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.

‘White Trash’ – both a book and Trump revolution?

March 07, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri‘White Trash’ – both a book and Trump revolution?

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (2016) by Nancy Isenberg is a book which is credited with the groundbreaking idea of studying the history of poor Whites in America.

It’s a necessary book because it gives us a lot of badly-needed historical information to analyze the major divide in the United States today: between pro- and anti-Trump factions.

Hillary Clinton denounced Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables” – i.e., White Trash.

And her supporters applauded. If you are pro-Trump you “do not represent America”, and certainly not the best of America.

Anti-Trumpers enjoy this incorrect feeling of superiority, but this cannot be a long-term policy.

What’s needed is understanding, and a good place for Americans to start learning about the absolutely real historical oppression of the class known as White Trash is with this book.

After reading it, I found it quite logical that today’s White Trash support Trump’s conservative call for rolling back the administrative state – this book proves over and over that the US government has done very little to help poor Whites, while it’s done plenty to elevate and maintain the status rich Whites.

We communists generally call this “capitalism”.

While Europe had the revolutions of 1798 and 1848, finding an actual remedy to White Trash poverty was never a real issue in America: It was only temporarily a focus after the crisis of the Civil War, the Great Depression and Johnson’s “Great Society” programs of the 1960s.

This experience is the opposite of Trash in places like Cuba, Iran, the USSR, the mourning Trash of Yugoslavia, China and elsewhere – in these countries a 20th-century revolution put a permanent focus on the needs of the average Trash, and they delivered.

Receptivity to socialism in the US is higher now than at any time since the Great Depression, and this should be no surprise: The underground earthquake which produced the tsunami of Trumpism was the Great Recession, which vastly expanded the social strata unfairly derided as White Trash.

The subsequent failure of Obama to hold anyone accountable allowed everyone to see the false lies of the “American Dream” – White Trash has been (re-) reminded of the “1%” and how “only profits are capitalized, but losses are socialized”.

Oh yes, they fear the White Trash Revolution (WTR)

According to The New York Times review of this book: “’White Trash’ is indeed a bummer….”

LOL, yes, national truths can never be as satisfying as national myths.

The fact is that White Trash are starting to take over, and they must, democratically. The key is for the left to win them over.

This is an enormous challenge in a country as politically reactionary as the United States, where leftist thought has been systemically oppressed and exterminated by the FBI, media owners and a culture that has always adhered to racist, capitalist, empire-maintenance.

But so many leftists in the US, even the more sincere ones, will never win them over if they don’t both understand and sympathize with them.

One would think that the archetype of today’s “White Trash” politician would be Dubya Bush, but he is surprisingly not mentioned at all in the book. Bush was a fake redneck, after all, and a teetotaling, born-again one at that.

But an interesting quote can be drawn from the author’s discussion of Sarah Palin, the Vice-Presidential nominee of John McCain and the first redneck woman to appear on a presidential ticket.

“Writing in the New Yorker, Sam Tanenhaus was struck by Palin’s self-satisfied manner: ‘the certitude of being herself, in whatever unfinished condition, will always be good enough.’”

If Sarah Palin is White Trash – an American peasant – this is how the fake left views them: unevolved.

Palin is not a great political leader, sure, but my point is that anyone even resembling Sarah Palin has been contemptuously looked down on for more than 400 years.

Now imagine if Tolstoy had used the same description while writing about his archetypal “good peasant” Platon Karataev in “War and Peace”…would it have been out of place? I think not.

But Tolstoy’s great love allowed him to see the virtues in Russia’s peasants. For the New York Times, The New Yorker and a seemingly-gigantic majority of the mainstream media, America’s peasants and pro-Trumpers are not only without political intelligence but also moral virtue.

Tolstoy is usually defined as a Christian Anarchist – and this is extremely close to a Communist in 2017. After all, Cuba reconciled with Catholicism two decades ago; China is promoting Confucianism and it’s necessary yin component of Taoism; Iran has married many communist ideas with religion.

While Tolstoy uplifts, reading the New Yorker is like getting a root canal because their elitist sentiment is so smugly pro-establishment. Shouldn’t it be “good enough” to be yourself? Must we put on fancy airs and pretend to be something we are not?

But there is no archetypal “good” White Trash in America – they are despised, marginalized, oppressed and segregated in American life, as this book repeatedly proves.

The WTR is looking more and more like a real historical wave, especially if the National Front wins in France and topples the European Union. If Le Pen is voted in she’s promised a ‘Frexit’ referendum within 6 months if elected.

If the WTR is a historical trend, what does it supplant?

It supplants the Politically Correct Revolution (PCR), which was a great revolution, despite its many xenophobic detractors.

The PCR has enabled it to now be well-known that the US democracy was always a sham due to racism and sexism – prior to that you had to have read or listened to somebody like Malcom X. I.e., you were you on the fringe.

Yet I always found it funny that the most impassioned PCR adherents expressed such respect for the Trash of, say, India, and yet they would look down as though from Mount Olympus on poor White cultures in America?

Part of this fine: Giving the hicks – of the Andes Mountains or Central Africa or the Eskimos or whoever – their cultural due is absolutely necessary. Looking down on them only proves your inability to comprehend their culture.

Yet these PCR die-hards expressed SUCH contempt for the hillbillies in America – for White Trash – and they still do.

I am thankful to say that I had White Trash friends (I don’t to write ‘have’ and offend them, LOL) and they were great. They taught me a lot and certainly taught me that city folk and middle-and-upper class people were totally ignorant of many key aspects of life.

But in segregated, suburban, gated America, it seems very few getting out to the country and sincerely trying to make friends?

The WTR is feared by these supposedly “left” publications, because White Trash, and Trash in general, are on the verge of upsetting the established order. But it is not the order established by the PCR, but a rigid class order that was established from the moment of British colonization, as the author repeatedly demonstrates.

The WTR created by the end to the denial of their democratic power

The book elevates the importance that post-Civil War poll taxes were also unaffordable for White Trash. It is the banning of poll taxes with the 24th amendment in 1964, and not the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which finally gave poor, landless White Trash a true democratic voice.

This gives the WTR a truly historical basis which has been largely ignored by the PCR in favor of their false, class-ignorant, “poll taxes harmed only Blacks” theory.

The reality is that poll taxes – which would not even begin to be eliminated until the 1930s and would not be fully eliminated until 1964 – allowed all Trash regardless of color to finally participate in American democracy.

Because there has been no modern revolution in the US since 1776, American Trash have only had the slow slog of those forced to work within the constraints of the capitalist/social democratic system (due to the constant and violent suppression of communist thought).

Well, it has taken 50 years, but the White majority – who come from the 99% – has finally elected a president who did what White Trash have always asked for: End four centuries of oppressive rule by the moneyed elite, the landholders, the wage-stealers, the aristocratic class, the global capitalists (who also happen to be mainly White, for those who are permanently stuck in the PCR).

The WTR, after 50 years of mass media control, also finally surmounted the media domination of the capitalists. Trump was endorsed by just 2 of the top 100 newspapers; even right-wing Fox News fought him for months; Hollywood was a constant stream of anti-Trump messages.

Another thing the WTR did was overturn the idea that the president should be an aristocrat in nature, and the book proves this idea has been dominant for decades.

As the move to end poll taxes became inevitable, “…the longing for a more regal head of state was advanced. The Democrats swooned over Kennedy’s Camelot, and Republicans ennobled the Hollywood court of Reagan.”

Trump is no moral hero like Carter (LOL to that notion), no reformed alcoholic/Christian like Dubya, no (sellout) racial hero like Obama.

Trump is probably no “great man” but, as Tolstoy would agree, one drop of the historical WTR wave. This wave has eliminated Cameron, Renzi, Sarkozy, Hollande, Clinton and others.

It’s unfortunate that this wave includes xenophobia, but we must agree that the nationalism is no longer petty: average Americans and Europeans and are now victims of a global corporate imperialism and radically-new digital high-finance class.

Trump is not White Trash – he is a billionaire – but Trump is clearly the first White Trash President.

Trump was elected to smash the system

This is something which White Trash has wanted to do since always.

And what does that mean?

Smashing the system is what revolution is: you chase out the rich, you retake control of the armed forces and you finally reflect the democratic will.

This is an enormously rare event, and it has only been done recently in places like Cuba, China, Iran, the USSR and a few others. This has happened in places like Burkina Faso, only to be subverted by the West. This is also something which has not been done in Western nations since 1776 for the US, 1789 for France and never in the UK.

Trump is not a revolutionary, but he could accomplish some of these WTR dreams. He could reorient US foreign policy away from imperialism; he could reorient the US from free-trade global capitalism.

The WTR is an exciting idea, but it is just a phase and not an end.

The reason Trump is destined to fail – although he is about 50/50 after six weeks in office – is that he is trying to do it from within the system and through reforms.

That is not revolution, but a coup.

Still…history is also full of coups that turned out well for the average person, mainly in places where the bar was already set quite low.

Trump receives only one mention in the book, and his presidency will probably turn out like the author wrote:

“Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, billed as a ‘seductive weave of aspiration and Darwinism,’ celebrated ruthlessness. In these and related shows, talent was secondary; untrained stars were hired to serve voyeuristic interests, in expectation that, as mediocrities, they could be relied on to exhibit the worst of human qualities: vanity, lust and greed.”

We simply cannot fairly say if Trump will finish as an object of hero worship like a Castro or as a mediocrity who was hired to serve non-White Trash interests – his actions as president will determine that.

But we must realize that what Trump has achieved is based on the strategy of not bashing White Trash and their political interests.

And what are Trash interests?

Historically that has been land, just like in every country.

In every modern, anti-imperialist revolution “land reform” has been essentially the guiding policy: USSR, Cuba, Zimbabwe – the list goes on and on.

The book proves that White Trash was systematically excluded from good land as a matter of government policy. The idea that the Frontier provided a White Trash family the ability to claim, clear and hold good farmland for generations is totally disproven. “They are blamed for living on bad land, as though they had other choices.”

Out of sight, out of mind: the most restrictive and undemocratic laws in America are zoning laws, after all.

They are still used to keep White Trash segregated: gated communities, trailer parks, congressional redistricting…all are designed to keep rich Whites away from Trash of any color.

Highways block off Black-filled urban housing projects; trailer parks are on the outskirts of town and by the factory/railroad/cattle pens/dump.

I think some White Democrats express genuine concern about Black poverty, but you never hear them utter a sentence like in this book: “Trailer trash had become America’s untouchables.”

They certainly are.

As the author demonstrates, this is because extreme White poverty has been systematically obscured and ignored in America.

White Trash has always been a huge problem and it’s gotten much bigger due to the Great Recession.

Despite the decline of individual farming, land reform is still required in America because nothing has really changed: the biggest marker of class and status is the value of the land where you live.

Just like everyone in real estate knows: “Location is everything. Location determines access to a privileged school, a safe neighborhood, infrastructural improvements, the best hospitals, the best grocery stores.”

The obvious solution is for the government to force economic integration via rent controls, to subsidize poor people to live in rich areas and to use economic redistribution to uplift poor areas.

News flash: This is what communists have already done in places like Cuba. The most run-down areas of Havana are at least the most desirable real estate as they are just steps from the water. In any capitalist city Havana’s waterfront property would instead be the most valuable and reserved for the ultra-rich.

After the Iranian revolution the government first rebuilt south Tehran, the city’s poorest area. Ahmadinejad, so derided in the West, was a rock star in rural areas but an “illegitimate president” in the richer areas of the cities.

Doesn’t that sound familiar in 2017?!

Republican France has laws for housing integration on the books but they are never properly enforced, even under the fake-Socialist Francois Hollande.

The facts are all in:

Communism leads to more stable growth and actual equality while capitalism shuns equality and widens the gaps during any downturn.

Trump, and we see this from his pro-capitalist stance, is probably only going to exacerbate this lack of justice.

Again, the WTR is just a phase, and it’s a bumpy one, but it’s better than the previous era that followed the death of the USSR, the “TINA-UCV”:

There Is No Alternative-Unstoppable Capitalist Victory.

So what is White Trash, really?

In describing NASCAR fans the author writes: “They embraced a certain species of freedom – the freedom to be a boor, out in the open and without regrets.”

Does this not perfectly describe the electoral campaign of Donald Trump? Goodbye PCR!

Sloughing that off – as it became no longer just a necessary tool but an end in itself – is indeed progress.

But here in France we just call those types of boors “the French”.

And these people are far more interesting, fun and numerous than the other French archetype: aloof, stylish (rich) and sexually sadistic…but also “cosmopolitan”, pro-EU, fundamentally pro-capitalist, anti-Le Pen but still racist because the hijab is a “prison”, etc.

The gulf between the boor and the angelic yet earthy peasant Karataev is real.

But was Karataev angelic and earthy, despite being White Trash, due to the superiority of Russian genes? Certainly not.

Karataev was so wonderful and inspirational because he was not a real person but a fictional character; but we can assume Karataev, and his author, “learned” his socialism/Christian anarchism from his culture.

Karataev would probably be proud to be called a “redneck” today, but he would not have been proud to have been called a “boor”. He’d be a fun clown at a party, yes, but that is not a boor.

This book does a great service because it investigates, redeems and promotes the historical class oppression endured by America’s White Trash.

It seems clear that Trump and Bannon do not truly idolize the hidden virtues of White Trash – they idolize King Reagan and King Croesus– but it is still too early to say for certain.

They say getting money shows who a person really is – the same probably goes for power.

It is capitalism which accuses, however: “You White Trash must raise yourself up.” It is socialism, and only socialism, which lends both the helping hand and the shield from those who will certainly try to break brotherly bonds.

Middle- and upper-class America are desperately fighting the WTR, just as they have historically always fought off White Trash demands for justice and fairness. And it is true that there is no guarantee at this date that the WTR will not descend into fascism. Certainly, many of the same xenophobic and fascist elements are similar to the 1930s.

This is partially why the demonization of Trump supporters is something which should never be tolerated by any thinking or moral person – it only fuels the climate of ignorance and anger which fascism thrives upon.

Regardless, the separate point is that this book shows that the WTR – via the empowerment of White Trash – has been decades in the making in the United States.

Fortunately, socialism is centuries in the making across the world.

(This editorial is paired with a complete book review of “White Trash”.)

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 Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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

BBC a major purveyor of fakenews sets itself up as a guardian of the truth

BBC Fake News Reality Check

This is funny BBC sets up team to debunk fake news | Media | The Guardian

Friday 13th January 2017 was the day we learned of the BBC’s ‘Reality Check’, described by the Guardian as a team to ‘debunk fake news’. If you feel that the BBC debunking fake news might be an oxymoron, then we would agree with you, and the reasons are not difficult to identify.

The BBC stated that their Reality Check team:

… will focus on content that is clearly fabricated and attempting to mislead the public into thinking it has been produced by a reputable news organisation.

The immediate implication here is that the BBC considers that as a £3.65 billion major news broadcaster, it is beyond reproach in reporting facts and truth, and is therefore happy to set itself up to monitor and police other news sources for the accuracy of their content.

BBC claims podium of truth

But what could have caused the BBC to have taken this narcissistic and egotistical stance in self-righteousness?

The clue does not take long to find:

False information around big events such as the UK’s referendum on leaving the EU and the US election has been especially rife, with numerous instances of completely fabricated stories, many of which are created with the sole aim of generating advertising revenue from people viewing the stories.

Both Brexit and the election of Trump have, according to the BBC, been beset with fabricated stories. The inference is that stories were so fabricated and so widespread that 17 million Britons were mistakenly swayed to vote to leave the EU, and millions more US voters were misled into voting for Trump rather than Hillary Clinton. Since the BBC has a track record of highly biased support for both the EU and Hillary Clinton we might just see why the BBC would be upset at competition in the world news circuit.

With heady professional passion and an ego the size of a rhinoceros, James Harding, head of BBC News, led the BBC’s rhetoric:

The BBC can’t edit the internet, but we won’t stand aside either … We will fact check the most popular outliers on Facebook, Instagram and other social media. We are working with Facebook, in particular, to see how we can be most effective. Where we see deliberately misleading stories masquerading as news, we’ll publish a Reality Check that says so.

Climbing even higher onto his podium of BBC truthful self-righteousness, Harding added:

And we want Reality Check to be more than a public service, we want it to be hugely popular. We will aim to use styles and formats – online on TV and on radio – that ensure the facts are more fascinating and grabby than the falsehoods.

Thank goodness the BBC has stepped up to be the guardian of truth, and thank goodness that James Harding has volunteered himself to champion and head the new Reality Check team. We can now all sleep much easier in our beds knowing that the BBC and Mr Harding are looking out for truth.

Mr Harding apologies to Leveson Inquiry

Let’s forget the BBC’s own slight weaknesses in the field of truth for a moment and consider Mr Harding. This is the same man who previously served as Editor of Murdoch’s Times newspaper – itself a bastion of truth and respectability, especially in the City and Westminster circles. Well not quite. Poor James was forced to apologise to the Leveson Inquiry into press ‘respectability’, for his role in running the Times news team whilst reporters for whom he was responsible (his statement) broke the law to hack other people’s emails.

Perhaps he didn’t know, perhaps he wasn’t told, perhaps he didn’t care. No matter, he had the responsibility for editorial standards and the professional behaviour of his team. Heaven forbid that similar such dirty dealings would be going on in the vast organisational black hole of the BBC – or even perhaps, a little fabrication of the truth here and there by BBC reporters. It might be me, but I don’t get good vibes for Harding’s claim of the moral high ground in world-wide truthful reporting.

The launch of BBC Reality Check indicated two key things. Firstly, that despite the rampant BBC propaganda supporting and promoting UK, US and European Union political agendas, which they have churned out for years, the work of many amateur journalists, and especially those broadly known as the web-based alternative media, has clearly upset the BBC’s propaganda apple cart. Secondly, the damage has been so great that the BBC has had to launch a counter-attack against free speech.

Understanding the BBC’s role

At this point we should perhaps remember what the BBC says it is there to do. Its ‘Mission’ is to:

enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.

And their ‘Vision’ is

to be the most creative organisation in the world.

Of these two self-proclaimed goals, it is perhaps the latter that has a distinctly ‘scary’ feel about it. The most creative organisation in the world! What does that actually mean? Creating what? In reality, what does the BBC create? It clearly doesn’t create a better world. On the contrary, and as we shall see, the BBC specialises in the dark media arts. Are they there to create truth?

As a propaganda machine the BBC is outstanding. Aside from ‘normal’ news reporting, the BBC has operated BBC Monitoring, part of the World Service Group, since the Second World War.

First funded by the FCO, and now the TV licence payer, BBC Monitoring is still intimately linked to the British intelligence services, especially GCHQ. It employs a team of highly trained language specialists to monitor overseas radio and television broadcasts. Their job is to listen to and interpret what the broadcast message and messenger is really saying. If, for example, there are indications of political decisions or objects hitherto unknown to HM GOVERNMENT, or indications of military movements, threats or internal political strife, then BBC Monitoring flags up their findings and analysis to the secret services.

So innocent people on the Indian subcontinent, for example, may listen in the BBC World Service broadcasts believing that they are listening to friendly transmissions and truthful news from Britain, but in reality the BBC is spying on political, social, economic, and military events in their country. Perhaps India is big enough to look after themselves, but few people realise that the BBC spies on hundreds of countries around the world in this way, and especially those within trouble spots. After all, the BBC likes nothing better than reporting violence, riots, mass shootings, rape, torture and wars.

Enter BBC proxy charity BBC Media Action

Unfortunately the BBC does not just stop there. It also boasts that its ‘charity’ BBC Media Action is “transforming lives through media around the world”, backed up by its mission “To inform, connect and empower people around the world.”

These are heady claims by a charity that is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development (£14.7m) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (£4.1m), the US State Department (£0.5m), the Government of Norway (£0.7), the UN (£3.0m), the EU (£2.4m), and receives money from many other NGOs, agencies and change agents.

We must also mention Bill and Melinda Gates. The happy couple, who seem to have a deep interest in helping the world’s poor through population control, vaccinations, and easing in Western banking and debt based financial systems to many poor and thus highly vulnerable countries, have scraped their loose change barrel to give BBC Media Action £4.5m. Why?

At this point, as we probe into BBC media truth concerning Syria, we encourage our readers to read our article ‘BBC Media Action: Subversion from Broadcasting House to Kazakhstan.’

This concise analysis delves into the dark political, subversive and propaganda origins of BBC Media Action, including the ‘Marshall Plan for the Mind’, and sets out its dirty media work amongst the unsuspecting people of Kazakhstan.

We should also note that Juliette Harkin, a former BBC Media Action Project Manager, was kind enough to give a little more than a glimpse into the aims of her work, and thus the real agenda of BBC Media Action, in their Country Case Study: Syria. She boasted that they had been working inside Syria to help foment regime change:

We [BBC Media Action] worked in 2004 with individuals within the ministry who wanted change and tried to get them to be the drivers of that. All media development work that has been done in Syria has, in my opinion, been predicated upon this idea that there can be change from within – you have an authoritarian regime and you find who the reformers are within that (individuals) and you work with them.

Was she aware of what she was doing, was she used, or an innocent in her work, or didn’t care?

Understanding BBC Fake News in Regime Change 

In terms of Fake News, just think what Juliette Harkin’s comments really mean. In both the UK and worldwide, the BBC was reporting the unrest and uprising of the Syrian population against the Assad government, as if it was autonomous.

According to the BBC, Syrians were rebelling, of their own accord, due to their own dissatisfaction with their government. Yet the reality was (and still is) that the BBC was reporting events which it had itself helped to foment from inside Syria.

The BBC attacked Assad at every opportunity, accusing him of every brutal action possible, including gassing his own people, when in fact the BBC was itself actively working inside Syria to subvert peaceful life, and to assist the UK’s clearly stated political aim of regime change. Never mind Fake News – this BBC action is duplicitous, obscene and must surely be a hostile act on an unsuspecting overseas nation state.

Just imagine the furore if the BBC discovered that President Assad had been using teams inside the UK to help oust the Prime Minister David Cameron, on the basis that Syria found him to be an aggressive warmonger – a man prepared, for example, to unleash unlawful bombing attacks on Libya, Syria and Yemen.

Getting straight to the heart of the matter, The Huffington Post’s article Hillary Clinton’s Enthusiasm for Regime Change Wars grips the regime change agenda:

The presumption of dictating to an independent nation the form of its government is so arrogant, so atrocious, that indignation as well as moral sentiment enlists all our partialities and prayers in favor of one and our equal execrations against the other.

Wars for regime change also violate international law. Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter generally prohibits ‘the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…’ Article 51 creates a narrow exception for wars in self-defense ‘if an armed attack occurs… Regime change wars do not fit that narrow exception.’

Yet Syrian regime change was the repeatedly declared policy of the US, UK and EU from the outset, and these collective Western powers ultimately trained, armed, funded and unleashed the ‘ISIS’ terrorists to fight their proxy war against Assad. Follow the simple path of deceit. Western governments pay BBC Media Action to run ‘projects’ galvanising rebellion against Assad, whilst those same Western governments work in the margins to set up and equip the terrorists which the BBC was to deliberately and misleadingly label ‘moderate’ anti-Assad rebels.

Follow the Government Money

We must surely be fully justified in asking: just who was BBC Media Action to intervene in the internal politics of the nation state of Syria?

The clue to this pernicious action comes from the old adage: follow the money. BBC Media Action claims to be a charity, but we have clearly revealed that in reality it is a paid agent of the Western collective state. It can only have operated in Syria, and against Assad, on the basis that its work would help the underlying UK, US and EU collective governmental regime change agenda.

Clues are not hard to find. BBC Media Action is a major partner of European External Action Service (EEAS), which promotes their project:

Bridging Syria’s divides: Mass media programming and platforms to build resilience and social cohesion to counter violent conflict and radicalism across all sections of Syrian society.

But what does this description really mean? A secondary sentence in the flyer spells it out:

The project will develop and produce radio series relevant to the topic of radicalisation in Syria and entertain dynamic debate.

Here we can see the BBC up to its old tricks: devise and broadcast programming, preferably with the help of innocent local people, which injects the views, values and agenda of the BBC to foment a change agenda in all areas of the target society. By focusing on radicalism and creating ‘dynamic debate’, the real effect is to create discord, unrest and uncertainty. This is insidious and dangerous interference in a nation state, be it Syria or any other.

So BBC Media Action was working to help undermine Syrian social cohesion and inflame those hostile to Assad, and the EU paid them a mere €2,409,751 to do so. That sum was only just one contribution to the cost of this work, and a fraction of their other government and non-governmental agency funding.

European External Action Organisation 

The blatant hypocrisy could not be clearer since the European (Union) External Action Organisation declares that:

it is the European Union’s diplomatic service, which helps the EU’s foreign affairs chief – the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – carry out the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.

In this one example BBC Media Action was thus paid to help further the political agenda of the EU, and that agenda was, and remains, Syrian regime change.

The EEAS website reveals a string of other EU-backed political projects to further the anti-Assad agenda:

– Supporting transition towards democracy in Syria through preparing for a[n] engendered constitution building process. The overall objective of the action is to contribute to a democratic transition in Syria inclusive of gender equality.

– Strengthening social cohesion for a democratic and inclusive Syrian civil society. To enable key individuals and community based groups from Syrian civil society to undertake community capacity building in key sectors to foster an effective future transition process in post-conflict Syria.

– Supporting Syrian professionals to prepare for leading roles in a future transition to a peaceful, democratic and inclusive Syria. Qualified Syrians will be enabled to become key actors in a future transition process and are willing and capable to contribute actively in the fields of transitional justice, security sector reform, urban planning and local administration. Exchanges with experts from within the EU are established.

– Promoting social cohesion and moderate voice in Syria. To provide Syrian civil society actors with a tailor-made approach for supporting new and existing initiatives through capacity building, networking, sub grants and continual mentoring to promote social cohesion and non-violent mobilisation and to amplify moderate narratives.

The list — for a number of different executing agencies (alongside BBC Media Action) — goes on, with a never-ending supply of EU funding to drive the agenda. The last of the above programmes is funded to over €1 million by the EU.

Syrian Regime Change aka Transition

Whilst these EU programmes are sold in terms of humanitarian need and aid to help people and society,  the language reveals much more. Transition is a key word. The inference is that selected Syrian professionals will be trained to become EU actors to help drive (transform) Syria towards an EU style society – a new sociopolitical economic society and order that will completely replace traditional Syria lifestyles.

Only yesterday, EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini announced that she will host an international conference in Brussels on the future of Syria and the region. The announcement came following the first meeting in 2017 of EU foreign ministers, which she herself chaired. Mogherini’s weasel words contained a repeated theme, and that was ‘transition’. Her conference, for example, would have two main objectives:

on the one side taking stock of the implementation of commitments of the donor community at the London conference, on which the EU has delivered in full [here, we may ask, is she talking the donation of aid or bombs or both?] … most of all it will be a political conference, hoping that could be the moment for the international community to together turn the page and start the political transition, the reconciliation process and the reconstruction of Syria.

Against this background of very dirty political ‘soft power’ by the West in Syria, the BBC flooded UK and world news with highly biased Syrian news describing how “dictator” Assad murdered babies, used chemical weapons against his own people and murdered all those that opposed him. As we have already stated, this BBC propaganda was supported with descriptions of the Western-backed terrorists and their sadistic killing machine as ‘moderate rebels’ suffering under that very same brutal dictator, Assad.

BBC shocked at desire for profit

Let’s go back to the BBC and Mr Harding’s Reality Check, and remember that he described his concern over:

numerous instances of completely fabricated stories, many of which are created with the sole aim of generating advertising revenue from people viewing the stories.

The key point of interest here is his theatrical shock horror that other media outlets might want to generate advertising revenue from their stories. If the BBC is a £3.65 billion media machine working hand in glove with the UK government and intelligence services, then consider also the existence of the £1.1 billion BBC Worldwide, and £91 million BBC Global News Ltd. All supported by the bully boy muscle of Capita, which does the heavy door-to-door collections should anyone dare not to pay their BBC licence fee in the UK.

Mr Harding acts as if the BBC is a non-profit organisation. Far from it; BBC money and resources, such as pension funds, have been used to create the slick BBC Worldwide corporate media empire, which has profits of some £156 million. Not bad on the back of public money collected by Capita for, yes, you’ve guessed it, profit. BBC Global News has not yet delivered the cash cow, and profits are slim, but give it time.

So against this big money and big profit background, are we to assume then that these BBC companies are so squeaky clean that they will not spin facts to create the best profit-making story?

BBC Reality Check

Hopefully, the BBC’s Reality Check team will read this article. I would very much like them to challenge our investigation into the dirty dealings of the BBC, and their skewed political reporting which has been particularly prevalent in war zones worldwide:

Afghanistan (no mention of the US & UK involvement in the opium poppy drug trade);
Libya (no professional investigation of the funding, training and arming of terrorists by the UK and US to help assert regime change);
Syria (no real investigation of anything – just the regurgitation of UK, US and EU anti-Assad anti-government propaganda);
Yemen (where the BBC has also failed to investigate this UK- and US-created civil war and their funding, training and arms, which features particularly vile military brutality by the British government’s old friend Saudi Arabia).

BBC Reality Check Oxymoron

I encourage readers to watch and read reports by Vanessa Beeley, who has reported the facts from Syria and Aleppo. Her work has established without doubt that BBC reports on the Syrian conflict have ranged from poor to deliberately misleading Fake News.

Taking a ‘Reality Check’, it is apparent the BBC is a master of propaganda, and its duplicitous senior management is happy to betray the thousands of staff who still believe they work for a trustworthy, truthful and reliable organisation, along with the wider viewing and listening public. For the BBC to suggest it is the guardian of media truth is indeed an oxymoron.

Video: “Saving Syria’s Children”: The Worst Case Of Fake News?

Global Research, February 17, 2017

Mike Robinson, Patrick Henningsen and campaigner Robert Stuart take a look at what is quite possibly the worst example of mainstream media fake news in history – the BBC Panorama documentary Saving Syria’s Children.

FakeNews week: Assad and Russia’s Slaughter in Syria’: Deconstructing the Media’s Fake ‘War Crimes’ Narrative

By Barbara McKenzie – 21st Century Wire – February 15, 2017

1 BANNER - Fake News Week

In response to the establishment media’s contrived ‘fake news’ crisis designed to marginalise independent and alternative media sources of news and analysis, 21WIRE is running its own #FakeNewsWeek awareness campaign, where each day our editorial team at 21st Century Wire will feature media critiques and analysis of mainstream corporate media coverage of current events – exposing the government and the mainstream media as the real purveyors of ‘fake news’ throughout modern history…

1 no fly zone SyriaBarbara McKenzie

21st Century Wire

NATO and its allies are waging an immoral and illegal war against Syria.  Despite mainstream media denials, the fact remains that their proxies on the ground are criminal gangs with an extremist ideology, committing atrocities on a daily basis.

The crimes against Syria by the hand of western governments and their agents, however, are totally ignored by institutions that support the West in its plan to effect regime change. The agenda stretches from Washington DC, to the US-led ‘Coalition’ governments, right through to the United Nations.

Instead, the West has constructed a narrative of Russian and Syrian ‘war crimes’ which, although refutable at every level, is maintained and promoted by Western politicians, diplomats, UN officials, the corporate media, and social media trolls. The fake narrative is achieved through a comprehensive set of strategies:

MSM Fake News in Syria

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The following is a catalogue of fabricated or misleading stories disseminated by western media in Syria:

The Haas school bombing

On 26 October 2016, news came of a lethal Russian or Syrian airstrike on a school in the village of Haas in Idlib province, northern Syria.

UNICEF smartly issued a statement by Executive Director Anthony Lake, with an implication that the world is remiss in not taking action:

NEW YORK/AMMAN, 26 October 2016 – “Twenty-two children and six teachers were reportedly murdered today when their school compound was repeatedly attacked in Idlib, Syria.

“This is a tragedy. It is an outrage. And if deliberate, it is a war crime.

“This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago.

“Children lost forever to their families … teachers lost forever to their students … one more scar on Syria’s future.

“When will the world’s revulsion at such barbarity be matched by insistence that this must stop?”

Principal sources cited in the media are ‘Syrian Civil Defense’ commonly known as the White Helmets, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), and ‘locals’ or ‘activists’. Pictures are provided by either ‘activists’ or the Revolutionary Forces of Syria, an anti-government media outfit.

The Guardian also cites ‘a doctor who […] asked that his name and the name of his medical facility not be used’. Both the BBC and the Independent quote UNICEF, presumably for its response rather than as a source, as UNICEF has no permanent presence in Idlib, let alone Haas.

The Guardian added value to its article by quoting of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien’s previous report to the UN on the Wednesday (which refers to Aleppo, but not the Idlib school incident). Like Anthony Lake above, O’Brien suggests that some kind of action is called for.

“O’Brien added that he was “incandescent with rage” over the security council’s passivity. “Peoples’ lives [have been] destroyed and Syria itself destroyed. And it is under our collective watch,” he said. “And it need not be like this – this is not inevitable; it is not an accident … Never has the phrase by poet Robert Burns, of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ been as apt. It can be stopped but you, the security council, have to choose to make it stop.”

All the Western media quoted here assume that the attack actually happened. The Washington Post goes further, implying that civilians are deliberately targeted: ‘the seeming denial of targeting civilians in Haas suggests that more of them will die in this horrific conflict.’

Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, responded to the reports, saying: “It’s horrible. I hope we were not involved. It’s the easiest thing for me to say no, but I’m a responsible person, so I need to see what my ministry of defence is going to say.”

While the Russians maybe have been cautious in their initial response, others had no doubt at all. Politicians, diplomats, UN officials and human rights organisations were quick to condemn the attack. The Guardian quoted White House spokesman Josh Earnest:

“We don’t know yet that it was the Assad regime or the Russians that carried out the airstrike, but we know it was one of the two.”

French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Jean-Marc Ayrault, issued a statement condemning the bombing:

“The Syrian regime and its supporters – far from implementing the announced truces – have stepped up their bombing campaign. These attacks constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Gordon Brown, UN envoy for education and former British Prime Minster, at a formal press briefing, described the attack as a ‘descent into barbarism’, and a ‘war crime’, calling on the Security Council to refer ‘the worst assault on school children in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Brown pronounced himself eager to take up Russia’s suggestion of an investigation.

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General likewise called for an investigation. A statement from his office read:

“The Secretary-General is appalled by reports of attacks that killed students and teachers in a school complex in Haas village, Idlib governorate, Syria on 26 October. If deliberate, this attack may amount to a war crime.

The Secretary-General calls for immediate and impartial investigation of this and other similar attacks against civilians in Syria. If such horrific acts persist despite global outrage, it is largely because their authors, whether in corridors of power or in insurgent redoubts, do not fear justice. They must be proved wrong.”

There Was No Air Raid

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Even to the casual observer, the claim of an airstrike, based on the evidence provided to the media by the sources on the ground, looks ridiculous.

The following picture, which was distributed widely, including by the Independent, does not suggest an airstrike, so much as someone attacking the wall with a hammer. The desks are upright and undamaged, and other pictures make it clear that the roof is quite intact.

idlib-school-strike

The video in the Reuters report, Air strikes in Syria’s Idlib kill 26, mostly children: rescuers, monitor” contains very clear footage, which again does not fit with claims of an airstrike.

The Russians promptly sent out a drone to take photos of the area said to be bombed in Haas, and also examined the supposedly incriminating evidence provided by photos in the media. They concluded that ‘the nature and the extent of the damage sustained by the school were not similar to the destruction caused by airstrikes’, noting that the school roof was undamaged, likewise the fence, nor was there was no sign of surrounding buildings being struck.

In this video from RT, ex-Pentagon official Michael Mahloof points out that in an airstrike would have blown the buildings to smithereens, and certainly roofs destroyed.

Others agreed with the Russians’ conclusions.

Comments below the Independent report included the following:

shameWADA_

Oh, another dose of fake info from pseudo-journalists. Actually this

fake was exposed pretty fast. Those ones who interested feel free to

check out photos made by russian UAV a day ago where clearly recorded

TOTAL absence of destructions characteristic for airstrikes – no

destructions of roofs of the buildings, no ANY craters which must be

left after airstrikes etc., plus analysis of photos taken from the

“place of the crime” by those journalists. Cheap fake, as it was with

“attack” on humanitarian convoy on 19 september. Oh, liars and slanderers…

spalpeenuillean

What a huge steaming pile of propaganda. Latest reports on BBC and Al

Jazeera are now saying no children were killed. Also saying that the

school was hit by a ‘missile’, not a bomb. Local people interviewed on

AJ confirm that the school was used by terrorists as a command centre

and ammunition store.

Although the evidence provided to the media by their sources proves, if anything, that there was no airstrike, not one of the corporate media outlets quoted here questioned the veracity of the story.  It seems as if the media’s narrative took priority over factual reporting.

Claim: Russia and Assad ‘Target Hospitals’

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A number of people have written on the fraudulent and hypocritical nature of reporting on hospitals, including two excellent reports:

The claims of Russia targeting civilians and public buildings such as schools and hospitals – and deliberately, began soon after it entered the war in the fall of 2015, reaching a crescendo during the liberation of Aleppo in December 2016. Often the claims lack detail and are impossible to verify; sometimes the hospitals have names like ‘M10,’ and are unregistered, or are completely unknown to the people of Aleppo with some likely to be ‘rebel’ (terrorist) field hospitals or pop-up triage units. On the rare occasion that mainstream media reports offer any specifics, once again they turn out to be fake news.

On October 20-21st, western media accused Russia of bombing hospitals in six municipalities in Syria. Russia investigated and found that in five towns there were no hospitals at all, while the sixth town, Sarmin, had a hospital that, contrary to reports of it destruction was quite intact.

The fact of specific claims being debunked, or of ‘civilian hospitals’ being shown to be military facilities used by gazetted terrorist organisations, never halts the progress of the narrative, and despite the long list of misreporting and disinformation in this area of coverage, retractions are rarely, if ever reported by western media outlets after the fact.

How Media, Politicians, NGOS and UN Deliberately Use Illegitimate Sources
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The lesson to be learned from this is not only that the media occasionally publish anti-Russian or anti-Assad stories which are incorrect, and then when the stories are exposed as fake forget to apologise. The crucial problem is that the media rely as a matter or course on discredited sources, or sources funded by the very same governments who are responsible for arming and finding the ‘rebel’ terrorist fighters attempting to destabilize and overthrow the government in Syria.

Both the White Helmets and the SOHR were created by the British Foreign Office (and in the case of the White Helmets directly funded by the US State Dept and other NATO member states and Qatar ) for the express purpose of devising propaganda to the detriment of the Syrian government and of Russian operations in Syria.  Their sole function is to discredit ‘Assad’ and Russia in order to fulfill the eternal hope of the FCO of gaining approval, either from the UN or the British public, for a Libya-style No-Fly Zone. In addition to this, their video material purporting to show ‘brutal atrocities from Assad and Russia’ are circulated through Gulf media and are effective recruitment propaganda for prospective jihadist fighters wanting to join the fight in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is based in Coventry, England. The man who runs it, Osama Suleiman, goes by the false pseudonym of Rami Abdulrahman, and was formerly imprisoned as a criminal in Syria before the war began in 2011, and is an unabashed supporter of the ‘revolution’ and has the flag of the ‘armed opposition’ prominent on the banner of the SOHR twitter account, @syriahr.

Regarding the White Helmets, the very name “Syrian Civil Defence” is a travesty, as it usurps the name of the legitimate REAL Syria Civil Defence. White Helmets are intertwined with terrorist gangs in regions like Aleppo and Idlib, and most notably with the ISIS-aligned Nour al-Din al-Zinki group. They have been filmed with groups waving terrorist flags, abusing prisoners, and taking part in terrorist operations. Even if there were truth in the fable that their primary function is humanitarian, to consider them as an “impartial source” is ridiculous.

The antics of the White Helmets are often so obviously staged that it is hard to imagine that anyone would be taken in.  Again, however, that is not the point. Even if they had better actors, even if the shoots looked less like glossy commercials and instead achieved the immediacy and conviction of, for example, like the real scenes shot by RT in the hospitals of Western Aleppo, the fact remains that they are heavily partial and should never be given the benefit of the doubt.

Since the beginning of the Syrian War, the western media have exclusively used a bevy of ‘unnamed activists’ as their sources on the ground, activist meaning members of extremist groups aligned with al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria) or ISIS, and journalists who have been based in the northern Syria and Turkey and who openly support the ideology of these Salafi and religious extremist groups (and are therefore acceptable to them). American Bilal Abdul Kareem, a born again takfiri, reported regularly for the BBC and CNN from Aleppo before liberation.

During the liberation of Aleppo these journalists were portrayed by Al Jazeera , CNN and others, as ‘average people’ able to speak for the people of Aleppo, all dramatically filing their “last message” – presumably before the “brutal Assad regime” finally converged on them.

Civilians in Aleppo are filming their goodbyes.

All these news sources are illegitimate, and known to be illegitimate, and thus all reports from these sources should be treated as fake news. It is dishonest and unprofessional for the media to rely on any of these sources.

The corporate media and humanitarian organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accept or seek out the fake news from these discredited sources, and publish and republish it without a qualm.

The humanitarian fake news is then picked up and amplified by politicians, diplomats and United Nations officials, including the UN Secretary General himself.

The inherent illegitimacy of sources like the White Helmets, and the examples of proven dishonesty and fakery, has done nothing to prevent them being used as evidence by media and politicians alike. On 25 September, TIME Magazine ignored all the evidence that there was no bombing of the UN humanitarian convoy, and reiterated the White Helmets story, and furthermore claimed that the White Helmets were being deliberately targeted by Russian and Syrian air power – and the media’s ‘source’? Once again, being the White Helmets.

Atrocities by Western-backed Terrorists are Routinely Ignored or Downplayed

The reaction to the alleged bombing in Haas by media and spokespeople alike stands in sharp contrast to the response to the crimes of the insurgents. Terrorists have shelled schools in government areas throughout the conflict, with frightful consequences but these atrocities are reported only in passing, if at all, with little or no comment from human rights agencies and United Nations officials.

On 28 October there was a genuine attack on a school in Haidaq al-Andalus.

A Google search for the attack under the name of the school gives no hits from the corporate media, though they had all reported on the alleged bombing of the Haas school a couple of days earlier.

Eva Bartlett assesses the responses to attacks on Syrian schools in the piece, “UN covers up war crimes in Syria, citing U.S. backed Al-Qaeda propagandists,”  as well as considering the evidence for the Haas school ‘bombing’. With reference to UNICEF’s response to the Haas bombing claims cited above, Bartlett observes:

“With supreme audacity, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake further claimed that this “airstrike” may be “the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago.”

Perhaps Lake was otherwise distracted when on October 1, 2014, terrorists car and suicide bombed the Akrama Al-Makhzoumi School in Homs, killing at least 41 children by conservative estimates, or up to 48 children by other reports, along with women and other civilians.

[…] no similar statement of condemnation and anguish for the children murdered at the Akrama school bombings can be found on UNICEF’s website, even prior to Lake.”

 When all else fails, the media construct their own fake news.

Media distortion and fabrication is nothing new, and Syria is no exception.

On 30 September 20 year old Mireille Hindoyan and her 12 year old brother Arman were killed by terrorist shelling of the Armenian quarter of western Aleppo. The story was largely ignored by the corporate media, but one who did pick it was the Independent, who created the impression that the children were the victims of Russian bombing:

[The incident] came after medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said there had been a “bloodbath” in Aleppo amid a sustained assault on the city by pro-Assad forces backed by Russian warplanes.

In September 2013 the BBC Panorama documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ and related BBC News reports claimed to show the aftermath of an incendiary bomb attack on a school in Urm Al-Kubra, Aleppo. In his analysis, Fabrication in BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children‘, independent media analyst Robert Stuart has shown that sequences filmed by BBC personnel and others at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013 purporting to show the aftermath of the attack were completely staged.

 

Deflectionpicture. The editing was sloppy …

 Fake news demonising Syria and Russia is used to deflect attention from war crimes by NATO’s proxy agents on the ground, i.e. the terrorist groups, and also by NATO itself, both in general and in specific instances.

The terrorist groups operating out of eastern Aleppo until liberation in December 2016, all of which are aligned with ISIS and/or Al Nusra, the two branches of al Qaeda in Syria – shelled the 1.5 million residents of government western Aleppo on a daily basis for years. During the weeks RT’s Murad Gazdiev was reporting the gruesome details from Aleppo hospitals, RT documented many of these horrific scenes.

The western and Gulf-backed ‘rebel’ terrorists in eastern Aleppo were known to have carried out mass executions in eastern Aleppo. Reports of these atrocities were largely ignored in the West. The corporate media spread a series of fake news stories of ‘Russia and Syria deliberately targeting hospitals, schools, animal shelters’ etc to deflect from the reality of the hell people in all parts of Aleppo were experiencing at the hands of the terrorists.

The fact of terrorists shooting at people fleeing from terrorist-held eastern Aleppo into the government-protect western part of Aleppo during liberation of the city was inverted by the media into the nonsense story of ‘Syrian soldiers shooting fleeing residents,’ a lie widely distributed, and again, one which relies on the testimony of the White Helmets.

Around July 19, 2016, a video emerged of the last moments of a 12 year old Palestinian boy in Aleppo named Abdullah Issa, who had his head sawed off by a mocking Nour al-Din al Zinki terrorist group. The story was too horrific to be ignored even by the Western media.

However, Abdullah’s grizzly death was eclipsed in the eyes of the world’s media just a few weeks later by the story of little Omran Daqneesh, the little boy who was pulled out of the rubble. The video below shows how staged the whole affair was; the boy was released a few hours later with nothing but scratches – essentially a fake story of a non-event. The still picture took the corporate media by storm, with the whole affair descending into farce when CCN’s Kate Bolduan was apparently reduced to tears by the sight of the shocked, confused or simply bored Omran.

It is unclear why the White Helmets and the Aleppo Media Center needed to stage these performances, when supposedly there are thousands of real victims of Russian/Syrian bombing. Regardless, the armed opposition’s media operation is unrelenting.

In mid-October 2016, 6 year old Mahmoud Halyaf, who was born without arms, lost his legs when he triggered a terrorist landmine in Aleppo province.

The Mahmoud story received little coverage in the Western media, who were determined that Omran be the face of Syria’s children, not Abdullah, not Arman Hindoyan, nor Mahmoud. Whereas TIME Magazine, for example, has had at least 7 articles on Omran, a Google search reveals no TIME articles exist on Mahmoud, Abdullah or Arman. A search for the name Arman Hindoyan only gives the dishonest Independent article insinuating his death was caused by Russian bombing.

Deflection from NATO’s War Crimes

.On September 17, 2016 NATO forces bombed Syrian troops who protect the city of Deir ez Zor, just prior to an attack by ISIS. The US claims that is was an accident. However, the Syrian government believe that NATO was consciously cooperating in a previously agreed plan. Over 60 troops died in the sustained air attack, with some reports suggesting over 80, and scores more were wounded. Even if this horrific attack on Syrian troops was a mistake, it can hardly be termed ‘friendly fire’, as the action of NATO military forces in Syria is illegal under international law.

Russia requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council. The US response was extraordinary. Samantha Power, the US envoy, derailed the closed meeting by leaving as soon as Churkin got up to speak, choosing instead to address the press outside the chamber. Her strategy was to go on the attack with a tirade against Russia: Power insisted the Russians were trying to score “cheap points” by making so much of the US attack; the meeting described as ‘a stunt’, a ‘diversion’: ‘when you don’t like the facts, try to create attention somewhere else’.  There was no apology to the Syrian people – the US attack on Syrian troops and the ensuing loss of life were completely trivialised.

The UN Humanitarian Convoy

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NATO’s airstrike on Syrian troops, and the accompanying loss of life, was quickly forgotten when, just two days later, there were reports of a ‘Russia/Assad’ airstrike on a humanitarian convoy headed for Aleppo. The source for the story was members of the White Helmets.

Video evidence relating to the alleged bombing is less than convincing. Despite the distance, White Helmet Ammar el Selmo knows the location of the incident, and exactly what is being ‘bombed’. Giving the date in a moment of excitement also seems unlikely.

Gareth Porter analysed in some detail the discrepancies in the various reports offered by Ammar el Selmo and other White Helmets operatives, including:

  • Selmo insists the attack was carried out by Russian bombers and ‘Assad’ helicopters dropping barrel bombs, while another White Helmet spokesman, Hussein Badawi, claims that missiles were launched from the ground.
  • Selmo changed his story several times: after first claiming to be a kilometre away, he then decides he was having tea across the street. Helicopters dropped first 2 barrel bombs, then 4, then 8.
  •  The forensic evidence provided does not make sense, e.g. Selmo points to a small hole in the ground and claims it was made by a barrel bomb – barrel bombs leaves craters at least 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep.

The NATO/Atlantic Council-linked blog Bellingcat, which specialises in pseudo forensic reports (based on internet research) specifically designed to always prove Russian and Syrian culpability in warcrimes, produced its own interpretation which turned out to be counterproductive, as shown by Patrick Armstrong in his article, Bellingcat proves the Russians didn’t do it.

The UN launched into accusations of war crime, but Russia denied carrying out an airstrike in the area and the UN had to back down when evidence suggested that damage to the convoy was not caused by bombing.

While the affair provoked much ridicule on social media, the corporate media were quick to assume that the UN convoy was bombed, on the authority of the White Helmets, ‘locals’ and even the UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The incident provided a pretext for renewed verbal attacks on Russia and Syria, but was almost certainly devised for the express purpose of diverting attention away from US-NATO’s horrific attack on Deir ez Zor. That the UN convoy incident was quickly debunked made no difference – the diversion was achieved, and in any case, fake or not, contributed to the ongoing narrative.

‘The Last Hospital in Aleppo’

.Purely on the basis of White Helmet evidence, there was a barrage of reports of ‘Assad/Russia’ taking out the last hospital in Aleppo, the last bloodbankthe last clown, and a ‘world-famous’ cat sanctuarySouthbank found 21 last hospitals alleged to have been bombed; here is summary from another source:

“When a hospital in East Aleppo is destroyed, 10 new spring up in its place.” – Syrian proverb. https://twitter.com/annie_sparrow/status/799743773420859392 

The lie of Saddam Hussein pulling neo-natals from Kuwaiti incubators was rehashed when news came that the last children’s hospital in Aleppo had been destroyed and babies had to be rescued from incubators, with accompanying video. We are led to believe that it was the Independent report of the story that inspired Anna Alboth to organise the Civil March for Aleppo.

The story was obviously fraudulent – no-one ever handles a newborn baby the way the supposed healthcare professional handled the doll (I hope it was a doll) in the video (from 2:31). That the mainstream media widely promoted the story without question reveals the extent of their complicity in the propaganda campaign against Syria.

Barrel Bombs: Weapon of Mass Distraction

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The term barrel bomb has become a politically charged trigger as part of the wider new western nomenclature for what they call Syria’s ‘civil war’. 
The intention is that barrel bombs should have the same resonance as cluster bombs, to suggest something particularly sinister and particularly powerful.

There is no evidence that barrel bombs have properties on a par with cluster bombs, or napalm, nor are they especially destructive compared to other munitions. The attribution of particularly sinister powers to barrel bombs by the likes of John le Mesurier, founder of the White Helmets, who claimed they had the ‘seismological equivalent of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake‘, is clearly nonsense. See Vanessa Beeley, Syria: Consign “Barrel Bombs” to the Propaganda Graveyard

Whether or not the Syrian Air Arab Airforce has ever resorted to such weapons, the conceptualisation of barrel bombs as being particularly evil, the very use of which is a war crime, is a fake construct.

 

Soft Fake News

.The goal is to create an assumption of extensive and relentless bombing by Russia of places where civilians, and especially children, congregate. In addition to specific claims of atrocities, the message is accompanied or followed by ‘soft fake news’, designed to reinforce, amplify and humanise the message.

Project like Bana, the little girl who tweets from Aleppo, the ‘Civil March for Aleppo’ and the ‘People’s Convoy’ were specifically designed to create this kind of soft fake news. Their principal role is not so much to construct fake news stories, as to create the impression that Russia/Assad war crimes (‘bombbing’ in Bana’s parlance) are an established fact.

The organiser of the People’s Convoy is Rola Hallam, who also participated in the fraudulent BBC Panorama documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’.

Hyperbole

Having dishonestly created, as they hope, an assumption of Russian and Syrian excess, the point is then rammed home by politicians, the corporate media and on social media in the most extravagant terms.

At a UNSC meeting on 25 September 2016, Washington’s then UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, reiterating the accusation that Russia is bombing the humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders, talks of Russia’s ‘barbarism.’

At the same meeting the UK envoy Matthew Rycroft claimed ‘the regime and Russia’ have instead plunged to new depths and unleashed a new hell on Aleppo. In a further meeting on 30 September Power claimed what ‘Assad and Russia’ were doing in Aleppo was ‘soul-shattering‘, ‘sowing the doom of Syria, were providing a gift to ISIL and Nusra Front’. According to the Guardian Power also talked of “the most savage week we’ve seen in an incredibly savage five-plus-year war”, with more than 1,000 people killed by 1,700 airstrikes on east Aleppo alone (sources presumably being the White Helmets).

The same meeting heard a diatribe from United Nations aid chief Stephen O’Brien, who urged the 15-member U.N. Security Council to stop “tolerating the utter disregard for the most basic provisions of international humanitarian law.” He stated:

‘East Aleppo this minute is not at the edge of the precipice, it is well into its terrible descent into the pitiless and merciless abyss of a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any we have witnessed in Syria.

‘The only remaining deterrent it seems is that there will be real accountability in the court of world opinion and disgust – goodness knows, nothing else seems to be working to stop this deliberate, gratuitous carnage of lives lost.’

At a meeting on 8 October at which Russia vetoed a UN resolution to stop bombing in Aleppo, New Zealand envoy Gerard van Bohemen, in a speech worthy of Samantha Power, told the Security Council that ‘Russia and Syria are using counter-terrorism as a pretext for the mass murder of civilians‘, while the US deputy ambassador, David Pressman, claimed that ‘Russia has become one of the chief purveyors of terror in Aleppo, using tactics more commonly associated with thugs than governments’.

Given the intemperate language of politicians and diplomats, one would hardly expect the media to moderate theirs, thus the Mirror‘s, ‘Russia has now joined [Assad’s] bloodsoaked campaign, sending its own warplanes to inflict even more destruction upon Syria, especially Aleppo. Social media, needless to say, did not pull any punches either:

Hey @RaniaKhalek, as an unbiased individual, do you think a no-fly zone over Syria is good? Or counterproductive in fighting Daesh?

@BrotherAbuRahma I don’t think it will stop the Assad/Russia slaughter & will fuel more bombing from all sides w/ potential for ww3

Aleppo is liberated, the truth uncovered, but the narrative rolls on regardless

.The liberation of eastern Aleppo, and the testimony of its residents, should have put paid to many of the myths about the Syrian war, not least the bogus claims about the White Helmets.  However the fake narrative of ‘Assad/Russian’ war crimes continues – nothing is to be allowed to slow its progress, neither the exposure of fake claims and invalid sources, nor the new revelations coming out of  Aleppo. Paul Mansfield comments in After the Liberation of Aleppo Comes the Psyops War, which looks at the allegations of crimes by Syrian and allied troops.

The tired and hungry residents of Aleppo are being provided with much-needed food, medical treatment, clothes and blankets and shelter in internally displaced persons camps. The images of this are unmistakable. Despite this we still hear from the western media that people are fleeing the fighting, that regime soldiers have taken over the devastated city, that people trapped inside East Aleppo have held out for four years of bombardment and siege and that far from being a battle of liberation this is a Russian and Syrian regime “onslaught.” The word liberation is nowhere to be found. A bit like the honesty and integrity of the mainstream fakerstan media.

Samantha Power, in her final speech to the United Nations on 17 January 2017, was still quoting the White Helmets, ‘the brave first-responders’.

We saw it in 2015, when Russia went further by joining the assault on the Syrian people, deploying its own troops and planes in a campaign that hit hospitals, schools, and the brave Syrian first-responders who were trying to dig innocent civilians out of the rubble. And with each transgression, not only were more innocent civilians killed, maimed, starved, and uprooted, but the rules that make all our nations more secure – including Russia – were eroded.

The total disconnect between the NATO narrative and any regard for truth is further illustrated by the Atlantic Council’s latest report, dramatically entitled, “Breaking Aleppo.”  Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins is listed as one of the writers; sources include the Aleppo Media Center, which like the White Helmets operates as part of the vicious al Zinki group, Bellingcat, the White Helmets, and the Syrian American Medical Society, which is funded by George Soros. The report has a special section dedicated to hospital attacks, which repeats the same propaganda peddled throughout the war and, without blinking, relies on the same discredited sources.

Maj. General Igor Konashenkov, speaking on behalf of the Russian Defense Ministry, was unimpressed with both the report’s ‘lame duck authors’, and its content:

it is not a coincidence that the report never mentions the mined schools, the warehouses of ammunition and firing positions in closed hospitals, the militant warehouses stuffed with groceries, drugs and medical equipment, mass graves of civilians shot in the head: from children to the elderly’

Meanwhile, NATO war crimes, even the use of depleted uranium (raised again as an issue now but actually reported back in October 2016) continue to be ignored or downplayed.

This is what George Orwell meant

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Western governments and their agents have used every dishonest stratagem they could think of, in order to create a fake narrative, so that public perception of the Syrian conflict is an inversion of reality.

The NATO strategy is to:

    • Shut down debate on the nature of its proxies on the ground, and of their criminal acts;
    • Shut down debate on its own warmongering and its support for criminals who are anathema to the Syrian people;
    • Shut down debate on the legitimacy of the position of the Syrian government and its allies, and their right to defend Syria; and above all
    • Ensure that it is Syria and its allies who are portrayed as war criminals, rather than NATO, its allies and its agents.

From beginning to end, the mainstream media’s coverage of Syria has been intentionally distorted, portraying fake news as fact, in order to support an aggressive geopolitical agenda by the West.

***

Author Dr Barbara McKenzie is an independent researcher and special contributor to 21st Century Wire. Visit her research blog here

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: the need for epistemology in the age of information clutter

January 25, 2017

by Anwar Khan

Certain knowledge about things inaccessible to the senses has always been a challenge to man. It has especially become so in our times—those of the fake news days. As news of the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey hit the waves, it was another field day for the alternative media folks to provide “analysis” and “conclusions” on the issues related to this sad event. As always, it ranged from the erudite to the outlandish. One particular Youtube video I was sent went so far as to claim that the whole event was an elaborate hoax, staged in a studio. The speaker “proves” this to be the case based on some pictorial anomalies, videography technique, and appearance of symbols and numbers of occult nature, according to him, indicating the fingerprints of some secret society. The video was watched by many and if the comments section was any indication (which is disabled now), his judgement on the issue was beyond a reasonable doubt. All the while the casket of the slain ambassador was being afforded state funeral, attended by his wailing family.(1)

While the space that the internet affords the voices we call the alternative narrative (a collective of blogs, radio shows, websites, researchers, writers and activists who challenge the false narratives and lies of the corporate media) is undoubtedly one of the most cherished developments, as it add tremendously to the richness of the information we receive, and advance our understanding of the world, this democratization of information also has a down side. It has caused a phenomenon we may call “information clutter” where on any particular issue many different claims can be made without anything ever being proved. This has resulted in utter confusion among many whose loathing and distrust of the corporate media has caused them to turn to the alternative narrative for information but only to find many varying and often contradicting information on the same subject matter. The average person has never been this overwhelmed by data before at any point in history and this has lead to a paradoxical state of affairs: an information surplus but a coherence deficiency.

The so called “truther movement” is a sobering example. Currently there are at least half a dozen groups fighting ferociously among themselves regarding whose take on the collapse of the two Trade Towers on 9/11 is most congruent with reality. The proponents of direct energy call the thermate folks “disinformation agents”, the mini-nuke fraternity call both “controlled opposition”. The no-plane theorists call everyone else “shills” while itself being labelled “kooks” by all the other factions for taking poetic license to a whole new level. The hubris of each group holding fanatically to their theories and failing to form a consensus on the least common denominator amongst the leading theories has done tremendous harm to the “truther movement”, and has arrested to a great degree the potential it once had to achieve a great deal more than it has thus far—in the process disillusioning many of this movement’s veterans. Some may say the beauty is in the detail, such that it is of essence to know “how” things are done. But this is more a case of looking at the finger and neglecting the heavenly glory, a state of affairs most desirable to Cass Sunstein—the government wizard in charge of fighting “conspiracy theories”.

In the light of all these divisions, squabbles, name-callings, all and all mistrust of each other in the leading alternative narrative movements (hereafter AN), we need to ask ourselves if it is, in its current state, offering any substantial diagnosis to our miseries – or is it just another instrument in the orchestra? Is the AN playing any decisive role in the collective awakening of the masses, or is it only adding to their confusion and bewilderment? Are we any closer to dislodging the corrupt centers of power that is taking humanity to the slaughter-house, or is it that, the AN, unknowingly acts as a ventilation for the frustrated, providing an illusion of freedom yet really constituting an inextricable part of the matrix? Clearly, the answers to these questions are not simple. What constitutes the alternative narrative? How do we measure success or failure? What exactly is the “purpose” of the AN? These are all valid rejoinders. Leaving philosophical hairsplitting for another day, let me take a bold stance and claim that I believe that as a whole the AN has failed to live to its potential, excepting certain noteworthy exceptions within it. We have won a few minor battles but winning the war is increasingly becoming a farfetched idea.

As a Muslim who lived through 9/11, I can assure you that today myself and 12 million other Muslims in the U.S. have never been more restless about our future. Islamophobia in the US and in Europe has never been this existentially threatening. A nuclear war with Russia has scarcely ever been so real. The Palestinian Question—a moral blemish on global conscience since 1947— has never been this removed from political priorities (the silly UNSC resolutions notwithstanding). Since the 13th century Mongol invasion, the Middle East has never been in such an extreme state of confusion and disorder (many would argue that this is on the whole far worse). ISIS and Co, despite some setbacks in Syria and Iraq, are not going anywhere any time soon. (They will metamorphosis into something much more sinister, just like how Al Qaeda turned into ISIS, reminding us of the truth of Einstein’s ‘energy cannot be destroyed’ theory). On a deeper level, the human condition has never been in such disarray; our minds have never been so confused; our nature never so badly manipulated; empathy never in such low supply; apathy never existing in such high quantities. And most pertinent to our discussion here, the alternative narrative has never been this divided amongst itself.

It is wholly possible, nay most probable, that the current divisions in the AN is to a great degree the machinations of Cass Sunstein and Co. After all the likes of his are experts in how to infuse genuine movements with co-intel, disinformation agents, gate-keepers and controlled opposition infiltrations to arrest the momentum in forming vehicles of genuine change in society. As Lenin said, “the best way to control an opposition is to lead it”. That is a reality as old as humanity itself and it is here to stay. But I wonder if Sunstein and his ilk would enjoy this much success had the AN had some sound principles to abide by, some intellectual framework underpinning its quest, some axioms binding all the different voices within it, rather than just their mistrust of the military-industrial-media complex?

Therefore, I will not— for a change—put the focus on the enemy’s strength and cunning. Rather, I will place it upon our weakness and failures. Moreover, I will assume—to the extent possible—that most people within the AN are genuine about their desire to reach to the bottom of the issues but are mistaken about some judgements, which have arisen from certain defective conceptions. This is usually the case when sound intellectual principles are missing from the cognitive process. In my own lifetime I have seldom interacted with a truth-seeker, activist, writer, researcher, radio-host within the alternative narrative except that I have been left with a bitter taste in the mouth. Part of it was my own shortcomings, perhaps for projecting my sensibilities onto others. But mostly it was my witnessing that many of the characters in the AM lack sound intellectual and logical principles which would enable them to grapple with the ever more sophisticated mind-rape that we are treated with, and are often clueless in finding coherence within the noise.

Towards that end, I would like to offer one potential solution that can address the increasing divisions, dissensions and resultant information clutter that is undermining the work of the AN and impeding its purpose and potential. I believe the AN needs to “standardize” its epistemology—the investigation of what justifies sound belief and distinguishes it from mere unsupported opinion— or risk being a collection of such a cognitive spectrum (which it currently is) where it is impossible to find two people of similar belief, a recipe for information clutter, confusion and ultimately failure to change our collective disposition.

Standardization is mainly an accident of centralization. The AN, on the other hand, by its very nature is decentralized, and staunchly independent. Each person within it operates on individually driven principles and motivations. They are bound together by some abstract concepts perhaps and nothing more at times. The voices within are so various and multifaceted that the very idea of brining them together in some shape or form sounds like an exercise in self-delusion. Maybe. But we also see an indisputable harmony and synchronicity within it that is driving many of its relative achievements. (Here I am a Muslim writing from a Muslim-centric point of view for the Saker, a platform dedicated to “stopping Empire’s war on Russia”. This is not just convergence of conveniences. There are things that bring us together on a deep level). Could it be that some agreed upon driving principle might be able to mitigate the many disappointments and dissensions that has plagued the AN? I believe it can if we standardize (not to be mistaken with homogenize) certain important principles in what we might call our “epistemology”, in order to make it less hackable by… well everything under the sun.

Every field has a “quality standard”, against which various bodies within it compare, judge and improve their trade. This encourages production of the best possible product. Shouldn’t the AN have a similar standard, in order to check the quality of its output? You may say what we are dealing with is conceptual and not material so standardization may not necessarily apply. I could not disagree more. Concepts (and conclusions) also have a quality standard. It is called logic: the validity or lack thereof of reasoning in statements. It is an unassailable achievement of us humans (some say gift from God) to come up with a mode of communication that calls out invalid reasoning entering communication.

People often say “mathematics is the only language shared by all human beings regardless of culture, religion, or gender. Pi is still approximately 3.14159 regardless of what country you are in”. Yes, but this applies even more fundamentally to logic. If A is B, and B is C, then A is C, is the same regardless of what country you are in. We often forget that mathematics is a branch of logic and not vise versa. But logic only will not help us for our purpose here. It only serves us with the proper arrangement and logical entailment of statements, not necessarily of their meaning. What we need is a framework that provides meaning beyond the mere arrangement and entailment of statements. What we need is hikma(‘wisdom’ in Arabic)the science which investigates the nature of things as they really are, to the best of human effort. (2) As grandiose as it sounds, I truly believe that this form of traditional philosophy can provide a sound standard of epistemology, guiding us on how to organize our thinking, and to separate the political wheat from the political chaff.

In my days of studying classical Islamic sciences, we spent a great deal of time studying Aristotelian logic, Arabic grammar and rhetoric before we delved into metaphysics, with theology being the crowning jewel. This method—study of logic, grammar and rhetoric—is called the Trivium in the West. The trivium (which means “intersection of three roads” in Latin) along with the Quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) constituted the liberal arts curriculum. This time tested way of learning was discontinued—barring some exceptions— in the US and European public schools in the early decades of the 20th century, mainly due to the influence of the Rockefeller run General Education Board and its European subsidiaries. In our times it is mainly taught in private schools and religious seminaries, in watered-down incarnations.

This curriculum was the cream of hundred years of human experience and analysis of “knowing”. The purpose of this approach to learning was to free the mind of incorrect beliefs, and to understand reality to the extent afforded by the human intellect. Theology was the premier study (before the Enlightenment pushed it to the back rows of intellectual human inquiry). One had to be equipped with all the right intellectual tools to avoid faulty judgements before arriving at Revelation, (after which the intellect was subservient to it in some degree)(3). Grammar was the systematic method of gathering raw data of a similar nature into a body of knowledge. When that gathering is complete we call it a subject. Logic was the method of bringing full understanding to that body of knowledge by systematically eliminating contradictions within it. Rhetoric was to communicate the result of grammar and logic to ourselves and to others with wisdom and persuasive appeal. The purpose of all this learning was to arrive at hikma.

The purpose of this needed detour is to point to the challenges of arriving at hikma in the absence of the prerequisite learning to learn process—which the Trivium really was— that is missing from many amongst us, even in the AN who pride themselves with their ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the absence of an education system that prepares us for understanding reality, we all need to re-asses if we are intellectually geared to not only detect the lies and half-truths of the MSM, but also the faulty reasoning and judgements from the AN that often gets a free pass? Perhaps some of us need to revisit what makes for sound education (which is the opposite of schooling). This is not to say that to get to the reality of things, one necessarily has to systematically study these disciplines. Many people have the God-given ability to see things for what they are. But in our times that very ability is manipulated on so many levels that the need to study epistemology is greater than ever.

Revisiting epistemology

Epistemology comes from the Greek episteme (knowledge) and logeo (to speak). It means the theory of knowledge: the study of the nature, sources, and validity of knowledge, or in other words how you know what you know. There are two components to it, (1) knowledge, and (2) how one arrives at it. Let us examine both.

Knowledge (ilm) is when a perception of something takes place in the mind. It divides into two parts: conception (taṣawwūr) and judgement (tasdiq). Conception is a perception of something that is free of any judgement. For example, we imagine the person of John without affirming or negating anything in relation to him. If we affirm or negate anything in relation to him – in other words predicate – for example, we say, “John is tall”, then we call this judgment. Now if this judgement is based on a conviction that is firmly rooted in the heart and also congruous to reality, we call it certainty (yaqīn), as in the statement “9/11 is an inside job”. If the judgement is based on a conviction that is firmly rooted in the heart but not congruous to reality, we call it compound ignorance (jahl murakkab), as in the statement, “They (Muslims) hate us for our freedom”. If the judgement is based on a conviction but not firmly rooted in the heart such that it maybe uprooted with some skeptical remarks, it is called immitation (taqlid), as in the statement, “Trump will fight the establishment”. If a judgement is not based on conviction at all – and therefore lacks any firmness in the heart – it is called conjecture (zann), as in “Russia hacked the US elections”. Therefore conjecture is the weakest of judgements.(4)

Macintosh HD:Users:anwarmangal:Desktop:epistemologylatest.png

 

Now let us see what is usually said about the second component of epistemology—how we arrive at it, or the causes of knowledge. Again, here we are drawing on the shared rational tradition of medieval Jews, Christians and Muslims, much of which was inherited from the Greeks. It is not peculiar to any one group.(5)

Causes of knowledge are three things: (a) sound senses, (b) Reason, (c) unanimously agreed upon report.(6)

The senses, the notion that hearing, seeing, smelling, taste, and touch, causing certain knowledge does not require much comment. But if for any reason you are in doubt, touch the nearest flame to remove it.

Reason is a cause of certain knowledge also. And whatever of it is established is self-evident, requiring no demonstration, just as the knowledge that the whole of a thing is a greater than the part of it. There are three modes of rational judgements: they are either characterized by necessity, possibility or impossibility.

1)Necessity is that whose non-existence the mind cannot conceive, for example 1+1 equal to anything other than 2

2)Impossibility is that whose existence the mind cannot conceive, for example a number being odd and even at the same time.

3)Possibility is that whose existence or non existence the mind can equally conceive, for example the Loch ness monster.

Unanimously agreed upon report (UAUR), something established by so many different chains of narration, such that it is inconceivable that all of the narrators would have been able to come together to agree on a falsehood.(7) For example the historical reports of a certain Alexander of Macedonia, or that there is a place called Madagascar. Unanimously agreed report also causes certain knowledge. Most of what an average person “knows” through the media—print and electronic—are assumptions of UAUR. In our age—the age of information warfare— the abuse and manipulation of this cause of knowledge is one of the main reasons of our political realities. Therefore, getting UAUR right is the most important pillar of a sound framework for the AN to start unclogging the information clutter which is an obstacle in valid judgements.

This brief prefacing on epistemology was to bring us to the forefront of the investigation on how we know what we know. It is a succinct analysis of the subject matter from a body of knowledge that is quite voluminous. The idea being that to be able to apply hikma to phenomenon we experience, we need to be standing on a solid ground which is not particular to us as individuals but rather universal to all.

Now let us move to some axioms—derived from the conceptual framework stated above—that I believe can further help the AN in separating the wheat from the chaff. Axiom is a statement that is regarded as established or self-evidently true. But here it is given a more liberal application, which is to say that it has some room for slight disagreement (with emphasis on ‘slight’), a confession of my fallibility if you will. The list here is, again, not exhaustive by any means but a starting point which should be further examined and added to as the AN consensus see fit. Am I asking for a Philadelphia Convention(8) to ratify the AN constitution? Perhaps I am. I will leave the preamble to the wordsmiths among you. I will go straight to the articles:

The 4 (for now) Articles of Hikma for the Alternative Narrative

(I) Anyone or any group that denies 9/11 being an inside job/conspiracy can not be part of the solution, and therefore not part of the AN. 9/11 being the watershed event of our lives that changed the world as we knew it, is the perfect litmus-test of our moral courage, intelligence and integrity. Our judgement of it being an inside job is corroborated by all the causes of knowledge, leading to a level of certainty that only a fool or a fraud will deny.

(a) While the AN may accept contributors who are silent on the issue (some may have legitimate reasons), the AN should never accept those who explicitly deny it, or subscribe to some half-baked, mainstream approved soft conspiracy theories.

(b) Any theory on 9/11 which directly or indirectly absolves state actors from responsibility— even if its subscriber hold the official version as a lie—should not be adopted by the AN as a strategy, and not necessarily as a final judgement on the ‘impossibility’ of such a claim. What is even worst is to ascribe the actions of 9/11 to ‘non-human entities’. This undeniably pushes the subscriber into a state of awe from which it is difficult to see the playing field level, as the antagonist is perceived bigger than life, and thus any action futile. This conveniently serves the Empire.

(c) Anyone maintaining the inside job narrative of 9/11 yet whitewashing Israel from participation in it cannot be part of the AN. (9)

 

(II) AN needs experts in their respective areas. Jack of all trade, ace of none cannot be a motto to live by. Mainstream academia, politics aside, have some very erudite experts in their areas of study, and this is something the AN can learn from them. A commentator on Russia should ideally know Russian and lived in Russia. A commentator on the Middle East should ideally know at least one Middle Eastern language and lived amongst its people. An occultist— the increasing favorite of the New Age conspiracists — should be able to interpret ancient Egyptian texts, among others, and not just sleuthing happily on Youtubistan, peddling other people’s ideas. Usually speaking, a mainstream academic will put many AN commentators to shame with their ability to deeply understand the subject matter, especially with research and bibliography (AN researchers love to quote Wikipedia on most affairs). It is an entirely different matter why mainstream academics choose to serve the Empire with their scholarship rather than fight it.

AN media, especially radio, suffers from adding to the information clutter by broadcasting opinions of all and sundry without checking their qualifications first. Have you found yourself listening to some show where the guest covers topics such as UFOs, Free Masonry, Muslim Brotherhood, and GMO in half an hour?

(III) While the role of the occult in today’s political, economic and social realities is a subject that demands close scrutiny, and most certainly not be dismissed out of hand, the way it is often blown off proportions by many in the AN conveniently serves the interest of Empire in more than one way. Some—like the Zeitgeist films—connect major modern political realities to secret societies (that also happen to be behind the creation of religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism according to them), whose roots go back to ancient Egypt. The AN will do itself a world of good to stay away these New Age conspiracists who seek to fill the spiritual vacuum created by modernity by subscribing to unsubstantiated and shoddy conclusions, which not only fail the UAUR and Occam’s Razor test, but fail many other heuristic tool available to us. The same would apply to the subscribers of any idea that puts the levers of global institutions of influence in the hand of alien entities— the Reptilian Agenda being one of them. While AN should not adjudicate the claim as ‘impossible’, it does violate the principles of hikma on many levels and should be courteously discarded. This is not the same as denying the truth or role of the Anti-Christ or Dajjal in our political and social realities. It should ideally work as a spiritual element that pierces the modern material dialectics of our realities today and not necessarily as a notion that determines our strategies.

(IV) “Islamic terrorism” is a reality created and sustained by the Empire and not something that exists independent of it. Islamophobia is the desired reaction. Russophobia — the latest trend — is from the same sources. Those subscribing to it or help maintain this narrative should not be part of AN.(11)

Conclusion

I know I am being naive perhaps to (a) suggest a rather simple solution to a very complex situation, and (b) being slightly presumptuous that my “axiomatic” musings will somehow set us on the path of deliverance from a divisive state which would have left many a great mind clueless. But as long as basic conceptual shortcomings exist in any area, someone will try to point them, not necessarily believing it will lead to heavenly glory but rather to correct a flaw. Again, what is mentioned here is intended to start a process. It is not an end in itself. I intended to raise more questions than provide answers. This is the reason I have not mentioned other important issues that also have a direct bearing on the subject at hand, like what do I mean by the term “Empire”?

Is it the American Empire? Anglo-Zionist Empire? Jewish Empire? Illuminati/Free-Mason Empire? Or a combination of some or all of them? I will leave that for our Convention to determine. So by a raise of hand, who is attending it?

Notes

(1) While the claim that the assassination of the Russian ambassador was a “hoax”, is not impossible, it is highly improbable and badly misinformed. For the simple reason that it violates, among other things, the law of parsimony or Occam’s Razor: among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Occam’s Razor, while not being an indisputable proof, is nonetheless a very useful heuristic tool to understand phenomenon. It is within the framework of hikma.

For the assassination to be a hoax, Turkish and Russian authorities would have necessarily cooperated quite intimately because this did not take place in some back alley in the dark of the night. It was in a state institution, in front of TV cameras, and many witnesses. Since the event took place in Turkey, she would have been naturally more involved. Turkey already suffering from falling tourist numbers due to many terrorist attacks this year, is risking decimating her tourism industry entirely— a significant 15% of her GDP— with this hoax (if the place is not safe for high level delegates it can not be that safe for average foreigners surely). Tourism lose means a tremendous hit to the economy. Which can send the ruling AKP party to the cleaners in elections and result in their ouster even before it. Who wants to be removed from office for a hoax that is achieving nothing more than “sending occult messages” to whom it may concern on “who rules the world”?. Also, it effectively means the acting ambassador will be living the rest of his life in some house in the Siberian expanse, or going through at least 10 major plastic surgeries to change his entire face, or a combination of both. It would have been easier for the Turks and Russians to actually assassinate him than go through the myriad problems associated with hoaxing it. Also, if it was a hoax, the Americans—the nemesis of the Russians — would have tried to point to it somehow. Unless they are also part of it — which is another assumption of this claim— in which case the whole Putin vs US narrative is a hoax itself. Anyone holding that cannot possibly be enjoying life. Therefore this theory has more assumptions than Joan Rivers’ plastic surgeries, and thus cannot possibly be that useful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAMSLCfaD4M

(2) This is the same slogan raised by philosophical trends since the Enlightenment, but who, in actuality, are doing nothing more than serving positivist scientism, and deliberately stifling the bigger questions that was the Principale Propositum of the philosophical inquiry.

(3)“Reason is subservient to Revelation”, this is in a very specific sense and the truth of revelation does become established purely through reason (the rational entailment implied by a miracle occurring at the hands of someone claiming prophethood) but that once the revelation is proven true, not everything in scripture can be strictly reduced to something which has a linear logical structure – although this isn’t to say that it is ever “irrational”.

(4)While this particular passage is from Islamic sources(the examples being replaced with modern ones), this understanding of knowledge is by no means peculiar to Islamic scholarship only. Invariably there are similar definitions by Greek, Christian and some Jewish (Maimonides being one of them) scholars of hikma.

(5) Wolfs, The Philosophy of Spinoza, II, 133.

It is noteworthy that Muslims were studying Greek didactic philosophy and producing commentaries on Aristotle (that was then translated into Latin from the Arabic for teaching in European centers of learning in medieval times) because in the rational traditions of the Greeks, the Muslims saw an opportunity to refine the intellect in understanding shared concepts. Wisdom derived from it was for all. As the Prophet of Islam said “wisdom is the lost property of the believer, where ever he/she finds it, he/she may claim it”.

(6)Illumination—knowledge derived through a hyper-spiritual state— is also a valid source of knowledge, but particular to the recipient only. What is known through it may not be generalized.

(7)That historians Plutarch and Diodorus mention this monumental figure, whose name and exploits are also available in Sassanian and Sanskrit historical sources of the time; not to mention the cities that still exist by his name (Alexandria), with Hellenist architecture still surviving today in places he is purported to have conquered; and ethnic groups that are known to be of Greek origin (for example the Nuristanis of Afghanistan) in the midst of other homogenous groups. All these factors make the invention of Alexander inconceivable.

(8) The 1787 meeting that ratified the US Constitution.

Interestingly there is another AN convention taking place in Philadelphia where some brilliant ideas are being presented. But I often wonder if such events— in the absence of a basic intellectual framework around which to build a consensus upon— is nothing more than reinforcing common held beliefs of unfalsifiable nature, usually accompanied by self-congratulatory air of being “liberated”, and ultimately glorification of the ego, more than providing any strategy to overcome the Empire.

http://www.freeyourmindconference.com/

(9) This excludes Alex Jones as being part of a genuine AN. I promised I will not take names but this was a must. Other than his efforts to whitewash Israeli involvements in 9/11 and other conspiracies, Alex Jones violates our epistemology on so many levels that it is a disgrace to see this man become the face of the AN.

(10) One of the reasons I was attracted to the Saker was his undeniable expertise on the subject matter he dedicated his writing: Russia and military affairs. The Saker also seems to be one of the few in the AN who is consistently rational with his judgements. That is to say he is willing to suspend judgement till the very last minute, and entertain many competing theories without necessarily accepting them. This is deductive reasoning in action. He avoids pontificating on issues outside his area of expertise. Another example is Sibel Edmonds. I like her measured approach to Big Brother and whistle blowing issues and staying within her range of expertise, without unnecessarily delving into the occult and other unrelated issues. I should also mention James Corbett of thecorbettreport.com and Kevin Barrett of Truth Jihad. Their style of AN journalism should be a guide to those who want to go that route: reasonable, courageous, and relevant. Finally I should mention Sofia Smallstorm of http://www.aboutthesky.com/who is doing some tremendous work on chem-trails and nano technology. There are many unsung heroes of the AN who deserve mentioning and salutations for their services. We own them a heartfelt thank you!

(11)I know this will infuriate many, but I believe Russia Today’s news, unfortunately, often fails this test. RT talks shows and documentaries are definitely a breath of fresh air, a most important contribution to the AN. But RT news (especially online) does not live to this expectation (sometime I feel as if they are two different organizations). RT news has been consistently peddling many uncorroborated news items, most dealing with refugee crimes in Europe and Muslim “brutalities” in general— something that is increasingly becoming RT news’ mainstay. The latest being this news item: “A 30-year-old woman has been beheaded in a remote Afghan village for visiting a local market alone, without her husband, local media report citing officials. The people behind the beheading may have links to the Taliban.” Other than the total irrelevance of such a random piece of news (there are thousands of such crimes daily), this is also fake news, reported by the USAID funded Tolo News — an operation of Saad Mohseni, chairman of the Moby Group and as far as I am concerned a CIA asset. Not only did the Taliban have no relation to this event (I am no fan of Taliban but I know that killing a woman in such an unwarranted manner in a tribal society where reprisals from her family and tribe can spell the end of Taliban operations in the area, is not a very smart strategy), the incident itself is most certainly fake news. There is no word from the victim’s family, no name, no interview, just a “confirmation from the provisional governor’s spokesperson” (who conveniently has a dog in the fight as this means more money extorted from the government for “security” operations) and “confirmed by Sar-e-Pul women’s affairs head Nasima Arezo”, (whoever she is) who most probably was informed by the governor’s office, without any further access.

https://www.rt.com/news/372124-afghan-woman-beheaded-husband/

I know it might be new to some people but killing women— as if they are cucumbers waiting to be chopped at any time— is not a favorite pastime in Afghanistan. Soros affiliated news organizations would like you to believe that but it really is not the case. Yes, there are the sad incidents of “honor” killings but not quite as many (every 15 seconds if you are following the MSM) as they would like you to believe. I can assure you that. I work in Afghanistan. And if such barbaric practices still take place, we need to be thankful to the American war in Afghanistan which has destroyed most traditional institutions like the tribal Jirgas(meetings) which used to settle “honor” related issues, often humanely. A far cry from the vigilantism that prevails because of the security situation.

Why is RT peddling sensationalist uncorroborated news (just like the MSM) that is disparaging the name of Islam and Muslims, while at the same time challenging other false premises of the Empire, is something that I would love to be enlightened about. AN has to be the vanguard against fake news, its raison d’être. It cannot participate in it.

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