Eva Bartlett Discusses Media’s Fake Narrative on Syria

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

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

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

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

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

Is World War 3 on the Way?

NATO troops preparing for war game exercise in eastern Europe

NATO troops preparing for war game exercise in eastern Europe

Is World War 3 on the way? Maybe yes, maybe no. But it’s a question I have pondered a number of times in a number of posts dating back over the past three years. I will ponder it again here.

As before when I have put up posts of this nature, a number of disturbing signs point to increased cause for concern, but before I get to these, let me show you a video. It’s one featuring David Icke, which I posted nearly three years ago, in July of 2014, in a post which I entitled “The Vortex.” It was one of the first posts I ever put up basically speculating on the possibility of a coming war.

In the video interview, Icke talks about a prediction made way back in the late 19th century–a prediction by Albert Pike of three world wars in which “political Zionism” would play a role. In the third war, the entire world would be drawn into a “vortex” of chaos centered around a war between political Zionism and Islam, and Icke puts that prediction into the context of events playing out in the Middle East, including the rise of ISIS, which at the time (in the summer of 2014, when Icke gave the interview) had only just appeared upon the world stage.

Icke exhibits a remarkable amount of prescience, not only with regard to the rise of ISIS and the role it would come to play in the Middle East wars (which would have been hard to predict in 2014), but also with regard to Russia being drawn into the conflict in Syria (the interview was done more than a year before Russia formally sent troops into the country). Perhaps most important, however, are his words regarding the world political and financial powers, including the US government, who are funding ISIS:

“These people are sheer, undiluted evil, and people need to understand that, otherwise they will reject that anyone could do what they are doing and kill and maim and slaughter so many people. They can do it because they have no heart, they have no empathy, they have no emotional compassion, and thus mayhem is their currency, and they have no emotional consequence. They are not like us, so don’t judge what they’ll do by what you would do, because it ain’t the same thing.

Wise words, and the point he is making–that evil, pure evil–does indeed exist, is an important one to remember. And now on to the latest somewhat unnerving indications of where things may be headed.

***

According to a report here the US is now considering sending more troops to Syria:

More US troops may be needed in Syria to speed up the campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the top commander for the Middle East has stated, specifically referring to the push to liberate Raqqa.“I am very concerned about maintaining momentum,” General Joseph L. Votel, the head of the United States Central Command, told reporters, as quoted by CBS News.

He said local forces being supported by the US “don’t have as good mobility, they don’t have as much firepower, so we have to be prepared to fill in some of those gaps for them,” noting that such support may involve additional fire support capability and “a variety of other things” to help “offset some of the gaps.”

The report also offers the following placatory note…

Votel stressed, however, that Washington is not considering sending US troops to take over the fighting, and that the strategy developed during the Obama administration of keeping local forces at the forefront would remain unchanged.

…but of course similar statements are made at the outset of each new troop buildup in each new war the US gets involved in. And the same report also includes this…

Lieutenant General Townsend revealed over the weekend that the 450 American advisers working with the Iraqis in Mosul had moved closer to the front lines in order to stay in touch with Iraqi commanders as they advanced on the city.

The US has about 500 Special Operations troops in Syria. If American military presence were to be expanded, additional troops could come from conventional combat units, the New York Times reported. However, Votel stressed that he would not recommend deploying large combat formations.

“We want to bring the right capabilities forward,” he said. “Not all of those are necessarily resident in the Special Operations community. If we need additional artillery or things like that, I want to be able to bring those forward to augment our operations.”

In addition to the above, you can also go here to access an RT video that includes commentary from former Pentagon official Michael Maloof, who points out that bringing in conventional troops and heavy equipment will require still more troops just to handle the logistics of transport and the setting up and maintaining of bases, all of which becomes a “slippery slope.”

***

As the US contemplates deploying these “conventional combat units” into Syria, additional US troops–lots of them–have already begun to be deployed to Eastern Europe along Russia’s borders. An article at Newsweek gives some insight into the extent of this. The author devotes much of the piece to demonizing Russia and Putin, but then offers the following information about NATO troop deployments:

As a response to Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, NATO has plans to send four 1,000-troop-strong battalions toward Russia’s borders; one for each of the three Baltic countries, and one for Poland.

Additionally, NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force comprises about 5,000 troops. The unit is meant to “respond to emerging security challenges posed by Russia, as well as the risks emanating from the Middle East and North Africa,” according to a statement on NATO’s website.

Overall, the U.S. has about 35,000 military personnel in Europe, including two Army infantry brigades. To deter Moscow, the U.S. has recently deployed an additional heavy brigade to Poland, comprising about 3,500 troops and 87 tanks, as well as a unit of 500 troops to Romania.

The U.S. also has troops in Ukraine conducting a training mission for Ukraine’s armed forces.

“The U.S. has restated its commitment to NATO and Article V, and Russia should recognize that those security guarantees remain rock solid,” Kochis said. “Any deviation only invites aggression and miscalculation.”

NATO’s eastward deployments are still just a fraction of Ukraine’s military buildup near Russia’s border, underscoring how the overall military balance of power in Europe has shifted since 2014 due to Russian aggression.

Ukraine now has about 60,000 combat troops, supported by heavy artillery and armor, forward deployed to the Donbas—Ukraine’s embattled southeastern territory on the border with Russia. That’s a force of 60,000 combat troops near Russia’s border that wasn’t there

***

Trump’s new pick to fill the role of national security advisor is Lieutenant General Herbert R. McMaster, who apparently is something of a Russophobe. McMaster replaces Gen. Michal Flynn, who was friendly toward Russia but who was basically hounded out of office by the media. Here is what former CIA Offficer Philip Giraldi has to say about McMaster:

“He [McMaster] regards Russia as ‘the enemy’ and apparently believes falsely that Moscow has been the aggressor in Georgia and Ukraine,” Giraldi said. “He wants to forward deploy more US forces to Europe to deter Russia.”

And on the subject of Iran:

“While [McMaster] is hostile to Iran he does not share the intense hatred of that country exhibited by Flynn,” he said.

And here is what NPR says regarding McMaster’s appointment:

Trump’s announcement of McMaster was met with widespread acclaim by the Washington national defense establishment, including from people who are not particular fans of Trump’s.

The Trump non-fans who are in love with McMaster include John McCain…

Lt Gen HR McMaster is outstanding choice for nat’l security advisor – man of genuine intellect, character & ability http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=22A583B0-4B7A-417A-BE94-C70D54FE0B26 

Giraldi adds an additional point on this:

“He [McMaster] is much loved by the neoconservatives with Bill Kristol and John McCain gushing over the appointment, which should give one pause.”

So score another one for the media and the deep state. They have replaced Flynn, who posed somewhat of an obstacle to war with Russia, with McMaster, who likely will grease the skids.

***

Recently Russia Insider published an article about four Russian servicemen who were killed in Syria when a radio-controlled bomb targeting a Syrian military convoy exploded. Curiously the attack took place on February 16, the same day that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had their first meeting–a meeting which has been described as “awkward” and in which Tillerson ordered that the press be removed from the room. The piece raises the possibility that the attack may not have been carried out by ISIS, and that Tillerson may have already been informed of it (or possibly even had inside knowledge it was going to occur) at the time of his meeting with Lavrov. Here is an excerpt from Russia Insider. Those interested might wish to go and read the full article:

Sunni terrorists dream of killing Russian special forces or military advisers. Why would any militia or terrorist group in Syria execute a successful operation like this, and then not immediately claim responsibility? And again, as far as we know, we’re still waiting for someone — anyone — to say they were responsible for the attack.

Please correct us if you think we’re being unreasonable, but doesn’t this seem odd to you? The Russians might consider the deaths of these soldiers a state secret — but we’re positive ISIS wouldn’t.

Our second point is a bit more nuanced. But we still think it’s an interesting coincidence: February 16 was the same day that Sergei Lavrov met with Rex Tillerson for the first time in Germany.

According to Bloomberg, it was an “awkward first encounter”…

***

As if all of this isn’t worrying enough, Trump publicly vowed on Thursday that the US would work to maintain its nuclear supremacy over all other nuclear powers in the world. “It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack,” he said.

***

Recently writer Finian Cunningham published a couple of interesting articles, one entitled “Western Russophobia in Psychotic Phase,” published February 22, and an earlier piece, “Insanity of NATO 2.0 for Mideast,” published February 16. The earlier piece deals with Netanyahu’s meeting with Trump and discussions that have been held between the two leaders on the possible formation of a military alliance against Iran that would involve the US, Israel and certain Sunni Arab states. The latter would include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan. Basically what is being envisioned is a NATO-type alliance, only set in the Middle East, or “NATO 2.0,” as Cunningham refers to it. You can go here to read a Times of Israel report on the discussions that have been held on the subject. Given the distinguished “cast of characters” that would be involved with this alliance, should it come into being, one cannot help wondering: would the coalition’s raison d’être be in effect to combine the resources–financial, military and otherwise–of its various members in the support of ISIS?

Below is an excerpt from Cunningham’s commentary:

The bitter irony in all this is that the real danger to Middle East peace is not Iran, but rather is Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian land, as well as Saudi Arabia and the oil-rich Arab monarchies funding Islamist terror groups.

The six-year [war] that has ravaged Syria largely stems from an externally driven covert war for regime change against the Assad government which is an ally of Russia and Iran. The war in Syria has been instrumented by proxy jihadist mercenaries, including Al Qaeda-linked terror groups, which are funded, armed and directed by the US, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

Israel is also believed to have played a covert role in fomenting the regime-change war in Syria, working in collusion with the US and Saudi Arabia. That war has been stymied due to the military intervention by Russia and Iran over the past year.

Saudi Arabia has a long, despicable history of fomenting Wahhabi terror groups going back to the 1970-80s when it funded the precursors of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight the then Soviet-backed government. Saudi Arabia has traditionally supplied the money and weapons while the American CIA and Israeli’s Mossad provided the military logistics and intelligence. The awarding last week of Saudi spy chief Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef by CIA director Mike Pompeo was seen by some critics as a particularly nauseating testimony of this nefarious relationship.

The very idea of this US-led axis in the Middle East now setting up a formal alliance along the lines of NATO is a harbinger of ramped up conflict in the region. And especially given the stated purpose of such an alliance being dedicated to “contain Iran”.

The US-led NATO alliance in Europe has already plunged relations with Russia into deeper hostility. The ongoing build up of NATO forces on Russia’s border – allegedly to contain Russian aggression – has stoked fears that a nuclear war could be precipitated.

NATO continually claims to be a force for stability and defense – whenever any sane-minded observer can see that the opposite is true, inciting tensions in Europe and Russia to levels not seen since the heyday of the Cold War.

The same manic double-think is being replicated in the Middle East with the latest American plans to form a NATO 2.0 with Israel and terror-sponsoring Arab monarchs.

In the most recent piece, Cunningham discusses the “fake, unethical journalism that has become a staple in Western media,” coming to the conclusion that Russophobia is no longer a “random prejudice” in Western countries, but instead has reached the point where it has become “endemic” and “pathological,” essentially amounting to a “collective psychosis.”

When such propaganda becomes a systematic form of public discourse then it can be said that the mindset has moved dangerously beyond a condition of reprehensible Russophobia, to one of collective psychosis.

And this affliction among Western states seems to be worsening. The appointment by US President Donald Trump this week of Lt General HR McMaster as his National Security Adviser was greeted with applause among hawkish lawmakers in Congress.

The cause for their celebration is because McMaster is seen as having staunch “anti-Russian views” – unlike his ousted predecessor, Michael Flynn, who reportedly wanted to restore friendly relations with Moscow.

McMaster’s appointment marks a “100 per cent threat to Russia,”said Franz Klintsevich, the First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security.

Klintsevich added that “Washington’s Russophobia is increasing, not weakening.”

Not surprisingly given the relentless anti-Russian “news” saturating Western media, a new Gallup poll found that favorability among ordinary Americans towards Russia has plummeted. Four years ago, some 50 per cent of Americans had a friendly view of Russia. Now, the figure is down to 28 per cent.

Assuming the poll results reported by Gallup are genuine and not faked for propaganda purposes (a possibility that should not be discounted), what it suggests is that despite the media’s plummeting credibility, the lies are still taking hold in large segments of the population. A major concern at this point has to be a false flag attack designed to ignite a war with Russia–possibly in the form of a staged attack upon US troops in Syria or the Baltic states. Were a number of US troops to die in an attack that could be blamed upon Russia, the case for war would be made.

So what is the motive for all this? Why are these people trying so hard to start a war with Russia? I think Icke puts his finger on it in the video above. The idea all along has been to create a global government that would replace sovereign, independent states. What is happening in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq and elsewhere is not random. “None of it has been random,” says Icke.

“It’s part of this long term plan to take over the world by creating enormous chaos–to which they can offer the order out of the chaos–their order, their new world order,” he adds.

***

A week ago I posted a commentary entitled “We Are Living in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era.” The article dealt with a remark by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, made at last weekend’s Munich Security Conference, in which the official, noting that harmony among nations could be achieved by advancing justice and practicing “modesty,” asserted, “If everyone adopts that approach, we could overcome the period of post-truth fast and resist information wars imposed on the international community.”

For many of us, at least those of us who come from a Christian background, the idea that a “post-truth” era has overcome us–and the realization that the lies being told by the media are “endemic” and “pathological,” as Cunningham puts it–brings to mind, perhaps invariably, the words of Jesus in John 8:44: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

It’s a verse that seems to be gaining a lot of traction these days. A search using the key words “John 8:44” turns up more than 2 million results on Google and a staggering 38 million on Bing. Jesus, here in this passage from John’s Gospel, is speaking to a group of Jews, who, in verse 31, are identified specifically as “the Jews who had believed him.” Odd, you might think, that he would speak such words to those who had believed in him, but I’m guessing these were Jews who were looking for a warrior messiah, a divinely-designated belligerent who would lead them in a revolt against Rome–the same Jews who, once it became apparent this was not his mission, would turn against him and call for his crucifixion. This in fact becomes clearer and more plausible as you read through the verses leading up to verse 44. Here, starting with verse 31, is how the exchange transpires:

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

Their comment that they have “never been slaves of anyone” may sound curious. After all, was not Judea under Roman occupation? Technically speaking yes, but the reality is the Jews were given so much leeway to run their own affairs that you could almost say it was a case of the Jews occupying the Romans rather than the other way around. Jews were allowed to have their own courts, legislative body, and tax collection system, yet at the same time they were also granted full citizenship rights as Roman citizens.

These were privileges not granted to any other peoples living under Roman occupation, and they applied not only to Jews in Judea, but to those living in other Roman-ruled areas as well such as Alexandria in Egypt–where a large community of Jews also resided. These extra privileges granted to the Jews of Alexandria eventually led to strife between the Jews and the native Egyptians. At the same time there were also tensions between Jews and the Greek citizens of Alexandria as well–all of which led eventually to the famed Alexandria Riots in the summer of 38 AD–an event which became one of the first pogroms against Jews in recorded history and which I portray in my most recent novel, The Memoirs of Saint John, part II.

But to return to our passage in John chapter 8. In the next verse, Jesus replies to the Jews “who had believed him” that they were indeed slaves–not to the Romans but to their own sins…

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would[c] do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Here they speak boastfully, elevating themselves from the offspring of Abraham to the offspring of God himself. It is an expression of supremacy and “chosenness,” and an expression also of rebellion. These may well have been Zealots, that is to say they may have come from a party of Jews known by that name and who were somewhat similar in outlook to the Pharisees, only more extreme. The Zealots got their start in 6 AD when a man named Judah the Galilean led a revolt against the Roman census that had been decreed at that time. In Judah’s view, Jews were bound by no law other than the law of God–a view which seems rather prevalent today in Israel.

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

And so yes, today we find ourselves living in a “post-truth” era–one which perhaps, in a manner of speaking, has been building toward this point for the last 2,000 years.

This may sound strange to you, but actually I think we are blessed to be living in the times we are living in. Yes, it is a time of darkness in which the forces of pure evil reign supreme over much of the world. But it is also a time in which the Holy Spirit comes to us and strengthens us.

We Are Living in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era

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By Richard Edmondson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USA Govt., chief purveyor of #fakenews, passes Bill Making Alternative Media Illegal

Obama Signs Christmas Bill Making Alternative Media Illegal

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Obama signs bill making alternative media illegal

President Obama has just quietly signed into law a bill that makes it illegal to run an alternative media website in the U.S.

On Friday, just two days before Christmas, Obama signed the “Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017” bill into law.

Wearechange.org reports:

This bill will “Criminalize ‘Fake News, Propaganda’ on the Web,” a key piece of legislation meant to crack down on free speech and independent media. In Layman’s terms, the act will allow the government to crack down with impunity against any media outlet it deems “propaganda.” The next piece of the legislation will provide substantial amounts of money to fund “counter propaganda,” to make sure the government’s approved stories drown out alternative media and journalists who question the status quo.

The “right to free speech and freedom of the press,” is guaranteed by the First Amendment to The U.S. Constitution. It is a foundation of American values, put in place by our Founding Fathers to protect our liberties, is now being endangered by this new law.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth.” – John Adams, Samuel Adams, James Bowdoin (1780). Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This is not the first time that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was used to disguise a piece of legislation. Back in 2012, Obama signed a law that allowed for the “indefinite detention of American citizens” without a judge or jury. Then in 2013, Obama signed an NDAA bill that packaged an end to the Smith-Mundit act that prevented the government from using propaganda against its own citizens enabling the government again to legally produce propaganda.

What does that mean for you if you are an independent journalist or blogger? You can read more here, but it means that for simply writing this and asking questions and pointing out that Obama always signs these bills around the holidays like I did in this poem, if I am accused of “fake news” or propaganda, I could face criminal charges.

In other words the stage is now set for the U.S. government to legally crack down on every media outlet that the they deem to be “foreign propaganda.” The ministry of truth is setup. Welcome to 1984.

In a statement, Obama said that:

Today, I have signed into law S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.” This Act authorizes fiscal year 2017 appropriations principally for the Department of Defense and for Department of Energy national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe. It continues many critical authorizations necessary to ensure that we are able to sustain our momentum in countering the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to reassure our European allies, as well as many new authorizations that, among other things, provide the Departments of Defense and Energy more flexibility in countering cyber-attacks and our adversaries’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Orwell’s 1984: EU Resolution on Russian Media First Step Toward Total Censorship, One of the Harshest Attacks on the Profession of Journalist

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Orwell’s 1984: EU Resolution on Russian Media First Step Toward Total Censorship

The resolution adopted by the European Parliament against Russia’s media outlets is the first step towards imposing censorship against all media sources which express different views from those promoted by the EU leadership, Italian journalist Giulietto Chiesa warns.

The European Parliament’s decision to crack down on Russia’s news websites, most notably Sputnik and RT, and considering them alongside terrorist groups like Daesh and Al-Qaeda, has stirred a heated debate among international media pundits and independent observers.

“I write for Sputnik and cooperate with different Russian television broadcasters. So what will they do to me now?” Giulietto Chiesa, an Italian journalist and Director of PandoraTV.it, asks rhetorically.

According to Chiesa, the adoption of the controversial resolution is a step towards imposing censorship not only on Russian news websites but on all media outlets which express a point of view different from that of the EU establishment.

“To put it bluntly: the aim of the resolution, whatever arguments are cited, is to impose censorship against all media — both Russian and non-Russian — which express opinions different from those postulated by Western leaders,” Chiesa writes in his op-ed for Sputnik Italia.


EU Resolution on Russian Media ‘Insult to Daesh Victims’ – Serbian Minister


The Italian journalist calls attention to the fact that in accordance with the criteria cited by the resolution every citizen of the European Union who supports, reproduces or disseminates opinions and critique of the West’s actions can be now branded as “a supporter of the Kremlin propaganda” that poses a “threat” to the sovereignty of this or that EU member state or the bloc in general.

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“It is clear to anyone that this is the way to kick off a ‘witch hunt’, that would ultimately silence all forms of political dissent in Europe,” the Italian journalist warns.

“Therefore what lies at the root of the problem is not just the right to spread the views expressed by the Russian media in the West, but the right of free speech and expression for all journalists, bloggers and media activists who work and live in the West,” Chiesa highlights.


EU Resolution on Sputnik, RT: ‘Media Siege Formulated by the United States’


Commenting on the result of the vote in the European Parliament the Italian journalist notes that the vote showed a change of mind toward Russia among EU lawmakers.

While there is a powerful anti-Russian lobby comprising of a hundred or so MPs, apparently nostalgic of the Cold War times, this time the resolution was passed with 304 votes, while 179 legislators were against and 208 abstained from voting, Chiesa underscores.

De facto, the number of those who did not support the controversial document exceeded the number of those who voted for it, he stresses.

Chiesa asks ironically whether the EU establishment would now label the French presidential candidate Francois Fillon as “a Kremlin propagandist” and a “threat” to the European sovereignty given the fact that during his interview with Radio Europe 1 Fillon urged his audience not to believe that Russia is Europe’s enemy.

Jugoslav Cosic of N1 news channel, CNN International’s local broadcast partner and affiliate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, echoes Chiesa.

Citing the resolution’s passage de facto equating Russian media organizations to al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups’ propaganda, the journalist stresses that it is highly inappropriate to paint journalists and terrorists with one and the same brush.

“I don’t think it is right to equate the work of Russian journalists (or any other media workers) and the actions of terrorist groups. I also believe it’s not right to brand mass media of any country as a propaganda tool,” Cosic told Sputnik.

If a media outlet has indeed been spotted disseminating “propaganda” then the evidence needs to be presented to prove this instead of labeling all media as instruments of propaganda, he noted.

“This greatly worries me, as we had a very negative experience of group stigmatizing here in Serbia, when NATO bombed the building of RTS channel in 1999, justifying that as ‘the struggle against the Milosevic propaganda machine.’ The airstrikes killed 16 of our colleagues,” the journalist emphasized.

The resolution adopted by the European Parliament claims that the Sputnik news agency, the RT channel, the Russkiy Mir foundation and the Russian Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Cultural Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) pose a threat to the European Union.

To resist the “Russian propaganda” the document calls on the EU member states to cooperate with NATO to develop common mechanisms to counter “hybrid threats”.


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EU Resolution One of the Harshest Attacks on the Profession of Journalist

The resolution adopted by the European Parliament that compared Russian media to Daesh propaganda, is one of the harshest attacks on journalism, Director of the Radio Belgrade (Radio Beograda) Milivoje Mihajlovic told Sputnik on Thursday.

Mihajlovic said that the document is directly targeting the freedom of media.

“I am particularly surprised by the comparison of the media with terrorist organizations. It’s a classic self-inflicted mistake of the European Parliament, and it will be remembered as one of the harshest attacks on the profession of journalist,” Mihajlovic said.


Serbian Lawmaker Says EU Media Resolution ‘Rude’ Violation of Human Rights


On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution on countering Russian media outlets, such as the Sputnik news agency and the RT broadcaster. As many as 304 voted in favor the document, 179 voted against and 208 abstained. With a total of 691 officials taking part in the vote, less than half supported the resolution, which draws parallel between Russian media and the propaganda disseminated by the Islamic State, a jihadist group outlawed in Russia.

The resolution said that Sputnik and RT posed a danger to European unity and called for extra European Commission funding for counter-propaganda projects.

Sputnik responded by calling the move a direct violation of media freedom and human rights, while Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the matter by pointing out that the document indicates a degradation of democracy in the West. Praising Sputnik and RT for their work, the president expressed hope that real media restrictions would not follow.

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SOURCES:
SputnikNews
SputnikNews
Submitted by Lone Bear 
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/eu-orwells-1984/
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“Here at our convention there will be no lies. We will honor the American People with the Truth”

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By Richard Edmondson

Immediately after Donald Trump spoke those words at the Republican national convention last night, the massive crowd erupted into chants of “USA…USA…USA!”

Whenever I hear crowds yelling “USA” like that it always gives me a queasy feeling, for what it suggests is blind patriotism. Trump’s speech came three days after 20 civilians died in US airstrikes on the Syrian city of Manbij; two days after the French airstrikes that killed 120 more civilians in the village of Toukhan al-Kubra, just to the north of Manbij; and also two days after the emergence of a horrendously graphic video showing US-backed “moderate rebels” of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheading a young boy from Aleppo.

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While plenty of people have expressed shock over the video and made note of the fact that the boy’s murderers were backed by the US, few have bothered to report the youngster’s name. According to Al Manar, his name was Abdullah Issa. He was 12 years old. The report also mentions that he suffered from Thalassemia, a blood disorder, and was abducted from a hospital after a brother of Omar Salkho, Nour al-Din al-Zenki’s Aleppo commander, was killed. Apparently this was sufficient cause for beheading a child.

A heartbreaking exchange is said to have taken place when Salkho reportedly asked the terrified young boy if he had a last wish.

“I wish to be shot dead,” Abdullah reportedly replied.

“You will not be shot dead,” the terrorist leader is said to have answered. “We are worse than ISIL.”

In the video below, Salkho is presumably the man in the green cap.

I hope that these killers are brought to justice–though not through random shelling upon the battlefield. I hope instead that they are captured alive and placed on trial, and during their trial, I would hope they would be questioned not only about beheadings and other crimes committed, but also as to what contacts they may have had with US or possibly Israeli officials. Did they, for instance, undergo training at a US training camp in Jordan or Turkey? According toWikipedia, Nour al-Din al-Zenki has received BGM-71 Tow anti-tank missiles from the US, and quite possibly they have received other assistance as well.

Perhaps the most unseemly performance of all was not so much the shouts of “USA” at the Republican convention but a comment given at the State Department by spokesperson Mark Toner, who, when told about Abdullah Issa’s beheading, remarked offhandedly,

“If we can prove that this was indeed what happened and this group was involved… it would give us pause about any assistance or, frankly, any further involvement with this group.”

The words “it would give us pause” raise serious questions about what value Toner places upon the lives of children living in countries torn and ripped apart by US regime change operations. Had the victim in this case been a 12-year-old Israeli boy, rather than Syrian, can we for a moment imagine Toner responding “it would give us pause” when told that such a child had been decapitated?

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“But here at our convention, there will be no lies,” Trump orated in last night’s speech. “We will honor the American people with the truth and nothing else.”

“USA…USA…USA…USA…USA…”

So did Trump honor the American people with the truth about the beheading of Abdulla Issa or US support for terrorists who carry out war crime atrocities? No, he didn’t, sad to say. Well what exactly is the truth, according to Donald Trump? What “truths” came from the presidential contender’s lips during his acceptance speech?

Some of his truths are self-evident on their face. For instance:

  • that 4 in 10 African-American children live in poverty while 58% of African-American youth are unemployed
  • that the national debt has almost doubled under Obama, now standing at more than $19 trillion
  • that Hillary Clinton pushed a “failed policy of nation building and regime change”–in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria–that should now be abandoned;

Other of his “truths” are a bit more subjective:

  • the Iran deal will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever negotiated
  • the Chinese are the greatest currency manipulators ever
  • law enforcement (as it pertains to street crime) has been too lax under the Obama administration

And some are blatantly false:

  • businesses are overregulated, particularly in the energy sector (presumably an endorsement for fracking, given the candidate’s reported choice forEnergy Secretary)
  • our military is “depleted” and needs to be rebuilt
  • Israel is our “greatest ally” in the Middle East

So yes, Trump spoke a few truths, mixed in with some partial truths, along with some outright untruths. Isn’t that what we have come to expect from the US political system? But the greatest truths, the truths most direly in need of being spoken–about the influence of the Israeli lobby, the control of virtually the entire mainstream media by just six corporations, the need to totally rearrange the system to eliminate the influence of money–these and other truths that direly need to be expressed were missing from the speech.

Some might take a little bit of heart from Trump’s criticism of Clinton for her regime change efforts in the Middle East, but it should be noted that in the very same speech the New York billionaire chastised Obama apparently over his refusal to launch an all-out war against the Syrian government in the wake of the Ghouta chemical attacks in 2013:

“Another humiliation came when president Obama drew a red line in Syria – and the whole world knew it meant absolutely nothing,” the candidate asserted.

Trump obviously believes that the Syrian Army carried out the chemical attack–a claim that has been thoroughly discredited but which the mainstream media continue to propagate nonetheless.

Controlled as it is by money, the US political system is a snake pit. The chances of a person of genuine integrity rising from such a system to become president are probably something like a million to one. Of course many people are naturally hopeful, and there is always a tendency to believe that this or that candidate is the one in a million exception to the rule. This is human nature. But the reality is that the snake pit is what produced the government we have now, a government that pursues a policy of arming terrorist head choppers, as well as State Department spokespeople capable of uttering, without barely a blink of an eye, that the beheading of a 12-year-old child might “give us pause.”

Trump or Hillary? Would Trump end up becoming the new “worst president ever”? Would Hillary be just as bad–maybe worse (maybe a hundred times worse)?  Should you vote for the Green Party or the Libertarian candidate? Maybe write in the name of your favorite poet, clown, or mathematician? It’s hard to say, and I’m not here to tell anybody how to vote, or whether to even vote at all or simply boycott the snake pit and stay home on election day. The decision is yours.

I’m only here to say that the choices aren’t good–but then you already knew that.

Beltway Bubble: US Senators Internalize the Propaganda

 

Never underestimate the media’s power to deceive and delude. A question that could have grave implications on the prospects for avoiding war is the question of the extent to which Washington officials themselves have come to be deluded…

The following, recorded at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on June 7, would suggest that at least two members of the committee, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of Connecticut and Marco Rubio of Florida, have internalized, or come to believe, the anti-Russian propaganda being pumped out by Western media. Shaheen’s question about what the US is doing to counter Russian “disinformation” is especially telling, for the question is worded in such a way–and the tone of her voice would suggest as well–that she is thoroughly convinced that the disinformation is coming entirely from the Russian side and not from the likes of the New York Times and CNN.

Much like Sheehan, Rubio, too, seems to detect no reason for questioning what US mega-media owners are telling him regarding the so-called “Russian aggression” we hear so much about. In fact, as you can see from his first question, Rubio seems totally to buy into the idea, propounded by Gen. Philip Breedlove, that Russia represents a “long term existential threat” to the US and Europe.

Interestingly, both Rubio and Shaheen seem to be bedazzled by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who is married to neocon Robert Kagan and was instrumental in carrying out the coup in Ukraine. What a person to place your faith and your trust in!

Should a vote come before the Senate on whether or not to go to war with Russia, how do you expect senators like Shaheen and Rubio, who have seemingly so thoroughly internalized the media line on Russia, will vote?

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