Venezuela in “Misery” – Lies and Deceit by the Media Open Letter to the New York Times

May 19, 2019

Note by The Saker: I normally don’t post open letters, but in this case I made an exception since this latter is also an analysis and because of the importance of this issue.

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

To the Editor in CHIEF

Venezuela in “Misery” – Lies and Deceit by the Media Open Letter to the New York Times

NYT – 18 May 2019
Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say
Subtitle:
Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford.

This introduction is accompanied by a picture of a man in rags, pushing a shopping cart through a garbage dump site. You, NYT, say it is in Maracaibo, Venezuela, the man looking for recyclables. The photo could be from anywhere, the same with a picture further down in the text – depicting a young woman nursing a baby in the dark – you say in a typical Venezuelan blackout.

This is a flagrant misrepresentation of what’s going on in Venezuela.

The New York Times is known for selecting photos from places of misery, could be slums from anywhere in the world, and placing them where it is most convenient to propagate a lie story – a story meant to demean a country in the public opinion, a country that the empire wants to subdue by bashing and insulting it – so the public – the braindead western public, notably in the US and Europe, will tolerate or even scream for a “humanitarian invasion” from the friendly US of A.

Why don’t you NYT’s shameful liars tell the full truth?

Who is responsible for the collapse, the lack of food, medicine, blackouts – actually for all of the collapses that you described in your manipulating master piece of deceit and propaganda? – And many more ‘collapses’ that you don’t even mention?

The NYT article compares Venezuela with “Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe, the fall of the Soviet Union, and Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s”. The Times is completing its baseless preposterous accusation by saying, “the crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.”

The economist your article quotes is none less than the former chief economist of the IMF, Harvard professor, Kenneth Rogoff, one of the most neoliberal, bordering on neofascist, economists you could have chosen. But that figures. Impressing with name calling. No matter how biased they are; no matter that they too defend the US hardline – invade Venezuela to safe the people.

Whom do you think you impress with such names? The ignorant, of course, and – yes – there are plenty of them in the great and unique US of A; and your key objective and that of most MSM is to keep them ignorant, so the exceptional nation can continue sowing misery around the globe for the benefit of a few – killing millions and millions of innocent people, for power, the theft of resources and world hegemony.

Aren’t you – the Editor in Chief – ashamed for putting up a totally false scenario? – One of lies and half-truths, all with the objective of further brainwashing the western public – into becoming warmongers, like your criminal government, and like your criminal paper. Yes, the NYT is a criminal paper, for doing what it does: Lying after lying to sway public opinion towards war, towards killing – mass-killing, mass-murder, that’s what your government has been doing for the last 70 years – all under false flags and lies, pretending fighting terrorists, yet, fomenting terrorism, while building up the base for world hegemony – and insane profits for the American war industrial complex – the oligarchs of death.

Did you know – you must! – that the US economy could not survive PEACE; that this sadistic and satanic economy depends on war, permanent war? That the war machine manufacturing complex and its associated industries and services account for more than 50% of the US GDP? And do you realize – you should! – that the US’s economic output is one of destruction – of killing, of annihilation – instead of building and developing human knowledge and wellbeing, the intrinsic thrive of human society – evolving in conscience, integrity and conscientiousness towards living well for all?

How is that for an exceptional nation? – Indeed, an exceptional nation, a nation in disrespect of all international laws and conventions – just breaching the Vienna Convention to which the US is party – by violating the diplomatic code, invading the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington and a few years ago, by seizing Russian diplomatic properties in Washington and New York. Wonderful precedents for other unaligned and disobedient countries to prepare for – but also for other countries – if and when they wake up and take their courage into their mind and fist – to do the same to US Embassies on their soil. What would Washington do? Does Washington even consider such a possibility? I guess not. But it’s the easiest thing to do – retaliate.

It would just take a number of countries acting in solidarity, simultaneously – and Bingo! – the emperor will be standing there with his pants down.

Your paper didn’t mention this little diplomatic episode that happened a few days ago in the context of lawlessness, of breaching the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations which entered into effect in April 1964, one of the few sacrosanct UN Conventions on diplomacy of which the US is a signatory.
—-

Back to the Venezuelan “misery” you, Mr. Editor in Chief, and the NYT are so eager to report on. Why don’t you say that the United States of America – the self-proclaimed exceptional nation, with war criminals leading it – is responsible for far most of the suffering of Venezuela, through its totally illegal (who cares in Washington about legality) sanctions, blockage of food and medical imports, theft and confiscation of some US$ 130 billion in Venezuelan assets and reserve funds in US banks and around the world, economic blackmail and strangulation that has, according to economists Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington D.C. and Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University, caused the death of some 40,000 Venezuelans.

This racist, misogynist and neofascist government, centered in and around the Swamp of Washington, is responsible for most of the suffering in the world today, by planting wars and conflicts – eternal war on terror; the same terrorists, trained, funded and armed by the very Washington, the CIA, the Pentagon, NATO and the spineless European puppets – for power, domination and theft of resources.

Does the NYT ever report on this? – Why can’t you, the NYT and YOU, the Editor in Chief, for once be honest and stand up for true journalism? – Because you would lose your job? Right, that’s it, isn’t it? – So, why don’t you pull out your card of ethics that you subscribed to in the school of journalism – from deep-deep down in your soul – look at it, internalize it – and think how much more you will be gaining in esteem around the world, if you bring the truth to the people, rather than keep lying – and brainwashing the world into war, misery and death? – Try it. You may be surprised.

Don’t you think, Dear Editor in Chief, sooner or later this lie-propaganda, this abject non-journalism will haunt you eventually all the way into the grave?

People will wake up, the empire will fall, it’s just a matter of time. What will you do then?

Switch sides? – You truly think, you really honestly think, people will believe you? – And I mean you and your paper, the once-upon-a-time highly reputed New York Times? That the people are so dumb to forever buy your lies, your untruths? – It’s now or never that you should switch sides. You may feel the brunt for a while from those who pretend running the world, but deep down in your soul you still have a spark of ethic left. Pull it out. Bring it to light. It will reward your life forever.
—-

Largely thanks to you, the NYT and your think-alike AngloZionist mass-media colleagues and partners in crime – which encourage people to call for wars, for invasions, conflicts and regime change, all based on your deceit, misinformation and false flags – as a disgraceful result of these lies millions and millions of people have been killed around the globe. Estimates put the figure at between 20 and 25 million since the end of WWII – all by the US, NATO, and their proxies and vassalic European minions.

By repeatedly spreading lies and deception, you are creating a false truth, indoctrinating people into consensus for wars and more wars, for invading and killing more innocent people, for the benefit of a few kleptomaniac oligarchs, stealing natural resources and, especially, of the corrupt war machine. Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, had it right, when he said: Give me control of the media and I convert the people into a herd of pigs. Most of the western populace is already a herd of pigs.

Venezuelans are no herd of pigs. They, and Cubans, Nicaraguans, Bolivians, Iranians, Syrians, Russians, Chinese – and many other sanctioned, blackmailed and suffocated people, have been resisting and will continue to resist, no matter what it takes to bring the empire to its knees. Let’s face it, the latest amok race around the globe dishing out sanctions and more sanctions – from Venezuela, to Iran, to China, to North Korea, to Syria, to Iraq – by the ultra-dangerous, sadistic warrior-jokers, Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams, Pence – and not to forget, the Goldie-Lock of incompetence in the White House – with a fleet of the largest warplane carriers encircling the seas of Iran and the Gulf of Hormuz – these people and the scenarios they create, are a true reflection of hopelessness befalling a fading empire.

You, the New York Times, could help bringing this abject war on terror, the merciless killing of millions to an end, accelerate the downfall of the empire, by spreading the truth – the truth that you, Editor in Chief, as well as many of your colleague journalists know – by stepping out of your MSM-box, making a 180-degree U-turn, siding with the people, the 99.99% who crave PEACE. – You would earn and receive an enormous THANK-YOU.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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Fake Has Become Realer Than Real And The Dogs Of War Are There To Keep It That Way

May 17, 2019

by Denis A. Conroy for the Saker Blog

Fake Has Become Realer Than Real And The Dogs Of War Are There To Keep It That Way

America’s self-imagined custodianship of human rights and freedom epitomize problems associated with fake prophesies. That Americans now rally behind the latest battle-cry of the Republic, ‘Make America Great Again’, indicate that they are indifferent to the fact that their country has been barnstorming across the globe these past six decades killing vast numbers of innocent people with the objective of creating a pre-eminently militaristic empire to strategically control the skies, oceans, their market-share plus control of space. In implementing these belligerent objectives, the US has repeatedly unleashed auto-da fes to destroy many countries across the globe who failed to fall in line.

Foremostly, America’s firebrand passage through Muslim countries clearly illustrate how a neophyte culture with racist baggage can implode the nation’s reputation, leaving it bereft of respect and credibility. This now appears to be what is happening in America. The two-tiered (or three) aspect of this enterprise requires closer examination.

It would appear that ‘greatness’ in the American context amounts to nothing more than upholding vulgar white-middle-class racist values as the measure of excellence, with fake ‘principled’ notions of cultural superiority leading the chase. When the dogs-of-war were unleashed to wreak havoc, pillage and plunder on the habitats of millions of hapless people across the globe, the silence of so-called conscionable America was deafening.

Violence had become an American staple and the voice of the Peace Movement is all but mute. It’s now impossible to ignore the fact that the three tiers of state, the top tier, the middle tier and the lower tier…the three classes…collude in a program whose singular use of power expresses an unwavering desire to ride the gravy train to the hilt and devil take the hindmost.

These three classes, battle hardened and indifferent to the chaos caused by their bloodthirsty military have been blindsided by their own government. There is the sense that the flag… the stars-and-strips…has become the nation’s birth certificate and each person’s birth certificate a little bit of a collective ‘stars and stripes’ denouement that entitles them to extrajudicial considerations and the right to be proud of their dubious record. However, finding one’s niche in this hierarchal edifice is another matter altogether.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are missives of choice for the middle class in matters relating to America’s monopolistic capitalist system. Predatory incursions into foreign countries resulting in bloodshed are routinely explained away in false-flag gibberish or in some other fashion to justify the actions of the government. This business of doing business attitude exists to negate everything else and the middle-class appear to have no qualms with this scenario. The sub-text here being, as God’s own people they believe that they have the right to expect ‘mana-from-heaven’ to rain down upon them from all quarters of the globe.

For the working class however, tweeting along with the paymaster appears to be an act of convenience. But when the music stops, as it most certainly will, the birthright question (all men are equal) will inevitable come into contention again when the issue of inequality needs to be confronted. However, the next generation may be more strident should they once again find themselves being herded back into a holding-pen position to await casino-capitalism’s next ‘flurry’ at the roulette table.

But irony of ironies, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal etc. are merely institutions that employ smoke and mirror tactics to conceal the nastiness of a two-tiered (or three) system that entails subjecting the public to a game of musical chairs, whose prime objective is to unseat a competitor each time Wall Street chooses to play its favourite game of ‘pass-the-stock-market-parcel’…the one designed to consolidate wealth in fewer hands each time it is played.

Musical chairs, also known as Trip to Jerusalem, is a game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music, with one fewer chair than players. When the music stops whichever player fails to sit on a chair is eliminated, with a chair then being removed and the process repeated until only one player remains. Alas! The origins of the game are unknown. On the other hand, we may safely assume that Karl Marx or Antonio Gramsci are not its authors.

So, the questions we need to ask here are, have Americans taken to wearing masks to hide their lack of conscience, like their President wears his hairpiece… do their masks, like Donald’s hairpiece, only make an appearance when orchestrating auto-da fes, or when administering sanctions designed to economically incinerate…or starve… apostates?

Or should we defer to another Donald…Donald Rumsfeld…for insights into America’s moral stature. “We don’t know what we don’t know. There are too many unknowns too many factors that we may not have yet considered,” said he. Which, when translated might mean, ‘Life is like a game of musical chairs and America has the right to take occupancy of the limited number of chairs available or our armed forces will be forced to use terror to procure knowable ends that are ultimately unknowable but desirable because they make us feel great.’

Narratives fed to the public by special interest groups come as hybridised versions of Hollywood cypher-speak-gibberish and are passed off as truths to the public for the purpose of indoctrinating them. A continuous repetition of false declamatory statements praising American exceptionality pour from the media to reinforce fake news. If there were a Noble Peace prize for hypocrisy, it would surely go to America.

America, the so-called leader of the so-called free world is awash with fallacious narratives that are put in place by corporate entities to implement a two-tiered (or three) system that strives to gain support in the public domain by using fearmongering tactics to implement its propaganda in every way possible. Fake narratives ceaselessly eat into public consciousness while cleverly concealing their real purpose, which is full spectrum Mafioso dominance. Think of the numerous corporate ploughshares that have insidiously penetrated a country near you!

As we now live in a technological age that has provided humans with the ability to engage in nuclear Armageddon, we can’t help but notice how worse-case scenarios abound. Some even suggest that evolution has run out of steam. Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine (MAD) is a minefield without canaries and we, in the lower tiers, are left painfully aware of our impotence on discovering that we are without a voice in the decision- making process. We are required to seal our lips and accept the reality that nuclear buttons now hang over our heads like the sword of Damocles.

We are constantly reminded that states exist, super and otherwise, their nuclear dogs-of-war straining on the leash in readiness should lines be crossed. We are repeatedly reminded of the fact that it is now possible to cause enormous casualties and destruction to civilian populations anywhere in the world by simply pressing a button from thousands of miles away.

We can no longer feel free because we can no longer free ourselves from the shadow of Dr. Strangelove. The more bloated the military budget becomes, the deeper we sink into gloom upon realizing how our anxiety increases exponentially with increases to the military budget.

Knowing that unknown knowns have consigned us to carceral spaces where modern-day Caesars busy themselves toying with their nuclear buttons, suggests that the middle and working classes have become prisoners in an ill-defined reality. The knowledge that capitalism engenders fear through its ‘security’ narrative has now become the problem. The ideology that keeps capitalism frothing at the mouth has produced its own evil doppelganger…a pedagogic Promethean pariah responsible for global degradation, its power ever more lethal in a world that has learned to fear its score card.

Four in ten Americans sometimes face what economists call “material hardship,” struggling to pay for basic needs such as food and housing, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Even middle-class families routinely struggle financially and are occasionally unable to pay their bills and more and more ordinary citizen are beginning to feel that they no longer have a part to play in a secular agenda that has become the property of the military establishment.

So, the problem now is that civilians seem unable to deal with facts. A shut-the-fuck-up mentality now exists to banish issues that relate to questions relating to social criteria and the people who write and whistle-blow the inequities of their government. People are relentlessly exposed to facts, but as civilians, are incapable of dealing with them. Facts appear on electronic screens ad nauseam to reveal how citizens have become captive to a static reality that uses fearmongering as a way of castrating public dissent. Facts that indicate that only the elite have skin in the game are everywhere in evidence.

At the Colosseum level…the elite level…the grand referee in the orange hairpiece keeps tweeting dealership gibberish while the classes in the lower tiers are expected to remain on standby to applaud this kind of hubris. Many are amused but few are chosen…unless you are an exponent of the rules of Republican Likud or are Likud Democrats building separation walls to keep Zion in and Allah out, per medium of a nasty game of musical chairs…a la currency wars!

Secondary development is fine, but at what cost to that primary narrative within us that depends on freedom of expression? It is ironic that many of the ‘learned’ amongst us strategically position themselves between the people and the elites, thereby limiting the potential for development within the masses. Traditionally, the policy of our rulers…shepherds… was to herd the ‘sheeple’ into the shepherd’s fold, lest he or she escape the soporific effects of propaganda or holy writ. To our great dismay, most of our teachers to this day do little other that look in the rear-view mirror for inspiration.

Justifications for releasing the ‘Dogs of War’ on civilians who can’t defend themselves are inevitable meaningless. For example, the American-Zionist agenda which manufactures fear for the purpose of manufacturing enemies for the purpose of manufacturing wars, has of itself become a war on truth. Sadly, the reason why investigative reporting became so highly selective is that in the US, truth had lost its place in the established media. The fact of the matter is, white-middle-class Americans respond with pique when confronted with criticism of their values. Sadly, exposing the injustices perpetrated on Muslims, Palestinians or Black People is a matter of little concern…a poignant example of what happens to complacent people when they turn away from the truth.

What William Kristol and Robert Kagan proposed when helping to draft the ‘Project for the New American Century’, was a manufactured narrative that led the average citizen to believe that their security depended on elites who could explain the threats they were exposed to…a win-win solution designed to keep them believing that they needed the protection of elites. And what the elites were telling them was that the military establishment was a bulwark against chaos, and the destruction of their state and the possibility that they might become subservient to non-white people.

The West, having created a bifurcated paradigm called democracy sold it to the public as a vector capable of promoting the verity of good governance. But unfortunately, as all paradigms contain bias, the model in question went to great lengths to conceal the presence of the schism within. An upper tier and a lower tier came into existence, whereby the resolution of conflicts was subject to the veto powers of the upper tier. Soon the upper tier set about training minds in the lower-tier to shepherd the resources of the state in ways that benefited the upper-tier. Sadly, over time, the upper tier became more interested in the subject of fiscal welfare (for themselves) rather than pursuing outcomes that could serve the interests of the entire polity.

The bifurcated concept of democracy as propounded by our learned founding-fathers was from the beginning a sleight of hand operating in deference to proprietorial principles enabling the architects of the system to retain control of their plan by fostering the notion that their vector of choice, democracy, could deliver justice for all.

In the US, a tiny number of people cream off virtually all the wealth. Ever since the first Cold War, the ‘sheeple’ have been led to believe that an external threat to their security existed and that it could only be managed by the ruling elite. Spending money to secure the two-tiered realm would require the creation of a global military force capable of warding off threats to American hegemony.

In recent times, emotions pertaining to loss of kudos led to acrimonious debate within the US. Insisting that the Western alliance would work better if individual members paid a bigger share of the costs involved in maintaining NATO came to the fore. This policing agency, the tip of the economic iceberg that was put in place to secure right-of-passage for US hegemony in the first instance, was now upping the ante…the cost of missiles had increased. To date, the dust may have settled, but the opprobrium (phlegm) released by Emperor continues to rile the ruled.

In middle America…the beltway…the media, academia and the entertainment industry share a quasi-moral narrative which floats like an iceberg in an inland sea. This inland sea has a mirror-like surface which reflects the vanity of its citizenry who need to bathe in the unholy waters of hubris. For the upper and middle classes, focusing on America’s military might enables them to revel in unadulterated vainglory. Hubris within the upper class had reached a point where debasement of human values became the norm. Celebrations of inhouse grandiosity suggesting that inverted middle-class American perspectives had passed their use-by-date.

And as the wealth of the nation continued its rise upwards, the lower tier showed signs that something had become unsustainable. The top-heaviness of the unequal economic order had begun to impact unfavourably on the lower tier. From the anonymity of the sheep-pen, the so-called sheeple people had discovered a flaw in that aphorism which stated, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. They discovered that these perspectives were held by pedagogic Prometheans peering into histories rear-view mirrors. They were teachers who would never experience the thrill that came with grassroot activity or feel passions that could change the course of history.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

How the West’s War in Libya Has Spurred Terrorism in 14 Countries

The Saker

May 09, 2019

[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]

Introduction

It is sometimes helpful not to look at any one specific issue in detail, but rather make a survey of ongoing processes instead. The resulting picture is neither better nor worse, it is simply different. This is what I want to do today: to take a bird’s eye view of our suffering planet.

Putin trolls the Empire

It is all really simple: if the Ukrainians will give passports to Russian citizens, and we in Russia will be handing out passports to the Ukrainians, then sooner or later will will reach the expected result: everybody will have the same citizenship. This is something which we have to welcome.

Vladimir Putin

It appears that the Kremlin is very slowly changing its approach to the Ukrainian issue and is now relying more on unilateral actions. The first two measures taken by the Russians are maybe not “too little too late”, but certainly “just the bare minimum and at that, rather late”. Still, I can only salute the Kremlin’s newly found determination. Specifically, the Kremlin has banned the export of energy products to the Ukraine (special exemptions can still be granted on a case by case basis) and the Russians have decided to distribute Russian passports to the people of Novorussia. Good.

Zelenskii’s reaction to this decision came as the first clear sign that the poor man has no idea what he is doing and no plan as to how to deal with the Russians. He decided to crack a joke, (which he is reportedly good at), and declare that the Ukrainian passport was much better than the Russian one and that the Ukraine will start delivering Ukrainian passports to Russian citizens. Putin immediately replied with one of his typical comebacks declaring that he supports Zelenskii and that he looks forward to the day when Russians and Ukrainians will have the same citizenship again. Zelenskii had nothing to say to that 🙂

Zelenskii finally finds something common to Russia and the Ukraine

I have been thinking long about this “a lot in common” between Ukraine and Russia. The reality is that today, after the annexation of the Crimea and the aggression in the Donbas, of the “common” things we have only one thing left – this is the state border. And control of every inch on the Ukrainian side, must be returned by Russia. Only then will we be able to continue the search for [things in] “common”

Vladimir Zelenskii

Well, almost. He did eventually make a Facebook post in which he declared that all that Russia and the Ukraine had in common was a border. This instantly made him the object of jokes and memes, since all Russians or Ukrainians know that Russia and the Ukraine have many old bonds which even 5 years of a vicious civil war and 5 years of hysterically anti-Russian propaganda could not sever. They range from having close relatives in the other country, to numerous trade and commercial transactions, to a common language. The closest thing to a real Ukrainian language would be the Surzhik which is roughly 50/50 in terms of vocabulary and whose pronunciation is closer to the south Russian one than to the Zapadenskii regional dialect spoken in the western Ukraine and which is used (and currently imposed) by the Ukronazi junta in Kiev.

The malignant manatee threatens the planet with fire and brimstone

We have Pompeo, a malignant manatee looking to start wars in which he will not risk his flabby amorphous ass also parading his Christianity. Bolton, a mean sonofabitch who belongs in a strait jacket, at least doesn’t pose as someone having a soul. And the Golden Tufted Cockatoo, too weak to control those around him, preening and tweeting. God save us.

Fred Reed

The term “malignant manatee” is not from me, the brilliant Fred Reed came up with this one, but I can only fully endorse it because it fits. Perfectly. And our malignant manatee sure is on a roll! Just this week he managed to threaten VenezuelaIran, and even Russia and China together. I think that it is high time to declare that Pompeo is a bona fide nutcase, a dangerous, arrogant and ignorant psychopath whose crazy statements represent a direct threat to the entire planet. Not to say that his pal Bolton is any less crazy. Now combine these two rabid thugs with the spineless “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reed’s equally hilarious but accurate characterization) and you see that the planet is in big, big trouble.

Turns out that Putin is a crypto-Zionist and an Israeli puppet.

Here I won’t even bother with any quotes. The alternative Internet/blogosphere has, again, been hit by a wave of articles declaring that Putin is Netanyahu’s puppet and a crypto-Zionist. I have debunked that nonsense in the past (see here and here) and I won’t repeat it all here. Besides, what this surge in “Putin the Zionist” propaganda is, is not so much the result of a gradual realization about the true agenda or Putin himself as much as it is, yet again, a desperate scramble for clicks. I already discussed that recently too (see here). I will just reiterate my conclusion here: clickbaiters are never experts and experts are never clickbaiters.

Frankly, to all those who email me and ask “Is it really true? Putin is an Israeli puppet? He helps Netanyahu in Syria, does he not?!” I would suggest simply looking at what the Israelis and Zionists write about Putin (for starters, you can click herehere or here). Even better, ask the defenders of Putin the crytpo-Zionist to explain the hysterically anti-Putin campaign the US legacy Ziomedia has been engaged in for the past years! But don’t hold your breath for an answer – since Russia has comprehensively foiled all Israel’s many plans for Syria, it takes a remarkable determination not to see that Putin is hated by Neocons and Zionists alike, and for good cause, I would add.

Oh, and Putin is a crypto-Muslim too!

Yes, besides being a crypto-Zionist, Putin is also a crypto-Muslim. This latest nonsense usually comes from Alt-Right circles who can forgive Putin his friendliness to Israel, but not to Islam. These are the folks who believe that Putin is not a real defender of the “White Race”. They are opposed by those who believe that Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate will somehow jump-start the “Christian West”. We are talking about some hardcore “single-issue” folks here whose main disagreement is whether Jews or Muslims are to be hated (and feared!) most.

[Having had to deal with both groups myself – I have been accused of being a Jew, a Jew lover and a Muslim and a Muslim lover many times! – I know that reasoning with these folks is a total waste of time. Their paranoid hatred is completely incompatible with any fact-based and logical discussion. Besides, by arguing with them you threaten their income and livelihood – which due to their lack of expertise depends entirely on their ability to generate clickbait revenue. If you do engage with them, they will call you a Jew-lover or an Islam-lover and that’s it. Not worth your time IMHO].

The quasi-comical truth is that the Alt-Righters don’t get Russia *at all*. They keep transposing their narrow horizons on a nation with which they have absolutely nothing in common, not even religiously or racially (even if they think otherwise). Hence their love-hate relationship with Putin: on one hand, they would love to have a champion like Putin (Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos do not qualify), but on the other, they hate Putin for not endorsing their racist and fascist agenda. Truth be told: Russia has no use for these intellectual midgets.

Russia is “selling out” to the Taliban?

Well, since we are making a (tongue-in-cheek) “inventory” of all of Putin’s (and even Russia’s) sins, let’s include cozying up to the Taliban (who even agreed to put on Saint George’s Ribbons!) and… … and what exactly is happening here?

How about trying to bring peace back to Afghanistan? You know – the same thing Russia is doing in Venezuela, in Syria and elsewhere. This implies talking to the other side, and even striking smiling poses when asked by the press.

Needless to say, the thugs running the AngloZionst Empire have accused Russia or aiding and even arming the Taliban. And why not? This is no more ridiculous than saying that Saddam and Iran are helping al-Qaeda, or than saying that Russia “hacked” DNC computers, or told Maduro not to run for his life. Hey! We are living in “Skripal times” and the rules of evidence have changed to “highly likely” – so why not claim that Russia is also selling out to the Taliban (maybe even on Netanyahu’s orders?).

In the meantime, Russian soldiers are busy ducking missiles…

Yep, apparently unaware that their Commander-in-Chief is a puppet of both Israel and the worldwide Islamic Ummah, Russian servicemen are ducking missiles in Syria. The latest attack saw them shoot 36 missiles (and one targeting drone) out of the sky. This is good news, of course, but this just goes to show that these (US and Israel backed) Islamists shooting these missiles have not been informed that the Russian military in Syria is here to help Netanyahu and Trump. Somebody should probably tell them 😉

Conclusion: just one more crazy and terrifying week, with many more to come

I tried to be a little tongue-in-cheek here, but the reality is that what is taking place before our eyes is both absolutely insane and most terrifying. Why? Because the world is now ruled by a most dangerous gang of ignorant thugs who are very rapidly losing their grip on our planet and who is simply neither intellectually equipped to understand, nor deal with this very complex and rapidly changing situation.

What we are seeing is a full-spectrum collapse of the unipolar world and its gradual, but also inexorable, replacement with a multi-polar world in which things like “speaking with your adversaries or even enemies” becomes the norm rather than the exception. Even more importantly, this is a world in which US threats always fall on deaf ears simply because nobody takes the US seriously anymore. While the US military probably has the capability to re-invade Grenada or “bring democracy” to the inhabitants of the North Sentinel Island – no adults in the room will be impressed (least of all the Iranians!).

It is this quiet indifference which enrages the likes of Pompeo, Bolton or Trump – for all their narcissistic chest-thumping – they are, and will forever remain, the ultimate losers – folks who simply couldn’t get *anything* done. Even more terrifying is their sense of total impunity. If Obama was “democracy with a human face” then Trump is “democracy with a simian face” – not much better.

When I think that a “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reeds wonderful image) has the authority to press the nuclear button I feel terrified. I also realize that the survival of the human species will depend on Putin and Xi and their ability to gradually disarm or neutralize the US threat without triggering a nuclear war.

These are truly terrifying times. If you are not terrified, then you are delusional.

But if being terrified is a natural and absolutely normal reaction, we need to overcome it and fearlessly resist. Like Maduro does, surrounded by his men.

This refusal to be afraid, even while being terrified, is how we will eventually defeat the Empire!

Venezuela is, by far, the weakest link in the chain of resistance to the Empire. But look at these faces! All I can say is this: may the courage of the kids protecting not only Maduro, but also the sovereignty of their country, be an inspiration to us all, no matter how terrified we are.

UPDATE: turns out that it was not Russia or Cuba which are responsible for the failed coup. According to Neocon US Senator from Florida, Venezuela regime change crusader Marco Rubio, it’s the Chinese! I wonder whom the US leaders are going to blame next? Any guesses?

What will Putin tell Erdogan and what was Netanyahu notified? ماذا سيسمع أردوغان من بوتين وماذا تبلّغ نتنياهو؟

What will Putin tell Erdogan and what was Netanyahu notified?

مايو 9, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The newspapers and media sites are filled with analyses and information attributed to “informed” sources about linking the Israeli raids on Syria with the Turkish seeking for a safe zone agreed upon with the Americans, and considering the ongoing movement in the southern and northern of Syria a way to weaken it by getting Iran and Hezbollah away from it, and the arrangement of the Turkish-Kurdish relationships under American-Russian consent. Those also support their conclusions with what they called the Russian silence towards the Israeli raids in the light of the resumption of the meetings between Israeli and Russian military delegations on one hand, and in the light of the American-Turkish agreement after a dispute on a safe zone and the Kurdish positive position towards it on the other hand.

After scrutiny, it can be said that these conclusions are a complementary part of the Israeli attacks and the Turkish threats. They aim at decreasing the threats resulted from the American withdrawal, to fill the gap resulted from it, and the seeking to distort the scene that foreshadows of the victory of the Syria and its president. The Turkish- Israeli alternation to occupy the political and military media scene under US sponsorship is an interpretation of that. To imagine that Russia is seeking to get the Israeli satisfaction after taming the Israeli military and deterring it is illogic especially at the time of the American withdrawal, and the focus on the Russian messages reported by the Israeli press to avoid the military and security tampering in Syria give signs for those who do not want to be victims of the media campaign. The scrutiny in the concept of the safe zone raises a fundamental question about how to set it through Turkish military incursion that is considered by Syria an aggression and occupation, and which is totally different from the Turkish presence in Idlib which was covered after the battle of Aleppo two years ago by Russia and Iran according to Astana path. Therefore, does Turkey have the will to prevent the Syrian army from the deployment in the areas from which the Americans withdraw through air embargo in the light of the Russian presence? And will Astana path remain after that?

What has been promoted by the “informed sources” means neglecting the facts of the past two years, If Turkey was in a state that can be adequate with American coverage, Astana path that culminated the defeat of Turkey and its armed groups in Aleppo would not be exist, and if Israel was in a state of being exclusive and sufficient with American coverage, the prevention of entering the Syrian airspace which culminated with the defeat of the armed groups backed by Israel in the Syrian south would not be achieved, as the situation of the Americans in Tanf base while they were seeing the strongholds of the armed groups in Ghouta falling in front of the strikes of the Syrian army without doing nothing, although their connection with Tanf base across the desert was dividing Syria into two parts. This was before the talk about the US withdrawal and before the achievement of the Russians, so how can Russia accept the division of Syria? in other words “the open war”, and how can Russia accept to end the alliance with Iran, Syria, and the resistance forces and take the risk of the defeat of its presence in the region while it is winning for fear of bothering Turkey or Israel, although it did not do so while they were at the peak of their strength.

Today the Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the Turkish President Recep Erdogan in order to discuss the issue of the safe zone. Erdogan will hear decisive Russian words about respecting the Syrian legitimacy represented by the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian army and refusing any military presence on the Syrian territory without that legitimacy. He will also hear clear words about the sticking to the unity and the sovereignty of Syria and about the controls governed by the path of Astana and the impossibility to violate them. Netanyahu heard the words of President Putin reported by the Russian officials that the Israeli movement will lead to a confrontation that will end with Israeli collision with Russia. So every party should be aware of its responsibilities and as long as the meeting will end with a clear statement it would be an appropriate opportunity for those who want to verify from that.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ماذا سيسمع أردوغان من بوتين وماذا تبلّغ نتنياهو؟ 

يناير 23, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– تملأ الصحف والمواقع الإعلامية تحليلات ومعلومات منسوبة لمصادر «مطلعة» تدور حول ربط الغارات الإسرائيلية في سورية بالسعي التركي لمنطقة آمنة متفق عليها مع الأميركيين، واعتبار الحركة الجارية في جنوب سورية وشمالها لإضعاف مشروع الدولة السورية، وصولاً لإخراج إيران وحزب الله، وترتيب العلاقات التركية الكردية، بتوافق أميركي روسي، ويورد أصحاب «المصادر المطلعة» استنتاجاتهم بما يسمّونه الصمت الروسي على الغارات الإسرائيلية في ظل عودة اللقاءات بين وفود عسكرية إسرائيلية وروسية، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة بالتوافق الأميركي التركي بعد خلاف شديد على المنطقة الآمنة، والإعلان الكردي الإيجابي تجاهها.

– التدقيق في سياق المنطق الذي تُبنى عليه هذه الاستنتاجات، يمكن النظر إليها كجزء متمّم للاعتداءات الإسرائيلية والتهديدات التركية، الهادفتين لامتصاص بعض المخاطر المترتبة على الانسحاب الأميركي ومحاولة تقاسم ملء الفراغ الناتج عنه، والسعي لتطويق وقتل المناخ الذي يوحي بانتصار الدولة السورية ورئيسها، والتناوب التركي الإسرائيلي برعاية أميركية لتقاسم المسرح الإعلامي السياسي العسكري ليس إلا ترجمة لهذا البعد، فتخيّل روسيا العائدة لطلب الرضا الإسرائيلي بعد ترويض العسكرية الإسرائيلية وردعها، هو خروج عن المنطق، وأن يحدث هذا في زمن الانسحاب الأميركي، محض خرافة، والتمعّن في الرسائل الروسية التي نقلتها الصحافة الإسرائيلية تحذيراً من التمادي في اللعب العسكري والأمني داخل سورية، يقدم الكثير لمن يريد ألا يكون ضحية الحملات الإعلامية، والتدقيق في مفهوم المنطقة الآمنة يطرح سؤالاً جوهرياً حول كيفية إقامتها، بتوغل عسكري تركي تعتبره سورية عدواناً واحتلالاً، وهو مختلف كلياً عن الوجود التركي في إدلب الذي حاز بعد معركة حلب قبل عامين الغطاء الروسي الإيراني وفقاً لمسار أستانة، وهل تملك تركيا القدرة والإرادة على منع الجيش السوري من الانتشار في المناطق التي سينسحب منها الأميركيون بحظر جوي، في ظل الوجود الروسي، وهل يتبقى شيء من مسار أستانة إذا تم ذلك؟

– ما تسوقه «المصادر المطلعة» لا يعني إلا القفز فوق ما تقوله وقائع السنتين الماضيتين، لجهة أن تركيا لو كانت بوضع يتيح الانفراد، أو الاكتفاء بتغطية أميركية، لما كان مسار أستانة، الذي توّج هزيمة حلب لتركيا وجماعاتها المسلحة، وأن «إسرائيل» لو كانت بوضع يتيح لها الانفراد الموازي، أو الاكتفاء بتغطية أميركية، لما كان الامتناع عن دخول الأجواء السورية، الذي توّج هزيمة الجنوب السوري للجماعات المسلحة المدعومة من «إسرائيل»، كما كان الحال الأميركي في قاعدة التنف وهم يرون معقل الجماعات المسلحة في الغوطة يتهاوى أمام ضربات الجيش السوري تحت أنظارهم، من دون أن يقدموا لها شيئاً وهي التي كان اتصالها بقاعدة التنف عبر الصحراء يشطر سورية إلى شطرين، وكل ذلك جرى والأميركيون كانوا ما قبل حديث الانسحاب، والروس كانوا ما قبل تذوق طعم الإنجاز، فكيف يُعقل أن تقبل روسيا عملياً بتقسيم سورية، وتقاسمها بما يعني بقاء الحرب فيها مفتوحة، وهل تفك عقد التحالف مع إيران وسورية وقوى المقاومة، وتخاطر بهزيمة حضورها في المنطقة وهي تنتصر، خشية إغضاب تركيا و»إسرائيل»، وهي لم تفعل ذلك وهما في ذروة القوة، ترتضي فعله وهما مهزومتان؟

– اليوم سيستقبل الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، والهدف التركي هو بحث المنطقة الآمنة، وسيسمع أردوغان كلاماً روسياً حاسماً حول احترام الشرعية السورية التي يمثلها الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد والجيش السوري، ورفض أي وجود عسكري على الأرض السورية خارج نطاق هذه الشرعية، وسيسمع كلاماً واضحاً وحاسماً عن التمسك بوحدة وسيادة سورية، وعن الضوابط التي تحكم مسار أستانة واستحالة التسامح مع انتهاكه، كما وصل لمسامع نتنياهو ما قاله المسؤولون الروس نقلاً عن الرئيس بوتين، بأن الحركة الإسرائيلية ستدفع المنطقة إلى مواجهة ستؤدي إلى تصادم إسرائيلي مع روسيا، وعندها يجب أن يكون كل طرف مدرك مسؤولياته، وثبات كلام الرئيس بوتين لكليهما يكفي إثباته بما يُقال لأحدهما، وطالما أن اللقاء اليوم سينتهي ببيان يمكن قراءة ما بين سطوره، سيكون مناسبة للإثبات والنفي لكل الذين يريدون التحقق.

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Syria Military Operation to Liberate Idlib Has Begun. Estimated 40,000 Terrorists in Idlib

The last terrorist-held territory under attack

Global Research, May 08, 2019

The zero-hour has arrived in Idlib, as the long awaited military operations to clear the last remaining terrorist-controlled area in Syria has begun.  It is estimated that there are 40,000 terrorists, some with their families, and they comprise many different terrorist groups, which are now aligned under one umbrella.  Colonel Suheil Al-Hassan of the Tiger Forces is part of the ground forces advancing on the province, in the wake of air strikes.   Idlib’s population, about 2 million today, has changed since 2011.

Idlib was one of the first areas infiltrated by the Radical Islamic political ideology of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).  The very first murder in Idlib by the Syrian ‘rebels’ in 2011 was the pharmacist Dr. Samir Kanatry, who was killed and then burnt up inside his pharmacy in August 2011 at Ma’arat Numan.  He was murdered because he was advocating secular values.  The US-backed FSA were sectarian from the outset, and any secular political ideals were their enemy.

The majority of Syrians do not support armed revolution in order to create a new sectarian based Syrian government. The ‘rebels’ only hope was to incite a military intervention by US-NATO forces based on a fabricated story of a chemical attack.  They tried this ploy repeatedly, and it never succeeded.  Even aligning them with Al Qaeda didn’t work, as the FSA and Al Qaeda developed their own ‘wars’ amongst themselves.

Beginning in 2011 many residents of Idlib fled: some to Latakia as a safe-haven from the ‘rebels’, who by then were clearly acting as terrorists.  Some of the residents of Idlib sided with the terrorists, and yet others fled to Turkey which is close by, with promises not only of safety, but financial support, and possible long term benefits from Turkish citizenship and income.

The current residents in Idlib are a very mixed bag: almost 4,000 of them are Chinese citizens. They are Uyghers from the far West of China, which is a Turkic speaking Muslim population.  Pres. Erdogan of Turkey inticed them to come to Turkey on passports he had issued, and then cross the border into Syria.  He supported their Jihad to Syria, and they brought parents, wives, and children and they are well-armed.   Pres. Erdogan sees the Uyghurs as ‘long lost cousins’, sharing the same root language as modern Turkey.

The “White Helmets” are in Idlib, too.  This award-winning video troop has been evacuated from other terrorist areas which were cleared by the SAA.

Why are the “White Helmets” (WH) only in areas under terrorist control?

Why have we never seen any WH rescuing people in places that were targeted by the ‘rebels’?  Recently, a missile fell on the Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia and destroyed a home: why weren’t the WH there to pull the injured from the rubble?

Raed Saleh, the main organizer of the WH recently spoke with National Public Radio in the USA, and he said,

“The revolution still goes on.  We have not lost. This revolution continues.”

He also admitted that his group still receives funding from the US government.  It appears his focus is not helping to rescue people or any humanitarian project: his goal is a “revolution”.  This proves the group is not neutral, or humanitarian.

They work strictly within a political framework that was developed by the US-NATO organizers of the destruction of Syria.  The question not asked of him by NPR is: “How much support does the revolution have among the current population in Syria?”  The majority of Syrian citizens who have never left Syria, and have endured 8 years of armed conflict, want peace.  They want to rebuild their lives, homes, and businesses.

Russia and Turkey entered into a de-escalation agreement on Idlib last year.  This agreement was supposed to entail the Al Qaeda affiliates, as well as ISIS and all other recognized terrorist groups, moving away from civilian areas, thus allowing forces to target and eliminate terrorists, while protecting innocent civilians.  However, the agreement did not cause the separation of the innocent from the terrorists.

In fact, some terrorist groups fought with each other and innocent civilians were killed and injured, as well as some armed groups made new alliances that moved their designation from ‘rebels’ to terrorists.  Many people wondered why would Russia and Turkey make a pact to safeguard and protect armed groups?  Turkey has always been a supporter of the armed groups, including Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Jibhat al Nusra, which is the leading force occupying Idlib.

Idlib residents are Americans, French, Belgian, Australian, British, North African, and Saudi Arabian.  Some are Syrians but were originally from Aleppo, Deraa, Homs, East Ghouta and other locations far removed from Idlib. The Syrians living in Idlib today were mainly bussed to Idlib, as their areas fell to the SAA, and they chose to live in exile in Idlib rather than surrender and resume peaceful life.

The Western media warns of the largest humanitarian disaster waiting to happen in Idlib if the SAA and its Russian allies take the area.  One wonders where the Western media was when those terrorists in Idlib shot missiles repeatedly at Kessab, Latakia, Slonfa, Hama, Aleppo, Jeblah, and M’Hardeh.  Where were the cries about deaths, injuries, and loss of property such as schools, and homes in places targeted by the terrorists?

In fact, many industries which lay on the perimeter of Idlib are unable to recover or rebuild, even though peace is restored, because they live under the threat of missile and drone attacks, launched by the terrorists who are protected in Idlib.  An example is Kessab, which was attacked, destroyed and occupied in March 2014 by the FSA and Al Qaeda.  The Christian village is far from Idlib, yet the missiles still land there and have landed in the school while children were playing.

America and her western allies, including the Arab Gulf monarchies, have the policy to prevent Syria from peaceful recovery and rebuilding.   They are demanding ‘regime-change’ prior to rebuilding, even though they lost the war.  Once Idlib is retaken by the SAA, the US-NATO project for the “New Syria” made in their image will be declared dead.

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The Yellow Vest Salpêtrière Hospital hoax: I reported live from there as it happened

May 05, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The Yellow Vest Salpêtrière Hospital hoax: I reported live from there as it happened

The French government has been forced to shamefully admit that they made totally false accusations that May Day Yellow Vest anti-government protesters tried to break into the Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital in order to “attack”, “assault” and “steal”. Countless mainstream media are just as covered in ignominy for having repeated these untrue claims.

I was right there when it happened, covering it for PressTV, so I witnessed exactly what transpired.

In fact, I even gave a live interview at the exact time of the incident, just after 4pm. I don’t have a copy of that for now, but I hope to get one soon: certainly, I can explain what happened and why.

Why it happened: A new rule permitting even worse police brutality against Yellow Vests

May 1st was the debut of a new policing tactic: cops can initiate violence against peaceful protesters.

It is just that objectively simple, openly discussed, and easy to explain:

Cops are now using the age-old method of “divide and conquer”… on peaceful protesters. On May 1st a line of riot cops repeatedly charged the demonstrators in order to sever them into two, more manageable sections. One section of the protest is forced to advance, while the other section is forced to wait behind.

Of course, police are not watching their elbows and politely saying, “Excuse me” – the only way to stop peaceful demonstrators from moving is to violently get in their way and then violently bar them from advancing one more step. That is “initiating violence”, and they didn’t used to do that with the regularity we saw on May 1.

The cops did this at the start of the demonstration at 2pm, and to achieve their goal of cutting the demo into two sides they gassed about 5-8,000 people. I was doing a live interview at that time as well (I don’t have a copy of that one, but I do have others from that day, read on for the link!). It was so violent and so shocking – tear gas forcing thousands of people to flee – that I had to talk (yell) for 20+ minutes live, giving myself a temporary headache. We almost had to turn and run, but we stood our ground: I take no credit, of course, but when cops advanced as far as journalists reporting live they finally relented and let the demonstration proceed, as they had set up an unprecedented, shockingly-narrow, cop-filled corridor tens of thousands of people had to slowly pass through. Happy International Workers’ Day!

Back to 4pm: the cops again cut the demonstration, and they did so right in front of the hospital. So, firstly, if anyone is at fault for putting the hospital in the line of fire it is the riot cops because they chose to re-initiate violence at that particular spot.

Why that spot? Because Boulevard de l’Hôpital was the final straightaway until the end of the protest – the roundabout Place d’Italie: the government’s new tactic also meant they wanted to allow the first group of protesters (the most hard core) to enter Place d’Italie all alone… so they could be gassed, attacked and cleared out before for the next section of protesters arrived. Gas, attack and clear out; gas, attack and clear out Place d’Italie – this happened three times (in my estimation, but I was only there for numbers 2 and 3). This is the result of the new, so called “more offensive” police tactics.

Why do that? Because the government did not want the protest – 40,000 strong – to finish together, in celebration. The government was threatened by this large gathering, so they simply did not allow it to happen.

This explains why when I finally got to Place d’Italie it was a bizarre, desolate, damaged ghost town. Construction barricades had been toppled and damaged, along with advertisements and bus stops, there was garbage, glass and tear gas canisters everywhere… yet no people. Just an empty Place d’Italie, surrounded by cops at all eight exits.

Allow me to say this: I have never seen more cops that day in Paris. This was a city under foreign occupation, truly.

Entire regions of the city were rendered inaccessible to citizens, with armored vehicles and enormous temporary, metal gates blocking off road after road after road. But the number of cops… staggering. There was a squadron of riot police every 200 meters along the demonstration route, which was limited to a tiny section; so small, in fact, that I started my day at Place d’Italie at 11 am, covering the first demo (ecological protesters, of course, who only want to make their stupid complaints and then leave – quite pleased with themselves – before the violence starts), only to return there at the end of the day. Yes, it was back and forth along the only, narrow, permitted path to celebrate International Workers’ Day in the “birthplace of human rights”. This is why there was not more violence that day – cops were everywhere.

But wait, it’s worse! I actually drove in from 130 kilometers outside Paris that day: there were rural gendarmes searching cars and people (without warrants, based only on suspicion) at every toll booth and gas station. They waved me through, each time, without searching me.

What went down at the hospital

So the cops cut the demo at 14h, the start, and then they did it at again at 16h. I was in the group forced to wait behind, stuck in front of the hospital, as the first group was getting their butts kicked at Place d’Italie while waiting for comrades who would never be allowed to join them. May 1st was a demonstration in stages, and only in certain places – certainly not “freedom of assembly”.

So to cut the demo into two means to separate friends from each other – that creates anger. The cops have no fear of provoking anger because they have tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, truncheons and the power to arrest against totally unarmed protesters… and that’s exactly what they did at 16h.

It was a rough 30 minutes. I was at the front lines and I’ve seen worse in France, but it was no picnic either.

Cops launched tear gas first, as always, to repel the protesters from the separation line they were undemocratically enforcing. Tear gas, then water cannons, and then hand-to-hand combat – it’s the same thing I’ve seen since 2010, but I assume this existed in France long before then: this is the culture here.

So, via tear gas, cops caused a third of the protesters to flee into a side street (Rue des Wallons), while another third fled further back on the Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux, while the final third was pushed against the side gates of the now-infamous Hôpitaux Universitaires Pitié Salpêtrière. This is where the cops made their mistake (although this is all mistakes in preserving citizen security): they tear-gassed protesters who had nowhere else to go. Some panicked protesters somehow got through the side gates and entered into the hospital grounds.

And it was “panicked protesters” – subsequent videos have proven that it was not “Black Bloc” nor even Yellow Vests who forced their way into the hospital. The only people who actually made it into the hospital were just two elderly men who said they had been “tear gassed all day”. The video has made the government and the mainstream media appear even more terrible and pathetic. Not much more needs to be said….

More interesting: Why even try to get into the hospital? It’s a stupid move, like running upstairs in a horror movie – you have nowhere to go; you are sure to be arrested and/or abused. But those protesters couldn’t think that far ahead, because they were frightened, gassed, hurt, simple everyday citizens and not Black Bloc, cops or that other group which straddles both those groups – journalists.

Of course, there were no TV reporters during this long melee. There were plenty of photographers and some cameramen, and surely some print reporters, but not any TV reporters. Maybe all these journalists were working for a company, or maybe they were working for independent Yellow Vest blogs – who can tell? However, as is often the case at the front lines, I was the only one with a logo and doing a live interview.

I take that back: a lady for Italy’s RAI was there during all this. She was doing her “piece to camera”, the little wrap-up for a TV report – not a live interview. Major kudos, though.

French media on the front line? Ha! Dream on!

I don’t know why – they could be. They could hire 3 security guards (instead of the usual 1 or 2), and then 3 ombudsman to explain to (very likely angry and confrontational) protesters, “We are here now! We are trying to do a good job for France! Don’t get violent with us, please!” Maybe that’s naïve of me, but totally hiding from the front line – hiding the reality of what’s going on at the front lines for everyday citizens, such as those trapped at Hospital Pitié Salpêtrière – only further ruins the reputation of French media within France. Don’t they feel an obligation to report on such an event properly… in their own damned country?!

And then they so quickly relay whatever the government wildly claims without any verification. Oh boy….

Please stop the tear gas – I’m live on TV

The hand-to-hand combat: Tougher protesters had wanted to… keep marching. That’s all. But riot police violence prevented them and attacked them – so they fought back.

Such “resistance” is really quite, quite stupid, I think – I mean, both sides keep the kid gloves on. And thank God, because it’s not even close to a fair fight: every square inch of the bodies of cops are protected with 8,000 euros worth of equipment; cops have been searching for weapons from a 130 kilometer-wide radius around Paris, so nothing can even the playing field; protesters have none of the cops tactical knowledge, organization or discipline. Hand-to-hand means a cat and mouse game and very quick skirmishes.

I recall that, amid the melee, there was a teenager dressed in black tossing a rock up and down, like a gangster flipping a quarter on a street corner.

Stupid….

A plainclothes cop – dressed as if he was a fellow Black Bloc member – dropped his phony act: he grabbed the kid and threw him to the ground with 100% of his force. Hey, the kid was holding a rock like a weapon and looking like he was about to use it – the kid was dead to rights, and by showing off he gave the cops time to think and react. As they dragged him away I thought: Poor kid – he’s going to prison for a year or so. Some might be surprised that a cop would – gasp! – dress up as a Black Bloc member: Why that never happens! Yeah, sure….

Anyway, about a minute later – amazingly – the kid actually breaks free! He’s running away!

But a cop trips him up and the first, arresting officer hits the kid on the ground on his thigh with his telescopic truncheon as hard as anything you can imagine. Punches sound nothing like they do in movies, of course, but the sound of this hit was enormous. If the cop had hit the kid’s knee it would have been shattered – thankfully, the human femur is stronger than concrete. The kid surely has a nasty, nasty mark and a limp today.

Good ending: The kid still jumped the short garden fence on the west side of the Boulevard and got away. LOL… kids.

During this whole time I am dodging all this and waiting to go live on (smartphone) camera. My cameraman is dodging too. PressTV, which doesn’t seem to understand that I am avoiding the wild crowd along the hospital gate, the arrests and beatings across from the gate, and the cops further up the boulevard who can attack, gas or water cannon us at any moment, keeps pushing us back because they want a “stable shot”. LOL, yeah right. Amid this fluid situation?! Where I was just “stable” a rock just landed!

They want me to stand there – stock still – amid this violence, LOL. Just put me on air, already!

But PressTV is still waiting – I move to the side of hospital gate. Cops gas there again. I’m not going in the hospital grounds, but some do. Various ministers, reporters and know-nothings at home will soon be calling them bad little boys and girls… until the truth comes out.

One has to realize that during a bad gassing there is only one thought: get away from the gas. Certainly, LOL, you cannot do a single other thing until you complete that task.

Then there is – maybe – a second thought: if cops charge and attack now, I am totally helpless and done for.

That’s why ya gotta know these things, and avoid being right where the gassings land; ya gotta think a step or two ahead; ya gotta not celebrate your survival, as if it was some huge victory, because more gas (or worse) is coming. It takes time to learn this stuff – a couple dozen people haven’t had good luck and lost an eye, while over 600 have been seriously injured. Reminder: the weekly anti-Yellow Vest violence is nearing a half-year now! A half-year!!!

Anyway, I get away from the re-gassed hospital gate, and PressTV finally puts me on the air. I’m thrilled, because I want to get this live interview over with. So, I’m between the line of cops higher up Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux, and across from the hospital (Rue des Wallons) where the cat-and-mouse, will-they-or-won’t they is taking place, and I’m doing my live blah blah.

Blah blah is done, and all is well. I had been gassed several times in 30 minutes – medics kindly spraying my face with cooling solvent at one point – but I could tell the fight was ending, as it can’t go on forever. The cops finally get the order to pull back and stop antagonizing and attacking this section of the protest.

I didn’t know this at the time, but they had gotten these orders only because they had sufficiently gassed, attacked and cleared out the first protest section at Place d’Italie.

The protesters are thrilled – they have “won”… by not losing an eye or being arrested. Little victories for the oppressed masses. Cops are slowly pulling back, and the protesters all congregate in front of a group riot cops and start singing a chant. I forget what – On est la (We are here), probably.

Stupid. (But I did join in for a short minute.)

They’re just going to get gassed again. I tell my cameraman that this is not the place to be – indeed, it’s all about knowing where’s the place to NOT be! The crowd is singing louder, and it reaches a point where it’s either dance or fight, and the French don’t dance even though they are a Latin culture. Therefore, I know that someone in the crowd is going to do something to offend or antagonize the cops – or the cops will just get annoyed at the crowd’s sense of triumph – and gas will arrive shortly. Everyone is celebrating, but we are moving… and more gas arrived where we had just been. I had gotten my fair share of abuse by then.

Thanks to my press card the cops let us through and we enter Place d’Italie early.

Hey, I am not obligated to document and witness every tear gassing! LOL, this is France – that’s impossible. And there are other journalists, both good ones and bad ones.

This was the exact time when a cop was filmed throwing a rock at protesters, which is generating some news. Indeed, as we had passed the police line I had noticed that up and down Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux protesters had pried off chunks of road asphalt – they are being attacked and have no weapons, let’s recall. Nothing will happen to that cop, who should be fired immediately. It is ABSOLUTELY the primary part of the job description of a “riot cop” to take punches and not give them… but that’s only in a country which is honest, which enforces law and order, which doesn’t sic the cops on the protesters, etc.

Place d’Italie is totally empty, except for a thousand or so cops, and it’s a wreck. Me and my cameraman speculate on the possibility of an alien abduction of the first protest group.

The protest section we were with starts to filter in: we’re all gassed immediately.

That pushes us to one side of the roundabout, and that allows cops to push them all out. Ah, so there probably wasn’t an alien abduction? Coulda been nice, maybe….

We stay, because we have an interview at 18h.

So it’s 18h and here I am – getting gassed live on camera again (6:50 mark). The wind had shifted and it was on us quickly… but I have a tolerance to tear gas after all these years.

PressTV takes me off camera… that’s so annoying. What am I getting gassed for, then? We want to show the sufferings of the people – so show it! If we aren’t going to show it, then I can just stay in back with all the other journalists!!!

But ya gotta be at the front – at least sometimes. Protesters gotta see professional journalists are there to (somewhat) protect them, and cops gotta see that professional journalists are there to document what they do.

It’s a real shame more reporters aren’t doing live reports from the front lines, because cops know they can’t do anything to anyone on live TV – they surely are forced to rein in their violent tactics. It’s a real shame mainstream reporters (and I include PressTV with them, in a rare instance) aren’t going to the front line. Again, I am no courageous guy, I just feel that the Yellow Vests are nothing new: France’s Yellow Vests: It’s just 1 protest…which has lasted 8 years, was the first article I wrote on the Yellow Vests, and it stresses that this violence against peaceful protesters is absolutely, positively nothing new.

I’ve seen these “battles” before many, many times – and I think I know how to safely handle it. Knock wood for luck, but experience gives everyone – a reporter, a Black Bloc member, a cop – a sixth sense, and a genuine ability to predict what comes next because it is all rather formulaic (although not on May 1). I know I am not courageous, because I would never put my cameraman at risk; more importantly, I would never put his expensive camera at risk, and that shows you how well-paid we are when the camera is the utmost priority! No joke….

But French TV reporters weren’t at the front lines with the rail workers, with anti-State of Emergency protesters, with the “you can’t ban pro-Palestinian marches” protesters, and on and on and on in France since 2010.

That was, I assume, the last gassing of the day because right when I am gassed live you can see that unions and their fancy floats are starting to arrive – no more poor Yellow Vests.

Unions, of course, have signed off on every major austerity measure since 2010, and are incredibly easy to “divide and conquer” with targeted concessions… so cops surely just wanted to give them a nice Place d’Italie to stand around, talk loud and say nuthin’. This is why many Yellow Vests don’t want to march with unions, even on May Day.

At that point I left to go and do our report for that day.

All in all – not a bad day

I was expecting May Day to be bad – I was honestly concerned, as I do have things to live for besides these articles, you know – and it was pretty bad.

But it was only bad at the start and the finish – the massive, massive, massive police presence all along the route made any sort of “permanent shenanigans” impossible. That filtering corridor after the first protest-separating was appalling. May Day 2019 in France was like holding a march during a North Korean military parade, minus the great choreographed dances and true socialism.

It was also bad because it is much safer when the cops are playing defense, as they are supposed to always be doing, but on May Day they were playing offense. They have all the weapons, all the tactics, all the legal ability to whatever they want… and then a reporter – who invariably finds his or herself on both sides of the front line – has to worry about the cops, and also about rocks being thrown in his direction (at the cops). Whereas on a day like March 16, the last time the Champs- Élysées was a scene of civil disobedience, things are perfectly safe because everyone knows who the Yellow Vests are targeting and why. Cops… they can do whatever they want, and whenever they want – they respect nothing.

French reporters need to be at the front lines… but they aren’t. I’m sure editors tell them not to, and that they are told that by their publishers. But that’s why we got nonsense reporting which initially accused May Day protesters of breaking into a hospital to… do what? Burn, pillage and behead? Yeah, right….

Frankly, this new tactic of “initiate violence in order to divide and conquer peaceful protesters” is something which I can’t see the Yellow Vests being able to combat… but that’s the subject of a future article.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

 

لمَ العودة للتهويل بالحرب… وعلى لسان قادة المقاومة؟

أبريل 23, 2019

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

قبل شهرين من الآن خرج مسؤول عسكري «إسرائيلي» رفيع معني مباشرة بالتحقق من أوضاع الجيش وجهوزيته، خرج بتقرير يؤكد فيه أنّ الجيش «الإسرائيلي» غير جاهز للقتال، وأنّ الجبهة الداخلية غير جاهزة لتلقي الضربات في أيّ حرب قادمة، وانّ سلاح المظليين في وضع من الانحدار المعنوي لا يمكنه من القيام بأيّ مهمة مهما كان حجمها خلف خطوط العدو. وقد كان هذا التقرير بمثابة النعي لطموحات بعض السياسيين «الإسرائيليين» أصحاب الرؤوس الحامية الذين يرون أنّ الحرب هي الحلّ لكلّ مآزق «إسرائيل». ومع هذا تلقى الشارع «الإسرائيلي» الخبر وصمت بعد أن تأكد بأنّ الزمن تغيّر وانّ أيام القول بأنّ «إسرائيل تملك الجيش الذي لا يُقهر» باتت من الماضي السحيق الذي لا رجعة إليه أقله في المدى المنظور.

ولكن فجأة… وبعد أقلّ من شهرين على صدور التقرير الآنف الذكر خرج كوخافي رئيس الأركان «الإسرائيلي» الجديد، والذي لم يمض على توليه المسؤولية أربعة أشهر، خرج ليفاخر بقدرات الجيش الإسرائيلي «الفائقة الفاعلية» والهائلة في مفاعيلها التدميرية، توصيف يرمي منه المسؤول العسكري «الإسرائيلي» الى رفع المعنويات في صفوف جنده والحصول على ثقة دولته به وبقدراته من جهة كما يهدف إلى إلقاء الرعب والهلع في صفوف الأعداء الذين إذا صدّقوه سيجدون أنفسهم في دوائر الخطر الذي يصعب ردّه.

وحتى تتكامل فصول الحرب النفسية ضدّ أعداء «إسرائيل»، تنطحت جريدة عربية في الكويت جريدة الراي ولفّقت حديثاً نسبته الى السيد حسن نصرالله زعمت أنه قاله في اجتماع داخلي مغلق، وادّعت بأنّ السيد يرجح الحرب قريباً في الصيف وينتظر ان تكون تدميرية بشدّة، لا بل انّ دمارها سيكون فظيعاً، وستؤدّي الى اغتيال معظم قادة الصف الأول من المقاومة في لبنان.

من البديهي ان لا نصدّق ما ورد في كلام الصحيفة خاصة انّ قيادة المقاومة التي عوّدتنا على الصدق في الموقف والممارسة دائماً نفته جملة وفصيلاً، كما أنه منتفٍ أصلاً قبل نفي المقاومة له، منتفٍ ذاتياً وموضوعياً. فمن الناحية الذاتية المتصلة بالسيد حسن نصرالله المشهود له في قيادة وإدارة الحرب النفسية فإنّ القول لا ينسجم مطلقاً مع سلوك السيد وممارسته، إذ انّ السيد حتى ولو كان يرى ما ذكر أو كان يعتقد به فإنه من المستحيل ان يتلفظ به ويتركه يتسرّب إلى الإعلام وهو يعلم مقدار ما يؤثر على معنويات المقاتلين وجمهور المقاومة والوضع اللبناني المترنّح اقتصادياً، اما موضوعياً فإنّ الموضوع المنشور مناقض كلياً لمواقف المقاومة وتحضيراتها للحرب وهي التي انتقلت من استراتيجية دفاعية مقيّدة الى استراتيجية مفتوحة مركبة من دفاع وهجوم في معرض الدفاع، وباتت تمتلك من القدرات ما يمكنها من خوض حرب مفتوحة لا تستطيع «إسرائيل» مجاراتها فيها. لكلّ ذلك نقول انّ ما نشر ونسب للسيد نصر الله هو نوع من الاختلاق الذي يجعل النشر وجهاً من وجوه الحرب النفسية لضرب معنويات المقاومة… إذن لماذا هذا الفعل الآن؟

من المفيد ان نذكر بأنّ الأطراف العاملة لتصفية القضية الفلسطينية وبقيادة أميركا، تتحضر لإعلان صفقة القرن في حزيران المقبل وهي تعلم في قرارة نفسها انّ هذا المشروع التصفوي لن يمرّ إلا في حالين… إما قبول الجميع به خاصة من يملكون القوة الميدانية، او عبر توجيه ضربة ساحقة لكلّ من يعترض واقتياده الى خانة الاستسلام. ثم انهم يعلمون بأنّ الحرب الفعلية الميدانية هي امر غير مضمون النتائج مع القدرات الهامة التي تملكها المقاومة وتستعدّ لزجّها في الميدان.

كما انّ تلك الأطراف تعاني الآن من الخيبات التي انتهت اليها الحرب الإرهابية التي استهدفت سورية ومحور المقاومة طيلة السنوات الثماني السابقة، وأنها أيضاً تجد المرارة في عدم تحقيق الحرب الاقتصادية على المقاومة ومحورها بكلّ مكوناته عدم تحقيق أهدافها مع إبداء المستهدفين بها إرادة فولاذية بالتحمّل والصبر والتكيّف مع المصاعب.

لكلّ ذلك ومن أجل توفير فرص النجاح لصفقة القرن يرى أصحابها انّ الحرب النفسية التي قد تقود المستهدفين بها الى الانهيار الإدراكي والانحدار المعنوي وتثوير الشعب عل قيادته، انّ هذه الحرب قد تكون بديلاً للحرب الإرهابية وللحرب الاقتصادية في تحقيق الأهداف وصنع البيئة التي تجعل صفقة القرن قابلة للحياة والنجاح.

ولكن نسي هؤلاء انّ 500 مليون دولار أنفقت في السابق على مثل هذه الحرب ضدّ حزب الله وحده لم تعط النتائج المرجوة لا بل لم تمسّ حزب الله في أيّ أثر سلبي فاعل، وانّ المقاومة العقائدية التي ينظمها ويقودها حزب الله، تمتلك من المناعة ما يجعل الاختلاق عاجزاً عن اختراق صفوفها، كما أنّ جمهور المقاومة لديه من الثقة بمن وعده بالنصر دائماً، وبمن وعده بأنّ الحرب المقبلة ستغيّر وجه المنطقة إيجابياً لصالح محور المقاومة، لديه من الثقة به وبقيادته بمستوى لا تصل اليه ولا تفعل فيه التلفيقات، وسينفقون أموالهم على تلفيقاتهم ثم لا يجنون إلا الحسرات.

نقول هذا مع التأكيد بأنّ المقاومة لم تخرج من توقعاتها يوماً احتمال الحرب، لا بل انها انتظرتها دائماً لأنها تعرف انّ العدو المغتصب للحقوق يعتبر الحرب وسيلته للمحافظة على ما اغتصب، لكنها تعرف أيضاً انّ العدو لا يُقدم على حرب ينتحر بها ولا يشنّ حرباً انْ لم يضمن الانتصار ويضمن القدرة على احتواء ردّة الفعل ويطمئن الى قدرته على إنهائها في توقيت هو يحدّده، وكلها أمور غير متحققة الآن، فـ «إسرائيل» قادرة على إطلاق الطلقة الأولى لكنها عاجزة عن التحكم بالميدان وعن تحديد نطاق الحرب ومدّتها، لذلك لا نعتقد أنها ستقدم في القريب على حرب لا تضمن نتائجها.

إذن فالحرب النارية حتى اللحظة تبقى في دائرة الاحتمال المستبعد، مع بقاء حيّز للحظة جنون وسوء تقدير، لكن مع أشخاص مثل ترامب ونتنياهو يشتدّ استبعاد الاحتكام الى النار الميدانية وتكون الحروب غير النارية مثل الحروب الاقتصادية والسياسية والنفسية هي الأكثر استعمالاً كما يحصل الآن، حروب يريد منها أصحابها تمرير صفقة القرن في الأشهر المقبلة… لكنهم كما نتصوّر سيفشلون.

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