American Media Distortion vs. Facts

American Media Distortion vs. Facts
TEHRAN (FNA)– The privately-owned media is still dominated by the interests of the US political and corporate elites, and used as a tool by the government to manufacture public consent.

In any circumstance, they use the media to publish fabricated news, lies and biased information to get the public in line with their political motives, aiming at achieving their agendas. In many cases, the US has used the media to distort facts in regard to its foreign policy action in the Middle East.

Not so long ago, US corporate media played an integral role in fueling the Iraq War in 2003. It had no doubts that the Bush administration went to war because they wanted to strengthen the credibility and influence of America in the Middle East to reassert its position as an un-challengeable hegemon after the 9/11 attack.

But they distorted the facts surrounding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and terrorist harboring as invasion rationale. It was published by many Western media coverage outlets, particularly the US media, to disseminate to the public. In the weeks leading up to the illegal invasion, nearly three-quarters of the American public believed the lie promoted in that moment. Then, the US-led military coalition, which included their allies, invaded Iraq. After the invasion was done, the truth was revealed that there were no such WMDs.

Another prime example comes from the war against Qaddafi of Libya. Media distortion and manipulation were used to start the war against Libya. To gain support for the invasion and aggression, which is part of the traditional tactics the US and NATO have followed, perception management was overtly employed through well-known US media agencies and other Western mainstream news.

After The Financial Times, for instance, reported that Libyan military jets attacked civilian protesters, US and EU officials hardly condemned Qaddafi’s regime and took military action. Truly, there was no piece of video evidence proving the attack, and the report turned out to be false. Libyan military planes only got involved later on during the conflict when they missioned to bomb ammunition depots to prevent the rebels from getting arms, after the media claims were made about jets firing on protesters.

There was no doubt that reports were distorted. To some critics of the US military actions in foreign countries, it is undoubtedly conclusive that there have been lies and distortions involved in wars the US has fought in. The most recent example could be Syria and its imaginary chemical attacks on its own people.

It is even more interesting that the US uses media not only to manufacture the public consent of its domestic citizens in association with wars in foreign countries, as mentioned above, but also employs it as fact distortion in international affairs outside of America.

As the world order is moving to multi-polarity, and the Islamic Asian civilization is being realized, particularly by Iran’s growing economic and political development, the competition between the status quo dominant US and Iran has continuously been obvious in recent years.

The current confrontation amid the unresolved economic terrorism has certainly demonstrated this fact. Concerning this, the US has used as many tactics as possible to contain challenger Iran in international issues, regionally and globally.

As a superpower with dominant power in global media, the US will inevitably continue to use the media to manufacture public consent regarding domestic and international affairs. There is no doubt that the US corporate media, to an extent, will play a complimentary role in its foreign policy approach in publishing false ideas and news, creating concepts and framing theories that favor its own interests, and not the ones that serve regional peace and global stability.

LONDON’S ‘MEDIA FREEDOM’ CONFERENCE SMACKS OF IRONY: CRITICS BARRED, NO MENTION OF JAILED ASSANGE

In Gaza

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Kirill Vyshinsky: Imprisoned over 1 year in Ukraine, a journalist who *should* have been highlighted at the “Media Freedom” conference but was not.

July 15, 2019, RT.com
Irony is the word which comes to mind at the mention of the “Global Conference for Media Freedom” co-hosted by the UK and Canadian foreign ministers. Everything about this twilight zone gathering smacked of irony.

Irony that governments which support terrorists in Syria and whitewash Israeli murders of Palestinian journalists have the gall to hold a conference feigning concern for journalists’ rights and media freedom.

Irony that journalists actually suffering persecution and unjust imprisonment –like Kirill Vyshinsky and Julian Assange – were not the focus of the conference, with Assange only mentioned in passing, and Vyshinsky, presumably, not at all.

Irony most of all that a conference — according to Global Affairs Canada, an “international campaign to shine a global spotlight on media freedom…”– refused participation of two major and sought-out media outlets, both Russian: RT and Sputnik.

Organizers apparently tried to claim the reason for the exclusion was simply that they’d met their quota of journalists attending. But they didn’t maintain the lie to Western media, RT London correspondent Polly Boiko noted:

Behind our backs other news channels got a very different message: ‘We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation.’”

Former Guardian Chief Foreign Correspondent Jonathan Steele called the exclusion of RT and Sputnik a “disgrace”, also stating:

I think they’re trying to isolate RT and imply that it’s not a genuine broadcaster in the hope that British people and others around the world who watched RT International won’t continue to watch it.

The irony –yet again– is that Russia isn’t doing the same, isn’t isolating Western media.

Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald tweeted:

It’s like the world has turned on its head. Moscow is literally paying people to translate Western media into Russian (see @RT_InoTV). But the UK is in a panic about Russian outlets, even running covert operations, such as “Integrity Initiative,” to “combat” a perceived threat.”

Even the Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern at the UK’s exclusion of RT and Sputnik.

From the feedback on the UK Foreign Office tweet featuring CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about

reporting the truth”, it was refreshing to see that many saw this charade for what it was, calling it Orwellian, and noting that Britain is “torturing journalist Julian Assange as it uses @CAmanpour to produce propaganda claiming it cares about media freedom.

I couldn’t help chiming in, noting Amanpour’s exploitation of a Syrian child in order to demonize Russia.

Eva Bartlett

@EvaKBartlett

Theatre of the absurd. Truthful? Amanpour waved photo of Omran Daqneesh in face of Lavrov & essentially accused Russia of airstriking boy’s home. Boy’s dad told me no airstrike. It was fake news. https://www.mintpressnews.com/mintpress-meets-father-iconic-aleppo-boy-says-media-lied-son/228722/ 
Did Amanpour bother apologizing for her propaganda? Nope. https://twitter.com/foreignoffice/status/1148864435194347520 

MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son

MintPress sat down with the father of the now-infamous Aleppo boy, Omran Daqneesh. Omran’s father, Mohammad Daqneesh, says his son was exploited by Syrian rebels and the media for political gain.,…

mintpressnews.com

Foreign Office 🇬🇧

@foreignoffice

‘Our job is to report the truth. It is not to be neutral, it is to be truthful’ @camanpour explains the vital role that journalists play in society. #DefendMediaFreedom

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The UK conference isn’t the first example of an international event hosting regime-change media while excluding critical media.

Earlier this year, when the Lima Group was meeting in Canada to discuss the self-proclaimed non-president, Juan Guaido, Canada likewise denied accreditation to Telesur and Russian media.

Global Affairs Canada alleged at the time there would be “reciprocal action against Canadian media in Russia.

However, Bryan MacDonald told me: “Any that wish can operate in Russia. There are no restrictions.”

Indeed, a perusal of the Twitter accounts of CBC and Radio Canada journalists shows they’ve continued reporting from Russia months since Canada’s allegation of reciprocal action.

Which outlets did Canada give access to during the Lima meeting? CNN, Univision, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, CBC, CTV, Global, and La Presse, among other regime-change networks.

Telesur noted at the time of the Canadian block:

The government did not provide any reasoning for the denial of Lima Group meeting access, but has recently been called out for limiting press freedom within the country based on the preferences of its government.

Sound familiar?

A regime change conference

The UK conference seems to have been a who’s who of terrorist and extremist supporters and journalists who whitewash their crimes. Or, as a Canadian journalist who attended put it, the conference was:

Meetings behind closed doors. Barring certain people from a press conference. Letting only hand-picked journalists ask questions. Here’s how Canada’s “media freedom” conference went down.

Andrew Lawton

@AndrewLawton

Meetings behind closed doors. Barring certain people from a press conference. Letting only hand-picked journalists ask questions. Here’s how Canada’s “media freedom” conference went down. https://tnc.news/2019/07/11/lawton-media-freedom-conference-pays-lip-service-to-press-freedom/ 

LAWTON: Media freedom conference pays lip service to press freedom – True North News

Canadian and British governments demonstrated they’re more interested in a glossy show of support for press freedom without conducting themselves in a way that fosters it.

tnc.news

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That same journalist noted,
only two pre-selected Canadian journalists were permitted to ask questions of Freeland and Hunt at a brief media availability on the first day of the conference. Media were not allowed in the room for what may have been the most consequential part of the conference, a session with government representatives from around the world on “how to sustain the impact of the (Defend Media Freedom) campaign after the conference.

Present were the BBC, CNN, and CBC, among others. Although these outlets have all systematically churned out disinformation on Syria and Russia, they were presented as truthful authorities on ‘media freedom.’

The BBC dubs itself “the most trusted international news broadcaster.” This lofty claim is easily debunked when looking at the BBC’s history of war propaganda on Syria, including its 2013, “Saving Syria’s Children”, a report which Robert Stuart has doggedly investigated, revealing its falsehoods.

Or the time the BBC used Italian photojournalist Marco Di Lauro‘s photo from Iraq to claim it was Houla, Syria.

beeb

As I wrote before, “Upon demand of the aghast journalist, the claim was later retracted and corrected, an “accident”…but who was listening by that point?”

Or that time the BBC’s Middle East specialist asserted a viral video was in a “regime” area of Syria –because of the “Syrian army flag” painted on a barrel– when the clip was filmed in Malta by Norwegians, and the barrel was painted with an out-of-sequence attempt at replicating Syria’s flag.

expert

But more telling about the BBC’s trustworthiness is the fact that, according to the Canary, “The UK Conservative government appoints the chair of the BBC board and its four national directors.”

Pegged as a Venezuelan investigative reporter, Luz Mely Reyes was invited to the conference. Reyes advocates for non-president Juan Guaido and is cheer-led by Western media gatekeepers like TIME and the Guardian. She was thus, indeed, a perfect guest for the regime-change conference.

Syrian participants included exclusively pro-regime-change journalists, such as:

-Karam Nachar, a “cyber-activist working with Syrian protesters via social media platforms,” according to his bio on Democracy Now, where, as with other regime-change supporters, he has appeared frequently arguing the case for western intervention.

-Wa’ad Al Khatib, promoted before Aleppo’s liberation in 2016 as an independent filmmaker. Her clips were featured by none other than the UK’s Channel 4, one of the worst offenders in war propaganda on Syria.

The irony is that Wa’ad al-Khatib was slated to speak about the role of local journalists with respect to international media coverage of areas. But she,like so many other darlings of Western corporate media, reported fully embedded in terrorist areas, clearly with the permission and approval of terrorists.

Chairing panels on safety and protection of journalists was none other than Sky News’ Alex Crawford. In June, Crawford was seen embedded with al-Qaeda in Idlib, as were CBS journalists, both teams presumably having entered Syria illegally.

One could muse that Crawford’s safety advice was: pay up to al-Qaeda and you’ll be fine moving alongside terrorists.

A panel on “Navigating Disinformation” was chaired by Chrystia Freeland – known for her allegiances to the Ukrainian authorities and the bloody coup that brought them to power, to the Venezuelan coup-plotters and to the White Helmets of al-Qaeda– not exactly the most neutral or balanced person to moderate.

Fake Concern For Journalists; No Mention Of Assange, Kirill Vyshinsky

Glaringly absent from the agenda was the issue of Julian Assange, held at Belmarsh prison a short drive away.

John McEvoy@jmcevoy_2

This is the distance between the UK’s ‘defend media freedom’ event and Belmarsh prison. Julian Assange can probably smell the hypocrisy from his cell.

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the UK conference is happening at the same time that Julian Assange’s extradition papers are being signed by the UK.

On July 10, the first day of the conference, Hunt stated that countries that restrict media freedom must be made to pay a diplomatic price, saying:

If we act together we can shine a spotlight on abuses and impose a diplomatic price on those who’d harm journalists or lock them up for doing their jobs.

This from the Foreign Secretary of a government which is

holding journalist Julian Assange behind bars pending a US extradition hearing for exposing American war crimes.

When challenged by Ruptly journalist Barnaby Nerberka on Assange, in contrast to his lofty words on the previous day, Hunt said nothing.

Barnaby Nerberka@barnabynerberka

Jeremy Hunt refuses to answer my questions on the plight of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the banning of Russian media from the ‘media freedom conference’

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Ukrainian-Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky was not featured in spite of having been unjustlydetained by Ukraine for 14 months now, a glaring violation of media freedom.

Russia in Canada

@RussianEmbassyC

🇷🇺 journalist Kirill Vyshinsky is imprisoned in accused of “high treason” for doing his job

🇨🇦 🇬🇧 so-called forum ignores his show trial & similar cases of attacks on , incl. @OSCE_RFoM condemned ban on Russian journalists accreditation

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Likewise, certainly absent was mention of Syrian journalist Khaled al-Khatib, killed in 2017 by ISIS (IS/Islamic State, formerly ISIL), or of any of theSyrian and allied journalists murdered by jihadists before he was.

The UK Foreign Office made the mistake of tweeting about the risk of “torture, disappearances and death,” in Eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian journalist Sergey Belous, kidnapped by Ukrainian armed forces in 2014, corrected him.

Foreign Office 🇬🇧

@foreignoffice

In the non-government controlled areas of Eastern Ukraine, journalists risk torture, disappearances and death.

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Sergey Belous@Belous_SR

Ha-ha-ha! Where you’ve been when I (war reporter, working as stringer for Ukrainian 112 chanel) was kidnapped by Ukrainian armed forces in 2014? Hypocrites! Stop spreading lies! What’s about or , for example?

See Sergey Belous’s other Tweets
Likewise, Mark Sleboda called BS, noting the over 20 journalist killed by “the militant forces & brownshirt paramilitary ‘batallions’ of the new regime.”

Clearly, the grandiose words of foreign ministers Hunt and Freeland apply only to journalists supporting regime change, not those targeted by allied governments and their terrorists.

After the Censorship  Conference

On Saturday, I read that a popular Ukrainian TV channel was attacked with a grenade launcher on the day an Oliver Stone documentary on Ukraine was to be aired.

Ivan Katchanovski@I_Katchanovski

It would be revealing reaction of new president @ZelenskyyUa to such undemocratic and illiberal actions of political appointees of Poroshenko regime and far right against US documentary that they have not seen and against freedom of the press & expression in .

Ivan Katchanovski@I_Katchanovski

Popular TV channel is shelled from grenade launcher in order to prevent its broadcast today of US by @TheOliverStone. It would reveal involvement of snipers in Maidan massacre. Would there be any reaction from US government? https://112.ua/glavnye-novosti/v-noch-na-13-myulya-dvoe-neizvestnyh-iz-granatometa-obstrelyali-zdanie-112-kanala-499728.html 

Здание телеканала 112 Украина обстреляли из гранатомета

Полицейские квалифицируют происшествие как террористический акт

112.ua

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“Any reaction from so-called ‘Global Media Freedom’ conference co-hosts Freeland & Hunt, or those who pledged to ‘shine a light on violations & abuses of media freedom, bringing them to the attention of global public and working towards accountability’”.

My question was of course rhetorical, not honestly expecting those governmental representatives who signed a pledge “to work together to protect media freedom” to actually do that.

Their pledge entailed committing to “shine a light on violations and abuses of media freedom, bringing them to the attention of the global public and working towards accountability.” How ironic.

RELATED LINKS:

“They Just Want Me in Prison”: MintPress Interviews Jailed Ukrainian Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky

‘They know that we know they are liars, they keep lying’: West’s war propaganda on Ghouta crescendos

FAKE NEWS WEEK: Why Channel 4 “News” Owes an Apology to Syria

Exploitation of children in propaganda war against Syria continues

When CNN Crew Blew Up the Oil Pipeline in Homs

Source

CNN and Other Pentagon War Propaganda Machines

February 20, 2019

CNN, along with all other Western corporate media, is not a news reporting establishment as people are told, it can be described as a News Faking Establishment, better even call it: The Pentagon’s Propaganda Arm.

They’re not innocent of any blood drop shed during any of the US and its cronies adventures worldwide throughout their lifespan. CNN is relatively new comparing with corporations like the BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, and alike.

We have repeated many times and in many forums how the manager of Reuters office in Syria, a Jordanian Khaled Oweis, actually doctored an interview he made with a wounded Syrian Arab Army soldier who received a bullet from the ‘Peaceful Protesters’ in Daraa, and the Reuters ‘journalist’ covered his voice and repeated: ‘The Syrian security officer shot you because you refused to shoot at the protesters?’.

That’s just one sick example exposed by a vigilant Syrian presenter who caught the same interview on his camera and displayed in full on Syrian TV channels at the very early days of the crisis in Syria.

Reuters office manager in Syria was arrested and as you would expect the entire West went lunatic exerting super pressure on the Syrian state, aided with Syria’s own allies sad to say, to release the ‘journalist’ and ‘respect free speech’.

Eventually, the Syrian state released the criminal, dubbed journalist, and expelled him from the country, and expelled with him all foreign-based news channels, and allowed only selected ones with no previous lying track record, again to the madness of Western countries.

The expelling of Western news agencies, the likes of Reuters, AFP, AP, New York Times, Washington Post, DW, BBC, France 24, and their Arabic versions like Al Jazeera, and Al Arabiya, Qatari and Saudi state-owned channels respectively, their expelling from Syria at the critical early days have saved countless lives of innocent Syrians.

We have exposed numerous times the lies of these establishments and their ilks, especially in regards to the War of Terror the US and its lackeys waged against Syria.

The following is part of longer report how a Syrian activist Rafic Lutf managed to expose how the CNN crew led by anchor Arwa Damon (or Deamon) participated in blowing up an oil pipeline in Homs in one of the coldest winters the country witnessed just to have a news line accusing the Syrian state with this heinous crime they committed. The full report was deleted by YouTube when they suspended our channel with no proper justification. Watch:

We urge each state tha has an office or a representative of one of these news channels to treat them as criminals, or at least to deal with them with extra care, no one knows when they will be activated.

fox-news

Corporate Media: WMDs Weapons of Mass Deception

Just for a comparison: Syrian-based media are not allowed to air in the EU, USA, Canada, and Australia, since 2012, they’re also banned from satellite transmission on all Western and Arab owned satellites, that’s to ‘Promote Freedom of Speech’, we were told. Many Syrian media related individuals, private and public, are on Western sanctions lists.

I have a saying I kept repeating to Western citizens and it’s relative to all the crimes against humanity committed by their politicians in their names with their tax monies: ‘They fool you, they keep fooling you, and they enjoy fooling you, not because they’re smart, it’s because you’re foolable.

Sheeple Family
Sheeple: A typical western family following mainstream media

israel’s (apartheid state) Toxic Power in the US

Source

Dr. Marc Lemont Hill, the recently fired CNN contributor should be glad and happy he is alive and escaped a lynching by angry Israel-First mobs and escaped the Hollywood-sponsored IDF firing squad.

No one in America dares to criticize Israel who hopes to survive in a job or profession. Anyone who ever doubts the toxic power and influence Israel has over US media, politics, academic and financial institutions should think twice. Criticizing Israel and its military and settlers’ occupation is not a crime, nor is anti-Semitism. Those who think so have a mental problem.

The immediate dismissal of Marc Lemont Hill by CNN comes after he made a statement at the UN in which he called for a free Palestine from sea to river, which to the sensitive Zionist forces in the US is deemed racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric which calls for Israel’s destruction.

No one in CNN or other major networks wants to hear any calls for justice for Israelis and for Palestinians. Marc Lemont Hill’s message was “a call for justice, both in Israel and for the West Bank/Gaza.”

He stated, “I support Palestinian freedom; I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policies and practices.”

What in blazes is so wrong and offensive to Zionist America in those words? Nothing.

Though I did search and review some of the posts on who’s who in American media, I chose not mention it here, leaving it to the readers to do their own search to see that the mainstream media is a powerful tool for Israel-Firsters.

The last time I checked First Amendment cases, even hate speech is a protected speech. In a unanimous vote of the US Supreme Court in the case of Matal v Tam, no hate speech is exception except as “such speech is directed to inciting imminent lawless action”. Marc Lemont Hill’s statement certainly does not come close to hate speech and certainly did not create any immanent lawless action. However, CNN and major media in the US including the US Congress are rewriting the First Amendment by passing laws that make criticism of Israel a felony punishable by fine and imprisonment.

Leading the charge for such legislation is none other than the leading liberal Senate Democratic Leader, Chuck Schumer, an Israel-Firster who is using his position to erode freedom of speech, association and assembly, which are basic rights of the American people, in favor of his love and first loyalty, Israel.

With so much power and influence over America, the Israeli lobby and Zionist money machines have made major inroad in state politics, managing to get many states to rewrite freedom to choose “boycotting” Israel a felony, and denying any company or business or individuals that support the BDS (boycott of illegally and criminal Israeli settlements) from doing business with the state.

Now let us compare boycotting armed, illegal trespassing settlements on stolen Palestinian properties and boycotting the Israeli Military Occupation versus the outrage over North Carolina’s decision on the use of “gender neutral toilets”.

Fifty blankety-blank years of armed settler occupation, over 550 humiliating security checkpoints which millions of Palestinians must face going through every day as they are processed like cattle. Fifty years of arbitrary arrest and administrative imprisonment for months and years without trial or public evidence, while over one million Palestinians have been “guests” of Israeli military jails. There have been tens of thousands of home demolitions under the pretense that the homes were “built without permits”, as Palestinians would have to wait for decades to get a home-building or remodeling license. But criminally trespassing settlers can simply seize Palestinian lands and build; they can raid towns and villages; desecrate churches and mosques. They can even set young teenage Palestinians on fire by forcing them to drink gasoline and then setting them on fire.

Mr. Schumer and many American liberal hypocrites are upset about North Carolina’s toilet issue, but not bothered or offended about 50 years of military occupation by Israel.

Of course it is OK to boycott North Carolina over its “toilet issue”, but why is it not okay to boycott Israeli settlements and their products? In response to North Carolina, PayPal canceled a $2.6 billion project; Ringo Star canceled his concert; and the NCAA canceled its tournament, with Costar, Adidas and Deutsche Bank following suit. Every one became upset with calls to boycott North Carolina over the choice of a toilet, but they seem unmoved by the cruelest military and longest occupation in modern history.

There are too many cases of professors losing their jobs because they criticize Israel and support Palestinian rights for a free state, with many rich donors putting pressure on leading academic institutions to make sure pro-Palestinian professors have no place or tenure, and that pro-Palestinian groups can not exercise their freedom of speech and assembly on college campuses. Otherwise, accusations of terrorism and anti-Semitism fly all over the place. The anti-Palestinian groups are fully funded by rich and powerful American Zionist Jews. Even the State of Israel sponsors and pays for its agents on college campuses.

Let us remember the words of Voltaire – “to learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize”. I think the case is clear. Israel rules.

PS. Recently Hollywood stars held a benefit dinner for the IDF, raising $33 million in one night. Of course these “stars” never did sponsor such a benefit for the American GI’s USO. They simply have their loyalty with the IDF, but not the American soldiers.

To Rid the World of Antisemitism

November 29, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 CNN: “42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

CNN: “42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

On Tuesday, CNN published a survey of anti-Semitism in Europe. The poll revealed that  “more than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. One in five say they have too much influence in media and politics. In some countries the numbers are often higher: 42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

In my recent book, Being in Time, I argue that Jewish power is the power to silence opposition to Jewish Power.  CNN’s poll supports my thesis.  That some Jews enjoy significant influence in politics, culture and finance is not a matter of ‘opinion,’ it is an established fact as reports in the Jewish and mainstream media reveal on a daily basis. Jewish prominence in certain areas is a frequent boast of renowned Jews such as Alan Dershowitz. Yet only one of five Europeans is brave enough to admit that in the open.

CNN’s poll suggests that 80% of those who dwell in Europe are either lying, blind or, most likely, terrified of the truth. They have good reason to be scared. They have seen the onslaught of revenge from Jewish institutions against artists, writers, comedians, politicians, activists and academics including: Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, Richard Falk, Alison Weir, Norman Finkelstein, David Icke, Jeremy Corbyn and yours truly. Telling the truth about Israel, Zionism or expressing any form of criticism of Jewish politics subjects the teller to an immediate and colossal smear campaign. The CNN poll suggests that 80% of Europeans seem to have accepted the present tyrannical and authoritarian conditions. But this isn’t exactly a stable situation. It is only a question of time before the genie pops out of the bottle as has happened far too many times in the past.

By now it has become clear that the more Jewish institutions  ‘fight’ anti-Semitism, the more the opposition is directed against Jewish politics and Israeli brutality.  The same applies to the holocaust; the caravans of Jewish youngsters visiting Poland didn’t kill anti-Semitism nor did it revive the memory of the holocaust. In Poland, according to the CNN poll, “50% of people think that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their position.”

 What can Jews do about anti-Semitism? Simple– look in the mirror– introspect.

If Jews want to be loved or simply just ignored, then :(1) maybe The European Jewish Congress  should seriously consider the possible consequences of  its ‘demand’ that “the Bible and the Koran use ‘trigger warnings’ to highlight anti-Semitic passages,”  (2) The French Jewish organisations might want to reconsider their  relentless campaign to decimate the artistic career of France’s most popular comedian, or (3) It might not be a great idea for Britain’s Jewish institutions to interfere with British national politics by smearing  Britain’s  number one anti racist.

If Jews want to rid the world of antisemitism, Jewish bodies should carefully self reflect and take responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming the Goyim…

Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza

Photo Source U.S. Embassy Jerusalem | CC BY 2.0

Whenever bombings and shootings escalate in the Middle East, Israeli propagandists say that Israel is exercising its right of military self-defense against indiscriminate attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. But as this article documents, the right to use force in self-defense is contingent on Israel ending its military occupation and blockade of Gaza.

DON’T MISQUOTE ME ON THAT!

Doubtless some unscrupulous person or persons will quote or interpret this article out of context and claim that I’m saying that Israel has no right to self-defense at all. So, let me be clear: Israel is a nation-state like any other, like it or not. It therefore has the same legal rights as any nation-state, like it or not; including the right to use self-defense when under attack.

However, that right within the context of occupation is contingent on Israel’s adherence to international law; again, just like any state. For example: The US and British forces had no legal right to hurt or kill Iraqis resisting the illegal US-British invasion and occupation, which began in 2003. The only rights that the US and British had there was to leave.

Since 1967, Israel has occupied the Gaza Strip (and the West Bank of the Jordan, which it has now de facto annexed) in violation of international law. Yes, Israel withdrew its illegal colonies from Gaza in 2005, but it maintained the military blockade, which is an act of war and a violation of the IV Geneva Convention, which prohibits collective punishment.

As long as it continues its occupation/annexation of the Palestinian territories, Israel cannot use force in self-defense from attacks, even indiscriminate ones, emanating from Gaza. If it ended the occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories, then it could argue a case for the use of force, assuming peaceful options are exhausted.

WHAT THE LIBERAL MEDIA SAY

Forget the madcap right-wing (e.g., a Fox News reporter standing next to what he claims is a flaming bakery hit by Palestinian rockets). How are the supposedly more intelligent and humane liberal media reporting the current violence?

The BBC says that “Violence has flared between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, a day after seven militants and an Israeli soldier were killed during an undercover Israeli operation in Gaza.” Militants? It goes on to say that: “Militants fired 300 rockets and mortars at Israel. One hit a bus, seriously injuring a soldier nearby. Israel responded with more than 70 strikes on what it said were targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” Responded? Surely the BBC means to say that armed Palestinian groups responded to Israel’sactions, which occurred in the context of its unlawful 50-year occupation?

Notice the use of the word “militants.” The report doesn’t use words like “Zionists” when describing Israelis.

The online article includes an embedded tweet from the Israeli Defense Forces: “RAW FOOTAGE: The skies of southern Israel RIGHT NOW. Dozens of rockets are being fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians.” There is no embedded video of the shocking conditions in which Palestinian civilians are forced by Israel to live (a point to which we shall return). Near the bottom of the article, the BBC approaches something bordering truthfulness when it says: “Israel, along with Egypt, has maintained a blockade of Gaza,” but it then goes back to the lies: “…since about 2006 in order, they say, to stop attacks by militants.”

The word “occupation” is mentioned not once. So, the gist of the BBC’s reporting is that Gaza is plagued by dangerous Islamists hell-bent on Israel’s destruction and that Israel is doing what it can, sometimes ham-fistedly (as in the latest “botched” special forces operation), to defend itself.

CNN quotes Israeli PM Netanyahu as saying that “Hamas vowed to destroyed Israel,” ergo long-term peace was “impossible.”

The Washington Post claims that the latest “flare-up” was “triggered” by a “botched” Israeli operation inside Gaza. It quotes Israeli Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, that Israelis under Palestinian rocket-fire face “the most severe attack on … civilians by terrorist organizations from Gaza since our 2014 operation [Protective Edge].” Near the end of the article, the reporters mention, casually, Israel’s “tight restrictions on trade and travel.” Below, we’ll take a look at what these “tight restrictions” actually mean.

The New York Times describes what is happening as “An eruption,” rather than a continuation and predictable consequence of Israel’s ongoing brutality. It also mentions Israel’s “tight control over the border,” which has endured since 2005, they claim (not 1967 as is the reality), when Israel withdrew its illegal colonies. Approaching truth toward the end of the article, the NTY, unlike the BBC, quotes Chris Gunness of the UN Relief and Works Agency, who describes the humanitarian situation in Gaza for nearly 2 million ordinary civilians, half of whom are children, as a disaster and a “collective punishment.”

WHAT HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS SAY

With the exception of the Gunness quote, the media have suppressed the severity of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The crisis is caused by the US-enabled Israeli blockade. Its importance in terms of the number of people affected vastly eclipses the firing of indiscriminate rockets into Israel by armed Palestinian groups.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs states:“Palestinians in Gaza are ‘locked in’, denied free access to the remainder of the occupied Palestinian territory and the outside world.” According to the UN children’s fund UNICEF, “more than 96 per cent of abstracted water is polluted and not fit for human consumption due to high salinity levels from sea water intrusion and high nitrate levels from excessive use of agrochemicals and wastewater infiltration.”

Jamie McGoldrick and James Heenan of the UN say:

“All over the occupied Palestinian territory, but particularly in the Gaza Strip, we see children robbed of every right. Families cope with four hours of electricity per day in the sweltering heat. Clean drinking water is expensive and hard to find. The start of the school year in one month will be very difficult for tens of thousands of families who cannot afford basic school supplies.”

When trapped Gazans resist with overwhelmingly non-violent protest, they receive the following treatment, as described by a Red Cross doctor, Gabriel Salazar: “We estimate there are over 1,300 people with complex, sometimes multiple injuries,” care of the Israeli Defense Forces responding to the protests, “that will require at least three to five surgeries each. The recovery period may take months or even years and we believe some 400 will remain with temporary or permanent disability.” Many demonstrators are deliberately shot in the legs and refused treatment by Israel in neighboring Jordan.

IS GAZA STILL OCCUPIED?

Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been unlawfully occupied by Israel since June 1967. This means that every Israeli military action in those territories, except withdrawal, is unlawful. In November 1967, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 242, which states:

Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,…

1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict…

In 2004, the International Court of Justice opined:

“All these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power … Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal … The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.”

In 2018, the UN Human Rights Council reaffirmed that Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are occupied by Israel:

“In the resolution, adopted by a vote of 29 in favour, two against [the US and Australia], and 14 abstentions, the Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018.”

ISRAEL’S RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE

Given that the international consensus is that Israel remains the illegal occupying power in the Palestinian territories (including Gaza and East Jerusalem), Israel has no right to use force to defend itself against Palestinian attacks while it remains the illegal occupying power. If Israel ended the occupations of Gaza and the West Bank, it would be entitled to use force in self-defense, assuming that peaceful options are exhausted.

Hyde’s International Law Volume III states: “A belligerent,” i.e., Israel in this case, “which is contemptuous of conventional or customary prohibitions,” i.e., Israel continues to occupy Gaza, “is not in a position to claim that its adversary,” i.e., Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups, “when responding with like for like,” i.e., rocket-fire into Israel, “lacks the requisite excuse” (emphasis in original).

The Annual Digest and Reports of Public International Law Cases 1948 states: “Under International Law, as in Domestic Law, there can be no reprisal against reprisal. The assassin who is being repulsed by his intended victim may not slay him and then, in turn, plead self-defense.” By the same logic, Israel cannot occupy Gaza, collectively punish the population, and then claim to be acting in self-defense against Gazan rocket-fire.

In response to the Gaza massacre 2014, international jurist John Dugard said: “given the fact that Gaza is an occupied territory, it means that Israel’s present assault is simply a way of enforcing the continuation of the occupation, and the response of the Palestinian militants should be seen as the response of an occupied people that wishes to resist the occupation.”

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Dr. T. J. Coles is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research and the author of several books, including Voices for Peace (with Noam Chomsky and others) and the forthcoming Fire and Fury: How the US Isolates North Korea, Encircles China and Risks Nuclear War in Asia (both Clairview Books).

Presstitutes Abandon Journalism For Political Activism

By Paul Craig Roberts

November 09, 2018 Information Clearing House  When President Trump nominated Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General, the presstitutes were opposed to Sessions and declared him unfit for office. Now that he has been fired, the presstitutes are his champions.

There are reports that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has organized a protest march for today denouncing Trump for firing Sessions. https://news.grabien.com/story-msnbcs-maddow-organizing-street-marches-protest-sessions-fir

CNN’s Jake Tapper added his view of the firing as “that’s how gangsters act” and got John Dean from the Watergate era to delare that Sessions’ firing was “planned like a murder.” https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/11/07/saturday-night-massacre-sessions-john-dean-jake-tapper-newsroom-intv-bts-vpx.cnn

It is the same story elsewhere in the presstitute media.

The presstitutes are upset about Sessions being fired, because Sessions recused himself from the Russiagate investigation, thus permitting Mueller to go beyond his mandate. Mueller’s indictment of Manafort, for example, has nothing whatsoever to do with Russiagate. The Trump-hating presstitutes and Trump-hating Democrats still hope to make something of the investigation that has come up completely empty after two years, whereas a functioning attorney general will close down the investigation as having found nothing and wandered off into unrelated matters.

As Maddow illustrates, the presstitutes have become political activists who use their media positions not to report, but to campaign against Trump, whether it is Maddow over Sessions or CNN’s Jim Acosta over the caravan from Honduras.https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/11/07/white-house-suspends-jim-acostas-press-pass-after-combative-briefing/

Did Acosta show any concern for Hondurans when “America’s First Black President” overthrew the democratically elected government and installed Washington’s man?

Indeed, Larry King, a CNN host for 25 years said that CNN stopped doing news in order to do in Trump.https://thehill.com/homenews/media/415669-larry-king-hits-cnn-stopped-doing-news-to-focus-on-trump

NPR plays the same game. It is Trump, Trump, Trump every day.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

الانقسام السياسي والتحذير من صعود الفاشية في أميركا

04 تشرين ثاني 15:53

 

رجالات المؤسسة الأمنية الأميركية أيضا يحملون مسؤولية التدهور الأمني لخطاب الرئيس ترامب الشعبوي والمفرط في السطحية. استضاف معهد الأمن القومي التابع لكلية الحقوق في جامعة جورج مايسون، بضواحي العاصمة واشنطن، جلسة حوارية مطلع الشهر الجاري حول “التهديدات والتحديات أمام المؤسسات الديموقراطية،” شارك فيها المدير السابق للاستخبارات الوطنية، جيمس كلابر، ومدير السي آي ايه الأسبق، مايكل هايدن. كلابر كأن أحد أهداف الطرود المتفجرة.

الحزب الجمهوري على أتم الجهوزية ليتحول إلى نسخة أميركية عن حزب (العدالة والقانون) البولندي الحاكم، مستغلاً نفوذه السياسي" الواسع

الحزب الجمهوري على أتم الجهوزية ليتحول إلى نسخة أميركية عن حزب (العدالة والقانون) البولندي الحاكم، مستغلاً نفوذه السياسي” الواسع

تمر أميركا بحالة استقطاب “غير مسبوقة منذ عدة عقود” بمطالبة الحزبين مؤيديهما من الناخبين بأوسع مشاركة في جولة الانتخابات التشريعية (النصفية) وبعض مناصب حكام الولايات: الحزب الجمهوري أرخى العنان للرئيس ترامب للمشاركة في الحملات الانتخابية مطلقاً وعوده وتهديداته في اتجاهات متعددة، والحزب الديموقراطي لا يزال خطابه حبيس هواجسه العدائية لروسيا علّها تنقذ إخفاقاته السياسية في التصدي الفاعل لسياسات الرئيس ترامب. أما جمهور الناخبين فيمضي لحشد وتنظيم معارضته للسياسات الإقصائية متوعداً بمعاقبة قاسية للطبقة الحاكمة في صناديق الاقتراع. بيد أن الجمهور الأميركي، بشكل عام، أرسل رسالة مدوية لصناع القرار حول حقيقة الخطر والتهديد القائم، وضاق ذرعاً بعد تعرض زبائن مطعم محلي في فلوريدا لحادث اطلاق نار دون مقدمات.

وكشفت يومية بوليتيكو، وهي نشرة محسوبة على تيار يمين الوسط الأميركي، عن نتائج استطلاع رأي فور وقوع الحادثة المشار اليها جاء فيه أن “58% من الناخبين اعتبروا ما جرى بأنه عنف سياسي،” توزعت النسبة على ذوي الميول للحزبين الديموقراطي والجمهوري، وحمّلت أغلبية من الناخبين “56% منهم المسؤولية للرئيس ترامب،” لاستنهاضه خطاب العداء والإقصاء وانقسام المجتمع وخرق الاتفاقيات الدولية مما عاد بالعزلة على الولايات المتحدة.

النائبة عن الحزب الديموقراطي، ماكسين ووترز، والتي كانت أحد أهداف الطرود المتفجرة، حفزت جمهور مؤيديها على “مواجهة أي مسؤول من الإدارة قد يرتاد مطعماً أو متجراً أو محطة وقود، ومحاصرته بحلقة من مؤيدين يتواجدون في المكان وإبلاغه رسالة مفادها أنه غير مرحب به في اي مكان بعد الآن.” أما الرئيس ترامب فقد أشاد بتوجيه نائب عن الحزب الجمهوري لكمة مباشرة لصحافي معتبراً التصرف نموذجاً “يمثلني.”

المؤسسة الإعلامية الأكبر، وهي شبكة سي أن أن للتلفزة، التي يكن لها الرئيس ترامب عداءً يردده في كل مناسبة ومن دون مناسبة، علقت في أحدى نشراتها الإخبارية على أحداث العنف السياسي بالقول إن “الرجل الأبيض” المدجج بالسلاح يشكل أكبر تهديد إرهابي على الولايات المتحدة، ووجهت النقد للجهات الرسمية لعدم “فرضها حظراً على الرجل الأبيض” المسلح.

رجالات المؤسسة الأمنية الأميركية أيضا يحملون مسؤولية التدهور الأمني لخطاب الرئيس ترامب الشعبوي والمفرط في السطحية.

استضاف معهد الأمن القومي التابع لكلية الحقوق في جامعة جورج مايسون، بضواحي العاصمة واشنطن، جلسة حوارية مطلع الشهر الجاري حول “التهديدات والتحديات أمام المؤسسات الديموقراطية،” شارك فيها المدير السابق للاستخبارات الوطنية، جيمس كلابر، ومدير السي آي ايه الأسبق، مايكل هايدن. كلابر كأن أحد أهداف الطرود المتفجرة.

كلابر حمل الرئيس ترامب المسؤولية المباشرة عن تنامي أحداث العنف “نظراً لأن مفردات خطابه لها دور مباشر في تجسيد نزعة التطرف .. وهي ليست بعيدة عما خبرته في التعامل مع تنظيمات مشابهة كداعش، الذي أتقن استخدام وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لتجنيد عناصره،” في إشارة واضحة لمواقع التواصل التي تروج للخطاب العنصري والشعارات النازية في الداخل الأميركي.

وأضاف ساخراً من الرئيس ترامب “..استمرار العبقري المتزن في استنهاض نزعات من شأنها تأييد هذا النمط من التصرف، تقود إلى أننا مقبلون على تلقي مزيد من ذلك، وانا مقتنع بما أقول”.

هايدن في مداخلته شاطر زميله كلابر واستنتاجاته التي ذهب إليها في “.. تطابق مطالب المتشددين مع خطاب ينسجه رئيس الولايات المتحدة.”

الدوائر الرسمية والمسؤولون الأميركيون شديدوا الحرص على نفي وجود ظاهرة الفاشية في المجتمع، بخلاف بعض النخب والمفكرين البارزين.

وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية السابقة، مادلين اولبرايت، اصدرت كتاباً منتصف الصيف الماضي بعنوان مثير ومباشر الفاشية: تحذير، باللغتين الانكليزية والألمانية في وقت واحد، استعرضت فيه مراحل صعود الظاهرة وأفولها في اوروبا في القرن العشرين، كتيار سياسي مؤثر يتمتع بدعم شعبي داخل عدد من الدول الغربية بما فيها “بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة نفسها؛” محذرة من عودة الحركة الفاشية لسابق عهدها، وأنه “.. ليس هناك ما يمنع تدحرج الأمور مجدداً إلى تلك الهوة المظلمة.” ووصفت الرئيس ترامب وما يمثله بأنه “أول رئيس معادٍ للديموقراطية في التاريخ الأميركي بأكمله.”
تحذيرات اولبرايت وآخرين لها ما يدعمها من وقائع حية في مجمل الدول الغربية أبرزها “الانقسامات وحالات الاستقطاب .. وتفاوت الفرص والمنافع الاقتصادية دون أفق لتقليصها حتى على المدى المتوسط.” وشددت في تحذيرها على صعود “السياسيين الشعبويين إلى مواقع السلطة” وخطابهم المؤثر “عبر التلاعب والخداع” وتوجيه الأنظار نحو “عدو متخيل” دون التقدم بحلول حقيقية للأزمات البنيوية.

لهجة التحذير المشار إليها أخذت بعين الاعتبار صعود رمز “ومبشر الفاشية” في الإدارة الأميركية، ستيف بانون، الذي احتفظ بلقب “مستشار رئاسي للشؤون الاستراتيجية؛” ومضى لنشر افكاره في أوروبا، بعد اعفائه من منصبه في البيت الأبيض، عبر مؤسسة سياسية وفكرية، أسماها “الحركة،” ترمي لإطلاق ثورة شعبوية يمينية حاضنتها الاحزاب اليمينية الراديكالية، لتشجيع اليمين المتطرف في اوروبا الوصول إلى مراكز السلطة، كانت أولى ثمارها صعود رئيس وزراء يميني في ايطاليا، جوزيبي كونتي.

التحذير من صعود الفاشية الأميركية تناوله الخبير الاقتصادي الحائز على جائزة نوبل، بول كروغمان، في مقال نشره في يومية نيويورك تايمز، منتصف أيلول/ سبتمبر 2018، قائلا “..إن الحزب الجمهوري على أتم الجهوزية ليتحول إلى نسخة أميركية عن حزب (العدالة والقانون) البولندي الحاكم، مستغلاً نفوذه السياسي” الواسع. وأوضح أن الولايات المتحدة في نسختها السياسية الراهنة “.. تعاني من نفس الأعراض العنصرية البيضاء التي تجتاح العالم، والذي استطاع تدمير الديموقراطية في دول غربية أخرى، ونحن قريبون من نقطة اللاعودة.”

التحذير جاء أيضاً على لسان أحد أبرز “مفكري” المحافظين الجدد من اليمين الأميركي، روبرت كاغان، في غمرة حملات الانتخابات الرئاسية الماضية قائلاً “.. الحركات الفاشية لا تتجسد في فراغ ما لم تتوفر لها ايديولوجية متماسكة .. الفاشية لا تنجح (بالبرامج) السياسية فحسب، بل في التفافها حول رجل قوي، باستطاعته التغلب على أي تهديد دون الاضطرار إلى شرح كيف يتم ذلك.” (واشنطن بوست، 18 أيار/مايو 2016)
لعل السؤال المنطقي عند هذا المفصل يتمحور حول مدى “تجاوب” وتناغم مرشحي الانتخابات النصفية مع الخطاب الفاشي. في زمن وفرة المعلومات وآليات التدقيق الفوري لا يستعصى على المرء استكشاف تصريحات متعددة لمرشحين “عن الحزب الجمهوري” تفوح منها العنصرية وتمجد “العنصر الأبيض.”

أحدهم مرشح لمقعد نيابي عن ولاية كارولينا الشمالية، راسل ووكر، أعلن أنه “لا ضير في أن يكون المرء عنصريا.” (الوكالة الفرنسية، 30 تموز/يوليو 2018). ولعل ما يضاعف منسوب القلق حضور المرشح الجمهوري عن ولاية ويسكونسن، بول نيلن، والذي من المتوقع أن يتسلم منصب رئيس مجلس النواب خلفاً لسلفه المتقاعد عن الولاية عينها، بول رايان، في حال احتفظ الحزب الجمهوري بأغلبية مقاعد مجلس النواب.

نيلن يصنفوه مؤيدوه ومناوئيه على السواء بأنه ركن موثوق لتيار اليمين المتطرف – اليمين البديل، ينتظر ممارسة دوره القيادي ليمنح امتيازات عالية “للقوميين البيض” وتعيينهم في مناصب سياسية وثقافية حساسة. المرشح الجمهوري لعضوية مجلس الشيوخ عن ولاية فرجينيا، كوري ستيوارت، أثنى على زميله نيلن ووصفه بأنه “أحد ابطالي الشخصيين.” تزامن تقييم توجهات (نيلن) العنصرية مع ارتفاع معدل حوادث استدعاء الشرطة من قبل “اميركيين بيض .. يشتكون فيها من حضور أفراد ذوي بشرة داكنة” وهم يقومون بأداء اعمال اعتيادية، أدت في إحدى +المناسبات إلى اقتياد الشرطة لشابين أسودين مكبلين بالسلاسل من داخل مقهى “ستاربكس” كان يجلسان فيه بوضعية عادية

علماء الاجتماع الأميركي مولعون بنظرية “ستراس – هاو العابرة للأجيال” لتعقب الازمات والتكهن بالمستقبل؛ والتي ترتكز على فرضية أن التاريخ البشري يتحرك وفق أربع “حقبات متتالية” تشكل دائرة كاملة من التطور. ما يهمنا في هذا الشأن “الحلقة الرابعة،” والتي توصف بحقبة الأزمات من خصائصها انتشار “.. الفوضى السياسية، الانقسام، التآكل الاجتماعي والاقتصادي” مما يحفز فئات المجتمع الأميركي على التغول والتطرف. أما نهاية “الأزمة” لن تتأتى إلا بعد نشوب نزاع شامل يؤدي بالأميركيين إلى التوحد “اضطراريا” وبناء مستقبل أفضل

حالة الانقسام الحادة والتطرف المنتشرة في مناخ الانتخابات “النصفية” لها ما يبررها وفق النظرية أعلاه. فالمتشددون على جانبي التجاذب السياسي سيرفضون بقوة نتائج الانتخابات، خاصة وان الاتهامات بالتزوير لاحت بوادرها منذ الساعات الاولى لتطبيق “التصويت المبكر،” في عدد من الدوائر الانتخابية. وكلما كانت النتائج النهائية متقاربة بين الفريقين ستتعزز فرص اندلاع العنف والاقصاء تحصد ضحايا جدد من كافة الفئات الاجتماعية والتوجهات السياسية.


Syrian War Report – September 10, 2018: US Claims Destruction Of Civilian Objects Is Purpose Of Idlib Advance

South Front

The US-led propaganda campaign against the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance has reached a new level as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is openly preparing to kick of a ground assault on terrorist groups in northwestern Syria.

During a September 7 UN Security Council briefing, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stated that “when Russia and the Assad regime say they want to counter terrorism, they actually mean they want to bomb schools, hospitals, and homes. They want to punish the civilians who had the courage to rise up against Assad.” She further stated that “the Assad regime” must halt an offensive in Idlib because it will undermine “peace talks”.

“We consider any assault on Idlib to be a dangerous escalation of the conflict in Syria. If Assad, Russia, and Iran continue, the consequences will be dire,” Haley said.

On the same day, CNN released another fabulous report based on anonymous US defense officials. According to the report, Russia warmed the US-led coalition twice that its forces and the Syrian military are prepared to attack terrorists in the 55-km zone claimed by the US-led coalition around its military garrison at al-Tanf. CNN speculated that this attack may endanger US troops deployed there, but did not elaborate how it is possible if US personnel are not embedded with terrorists.

Following the report, the coalition kicked off a military exercise involving 100 US servicemen in the al-Tanf area.

“Our forces will demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces, and conduct a rapid exfiltration anywhere in the OIR combined joint operations area … Exercises like this bolster our defeat-ISIS capabilities and ensure we are ready to respond to any threat to our forces,” CENTCOM spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban stated.

On September 8, clashes erupted between a unit of the Syrian Military Intelligence and security forces of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the city of al-Qamishli. Kurdish sources claimed that clashes erupted after government troops had entered the SDF-controlled area without a permission. Pro-government sources say that the SDF attack had been pre-planned. 12 government servicemen and 7 SDF personnel were killed in the incident.

On September 9, the SDF’s political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council, released a statement claiming that it regrets the incident.

“The coincidence of this incident with the summit in Tehran is questionable,” the SDC added in the same statement de-facto accusing Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey of the escalation.

Meanwhile, multiple reports have been released by pro-militant media activists and mainstream media outlets on alleged civilian casualties and damage to the civilian infrastructure as a result of the airstrikes of the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces. The reports came when Syrian and Russian forces expanded their airstrikes on targets belonging to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and the Turkistan Islamic Party in northern Lattakia and southern and southwestern Idlib.

A source in the 4th Armoured Division of the Syrian Arab Army told SouthFront that these strikes are preparations for a ground phase of the offensive in the area. However, no details when it’s set to be started were provided.

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How the truth is murdered by the media

11.04.2018

This was sent to me by a friend today:

The Saker

 

Jews Under Attack By the Washington Post!

Hard as it may be to believe, Jews–specifically those who serve in the Trump administration–are under attack by the Washington Post.

Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner

Gary Cohn

Post pundit Dana Millbank has published an article accusing Jared Kushner, Steven Mnuchin, and Gary Cohn of “shame” and “disgrace” and of playing the role of “court Jews” in the White House.

“We have seen such a character before in Jewish history: the shtadlan,” says Millbank. “The shtadlan, or ‘court Jew,’ existed to please the king, to placate the king, to loan money to the king.

“He would dress like other members of the court, and he would beg the king for leniency toward the Jews, but, ultimately, his loyalty was to the king,” he added.

So what did Kushner, Mnuchin, and Cohn do that was so contemptible in Millbank’s opinion? They failed to denounce Trump’s comments on the Charlottesville events. Or as the Post writer puts it:

“The three men, the most prominent Jews in President Trump’s administration, could have spoken out to say that those who march with neo-Nazis are not ‘very fine people,’ as their boss claims. Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, and Cohn, the chief economic adviser, were actually standing with Trump when he said it. They said nothing.

This is not just mild criticism of course. It is a vicious attack. The only mainstream media attacks more vicious than this are those aimed at Trump himself.

Millbank asserts that all three men have expressed privately to unnamed acquaintances that “they are disturbed and distressed by what Trump said,” yet lamentably “none is speaking publicly about an outrage that makes millions of Americans feel as though they are living a nightmare.”

And oh yes, Millbank lets it be known in the article that he is Jewish himself, which of course gives him license to say things about Jews that no Gentile writer would ever dare express.

The article was brought to my attention by Ariadna, one of our readers, who feels it is an attempt by the Washington Post to pressure Jews in Trump’s administration to publicly disavow the president, this with the hope of encouraging them to resign en masse. The result of such a mass resignation conceivably would make an impeachment or a presidential resignation all the more likely.

Millbank’s article in the Washington Post is a bit, well, over the top, shall we say. But an article published by CNN goes the Post even one better. The TV news network has published on its website an article lauding–are you ready for it?–the anarchist group Antifa.

The hooded, black-clad delinquents who specialize in smashing windows and attacking people with clubs are portrayed by CNN writers Sara Ganim and Chris Welch as crusading advocates for social justice who “seek peace through violence.”

In the view of the writers, the black-bloc bon vivants are a bit prone perhaps to some unrestrained exuberance, but certainly they are not in any way commensurate to those nasty “white nationalists, neo-Nazis and others–who have been blamed for provoking violence at last week’s ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville.”

The article even quotes one of the Antifa protestors who was present at that event.

“We were marching down one of the streets, and energy was ecstatic,” he rhapsodizes.

I truly can’t remember a time when any protest group in America ever got this much favorable coverage.

P.C. Roberts on ‘the ignorant, stupid Nikki Haley’ and the destruction of the Trump Administration

[ Ed. note – A very interesting commentary by Paul Craig Roberts, who argues that Trump is powerless–he is under the complete control of the Deep State–and that the president is furthermore being treacherously undermined by his own appointees. The Trump administration is full of Russophobes like UN Ambassador Nikki Haley who, rather than  pursuing the peaceful relations with Russia that Trump seemed to promise during the campaign, have instead become parrots essentially, repeating the mainstream media mantra about “Russian interference” in the election. What are the implications of all this? Not good, says Roberts. Trump has become nothing more than a “figurehead” president, he argues, while the media and the Deep State are committed to  “raising tensions between the US and Russia to the point of nuclear war.” ]

By Paul Craig Roberts

President Trump Has Been Contradicted by His Own Government, Which Has Lined Up Against Him in Favor of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and the Russophobic Presstitute Media that serves the military/security complex and the neoconservatives.

I am afraid that The Saker and Finian Cunningham are correct. Nothing can come of Trump’s meeting with Putin, because, as Cunningham puts it,

“Trump doesn’t have freedom or real power. The real power brokers in the US will ensure that the Russophobia campaign continues, with more spurious allegations of Moscow interfering to subvert Western democracies. Trump will continue to live under a cloud of media-driven suspicions. And thus the agenda of regime change against Syria and confrontation with Russia will also continue. Trump’s personal opinions on these matters and towards Vladimir Putin are negligible—indeed dispensable by the deep powers-that-be.”

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/395782-trump-putin-meeting-media-syria/

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47392.htm

Cunningham points out that instead of lauding the meeting as the beginning of the process to defuse the high tensions between the two major nuclear powers, the US media denounced Trump for being civil to Putin in the meeting.

What is missing from the media in the entirety of the Western world and perhaps also in Russia is the awareness that the dangerous tensions are orchestrated not only by Hillary and the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, the US military/security complex, and the presstitutes, but also by President Trump’s own appointees.

Trump’s own ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, sound exactly like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and the rest of the totally discredited presstitute media that is committed to raising tensions between the US and Russia to the point of nuclear war.

Continued here

***

Click the link just above to read the rest of Roberts’ commentary. Meanwhile, the “Russia conspiracy soap opera” continues in the media. The lone exception to this seems to be one program on Fox News.

Filmmaker With Links to Al-Qaeda Made CNN Syria Documentary, But Network Pretends He Doesn’t Exist

 Source

CNN has curiously diminished the role of a major contributor to its Peabody Award-winning documentary “Undercover in Syria,” ostensibly because that contributor is linked to the country’s al-Qaeda affiliate.

Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear spoke with Alternet’s Ben Norton about the documentary, where CNN sources its handlers, and how this speaks to the bigger issue of deep hypocrisy within the mainstream media concerning US foreign policy.

Norton co-wrote a recent article with Max Blumenthal entitled “CNN Hired Top al-Qaeda Propagandist for Award-Winning Syria Documentary and Wants to Cover Its Tracks,” which told the story of American “independent journalist” Bilal Abdul Kareem, who Norton says was able to gain access that proved deadly for other journalists because of his cozy relationship with terrorists.

“In summary, what’s going on is there’s an American who is very closely tied to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, who has been accused by numerous sources of actually being a member Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, and has lived in Syria for several years,” Norton explained.

Kareem “has created a small media cult following but has significant impact when it comes to the issue of Syria because he is the only English-speaking Western journalist in al-Qaeda-held territory in Syria.”

Norton said that other journalists who have attempted to enter territory held by al-Qaeda have often ended up kidnapped or killed, and claimed to personally know a journalist who was kidnapped by the extremists and who told him that she heard about Kareem’s involvement with al-Qaeda being discussed casually while she was being held in Idlib, where Kareem was based.

“The crux of it is, this is someone who is closely linked to, if not an outright member of, al-Qaeda. He has denied it of course, but there are a lot of ties and circumstantial evidence” to suggest this connection, Norton said. He noted that a colleague of Kareem’s who helped Kareem with his On The Ground News outlet was stripped of his British citizenship for alleged connections to al-Qaeda.

Norton said that it’s “no surprise” that corporate media outlets like CNN would work with Kareem, as they “fawn” over Syrian opposition groups and say “nothing positive about the Syrian government and its allies.”

“There are certainly problems with the Syrian government,” Norton allowed, “but this is one-sided propaganda. This is not just that rebel perspective that CNN is propagating, it is the perspective of extremist groups in rebel-held territory.”

In a video posted to Twitter in June, Kareem complained that CNN had not fully acknowledged his contributions to the documentary, saying that the network “barely mentioned my name! I’m telling you, somehow CNN must have forgotten that I was the one that filmed it, I guess they forgot that.”

“CNN has essentially distanced itself from him,” Norton said. “It hasn’t completely ignored him, but he’s always mentioned as a mere footnote. He is almost never mentioned in any of the official statements or speeches about the documentary, even though as he said himself, he played a crucial role in creating it. He was the videographer, he was actually on the ground.”

Though it is CNN that has this time reaped the rewards of Kareem’s connections, Norton said that corporate media outlets of all political leanings behave similarly when addressing the US’ movements in Syria.

“They’ve all been just as irresponsible when it comes to this issue. When it comes to US foreign policy and other countries and non-state actors that are enemies of the US government, there is a media uniformity with which they are all presented, and Syria has been no exception.”

 

The Trump-Putin Meeting: Establishment of a Personal Relationship, “There was Positive Chemistry Between the Two”

White House Press Briefing

Global Research, July 10, 2017

On July 7  following Trump’s meeting with Putin, a US Press Briefing was held at the G20 in Hamburg.

It is important to analyze the shift in political discourse of both President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson.

The main contribution of the Trump-Putin meeting was to establish communication at a personal level.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. That Trump-Putin personal relationship is fundamental.

History tells us that political misunderstandings can lead to war.

Admittedly no significant shifts in US foreign policy have occurred: the Pentagon’s military agenda prevails. Media lies and political deceit also prevail.

Yet at the same time, discussion and diplomatic exchange have resumed –which in many regards is an important achievement.

” The two leaders, I would say, connected very quickly.  There was a very clear positive chemistry between the two.  I think, again — and I think the positive thing I observed — and I’ve had many, many meetings with President Putin before — is there was not a lot of re-litigating of the past.  I think both of the leaders feel like there’s a lot of things in the past that both of us are unhappy about.  We’re unhappy, they’re unhappy.

I think the perspective of both of them was, this is a really important relationship.  Two largest nuclear powers in the world.  How do we start making this work?  How do we live with one another?  How do we work with one another?  We simply have to find a way to go forward.  And I think that was — that was expressed over and over, multiple times, I think by both Presidents, this strong desire.  (Tillerson)

In this regard, a certain sanity in the international relations narrative has been restored. Ironically, Washington casually admits it’s mistakes in relation to Russia. In the words of Secretary of State Tillerson:

“So we want to build on the commonality, and we spent a lot of time talking about next steps.  And then where there’s differences, we have more work to get together and understand.  Maybe they’ve got the right approach and we’ve got the wrong”(emphasis added)

Moreover, the meeting is also a slap in the face for the Deep State Neocons, the US media not to mention Hillary et al, who continue to blame Moscow for having intervened in the 2016 US presidential elections while casually portraying Trump as a Manchurian candidate controlled by the Kremlin.

The “Russia Did It” narrative, which borders on ridicule, no longer holds. In turn, Trump’s position has to some extent also been reinforced. Not surprisingly, the US media has slashed back at Trump accusing him of having been manipulated by Putin. According to CNN “Putin may have less of a warm diplomatic bedside manner, but he understands the art of presentation and how to set a trap.”

An important threshold has been reached

Has talking to the Kremlin rather than waging war on Russia become the “new normal” (at least at the level of political discourse)? Not yet.

Nonetheless, an important transition has taken place. Talking to the Kremlin sets a new momentum. Lest we forget, history tells us that all out war could unfold as a result of a personal political misunderstanding. Remember World War I.

Michel Chossudovsky, July 9, 2017


For the complete transcript of the Press Briefing click below

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/07/press-briefing-presidents-meetings-g20-july-7-2017

Selected quotes with notes and emphasis  

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Hi, everybody.  I just want to highlight very briefly, and then Secretary Tillerson will go on, and then afterwards we’ll both answer a few questions.

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  Thank you, Steve, and thanks for staying with us late these evening.

President Trump and President Putin met this afternoon for 2 hours and 15 minutes [for a longer period of time than what was initially agreed upon by the two governments] here on the sidelines of the G20.  The two leaders exchanged views on the current nature of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the future of the U.S.-Russia relationship.

They discussed important progress that was made in Syria, and I think all of you have seen some of the news that just broke regarding a de-escalation agreement and memorandum, which was agreed between the United States, Russia and Jordan, [this agreement was no doubt drafted before the Trump Putin meeting] for an important area in southwest Syria that affects Jordan’s security, but also is a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.

This de-escalation area was agreed, it’s well-defined, agreements on who will secure this area.  A ceasefire has been entered into.  And I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.  And as a result of that, we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas and violence once we defeat ISIS, and to work together toward a political process that will secure the future of the Syrian people.

As a result, at the request of President Putin, the United States has appointed — and you’ve seen, I think, the announcement of Special Representative for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker.  Ambassador Volker will draw on his decades of experience in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, both as a representative to NATO and also his time as a permanent political appointment.

The two leaders also acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats and interference in the democratic processes of the United States and other countries, and agreed to explore creating a framework around which the two countries can work together to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats, both in terms of how these tools are used to in interfere with the internal affairs of countries, but also how these tools are used to threaten infrastructure, how these tools are used from a terrorism standpoint as well.

The President opened the meeting with President Putin by raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.  They had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject.  The President pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement.  President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past.  

The two leaders agreed, though, that this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the Russian-U.S. relationship forward, and agreed to exchange further work regarding commitments of non-interference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries.  So more work to be done on that regard.

Q    Mr. Secretary, Nick Waters (ph) from Bloomberg News.  Can you tell us whether President Trump said whether there would be any consequences for Russia to the interference in the U.S. election?  Did he spell out any specific consequences that Russia would face?  And then also, on the Syria ceasefire, when does it begin?  And what makes you think the ceasefire will succeed this time when past U.S.-Russian agreements on a ceasefire have failed?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  With regard to the interference in the election, I think the President took note of actions that have been discussed by the Congress.  Most recently, additional sanctions that have been voted out of the Senate to make it clear as to the seriousness of the issue.  But I think what the two Presidents, I think rightly, focused on is how do we move forward; how do we move forward from here.  Because it’s not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations.

So the question is, what do we do now?  And I think the relationship — and the President made this clear, as well — is too important, and it’s too important to not find a way to move forward — not dismissing the issue in any way, and I don’t want to leave you with that impression.  And that is why we’ve agreed to continue engagement and discussion around how do we secure a commitment that the Russian government has no intention of and will not interfere in our affairs in the future, nor the affairs of others, and how do we create a framework in which we have some capability to judge what is happening in the cyber world and who to hold accountable.  And this is obviously an issue that’s broader than just U.S.-Russia, but certainly we see the manifestation of that threat in the events of last year.

And so I think, again, the Presidents rightly focused on how do we move forward from what may be simply an intractable disagreement at this point.

As to the Syria ceasefire, I would say what may be different this time, I think, is the level of commitment on the part of the Russian government.  They see the situation in Syria transitioning from the defeat of ISIS, which we are progressing rapidly, as you know.  And this is what really has led to this discussion with them as to what do we do to stabilize Syria once the war against ISIS is won.

And Russia has the same, I think, interest that we do in having Syria become a stable place, a unified place, but ultimately a place where we can facilitate a political discussion about their future, including the future leadership of Syria.

So I think part of why we’re — and again, we’ll see what happens as to the ability to hold the ceasefire.  But I think part of what’s different is where we are relative to the whole war against ISIS, where we are in terms of the opposition’s, I think, position as to their strength within the country, and the regime itself.

In many respects, people are getting tired.  They’re getting weary of the conflict.  And I think we have an opportunity, we hope, to create the conditions in this area, and the south is I think our first show of success.  We’re hoping we can replicate that elsewhere.

MR. SPICER:  Abby.

Q    Mr. Secretary, you spoke, when you were speaking of the ceasefire, about they’re being detailed information about who would enforce it.  Can you give any more information on what conclusions were reached?  And you spoke of the future leadership of Syria.  Do you still believe that Assad has no role in their government?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  I would like to defer on the specific roles in particular of security forces on the ground, because there is — there are a couple of more meetings to occur.  This agreement, I think as you’re aware, was entered into between Jordan, the United States, and Russia.  And we are — we have a very clear picture of who will provide the security forces, but we have a few more details to work out.  And if I could, I’d like to defer on that until that is completed.

I expect that will be completed within the next — less than a week.  The talks are very active and ongoing.

And your second question again?

Q    Does the administration still believe that Assad has no role in the future government of Syria?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  Yes, our position continues to be that we see no long-term role for the Assad family or the Assad regime.  And we have made this clear to everyone — we’ve certainly made it clear in our discussions with Russia — that we do not think Syria can achieve international recognition in the future.  Even if they work through a successful political process, the international community simply is not going to accept a Syria led by the Assad regime.  

[Points to the insistance of Washington on regime change, Will that position be in any way modified?]

And so if Syria is to be accepted and have a secure — both a secure and economic future, it really requires that they find new leadership.  We think it will be difficult for them to attract both the humanitarian aid, as well as the reconstruction assistance that’s going to be required, because there just will be such a low level of confidence in the Assad government.  So that continues to be the view.

And as we’ve said, how Assad leaves is yet to be determined, but our view is that somewhere in that political process there will be a transition away from the Assad family.

Q    Thank you.  Demetri Sevastopulo, Financial Times.  On North Korea, did President Putin agree to do anything to help the U.S. to put more pressure on North Korea?  And secondly, you seem to have reached somewhat of an impasse with China in terms of getting them to put more pressure on North Korea.  How are you going to get them to go beyond what they’ve done already?  And what is President Trump going to say to President Xi on that issue tomorrow?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  We did have a pretty good exchange on North Korea.  I would say the Russians see it a little differently than we do, so we’re going to continue those discussions and ask them to do more.   

Russia does have economic activity with North Korea, but I would also hasten to add Russia’s official policy is the same as ours — a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

And so I think here, again, there is a difference in terms of view around tactics and pace, and so we will continue to work with them to see if we cannot persuade them as to the urgency that we see.

I think with respect to China, what our experience with China has been — and I’ve said this to others — it’s been a bit uneven.  China has taken significant action, and then I think for a lot of different reasons, they paused and didn’t take additional action.  They then have taken some steps, and then they paused.  And I think in our own view there are a lot of, perhaps, explanations for why those pauses occur.  But we’ve remained very closely engaged with China, both through our dialogues that have occurred face-to-face, but also on the telephone.  We speak very frequently with them about the situation in North Korea.

So there’s a clear understanding between the two of us of our intent.  And I think the sanctions action that was taken here just in last week to 10 days certainly got their attention in terms of their understanding our resolve to bring more pressure to bear on North Korea by directly going after entities doing business with North Korea, regardless of where they may be located.  We’ve continued to make that clear to China that we would prefer they take the action themselves.  And we’re still calling upon them to do that.

So I would say our engagement is unchanged with China, and our expectations are unchanged.

Q    And you haven’t given up hope?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  No, we have not given up hope.  When you’re in an approach like we’re using — and I call it the peaceful pressure campaign.  A lot of people like to characterize it otherwise, but this is a campaign to lead us to a peaceful resolution.  Because if this fails, we don’t have very many good options left.  And so it is a peaceful pressure campaign, and it’s one that requires calculated increases in pressure, allow the regime to respond to that pressure.  And it takes a little time to let these things happen.  You enact the pressure; it takes a little while for that to work its way through.

So it is going to require some level of patience as we move this along, but when we talk about our strategic patience ending, what we mean is we’re not going to just sit idly by, and we’re going to follow this all the way to its conclusion.

Q    Thank you.  Mr. Secretary, I have issue — you just mentioned on the DPRK.  We note China and Russia recently said — they asked North Korea to stop the — to freeze, actually, the nuclear activities, and also they asked the U.S. to stop the deployment of THAAD system.  So did President Putin bring up his concern about the deployment of THAAD system?  And also, what’s the expectation of President Trump on tomorrow’s meeting with President Xi Jinping, other than the DPRK issue?  Thank you.

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The subject of THAAD did not come up in the meeting with President Putin.

In terms of the progress of North Korea and this last missile launch, again, those are some of the differences of views we have between ourselves in terms of tactics — how to deal with this.  President Putin, I think, has expressed a view not unlike that of China, that they would support a freeze for freeze.

If we study the history of the last 25 years of engagement with various regimes in North Korea, this has been done before.  And every time it was done, North Korea went ahead and proceeded with its program.

The problem with freezing now — if we freeze where they are today, we freeze their activities with a very high level of capability.  And we do not think it also sets the right tone for where these talks should begin.  And so we’re asking North Korea to be prepared to come to the table with an understanding that these talks are going to be about how do we help you chart a course to cease and roll back your nuclear program?  That’s what we want to talk about.  We’re not interested in talking about how do we have you stop where you are today.  Because stopping where they are today is not acceptable to us.

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  And the national security advisor’s office.

As to the nature of the 2 hours and 15 minutes, first let me characterize — the meeting was very constructive.  The two leaders, I would say, connected very quickly.  There was a very clear positive chemistry between the two.  I think, again — and I think the positive thing I observed — and I’ve had many, many meetings with President Putin before — is there was not a lot of re-litigating of the past.  I think both of the leaders feel like there’s a lot of things in the past that both of us are unhappy about.  We’re unhappy, they’re unhappy.

I think the perspective of both of them was, this is a really important relationship.  Two largest nuclear powers in the world.  It’s a really important relationship.  How do we start making this work?  How do we live with one another?  How do we work with one another?  We simply have to find a way to go forward.  And I think that was — that was expressed over and over, multiple times, I think by both Presidents, this strong desire.

It is a very complicated relationship today because there are so many issues on the table.  And one of the reasons it took a long time, I think, is because once they met and got acquainted with one another fairly quickly, there was so much to talk about — all these issues.  Just about everything got touched on to one degree or another.  And I think there was just such a level of engagement and exchange, and neither one of them wanted to stop.  Several times I had to remind the President, and people were sticking their heads in the door.  And I think they even — they sent in the First Lady at one point to see if she could get us out of there, and that didn’t work either.  (Laughter.)

But I think — what I’ve described to you, the 2 hours and 15 minutes, it was an extraordinarily important meeting.  I mean, there’s just — there’s so much for us to talk about.  And it was a good start.  Now, I will tell you we spent a very, very lengthy period on Syria, with a great amount of detailed exchange on the agreement we had concluded today — it was announced — but also where we go, and trying to get much greater clarity around how we see this playing out and how Russia sees it playing out, and where do we share a common view and where do we have a difference, and do we have the same objectives in mind.

And I would tell you that, by and large, our objectives are exactly the same.  How we get there, we each have a view.  But there’s a lot more commonality to that than there are differences.  So we want to build on the commonality, and we spent a lot of time talking about next steps.  And then where there’s differences, we have more work to get together and understand.  Maybe they’ve got the right approach and we’ve got the wrong approach. [a strong statement by US Secretary of State]

So there was a substantial amount of time spent on Syria, just because we’ve had so much activity going on with it.
 
Q    Thank you very much.  Mr. Secretary, can you say if the President was unequivocal in his view that Russia did interfere in the election?  Did he offer to produce any evidence or to convince Mr. Putin?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The Russians have asked for proof and evidence.  I’ll leave that to the intelligence community to address the answer to that question.  And again, I think the President, at this point, he pressed him and then felt like at this point let’s talk about how do we go forward.  And I think that was the right place to spend our time, rather than spending a lot of time having a disagreement that everybody knows we have a disagreement.

MR. SPICER:  Thank you, guys, very much.  Have a great evening.

END
7:41 P.M. CET

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The Fight Against Media Terrorism

“Blatant lies, which used to be the prerogative of tabloid outlets, have now been adopted by well respected media outlets.” — Margarita Simonyan

Yesterday I put up a post about a speech given on July 4 by RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan before the visiting Chinese delegation in Moscow. Here is a video of her talk. The full speech, as you will see, included a few key comments that didn’t make it into yesterday’s report, including the quote above.

As you can also see, Simonyan urged her Chinese colleagues to join her in the fight against “media terrorism.” She has chosen a good way of describing it. By reporting lies, the mainstream media are essentially committing acts of terror. Information is a weapon–no different from tanks, missiles, or artillery–and when weapons are misused (just as when information is turned into misinformation) innocent people can die as a result.

Hopefully the Chinese will soon launch their own equivalent to RT and Press TV. I have a feeling they will, and I also have a feeling it won’t stop with China. I think we’ll also see more and more citizen journalism. Project Veritas is a good example of the latter.

It is not surprising that a producer at CNN thinks the American people are “stupid as sh*t.” The American people aren’t stupid. But they are misinformed. And who is mainly responsible for that? The mainstream media. And this is what makes a comment like this, from a young punk working at CNN, so utterly loathsome.

In case you missed it, RT has a report out today about the response to threats made by CNN against the maker of a video posted recently by Donald Trump. The article includes a quote from a Reddit moderator who expresses the view that the entire Internet basically is turning against CNN.

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“CNN has all of the Internet against them right now, and when organizations attack freedom of speech, it never ends up well for them,” he said.

He may not be far off the mark. You can go here to read about a recent poll which found that 65 percent of Americans believe the mainstream media regularly publish fake news.

I’m not usually optimistic by nature, but I can visualize a future in which sentiments like these among the public continue to build until eventually the mainstream media succeed in neutralizing themselves–that is until they essentially become extinct like dinosaurs. The only way, in fact, I think they are going to be able to stop this is by shutting down the Internet or effectively shutting it down through excessive regulation, and by blocking out websites like RT and Press TV. But I don’t think this will ultimately be successful.

Just as there are black markets, I think we would see “black Internets” spring up which would offer access to the blocked out sites. The days in which six corporate media conglomerates are able to control everything people see on TV, hear on radio, or read in books, newspapers, and magazines–those days are actually numbered, I believe. Which is not to say that our future is going to be rosy, but at least in this one respect it will be better than the situation which exists at present.

The media’s capacity for committing acts of terrorism, in other words, will, I think, be greatly diminished. The fight against media terrorism will ultimately be successful.

Trump‘s Red Line

President Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Seymour M. Hersh investigated the case of the alleged Sarin gas attack.

On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack,  including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.

Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president’s determination to ignore the evidence. “None of this makes any sense,” one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. “We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.“

Within hours of the April 4 bombing, the world’s media was saturated with photographs and videos from Khan Sheikhoun. Pictures of dead and dying victims, allegedly suffering from the symptoms of nerve gas poisoning, were uploaded to social media by local activists, including the White Helmets, a first responder group known for its close association with the Syrian opposition.

The provenance of the photos was not clear and no international observers have yet inspected the site, but the immediate popular assumption worldwide was that this was a deliberate use of the nerve agent sarin, authorized by President Bashar Assad of Syria. Trump endorsed that assumption by issuing a statement within hours of the attack, describing Assad’s “heinous actions” as being a consequence of the Obama administration’s “weakness and irresolution” in addressing what he said was Syria’s past use of chemical weapons.

To the dismay of many senior members of his national security team, Trump could not be swayed over the next 48 hours of intense briefings and decision-making. In a series of interviews, I learned of the total disconnect between the president and many of his military advisers and intelligence officials, as well as officers on the ground in the region who had an entirely different understanding of the nature of Syria’s attack on Khan Sheikhoun. I was provided with evidence of that disconnect, in the form of transcripts of real-time communications, immediately following the Syrian attack on April 4. In an important pre-strike process known as deconfliction, U.S. and Russian officers routinely supply one another with advance details of planned flight paths and target coordinates, to ensure that there is no risk of collision or accidental encounter (the Russians speak on behalf of the Syrian military). This information is supplied daily to the American AWACS surveillance planes that monitor the flights once airborne. Deconfliction’s success and importance can be measured by the fact that there has yet to be one collision, or even a near miss, among the high-powered supersonic American, Allied, Russian and Syrian fighter bombers.

Russian and Syrian Air Force officers gave details of the carefully planned flight path to and from Khan Shiekhoun on April 4 directly, in English, to the deconfliction monitors aboard the AWACS plane, which was on patrol near the Turkish border, 60 miles or more to the north.

The Syrian target at Khan Sheikhoun, as shared with the Americans at Doha, was depicted as a two-story cinder-block building in the northern part of town. Russian intelligence, which is shared when necessary with Syria and the U.S. as part of their joint fight against jihadist groups, had established that a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders was to take place in the building, including representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra. The two groups had recently joined forces, and controlled the town and surrounding area. Russian intelligence depicted the cinder-block building as a command and control center that housed a grocery and other commercial premises on its ground floor with other essential shops nearby, including a fabric shop and an electronics store.

“The rebels control the population by controlling the distribution of goods that people need to live – food, water, cooking oil, propane gas, fertilizers for growing their crops, and insecticides to protect the crops,” a senior adviser to the American intelligence community, who has served in senior positions in the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, told me. The basement was used as storage for rockets, weapons and ammunition, as well as products that could be distributed for free to the community, among them medicines and chlorine-based decontaminants for cleansing the bodies of the dead before burial. The meeting place – a regional headquarters – was on the floor above. “It was an established meeting place,” the senior adviser said. “A long-time facility that would have had security, weapons, communications, files and a map center.” The Russians were intent on confirming their intelligence and deployed a drone for days above the site to monitor communications and develop what is known in the intelligence community as a POL – a pattern of life. The goal was to take note of those going in and out of the building, and to track weapons being moved back and forth, including rockets and ammunition.

One reason for the Russian message to Washington about the intended target was to ensure that any CIA asset or informant who had managed to work his way into the jihadist leadership was forewarned not to attend the meeting. I was told that the Russians passed the warning directly to the CIA. “They were playing the game right,” the senior adviser said. The Russian guidance noted that the jihadist meeting was coming at a time of acute pressure for the insurgents: Presumably Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham were desperately seeking a path forward in the new political climate. In the last few days of March, Trump and two of his key national security aides – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley – had made statements acknowledging that, as the New York Times put it, the White House “has abandoned the goal” of pressuring Assad “to leave power, marking a sharp departure from the Middle East policy that guided the Obama administration for more than five years.” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a press briefing on March 31 that “there is a political reality that we have to accept,” implying that Assad was there to stay.

Russian and Syrian intelligence officials, who coordinate operations closely with the American command posts, made it clear that the planned strike on Khan Sheikhoun was special because of the high-value target. “It was a red-hot change. The mission was out of the ordinary – scrub the sked,” the senior adviser told me. “Every operations officer in the region” – in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, CIA and NSA – “had to know there was something going on. The Russians gave the Syrian Air Force a guided bomb and that was a rarity. They’re skimpy with their guided bombs and rarely share them with the Syrian Air Force. And the Syrians assigned their best pilot to the mission, with the best wingman.” The advance intelligence on the target, as supplied by the Russians, was given the highest possible score inside the American community.

The Execute Order governing U.S. military operations in theater, which was issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  provide instructions that demarcate the relationship between the American and Russian forces operating in Syria. “It’s like an ops order – ‘Here’s what you are authorized to do,’” the adviser said. “We do not share operational control with the Russians. We don’t do combined operations with them, or activities directly in support of one of their operations.  But coordination is permitted. We keep each other apprised of what’s happening and within this package is the mutual exchange of intelligence.  If we get a hot tip that could help the Russians do their mission, that’s coordination; and the Russians do the same for us. When we get a hot tip about a command and control facility,” the adviser added, referring to the target in Khan Sheikhoun, “we do what we can to help them act on it.” “This was not a chemical weapons strike,” the adviser said. “That’s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon – you’ve got to make it appear like a regular 500-pound conventional bomb – would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear. Military grade sarin includes additives designed to increase toxicity and lethality. Every batch that comes out is maximized for death. That is why it is made. It is odorless and invisible and death can come within a minute. No cloud. Why produce a weapon that people can run away from?”

The target was struck at 6:55 a.m. on April 4, just before midnight in Washington. A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered  a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground. According to intelligence estimates, the senior adviser said, the strike itself killed up to four jihadist leaders, and an unknown number of drivers and security aides. There is no confirmed count of the number of civilians killed by the poisonous gases that were released by the secondary explosions, although opposition activists reported that there were more than 80 dead, and outlets such as CNN have put the figure as high as 92. A team from Médecins Sans Frontières, treating victims from Khan Sheikhoun at a clinic 60 miles to the north, reported that “eight patients showed symptoms – including constricted pupils, muscle spasms and involuntary defecation – which are consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin gas or similar compounds.” MSF also visited other hospitals that had received victims and found that patients there “smelled of bleach, suggesting that they had been exposed to chlorine.” In other words, evidence suggested that there was more than one chemical responsible for the symptoms observed, which would not have been the case if the Syrian Air Force – as opposition activists insisted – had dropped a sarin bomb, which has no percussive or ignition power to trigger secondary explosions. The range of symptoms is, however, consistent with the release of a mixture of chemicals, including chlorine and the organophosphates used in many fertilizers, which can cause neurotoxic effects similar to those of sarin.

The internet swung into action within hours, and gruesome photographs of the victims flooded television networks and YouTube. U.S. intelligence was tasked with establishing what had happened. Among the pieces of information received was an intercept of Syrian communications collected before the attack by an allied nation. The intercept, which had a particularly strong effect on some of Trump’s aides, did not mention nerve gas or sarin, but it did quote a Syrian general discussing a “special” weapon and the need for a highly skilled pilot to man the attack plane. The reference, as those in the American intelligence community understood, and many of the inexperienced aides and family members close to Trump may not have, was to a Russian-supplied bomb with its built-in guidance system. “If you’ve already decided it was a gas attack, you will then inevitably read the talk about a special weapon as involving a sarin bomb,” the adviser said. “Did the Syrians plan the attack on Khan Sheikhoun? Absolutely. Do we have intercepts to prove it? Absolutely. Did they plan to use sarin? No. But the president did not say: ‘We have a problem and let’s look into it.’ He wanted to bomb the shit out of Syria.”

At the UN the next day, Ambassador Haley created a media sensation when she displayed photographs of the dead and accused Russia of being complicit. “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” she asked. NBC News, in a typical report that day, quoted American officials as confirming that nerve gas had been used and Haley tied the attack directly to Syrian President Assad. “We know that yesterday’s attack was a new low even for the barbaric Assad regime,” she said. There was irony in America’s rush to blame Syria and criticize Russia for its support of Syria’s denial of any use of gas in Khan Sheikhoun, as Ambassador Haley and others in Washington did. “What doesn’t occur to most Americans” the adviser said, “is if there had been a Syrian nerve gas attack authorized by Bashar, the Russians would be 10 times as upset as anyone in the West. Russia’s strategy against ISIS, which involves getting American cooperation, would have been destroyed and Bashar would be responsible for pissing off Russia, with unknown consequences for him. Bashar would do that? When he’s on the verge of winning the war? Are you kidding me?”

Trump, a constant watcher of television news, said, while King Abdullah of Jordan was sitting next to him in the Oval Office, that what had happened was “horrible, horrible” and a “terrible affront to humanity.” Asked if his administration would change its policy toward the Assad government, he said: “You will see.” He gave a hint of the response to come at the subsequent news conference with King Abdullah: “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies – babies, little babies – with a chemical gas that is so lethal  … that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line . … That attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. Big impact … It’s very, very possible … that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.”

Within hours of viewing the photos, the adviser said, Trump instructed the national defense apparatus to plan for retaliation against Syria. “He did this before he talked to anybody about it. The planners then asked the CIA and DIA if there was any evidence that Syria had sarin stored at a nearby airport or somewhere in the area. Their military had to have it somewhere in the area in order to bomb with it.” “The answer was, ‘We have no evidence that Syria had sarin or used it,’” the adviser said. “The CIA also told them that there was no residual delivery for sarin at Sheyrat [the airfield from which the Syrian SU-24 bombers had taken off on April 4] and Assad had no motive to commit political suicide.” Everyone involved, except perhaps the president, also understood that a highly skilled United Nations team had spent more than a year in the aftermath of an alleged sarin attack in 2013 by Syria, removing what was said to be all chemical weapons from a dozen Syrian chemical weapons depots.

At this point, the adviser said, the president’s national security planners were more than a little rattled: “No one knew the provenance of the photographs. We didn’t know who the children were or how they got hurt. Sarin actually is very easy to detect because it penetrates paint, and all one would have to do is get a paint sample. We knew there was a cloud and we knew it hurt people. But you cannot jump from there to certainty that Assad had hidden sarin from the UN because he wanted to use it in Khan Sheikhoun.” The intelligence made clear that a Syrian Air Force SU-24 fighter bomber had used a conventional weapon to hit its target: There had been no chemical warhead. And yet it was impossible for the experts to persuade the president of this once he had made up his mind. “The president saw the photographs of poisoned little girls and said it was an Assad atrocity,” the senior adviser said. “It’s typical of human nature. You jump to the conclusion you want. Intelligence analysts do not argue with a president. They’re not going to tell the president, ‘if you interpret the data this way, I quit.’”

The national security advisers understood their dilemma: Trump wanted to respond to the affront to humanity committed by Syria and he did not want to be dissuaded. They were dealing with a man they considered to be not unkind and not stupid, but his limitations when it came to national security decisions were severe. “Everyone close to him knows his proclivity for acting precipitously when he does not know the facts,” the adviser said. “He doesn’t read anything and has no real historical knowledge. He wants verbal briefings and photographs. He’s a risk-taker. He can accept the consequences of a bad decision in the business world; he will just lose money. But in our world, lives will be lost and there will be long-term damage to our national security if he guesses wrong. He was told we did not have evidence of Syrian involvement and yet Trump says: ‘Do it.”’

On April 6, Trump convened a meeting of national security officials at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. The meeting was not to decide what to do, but how best to do it – or, as some wanted, how to do the least and keep Trump happy. “The boss knew before the meeting that they didn’t have the intelligence, but that was not the issue,” the adviser said. “The meeting was about, ‘Here’s what I’m going to do,’ and then he gets the options.”

The available intelligence was not relevant. The most experienced man at the table was Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who had the president’s respect and understood, perhaps, how quickly that could evaporate. Mike Pompeo, the CIA director whose agency had consistently reported that it had no evidence of a Syrian chemical bomb, was not present. Secretary of State Tillerson was admired on the inside for his willingness to work long hours and his avid reading of diplomatic cables and reports, but he knew little about waging war and the management of a bombing raid. Those present were in a bind, the adviser said. “The president was emotionally energized by the disaster and he wanted options.” He got four of them, in order of extremity. Option one was to do nothing. All involved, the adviser said, understood that was a non-starter. Option two was a slap on the wrist: to bomb an airfield in Syria, but only after alerting the Russians and, through them, the Syrians, to avoid too many casualties. A few of the planners called this the “gorilla option”: America would glower and beat its chest to provoke fear and demonstrate resolve, but cause little significant damage. The third option was to adopt the strike package that had been presented to Obama in 2013, and which he ultimately chose not to pursue. The plan called for the massive bombing of the main Syrian airfields and command and control centers using B1 and B52 aircraft launched from their bases in the U.S. Option four was “decapitation”: to remove Assad by bombing his palace in Damascus, as well as his command and control network and all of the underground bunkers he could possibly retreat to in a crisis.

“Trump ruled out option one off the bat,” the senior adviser said, and the assassination of Assad was never considered. “But he said, in essence: ‘You’re the military and I want military action.’” The president was also initially opposed to the idea of giving the Russians advance warning before the strike, but reluctantly accepted it. “We gave him the Goldilocks option – not too hot, not too cold, but just right.” The discussion had its bizarre moments. Tillerson wondered at the Mar-a-Lago meeting why the president could not simply call in the B52 bombers and pulverize the air base. He was told that B52s were very vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in the area and using such planes would require suppression fire that could kill some Russian defenders.  “What is that?” Tillerson asked. Well, sir, he was told, that means we would have to destroy the upgraded SAM sites along the B52 flight path, and those are manned by Russians, and we possibly would be confronted with a much more difficult situation. “The lesson here was: Thank God for the military men at the meeting,” the adviser said. “They did the best they could when confronted with a decision that had already been made.”

Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles were fired from two U.S. Navy destroyers on duty in the Mediterranean, the Ross and the Porter, at Shayrat Air Base near the government-controlled city of Homs. The strike was as successful as hoped, in terms of doing minimal damage. The missiles have a light payload – roughly 220 pounds of HBX, the military’s modern version of TNT. The airfield’s gasoline storage tanks, a primary target, were pulverized, the senior adviser said, triggering a huge fire and clouds of smoke that interfered with the guidance system of following missiles. As many as 24 missiles missed their targets and only a few of the Tomahawks actually penetrated into hangars, destroying nine Syrian aircraft, many fewer than claimed by the Trump administration. I was told that none of the nine was operational: such damaged aircraft are what the Air Force calls hangar queens. “They were sacrificial lambs,” the senior adviser said. Most of the important personnel and operational fighter planes had been flown to nearby bases hours before the raid began. The two runways and parking places for aircraft, which had also been targeted, were repaired and back in operation within eight hours or so. All in all, it was little more than an expensive fireworks display.

“It was a totally Trump show from beginning to end,” the senior adviser said. “A few of the president’s senior national security advisers viewed the mission as a minimized bad presidential decision, and one that they had an obligation to carry out. But I don’t think our national security people are going to allow themselves to be hustled into a bad decision again. If Trump had gone for option three, there might have been some immediate resignations.”

After the meeting, with the Tomahawks on their way, Trump spoke to the nation from Mar-a-Lago, and accused Assad of using nerve gas to choke out “the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many … No child of God should ever suffer such horror.” The next few days were his most successful as president. America rallied around its commander in chief, as it always does in times of war. Trump, who had campaigned as someone who advocated making peace with Assad, was bombing Syria 11 weeks after taking office, and was hailed for doing so by Republicans, Democrats and the media alike. One prominent TV anchorman, Brian Williams of MSNBC, used the word “beautiful” to describe the images of the Tomahawks being launched at sea. Speaking on CNN, Fareed Zakaria said: “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States.” A review of the top 100 American newspapers showed that 39 of them published editorials supporting the bombing in its aftermath, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Five days later, the Trump administration gathered the national media for a background briefing on the Syrian operation that was conducted by a senior White House official who was not to be identified. The gist of the briefing was that Russia’s heated and persistent denial of any sarin use in the Khan Sheikhoun bombing was a lie because President Trump had said sarin had been used. That assertion, which was not challenged or disputed by any of the reporters present, became the basis for a series of further criticisms:

– The continued lying by the Trump administration about Syria’s use of sarin led to widespread belief in the American media and public  that Russia had  chosen to be involved in a corrupt disinformation and cover-up campaign on the part of Syria.

– Russia’s military forces had been co-located with Syria’s at the Shayrat airfield (as they are throughout Syria), raising the possibility that Russia had advance notice of Syria’s determination to use sarin at Khan Sheikhoun and did nothing to stop it.

– Syria’s use of sarin and Russia’s defense of that use strongly suggested that Syria withheld stocks of the nerve agent from the UN disarmament team that spent much of 2014 inspecting and removing all declared chemical warfare agents from 12 Syrian chemical weapons depots, pursuant to the agreement worked out by the Obama administration and Russia after Syria’s alleged, but still unproven, use of sarin the year before against a rebel redoubt in a suburb of Damascus.

The briefer, to his credit, was careful to use the words “think,” “suggest” and “believe” at least 10 times during the 30-minute event. But he also said that his briefing was based on data that had been declassified by “our colleagues in the intelligence community.” What the briefer did not say, and may not have known, was that much of the classified information in the community made the point that Syria had not used sarin in the April 4 bombing attack.

The mainstream press responded the way the White House had hoped it would: Stories attacking Russia’s alleged cover-up of Syria’s sarin use dominated the news and many media outlets ignored the briefer’s myriad caveats. There was a sense of renewed Cold War. The New York Times, for example – America’s leading newspaper – put the following headline on its account: “White House Accuses Russia of Cover-Up in Syria Chemical Attack.” The Times’ account did note a Russian denial, but what was described by the briefer as “declassified information” suddenly became a “declassified intelligence report.” Yet there was no formal intelligence report stating that Syria had used sarin, merely a “summary based on declassified information about the attacks,” as the briefer referred to it.

The crisis slid into the background by the end of April, as Russia, Syria and the United States remained focused on annihilating ISIS and the militias of al-Qaida. Some of those who had worked through the crisis, however, were left with lingering concerns. “The Salafists and jihadists got everything they wanted out of their hyped-up Syrian nerve gas ploy,” the senior adviser to the U.S. intelligence community told me, referring to the flare up of tensions between Syria, Russia and America. “The issue is, what if there’s another false flag sarin attack credited to hated Syria? Trump has upped the ante and painted himself into a corner with his decision to bomb. And do not think these guys are not planning the next faked attack. Trump will have no choice but to bomb again, and harder. He’s incapable of saying he made a mistake.”

The White House did not answer specific questions about the bombing of Khan Sheikhoun and the airport of Shayrat. These questions were send via e-mail to the White House on June 15 and never answered.   

Seymour M. Hersh

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

http://syriatimes.sy/index.php/the-chemical-attack-on-ghouta

Fakery, Fakery, and More Fakery

“I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think that we have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America.”

So says Sarah Huckabee-Sanders. The video the White House press secretary was referring to apparently is Project Veritas’  “American Pravda” report. That video–(in case you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here )–shows some private comments made by a CNN producer named John Bonifield, who apparently did not know he was being filmed. In the conversation, recorded covertly, Bonifield admits that CNN’s Russia coverage is “mostly bullshit” and that President Trump is right when he accuses the media of engaging in “witch hunting.” He also says the Russia coverage has been driven by ratings.

As for Huckabee-Sanders, her comments, shown in the video above, were made on Tuesday, June 27, one day after the Veritas video was uploaded.

“And I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming directly from the top, I think that’s even more scary and certainly more disgraceful,” she said.

It’s hard to ague with words such as these. Certainly reporting by the mainstream media has been disgraceful–not just on Russia but in a number of other areas as well. And certainly this malfeasance on the part of the media has taken us to a dangerous place in America.

But Huckabee-Sanders’ comments came less than 24 hours after her colleague in the Trump administration, Sean Spicer, made a preposterous accusation against the Syrian government while providing no evidence to back it up. According to Spicer, the US “has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”

Spicer added, by way of warning, that if “Mr. Assad  conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

This is the Trump administration–the same administration that has been accusing the media of purveying fake news.

On April 6, US forces launched Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base over claims made by the media that Syria had carried out a chemical weapons attack in Idlib Province, killing dozens of people. This was one day after the New York Times had reported on what it referred to as the “worst chemical attack in years in Syria.”

“Dozens of people, including children, died–some writhing, choking, gasping or foaming at the mouth–after breathing in poison that possibly contained a nerve agent or other banned chemicals, according to witnesses, doctors and rescue workers,” the Times’ April 5 report said.

One of the reporters sharing a byline on that story was Michael R. Gordon, the same New York Times reporter who, along with Judith Miller, had reported on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction back in 2002.

It’s almost like a revolving wheel, isn’t it?

And so now we have the White House claiming Assad is plotting to kill children–where pray tell did they get this information? Hard to say for sure, but certainly it’s possible it was fed to them by the Israelis. And the gullible idiots in the Trump administration either believed it…or simply followed orders and had Spicer go out, hold a press conference, accuse the Syrian president of mass murder, and threaten to attack the country again.

As I have said in previous posts, everything in America these days is centered around fakery. Even the people who accuse others of being fakes, are fakes themselves. The irate reporter who accuses Huckabee-Sanders of being “inflammatory” in the video above? What a charming segment! It’s almost like watching two fakes argue over who is the more talented.

A report published several days ago by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh suggests that the “chemical weapons attack” which prompted Trump’s April 6 attack upon Syria was not a deliberate chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, as was reported, but in fact a bombing of a jihadist meeting site and which used a conventional bomb dropped from the air.

The meeting, consisting of high level operatives from Al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, was held in a two story cinder block building that was used for a variety of purposes including storage of fertilizers, weapons and ammunition, propane, cooking oil, insecticides, medicine, and chlorine-based decontaminants. Moreover, according to Hersh’s sources, the Americans even knew in advance that the attack was going to take place because the Russians had tipped them off to it (this was back when the Americans and the Russians in Syria were still speaking with, and coordinating their military movements with, each other).

The bombing of the building, says Hersh, “triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground.”

So this is what was portrayed in the media as a deliberate chemical attack by the Assad government. Hersh’s sources claim President Trump was advised as to the true details of the attack but that he deliberately chose to ignore it. Whether this is a self-serving statement on the part of an anonymous intelligence agent would be hard to say for sure, but here, in any event. is how Hersh reports it:

Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president’s determination to ignore the evidence. “None of this makes any sense,” one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. “We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.”

Hersh’s report was published by the German newspaper Die Welt. A commentary on it has also been published by Jonathan Cook, who makes some valid observations of his own–namely that those attempting to make a case for Assad’s use of chemical weapons must concede certain particulars that are highly implausible. Among these are that:

  1. Assad is so crazed and self-destructive – or at the very least so totally incapable of controlling his senior commanders, who must themselves be crazed and self-destructive – that he has on several occasions ordered the use of chemical weapons against civilians. And he has chosen to do it at the worst possible moments for his own and his regime’s survival, and when such attacks were entirely unnecessary.
  2. That Putin is equally deranged and so willing to risk an end-of-times conflagration with the US that he has on more than one occasion either sanctioned or turned a blind eye to the use of sarin by Assad’s regime. And he has done nothing to penalise Assad afterwards, when things went wrong.

He also makes a point about Hersh’s critics–i.e. that to validate their case they must assume that Hersh “has decided to jettison all the investigatory skills he has amassed over many decades as a journalist to accept at face value any unsubstantiated rumours his long-established contacts in the security services have thrown his way.”

Russia’s response to the Trump administration’s latest fantasia on Syria came from Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

“We heard about this statement,” Peskov told reporters. “We do not know what is the basis for this. And of course we categorically disagree with the ‘another attack’ wording.

“We also consider any similar threats to the legitimate leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic unacceptable,” he added.

“Unacceptable” is pretty strong language for Russian officials, who aren’t especially prone to making “inflammatory” statements. America, long touted for its supposed freedom of the press, is indeed in a “dangerous place.”  Huckabee-Sanders has at least that much right. It would be ironic if World War III, and possible planetary annihilation, were triggered by a long jet stream of fake news streaking across the sky, but that seems like a distinct possibility at this point.

Of course, none of this is intended to be “inflammatory” toward the poor, hardworking reporters at CNN who, naturally, are “only trying to do their job.”

“It Is The Presstitutes, Not Russia, Who Interfered In The US Presidential Election”

Written by Paul Craig Roberts; Originally appeared at Paulcraigroberts.org

Unlike Oliver Stone, who knew how to interview Vladimir Putin, Megyn Kelly did not. Thus, she made a fool of herself, which is par for her course.

"It Is The Presstitutes, Not Russia, Who Interfered In The US Presidential Election"

Now the entire Western media has joined Megyn in foolishness, or so it appears from a RT report. James O’Keefe has senior CNN producer John Bonifield on video telling O’Keefe that CNN’s anti-Russia reporting is purely for ratings:

“It’s mostly bullshit right now. Like, we don’t have any big giant proof.”

CNN’s Bonifield is reported to go on to say that “our CIA is doing shit all the time, we’re out there trying to manipulate governments.”

And, of course, the American people, the European peoples, and the US and European governments are being conditioned by the “Russia did it” storyline to distrust Russia and to accept whatever dangerous and irresponsible policy toward Russia that Washington comes up with next.

Is the anti-Russian propaganda driven by ratings as Bonifield is reported to claim, or are ratings the neoconservatives and military/security complex’s cover for media disinformation that increases tensions between the superpowers and prepares the ground for nuclear war?

RT acknowledges that the entire story could be just another piece of false news, which is all that the Western media is known for.

Nevertheless, what we do know is that the fake news reporting pertains to Russia’s alleged interference in the US presidential election. Allegedly, Trump was elected by Putin’s interference in the election. This claim is absurd, but if you are Megyn Kelly you lack the IQ to see that. Instead, presstitutes turn a nonsense story into a real story despite the absence of any evidence.

Who actually interfered in the US presidential election, Putin or the presstitutes themselves? The answer is clear and obvious. It was the presstitutes, who were out to get Trump from day one of the presidential campaign. It is CIA director John Brennan, who did everything in his power to brand Trump some sort of Russian agent. It is FBI director Comey who did likewise by continuing to “investigate” what he knew was a non-event. We now have a former FBI director playing the role of special prosecutor investigating Trump for “obstruction of justice” when there is no evidence of a crime to be obstructed! What we are witnessing is the ongoing interference in the presidential election, an interference that not only makes a mockery of democracy but also of the rule of law.

The presstitutes not only interfered in the presidential election; they are now interfering with democracy itself. They are seeking to overturn the people’s choice by discrediting the President of the United States and those who elected him. The Democratic Party is a part of this attack on American democracy. It is the DNC that insists that a Putin/Trump conspiracy stole the presidency from Hillary. The Democrats’ position is that it is too risky to permit the American people—the “deplorables”— to vote. The Democratic Party’s line is that if you let Americans vote, they will elect a Putin stooge and America will be ruled by Russia.

Many wonder why Trump doesn’t use the power of the office of the presidency to indict the hit squad that is out to get him. There is no doubt that a jury of deplorables would indict Brennan, Comey, Megyn Kelly and the rest. On the other hand, perhaps Trump’s view is that the Republican Party cannot afford to go down with him, and, therefore, as he is politically protected by the Republican majority, the best strategy is to let the Democrats and the presstitutes destroy themselves in the eyes of flyover America.

What our survival as Americans depends on is the Russians’ view of this conflict between a US President who intended to reduce the tensions between the nuclear powers and those determined to increase the tensions. The Russian high command has already announced its conclusion that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. It is not possible to imagine a more dangerous conclusion. So far, no one in Washington or any Western government has made an effort to reassure Russia that no such attack is being prepared. Instead, the calls are for more punishment of Russia and more tension.

This most extraordinary of failures demonstrates the complete separation of the West from reality.

It is difficult to imagine a more extreme danger than for the insouciant West to convince Russia that the West is incapable of rational behavior.

Fake Story Scandal: How Russia Obsession Led CNN into a Trap

Fake Story Scandal: How Russia Obsession Led CNN into a Trap

ALEX GORKA | 29.06.2017 | WORLD

Fake Story Scandal: How Russia Obsession Led CNN into a Trap

CNN is in trouble, with its reputation tanking as a result of publishing an article connecting Trump ally and Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci, who served on the executive committee of Trump’s transition team, to the $10-billion Russian Direct Investment Fund. The story based on a single antonymous source happened to be a fake. Despite swift retraction of the article, apology published and the following resignation of three veteran journalists, the image of the cable news network has been greatly tarnished.

True, CNN imposed new rules on the stories regarding Russia but it will hardly repair the damage done. The network was on track for record profit of more than $1 billion in 2017. It has been expanding investigative teams while vigorously attacking the US president to be ultimately caught in an anti-Trump trap. «I would encourage everyone in this room and, frankly, everyone across the country, to take a look at it», Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. «I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism.”

In early January President Donald Trump called CNN «fake news’. The White House refused to send its spokespeople or surrogates onto CNN shows, accusing the network’s reporters of publishing highly-damaging and unverified accusations about the president’s behavior in Russia. Some people believed it was not a smart move because leading news networks, like CNN, have become powerful enough to make politicians, including presidents, do their best to avoid quarrels. It is widely believed that politicians come and go, but media outlets remain. Looks like CNN is on the way to become an exclusion from this rule.

The recent fake story is just another example of the network’s inaccurate reporting and wrongdoings. CNN has been involved in a series of scandals.

Click image to see the Video

It touted the boy called Omran Daqneesh as the face of civilian suffering in Aleppo at a time the city was divided between pro-government and rebel forces and suffered under intensive fighting. CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour used the picture of Daqneesh in her October interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to question Russia’s support of Damascus in the Syrian conflict. «That is a war crime, sir», she said showing the photo. The boy resurfaced in world media this month after his family agreed to talk to journalists. His father Mohammad Kheir Daqneesh accused the White Helmets of using his family to produce propaganda.

In March, CNN reported that the FBI had information suggesting President Donald Trump associates «may have coordinated» with Russians on the release of information damaging Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the election. «There’s probably more evidence that CNN colluded with the Clinton campaign to give her questions than the Trump campaign gave any kind of collusion», White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer snarked at today’s press briefing, when asked about that report.

In May, comedian Kathy Griffin was fired by CNN for the shocking picture in which she was seen holding a mask of Trump’s bloody, severed head. The same month, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper apologised for ‘crude’ remark to Trump supporter during an interview. This month, CNN had to fire Reza Aslan, the host of a documentary series on the network, for his profane anti-Trump tweets.

The list can go on, there are numerous examples of CNN’s inappropriate behaviour as it is waging attacks against the president and all’s fair in war. CNN belongs to the networks President Trump called «the enemy of the people», addressing the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February. Obsessed with Trump and «Russia’s threat», CNN has downgraded in front of our eyes into a vulgar, lowbrow network. Step by step it is moving to collapse.

It’s not CNN only. President Trump has said that NBC and ABC reports regarding the administration’s links to Russia have also been biased or untrue. At a time the Senate approved the sweeping anti-Russia sanctions bill to be considered by the House now, somebody «leaked» to Buzzfeed the classified information about the State Secretary Rex Tillerson’s «secret» road map – a plan to improve the relations with Russia. Evidently, the goal was to spur the process of the bill becoming a law and hinder the implementation of the State Secretary’s plans.

The US media are waging an information war in an effort to oust Donald Trump from the White House. That’s where Russia – the country blamed for each and everything going awry in the United States – comes in handy. None of the stories regarding Russia and President Trump has been backed up by anything like solid evidence or facts. Even if only a small part of them were true, impeachment procedures would be launched but nothing like that has happened, except that US media has limited the President’s room for maneuver with endless false stories about Russia.

What if the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller does not produce any facts to make the media information offensive look like a failed conspiracy to stage a quite coup d’état in the United States? Will those who work in the leading media networks waging the smear campaign and spreading around unconfirmed information be held responsible?

Media attacks negatively affect the prospects for a Putin-Trump meeting during the Russia-US summit to take place on July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany. The US is no less interested in the positive outcome than Russia. With the troublesome news coming from Syria, tensions running high between Russia and NATO, arms control and non-proliferation regime eroding, and terrorists moving to Africa and the Asia Pacific, as well as a host of other issues on the agenda, the US media do a disservice to their own country by obstructing all attempts to revive the Russia-US dialogue on burning issues of mutual interest. Intensification of media attacks against the president in the days left till the event in Germany is something to be expected. But too much zeal is not always a good thing. Scoop stories attract public attention just for a few days, but a good reputation is hard to win and easy to lose. The CNN fake news scandal is a good illustration of the fact.

How and Why U.S. Honors and Aids Al Qaeda

June 20, 2017

by Eric Zuesse

How and Why U.S. Honors and Aids Al Qaeda

This will present a typical example in which the U.S. promotes Al Qaeda and other jihadists, and then honors that promotion by calling this PR not “propaganda” as it really is, but instead outstanding “news reporting,” and then honors that “news reporting,” with prestigious ‘journalism’ awards from the Overseas Press Club, and The Peabody. Throughout, the jihadists in Syria are being referred to in these ‘news’-reports as ‘the rebels’ and they are backed by the U.S. government, and (obviously) also by the aristocracy that own (and advertise in) the ‘news’ media, and whose lobbies also apparently control the President, and the Congress. Deception of the American public, by the American press, is that blatant and that egregious, as will here be documented (but will continue to be suppressed by the ‘free press’ in this ‘democracy’ where the press never exposes its own systematic lying — as will here be shown).

Documentation for everything here will consist of excerpts from the relevant news-reports themselves (so the story will be told by the evidence itself), and will close with excerpts from an AlterNet news report by Ben Norton, which was vastly more worthy of winning journalism awards than anything from CNN (or any of the others) has been, but is suppressed instead of pumped, by the U.S. press. I have added boldface in some places, in order to make easier a reader’s quickly noticing things which will become more important subsequently, in this presentation of excerpts. The excerpts are arranged so as to tell a narrative that makes sense and has continuity.

Excerpts are used here instead of paraphrases, because otherwise an intelligent reader might think that the paraphrases are overstating how appalling the U.S. ‘news’ media are. It’s better for the perpetrators to display their wares, than for someone else to do it for them. So, I let them do it.

Here are those excerpts; here is their story, told by the participants themselves:

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http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/14/

The truth about Syria

Undercover behind rebel lines

By Clarissa Ward with Salma Abdelaziz, CNN

[Salma Abdelaziz covers the Middle East for CNN, based in London.]

Updated 1:40 PM ET, Fri March 18, 2016

Rebel-held Syria (CNN) There’s a sickening moment between hearing the planes and waiting for them to drop their payload. A pit forms in your stomach. You know you could die, but you also know there’s no way to divine where the strike will hit.

On a hill overlooking Ariha, our guard Abu Youssef seems to have located the jet in the sky and is following it with his eyes. “Russian planes,” he says. …

Monitoring groups say nearly 2,000 civilians have been killed since the Russian intervention began. …

Syria is hell. But standing in the warm sun, watching the silver green olive leaves shiver in the breeze, it is also paradise. A ceasefire has been in place for a couple of days, though based on what we saw and heard, it’s difficult to have much faith that it will hold.

We are preparing to leave, saying our goodbyes. We hand over a bag full of British chocolates to our security guards. Abu Youssef thanks us and quietly hands each of us a folded piece of white paper with our initials on it.

“Promise me you won’t read these until you get back home to London,” he says.

Two flights and 72 hours later, we open the letters.

“I hope you have a good idea of us,” they read. “Please tell the world the truth about Syria.”

——

https://twitter.com/

Nidal

@Nidalgazaui

18 Years old Freedom Activist from Germany. Visited the YPG in Syria. MENA Analyst, Focusing on Terrorism and Jihadist Groups in Middle east and E Asia

Germany

nidalgazaui.wordpress.com

Nidal

@Nidalgazaui

#ISIS Fighter from #Gaza, Abu Youssef Al-Ghazawhi killed recently in #Aleppo while fighting the Syrian army near #DeirHafer in #Aleppo Prov.

11:58 PM – 22 Mar 2017

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[NOTE: It’s bad enough that the reporter, Ward, in Aleppo, was emotionally close to and was being protected by someone, “Abu Youssef,” who was clearly partisan — in his case, against Syria’s government and also against Russia, which means on the ‘rebel’ side, which in Aleppo meant being on Al Qaeda’s side there. Wikipedia’s article Battle of Aleppo (2012–2016)” says: “Rebel groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Shamia Front and the Ahrar al-Sham established Sharia system in areas they control, imposing torture or other ill-treatment as punishment. Human rights activists, lawyers and journalists have been subjected to kidnappings.” These ‘rebels’ were religious fanatics. But if that person was also the “#ISIS Fighter from #Gaza, Abu Youssef Al-Ghazawhi killed recently in #Aleppo while fighting the Syrian army near #DeirHafer in #Aleppo Prov,” then this places the reporter as being under the protection of an “ISIS fighter,” and ISIS is supposed to be so fanatical that even the U.S. government condemn them — but maybe not CNN, nor the Overseas Press Club, nor The Peabody.]

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https://www.theguardian.com/

Aleppo ‘hell’ prevents Syria peace talks, say diplomats

With 2 million terrified citizens trapped and brutal fighting continuing, UN-backed talks in August seem impossible

Patrick Wintour, diplomatic editor Tuesday 9 August 2016 16.53 EDT

… In a bid to restart the talks US secretary of state John Kerry met Vladimir Putin in mid-July to propose a deal whereby the Syrian air force ended its lethal bombing campaign in return for American agreement that one of the leading rebel forces – the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front – be designated a terrorist group, and so no longer party to a new ceasefire [Wintour is using code here, for: allowed to be bombed during the ceasefire — Obama refused to accept that condition, and he insisted that Russia discontinue bombing them but bomb only ISIS during a ceasefire, and he stuck with that stance until the very end, when he sabotaged Kerry’s deal with Lavrov]. American sponsored rebel forces have long been entangled with al-Nusra, and many Washington-backed forces would regard an attack on al-Nusra as an attack on the Syrian revolution itself.

The US proposal has been made more complex by the announcement last week that al-Nusra had “broken” with al-Qaida, and was now forming a new group, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. Western diplomats doubt the sincerity of this change in ideology [he’s using code for: change in name].

But Washington seems reluctant to denounce this new group as a bogus rebranding, partly because it knows so many of the already weak rebel groups it does support are willing, or even eager, to work with the effective and disciplined al-Nusra forces. Many of these moderate forces [as if there were ‘moderates’ when jihadists were waging war to replace a secular government] feel abandoned by the west.

At the UN session on Monday, Clarissa Ward, a celebrated CNN war correspondent, also warned Russia was playing into the hands of jihadists. She told the Russian envoy: “From my experience on the ground – which is considerable – bombing hospitals, court houses, bakeries and fruit markets does not eliminate terrorism. If anything it is the oxygen which terrorists breathe and it spreads like wildfire.”

——

[NOTE: For a “celebrated CNN war correspondent” to be so partisan against Russia, as to have charged that “Russia was playing into the hands of jihadists,” when she herself was blatantly and actually in the hands of jihadists — and being protected by them, while those jihadists were trying to kill and were being bombed by Russia — is stupid. Was this person that stupid? Or, perhaps, was she instead so closed-minded to the fact that in order to slaughter the jihadists, it was necessary that some of the people whom the jihadists were using as human shields would also die? Does Clarissa Ward possess even a modicum of the objectivity that’s required of any authentic journalist — especially when covering a war — or is she receiving ‘journalism’ awards because in the United States, ‘journalism’ has sunk to the level of sheer propaganda? But the British Guardian’s reporter is no better, referring to jihadists as ‘rebels’, and referring to the Syrian government’s war against them as a ‘lethal bombing campaign’ as if there were any other type than ‘lethal’. And he referred to the jihadists’ war against the Syrian government as ‘the Syrian revolution’ even though most of those jihadists were foreigners recruited into Syria from around the world and financed by the royal Sauds and armed and trained by the U.S. government.]

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https://www.undispatch.com/

CNN Journalist Clarissa Ward Snuck Behind the Front Lines in Syria then Briefed the Security Council About What She Saw

Mark Leon Goldberg  August 29, 2016

Clarissa Ward is an award winning journalist who has covered conflict for over a decade, mostly in the Middle East. She is now with CNN and earlier this year she and a small crew snuck into rebel held territory in Syria, including the city of Aleppo from where she filed several intense and harrowing stories.

In August, Clarissa was invited to a special meeting of the [U.N.] Security Council about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. We kick off discussing her Security Council briefing and latest reporting trip to Syria. …

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http://edition.cnn.com/2016/

‘There are no winners in Aleppo’

Updated 0906 GMT (1706 HKT) August 15, 2016

Source: CNN

‘This is Hell’: Clarissa Ward addresses U.N. on Syria 09:11

Editor’s note: On August 8, 2016 CNN’s Senior International Correspondent Clarissa Ward spoke at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo. The following are her full remarks. …

The thing that has been killed in Syria that is much more difficult to rebuild than a bombed out building, is trust.

There is no trust.

No trust in the Assad regime.

No trust in ceasefires or the cessation of hostilities or humanitarian corridors.

No trust in the Russians, and no trust in you by the way, in us in the international community, who have been wringing their hands on the side lines while hospitals and bakeries and schools have been bombed, while phosphorus and cluster bombs have killed countless civilians.

The only ones who have emerged as heroes on the ground — alongside brave doctors like Dr Attar and Dr Sahloul, alongside the White Helmets [link there added by E.Z., not by Ward]are the Islamist factions, even to those who hate fundamentalism.

Even to those who see that the rebels themselves are carrying out atrocities.

And not because the people there are all terrorists but because the Islamists are the ones who have stepped in to fill the void.

——

[NOTE: Ward has “No trust in the Assad regime” but has loads of trust in the jihadists, the ‘heroes’, “because the Islamists are the ones who have stepped in to fill the void” that they’ve created by trying to turn Syria’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious, secular, non-sectarian government — the only secular government in the Middle East — over to the head-choppers, who will serve the aristocracies of the U.S. and of Saudi Arabia.] 

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http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.

21 March 2017, 10:33 AM ET

Overseas Press Club Honors CNN for ‘Undercover in Syria’ Series

The Overseas Press Club of America has honored CNN’s ‘Undercover in Syria’ series with the David Kaplan Award for Best TV or video spot news reporting from abroad. They will present the award, which honors the finest international reporting, at its annual ceremony on Thursday, April 27 in New York. CNN President Jeff Zucker will be on hand to deliver the keynote address.

Reported by senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward and produced by Salma Abdelaziz, ‘Undercover in Syria’ took viewers inside rebel-held territory for an exclusive series of reports on what life was like under the bombs. CNN was the only Western media to witness the effects of Russian bombardment first hand and go inside the devastation of rebel-held Aleppo. …

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http://www.peabodyawards.com/

THE PEABODY 30: AWARD WINNERS FOR 2016

CNN: ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Undercover in Syria, Battle for Mosul (CNN)

Winner 2016 | CNN

… Clarissa Ward went undercover into northern Syria to document Russian influence on the fighting and to navigate the ongoing devastation. Graphic images of the wounded and the bloodied brings the senselessness of the fighting to the foreground, as do haunting images of young children who’ve only seen and experienced a world of airstrikes, fear, pain, and loss. … For its steadfast commitment to intrepid reporting from the battlefield and for detailing the costs and damages of a war that continues to pose a moral challenge to the rest of the world, a Peabody Award goes to CNN.

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http://www.mediaite.com/

Even as Election Dominates Cable, Bravo CNN for Critical Reporting From Syria

by J.D. Durkin | 1:38 pm, March 18th, 2016

… Major kudos are due to CNN for its recent coverage of the harrowing Syrian Civil War and the work of Clarissa Ward, the network’s Senior International Correspondent. CNN has given significant airtime and clearly devoted resources to Ward’s most recent trip to, quite literally, the frontlines of terror.  … Ward believes that this most recent trip along with her producer Salma Abdelaziz marked the first time in a year-and-a-half that any Western journalist had covered the calamitous developments on the ground. … All elements of the CNN enterprise have championed Ward’s work with prime placement, including digital and social media platforms. Ward’s Facebook Live discussion this week reached 1.7 million viewers alone.

It’s a bold and admirable programming move. … As Ward told me, the devastation for the Syrian people is far from over, and her role covering the crisis will likely continue until a specific, clear objective is reached:

“Really it comes down to one key demand,” Ward told me. “President Bashar al-Assad must step down. For the people on the ground, it’s a dealbreaker.” [My note: repeated polling throughout Syria by U.S.-and-allied polling organizations shows that over 50% of Syrians want Bashar al-Assad to remain as the President and that 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. for the tens of thousands of foreign jihadists who have invaded Syria to oust and replace him. However, those same polls also show that some areas in Syria support the jihadists and want Assad ousted. But, in any case, Ward’s assertion is rabidly false, that: “President Bashar al-Assad must step down. For the people on the ground, it’s a dealbreaker.” Furthermore, twice in one day, the Secretary General of the U.N., Ban ki-Moon, rebuked this U.S. position and he said The future of Assad must be determined by the Syrian people” and not by the U.S. or any other foreign government dictating Assad be removed from power.]

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http://www.thewrap.com/why-

Why CNN’s Clarissa Ward May Be the Biggest Badass in Cable News

“Your body responds with this surge of adrenaline, shock and fear,” the war correspondent says of getting caught in an airstrike

Brian Flood | April 10, 2016 @ 1:43 PM

CNN’s Clarissa Ward recently traveled undercover to a rebel-held area of Syria, where she witnessed 11 people die in an airstrike, but she didn’t miss a beat and reported on the chaos as it unfolded. …

Ward, filmmaker Bilal Abdul Kareem and producer Salma Abdelaziz were filming at the top of a hill when the airstrikes hit and the plume of smoke was visible in the background of her video. Instead of taking shelter, they immediately jumped in a car and headed toward the devastation. …

“It’s so shocking on a physical level. Your body responds with this surge of adrenaline, shock and fear. It all kind of collides in one,” Ward said.

For that kind of reporting, the 36-year-old Yale graduate has already won just about every journalism award out there — Peabody, Emmy, DuPont, Murrow and a Royal Television Society award with CNN’s coverage of the Paris attacks last November. In November, she will be honored with the International Center for Journalists’ Excellence in International Reporting Award. …

As Maddox said, “One of the reasons CNN hired Clarissa is because she’s an incredibly talented journalist who is committed to telling stories the world needs to know.”

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https://www.facebook.com/

Bilal Abdul Kareem

June 16 [2017] at 12:33pm ·

Piece I filmed w/CNN (Undercover in Syria) won the prestigious Overseas Press Club & Peabody awards but CNN “forgot” to mention me. High respects to CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward for mentioning me even if CNN didn’t! Alhamdo lilaah I got another award from some good hearted Syrians that’s worth more than those put together. Check it out!

15K Views

VIDEO:

“You know, there was a piece that I did, along with other members of OG and staff, called Undercover in Syria. This was with CNN, and their correspondent Clarissa Ward, which I have big-time respect for, big-time respect, as a journalist, and as a person. Now, this Undercover in Syria — you can google it — won the prestigious Peabody Award, and it won the prestigious Overseas Press Club award, which are basically the highest awards in journalism!”

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[NOTE: The following excerpts, from AlterNet, cut down a 4,366-word news-report about Bilal Abdul Kareem, to a still lengthy 1,669 words. Though that’s long, this is a sensationally good news-report; and, even including here these 1,669 words from it, all of the 3,847 words of excerpts taken together are still significantly shorter than the entirety of that single AlterNet news-report, which is far the best and most truthful of the articles that are excerpted here:]

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http://www.alternet.org/world/

Bilal Abdul Kareem, Prominent U.S. ‘Journalist’ in Syria, Serves as Mouthpiece for Violent Extremists

A closer look at Bilal Abdul Kareem’s body of work reveals an established record of creating sectarian propaganda for extremist Syrian rebels.

By Ben Norton / AlterNet December 29, 2016, 4:54 PM GMT

During the final days of rebel control over the eastern areas of Aleppo, the Western media depended almost entirely on a handful of English-speaking, self-described activists to relay news of the situation to a captivated public. These figures served a dual purpose, acting as spokespeople for the beleaguered Syrian opposition while deflecting attention from armed insurgents dominated by extreme Islamists. Nestled among them was an American, Bilal Abdul Kareem, who may be one of the most remarkable characters of the Syrian civil war. The uncritical promotion and reflexive praise this character has received from a variety of U.S. media outlets raises serious questions about the coverage of a conflict that is often presented as a one-sided slaughter at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies. …

Abdul Kareem has helped produce a series for CNN, and has also produced reports with the U.K.’s Channel 4, the BBC and Skynews. He has written for Al Jazeera and has been featured in segments on an array of major media outlets. He even participated in a panel discussion at the [neoconservative, pro-invade-anywhere] Brookings Doha Center alongside the extremely hawkishSyria analyst Charles Lister, titled “Syria and Iraq: The Future Prospects of Jihadism.”

Yet what these media outlets and institutions have not disclosed about Abdul Kareem is that he has a long and established record of creating what is essentially propaganda for extremist groups in Syria. Abdul Kareem has conducted dozens of glowing interviews with militants from extremist groups, including Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate and its hardline allies. Worse, he appears to have expressed support for Anwar Al-Awlaki, the extremist preacher credited with inspiring multiple attacks, including the mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base. (Abdul Kareem did not respond to multiple requests for comment from AlterNet for this article.)

AlterNet reviewed scores of Abdul Kareem’s videos, and in not one did he address the atrocities any of the ultra-sectarian Islamist groups have carried out against civilians, minorities in particular. …

Not only has Abdul Kareem consistently facilitated the dissemination of his guests’ extreme views, he even gives them opportunities to call on viewers around the world to join them in their fight in Syria. …

Abdul Kareem makes it clear that he opposes democracy in Syria, claiming such a system is “alien” to the Syrian people whereas “a governing style of Islam is something that is familiar to them.” …

Abdul Kareem defends the extremist rebel group Ahrar al-Sham. … On his website, Abdul Kareem laments that the hard-line Islamist group “has been getting a bit of a bad reputation as of late for some of their political stances,” and stresses, “this Islamic revolution would not be where it is today without Ahrar Asham.”

Ahrar al-Sham has collaborated with and fought alongside Syrian al-Qaeda. It has engaged in sectarian attacks on civilians, such as the killing and kidnapping of Alawite [Shia] women and children in the village of Zara. Amnesty International also documented how Ahrar al-Sham and the Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda have destroyed churches and confiscated the homes and stolen the belongings of Christian Syrians. Christians in the major rebel-held city of Idlib reported being told they must convert or leave. …

One of the first videos Abdul Kareem released on his Facebook page is an interview with a fighter from Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria’s arm of al-Qaeda. It was filmed in early August 2015 at the frontline of fighting between the extremist group and secular, leftist Kurdish fighters. …

The first long-form interview Abdul Kareem published to his Facebook page is an August 2015 discussion with Abu Firas al-Suri, a leader of Jabhat al-Nusra. …

“Our mission is guiding the people, taking them by the hand and helping them so we all are able to achieve the supremacy of the sharia of Allah on Earth. And our mission in Syria is a part of that mission,” Abu Firas proclaimed. He added, “Our goals are not limited only to Syria, however our current battle is in Syria.”

The only criticisms Abdul Kareem levied at the al-Qaeda leader in his interview were from the perspective of those who were even more radical. “Your group now controls large territories,” Abdul Kareem noted, “but some criticize you saying that you don’t apply the Islamic Sharia.” …

Abdul Kareem also invited Abu Firas to talk about the social services al-Nusra provides to people in Syria. Abu Firas, who associated himself with al-Qaeda in the interview, said they offer medical services, education, road repair, water delivery, houses and electricity.

Although Jabhat al-Nusra is an enemy of ISIS, Abu Firas stressed on Abdul Kareem’s video program, “We didn’t initiate fighting or criticising ISIS.” He continued, “As for fighting them, we’re not keen to fight them; we’re not keen to fight anyone who’s not an obstacle facing Islam.”

“We didn’t choose to oppose ISIS militarily or even politically,” Abu Firas explained. …

Demonizing Shia Muslims

On June 17, Bilal Abdul Kareem published a high-quality animated trailer for an upcoming episode of “Face the Truth” that promised to reveal who Shia Muslims truly are. “The Syrian crisis has quickly become a sectarian war between Sunnis-Shiite-Alawites,” he claimed in his Facebook post. Abdul Kareem implied that Shia might not actually be Muslims, writing, “Are they all just Muslims fighting one another? Or do their beliefs say otherwise?”

Three days later, Abdul Kareem published a lengthy interview with the ultra-sectarian Sunni preacher Abdur Razaaq Mahdi, in a video combatively titled “Sunnis vs Shia’.” …

Mahdi deplores Alawites as “Nusayri” unbelievers. “Oh Allah, destroy the Alawites and those who ally with them from the thugs, the Shia, the Russians, the Iranians!” he proclaims in the video. “Kill them all! …

Recruiting foreign fighters

Abdul Kareem’s interview with the Syria-based Saudi warlord Abdallah al-Muhaysini might be the most disturbing instance of promoting violent extremism. …

Al-Muhaysini continued claiming, “The war in Syria or jihad in Syria, today we’re in jihad against Shia, Alawites and Khawarij.” …

“Does that mean I should leave my family and everything I studied at university?” Naturally, al-Muhaysini replied in the affirmative, insisting it is a true believer’s duty, and they will be rewarded for it.

“Read the six rewards Allah gives to the martyr and you will forget everything,” al-Muhaysini countered. …

Opposing democracy

… In an interview posted in May, Abdul Kareem gave an Islamist rebel a platform to condemn democracy and instead argue for the importance of creating a theocratic society in Syria.

“Jihad is our way and pride,” Abu Osama al-Shawkani insisted in the video. “Democracy is ungratefulness.” He added, “Secularism is not our way.”

Abdul Kareem’s guest argued that experiments at implementing democracy in Algeria and Egypt “just failed.” He even went out of his way to pit Islam, the religion of 1.7 billion people, against such a form of governance.

They “will never accept applying Islam through democracy, and the one who says that he wants democracy doesn’t understand,” al-Shawkani insisted. Democracy “is a method against Allah’s method.” Abdul Kareem concluded the interview telling al-Shawkani, “May Allah reward you, brother.”

Abdul Kareem does not hide this extreme sectarianism and opposition to democracy; these views pervade his videos and are visible on his Facebook page. But in their apparent zeal to cultivate a pro-rebel narrative, major media outlets have consistently failed to acknowledge this fact.

Media coverage

Despite his ties to extremist groups, a vast array of influential media outlets have relied on Bilal Abdul Kareem’s reporting from Aleppo, and have treated it as reputable.

CNN, for which Abdul Kareem helped produce a series of reports alongside the international correspondent Clarissa Ward, interviewed Abdul Kareem on Dec. 13 for a segment on the Syrian government’s recapture of rebel-held eastern Aleppo. CNN’s Hala Gorani described him simply as an “independent journalist,” without any other background information or context.

Abdul Kareem told Gorani, “I don’t think that anybody here is happy with the way things have turned out.” He also claimed civilians do not want to go to government-held western Aleppo. In reality, manyinterviews with former residents of eastern Aleppo who escaped to the government-controlled western side revealed that rebels shot at them. The U.N. has also said rebels obstructed civilians from leaving. …

Even left-leaning websites that traditionally criticize corporate media outlets for toeing the party line have been derelict. Truthout ran an article that cited Abdul Kareem’s castigation of Turkey and Gulf regimes, simply identifying him as a “journalist.”

The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain likewise gave a substantial platform to Abdul Kareem back in June, applauding him for providing “a unique perspective on the conflict in Syria.” …

On the Ground News and helpers

In 2015, Abdul Kareem supplemented his interview program “Face the Truth” by launching On the Ground News, an outlet that features more traditional journalistic reports from inside rebel-held areas in Syria.

On the Ground News saw a marked increase in production quality, with videos accompanied by slick animations and graphic design. In some, Abdul Kareem could be seen seated in front of a green screen, declaring that he was broadcasting from “our studios.” Where On the Ground News gets its funding from is not clear and, as mentioned, Abdul Kareem did not respond to AlterNet’s requests. …

Applauding the Fort Hood shooter

In 2009, two years before the Syrian civil war erupted, Abdul Kareem composed a post in a Google group for expats in Dubai that endorsed an article by an extremist preacher who heroized the gunman who had just carried out a mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. …

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In closing:

A series of three articles that I did for the Strategic Culture Foundation, and which was subsequently published together in one article at the Signs of Our Times website, describes the U.S. government’s support for Al Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) ever since at least 2012, America’s assisting Al Qaeda, and working with Al Qaeda’s royal Saudi, Qatari and UAE funders, to overthrow Syria’s government — using U.S.-Saudi-backed jihadists to topple and replace yet another Russia-allied head-of-state. The U.S. government is pro-jihadist because those jihadists are ‘our’ boots-on-the-ground, waging war, as ‘our’ proxies, against Russia. And, America’s ‘news’ media cheer this rampant butchery on, and even award ‘journalism’ prizes to its slickest propagandists, who pour forth on TV and at ‘journalism’ awards ceremonies, jerking tears from the gulls. This also explains how it can be that, as Gallup headlined on 19 June 2017, “George W. Bush and Barack Obama Both Popular in Retirement”. Democracy is impossible in such a country, just as it was in the novel 1984.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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