continuation of many of Trump’s policies over Palestine and beyond:

        “There’s the US, as you say, it denounced Putin, said he’s a war criminal, but they still– Joe Biden still maintains Trump’s sanctions against the International Criminal Court justices. They’re not allowed in America, and why is that? Israel.”

        Ending the show with a rousing call for meaningful action by state actors against Israeli apartheid and ongoing human rights violations against Palestinians, Williams declares:

        “We should be calling for government sanctions against Israel until it abides by international law… Sanctions is the way to go. That’s how it worked with South Africa.”

        (Palestine Deep Dive)

        Palestine’s Land Day: In 2018 mass protests, in 2022 armed struggle

        March 30 2022

        Source: Al Mayadeen Net

        Robert Inlakesh 

        This 30th of March may more symbolically represent something very different for the youths of Palestine today than it did for those of past generations.

        Land Day, first started in the 1948 territories of occupied Palestine, was revived again in 2018 and has shaped the way Palestinian youths are today opposing the occupation of their lands. Whilst mass demonstrations were used a few years ago, today we see a shift towards the use of armed struggle in order to oppose “Israel’s” settler colonialism.

        In 1976 Palestinian demonstrations erupted in the Galilee, in addition to areas such as Wadi Ara and al-Naqab (the Negev). The protests inside the 1948 territories of Palestine came as a reaction to the Zionist entity’s expropriation of thousands of dunams of Palestinian land, resulting in Zionist forces killing 6 Palestinians and injuring of hundreds of others. Every year since, Palestinians have marked Land Day on the 30th of March, in order to remember the resistance of their people to “Israel’s” settler-colonial regime.

        The 30th of March, however, may more symbolically represent something very different for the youths of Palestine today, than it did for those of past generations. This is also the date on which the ‘Great Return March’ was launched in 2018, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip protested against the separation fence/wall between them and their lands from which over 70% of the population are originally from and are forbidden to return to. The Palestinian refugees and native Gazans hoisted up banners calling for the implementation of United Nations General Assembly resolution 194, which demanded the Palestinian right of return to their homelands. 

        The Great Return March continued for over a year, it was overwhelmingly non-violent and resulted in no deaths of Israeli soldiers or settlers. Many international observers thought that this was it, the international community was finally going to be forced to break its silence and the blockade on Gaza would be put to an end. They were unfortunately wrong. The nonviolent protest movement, one of the largest in history – in terms of the percentage of the population in question – only gave Israeli snipers the opportunity for mass murder. Over 300 Palestinian civilians were massacred, more than 30,000 were injured. The international community remained silent, the Western media and governments defended “Israel”, barely even paying attention to the suffering of Gaza’s demonstrators. Women, children, infants, medical workers, journalists, disabled persons, and elderly were amongst the dead and injured, overwhelming Gaza’s already brittle health sector. 

        The world sat by and did nothing as the Palestinian people did exactly what is always asked of them, nonviolent resistance, quoting international law, and asking for their rights. Not only did the world media sit by and underreport the demonstrations, when they did touch on the subject they described them as “clashes” and “border riots”. This was despite the fact that no such “border” exists between Gaza and “Israel”. As for the allegation that there were clashes; if so, where are the dead Israelis? Where are the injured Israelis? What really occurred is that a heavily militarized force sat behind mounds of dirt or military towers, behind layers of barbed wire, on top of militarized fences/walls, and shot at defenseless Palestinians like fish in a barrel, often with banned explosive bullets. This was not just the likes of Fox News that reported on the demonstrations like this, it was the BBCCNNThe New York Times, and just about every other mainstream Western news outlet you could think of.

        Land Day in 2018 should have been, according to the liberal pundits who preach nonviolence for the Palestinians – but not for Ukrainians against Russia’s military of course – that ended all their oppression. Instead, it was the beginning of a massacre, a catastrophe. 

        On this Land Day, the Palestinian people prepare for the month of Ramadan ahead of them, where fascist Israeli settler mobs threaten to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, they do so in a very different environment than the one we saw in 2018. The world lied to the Palestinians when they told them they could take back their rights through nonviolent resistance, and saw last May, that the only time they can extract a win against their occupiers is through armed struggle. The younger generations are tired of the lies and a Palestinian Authority that collaborates with the Zionist occupier through security coordination, they see that there is no hope in waiting on the Oslo process. The armed struggle is now rising inside the 1948 territories, the West Bank, Al-Quds, and is no longer isolated to the ‘Joint Room’ of resistance factions in the Gaza Strip. 

        The Palestinian armed struggle is undergoing a new revival and this time it will take more than empty promises to stop it. A United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), B’Tselem, and many more have declared “Israel” an Apartheid regime and this system of injustice will be confronted by any means necessary.

        The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

        Related Photos (Al-manar)

        South Front

        Related Videos

        Special coverage | Have Palestinian individual operations become the face of the new conflict?
        Palestine from the Negev Summit to Bnei Brak operation

        MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

        %d bloggers like this: