Harvard University honors The Saker blog (<<== shameless clickbaiting and fake news!)

Look at the big picture and see how the USA are self-destructing, how the EU is collapsing, how Turkey has completely switched sides and now works with Iran and Russia, how the Syrian people are winning against the transnational terrorist gangs which attacked thSaker drawing from communityem, look at Libya and how terrified NATO is by the obvious desire of the new authorities to turn to Russia, look at how confident China is in the
face of a barrage of US threats, look at how Hezbollah played a crucial role in Syria and yet managed to deter the IDF in Lebanon.  Look at how Russia has survived both the (rather ineffective) sanctions and the (immensely damaging) drop in oil prices.  Look at how Iran is standing firm and single-handedly confronts the huge US+Zionist+Wahabi regional coalition and shows no sign of weakness.

The Saker

March 14, 2017

Okay, so I am not being honest with this title.  But hey, since Harvard does list my blog as a ‘fake news’ source, I might as well indulge, at least once, into some absolutely shameless click baiting and “fake newsing” 🙂

Seriously, my friend Steve Lendman wrote an interesting post on his blog about Harvard University’s “guide to fake news”.  Check it out, he does a great job explaining it all.  Also, it’s not like Harvard University focused on my blog.  In fact, their full list is much longer (see here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/).

But yeah, they do list the Saker blog 🙂

Make sure to also read their “guide to fake news” right here: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/fake – it is amazing.

What a fall from grace, really.  Harvard University, arguably THE symbol of US academia, has now joined such “prestigious” (not) actors like CNN or the BBC in the ideological scramble to discredit free information sources.  For somebody like me who studied in US colleges and who got two degrees in the USA, it is really sad.

There used to be a time when US colleges were *really* a beacon of intellectual freedom.  For example, while at the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, DC, in the late eighties, I remember that we had the former ambassador of Grenada as an academic and while the Reagan administration was not happy about this, there is absolutely nothing they could do to remove her.  In fact, a lot of our faculty was very much opposed to the Reagan administration, and yet no attempts were made to pressure anybody in any way.  Had there been any such attempts they would have resulted in an energetic protest on our part, probably supported by all other colleges in DC (George Washington U, Maryland U, Georgetown U, Howard U).  Call me naive, but I do believe that it would have never crossed the mind of anybody in the White House or Congress to mess with academic freedom or, even less so, to try to use colleges as a tool in a color revolution against the President.

My other degree is from The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University, with a campus based in Washington, D.C.  SAIS became notorious for being a breeding ground for some of the worst Neocons out there.  And that reputation is quite deserved.  Our ‘bad guys’ list ranges from Ambassador April Glaspie to the infamous Eliot Cohen and even includes Zbigniew Brzezinski!  But even at SAIS we had real ideological pluralism and real political diversity, if only because the student body would never have put up with any notion of walking in lockstep with the ideological mantra of the day (in my department, Strategic Studies, we must have been well over 50% foreigners and all “our” Americans were well-traveled and educated – which greatly helped).  We also had some absolutely wonderful teachers who were true expert in their fields and who never lied to us (I considered naming a few here, but that would do them more harm then good.  So I will mention my favorite one, and under a code name only he will understand: yf23 – thank you, Sir!).

The USA can be blamed and criticized for a lot of things, but I don’t think that it can be denied that the academic quality and diversity of US colleges was one of the best ones on the planet.  Americans were rightly proud of their universities and students from all over the world would put a great deal of effort to come and study in the United States, even those who did not at all agree with US politics.

To be honest, I always considered Harvard to be a gang of pompous asses (sorry HU alumni – nothing personal).  But pompous asses or not, Harvard was undeniably a symbol and now that they are endorsing this idiotic ‘fake news’ narrative this symbol is making a massive faceplant.  Sooner or later, I guess sooner, this new anti-Russian hysteria will peter out, just like McCarthyism and the “Red Scare” did, and all that will be left of this is an immense sense of shame and self-loathing for those who took part in it.

It would have been the natural calling for US colleges to be at the forefront of the struggle *against* the current anti-Russian witch-hunt, but instead they are now taking the lead in making sure that this hysteria now also infects academic circles.  The impact of such a policy will be devastating not only for the student body, but also for the teachers.

Did you notice this part of HU’s “fake news guide” (see pic): when in doubt, ask a librarian.  Think about it – this means a number things: first, that librarians have now been co-opted in the struggle for ideological purity; second, that librarians better make darn sure that they full abide by the current ideological dogmas lest they be fired for not being able to fulfill their (new) duties.  Third, that students will now be encouraged to turn to a member of the faculty or staff to ask whether source “x” has received the official imprimatur of the university, college or school.

Nope, this is not the DPRK.  This is the  “the land of the free and the home of the brave” – no kidding!

Against this background, let me do something of a “community service” here and explain how you can evaluate news and news sources without having to ask for an “ideological purity minder” (aka “librarian”) for help.

The system is rather simple, really.

First, judge a tree by its fruits: a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matt, 7:18).  Give yourself enough time to establish a ranking of news sources.  I would suggest you separate them into “reliable”, “sometimes reliable”, “mostly unreliable” and “unreliable”.  But don’t stop here.

The next step is to measure any information you get against all the other information you have and see if they corroborate each other or not.

Finally, take each information and give it a rating indicating how reliable the source is and whether this info corroborates what you otherwise know.  This source+info ranking system is used by most intelligence agencies in some form or another.  Typically, a combo of letters and numbers would be used.  For example, an info rated as “A1” would indicate “reliable source” and “info corroborates”.  A3 would indicate “reliable source” “does not corroborate”.  Whatever your system, make sure to include the “unknown” category which you can apply to both sources and the info itself.  Over time, you will built yourself a pretty good info ranking system, you will see.

Let me reveal a state secret here, but a very little one.  There is an advanced country out there which has a very prestigious newspaper which everybody reads and which has a lot of credibility.  And yet, this country’s intelligence community rates this newspaper as a “C” source – a very mediocre rating.  Now you can imaging where CNN, NBC, NTY, WaPo and all the rest of them would rank 😉

[Sidebar: if you wonder, B-2 is typically the kind of info which would be used for regular day to day analysis]

This Harvard University faceplant is also very good news.  Think of it – would the US elites ever bother sinking so low if they thought that they are winning the information war?  Look at the AngloZionist elites in general – they are all at each other’s throats, not only in the USA but everywhere (just look at the fight between Turkey and the EU taking place and please pass the popcorn!).  I assure you that this latest anti-Russian hysteria is not caused by a sense of confident power, to put it mildly.  And while CNN is freaking out about Putin being the “most powerful man in the world“, we – all those who want to bring down the Empire by using the weapon of truth – are winning our battles every day.  And for all his undeniable merits and achievements, there is much more happening here than just Putin.

“Putin” has become a collective placeholder for every and all the forms of resistance to the AngloZionist elites and their empire.  This is why “Putin” is personally responsible for ‘weaponizing’ Russian soccer fans and personally giving the order to hack the DNC.  I would not be surprised one bit if in the coming days we see an ‘investigation’ by CNN about how ‘Putin personally ordered the Russian military to use their climate weapons to attack the USA’s eastern shores with a snowstorm’.  World-class “Putin specialists” like Masha Gessen would immediately confirm, while John McCaine would demand that the US take “firm retaliatory action to show the Russian dictator that he cannot pour snow on the USA with impunity”.  Needless to say, such report would not raise any eyebrows from Harvard University.

Yes, they are desperate and they are terrified.  Hence all the silly histrionics.

Friends, we are winning!  Yes, we are.  Even if the Neocons end up overthrowing Trump or make him their lackey.  We are winning.  And that is nothing short of amazing (especially considering our means – hint hint about the next thing I will post here…).

Look at the big picture and see how the USA are self-destructing, how the EU is collapsing, how Turkey has completely switched sides and now works with Iran and Russia, how the Syrian people are winning against the transnational terrorist gangs which attacked them, look at Libya and how terrified NATO is by the obvious desire of the new authorities to turn to Russia, look at how confident China is in the face of a barrage of US threats, look at how Hezbollah played a crucial role in Syria and yet managed to deter the IDF in Lebanon.  Look at how Russia has survived both the (rather ineffective) sanctions and the (immensely damaging) drop in oil prices.  Look at how Iran is standing firm and single-handedly confronts the huge US+Zionist+Wahabi regional coalition and shows no sign of weakness.

Sure, this is far from over, we are only winning battles, and we are still far from having won the war.  And we will lose battles in the future (the latest news out of France is not good at all).  But the overall momentum is clearly and undeniably on our side and this is why our enemies are freaking out and resorting to desperate measures like this ‘fake news’ canard.

I think that some high-fiving and back-slapping are in order 🙂

Having indulged in this short moment of celebration, let’s now return to the struggle and fight for the final victory!

 

Harvard’s Fake Guide to Fake News Sites

Harvard’s Fake Guide to Fake News Sites

by Stephen Lendman

Is this what parents pay $63,000 annually for tuition, room, board and fees – so their children can be ill-served and ill-taught?
Following the 2014 Obama administration Kiev coup, replacing democracy with fascist dictatorship, Harvard expressed concern about nonexistent “Russian aggression.” Some faculty members called for US military intervention.
Not a word about US-supported putschists seizing power. Nothing about the most brazen European coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome.
No explanation about a scheme orchestrated in Washington. Silence about a major crisis in Europe’s heartland still ongoing. Trump inherited Obama’s mess, so far not indicating clearly where he stands on Ukraine.
Harvard is at it again. It’s University Library published a fake guide to “fake news, misinformation, and propaganda.”
It recommends using FactCheck.org, Politifact, Snopes.com, Washington Post Fact Checker, and other self-styled fact-checkers, biased against truth-telling on all major issues, acting as censors, trashing reliable alternative sources of news, information and analysis.
It endorses sanitized content acceptable to America’s deep state, abandoning support for speech, media and academic freedoms.
It recommended “tips for analyzing news sources.” Ignore them. Common sense is the best guide, along with distrusting and avoiding media scoundrels. They’re paid to lie, deceive and feature fake news – what powerful interests want people to know, what’s most important suppressed.
Harvard published a list of hundreds of sites it calls “bias(ed),” “conspira(torial),” “unreliable,” “fake,” and otherwise mislabeled.
Some I’m familiar with are reliable sources, (polar opposite media scoundrels paid to lie), including:
21st Century Wire
Activist Post
Antiwar.com
Before Its News.com
Black Agenda Report
Boiling Frogs Post
Common Dreams
Consortium News
Corbett Report
Countercurrents
CounterPunch
David Stockman Contracorner
Fort Russ
Freedoms Phoenix
Global Research
The Greanville Post
Information Clearing House
Intellihub
Intrepid Report
Lew Rockwell
Market Oracle
Mint Press News
Moon of Alabama
Naked Capitalism
Natural News
Nomi Prins
Off-Guardian
Paul Craig Roberts
Pravda.ru
Rense
Rinf
Ron Paul Institute
Ruptly TV
Russia-Insider
Sgt Report
ShadowStats
Shift Frequency
SJLendman.blogspot.com – my alma mater recommends avoiding my writing; new articles posted daily; featuring truth-telling on major issues
Solari
Sott.net
South Front
Sputnik News
Strategic Culture.org
The Anti-Media
The Duran
The Intercept
The People’s Voice
The Saker
The Sleuth Journal
Third World Traveler
Voltairenet
What Really Happened
Who What Why
WikiLeaks
Zero Hedge
These and other sites Harvard’s Library urges avoiding are ones readers should rely on – avoiding The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other fake news proliferators.

Eva Bartlett Discusses Media’s Fake Narrative on Syria

Independent journalist Eva Bartlett offers up an interesting suggestion in this interview–that maybe it’s time for all people of conscience to stop granting interviews to the mainstream media. “We can’t expect them (the corporate media) to suddenly have an agenda of telling truth on Syria or any other issue.” It is a statement one could hardly argue with.

If a TV reporter asks you to give a comment on camera, the last–and I mean the absolutely last–thing you should do is to feel flattered. What should cross your mind instead is the instant recognition that such a person’s main interest is not in presenting an accurate account of what you have to say, but rather in getting a soundbite that supports his or her employer’s political narrative. This is what they get paid for. This is what a reporter’s job is nowadays.

In the world we live in today, truth is turned upside down. Watch this video posted yesterday by RT regarding comments made at a committee meeting in Congress earlier this week. One of the speakers before the committee tries to advance the premise that the truth is in reality a “virus,” and that the viral avalanche of lies spouted by the mainstream media are in reality the truth. “Disarming” the “virus” necessitates finding a “vaccine,” this of course in the form of more lies.

I couldn’t help smiling at how irate the RT reporter sounded at the conclusion of her report, and yes, it is of course exasperating when liars manage to get away with their deceptions. Which I think gets back to what Bartlett is saying–that maybe it’s time to simply stop speaking to the mainstream media.

Finally, I’ll close with this–a simple and basic truth spoken by Syrian President Bashar Assad: that all foreign troops present in Syria are invaders unless they have the government’s permission to be in the country:

Video: War on Syria: Manufactured Revolution and Fake Media Narrative

Global Research, February 28, 2017
Eva Bartlett

Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett is the object of a smear campaign by Canada’s mainstream media.

Listen to what she has to say and then decide who is telling the truth.

The mainstream media denies the existence of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda.

According to mainstream sources, there were no terrorists in Aleppo. 

Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are supported by US-NATO, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They are the state-sponsors of terrorism. We are dealing with a war of aggression. Eva Bartlett provides detailed evidence of  war crimes.

The following video interview by Global Research TV was conducted in Montreal in January in the context of Eva Bartlett’s Canada speaking tour.

It is followed by her presentation at the Montreal venue. (M.Ch, GR Editor)

Eva Bartlett’s presentation in Montreal 


Excerpts from Eva Bartlett’s Sott article entitled

Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors

Doctors In Aleppo Refute Media Lies

In the first week of July 2016 I traveled by car to Aleppo. When entering the southern Ramouseh district of the city, the car sped along a road known for terrorist snipers. Three weeks later in Ramouseh, a woman was sniped by a terrorist and killed.

© Eva Bartlett
Oil barrels line Ramouseh road to protect Syrian civilians against Western-backed terrorist snipers

In Aleppo, I met with doctors from the Aleppo Medical Association (established in 1959), including Dr. Zahar Buttal, Dr. Tony Sayegh, and Dr. Nabil Antaki.

One question I posed to the doctors was regarding the other oft-repeated lie of the “last pediatrician” in Aleppo, a startling allegation designed to shock western readers and rally them against the Syrian government. And one which has no basis in truth.

Dr. Zahar Buttal, Chairman of the Aleppo Medical Association, refuted such allegations, noting that Aleppo has 180 pediatricians still working in the city. Of one of the alleged lone pediatricians he said: “The media says the only pediatrician in Aleppo was killed in a hospital called Quds. In reality, it was a field hospital, not registered.” As for the pediatrician, “We checked the name of the doctor and didn’t find him registered in Aleppo Medical Association records.”

Indeed, the Quds hospital referenced was central to the April/May frenzy of media lies regarding Aleppo and the Syrian government, and Russian allies. Claims around the building called al-Quds hospital contradicted one another, the fallacies and serious discrepancies outlined in this article.

Also central to the lies were the bias and propaganda of the very partial, corporate-financed Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), which supports areas in Syria controlled by terrorists, specifically Jabhat al-Nusra (whose failed attempt at re-branding with a new name – Jabhat Fatha al-Sham – does not negate its ties to Al-Qaeda nor erase their crimes).

The next, related, question for the doctors was: If government-secured Aleppo has 180 pediatricians, how many doctors in total are still working there? Lying media have for months claimed the number of doctors are dwindling, including even a late July propaganda piece in The Intercept which asserted that “the number of doctors in Aleppo City has plummeted into the low dozens. The number of remaining medical specialists is even smaller.”

Yet, according to Dr. Zahar Buttal, until now there are 4,160 doctors registered and active in Aleppo city, in the government-secured areas of over 1.5 million people. Of the 4,160 doctors, 200 have been newly registered since the beginning of this year.

As for the media claims of a lack of specialists in Aleppo, in addition to the 180 mentioned pediatricians, there are of course many more specialists in Aleppo. According to the Aleppo Medical Association’s Dr. Zahar, specialists still practicing in the city include:

  • 30 cardiovascular surgeons
  • 214 general surgeons
  • 112 orthopedists
  • 11 pulmonologists
  • 12 neurologists
  • 8 neurosurgeons
  • 250 obstetricians/gynecologists
  • 15 gastroenterologists

Dr. Nabil Antaki, himself a gastroenterologist, is one of a group of 15 specialist doctors which, since late 2012, have volunteered their services, treating in private hospitals (with the most minimal equipment and medical fees possible) upwards of 500 civilians severely injured by terrorist bombings, needing specialist care and often life-support. Specialists in his group alone include: three general surgeons, one heart surgeon, one neurosurgeon, two orthopedic surgeons, and three anesthesiologists.

Dr. Antaki has been outspoken about the western media lies on Aleppo. When the western-created “Aleppo is Burning” campaign took flight in late April – the exact time when western-backed terrorists increased their daily bombing of Aleppo to severe bombardments – Dr. Antaki, seeing the worst of the casualties and bombings, spoke out.

When I met him in July 2016, Dr. Antaki continued to be vocal about the media manipulations and fragrant lies about the reality on the ground in Aleppo.

“All of the campaigns which were launched by the western media concerned the east part of Aleppo, which is the part controlled by the ‘rebels’. All the media reported that the people there are suffering, the buildings are destroyed and that the Syrian government are doing ‘war crimes’. But, what we are receiving in the part controlled by the Syrian government is much worse than in the east part. Nobody speaks about what is happening in the western part of Aleppo.There are not only tens of mortars every day which fell on the western part of Aleppo, but hundreds, and every day we have hundreds killed or wounded. And nobody spoke about it. When the media spoke about one supposed hospital destroyed in the eastern part, one week after, the main maternity hospital in Aleppo was hit by bombs sent by the ‘rebels’, and women were killed, and nobody spoke about this.”

Aleppo’s Dr. Tony Sayegh has also been vocal about the blatant media bias on Aleppo. In July, regarding the Quds hospital and related propaganda, Dr. Sayegh told me:

This hospital, in the Sukkari district, they made a big propaganda about it, ‘the last doctor in that area,’ which is absolutely wrong. The government has doctors working in that area who get their salaries from the government, even though the area is controlled by terrorists. For the government, all areas and and their inhabitants are Syrians. Areas where there are terrorists, like al-Manbij, like al-Bab, in all those areas there are many doctors working with the health ministry, and they take their salaries from the health ministry.

Aleppo’s Over Ten Thousand Dead and Maimed Absent From Corporate Headlines

Dr. Nabil Antaki gave the following overview of life for the civilians of government-secured Aleppo, from mid-2012 until our July meeting.

Since July 2012, the main area of Aleppo receives every day mortars, bombs and gas canisters, sent by the ‘rebels’ on the civilians living in Aleppo. Here you have human damage more than there, but less physical destruction, because here we are receiving mortars and gas canister bombs. If a mortar hits the building, it might make a hole the size of a window, but also kill five people at once. In the part of Aleppo under the government control, every day we have dozens of injured and killed.

In late April 2016, terrorists in the occupied eastern quarters of Aleppo, as well as then-occupied Beni Zaid and neighbouring districts, increased their normal bombing campaigns of mortars, gas canister explosives (from household to the the largest size canisters, stuffed with glass, bearings, metal shrapnel), explosive bullets, and powerful foreign-supplied rockets to from high-tens to over one hundred per day on the heavily-populated areas of Aleppo secured by the Syrian state.

Of the heightened bombardment, Dr. Nabil Antaki told me:

Usually you don’t have just one mortar, you have a rain of mortars: ten, twenty, thirty, and more in a few hours. Many people are wounded at the same time. When ambulances bring people to the public hospital, maybe twenty or thirty people arrive at the same time. The public hospitals lack enough medical staff and equipment. So if you have ten severely wounded persons arriving at the same time at the public hospital, by the time care comes, a victim has time to die.

In his Aleppo Medical Association office, Dr. Zaher Buttal read from his diary statistics on the late April/early May terrorists’ bombardment campaign:

  • April 23rd: 81 martyrs, 30 wounded.
  • April 28th & 29th: Bloodiest days. 31 martyrs, 75 wounded **initial numbers only.
  • From April 23rd-30th: 120 martyrs, over 800 wounded.
  • May 3rd: 25 martyrs, 100 wounded (including 3 women killed in the al-Dabeet maternity hospital explosion).

© Eva Bartlett
Dr. Dabeet showing me images of the Western-backed terrorist attack on the maternity hospital named after him

Although the Aleppo Medical Association documented the daily number of killed and injured by this increased bombing campaign, and although the areas attacked included a number of registered Aleppo hospitals, corporate media and Wall Street-backed “human rights groups” in their Turkish-based, or further-removed, reporting on Aleppo preferred to cite “unnamed activists” and al-Qaeda-in-Syria “White Helmets” actors.

Like many (if not most) Aleppo residents, Dr. Zaher Buttal has never heard of the White Helmets. The fact that the head of the Medical Association is not aware of this group purporting to be rescuing civilians in Aleppo highlights the reality that they work solely in terrorist-occupied areas and for the terrorists themselves. For more information on the terrorist-propaganda group that is known as the “White Helmets,” see this video and this article.

Other Pro-Terrorist Propaganda

The same July 2016 Intercept article which promoted the lone-doctor narrative also neglected to mention that a hospital they cite is in fact a hospital not only long-established but also belonging to a volunteer association headed by Syria’s Grand Mufti, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun.

The Intercept article read: “Almouslem’s hospital, Omar Ibn Abdel Aziz, has long been the only functioning medical facility in its pocket of eastern Aleppo City.”

In a mid-July and then an August 11th meeting with Mufti Hassoun in Damascus, he explained that the organization (The Association of Raising the Standard of Health and Social Status) of which he is Director had two hospitals and ten clinics daily giving medical care for free to up to 1500 of Aleppo’s poorest. One of these hospitals was the mentioned Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz hospital. It had three operating rooms, an MRI, nine dialysis machines, 12 incubators, and 50 beds. It is now controlled by terrorists who, Mufit Hassoun said, further mounted machine guns on the hospital’s three ambulances. The humanitarianism of western-backed so-called “moderate” “rebels”.

Mufti Hassoun explained:

In 1985 we started construction of the hospital, and in 1992 the hospital started operating. We treated for free over 400 patients daily, people from a very poor neighbourhood.

When the terrorists took over the hospital, they evicted the doctors, and killed three of the nurses and more than ten of the patients. The media say that MSF is supporting the hospital, but they are using it like a field hospital to treat terrorists. This is the hospital that we built with our own hands, and now they lie and say that it’s their own hospital.

Halfway through a video which the Intercept piece links to, who should appear but the war-propagandizing White Helmets – who only work in terrorist-occupied areas. This is the evidence the Intercept presents, along with a UN report lacking sources for its assertions. The UN has no physical presence in terrorist-occupied eastern Aleppo and, like lying media and NGOs, relies on “unnamed activists” and the SOHR-type sources for their statistics.

Brazenly, Al-Hel online media stole a photo from the Aleppo Medical Association, claiming it depicted doctors in terrorist-occupied eastern Aleppo: “Aleppo doctors are demanding an end to the bombing of the regime … and describe the situation as ‘a humanitarian catastrophe’.”

The equally war-propagandistic Facebook page, Syria Breaking, shared the stolen-photo and Al-Hel article, adding its own lies:

There are now in the eastern part of the city of ‪#‎Aleppo, no fewer than 300 thousand people, there are only 30 doctors in five hospitals to serve them.

The photo in question was in fact from a May 6th protest (photos here) organized by the Aleppo Medical Association outside of the destroyed al-Dabeet maternity hospital, gutted on May 3rd by a terrorist rocket. According to Dr. Zaher Buttal, more than 150 doctors attended the demonstration.

The protest came following the weeks of carnage from terrorists’ relentless bombardment of civilian areas all over government-secured Aleppo – including numerous hospitals – and was, Dr. Buttal said, both in anger at the terrorists’ targeting of hospitals in Aleppo and also to show the world that, contrary to media lies, Aleppo does have doctors.

Of the signs doctors held, Professor Tim Anderson wrote:

Their signs – in English, Italian and German as well as Arabic – read: ‘Syrian Arab Army represents me’, ‘Long live Syria, long live Aleppo’, ‘Terrorists are killing our children’, ‘Armed opposition is destroying our civilisation’, ‘No for armed opposition’.

From the terrorists’ May 3rd bombings, a rocket landed on a parked car right next to the al-Dabeet maternity hospital, causing a massive explosion which gutted the hospital interior, severely damaged the exterior, and burned the two cars parked behind it. Footage from a nearby building’s security camera shows the rocket and subsequent massive explosion occurred at 9:36 am, May 3rd.

A Western-backed terrorist rocket explodes outside Dabeet Maternity hospital in Aleppo

While initial reports said 16 civilians were killed in the May 3rd terrorist bombings, by the time the wounded had succumbed to their severe injuries, 25 people were killed and over 100 injured, according to the medical association’s Dr. Zaher Buttal. The three women killed were in the al-Dabeet hospital reception at the time, said Dr. Dabeet. One of the injured included a 28-week-pregnant woman who survived the loss of long sections of her intestine due to shrapnel injuries.

The operating room was destroyed, along with patient rooms, five of ten incubators (the other five needing repair), and much of his equipment.

One week later the maternity hospital was again hit by a terrorist-fired mortar, destroying the roof and injuring construction workers there, according to Dr. Dabeet.

© Eva Bartlett
Dabeet Maternity hospital after it suffered a direct hit from Western-backed terrorists in Aleppo.

According to Dr. Zaher Buttal, other hospitals hit include the Ibn Rashd hospital, with a mortar hitting the top floor, the Arab Medicine hospital, and the perimeter of the Razi hospital.

Starving, Besieged Civilians? Liberated Areas Ignored

While terrorists’ bombings and sniping attacks have been the most pressing issues in Aleppo in the past few months, other crises since 2012 have been those of water and electricity shortages, as well as the terrorist-blockades suffered by the population in government-secured Aleppo, cutting off food, fuel and medicine to the city.

The already risky Ramouseh road which I took into Aleppo in early July was recently assaulted by terrorist snipers and shelling, and has been closed to prevent civilian fatalities. This sole road leading into Aleppo closed, terrorist actions have again cut the lifeline for the over 1.5 million people inside. In July, Dr. Nabil Antaki explained how terrorists themselves closed the road many times in the past, and the dire effects of doing so.

Because the ‘rebels’ control the main roads around Aleppo, Aleppo has suffered blockades, sometimes for a few days and other times for many, many weeks. During those many weeks, nothing was able to enter Aleppo: no food, no vegetables, no fruits, no gas, no medical equipment, no drugs… the people of Aleppo suffered a lot.

The water supply has been cut by ‘rebels’, because the main water stations are in ‘rebel’ areas. Many times they cut the water for weeks or months. So for three years, we had to use the water of wells — we now have in Aleppo 300 wells which we had to use to provide water for the 1.5 million persons living in Aleppo under the Syrian state.

In addition, we don’t have power supply, because the electricity generator and power supply are in the ‘rebel’ portion of Aleppo, and they cut the supply. That’s why people have private subscription to 1 or 2 amperes, just to have 1 or 2 or 3 bulbs during the night. They have to pay very expensive prices just to have this. The people of Aleppo are truly suffering.

Mustapha Melhis of Aleppo’s water authority explained in July 2015:

Our water reservoirs are 90 kilometers [56 miles] away, in Hafsa, a region held by IS [Islamic State]. In May, they cut the amount of water [supplied] by half….

The second aspect of the problem is distribution. The water pumped by IS flows to the Suleiman Halabi and Bab al-Nairab stations here [in Aleppo]. Both areas are controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra, and they are using the water as a weapon to impose their demands.

In the same article, Aleppo Governor Mohammad Marwan Olabi said:

The power plants are outside the city. Terrorists control two areas from where electricity lines to Aleppo pass. Whenever they want to put pressure on Aleppo, they cut the electricity. And when electricity is gone, the water supply is cut off as well.

Corporate media have largely ignored these very real crises, and instead manufacture (regarding terrorist-held eastern Aleppo) the same types of propaganda campaigns of “starving civilians” which earlier flooded social media and were endorsed by dubious NGOs, like those on Madaya and Yarmouk. In all cases, no mention is made of the fact that the population in the area includes terrorist factions or why there is any lack of supplies (because of the terrorist factions).

As with Madaya and Yarmouk, when residents of the terrorist-inhabited regions do manage to speak to media, inevitablythey speak of terrorists stealing food supplies, hoarding goods and selling them at extortionist rates, and preventing residents from leaving to safer areas.

On July 28, the Syrian Arab Army fully secured the Bani Zaid and Lairamoun northern neighbourhoods of Aleppo city,liberating them from the western-backed mercenaries who occupied the districts since October 2012.

Civilians who had remained in Bani Zaid spoke of the terrorists’ firing of gas canister and other bombs on the civilians of neighbouring government-secured Aleppo districts. Western corporate media largely ignored this significant liberation and the jubilation of liberated residents.

On the same day, President al-Assad issued a decree granting amnesty to Syrians who laid down their weapons and reconciled with the state.

When the Syrian-Russian coordinated humanitarian corridors opened in eastern Aleppo in late July, reports soon after emerged of terrorists preventing residents from leaving, including assassinating residents who attempted to leave. When some residents from these areas did manage to evacuate, testimonies showed them thanking the government for providing the basics and cursing the terrorists for having stolen from them, abused residents, and in many cases killed their loved ones.

Russia Today interviewed evacuees who likewise did not praise the west’s so-called “rebels” but spoke of the hell civilians endured under terrorist occupation.

We left with our remaining children. May God punish the rebels. They did not allow us to leave, they deprived us of gas, water, electricity and bread. We were not allowed to leave. There were no medicines. They used to tell us you live with us or die with us,” one woman said.

Attacks On Aleppo Continue, To Media Silence

“For three days after the liberation of Bani Zaid, it was very quiet in Aleppo. People were happy, there were no more mortars. Suddenly, yesterday, the terrorists started sending mortars and rockets on Aleppo again, especially on Hamdaniya where thousands of displaced people live. So people are leaving this neighbourhood to find another place,” Dr. Nabil Antaki told me on August 1st .

In a phone call on August 10th, Dr. Zaher Buttal updated that since July 30th, terrorist bombings had killed 30 civilians in Aleppo, and wounded hundreds. By August 11th , Dr. Buttal said another 16 civilians in Hamadaniya, Aleppo, had been killed by terrorists’ missiles, another 45 wounded.

Today there was supposed to be a truce between 10 am and 1 pm. Terrorists ignored this and again bombarded Hamadaniya neighbourhood.

Both Dr. Buttal and truth-based media have reported that terrorists used toxic gas in their bombardment of civilian areas of Aleppo.

The Western corporate media and NGO complex, on the other hand, continue to talk about imaginary “last doctors” in Aleppo, while ignoring the very real suffering of over 1.5 million Syrians in government-secured Aleppo, as well as the doctors who are treating them. This is hardly surprising given that, from the very beginning, the corporate media has toed the NATO agenda on Syria, which is to manufacture every imaginable lie and accusation against the Syrian government, the Syrian Arab Army, and the people themselves, in order to chase the NATO-GCC-Zionist-Turkish dream of imposing a puppet government in Syria. They have failed.

Excerpt from an article by Eva Bartlett originally published on SOTT

Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013), arriving by boat as a part of the Free Gaza missions. She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. Eva accompanied Palestinian fishers and farmers as they came under intensive fire from the Israeli army. She has been to Syria four times since April 2014 and works to convey the voices of a people suffering under the foreign war on Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.

Maria Zakharova the “angry Russian”

Trump Can Prove He’s Not a Putin Puppet by Blowing Up the World

Trump and Putin
Global Research, February 27, 2017
RootsAction

Four weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that “nothing he has done since the inauguration allays fears that he is in effect a Putin puppet.” The liberal pundit concluded with a matter-of-fact reference to “the Trump-Putin axis.”

Such lines of attack have become routine, citing and stoking fears that the president of the United States is a Kremlin stooge. The meme is on the march — and where it will end, nobody knows.

Actually, it could end with a global nuclear holocaust.

The incessant goading and denunciations of Trump as a Kremlin flunky are escalating massive pressure on him to prove otherwise. Exculpatory behavior would involve setting aside possibilities for detente and, instead, confronting Russia — rhetorically and militarily.

Hostile behavior toward Russia is what much of the U.S. media and political establishment have been fervently seeking. It’s also the kind of behavior that could drag us all over the brink into thermonuclear destruction.

But c’mon, why worry about that?

For countless media commentators and partisan Democrats including many avowed progressives — as well as for some Republican hawks aligned with the likes of Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham — the benefits of tarring Trump as a Russian tool are just too alluring to resist.

To be clear: For a vast number of reasons, the Trump administration is repugnant. And the new president’s flagrant violations of the U.S. Constitution’s foreign and domestic emoluments clauses are solid grounds for impeaching him. I’m glad to be involved with a nationwide petition campaign — which already has 890,000 signers — urging Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. We should go after Trump for well-grounded reasons based on solid facts.

At the same time, we should refuse to be stampeded by the nonstop drumbeats from partisan talking points and mainline media outlets — as well as “the intelligence community.” It wasn’t mere happenstance when the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, openly lied at a Senate committee hearing in early 2013, replying “No sir” to a pivotal question from Sen. Ron Wyden: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” The lie was exposed three months later when Edward Snowden made possible the release of key NSA documents.

Yet now we’re supposed to assume straight-arrow authoritative honesty can be found in a flimsy 25-page report ”assessing Russian activities and intentions,” issued in early January under the logo of Clapper’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence. That report has been critiqued and demolished by one astute analyst after another.

As investigative journalist Gareth Porter noted, “In fact, the intelligence community had not even obtained evidence that Russia was behind the publication by WikiLeaks of the e-mails [of the] Democratic National Committee, much less that it had done so with the intention of electing Trump. Clapper had testified before Congress in mid-November and again in December that the intelligence community did not know who had provided the e-mails to WikiLeaks and when they were provided.”

More broadly and profoundly, many cogent analyses have emerged to assess the proliferating anti-Russia meme and its poisonous effects. For instance: “Why We Must Oppose the Kremlin-Baiting Against Trump” by Stephen F. Cohen at The Nation; “The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes From a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook” by Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept; and “The Did-You-Talk-to-Russians Witch Hunt” by Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews.

The frenzy to vilify Russia and put the kibosh on the potential for detente is now undermining open democratic discourse about U.S. foreign policy — while defaming advocates of better U.S.-Russia relations in ways that would have made Joe McCarthy proud. So, President Trump’s expressions of interest in improving relations with Russia — among his few lucid and constructive statements about anything — are routinely spun and smeared as corroborations of the meme that he’s in cahoots with the Russian government.

Many organizations that call themselves progressive are culpable. One of the largest, MoveOn, blasted out an email alert on February 10 with a one-sentence petition calling for a congressional investigation of Trump – flatly declaring that he has “ties to the Russian government.”

Consider these words from President Trump at his February 16 news conference:

*  “Look, it would be much easier for me to be tough on Russia, but then we’re not going to make a deal. Now, I don’t know that we’re going to make a deal. I don’t know. We might. We might not. But it would be much easier for me to be so tough — the tougher I am on Russia, the better. But you know what? I want to do the right thing for the American people. And to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right thing for the world.”

*  “They’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are we. If we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”

*  “By the way, it would be great if we could get along with Russia, just so you understand that. Now tomorrow, you’ll say ‘Donald Trump wants to get along with Russia, this is terrible.’ It’s not terrible. It’s good.”

Rather than being applauded and supported, such talk from Trump is routinely depicted as further indication that — in Krugman’s words — Trump “is in effect a Putin puppet.”

And how could President Trump effectively allay fears and accusations that he’s a Kremlin flunky? How could he win cheers from mainstream newsrooms and big-megaphone pundits and CIA headquarters? He could get in a groove of decisively denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin. He could move U.S. military forces into more confrontational stances and menacing maneuvers toward Russia.

Such brinkmanship would occur while each country has upward of 4,000 nuclear warheads deployed or stockpiled for potential use. Some are attached to missiles on “hair-trigger alert” — which, the Union of Concerned Scientists explains, “is a U.S. military policy that enables the rapid launch of nuclear weapons. Missiles on hair-trigger alert are maintained in a ready-for-launch status, staffed by around-the-clock launch crews, and can be airborne in as few as 10 minutes.”

Those who keep goading and baiting President Trump as a puppet of Russia’s government are making nuclear war more likely. If tensions with the Kremlin keep escalating, what is the foreseeable endgame? Do we really want to push the U.S. government into potentially catastrophic brinkmanship with the world’s other nuclear superpower?

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

Licensed under Creative Commons

Interesting week for Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump

This article was written for the Unz Review

Putin’s latest move

I don’t follow the western corporate media so I don’t really know how much coverage this development has received in the West, but in Russia and the Ukraine the big news is the decision by Russia to begin recognizing official Novorussian documents such as passports, driver licenses, school and college diplomas, etc. The Russians were pretty specific in the way the made the announcement. They said that it was a temporary measure dictated by humanitarian considerations. They have a point. Until now, the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics had to travel to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine to try to get their documents. Which, considering how the Ukronazis consider anybody from the Donbass was not only futile, but sometimes dangerous. This decision makes perfect sense practically. But, of course, it has a far-reaching symbolic dimension too. The timing is also crucial: by recognizing the documents issued by the DNR and LNR authorities, the Russians have de facto “semi-recognized” the authorities which issued them and that is just a fairly short step away from recognizing these republics.

Right now, the Kremlin is vehemently denying any such thoughts. But all the Kremlin-affiliated commentators are rather blunt about what this really means. According to them, the message for the junta in Kiev is simple: if you attack Novorussia or if you officially ditch the Minks agreements we will immediately recognize these two republics. And, once that happens, it’s over the the Ukronazis, these republics will be gone just like South Ossetia or Abkhazia. Of course, nobody will officially recognize the independence of these republics, but neither will anybody do anything meaningful about it. And, let’s be honest, the Russian authorities couldn’t care less about what western politicians or their corporate media have to say: they already heard it all and it’s not like they could be demonized much further.

The next logical move would be to move the Russian border control from the Russian border to the line of contact. Or not. If the Russians don’t do it, this might be a sign that they support the official position of the Republics which is that they want to liberate the totality of the Doentsk and Lugansk regions. By the way, the Russian Border Guards are elite and highly militarized forces whose presence on the line of contact would in no way prevent a Novorussian (counter-)attack against the Ukronazi forces. So the decision about where to deploy them would have a primarily political dimension and no real military consequences.

Right now the Ukronazis have basically gone officially on record in declaring that they never intended to abide by the terms of the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements. Here is what Anton Gerashchenko, an special adviser to the Minister of internal Affairs of Ukraine and a member of the Board of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine openly declared on Ukrainian national TV: (emphasis added).

Let’s immediately say that the Minsk Agreements were not implemented from the day they were signed in February 2015. This was a temporary measure on the side of the Ukraine and, I will be honest, a deliberate deception. Remember that the first Minsk Agreement was signed following the military disaster near Ialovaisk when we had no forces to defend the front from Donetsk to Mariupol. The second Minsk Agreement was signed following the treacherous Russian aggression on Debaltsevo and the formation of the “Debaltsevo Cauldron”. These agreements are not international agreements or anything else.

Needless to say, NOBODY in the West paid any attention to this statement, and why would they, after all, their line has always been that Russia is not abiding by the Minsk Agreement, even if Russia is not even a party to them (Russia is only a witness and guarantor). And if a senior Ukronazi official says otherwise, who cares?!

This amazing admission by Gerashchenko is only the latest in a series of steps taken and statements made by various Ukronazis to the effect that “we are done negotiating and from now on, we will solve this problem by force”. So far, the “force” applied has been primarily in the form of a total blockade of the Donbass which included the prevention of a large amount of vitally needed coal to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine from the Donbass even though this shipment had already been paid for. Officially Poroshenko does not condone this blockade, but in practice he is either unwilling or unable to prevent or stop it. Another sign that the Independent Banderastan is falling apart.

There is a strong feeling in Russia that Poroshenko is powerless and that the Ukronazi crazies are up to no good. Clearly, *nobody* in the Ukronazis elites has any intention of actually implementing the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements. That, by the way, might be a dangerous approach for a number of reasons:

First, these agreements were endorsed by the UNSC and every country out there, at least as far as I know. So Gerashchenko is wrong – the Minsk Agreements are binding under international law.

Second, the Ukrainian authorities recently found and released a document showing that Yanukovich had made an official request for a Russian intervention in the Ukraine. They wanted to show that he was a traitor. But in the process, they also showed that the last legitimate president of the Ukraine had made a legal request for a Russian intervention which might well mean that, at least in legal terms, any subsequent Russian intervention in the Ukraine would be 100% legal.

Even better, Yanukovich is still in Russia. And, from a legal point of view, you could make the case that he is still the legitimate president of the Ukraine. If the Yemeni President in exile Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi could ask the Saudis to intervene in Yemen, why would that no be an option for Poroshenko Yanukovich to ask for such an intervention in the Ukraine?

Right now, the Russians are making no such legalistic statements. But you can be sure that they have already aligned all their ducks in a neat row just in case they do decide to openly intervene in this civil war.

How realistic is the possibility of a Russian recognition of the breakaway republics or an overt Russian intervention in the Ukraine?

I think that it all depends on what the Ukronazis crazies do. If they really attack Novorussia I expect the Kremlin to recognize the DNR and LRN. A Russian intervention? I doubt it, but only because I believe that the DNR/LNR can handle a Nazi attack. So the only question for me is how long Poroshenko will stay in power and what the real crazies will do once they overthrow him. Right now this mostly depends on the USA but since the US elites are locked in desperate struggle for power, I don’t see the Trump taking and dramatic decisions anyway, not in the Ukraine, not elsewhere. At least not as long as there is a question mark as to who is really in charge in the White House. Everybody is waiting for the outcome of that struggle, including Moscow and Kiev.

Trump – all words, no action, but good words

In the meantime, Trump has been busy doing speeches. Which sounds pretty bad until you realize that these are good speeches, very good ones even. For one thing, he still is holding very firmly to the line that the “fake news” (which in “Trumpese” means CNN & Co. + BBC) are the enemies of the people. The other good thing that twice in a row now he has addressed himself directly to the people. Sounds like nothing, but I think that this is huge because the Neocons have now nicely boxed Trump in with advisors and aides which span from mediocre, to bad to outright evil. The firing of Flynn was a self-defeating disaster for Trump who now is more or less alone, with only one loyal ally left, Bannon. I am not sure how much Bannon can do or, for that matter, how long until the Neocons get to him too, but besides Bannon I see nobody loyal to Trump and his campaign promises. Nobody except those who put him in power of course, the millions of Americans who voted for him. And that is why Trump is doing the right thing speaking directly to them: they might well turn out to be his biggest weapon against the “DC swamp”.

Furthermore, by beating on the media, especially CNN and the rest of the main US TV channels, Trump is pushing the US public to turn to other information sources, including those sympathetic to him, primarily on the Internet. Good move – that is how he won the first time around and that is how he might win again.

The Neocons and the US ‘deep state’ have to carefully weigh the risks of continuing their vendetta against Trump. Right now, they appear to be preparing to go after Bannon. But what will they do if Trump, instead of ditching Bannon like he ditched Flynn, decides to dig in and fight with everything he has got? Then what? If there is one thing the Neocons and the deep state hate is to have a powerful light pointed directly at them. They like to play in the dark, away from an always potentially hostile public eye. If Trump decides to fight back, really fight back, and if he appeals directly to the people for support, there is no saying what could happen next.

I strongly believe that the American general public is deeply frustrated and angry. Obama’s betrayal of all his campaign promises only made these feelings worse. But when Obama had just made it to the White House I remember thinking that if he really tried to take on the War Machine and if he came to the conclusion that the ‘deep state’ was not going to let him take action or threaten him he could simply make a public appeal for help and that millions of Americans would flood the streets of Washington DC in support of “their guy” against the “bastards in DC”. Obama was a fake. But Trump might not be. What if the Three Letter Agencies or Congress suddenly tried to, say, impeach Trump and what if he decided ask for the support of the people – would millions not flood the streets of DC? I bet you that Florida alone would send more than a million. Ditto for Texas. And I don’t exactly imagine the cops going out of their way to stop them. The bottom line is this: in any confrontation between Congress and Trump most of the people will back Trump. And, if it ever came to that, and for whatever it is worth, in any confrontation between Trump-haters and Trump-supporters the latter will easily defeat the former. The “basket of deplorables” are still, thank God, the majority in this country and they have a lot more power than the various minorities who backed the Clinton gang.

There are other, less dramatic but even more likely scenarios to consider. Say Congress tries to impeach Trump and he appeals to the people and declares that the “DC swamp” is trying to sabotage the outcome of the elections and impose its will upon the American people. Governors in states like Florida or Texas, pushed by their public opinion, might simply decide not to recognize the legitimacy of what would be an attempted coup by Congress against the Executive branch of government. Now you tell me – does Congress really have the means to impose it’s will against states like Florida or Texas? I don’t mean legally, I mean practically. Let me put it this way: if the states revolt against the federal government does the latter have the means to impose its authority? Are the creation of USNORTHCOM and the statutory exceptions from the Posse Comitatus Act (which makes it possible to use the National Guard to suppress insurrections, unlawful obstructions, assemblages, or rebellions) sufficient to guarantee that the “DC swamp” can impose its will on the rest of the country? I would remind any “DC swamp” members reading these lines that the KGB special forces refused not once, but twice, to open fire against the demonstrators in Moscow (in 1991 and 1993) even though they had received a direct order by the President to do just that. Is there any reason to believe that US cops and soldiers would be more willing than the KGB special forces to massacre their own people?

Donald Trump has probably lost most of his power in Washington DC, but that does not entail that this is the case in the rest of the USA. The Neocons can feel like the big guy on the block inside the Beltway, but beyond that they are mostly in “enemy territory” controlled by the “deplorables”, something to keep in mind before triggering a major crisis.

This week I got the feeling that Trump was reaching out and directly seeking for the support to the American people. I think he get it if needed. If this is so, then the focus of his Presidency will be less on foreign affairs, were the USA will be mostly paralyzed, than on internal US politics were he still might make a difference. On Russia the Neocons have basically beat Trump – he won’t have the means to engage in any big negotiating with Vladimir Putin. But, at least, neither will he constantly be trying to make things worse. The more the US elites fight each other, the less venom they will have left for the rest of mankind. Thank God for small favors…

I can only hope that Trump will continue to appeal directly the people and try to bypass the immense machine which is currently trying to isolate him. Of course, I would much prefer that Trump take some strong and meaningful action against the deep state, but I am not holding my breath.

Tonight I spoke with a friend who knows a great deal more about Trump than I do and he told me that I have been too quick in judging Trump and that while the Flynn episode was definitely a setback, the struggle is far from over and that we are in for a very long war. I hope that my friend is right, but I will only breathe a sigh of relief if and when I see Trump hitting back and hitting hard. Only time will tell.

The Saker

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