Propaganda and the Media: Part 1 – Introduction

May 10, 2021

By Larry Romanoff for The Saker Blog, May 10, 2021

China Daily - Unmasking Hypocrisy and Propaganda -- Western Media Unlocked Episode 3 | Facebook

Note to Readers:

For a period of about ten years, I operated a website of political commentary that contained thousands of articles, many of which were content from various media, but many being my own work. That website experienced occasional but persistent DDOS and other attacks by forces unknown

Some years ago, I published on that website a three-page article on the Western media similar in content to the media series I am presenting here. Of all my written work, only this one article was under constant attack. Most often, the pages wouldn’t load properly, preventing readers from seeing the full contents and preventing them from clicking through to the following pages. It was clear I had attracted the attention of someone who preferred to not have this information in the public realm.

A short while ago, I wrote an article titled, A Search for Truth and Understanding. It provides an excellent lead-in to this series and I suggest you read it. It isn’t long. (1)

When I arrived in China the news reporting format was one of the first things to draw my attention. There was something different, unusual; the reporting seemed somehow stilted, a bit dry or reserved, perhaps cautious. Reserve and caution are of course Chinese tradition, but  I had difficulty assessing it. My first thought was that perhaps the government controlled not only content but method – the way news was reported.

But it slowly dawned on me that the unusual aspect was simply that I was seeing news without commentary – a simple chronology of events. I had become so inured to the rampant opinion-based journalism in North America that the absence of this in China made articles seem somehow barren and empty. But they weren’t empty of news; they were empty of the opinions, biases, propaganda, conjectures and moral judgments that in the West are always inextricably mixed with fact. Looking at most Western newspapers today, and certainly on topics related to politics, capitalism, religion or US imperialism, seemingly every article contains 3 facts, 4 conjectures, 2 false hypotheses, 6 moral judgments, 12 baseless opinions and at least 6 unfounded accusations, all following a coherent agenda. It is impossible to find honest reporting in America’s mainstream media today – and indeed in all the Western media, the reported “news” being little more than an ideology surge, journalism having openly become nothing more than perception management for imperialism or political power.

The US and Canada, and primarily all English-speaking countries, once had factual news reporting. But with competition for readers or viewers, the media began adding what they called ‘color’ to the news, additional information intended to make a news story more interesting, reporting for e.g., that someone in the news had a son who was an Olympic athlete; not related directly to the story, but adding human interest. The trouble with color is that there isn’t very much of it, and the media wasted no time replacing it with commentary, essentially editorialising news with ideological viewpoints.

Of course, the Western governments and the media were well-versed in Bernays’ clandestine propaganda theories, but by the 1980s ‘clandestine’ was no longer operative and even subtlety had been abandoned, ideology being not only ubiquitous but in the open. With the English media today, there is no longer any separation of fact and opinion. This is so true that many articles contain no news other than an oblique reference to some past event, and consist entirely of ideological editorialising, in fact heavily biased op-ed pieces providing primarily a political interpretation the elites want us to adopt, creating abuses of every description. Americans, Canadians, Brits and Aussies have now for two generations been exposed to this deceitful reporting and are no longer aware of the extensive propagandising even though it no longer remains hidden.

As someone wrote so accurately: “Traditional journalistic news room culture determines the basic nature of a story before the facts are assembled.”

“A young reporter writes an expose, but the editor says, “I don’t think we’re going to run that.” The second time the reporter goes to her editor, the editor says, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” She doesn’t research and write the story. The third time the reporter has an idea. But she doesn’t go to her editor. The fourth time she doesn’t get the idea.” – Nicholas Johnson, former FCC commissioner (2)

It is true that we now have a daily stream of fabricated news. Some of it is completely fabricated in the sense that there was no newsworthy event that occurred, but where a few small facts from a topic of current interest are used to provide an excuse for political editorials. Most of it is driven by a political/capitalist ideology promulgated with a startling lack of regard for truth, using badly twisted interpretations of a few facts to spin an entirely false story. Journalistic integrity has all but disappeared from the Western countries. And indeed it is much worse than this, because a great deal of our “news” is in reality totally fabricated, with the requisite faked video and audio, misleading headlines, twisted information and bald outright lies. I am referring here to actual fabricated concoctions – invented ‘news’ – things that never happened, or that didn’t occur at all in the way they are presented. And we aren’t talking about ‘color’ or ‘bias’ here; we’re speaking of actually fabricating an event and making firm statements that are knowingly false. I will provide some typical – and outrageous – examples. You can begin with this story of Jessica Lynch and another of Osama bin Laden. (3) (4)

For most of us, it seems incredible that a news story could possibly be a fiction. We are apparently unable to accept that our government and media would actually lie. But lie, they do. Several years ago, CNN was sued by one of their news anchors for being ordered to lie in the newscasts. CNN won the case. They did not deny ordering the news anchor to lie. Their defense was based simply on the position that American news media have “no obligation to tell the truth”. In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States. FOX asserted that there were no written rules against distorting news in the media, arguing that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute a news anchor’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story; they simply maintained that it was their right to do so. (5) In these cases, and in others, the position of the US courts implied that First Amendment rights belong to the few individuals who own and/or control the entire media landscape, a kind of shield protecting their vast propagandising campaign.

We have come to the point where Western media are practicing a kind of psychological warfare. “We all know that our State Department, the Pentagon, and the White House have brazenly proclaimed that they have the right and the power to manage the news, to tell us not the truth but what they want us to believe.” – Myron Fagan (6)

This is a large and complex topic, but let’s begin with something simple. Since we are indeed being propagandised by our own media on a daily basis, how do we recognise what is happening to us? How do we distinguish propaganda? How do we separate truth from lies? What are the main things to look for?

1.Atrocity tales.

The first is what some people today call “atrocity porn”, in fact violent pornographic tales of events that have never occurred. For this, you can recall my comments in an earlier Propaganda article on the recommendations of Bernays and Lippman that the best way to create hate and anger towards a people is to fabricate atrocity tales. The Germans having tubs full of Jewish eyeballs, of using Jewish fat to make soap and industrial lubricants, of skewering babies and raping nuns. (7) We progressed to Saddam Hussein having WMDs ready to launch, his using wood shredders to eliminate his political opponents, of gassing millions of Kurds and burying them in mass graves, of his soldiers tossing babies out of incubators.

We had Khadaffi issuing Viagra to his soldiers, enabling them to rape more women. And we had “proof” of this, in the woman who did a survey (during a war) of abused women. 1,300 questionnaires sent out, 1,200 returned and all 1,200 women claimed to have been raped. When the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch tracked down the woman and asked to interview some of the victims, well the woman had unfortunately “lost touch” with all of them. After all, there’s a war on.

We had Bashar al-Assad in Syria gassing his people with chlorine. In the end, no evidence – no evidence – was ever discovered to substantiate any of these claims, but it was too late; the countries had already been attacked and destroyed.

Today we have the ‘genocide’ in China’s Xinjiang, the ‘concentration camps’ imprisoning millions in forced labor, and with unlimited forced sterilisations, the forced extermination of the Uigur language, the destruction of Moslem temples and graveyards and much more. In fact, the only thing happening in Xinjiang is the Chinese government’s astonishing success in de-radicalising hundreds of thousands of (Western-trained) potential terrorists, replacing religious extremism with gainful employment. We have Pompeo’s “proof” that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab. Again, no evidence has ever been presented to substantiate any of these claims; as always, idle claims are equated to evidence.

2. Hate literature

Almost without exception, anything leading you to form a negative opinion of (usually) a country or its people, is propaganda, normally to build support for outrageous political action or in preparation for the next war. You need think only of the constant stream of negative news items about Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, formerly Iraq and Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba . . . To the extent possible, atrocity tales (1) are part of this media onslaught.

3.Framing

This is one of the more insidious tools of propaganda – instructing us ‘how to think’ about a particular event. The invasion and destruction of Iraq were termed by the military and in the media as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. People who are genuinely concerned about contamination and dangerous side-effects of vaccines are termed “Vaccination terrorists”. When Radio Free Europe started broadcasting its lies about the East in 1950, people were asked to donate “truth dollars” to fight communism, a bit like sending “freedom fighters” to Libya and Syria. As George Carlin said, “If fire fighters fight fires, what do America’s freedom fighters fight?” Hong Kong’s terrorists are defined in the media as “democracy protestors” – who, in one university lab alone, had created more than 10,000 petrol bombs which were used on government buildings and police stations (and on the police themselves), and who poured gasoline on a man and set him on fire. (8) In all these cases, the first step is to provide a useful propaganda definition which, if adopted by the public, eliminates independent thought in one swoop.

4.Flooding the Media

If you think back to recent world events, even very major items like the destruction of Japan’s Fukushima reactor and the leakage of vast amounts of radioactivity into the Pacific, grab the headlines for only a short time, then disappear. Most events are ‘news’ for only a day or two. But whenever we see an item recurring repeatedly in the media for weeks and months, and even sometimes for years, this is a 100% sign that we are being propagandised and that the media flow will not cease until polls tell our masters that a majority of the population has accepted the position being promoted or that the political pressure has achieved its desired result.

One such occurrence was the exchange value of China’s RMB. You may recall that when Japan was in a competitive position similar to China 40 years ago, the US forced the Plaza Accord onto Japan, revaluing the currency upward by nearly 300%, destroying the economy and eliminating Japan as a contender. The same was planned for China, led by Paul Krugman, the NYT’s Renminbi Rambo, screaming that China needed to revalue its currency by “at least 25% to 40%”. These stories of ‘China cheating’ on its currency and the necessary 40% revaluation occurring at least weekly in the Western media and the US Congress for perhaps ten years. But in fact, China’s currency had always traded in an appropriate range, as has been proven by subsequent events, and the Chinese government did not bow to the media and political pressure.

Today’s stories of China’s Xinjiang, yesterday’s stories of the ‘horrors’ of ZIKA, and more. One of the more noticeable of these is the new religion of “sexual preferences” which has been hyped in the media non-stop to the extent that few politicians would have the courage (or the death wish) to refuse participation in a Gay Pride parade. The power of propaganda. (9)

China’s Huawei is another such item, garnering far more media attention than an actual circumstance would require, and with good reason. Huawei has been in the US, Canada, and many other nations during G1, G2, G3 and G4, and never a hint of a suggestion of espionage or any threat to ‘national security’, so what happened suddenly with G5? You may care to read this, to understand the details. (10)

5.Changing Your Values

Anything suggesting you alter your moral values especially sexual, or on abortion, assisted death, pornography, immigration, family values, today’s Western white trash. In this category we have had an enormous volume on all of these topics. I would include here a recent NYT article freeing corporate executives from responsibility for all crimes including negligent manslaughter (11) (12), the movie Pretty Woman, and the flood referred to above on our new sexual perversions presented as “preferences”.

6.Hit Pieces

Whenever you see an author or a publication being trashed in the media, you know there is something they don’t want you to know. The best is to go there immediately and find out what that is. Almost invariably, whenever people are being demonised, you know that’s propaganda; you are being indoctrinated to avoid information they don’t want you to have.

When James Bacque (12) (13) published his historically-surprising works of the millions of Germans killed in American concentration camps in Europe in the years following the end of the war, (14) he was bitterly excoriated in the North American media, his research being derided as “worse than useless” even though he’d relied entirely on US military records and the introduction to his books was written by a senior US military officer. His work was denounced as “a deeply-flawed book” (15). Someone didn’t want Americans to know, while Bacque’s books have been translated into about 15 languages and in Europe he is widely admired as an historian of consequence.

When the President of Tanzania derided Western vaccines for COVID-19 and claimed Tanzania would refuse to participate in the global vaccine money-making machine, the UK Guardian published an astonishing article stating that “this man must be removed” from his office (16). A short while later, Magufuli mysteriously collapsed on a public stage and was pronounced dead, the Guardian writing a dozen or more articles celebrating the event. It was a surprise, to say the least, that the Guardian would have any interest in such a minor person and item. Magufuli was the same man who denounced the American virus tests, claiming a goat and a papaya tested positive. (17) (18)

The same is true of Henry Ford’s series of articles on The International Jew. (19) (20) This has for more than 100 years been denounced in vicious terms as ‘anti-Semitic rants’ but, on reading them, we are surprised to discover they are no such thing and that Ford in many instances praised the Jews for their talents. But the articles contain information that some people don’t want widespread in the public domain and, the best defense being a good offense, the attacks are intended to pre-empt examination.

7.Confusion of Information

Whenever a media propaganda topic arises and contrary opinions and conclusions are leaking into the public realm, we invariably see a multitude of articles creating floods of extraneous information that serve only to create confusion in the public mind and prevent rational thought and conclusions. Often, this flood of unwelcome information is used to direct public thought in wrong directions and avoid if possible any focus on the core of the issue. COVID-19 is one such example, with columnists, apparently medically-qualified, proving that lockdowns are either useful or a crime against humanity, that masks will either prevent infection or starve you of oxygen and leave your children brain-dead. Or that the virus originated in either bats or pangolins or bananas, or frozen salmon, or Fort Detrick or the Wuhan university, or caves in Sichuan, and that it was unleashed either deliberately, or by accident, or by lab Ph.D’s selling the diseased animals on the street for coffee money. And at least 100 “facts” to support each of these claims.

Whenever we are reading about a serious current event and find suddenly multiple opinions and conclusions by multiple persons all apparently qualified, we know we are suffering a propaganda attack. It will never occur otherwise.

8.Fake NGOs

One common strategy for propagandists when promulgating questionable theories about events or accusations against a nation, is to produce ‘off-the-shelf’ NGOs with legitimate-sounding names as the actual author of the accusation or theory in question. So we suddenly see the “Center for Democratic Transition (CDT)” promoting “honest and accountable government” somewhere, or vicious trade agreements promoted with the support of the “Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in Washington”. And of course we have the ‘World Uigur Congress’ in Washington, created by the CIA with two people, masquerading as the only legitimate world voice of China’s millions of Xinjiang Uigurs, to say nothing of the “Tibet Government in Exile”, also created by the CIA with two people and also in Washington.

If you haven’t heard of the organisation before, it very likely did not exist before, and was created only yesterday to lend a bit of credibility to an otherwise-hapless tale.

9.Fact-Checking

You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that fact-checking is a huge worldwide industry conceived and created years ago as a powerful censorship tool, and funded with seemingly unlimited millions of dollars primarily by George Soros, the Gates Foundation, various media companies, and similar. They were never created to fact-check George Bush’s claims about Iraq WMDs, but to ‘fact-check’ you and pronounce you false when you disputed Bush’s claims.

I recently wrote a heavily-documented article on the thesis (now widely-accepted, I believe) that the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was not influenza but was instead a bacterial infection (proven and accepted) the tragic result of a misguided experiment by the Rockefeller Medical Institute of a meningitis vaccine that began at Fort Riley in the US and spread around the world not by the soldiers but by Rockefeller itself. (21) Reuters immediately conducted a ‘fact-check’ of the thesis and pronounced it false. Reuter’s evidence? Non-existent, the claim sufficing as irrefutable proof. (22) Moreover, some of their claims were completely false.

You will be surprised to learn of the tricks these fact-checkers play in producing their results, and of the actual violations and crimes (civil, at least) they will commit in pursuing their ends. To my best knowledge, there are no fact-checkers that are not part of this worldwide network. Some like to rely on sites like Snopes, but these have also been co-opted and have now become part of the propaganda chain, filling in one of the last holes in the highway of lies. As one quick example of the latter, almost everyone has seen the video of Pompeo stating “We lied, we cheated, we stole.” Snopes’ fact-check experts tell us it is only “partially true” that Pompeo said this. In simple terms, whenever any major media outlet claims that something has been fact-checked, delete this information from your consciousness because it is almost certainly false.

10.Too much of the story known in advance

There are many such examples and all should raise an extreme cautionary awareness in readers. In the event of 9-11, the full story of who, how, and why was flooding the media the next morning, while in real life there wasn’t even sufficient time to fully realise what had happened. ZIKA was another such tale, (23) as were the reports of gassings in Syria, replete with all details which were later proven to have no substantiation.

11.Negative and Unpleasant Emotions

Anything creating a negative emotional response, other than perhaps the story of a tragic death or similar. Propaganda relies heavily on emotion, often primarily fear and usually of fears you might not care to discuss openly. It also relies heavily on hate and anger, arousing feelings of injustice or horrible crimes against populations. The rule is that whenever you find a news item creating a negative emotional response in yourself, you are almost certainly being deliberately stuffed with false propaganda. Think of all the tales of Iran, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, so many nations and so many events, and yet none of those terrible things have ever been substantiated.

12.Opinion-based articles . . .

. . . with a few truths and many lies, articles that provide no detail or omit crucial details. These may be difficult for you to identify without some research of your own. I will provide some excellent examples.

13.Things that Just Don’t Make Sense

The two epidemics of UK foot and mouth disease (24) that resulted in the culling of millions of cattle and bankrupting most small farmers. “Animal Rights Activists” entered the Level-4 Military bio-weapons labs at Pirbright and Porton Down and stole thousands of liters of the deadly pathogen and spread it throughout the entire country. Alternatively, “a leaky drain” at Porton Down released a pathogen that killed cattle 500 Kms. distant – and nobody noticed. The fact that anyone attempting to penetrate a military bio-weapons lab would most likely be shot dead, was ignored, as were dozens of other facts.

“Pork Speculators” in turn obtained thousands of liters of deadly swine flu pathogen and used small drones to kill several hundred million pigs in China. No explanation as to why they would do that, nor whether they obtained the pathogen at the nearest 7-11 or at Wal-Mart, and all the rest. A Chinese scientist in the US announces he is on the verge of a great discovery (25a) as to the origin of COVID-19, but a day later this happily-married man has an argument with a gay lover who kills him and commits suicide. Discovery is lost. Two Chinese scientists working on COVID-19 fired from a government lab in Winnipeg, Canada, (25b) police involved, but no accusations, no crimes, merely a “procedural issue” which instantly disappears from the media, meaning they saw something they weren’t meant to see. Chinese medical students taking back to China samples of some “brown fluid” related to COVID-19, and arrested for ‘smuggling’ – which is usually a crime of bringing in, not of taking out.

14.Censorship

Propaganda, whether positive or negative, can be undermined if contrary views – or the truth – can be disseminated to the public at the same time, so media control  is vital to eliminate other views or prevent them from gaining traction. Death is the ultimate censorship. Ask Gary Webb, the only known example of a man committing suicide by shooting himself in the head twice. It isn’t difficult to determine if event coverage is being censored, and you can be very certain of it when even the social media de-platform you, cite you for ‘fake news’, and Google suddenly cannot remember who you are.

15.Pablum for the Masses

This is one sure way to know that you are being fed propaganda. An easy example is recurrent articles in a Canadian newspaper with titles like “What is in the COVID-19 vaccines?” (25c), articles that omit all the real concerns of real people and provide no information of value, and which specifically omit mention of aluminum and the female hormones and other contamination which have been widely-reported to be contained in these.

16.Polls

Interestingly, public polls can tell us much about the agenda underlying various propaganda campaigns. As one example, the Western media have been flooded for more than one year with anti-China hate propaganda, centered on the coronavirus but including much else.(26) We can almost sense the glee in Gallup or Pew in reporting that assaults against “Asians” have increased by 793% during the past year, since that was clearly the point of the propaganda. And this is far from the first time such has occurred; the practice began in England during the war years. You may care to read this (25).

17.You don’t know what you don’t know

Propaganda does not only involve telling you what to think and how to think, or what not to think. There is also a huge industry that ensures much news never comes to your attention so that you don’t think ‘the wrong things’ about the wrong people. One example: In 2011, a Saudi judge advertised for a doctor to perform spinal surgery on a man, for the purpose of destroying his spine and leaving him crippled for life. The man had apparently caused a traffic accident that left another man with a damaged spine and the judge determined the appropriate punishment was “an eye for an eye”. Did you read about this? No. It’s not on the agenda.

18.Propaganda Success

Lastly, here are two examples of how successful a propaganda campaign can be, with the power to have all the media onside and to crush dissenting voices. The first is the story of China’s great famine in 1959, the story propagated in Western minds attributing the blame to Mao and being rubbish in entirety. (27) The second is the real story of China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, certainly one of the greatest propaganda victories of all time. (28) The article referenced is considered the definitive work on this topic, at least in English, though the Internet gatekeepers will not permit many of the necessary photos to be reproduced on any website.

I will cover all these and more in a brief series of articles on Media Propaganda.


Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 30 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’.

His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

(1) http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/1282/

(2) http://www.nicholasjohnson.org/writing/masmedia/

(3) Fake News and “The Naked Government”: Jessica Lynch

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/618/

(4) The Death of Osama bin Laden

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/1409/

(5) https://www.projectcensored.org/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/

(6) http://usa-the-republic.com/illuminati/fagan_index.html

(7) Bernays and Propaganda – Part 2 of 5 — The Marketing of War

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/1582/

(8) https://www.rt.com/news/473115-hong-kong-man-set-on-fire/

(9) Social Change: If Greed is Good, Maybe Smoking is Gooder

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/1187/

(10) Huawei, Tik-Tok and WeChat

https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/08/huawei-tik-tok-and-wechat-august-8-2020.html

(11) https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/business/in-corporate-crimes-individual-accountability-is-elusive.html

(12) https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/business/dealbook/theprospects-for-pursuing-corporate-executives.html

(13) https://www.jamesbacque.com/

(14) https://archive.org/details/CrimesAndMerciesByJamesBacque1997

(15) https://www.positionpapers.ie/2019/06/james-bacques-other-losses-a-deeply-flawed-book/

(16) https://amp.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/feb/08/its-time-for-africa-to-rein-in-tanzanias-anti-vaxxer-president

(17) https://newspunch.com/tanzanian-president-who-questioned-covid-vaccine-found-dead/

(18) https://www.africanews.com/2021/03/26/tanzania-s-magufuli-laid-to-rest-after-mysterious-death//

(19) https://archive.org/details/TheInternationalJew_655

(20) https://educate-yourself.org/cn/The-International-Jew-Vols1-4-Henry-Ford-645pages.pdf

(21) The 1918 Rockefeller-US Army Worldwide Pandemic

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/1319/

(22) https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-vaccines-caused-1918-influe-idUSKBN21J6X2

(23) ZIKA: https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/06/larry-romanoff-zika-june-12-2020.html

(24) UK Foot and Mouth Disease

https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/06/larry-romanoff-uk-foot-and-mouth.html

(25a) https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-chinese-american-researcher-studying-virus-murdered/1831236

(25b) https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/virologists-escorted-out-of-lab-in-canada-66164

(25c) https://globalnews.ca/news/7525406/covid-vaccine-ingredients-pfizer/

(26) The Anger Campaign Against China

https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/08/blog-post_49.html

(27) China’s 1959 Famine

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/1369/

(28) Tiananmen Square: The Failure of an American-instigated 1989 Color Revolution

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/tiananmen-square-the-failure-of-an-american-instigated-1989-color-revolution/

The original source of this article is The Saker Blog

Copyright © Larry RomanoffMoon of ShanghaiBlue Moon of Shanghai, 2021

Dean O’Brien on Ukraine’s “Kill List” and on Reporting From the Donbass

May 7, 2021

Eva Bartlett

The other day I spoke with Dean O’Brien, a UK photojournalist, on his reporting from the Donbass.

With World Press Freedom Day only having recently passed, our conversation about the Ukrainian “kill list” (essentially), which includes journalists who have reported from the Donbass and/or Crimea, was appropriately timed.

Both Dean and myself are on that list, for our crimes of reporting on how Ukraine’s shelling of frontline villages is terrorizing mostly elderly civilians, destroying their homes, and is generally ignored by Western corporate media and politicians.

moi

Eva Bartlett is an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. The award rightly was given to the amazing journalist, the late Robert Parry [see his work on Consortium News]. In March 2017, she was awarded “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951). Co-recipients included: John Pilger and political analyst Thierry Meyssan. She was also the first recipient of the Serena Shim award, an honour shared with many excellent journalists since. She has visited Syria 14 times, the last time being from March to late September, 2020. All of her writings and videos on which can be found here: and here: A more detailed account of her activism and writings can be found here:

Please consider supporting Dean’s journalism:

Paypal

Patreon

Twitter

RELATED LINKS:

Ukrainian parliament speaker rejects UN call to close Mirotvorets website

Liliya Nikon Interview

Anna Tuv Interview

Under Fire from Ukraine and Misperceived by the West, The People of the DPR Share Their Stories

DPR playlist

Funding? Yes, please!

Source

April 28, 2021

moi

If you want to know about my funding, read this post I wrote some years ago. I no longer waste my time engaging one on one with people on this.

You might also read my “About me” page.

Then, kindly consider the donate button on the right side of my blog, or consider supporting me on Subscribestar.

I am nominally on Patreon, but after its censorship of colleagues, I decided to leave that platform and no longer publish there.

A big thank you to the many people over the years who have supported me! I literally couldn’t have done this without you.

Also, watch this short conversation with someone who actually worked in Canadian corporate media and knows what he is talking about.

As for those determined to find something nefarious about my writings, I write what I want to write, the end. Although, hey, suggestions are always welcome, but that doesn’t mean I will write about whatever is suggested.

Now, for those suspicious types, I would suggest investing some of your energy into looking into how CBC, BBC and other Western state media are funded and ask yourselves whether perhaps that is an indicator of why they lie all the time. Nonstop. Just lie, lie, lie, whitewash terrorismspew propaganda, lie some more…

It’s 2021, those still consuming corporate and Western state media as “news” are a lost cause.

Donate

Even as a White Helmets boss admits ‘former’ militant links, Canadian national media talks ‘Russian disinfo’

*From Clarity of Signal


-by Eva K Bartlett

Even when a high-ranking White Helmet admits that some of the ‘rescuers’ came from the ranks of Syrian militants, all he gets from Canada’s national broadcaster is unquestioning praise and concern about “Russian disinformation.”

On March 30, Carol Off, the host of As it Happens on Canada’s government-funded CBC, interviewed Montreal-based Farouq Habib, deputy general manager of the White Helmets, about the organization’s operatives and their family members evacuated to Jordan (via Israel, with Canada’s help) nearly three years ago.

At the time, Canada pledged to take in 50 White Helmets and 200 family members. Off’s focus was on 43 evacuees who still haven’t arrived in Canada.

So she asked Habib: “There are some suggestions that the Canadian security believes that these remaining White Helmet people have a connection to the insurgency, that they were militants in some way. Is there evidence of that?

Habib replied to the positive, “Regarding this particular issue, we don’t deny it at all. It’s declared and we are proud that many of the former fighters who were involved in the beginning in the war…They lay down their arms and they joined the rescue teams to rescue others...”

Militant-linked propaganda operation

The Western-funded White Helmets describe themselves as volunteer rescuers, and claim to have “saved more than 100,000 lives.” To prove – or rather, propagandize – their heroism, the group uses professionally-produced videos and social media content about their operations.

Western corporate media has been unblinkingly regurgitating their claims and content, while at the same time smearing journalists who actually went to Syria and interviewed civilians on the White Helmets. From far outside of Syria, it has instead been whitewashing the controversial, militant-linked group.

The White Helmets are not just propaganda, though. I wrote previously about their ties to terrorist and extremist groups. They have been filmed holding weapons alongside terrorists. They were seen at scenes of executions, standing over dead Syrian soldiers, and reportedly cleaning up after an execution in Daraa Governorate.

Journalists have taken testimonies of civilians who had lived under the rule of terrorists, who spoke of how the White Helmets worked alongside terrorists, numbered among them, and denied medical treatment to the people they were supposedly saving.

The White Helmets purport neutrality, but evidence – summarily dismissed by mainstream media as Russian and Syrian “disinformation” – shows they are in fact very partial – partial to militant factions.

Canada backs the White Helmets, giving at least $7.5 million and unquestioning media support.

Hence, CBC has a vested interest in reading the “hero” script on the White Helmets, instead of actually doing journalism.

No questions asked

With the above in mind, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Carol Off never veered from her script to at least doubt Habib’s claims that all of the militant-linked White Helmets have really “laid down” their weapons. Not to mention the numerous other questions a responsible journalist could have asked, like:

-How many White Helmets members formerly (cough) fought in armed groups?

-Which factions were they members of?

-Do any have blood on their hands?

-Do any currently carry weapons?

-How can you ensure that they have dropped their extremist ways and now are truly impartial and dedicated to helping all Syrian civilians?

Off could have asked any of these questions, or all of them. Instead, she went on:

Let’s remind people, the White Helmets are believed to have saved tens of thousands of lives. They were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. But at the same time, we know that Russian and and Syrian agents have conducted a disinformation smear campaign against the White Helmets. There’s been a lot of propaganda suggesting that they’re not real saviours, that they’re militants. Do you think that the Canadian officials might have been exposed to that propaganda?

…as if she never heard the part where, just a moment earlier, Habib explicitly bragged that there are “former” militants among the White Helmets – a fact that, at the very least, should arouse suspicion with those responsible for letting them cross Canada’s border.

And just like that, no hard questions asked, the interviewer went on to trumpeting the White Helmets using their own propaganda about the “Russian/Syrian disinformation campaign.

‘A few’ bad apples?

As for Off’s guest, just how neutral is Farouq al-Habib?

He was a leader of the Homs uprising against the Syrian government and a founder member of the ‘Homs Revolutionary Council.’ When jihadist commander and footballer Abdul Baset al-Sarout died in June 2019, Habib mourned his passing, lamenting his “heroism” and “honour.” Sarout not only held extremist and sectarian views, but was in a terrorist faction and pledged allegiance to ISIS.

It’s not surprising that Off chose not to probe into Habib’s history, just as she chose to ignore his admission of White Helmets’ supposedly-former militant affiliations.

As my own and other journalists’ research on the ground in Syria indicates, many White Helmets members are partial to militant or terrorist factions. They even cheered alongside and for al-Qaeda in Syria. In the rare cases of acknowledging that, media have played it down as just “a few bad apples.”

That’s not the case. Most of the apples are fully rotten. And so is the mainstream reporting.

RELATED:

Decision to bring White Helmets to Canada dangerous and criminal

Speech by Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban Political and Media Advisor Syrian Presidency At the Shiller Institute Online Conference “World at a Crossroad: Two Months in the New US Administration” March 20-21, 2021

Her Excellency Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: Reconstruction with Syrian characteristics — rebuilding a truly diverse and more secure world based on the lessons of the Syrian experience

Transcript

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban speech - Schiller Institute June 25th 2016 - YouTube
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban is a political and media advisor to President AssadYOUTUBE/SCHILLER INSTITUTE

Good morning.

Allow me first to thank the Schiller Institute, and in particular, to thank Helga Zepp-LaRouche, for inviting me to this very important conference and for allowing me to contribute to this very important panel.

But before I begin my paper, I would like to pass on a few notes that lead me to the conclusion which I would love to conclude for this panel, and for this conference at large.

One of the major problems we face in our country, is that today, Western countries approach our countries with the feeling of exceptionalism or a feeling of righteousness, that whatever Western countries see appropriate or good, should apply to our countries without any question. The first action that was taken by Western countries, when the war on Syria started, was to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria. The question is, isn’t it the job of the ambassadors to convey the reality on the ground, and to help in opening channels of communication between countries instead of closing them?

This leads me to the role of corporate media during the war on Syria. Unfortunately, most Western media rely on Al Jazeera, Qatar-funded, and Al Arabiya, Saudi-funded, to report on events in Syria, even though both channels, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, withdrew their correspondents and relied on what are called “eyewitnesses,” which could be anybody, anywhere. This applies also to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is run by one person in Coventry, U.K., Rami Abdel Rahman.

These media outlets choose to focus on what they find which fits their agenda, ignoring the reality on the ground. For example, even the terrorist acts in Tartus and Jableh recently, which claimed the lives of 200 innocent civilians, were not noticed by Western media, and certainly did not therefore evoke any Western sympathy.

What I would like to say is that the false narrative propagated about Syria was as dangerous to the Syrian people and to the safety and security of Syrians, as the acts perpetrated by terrorists, because it isolated the reality in Syria from the public understanding in the West and in the world at large, and it prevented the creation of a level of understanding between Western countries and the Syrian people about what is going on.

Terrorism and ‘Democracy’

But before we can begin to talk about reconstructing Syria, we still face the monumental challenge of eradicating terrorism in Syria, Iraq, and the region. We have to eradicate this terrorism. And when I say “we,” I do not mean the Syrians or the Iraqis alone, but I mean the world at large, because, as we have seen, in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, and lastly, the U.K., terrorists can strike anywhere in the world; it’s a cancer that can spread anywhere in the world. However, is the world, and in particular, are Western powers, doing all they can to face this danger? This is the question that I would like to ask.

Of course if we separate out what is promoted in the media and look at actions and deeds, rather than words, we see that in the case of Syria, Western countries are not doing what needs to be done to eliminate this danger, both from Syria and from the world at large. And I would like to give you one example: On December 17, 2015, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2253, under Chapter 7, which dictates stopping the financing, arming, and facilitating of terrorists into Syria. The Vienna Group, afterwards, interpreted this resolution, that it should include closing the Turkish border and not allowing armaments and finances to cross to the terrorists. On December 18, the Security Council issued Resolution 2254, which calls for a political solution in Syria.

Now, you see that the entirety of humanity focusses on 2254, without dealing with 2253, which is a logical prerequisite for 2254, that is, for finding a political solution in Syria.

The same thing can be said about humanitarian assistance. Instead of focussing on ending the war in Syria and restoring peace and security in Syria, we see that the entire corporate media is speaking about humanitarian assistance, as if this is the issue! Syria, before this war, was able to host 2 million Iraqis and to feed itself, and to export food to 84 countries in the world. It is since the 1970s that the Syrian people have adopted the motto, “We eat from what we produce, and we wear from what we manufacture,” which means that Syria does not need humanitarian help if there is peace and stability, and if the Syrian people are able to develop their crops and attend to their factories.

Today we hear a lot of talk from the Western alliance about “containing” ISIS, “limiting” ISIS; and lastly, you all heard the speech of CIA Director John Brennan, who said that we did not succeed even in limiting the influence of ISIS. Why? Because there is no real desire and wish, really, to get rid of ISIS. There were two elements: The Russian government had called on Western countries to join efforts to defeat ISIS both in Syria and Iraq, and the agreement in Vienna was that the Turkish borders should be closed. Neither of these two elements received a positive response from the United States or the Western powers. The question is, why?—if there is a real will to fight ISIS.

The other question is, that we in Syria feel that what is needed is a real will in the international community to fight terrorism and to build real bridges. When I say “real bridges,” I mean, on an equal basis, on a basis of parity. The problem with promoting “democracy”—in quotation marks—in our part of the world, is that Western countries believe that liberal democracy is the only issue, or the only copy, or the only formula that should be applied to our countries. And this is not true, because we all have different cultures.

We have different identities, we have different habits, we have different ways of life, and I can give an example: China, India, the Persian culture, Arab culture have contributed a great deal to the world, but on a human basis, and on a basis of parity. In fact, here I would like to make an important point, that the Western world believes in opening markets to the entire world, but only to export its own goods! But not to allow other countries to export to the West, on an equal basis. And every day they invent different formulas in order not to allow equal treatment—tariff constraints and other constraints.

Intellectual Silk Road

The same thing applies to politics. The concepts, values, and ideas, coming from the West should be respected and implemented in our countries, but there is no other road that takes our culture, and our values and our ethics to the West. If we need to create a world for all, if we need to create a peaceful world, if we need to create a prosperous world for all, we need to create a conceptual, intellectual concept of one world; we need to create a conceptual concept of a Silk Road. Not only an actual Silk Road, but an intellectual Silk Road. All of you know that Aleppo and Syria were extremely crucial in the ancient Silk Road that connected Asia to Europe. Syria and the Syrian people will be more than happy to be very active also in a New Silk Road and in a political, social, intellectual Silk Road that connects Asia to the West, that connects Eurasia to the West.

The other byproduct of this war on our countries, and the other byproduct of promoting only Western exceptionalism in our country, is the distortion of the image of Islam in Western eyes. Islam, like any other religion, is a religion of love, a religion of humanity. We, as Muslims, were hardly ever, if ever, addressed in our Quran as Muslims. We are addressed as “ye human beings”: We are part of the human community. And therefore, those who kill in the name of Islam, those who destroy in the name of Islam, are not Muslims at all. They have nothing to do with Islam.

We have to address the concept that the terrorists are promoting, and the lack of dialogue that the corporate media are causing, if we want to create a truly prosperous Silk Road, not only physical, but also intellectual, social, and political. And here, I would like to conclude by thanking Russia and China, who right from the beginning of the war on Syria, took four vetoes against Western attempts to try to strike Syria militarily. And Russia, and China, and Iran, continue to support the Syrian people, to try to find a political solution.

In brief, what I would like to say here is that, in order to build these Silk Roads, we have to deal with each other on an equal basis, on an equal human basis, and dealing otherwise, as superior and inferior, as white and black, as important and less important, is producing extremism, is producing racism which is striking not only in Syria, but in Brussels, in Paris, in Orlando, and last of all in the U.K. Thus, it is in the interests of humanity to think as human beings, to think of the world as truly a human village, where people live equally, and have mutual respect for each other, and deal on the basis of parity.

But this requires a huge change in the mindset of the West, that probably requires another conference, to speak not only about the very important idea launched by China, of building a Silk Road, but to speak about the intellectual, social, and political Silk Road, that thinks and deals with all of us, as human, as brothers and sisters, rather than as superior and inferior. Thus, we can build a new world, and one world, and a much better world than the one we live in. We have an obligation to our grandchildren, wherever they are born, to leave them a better world than this one in which we live now.

Thank you very much.

The Navalny Protests Charade: More Western Interference & Disinfo on Russia


 By Eva Bartlett 

IMG_4538
3
4

-Eva K Bartlett, January 30, 2021, Moscow

Western mass media and hypocritically-indignant Western representatives are again busily claiming Russian peaceful protesters have been brutalized by police in demonstrations across Russia on January 23.

The sloganeers demand the release of the unpopular petty criminal and Western flunkey, Alexei Navalny, arrested upon returning to Russia for having broken Russian law.

The CBC recently glorified him as, “a 44-year-old lawyer turned anti-corruption crusader,” while the BBC laughably referred to the felon as “President Putin’s most high-profile critic.”

Yet, Navalny at best has an insignificant modicum of popularity among Russian teens perhaps persuaded by Tiktok videos or by Soros and NED recipients’ propaganda, and otherwise from Western regime-change type pundits of the sort who have steadfastly whitewashed al-Qaeda in Syria, promoted the Venezuelan Navalny (Guaido), and generally don’t miss an opportunity to toe Washington’s line.

Mass media and Western talking heads omit Navalny’s criminal record, and his extremist views.

In his January 19, 2021, article, Finian Cunningham wrote:

“Navalny is a convicted felon, found guilty of fraud and embezzlement by a Russian court in 2014. But his jail sentence had been suspended with the condition that he report regularly to Russia’s prison authorities. A normal condition.

For nearly five months, however, he had sojourned out of the country as a de facto guest of German authorities. That’s a brazen breach of his parole conditions. And the Russian prison service was right in issuing him a warning at the end of last month that violation of his suspended jail term risked the sentence being converted into detention behind bars.

It’s a sovereign matter of Russian laws that on returning to Russia at the weekend Navalny was arrested and is now in custody awaiting court proceedings in coming weeks on whether to revoke his suspended sentence.

There are good grounds to believe the Russian blogger-cum-media-activist is funded and directed by Western intelligence services. Everything about his gadfly campaigning smacks of orchestration as an agent provocateur.

The way that Navalny has coordinated closely with Western media and intelligence outfits like Bellingcat to peddle the story that he was allegedly poisoned with Soviet nerve agent Novichok is strong evidence of his provocateur function. And the way that Western media routinely “report” the alleged poisoning as if it is fact is demonstration of how such media are totally dominated by propaganda service to geopolitical agenda.

When Navalny was treated in a Russian hospital after apparently becoming suddenly ill on August 20 onboard a flight to Moscow from Siberia, the doctors found no poisons in his system. The medics said the apparent illness was due to metabolic shock from possible misuse of his own medicines for diabetes, depression and perhaps excess alcohol.

Conspicuously, days later after he was airlifted for further hospital treatment in Berlin, then the German authorities announced they had detected poisoning with nerve agent.

No evidence has ever been presented by the German authorities or other NATO laboratories in such a way that is independently verifiable.

Russia has been denied access to any of their alleged data in order to verify, yet Moscow is condemned for not carrying out a criminal investigation into the alleged poisoning….”

Off Guardian, on January 22, highlighted the timing around Navalny’s return to Russia and the new Biden administration, noting:

“…three days before Biden’s inauguration, Alexei Navalny (having supposedly only just survived the poison the FSB placed “in his underpants”), returned to Russia. Where he was promptly arrested for violating the terms of his bail.

He knew he would be arrested if he returned to Russia, so his doing so was pure theatre. That fact is only underlined by the media’s reaction to his 30 day jail sentence.

Yes, that’s thirty DAYS, not years. He’ll be out before spring. Even if he’s convicted of the numerous charges of embezzlement and fraud, he faces only 3 years in prison.

Nevertheless, already the familiar Russia-baiters in the media are comparing him to Nelson Mandela.

…On the same day as Biden’s inauguration, the European Parliament announced that Russia should be punished for arresting Navalny, by having the Nordstream 2 pipeline project closed down. (Closing this pipeline down would open up the European market to buy US gas, instead of Russia. This is a complete coincidence).

It doesn’t stop there, already Western pundits and Russian “celebrities” are trying to encourage street protests in support of Alexei Navalny…”

It has to be stressed that Navalny does not have any strong support to speak of in Russia, contrary to screaming Western headlines.

A September 2, 2020, Off Guardian article noted:

“Alexei Navalny has never held any elected office, his political party doesn’t have a single MP in the Duma, and he polls at roughly 2% support with the Russian people.”

The article went on to note the utter absurdities of the claims that Russia had poisoned Navalny. It and  another Off Guardian article are excellent counters to the evidence-free claims emanating from Western hypocrites.

That the January 23 protests occurred speaks more to Western interference in Russian affairs, with the clear goal of fomenting unrest in Russia, than any massive support for a failed, would-be, opposition figure.

Police Brutality?

On the day of the protests, I went to Pushkinskaya Square, the site of the planned Moscow pro-Navalny protest, arriving two hours before the 2 pm start time, and standing roughly five hours in the cold until after police had slowly cleared most of the square.

Arriving by metro just after 12 noon, I waited for the protest to begin and scrolled Twitter to see what was being said about the matter.

In doing so, I came across a 12:16 pm tweet by BBC correspondent Kriszta Satori claiming that the police had sealed all of the metro exits into Pushkin square nearly two hours prior to the unsanctioned protest (though she even got the protest start time wrong seemingly believing the protest started at 1 pm).

As I had just arrived to the square by metro, I knew the BBC correspondent, a “senior broadcast journalist with over 30 years of experience” (!), was lying, unsurprisingly.

So, I went back down into the metro, filming the doors where people exited the metro proper into the underground passages, and then filming two of the open exits into the square, with more people arriving via those non-closed exits.

143341909_425747008643522_5902116532644785205_n
143391102_271256141095607_1274013152051985318_n
143432300_174093434083326_3225767717599537812_n

Video 1.  Video 2.  Video 3.

Back again in Pushkinskaya Square, waiting in the cold for the protest start, I observed the growing crowd. It pretty well matched how author and political commentator Dmitry Orlov later described the protest composition in St. Petersburg:

“Here in St. P. about 3000 people showed up to demonstrate yesterday. For a city of 5 million that’s around 0.06% of the population.

Of these, at least 1000 were bloggers, journalists and photographers there to cover the event; at least 500 were undercover police dressed as protesters and there to prevent outbreaks of violence; another 300 or so were street fighters paid through USAid, NED, various Soros-funded NGOs and other foreign sources; another 300-400 were underage schoolkids who showed up because they were told there would be a party by TikTok and YouTube videos; some of the rest were the usual disgruntled idiots who always show up for any sort of protest; and the rest were just random gawkers who had nothing to do on a Saturday.

So, is Navalny really an “Oppositionsführer”, as the Germans insist on calling him? Draw your own conclusions.”

Noting his overview was conjecture, not hard data, Orlov added:

“I put the picture together by listening to Russian cops grouse about not getting the weekend off. The only difference between St. P in Moscow is that in Moscow the crowd was 5k instead 3k, adding up to 0.04% of the population rather than 0.06%.”

The crowd I saw in Pushkinskaya Square indeed was a sea of young self-appointed “citizen journalists”/social media activists, in fluorescent vests, presumably to appear as accredited press, and some older protesters. Many of those not filming or taking selfie videos held red placards which had been handed out to participants (I saw one young man doing so).

Not that that is uncommon in protests anywhere: organizers often bring signs and flags for protesters to hold.

But this had the stink of a Soros-type would-be colour revolution.

Forgive my cynicism, when the West has been for ages attempting to foment unrest in Russia, and Soros and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) pour money into programs about “Supporting Democratic Institutions” “Leadership Training”, “Media for Civil Society”, “Amplifying Independent Media”, “Independent Video Reporting”…and other colour revolution type interference in Russian affairs.

Before the protest officially began, police milled about, people in the square not visibly perturbed by their presence as they stood nonchalantly close by. Many of the citizen journalists/vest wearers angled to get photos of footage of police in the square. This is something I noticed before the start of an August 10, 2019 protest I observed. More on that later.

Footage I took on August 10, 2019 protest.

At 2 pm (on January 23), authorities began broadcasting a recording announcing the protest was illegal and that people should leave. Beyond that, police took no immediate measures to clear the square.

The protest was held without permission, thus illegal under Russian law. This is not particular to Russia, in most Western countries we need permission to hold protests and are not allowed off the protest route, are flanked by heavy police presence.

That’s if we are allowed to protest, which in the good old democratic West has become illegal in many countries under absurd and unnecessary “Covid measures”. But let’s not talk about that…

It was well over 1.5 hours of lackluster protesting—periodic bouts of politically-unsophisticated and uninspired chanting—before the first police movements to clear the square, which amounted to police locking arms and walking forward, to push people back.

Even then, after the first push it still took until around 4pm before most of Pushkinskaya Square was emptied of protesters.

*Around 4pm, most of Pushkinskaya Square cleared.

Were Israeli or Western tactics used, the square would have emptied fairly quickly under a barrage of tear gas, rubber and live bullets, stun grenades, pepper spray, water canons…much of which I’m familiar with from protests against Israeli land theft and protests against the Israeli siege on Gaza.

Here is a compilation I put together of scenes before and during the protest. Note the intervals when an area has been cleared. Police & protesters stand around in close proximity to one another, police not “attacking” protesters, protesters standing close enough to police to indicate they don’t actually fear “police brutality”.

Watch the body language, laughter even, of some of the protesters. Is that normal in a situation where one fears getting brutalized?  https://www.youtube.com/embed/etqRZOeX0ks?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

In the August 10, 2019 after-protest I observed (the first was legal, the second was not), when police were clearing the square in Kitai Gorod, the protesters and those filming were so unafraid they also were laughing. Even people being arrested were laughing. Not generally a common reaction to fear of being beaten by police.

At the time, I asked a friend from Moscow about this:

“They are fully aware the police won’t do anything extreme unless they themselves turn to something extreme.”

This person also gave me some personal insight:

“Some of them are paid to protest and antagonize. When I was a student in 2001, there were people who offered something like $15-20 to protest for 2-3 hours in front of the State Duma holding whatever banner they give you.”

Kitai Gorod, August 10, 2019
Kitai Gorod, August 10, 2019

In some localized incidents, police violence apparently did occur in protests on January 23—often, if not usually, with a back story:

-Like the police man who apologized to a woman he had kicked, saying:

“I am sincerely, deeply sorry, ma’am. Please believe me, the situation was very difficult for us. Literally, five minutes before, they poured liquid over my helmet, my visor was still fogged over. I swear to you, when I understood what happened, I was in shock, it’s a tragedy.”

APOL1
apol2


-Or the scene of Russian police beating protesters with batons, where, if you slow down the footage as I did, you can see protesters (or provocateurs) attacking the police first:

However, what I saw in Moscow last week, and also in Moscow on August 10, 2019, in no way merited the screeching and finger wagging of Western pundits and media.

Where Is The Media Outrage And Tears For Western Police Brutality?

I could write pages about Western police brutality against protesters, but for the sake of brevity will give only a few examples.

*From Vanessa Beeley’s article on police brutality against Yellow Vests protesters

In France, yellow vest protesters were routinely met with police brutality, including the use of weapons prohibited for crowd-control operations, resulting in 10s of protesters losing an eye, others losing a hand, and many deaths.

In her February 2019 article on the Gilet Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protests, Vanessa Beeley wrote of:

“…19 GJs who have lost an eye to the “sub-lethal” LBD40 bullet launcher that is being liberally used by security forces during GJ protests across France. The LBD40 is the evolution of the notorious “flashball bullet,” 10 times the velocity of a paintball. The modern LBD40 launcher is a very accurate instrument with a “red-dot” laser pointer sight that ensures pinpoint targeting of civilians.”

…While it is classified as a “sub-lethal” weapon, when used in violation of police regulations, at close range and in unstable crowd environments, it is lethal and capable of terrible damage to a human body — particularly the face, which appears to be a favorite target of the national police in France.

…Previous investigations have revealed that the GLIF4 grenade, or “grenade de desencerclement,” has also been condemned by an internal French police laboratory inquiry and recommendations have been submitted to the Interior Ministry for the banning of their use in crowd-control operations. The GLIF4 contains 25g of TNT, emits 165 decibels, and may contain CS or tear gas in powder form or 10g rubber pellets released upon detonation. These grenades have been responsible for the amputation of hands, hematomas, and the formation of necrotic tissue among the GJ demonstrators.

…Despite all the evidence of the traumatic effects of these weapons upon civilians, the French Council of State ruled that the LBD40 was a necessary instrument of “self-defence” for the forces of “law and order…”

*

There was the recent clear targeting of a woman with a high-velocity water cannon in the Netherlands, leaving her with a fractured skull and needing 15 stitches.


There were the reports of sustained police violence against protesters at Standing Rock in late 2016, including these accounts:

“All of a sudden there were these bright, blinding spotlights, so you could see each other, but you couldn’t see [the police]. Every once in awhile you could hear someone scream who had been hit by a rubber bullet.”

“I was tear gassed over 15 times, which made it hard to breathe and left my face burning for hours,” recalls Cheyenne, a young native woman from Michigan. “I got hosed down with a water cannon in freezing temperatures leaving me hypothermic, and I was slammed into a barbed wire barricade out of panic caused by the police after a flash grenade was thrown and caught fire to a field.”

Another young native man from the Ojibwe nation said “He shot me with a rubber bullet right in the belly button, and when I showed him that he had hurt me, he just smiled and shot both my kneecaps”.

*

And, on the same day as the many protests across Russia, in the heart of the USA, a Tacoma police man drove his SUV into protesters and over at least one man, because he allegedly “feared for his safety”.

But again, what I’ve seen at three different protests in Moscow (two of which were deemed illegal) is considerable police restraint, & crowd control tactics NOT involving: water canons, tear gas, pepper spray, stun grenades, or any of the violent methods employed by Western nations, much less the shoot to maim or to kill tactics of Israel.

Peaceful Protesters?

Although from what I could see the protesters in Moscow were largely peaceful, there were also incidents in the protests where individuals and mobs were violent against other protesters and against police.

Across the square from where I stood, an anti-Navalny protester scaled a lamppost, apparently with a placard against Navalny. He was punched and, to the cheers of protesters, pulled down from the lamppost, then beaten and kicked by at least two among the protesters.

In St. Petersburg, a man punched a police officer, knocking him to the ground.

Protesters attacked police in Vladivostok.

And in Moscow, protesters snowballed then mobbed a security services car, breaking into it and gouging the driver’s eye out.

And this:

“Peaceful protesting women. January 23, 2021 Moscow, intersection of Strastnoy Boulevard and st. Bolshaya Dmitrovka.”

peace
peace2

Of the violence in January 23 protests, 39 law enforcement officers were reportedly injured.

Media Tactics 2019 and 2021: A Protest or a “Walk”?

In the few protests I’ve observed here, aside from the nature of the protesters, protests and police, I’ve noticed some repeatedly deployed media tactics. I mean, aside from the predictable glaring hype, hysteria, and framing of police before protests even began.

The 2019 protests had been occurring over the issue of the Moscow Duma election, an issue so gripping that vast numbers of youths came out to stand in the square together quietly, save the periodic and short-lived chants which quickly dissipated.

While reading about the protest later on Twitter, I came across this thread.

duma2
duma 3
duma 4

It certainly helps explain the apparent apathy I felt among protesters there.

On August 10, having arrived by metro and foot to Sakharov Prospect, long before the (sanctioned) protest was due to begin, I saw the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)’s resident correspondent Chris Brown and producer Corinne Seminoff among the sea of journalists and fluorescent vested quasi-journalists.

In the second of two protests that day, the latter being deemed as illegal as it was after the protest hours and off the protest route, Brown tweeted footage of Russian police marching toward the square, with the sole word, “intense”.

Which makes me think he either doesn’t get out much or, more likely, he is a fraud.

The CBC decided to run with the explanation that this protest was merely a large group of people taking a walk, and not a protest.

But that isn’t what I saw. I followed people continuing from the sanctioned protest on eventually to Kitai Gorad, chanting and still holding placards, where then riot police arrived and began arresting people.

The funniest thing about Corinne’s tripe was when I later found an interview with her colleague, Chris Brown, who I had noticed standing beside her in the Kitai Gorad square, in which he specifically described the scene as including people holding placards.

Back to the January 23, 2021, protest and that BBC tweet I mentioned at the beginning, claiming metro exits were sealed. That stellar correspondent of 30+ years experience also employed the “walk” lexicon. Clearly a marketing directive from the folks behind team Navalny to paint scenes of Russia police rampaging around arresting pedestrians.

Team Navalny’s propaganda is that shoddy. Actually, it’s worse.

Navalny: Russia’s Guaido

Without even delving deeply into Navalny’s history of extremist views, it is clear he fulfills the same role as the unpopular “opposition” figure (and non-President of Venezuela), Juan Guaido.

Both are propped up by the West as supposedly popular opposition figures; neither are. Both are used by the West to demonize the governments they in no way represent. And both almost certainly receive financial and other favours for their work on behalf of Washington.

When in early 2019, Western media and talking heads’ focus was on Venezuela, alleging chaos in the streets (after US sabotage of Venezuela’s power grid), I went to Venezuela to see for myself.

I walked the streets of Caracas, and with local Venezuelans went to different areas of Caracas, including some of the poorest barrios where—if there’s going to be chaos and food shortages, you’d expect it to be there.

I saw Venezuelans working together to help one another during the power outages, waiting patiently to collect spring water, and even in the hills of the largest slum, Petare, which I visited with a local and a friend on his motorbike, I saw signs for fresh cheese, meat, and produce.

During my few weeks there, I also saw massive protests (video) in support of the government, filled with people who were very politically-aware, and didn’t support Guaido. I spoke with average citizens, including in the poorest areas. They could articulate very clearly what they are fighting and why they support Maduro.

I did try to observe opposition marches, but they never materialized. I even hopped on a motorcycle taxi and spent a few hours going to areas where opposition protests were due to happen and instead found pro-government protests in one district, and a few handfuls of opposition supporters in two others.

I left Venezuela knowing that mass media and Western politicians’ renditions of reality was utterly distorted in favour of backing a puppet to implement America’s destablization plans.

Which is precisely what they’re doing with Navalny.

Navalny’s Piss-Poor Propaganda

The shocking aspect of all of this blatant propaganda (and cheerleading of criminals propped up as valiant opposition figures) is not that it occurs, but how poor team Navalny’s (and Guaido’s) propaganda is.

It has ranged (looking only at the past six months) from lying about being poisoned by Russia (via Novichok in his undies, no less!), to fanfare around his arrest (which he returned to Russia precisely for), to team Navalny’s “peaceful” and “police brutalized” “freedom walks”…to their seminal work, “Putin’s Palace”, their alleged expose of Putin’s grandiose lifestyle.

The latter was such a poorly-constructed propaganda piece it was quickly deconstructed by people spotting the photoshopping, and more recently by people going to the site in question and learning that it is the unfinished construction of a hotel, not a finished and fine palace.

As they have dutifully promoted the Russian “police brutality” narratives, so did journalists and “human rights” pundits gleefully promote the sham exposé, without questioning how Navalny, supposedly ill from poisoninghad the strength and ability to create this lie.

In Conclusion

Given how much air time team Navalny and their lies get in the media, it seems fitting to end with an English-subtitled clip from a video debunking the palace narrative, with thanks to Valentina Lisitsa for subtitling.

Washington’s Bastille

Washington’s Bastille

January 16, 2021

by Jimmie Moglia for the Saker Blog

Trump’s supporters, having found the vanity of conjecture and inefficacy of expectations, resolved to prove their own existence, if not by violence, at least by physical presence.

They came forth into the crowded capital with an almost juvenile ambition that their numbers would be counted, their voice heard and their presence noticed.

But every upheaval, from Spartacus to the Bastille, is subject to unexpected developments. However peaceful the intents may be, the man involved in a turmoil is forced to act without deliberation, and obliged to choose before he can examine. He is surprised by sudden alterations of the state of things, and changes his measures according to superficial appearances.

Still, the corporate media, whose intestinal refuse is paraded as news, triumphs in every discovery of failure and ignores any evidence of success.

But, revolutionarily speaking, the storming of Washington was a success. And Trump did not expect, inspired or willed the unfortunate deaths.

If and when some reliable evidence will be produced, it will be probably found that parasitic elements, with dubious sponsors and of dubious character, joined the crowd.

This would only surprise the unawareness of the thoughtless. Even in Kiev, the ‘revolutionaries’ included characters who actually shot into the crowd from sundry buildings – as documented, in an intercepted phone call, by a then female president-of-something in the European Union.

Yet, when all is said and done, Washington may prove more eventful than the actual Bastille. For the date of the Bastille’s capture (July 14, 1789), became a French national commemorative event only through a convenient historical post-scriptum.

The punctilious historian may remember that the Bastille, like the Capitol dome in Washington, was visible from all of Paris – a medieval fortress, 100 ft high. At the time of the riot it only held seven prisoners, nor the mob gathered to free them. They wanted the ammunitions stored inside the wall.

When the prison governor refused, the mob charged and killed him. His head was carried round the streets on a spike.

Of the seven liberated prisoners one, a mentally-ill, white-bearded old man was paraded through the streets while he waved at the crowd, four were forgers who disappeared among the rabble, another, also mentally ill, was later re-incarcerated into an asylum. The only nobleman, and potentially an ‘enemy of the people’, was the Count de Soulange, who had been imprisoned at the request of his family for sexual misconduct.

The irony continues. Insensible to its possible historical value, the revolutionaries contracted with an enterprising bourgeois to demolish the tower.

After subduing the revolution Napoleon did not like the suggestive ideological connotations of the Place de la Bastille and thought of building there his ‘Arc de Triomphe’ (the one now in the ‘Etoile’), but that did not prove popular.

Therefore he ordered, instead, to build a huge bronze statue of an imperial elephant. A plaster model, a facsimile of the future finished product was built and inaugurated, but the wars made funding difficult. Waterloo and the Restoration did not help either. The plaster elephant stood in the iconic square from 1814 to 1848 when irreparable decay prompted its demolition.

But I digress.

As for the Washington’s Bastille, the related and subsequent events have openly shown the essentially unlimited power of the swamp, which, Don Quixote-like, Trump said he would attempt to drain.

Most of us know that the UUABLPPTH [Unmentionables Unless Accompanied By Lavish Praise plus their lackeys – hereinafter referred to as the ‘unmentionables’] make up the core of the swamp. I will return to them later, but the massively falsified elections, incontrovertibly show, among other things, how much the unmentionables hate the deplorables – in the instance and probably 60% of the nation.

Generally speaking and under often-recurrent conditions, elections are a rite enabling citizens to believe or continue to pretend that they live in a democracy rather than in an authoritarian regime.

By tradition, the absolute obedience of the population to absurd and incoherent decrees (“Patriot Act” et als.) has repeatedly reassured the masters that whatever they impose, the deplorables will accept.

For example, the Vietnam war protesters of old, plus peace-loving, cultural-marxists and amphetamines-laden youths met with policemen and waved flowers under their nose as an act of rebellion. But the war only ended seven years later. Meanwhile the richer and/or well-heeled dodged the draft, while the poorer didn’t. Besides, that ‘flower-inspired’ rebellion was not aimed at ending the war (or the war would have ended), but at turning upside down universally accepted ethics, and with ethics, perhaps unbeknown to them, the world as we know it.

Nevertheless I don’t think we should single out Americans for blame. Already in 1552, the young Frenchman Etienne de la Boetie wrote his “The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude” to address the central problem of political philosophy, namely the mystery of civil obedience.

Why do people, asked Etienne, in all times and all places obey the commands of the government, which always constitutes a small minority of the society? To him the spectacle of general consent to despotism (or in the recent American case, to fraud) is puzzling and appalling. “All this havoc – says he – descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourself render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in our cities. He has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves?”

Good question, we may say, but the problem remains. It is understandable in general, but only confusedly answerable in detail, due to the infinite intricacies of our individual lives. Therefore, a blanket indictment of the deplorables for letting themselves be driven by the unmentionables is theoretically logical but practically unjustified.

Still, during the Washington’s Bastille and for the first time that I recall, the unmentionables felt some concern for their ass. It is tragic that some of the revolutionaries died, because, as we know, the intent of the rally was peaceful and nothing compared to what was witnessed throughout America in 2020.
The lackeys’ official horror and concern for ‘democracy’ show that there is no vice so simple but assumes some mark of virtue on its outward parts. All that wringing of arms and shows of deprecation are falser than oaths made in wine. For none of the Capitoline lords would answer why they didn’t want to recount the votes. Leading the average deplorable to conclude that there is no more faith in them (as a lot) than in a stewed prune. For their intoxication with themselves will give no way to reason.

Equally, the Washington’s Bastille brought to the attention of many how much the Constitution has sunk under the feet of the unmentionables. Here is but one example – not to repeat what the readers already know, but to show the arrogance associated with the systems of censure the country is subjected to.

After the death of Ms. Ashly Babbit, shot by a policeman, an Internet friend of mine published the following post on his FB account, along with her picture.

“This is Ashly Babbitt. She was shot and killed by law enforcement during a protest in America. No one will take the knee for her. There will be no murals in her honor. The media will not mourn her death. She is white therefore her life does not matter for the establishment.”

FB returned this message,

“Your account has been restricted for 30 days because your post did not follow community standards.”

To comment on FB’s response the author said, “Mourning the death of this woman on Facebook is banned. Yet we have spent many months mourning the death of a drug addict, a criminal, an abuser, a man who broke into a woman’s home and put a gun to her stomach in order to extort money out of her. We have been paying our respect to this man all over the world for the best part of last year. And this woman who proudly served her country, she is now dead and you cannot even pay your respects to her own social media.”

The restraint and politeness of the censored statement are beyond question. And its censuring should make us pause. For it shows the scorn of the enemy for the rest of us. A scorn that should include the concurrent barrage of nauseating platitudes and the unrestrained bubbling to the surface of a diabolical hatred, no-longer disguised but steeped deep in history.

The Internet is yesterday’s telephone and Zion did not invent the Internet, nor computers, computing and communication software. Yet, the communication engines and components, companies and operations, Google, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are owned and controlled by the unmentionables.

From his soul in hell, Coudenhove-Kalergi must be laughing his head off. His predicted new world, made up of ancient-Egyptians-looking deplorables lorded over by the unmentionables, cannot any longer be branded as a conspiracy theory. Under our own eyes there is the shape of things to come at large.

For he who controls speech controls opinion. Opinion molds thought and thought drives action. Therefore monopoly of opinion leads to control of action, and action includes just about every aspect of life and liberty.

Besides, free speech is ultimately vital to being human. It is the most important aspect of everything we refer to as freedom. Lack of freedom is the triumph of tyranny. And the train of tyranny drags in tow injustice, repression, murder, corruption, unjust and unnecessary wars.

Even earlier and more primitive media, newspapers and radio, controlled by a few, were the engines of persuasion and coercion to drive millions into quasi-genocidal world wars.

As an aside and in this respect, Germans owe a debt of historical gratitude to the Soviet Union. For it was fear of the Soviets that prevented the implementation of the “Morgentau Plan”, already signed by Roosevelt and Churchill, to be carried out after the end of WW2 – a plan that included the sterilization of all Germans. Disbelievers may wish to consult the details of the plan, as well as the book, “Germany Must Perish” printed in the US during the war.

Restricting free speech is necessary in every war and every tyranny. And we can identify tyranny by how much freedom of speech we have and by how much we can criticize the rulers. For reason and truth can outweigh lies and corruption. But massive suppression and an avalanche of lies and propaganda can make a mockery of factual truth and stuff the ears of men with false reports. Many, sick of show and weary of noise, turn off the set, how many we know not.

In this respect, technology and the power of global corporations to corrupt the minds have never been more powerful and ominous, in all history.

Furthermore, media of all types can now control feelings as well as the more primitive emotional parts of the brain. Never has government been bigger and more able to repress freedom with an infrastructure that includes the FBI, CIA, NSA and their counterparts in individual states and nations.

Never past tyrants better controlled their subjects than the globalists today. The threat to the freedom of the western peoples of the world is the greatest threat to their existence. Suppression of freedom of speech is exampled in the attitude of a controlled media, which is totally against the common feelings of the majority.

Most peoples of the world and nations want to preserve their nationality, country, customs, habits, religion and way of life. None of the corporate channels reflect these beliefs and objectives.

The axis of movies, Zionist Hollywood, ever since the abolition of the “Motion Pictures Production Code” act (1954), has been an extremely powerful engine of persuasion and shaper of belief, custom, habits and action, as well as an inculcator of hatred, let alone depravity. For reference read this article [ https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2021/01/14/the-jewish-role-in-promoting-cannabis-and-why-its-bad-for-you/ ]

The sum of these forces led to the US summer of 2020. Which was not a summer of discontent, but an extended season of Hollywood and media-inspired hatred. And mass hatred, as opposed to individual hatred, is an organized phenomenon.

The current biggest shapers of thought and human action are the networks of social media, primary tools for sharing ideas and learning things.

Owning and controlling these organizations are a few people, whose ethnic affiliation is undisputed and unmentionable. They can decide what the world can see, say, hear and consequently think.

Dismissing the reality and the consequences of this ideological monopoly as a ‘conspiracy theory’ is an insult to the minds of millions.

The conspiratorial element of a theory depends on identifiable circumstances and hypotheses. Even historically sanctified characters such as president Franklin Roosevelt stated as follows,

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way…” The point is that many of the major world events that shape our destinies occur because there is a plan behind them.”

In the same line of thought, if we were merely dealing with the law of averages, half of the events affecting a nation’s well-being should be good for that nation. If it were just a matter of incompetence, the leaders should occasionally make a mistake in favor of the deplorables. Instead it is planning and foresight that form the shape of things to come at large.

Not that chance is necessarily ruled out. According to his biographers, even Hitler firmly believed in grasping at fleeting opportunities. In a speech or lecture to his adjutants given in 1938 he said, “There is but one moment when the goddess of fortune wafts by, and if you don’t grab her then by the hem you won’t to get a second chance.”

The quote came to mind in thinking about the disparagers who have compared Trump with Hitler. Stupidity is sometimes invincible but, probably unbeknown to his detractors, Trump as a president, shared some characteristics associated with leaders who reach power outside the canonical paths – canonical paths that often include corruption, opportunistic servitude and/or crime.

For one, by all appearances Trump had far less authority on his advisers and subordinates than what we think a president has – an authority that seemingly weakened with each passing year. Also, a characteristic of heads of state who over-rely on advisers is a conscious desire ‘not to know.’ Even if they are later deemed directly responsible for what happened.

It is total speculation but the assassination of the Iranian General Suleimani may be one such instance. Though in other cases the reverse is true. The opening towards Kim Yong Sun of North Korea fits with Trump’s general style.

On the other hand, the policy towards Venezuela, though justified imperialistically, does not fit the profile. The ‘self-proclaimed’ Guaido’ is a puppet worthy of a Simpsons cartoon. Based on what I know of the country (readers may also consult my article “Don’t Cry for Me Venezuela”), the regime is anything but what described by the unmentionable media. The tight economic sanctions, the equivalent of a war, the arbitrary freezing of Venezuela’s gold reserves in London, the theft of CITGO, (the Venezuelan oil company operating in the US), the placing a bounty of 15 million $ on the head of Maduro, the many failed coups d’etat – quite open in planning and gross in execution – do not seem consistent with Trump’s character, at least as displayed in his general demeanor and other occasions.

Incidentally, the two ‘ambassadors’ of the Guaido’ puppet, in the US and Britain, are unmentionables. And there is an extant recording of the UK ‘ambassador’ Newman where she discusses assigning the Esequibo mineral-rich area – disputed between Venezuela with Guyana since the early 1800 – to an Exxon consortium of sorts.

Besides, in my view and independently of ideological convictions, in oratory, consistence, intelligence and demeanor Maduro towers over all former and latter members of the Trump administration put together. A remarkable achievement, I think, for someone who started as a bus driver and union leader to become the president of Venezuela. And although I cannot, of course, verify its accuracy, there is information among some Venezuelan sources that Trump expressed a secret admiration for Maduro.

To conclude, most records of history are but narratives of successive villainies, treasons and usurpations, massacres and wars – of which professional historians explain causes and effects.

As a non professional historian but a rude mechanical who earns his bread upon the Athenian walls I offer here an extremely arbitrary theory. On the ground that, just as a right line describes the shortest passage from point to point, a plausible historical explanation is that which connects distant truths by the shortest of intermediate propositions.

Therefore I select few key events – constituting an arbitrary beginning and its connecting causal links to the present. In the instance, fractional banking, 1968, Reagan and the Washington Bastille.

Fractional banking is a generally familiar idea whose implications, I think, are not sufficiently realized due to the apparently neutral effect of the term ‘fractional’. Risking the contempt of professionals and economists I will reduce the notion to its core with an example.

A bank that owns, says, 10 k$ in gold can loan out 100 k$ in money that does not exist – at say, 10% yearly interest.

After one year, globally, the borrowers return 110 k$ to the bank, (loans plus interest). Of the globally returned 110 k$, 100k$ are the money that did not exist, but the 10 k$ paid as interest correspond to the labor expended by the borrowers.

Let’s for a moment overlook where the borrowers got the additional 10k$ from, because for the purpose of this demonstration, the point is not important.

The bottom line is that with an investment of 10 kS of actual money (gold for example) the banker realizes an interest of a real 10k$ or 100%. Now with 20 k$ of actual money he can lend out 200k$ of non-existing money and so on.

It follows that the bank’s wealth increases exponentially. Consequently, sooner or later, the bank or banking system will essentially own and control – directly and indirectly – everything that has a demonstrable commercial value.

Fractional banking became the operating system of the first modern capitalism only at the end of the 17th century, with the establishment of the Bank of England. Which, unknown to many, was a private bank that lent money to the crown for conducting business and waging wars. Money paid back from the taxes on citizens.

The system is so brilliant in its simplicity that we must wonder why was it not applied centuries before.

And here we meet again with the unmentionables. Christianity, as well as Islam for that matter, considered interest usury and usury a sin.

The philosophical tricks by which Christian rulers tried to skirt the issue are ingenious and often amusing. Suffice to say, with a gross generalization, that it was found more expedient to let the unmentionables handle the matter. From thereon begin their path to unstoppable power.

As for 1968 – the second selected event – there took place a brilliant ideological operation, and again I generalize for simplicity. For the 1968 ‘revolution’ launched the ideology aimed at the deconstruction and destruction of the family, customs, traditions and gender distinctions. Destruction leading eventually to the assault on nationalities and ethnicities.

That destruction is in progress. I suspect without proof that the unmentionables’ hatred for Trump stems from his effort, however feeble, to mount an opposition. Opposition to a new world order where humans become merchantable individual atoms, drifting on the smooth world plane of exchangeable merchandise.

As for Reagan, with his background as a Coca-Cola cowboy, he was the perfect president for cutting the taxes of the rich, under the now all-but-forgotten theory of ‘trickle-down economics.’ Perhaps a thinly-disguised reference to the parable of the rich Epulon, from whose table fell the crumbs for the starving deplorables of the time.
From then on and on a planetary scale the already exorbitant assets of the overclass, began to increase immeasurably. And deregulation triggered a race to the concentration of capital and activities. Resulting in the stratospheric wealth of the few, with which they can buy everybody and everything, and become a dominant power over the traditional states, as even the events of the last few weeks unquestionably prove.

Remember Reagan’s, “The state is not the solution of problems, the state is the problem”. And now the state, the law and even health (e.g. Covid) are turning into a mockery of themselves.

In the end and in my view, the Washington’s Bastille was but the externation of long repressed and related feelings of helplessness.

To those who cannot but feel nauseated by the means used to impose the current presidential ticket on the rest of us, I will quote the answer, attributed to the wife of a Turkish diplomat at the court of King Lois XV. A courtier was asking her what happiness consisted in. “My lord – she replied – our happiness depends on the circulation of the blood.” [… ma foi, Monsieur, notre bonheur depend de la facon que notre sang circule.]

The others may reflect that, after all, man is little more than an instrument in an orchestra directed by the muse of history.

US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

January 14, 2021

by Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) for the Saker Blog

The FBI says armed protests are being planned in all 50 states from January 16 until Joe Biden’s inauguration day on January 20.

It’s a living nightmare in the US right now – what else can be said?

“Hysteria” is the one word which described the United States in 2020, but in 2021 we are witnessing what happens when a hysterical sprinter just can’t stop sprinting – it is ugly.

I can objectively report that since the Electoral College decided the presidency – following the end of the Capitol Hill protest – seemingly everybody here is depressed and unhappy. The US cannot handle what is going on and everyone feels things are spinning out of control. What’s worse is that they cannot even help themselves from contributing to the spinning: The solution of those who opposed the armed protests is to antagonise the potential armed protesters?

It is ugly.

This is a pretty ambitious column, if “ambitious column” isn’t a journalistic oxymoron: I think all of the upcoming paragraphs can be turned into stand-alone columns because the US is, sadly, in such a hideously twisted shape.

It’s totally absurd to compare 9/11 to “1/6”, but that is what The New York Times did today – it only shows how inoculated modern Americans are from war on their own soil. Do Americans realise that the Capitol Hill protests are exactly what Washington has encouraged in Hong Kong, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Iran, etc.? And that’s just in your recent memory banks – go back to World War II and the’ve done this in half the world. I can report absolutely nobody in the Mainstream Media here is making that connection. Well, America, the sight of a bloody and brewing civil war is pretty terrible, isn’t it? Like I wrote this is a whole column, but the US has hit what is a comparatively tiny bump in the road – when compared to what they have so gleefully fomented for so very long and with such self-righteousness – and Americans are absolutely falling to pieces.

Do Americans realise that the worst thing to do right now is to spend much time consulting their corporate-dominated media? The Capitol Hill protest was spectacular for ratings, and this country – which totally lacks a sizeable, patriotic and neutral government media – wants to make big bucks until at least inauguration day by hyping what should not be hyped. Do not tune into the news during this time of hysteria – you will thank me for it.

I also have encouraged people to not tune into social media. It’s not that the average person doesn’t know what he or she is talking about – I always insist that the “person on the street” interviews I do often provide me with better insights than interviews with degreed experts – it’s that there simply is no filter. Trump is toxic on his social media because that’s what American social media is – toxic. Western, uncensored social media is seemingly designed to provide a direct counterweight to the Asian cultural model of “saving” and “giving” face. I would guess that the overwhelming majority of Americans – after this roughly 15-year experiment with it – would say that social media has been a societal and personal disappointment.

On the macro level of social media: the US has created a monster, as there simply is no way to regulate Big Tech. They are clearly a monopoly power which can shut down political speech, like with the app Parler, and yet it is their “legal right” to do so because they are a business and not a press – i.e., they have no social responsibilities, but do have all the human rights America insanely grants to corporations. This, of course, enrages an American populace which (falsely) believes their country is a global leader in defending the human right to free press. Facebook took down PressTV’s page for a few hours – of course: If they will ban President Trump on Twitter why would they hesitate much longer for Iran? We are only just comprehending what “social media” can really do to a society, but the negative case study is: the US 2020 election.

Joe Biden is being tasked with healing the whole country even though he also spent the last four years demonising half the country. That is perhaps the best way to gauge what the upcoming chances are for “reconciliation” in America. I just don’t find the idea that the United States will rally around a hugely discredited and wilfully, remorselessly divisive Democratic Party even remotely credible.

Biden has just picked his head of the CIA – it was a person who was also a top candidate for the Secretary of State (foreign minister) post. That the nation’s top spy and top diplomat are interchangeable – and that this goes uncommented upon – says a lot about the United States. Washington does not try to persuade anyone – they just apply pressure, spy on them and make sure the national needs of their allies are subverted to the national needs of the US. Angela Merkel denounced Trump’s Twitter ban, just as she denounced Obama spying on her calls. The US has no allies, and while they will blame Trump for losing all their “international standing” the reality is they had none and want none.

Today’s impeachment of Trump is a spectacularly foolish errand: they will never get the Senate supermajority to actually impeach Trump; he’s leaving in seven days; Trump is correct that it will – of course – cause “tremendous anger”; it is clearly designed to sabotage Trump’s 2024 election chances, at whatever cost to national unity; 40% of the country already feels like their presidential vote was disenfranchised – now you want to impeach their leader (which comes after the censorship of him and before the prosecution of him)? It’s just useless theatre – the US election circus continues.

Is it possible that I was wrong to say that a violent right-wing movement – something comparable in determination (though not at all comparable in aims) to what the US saw last summer in response to never-ending police brutality – cannot ever grow strong enough in the US to “Occupy Capitol Hill”, or something similar? I still don’t think I am wrong and that once this final week passes so will these protests. American conservatives are too status-quo loving, too law and order-worshipping and too jingoistic to really try and change America.

I think the Capitol Hill protest was a one-time act of civil disobedience which spontaneously grew beyond the intentions of the mass majority of protesters – I have seen that happen countless times in person as a journalist. It obviously never morphed into an “Occupy Capitol Hill” multi-day protest because it was obviously never intended to (and for the same reason above). The people at the front lines of such protests are always a different breed; always run the range of political views from right to left; always have a range of motivations, from being mere adrenaline-seekers to genuine political integrity. I have also seen the video footage – captured by a left-wing Black Lives Matter member (because there is always this range of values) – of a Capitol cop, whose life was not threatened, shoot and kill female protester Ashlii Babbitt. I’m appalled there’s not more MSM discussion about that, because the footage is so clear that this was police brutality, but any such discussion radically changes how the protest has to be covered by the MSM: it means taking a break from demonising the protesters, and the US corporate media does not want that.

It was totally clear in the week since Capitol Hill: It’s not enough that Biden won – the US anti-Trump elite wants blood. They want Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump, so they can censor and others (as they just did with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Iranian state media PressTV). They want to imprison the Capitol Hill protesters, so they can prevent any anti-Biden political protests in the next four years. They want to impeach and jail Trump, so they can prevent Trumpism from growing beyond their idiotic, “how did I get here” leader into something which could upend the world’s oldest duopoly.

These are all columns because they are all huge issues which cannot be resolved in a few sentences – only summed up. I’m only stopping because I have word limits – feel free to point out which issues weren’t included.

The bottom line on the Democrat side is: Many Americans have spent four years hysterically demonising Trump supporters – they can’t turn it off: Winning the Electoral College obviously wasn’t enough. They want animals put in cages whom they can go poke; they want to fabricate a moral high ground which they believe is so high that it exonerates them from open debate; they want compound interest on the four years they wasted on the perennial US political circus.

The other bottom line on the Republican side is: Trump supporters are in shock that they lost – every one I talked with was so very certain of his victory. Then many of them were certain the Donald would pull it out, but what the Donald did was pass up every opportunity to take a courageous stand and to essentially say, “I’ve been using you supporters all this time.” Trump supporters now see this atrocious past week as if the US elite is presenting them with only two choices: either return to being mainstream Republicans or leave politics altogether. Many will choose the latter. Many Americans will not miss them. They will still be here, I point out to the victors.

I also point out to the victors: Trump losing the election did not solve all this country’s problems, as it was long promised. America in 2021 has way too many problems for such a simple solution.

*************************************************************

Dispatches from the United States after the presidential election

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolen – December 3, 2020

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA – December 5, 2020

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote – December 8, 2020

Biden won? 2016-2020 showed what the US does to even mild reformers – Dec 18, 2020

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed – January 2, 2020

This week in the US: The ‘model nation’ for no nation anymore – January 7, 2020

Biggest threat to global leftism returns to power: US fake-leftism (1/2) – January 8, 2021

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote

December 09, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

The United States corporate-dominated media has found that the easiest way to shape news coverage on the scores of legal challenges to the 2020 presidential election is to only report on them when the cases have lost.

After all, the more newspaper inches given to objective discussions of widespread voter fraud allegations equals the more chances an average American starts to think the election was rigged. This theory presumes that the average American is so docile and programmable that they have already completely forgotten the mainstream claims which dominated the previous four years: that the election was rigged (by Vladimir Putin).

Not reporting until a court rejects an integrity challenge also allows for a superior “I-knew-it-all-along” tone, combined with open accusations of lunacy on the part of the aggrieved party.

More than a month after the vote the party (Republicans) remains tremendously aggrieved: top pollster Gallup just reported that 83% of Republicans say that reports of Biden being the president-elect are not “accurate”. Yes, it’s an oddly-worded poll, but so many US wordsmiths have been purposely opaque since election day.

It’s always been easy to roll one’s eyes at the smug tone because such condescension will drop to the ground lack a bag of bricks with just one Supreme Court loss, after all.

Yes, the widespread US belief prior to November 3, 2020, was that their elections were poorly designed, poorly funded, poorly run, poorly counted and porous in many other ways besides, but I always thought the biggest post-election day challenge would be over the exact issue which has led to the totally unprecedented situation of states suing other states over accusations of ruining the election’s integrity:

Texas – now joined by Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas – is suing the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin over mail-in ballots.

I’ll show that the US Constitution makes it clear their case should at least be heard by the Supreme Court. The state-on-state nature already takes the case directly to the top.

The Supreme Court always had to rule on the unprecedented expansion of mail-in balloting

What’s so interesting about “democracy with US characteristics” is how the nine justices of the Supreme Court are allowed to be so very, very removed from US society. They debate in private, they grant media interviews very rarely, they don’t have to say much in court (Justice Clarence Thomas went from 2006 to 2016 without publicly asking a question), nor do they even have to give public reasons for many of the momentous decisions they make (they just rejected a key vote fraud case in Pennsylvania with one sentence, but more accurately only one word: “denied”). It’s not the Holy See of Rome, but it’s close.

But it’s not close regarding the holiness, because what this unaccountable and unelected regime of nine holds sacred is merely the 18th century US Constitution, something which is currently losing lustre worldwide by the minute.

Some, not all, of these justices are Wahhabi-like in their insistence that the document is “dead” (and perfect in its deadness), in that it must be followed both to the letter and in the spirt of the bygone (allegedly golden) age in which it was written.

Given this ideological reality doesn’t it seem clear that executive branch orders by some governors, or even just their secretaries of state, to massively and controversially flood their states with mail-in ballots violated the US Constitution – even if these actions were approved by some in the judicial branch – because they often did not get legislative branch approval? Article 1, Section 4 of the US Constitution states: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature …

Texas’ lawsuit thus asserts: “The four states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election. The battleground states flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted.” The suit claims the vote in Texas was tainted by the vote in Pennsylvania, etc.

People may notice that Article 1, Section 4 does not talk about “Elections for President”, but the US elects their president by an Electoral College, not direct vote. It is regularly inferred that this clause also applies to the presidential vote, but it is actually addressed in Article 2, Section 1: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….” Again it’s the state legislature which decides how to decide to “appoint” (not “elect”) Electoral College “Electors”, and Article 2, Section 1 is cited in Texas’ lawsuit.

I wish I could find more good media reports on this case to better inform my opinion but – as I began – you just can’t find much objective journalistic discussion on the US voter fraud causes. No well-known anti-Trump media I saw ever even broached Article 2, Section 1 – even though it was named in the lawsuit – all they had was hysterical and completely unobjective denials that the Texas lawsuit doesn’t even attempt to make a coherent argument. And yet: the Supreme Court gave the defendant states less than 48 hours to respond to Texas’ lawsuit – by 3pm on December 10.

The suit also says the expansion made the vote insecure, but forget about all the alleged vote machine tampering, the purported “smoking gun” videos, the reported 1,000 testimonies making accusations of election malfeasance – all of that either has the evidence or it doesn’t. Maybe there was a huge conspiracy of voter fraud, or maybe there wasn’t. The nation’s top intelligence official, the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, just said that all issues of election fraud must be investigated and only then would we see “whether there is a Biden administration”. Will they all be properly investigated? This is America, so all we can say for sure is that no matter what happens America will insist that they are the spotless beacon the world should follow.

But the question of mail-in ballots – this enormous change to the US voting system which inspired seemingly thousands of complaints by Donald Trump on Twitter, as well as from many regular American citizens – this is the dispute which has the power to immediately invalidate the 2020 vote.

I say: yes, it should invalidate the vote – that is, if Americans want to follow the rules of the antiquated and fundamentally aristocratic American system.

America is not a modern democracy, nor is it accountable – don’t expect the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the outsider Trump

Yes, pro-Trumpers were wrong to wait until after the election – to see if their candidate lost – before bringing this suit, but who’s to say that elite Democrats wouldn’t have forced some of their own governors to do the same thing if Biden was the projected loser? How can judges rule on a case which was never brought before them? The bottom line is that checks and balances are what make democracy “democracy”, whether that democracy is Athenian, American, Chinese socialist or Iranian Islamic, and one person should not be able to change the fundamental nature of how elections are held, even if that person is a state governor or secretary of state, and even if a state judge says their change is ok.

Modern democracies have (at least) three branches for a reason, but it’s ok that mail-in ballots were often routed around the legislative branch?

(I often say Iranian democracy has revolutionarily created a “Supreme Leader branch”. I’d also say the massive influence of the internet/digital age gives more credence to making the unofficial “Fourth Estate” – the media – an official branch. What’s wrong with more than three branches, other than: But the bourgeois West doesn’t do it?)

The re-routing (and some state legislatures, such as Nevada, did approve a sweeping expansion to mail-in ballots) of democratic processes into the hands of one person should be seen as a continuation of what Western democracy truly is: liberal strongmanism. This process became out in the open with Dubya Bush’s phony war on Iraq and the Patriot Act, continued with the ignored anti-austerity elections in Greece, is part and parcel of Emmanuel Macron’s “rubber bullet liberalism” war on France’s Yellow Vests, and was seen in 2020 when some US governors essentially said: We want Trump out so badly that we’ll change the elections by fiat to do it.

(Corona was not a valid excuse in November, because by then 2020 had seen many nations successfully and safely hold elections.)

A coronavirus vaccine was announced just two days after Biden declared victory; after months of refusals – which have fiscally disemboweled the US lower classes – Democrats finally agreed to negotiate on their heretofore totally inflexible 2nd stimulus position as soon as the calendar turned from election November to December; Facebook, Twitter and the US mainstream media currently censor the average Republican’s election reflections as if these citizens were calling for a second Holocaust.

Those are not conspiracy theories but are listed to reveal how truly terrible and power-monging the political and cultural elite is in the United States. They overreach their power time and time again, no matter how negative the effect on their domestic public or the rest of the world.

Such persons wanted Trump out, and I’m not saying that they engaged in a massive conspiracy of election fraud to do so – I’m saying that they obviously changed the fundamental nature of the election to do so.

In the US states decide individually how elections are run, but there should have been formal legislative debate about any huge changes to the election format and not merely a gubernatorial order reflected upon in private by a judge. It was undemocratic political overreach in a nation full of people who have been conditioned to believe that the boss/CEO/president can and should be able to fire/personally enrich/sanction at will.

There are enough “strict constructionists” ,”originalists” or (as I call them) “American Salafists” currently on the Supreme Court to see the logic of Texas’ argument. However, I do not think the Supreme Court will find in favor of Texas – the power-holders in the US system are fundamentally anti-Trump, I think 2016-2020 has proven ad nauseam.

Trumpism was vindicated in a grassroots way – like it or not – on November 3rd, but there are no “Trumpist” judges in the top court. Who knows, maybe Trumpism will last long enough that one day there will be, but for now what all Supreme Court judges are is merely typical American conservatives. The idea that even though Supreme Court justices are the most untouchable persons in American society and yet they will bend over backwards to please Trump is, I think, a major (but common) fallacy.

It’s clear that the 2020 election was drastically changed (just look at how voter turnout suddenly was the highest in 120 years), and it’s clear that legislatures often did not fulfil their check and balance role, and it’s clear that “strict constructionism” was not something invented by Justice Anthonin Scalia but is an ideology which has been widely discussed since the very beginning of the American republic… all that will be thrown out to throw out Trump, I predict.

This article has not been pro-Trump or anti-Trump, it is reminding how very drastic the actions of anti-Trump power-holders in the US have been. They changed the nature of the 2020 vote, and they don’t want to admit that, and the Supreme Court is not likely to unconservatively ok a shocking, once-in-three-lifetimes reversal to the 2020 presidential vote – not because of the chaos and alienation it would cause among the 99%, but because American democracy is and has always been expressly designed to protect the elite, not the people/workers/lower classes.

By the way, the only presidential vote which ever mattered at all takes place in less than a week – the Electoral College votes on December 14th. I think this year’s general election on the presidential vote has provided a more interesting – yet legally meaningless – diversion than it normally does, don’t you?

*************************************************************

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolen – December 3, 2020

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA – December 5, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

December 05, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

The idea that Donald J. Trump could be (even the guy cleaning up behind the horse of) a white knight acting in favor of integrity is laughable, hypocritical and certainly controversial, but that is what a disaster United States political culture truly is.

The man who has been nationally lampooned as a rich buffoon and denigrated as a real estate shark for decades prior to 2016 is now being held up by half the country as a moral leader and living “founding father”. In the American context these persons may somehow even be proven somewhat right, but that is what a disaster United States political culture truly is.

Since the November 3rd vote we’ve all been asking: Where’s Donald? Only future historians can tell us if Trump was right to wait a month before finally formally declaring that he would litigate in order to ensure a judicial verification of a highly- and long-disputed vote. That’s a long time for moral reflection, but in the context of today’s hyper-hyper-polarised US politics it’s been half a lifetime.

In the disputed election of 2000 Al Gore conceded, allegedly for the good of the country, on December 13th – the day before the Electoral College voted that year. This year the College must also cast their ballot on December 14th. On December 2nd Trump gave a 45-minute speech in which he promised to not concede, also allegedly for the good of the country.

What Trump’s speech means is that the US constitution insists that the nation’s political drama is about to explode.

Probably even sooner than December 14: December 8th is known as the “safe harbor” date, because all states must have resolved their disputes by then. Justified or not, they do not currently appear to be resolved satisfactorily for scores of millions of Americans.

For the average Bidenite the blinders are completely on – perhaps they never even could see anything “over there” in Trumpland, which for some reason is a foreign country to many Bidenites. They insist that, “It’s over”. That’s fine – nobody is paying them to give objective, hard-news, daily journalism. They’re free to editorialise all they want. However, saying, “It’s over, Biden won,” is gypsy future-telling, a way to censor political conversation and it also ignores the historical gravity of Trump’s speech – this election is not “over” in any sort of historically-normal way whatsoever: What US election has ever been “over” like this?

Maybe Trump’s speech will deserve to be ignored in the history books? Maybe it will go down as the day history was changed? As this is my editorial I’m entitled to make whatever wild prediction I like, but I’d rather use it to point out just how badly my US journalist colleagues are performing at the craft (not profession) of journalism.

It was certainly quite a speech, indeed

The sitting US president publicly blasted the nation’s electoral process as having allowed, “fraud and abuse to occur on a scale never seen before”.

To my American journalist colleagues: that’s news.

Countless top American journalists refused to report on it. I’ll pass on a couple highlights:

“As president I have no higher duty than to defend the laws and the constitution of the United States,” said Trump, relating a political fact. “That is why I’m determined to protect our election system, which is now under coordinated assault and siege,” said Trump, making a claim for which he’ll have to provide overwhelming evidence, and quickly. “This is not just about honouring the votes of 74 million Americans who voted for me – it’s about ensuring that Americans can have faith in this election and in all future elections,” said Trump, in a statement which is seen in America as either patriotism or shameless partisan duplicity.

Trump listed a litany of alleged offences made across the country and claimed to have massive amounts of evidence to support him – these claims will have to be decided in court, definitively. Initially, however, they are decided in the court of public opinion.

However, the problem here is that US corporate media (and the tiny amount of state media) was so flagrantly biased against Trump’s speech that we probably can’t find 12 untainted people to fill a jury for one the many, many trials Trump seems to demand.

Acting crazy”, “Propaganda”, “My God, He’s Completely Insane” – this all journalistically-false but very real headlines from the very top US media. This is truly treatment reserved for foreign leaders who are currently threatening war on your country, not your own president.

Amazingly, CNN wouldn’t even air the speech. Is that the last pound on the head of the 2016-begun nail in the coffin for viewing them as “America’s television media of record”? The problem is: what other US corporate entity is a better alternative?

The reason I – for the first time – feel comfortable using the term “civil war” to describe the modern US is: 74 million Trump voters may now see themselves as being attacked and violated. Any sober analysis shows that the November 3rd vote (like it or not) was a concretisation and not a repudiation of “Trumpism” – they prevailed at the state legislative and executive levels, they made gains in the House of Representatives, they will likely hold on to Senate, judges at both the Supreme Court and local level are dominated by conservatives – they won everywhere but the US presidency, in fact. Therefore, anyone with a sense of fair play and tolerance realises that they deserve to be taken seriously; anyone with a survival instinct may realise that trying to push them around may find that they are quickly outnumbered in many areas.

But media opinion and public opinion don’t have any real weight in court. However, a fatal mistake often being made abroad is assuming that US public opinion is as anti-Trump as media opinion is. One merely needs to refer to the November 3rd results to see how incorrect that idea is. Seventy-four million Trumpers do have their media, but it is certainly not read outside of the US and must be searched for domestically.

One doesn’t have to like Trump or Trumpism, but calling them all “insane” is a way to start a fight, no?

I have never given much credence to the idea that the US is going to explode in election-related violence – above all, this was a sensationalistic US media ploy to demonise Trumpism, to distract from real issues, to get ratings and to increase Democratic turnout – but the events of this week definitely push the US further along that path. It is still very far off, I must add.

Conclusion: the current state of two different battles – the electoral and the cultural

Electorally: I am not going to waste your time by falsely claiming all of Trump’s allegations have either no merit or much merit – only a hysterical partisan is doing that. We should assume that those making false election claims in court will be punished for daring to make false claims.

I will note that I don’t believe US elections can withstand serious scrutiny, and that they were repeatedly ranked by places like Harvard as the worst of the core Western democracies. Allegations of widespread voter fraud – like here in Chicago – laughingly go back to the time of Kennedy, and all Americans know this.

On the other hand, I also note that if Joe Biden’s projected victory is reversed due to proven election fraud this would be not just a “once in a century” story but even more astounding than even that, in the American context. I’m not one to bet on the longest of long shots, unless I feel like wasting some money.

Anyway, that is all just journalistic hot air: courts have to decide on evidence, which is allegedly not all presented – we should not declare prematurely. After Gore conceded prematurely they found that 14% of African-American Floridians had their ballots questionably tossed – that’s not exactly “voter fraud”, but it certainly does render the 2000 American presidential results “fraudulent”.

Nobody here cares about though, strangely? Maybe not even African-American Floridians?

Maybe it’s the media, which now includes the appallingly censorious Twitter and Facebook?

But the inexorable, oppressive, inescapable (and undoubtedly pro-Bidenite) mantra here is “we need to quickly move on”, exactly as it was in America exactly 20 years ago.

Since 2000 nothing is learned; nothing is paid for; no reparations are given; no apologies are made; if America does it or wants it no rules apply because everything they do is exceptional, but only because they live in a vacuum divorced from history and just consequences.

Electorally: The rest of the world is advised to keep waiting – who knows what whims an imperial hegemon will take?

Culturally: I believe it might somewhat explode here given the content of Trump’s speech, the seeming impossibility of coordinating a proper & broadly-accepted judicial review of the vote before the upcoming Electoral College procedures (these dates are prescribed in the US Constitution and would require an already do-nothing Congress to modify), as well as the total war against it from the US media class.

But the math is simple: Two-thirds of the country voted. That means one-third of the country doesn’t care and probably wants it over. One third went to Biden. So it’s fair to guess that for almost 70% of the voting eligible population, “It’s over”. Really. Any talk of civil war must include this endemic American apathy, caused by the atrociousness inequality of their antiquated and aristocratic system, which implicitly sides with the status quo in its irresponsible sloth.

A reversal of Biden’s projected win implies, as I wrote, something of a revolution. In history civil wars have been launched by one-third of the population, but winning them without recourse to secession is certainly rare, and a change installed by only one-third of the population is not a revolution at all. Certainly, any Trumper “explosion” would have to be entirely grassroots, as the media wouldn’t cover it any more than they covered Trump’s historic speech, and it would have to be nearly clandestine, as Facebook and Twitter are now so incredibly and heavily censored. Finally, the US is imperialist and thus there is no revolution possible at all – Trumper or otherwise – they are barely able to have a functioning “democracy with imperialist characteristics”.

I can report that despite what a disaster United States political culture truly is the US system – like it or not – certainly seems to be democratically supported by the (highly propagandised) majority, therefore the world is obligated to respect its processes and results.

The problem for the entire world is that many inside the US do not or will not support the processes surrounding this 2020 presidential election, and that implies either broken processes or a broken culture.

When the imperial hegemon’s culture is broken that is either cause for concern or celebration, depending on your class. And maybe the US is not broken, but just breaking?

*************************************************************

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolen – December 3, 2020

Why Joe Biden Can’t Unify America

As the Democratic party tumbles into the morass of racial and identity politics, Joe Biden will find it almost impossible to unify his own party, let alone America.

by Scott McConnell

Donald Trump faced an unfairly hostile press and was burdened with innumerable deficits of his own making, but in comparison with Joe Biden he held one clear advantage at the outset of his term: he had beaten fair and square his ideological rivals in his own party. The GOP establishment retained considerable power in the House and Senate—and Trump couldn’t govern without them. But Trump had beaten—no, whipped—Bush and Rubio and Cruz, and they knew it. He could draw large crowds and they couldn’t. His authority over the GOP may have been resented; the “resistance” to him from the Deep State and affluent suburbanites was formidable and eventually brought him down, but no one could deny that his ascension was based on one hard currency of politics, namely, mass voter enthusiasm.

Biden, a likeable enough centrist senator, can boast of no such thing. He prevailed, as Christopher Caldwell cogently reminds us, after an embarrassingly poor start to his campaign, (fourth and fifth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire), salvaged by a critical endorsement from a South Carolina congressman who probably influences more votes than any politician in America, immediately followed by a panicked rush of the party establishment to close ranks against the socialist Bernie Sanders. Though American presidential campaigns last far too long, this critical period seemed to pass in a nanosecond. Congressman James Clyburn’s church ladies (and Biden’s unobjectionable tenure as Barack Obama’s vice president) put him over the top in South Carolina. Next, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar immediately dropped out (the latter two having beaten Biden, sometimes decisively, in states where voters actually see a great deal of the candidates). Elizabeth Warren stayed in to battle Bernie for the party’s Left vote. Biden swept Super Tuesday just as the coronavirus was shutting down the country. It was almost certainly the most underwhelming route to a nomination in recent American political history. 

The party which nominated Biden is more divided than the one Trump dominated in 2016; the difference is the battle between the factions hasn’t been joined yet. Socialists would make common cause with deep state and corporate world neoliberals in believing, (or pretending to believe—it can be hard to distinguish) that Donald Trump constituted some sort of unique threat to American democracy. But with Trump gone, they share nothing. One can imagine a gifted politician (a Bill Clinton in his prime) able to soothe the divisions and partially placate the losers; it’s unlikely Biden could manage that at any point in his career.

The splits are as stark as those which separated Mayor Richard Daley and other party “regulars” from the McGovernites who beat them in 1972, but also more complicated. There is a liberal—or socialist-curious—Left that is genuinely concerned about the economic inequality which has been growing in the United States for forty years—Elizabeth Warren, and, in a more dogmatic and further left way, Sanders spoke for them. There is the identity politics faction, which shares their radicalism, ignores economic inequities unless they concern blacks or Hispanics, and is interested in a full-scale cultural war against whiteness, which means against much of American culture and history. Both groups endorsed Sanders but it is not clear how much they share with one another. They share virtually nothing with Michael Bloomberg or other Wall Street titans who contributed heavily to the Biden campaign.

One consequence is that in the early rounds of the Biden transition, every choice has been racially fraught. For the past five days, hundreds of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors have laid siege to the home of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, protesting against the possibility he would be given a cabinet post in the Biden administration. They opposed Garcetti, a Biden campaign co-chair and probably California’s most well-known Latino elected official, for rejecting BLM demands to defund the Los Angeles police department. California governor Gavin Newsom’s choice of a candidate to fill out the Senate term of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is debated entirely on the basis of identity politics, with blacks and Latinos and LGBTQ groups each proclaiming that one of their “community” deserves the seat; one hears no arguments made on the basis of the character, intellect, or political talents of their favored candidates. Democratic intra-party politics increasingly resembles a zero-sum game of identity competitions, carried out under the feel-good banners of inclusion and diversity.

And yet if the identity politics movement since the first protests following the death of George Floyd seems more radical, pervasive, and frightening, it was not obvious that its beliefs had penetrated into the consciousness of those who were neither college students, young people not yet tied to work and family, or professional liberal activists. In the most bellwether ideological election held since the great awakening, Californians returned to the ballot box once more to pass judgement on race-based affirmative action, which had been made illegal by 53 to 47 percent referendum vote in 1996. In this summer of racial reckoning, liberals in the legislature had pushed for a revote, believing that the state’s changed racial composition, (fewer whites, more Latinos, more Asians) would allow a reversal of that result and give formal sanction for preferential treatment on the basis of race to be used to increase diversity and overcome legacies of past discrimination.

Race-based affirmative action, along with the conundrums of law enforcement, have been the only consequences of the Civil Rights revolution of the 1960s to remain under any serious political or cultural contestation. But since a Vietnam veteran named Allan Bakke famously sued for admission to a California medical school while clearly establishing that his grades and test scores were higher than minority applicants admitted in his stead, it has been a fraught issue, decided ambiguously by the Supreme Court. In California, voters had opted for state neutrality regarding race; now, in the summer of racial justice, progressives assumed they would reverse course.

The voters’ answer disappointed the state’s entire Democratic establishment (which unanimously supported the rollback) and the corporate donors who gave the rollback side a 20-1 spending advantage. Nonetheless, California’s diverse and strongly Democratic electorate still wanted race neutrality, voting for it by a larger margin (56-44) than they had in 1997. Latinos voters split down the middle, Asians and whites voted against the reinstitution of racial preferences.

Meanwhile, in Democratic strongholds of northern Virginia and New York City, Asian parents were leading campaigns to keep exam-based elite public schools alive: against them were arrayed progressive politicians and bureaucrats and Black Lives Matter activists who sought to eliminate tests which measure math and verbal competence and replace them with measures that would reduce the number of gifted students in elite schools—in the name, naturally, of inclusion and diversity.

These local battles take place largely under the national radar as Biden struggles to name a cabinet that will be “the most inclusive in history”—while at the same time assuring that key foreign policy posts are given to the kind of neoliberal Iraq war supporters he is most familiar and comfortable with. Indeed, the battle of leaks and emails over whether the next secretary of defense will be a woman or a black is debated almost entirely without reference to the Pentagon’s mission and how to best carry it out. Then there is the probable nomination of Neera Tanden, who has spent the past several years denouncing Republicans on Twitter, to run the Office of Management and Budget, a nomination that hardly constitutes an olive branch to Republicans.

There is no way to see how Biden or his party squares these circles, which would confound a more vigorous politician with a more robust electoral mandate. As the Soviet Union was fading, Georgi Arbatov, an intellectual close to the Politburo, famously remarked that Moscow was going to cause great problems for the United States by “depriving it of an enemy.” He may have been right. Trump has fulfilled the same function for the Democratic coalition; now that Dr. Evil is gone, the knives will come out. This is why the safest political prediction is that those who voted for a “return to normalcy” under Biden are in for a rude disappointment indeed.

Scott McConnell is founding editor of the American Conservative and author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches from the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars.

The Smearing of Robert Fisk…Now That He Can’t Defend Himself

DECEMBER 3, 2020

Jonathan Cook: the View from Nazareth - www.jonathan-cook.net
Jonathan Cook is a Nazareth- based journalist and winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism [ MORE ]

BY JONATHAN COOK

Something remarkable even by the usually dismal standards of the stenographic media blue-tick brigade has been happening in the past few days. Leading journalists in the corporate media have suddenly felt the urgent need not only to criticise the late, much-respected foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, but to pile in against him, using the most outrageous smears imaginable. He is suddenly a fraud, a fabulist, a fantasist, a liar.

What is most ironic is that the journalists doing this are some of the biggest frauds themselves, journalists who have made a career out of deceiving their readers. In fact, many of the crowd attacking Fisk when he can no longer defend himself are precisely the journalists who have the worst record of journalistic malpractice and on some of the biggest issues of our times.

At least I have the courage to criticise them while they are alive. They know dead men can’t sue. It is complete and utter cowardice to attack Fisk when they could have made their comments earlier, to his face. In fact, if they truly believed any of the things they are so keen to tell us now, they had an absolute duty to say them when Fisk was alive rather than allowing the public to be deceived by someone they regarded as a liar and fantasist. They didn’t make public these serious allegations – they didn’t air their concerns about the supposedly fabricated facts in Fisk’s stories – when he was alive because they know he would have made mincemeat of them.

Most preposterous of all is the fact that the actual trigger for this sudden, very belated outpouring of concern about Fisk is a hit-piece written by Oz Katerji. I’m not sure whether I can find the generosity to call Katerji a journalist. Like Elliot Higgins of the US government-funded Bellingcat, he’s more like an attack dog beloved by establishment blue-ticks: he is there to enforce accepted western imperial narratives, disguising his lock-step support for the establishment line as edgy, power-to-the-people radicalism.

Anyone who challenges Katerji’s establishment-serving agenda gets called names – sometimes very rude ones. Fisk is just the latest target of a Katerji hatchet job against any journalist (myself, of course, included) who dares to step outside of the Overton Window. That these “serious” journalists think they can hang their defamation of Fisk on to anything said by Katerji, most especially the thin gruel he produces in his latest article, is truly shameful. If their concerns really relate to journalistic integrity and reliability, Katerji would be the very last person to cite.

Katerji’s prime area of western narrative enforcement is the Middle East – perhaps not surprisingly, as it is the place where there is an awful lot of oil that western states and corporations are desperate to control. But one should not ignore his wide-ranging efforts to boot-lick wherever he is needed on behalf of western establishment narratives.

Here he is desperately trying to breathe life into two fairytales: that the election of the leftwing Evo Morales as Bolivia’s president was fraudulent, and that Morales was forced to resign last year rather than that he was ousted in a CIA-backed military coup. Notably, Katerji was clinging to these discredited story lines as late as last month, long after even the liberal corporate media had abandoned them as no longer tenable.

Katerji was also, of course, an enthusiastic recruit to evidence-free establishment smears that Labour was overrun with antisemitism under the leadership of the leftwing Jeremy Corbyn, the very same anecdotal claims promoted by the entire corporate media.

Not only that, but he even had the gall to argue that he was speaking on behalf of Palestinians in smearing Corbyn, the only leader of a major European party ever to champion their cause. Labour’s new leader Keir Starmer, like most other politicians in the wake of the Corbyn episode, has all but disappeared the Palestinians from the political agenda. Katerji must be delighted – on behalf of Palestinians, of course.

But Katerji’s beef with Fisk derives chiefly from the fact that the Independent’s foreign correspondent broke ranks with the rest of the western press corps over an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Katerji is part of what – if we were being more brutally honest about these things – would be called the west’s al-Qaeda lobby. These are a motley crew of journalists and academics using their self-publicised “Arabhood” to justify the intimidation and silencing of anyone not entirely convinced that ordinary Syrians might prefer, however reluctantly, their standard-issue dictator, Bashar al-Assad, over the head-chopping, women-stoning, Saudi-financed jihadists of Islamic State and al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria; or who question whether the western powers ought to be covertly funding and backing these extremists.

Exercise any doubt at all on either of these points and Katerji will lose no time in calling you an “Assadist”, “war crimes denier”, “antisemite”, “9/11 truther” and worse. Then in yet more evidence of a circle jerk, those establishment blue ticks, even ones beloved by much of the left, will cite his smears as proof that you are indeed an Assadist, war crimes denier, and so on.

Here are just a few examples of Katerji engaging with those critical of the imperial western narrative on Syria, so you get the idea:

Back in 2011 and 2012, in what looked like the possible eruption of an Arab Spring in Syria, the arguments of Katerji and co at least had an air of plausibility. But their real agenda – one that accorded with western imperialism rather than an Arab awakening – became much clearer once local protests against Assad were subsumed by an influx of jihadi fighters of the very kind that had been labelled “terrorists” by the western media everywhere else they appeared in the Middle East.

Inevitably, anyone like Fisk who adopted a position of caution or scepticism about whether the majority of Syrians actually wanted a return to some kind of Islamic Dark Age incurred the wrath of Katerji and his cohorts.

But Fisk infuriated these western al-Nusra lobbyists even further when he visited the town of Douma in 2018 and raised serious questions about claims made by the jihadists who had been ruling the town that, just before Assad’s forces drove them out, the Syrian military had bombed it with chemical gas, killing many civilians. The story, which at that stage was based exclusively on the claims of these head-chopping jihadists, was instantly reported as verified fact by the credulous western media.

Based solely on claims made by the al-Qaeda franchise in Douma, President Donald Trump hurriedly fired off missiles at Syria, in flagrant violation of international law and to cheers from the western media.

Fisk, of course, knew that in discrediting the evidence-free narrative being promoted by the western press corps (who had never been in Douma) he was doing himself no favours at all. They would resent him all the more. Most of his peers preferred to ignore his revelations, even though they were earth-shattering in their implications. But once the official watchdog body the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) issued its report into Douma many months later, implicitly backing the jihadists’ version of events, Fisk’s earlier coverage was snidely dismissed by fellow journalists.

Sadly for them, however, the story did not end there. Following publication of the OPCW’s Douma report, a number of its senior experts started coming forward as whistleblowers to say that, under pressure from the US, the OPCW bureaucracy tampered with their research and misrepresented their findings in the final report. The evidence they had found indicated that Assad had not carried out a chemical attack in Douma. More likely the jihadists, who were about to be expelled by Assad’s forces, had staged the scene to make it look like a chemical attack and draw the US deeper into Syria.

Of course, just as the corporate media ignored Fisk’s original reporting from Douma that would have made their own accounts sound like journalistic malpractice, they resolutely ignored the whistleblowers too. You can scour the corporate media and you will be lucky to find even an allusion to the months-long row over the OPCW report, which gained enough real-world prominence to erupt into a major row at the United Nations, including denunciations of the OPCW’s behaviour from the organisation’s former head, Jose Bustani.

This is the way frauds like Katerji are able to ply their own misinformation. They sound credible only because the counter-evidence that would show they are writing nonsense is entirely absent from the mainstream. Only those active on social media and open-minded enough to listen to voices not employed by a major corporate platform (with, in this case, the notable exception of Peter Hitchens of the Daily Mail) are able to find any of this counter-information. It is as if we are living in parallel universes.

The reason why Fisk was so cherished by readers, and why there was a real sense of loss when he died a month ago, was that he was one of the very few journalists who belonged to the mainstream but reported as though he were not beholden to the agenda of his corporate platform.

There were specific reasons for that. Like a handful of others – John Pilger, Seymour Hersh, Chris Hedges among them – Fisk made his name in the corporate media at a time when it reluctantly indulged the odd maverick foreign correspondent because they had a habit of exposing war crimes everyone else missed, exclusives that then garnered their publications prestigious journalism awards. Ownership of the media was then far less concentrated, so there was a greater commercial incentive for risk-taking and breaking stories. And these journalists emerged in a period when power was briefly more contested, with the labour movement trying to assert its muscle in the post-war decades, and before western societies were forced by the corporate elite to submit to neoliberal orthodoxy on all matters.

Notably, Pilger, Hersh and Hedges all found themselves struggling to keep a place in the corporate media. Fisk alone managed to cling on. That was more by luck. After being forced out of Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper for breaking a disturbing story in 1989 on the US shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane, he found a new home at Britain’s Independent newspaper, which had been recently founded. As a late-comer to the British media scene, the paper struggled not only to make money but to create a distinctive identity or gain any real visibility. Fisk survived, it seems, because he quickly established himself as one of the very few reasons to buy the paper. He was a rare example of a journalist who was bigger than the outlet he served.

Readers trusted him because he not only refused to submit to his peers’ herd-think but endlessly called them out as journalistically and intellectually lazy.

Those now trying to tarnish his good name are actually inverting the truth. They want to suggest that support for Fisk was cultish and he was hero-worshipped by those incapable of thinking critically. They will say as much about this piece. So let me point out that I am not without my own criticisms of Fisk. I wrote, for example, an article criticising some unsubstantiated claims he made during Israel’s massive bombardment of Lebanon in 2006.

But my criticism was precisely the opposite of the blue-tick crowd now traducing him. I questioned Fisk for striving to find an implausible middle ground with those establishment blue ticks (before we knew what blue ticks were) by hedging his bets about who was responsible for the destruction of Lebanon. It was a rare, if understandable, example of journalistic timidity from Fisk – a desire to maintain credibility with his peers, and a reluctance to follow through on where the evidence appeared to lead. Maybe this was a run-in with the pro-Israel crowd and the corporate journalists who echo them that, on this occasion, he did not think worth fighting.

The discomfort Fisk aroused in his peers was all too obvious to anyone working in the corporate media, even in its liberal outlets, as I was during the 1990s. I never heard a good word said about Fisk at the Guardian or the Observer. His death has allowed an outpouring of resentment towards him that built up over decades from journalists jealous of the fact that no readers will mourn or remember their own passing.

Fisk’s journalism spoke up for the downtrodden and spoke directly to the reader rather than, as with his colleagues, pandering to editors in the hope of career advancement. In the immediate wake of his death, his colleagues’ disdain for Fisk was veiled in weaselly language. As Media Lens have noted, the favourite term used to describe him in obituaries, even in his own newspaper, was “controversial”.

“It turns out that the term ‘controversial’ is only applied in corporate media to political writers and leaders deemed ‘controversial’ by elite interests.

“This was unwittingly made clear by the big brains at the BBC who noted that Fisk ‘drew controversy for his sharp criticism of the US and Israel, and of Western foreign policy’. If Fisk had drawn ‘controversy’ from China, Iran or North Korea, the ‘weasel word’ would not have appeared in the Beeb’s analysis…

“In corporate media newspeak, ‘controversial’ can actually be translated as ‘offensive to power’. The term is intended as a scare word to warn readers that the labelled person is ‘dodgy’, ‘suspect’: ‘Handle with care!’ The journalist is also signalling to his or her editors and other colleagues: ‘I’m not one of “them”!’”

The journalists who now claim Fisk was a fraud and fantasist are many of those who happily worked for papers that readily promoted the gravest lies imaginable to rationalise an illegal attack on Iraq in 2003 and its subsequent occupation. Those publications eagerly supported lies supplied by the US and British governments that Iraq had WMD and that its leader, Saddam Hussein, was colluding with al-Qaeda – claims that were easily disprovable at the time.

Journalists now attacking Fisk include ones, like the Guardian’s Jessica Elgot, who have been at the forefront of advancing the evidence-free antisemitism smears against Corbyn. Or, like the Guardian’s Hannah Jane Parkinson, have engaged in another favourite corporate journalist pastime, ridiculing the plight of Julian Assange, a fellow journalist who puts their craven stenography to shame and who is facing a lifetime in a US super-max jail for revealing US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even the Guardian’s Jason Burke, who claims to have experienced Fisk’s lying first-hand while working for the Observer newspaper in 2001 (as was I at that time), has been unable to come up with the goods when challenged, as the pitiable Twitter thread retweeted here confirms:

Noticeably, there is a pattern to the claims of those now maligning Fisk: they hurry to tell us that he was an inspiration in their student days. They presumably think that mentioning this will suggest their disillusionment was hard-earned and therefore make it sound more plausible. But actually it suggests something different.

It indicates instead that in their youthful idealism they aspired to become a journalist who would dig out the truth, who would monitor centres of power, who would comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. To do, in fact, exactly what Fisk did.

But once they got a footing on the corporate career ladder, they slowly learnt that they would need to adopt a more “nuanced” approach to journalism – certainly if they hoped to progress up that ladder, earning the right to their blue tick, and gaining a big enough salary to cover the mortgage in London or New York.

In other words, they became everything they despised in their student days. Fisk was the constant reminder of just how much they had sold out. His very existence shamed them for what they were too cowardly to do themselves. And now in death, when he cannot answer back, they are feasting on his corpse like the vultures that they are, until there is nothing left to remind us that, unlike them, Robert Fisk told uncomfortable truths to the very end.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

Australian Lowlifes – American Empire’s Bitches

Australian Lowlifes – American Empire’s Bitches

December 01, 2020

By Allen Yu for the Saker Blog

I have picked on America for some time … and for good reasons … because American leaders and media on the world stage have been tragically hypocritical and arrogant for too long.

Just look at the recent murder of Iran’s top nuclear scientist – Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Imagine if a top scientist in the U.S. (or U.K. or France or Germany for that matter) was murdered in a similar fashion: American leaders and media would all be all up in arms, calling out the despicable act for what it is, an affront against basic civility.

But because this happened to Iran, there is no moral indignity expressed in the U.S. media or its leaders. Trump seemingly smugly tweeted the news. Other leaders acknowledged nonchalantly almost as if it were news about bad weather. The killing is treated at worst as political intrigue by Israel – with certain approval by Trump – to prevent Biden from improving relations with Iran and perhaps rejoining the JCPOA.

It’s truly despicable … but expected. And now we see something just as disgusting in … Australia!

A few weeks ago, news came out that Australia troops have murdered at least 39 innocent civilians in Afghanistan in the course of the Afghan war. Over the weekend, an obscure artist in China made an art about the tragedy which was widely circulated in Chinese social media, and which Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Li JianZhao twitted.

The Australians are now all up in arms over the image! The angle Australian (and U.S.) media and leaders is taking is that this is all “fake news”! Australian Prime Minister Morrison pronounced it to be a “fake image”! In this Australian news video, one Australian politician pronounced that the image is “gratuitous, inflammatory, deeply offensive.” The reporters fumed that China was “childish” and a “bully” and that Australians must “stand up” to Chinese aggression. China is doing this – in their view – because it is mad at Australia for speaking up about Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and banning Huawei. Australian must not back down because who knows what else will China demand of Australians later, and what else evil China will demand of Australia’s children and grandchildren down the road!

I kid you not … that’s what they are saying in Australia!!!

So a few quick responses.

First, this is not “fake news.” It is real news. Watch “Killing Field: Explosive new allegations of Australian special forces war crimes | Four Corners.” It’s a documentary made by the Australian Public Broadcast Service and can be easily found on YouTube at https://youtu.be/-GPplTKCYpQ The issues are real. The events are real. The tragedy is real. The pain is real.

Second, this is not a “fake image.” It’s art – commonly understood to be an expression or application of creative skills to produce artifacts that evokes beauty and/or emotive power.

I remember a few years ago, many the West laughed at Muslims for getting for mad at “art” that satirized the Muslim prophet Muhammadin in what has been called the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. The Muslims accused the West of defaming their religion, but the West hollered “Freedom of speech”! But even in their fervor, never did Muslim supporters raise the issue about a “fake image”!So to Australian media and politicians again … this is Art.

Third, talk about “gratuitous, inflammatory, deeply offensive”! It is the Australians who are “gratuitous, inflammatory, deeply offensive” for attacking Chinese who are creating and spreading art that expresses a shared human pain. The art evokes a primal, innate expression for basic human rights, especially taken in larger view of the West’s endless wars in the world – including the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, Latin America, among others. It is a basic human right to feel and communicate such emotions from human tragedies and offenses.

Fourth, about China being “childish” and a “bully,” please look in the mirror. Please look first into the mirror and reflect upon what you as a nation have done to others. You who say you are a gate keeper of peace have betrayed that trust and blindly killed some 39 – probably much more(!) – innocent men, women, and children. China is not “bullying” you by holding a mirror up and hoping that you can reflect upon the crimes you have conducted.

Fifth, stop crying about how you must stand up to China … Over the past two or so years, you have taken dramatic actions following U.S. lead in fighting a trade, technology, and ideology war against China the last few years. This is your choice, not China’s. You have spread lies about Huawei’s 5G insecurity, you have sided with and inflamed foreign-sponsored hooligans in Hong Kong, and you have created false, unsubstantiated reports about so-called Xinjiang “concentration camps.” Yes, you should stop. But not because of China per se, but because that’s the common, basic, decent, human thing to do.

Please understand that even after you do stop, you still have to face the music for the music your troops have conducted in Afghanistan.

China does not want to be your judge or savior, Australia. You have to face up to the court of history and humanity yourself. Please grow up, get some bones, stop being America’s bitch, and take some responsibility for yourself, Australia.

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo, Joe Biden speaks during a press conference at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware on November 16, 2020. (AFP photo)
The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’
(Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.)

Monday, 23 November 2020 6:50 AM  [ Last Update: Monday, 23 November 2020 7:01 AM ]

By Ramin Mazaheri

For four years The New York Times editorial page has been unreadable because into every column – no matter the subject – an anti-Trump diatribe was inserted. For the world’s many billions who think there actually are issues other than the president of the United States, their obsession was incredibly tedious.

It reminded me of how the World Socialist Web Site ends every column with a reminder that the only solution – no matter the subject – is Trotskyist revolution. At least they keep that at the bottom, so you can avoid it if you want.

The difference between the two is that one is openly opposed to neoliberalism and neo-imperialism, while the other censors any discussion of these enormously crucial and socially-devastating concepts.

Joe Biden recently made waves for snapping at a reporter asking a difficult question, and it reminded us of how very coddled he was during the presidential campaign. But a possible change from Sleepy Joe to Cranky Joe may or may not be a problem – that depends on if his apparent election win survives the judicial oversight of the vote, something which is supported by 46% of America (per a poll by The Economist) but 0% of their mainstream media.

The bigger potential issue – and it’s a global one, because foreign journalists often ape the US, in what Iranians have called for 75 years “Westoxification” (being intoxicated by Westernism) – is what the US media actually evolves into post-Trump (if he loses).

In one of the many positive unintended consequences of Donald Trump, the US media went from the slavish sucking up to power during the Dubya Bush era of “wars without bodybags”, to “everybody loves Obama (even though in 2012 he beat Mitt Romney just 51% to 47%), to rediscovering that the press is not actually merely the public relations team of the government.

If Biden wins, will the US mainstream media quickly revert to sucking up to power? Will it be still only softball questions for President Biden?

Or does four years of decent reporting – sadly combined with a concurrent journalistic era of hysterical fear-mongering, Russophobia, urging hatred of one’s differently-voting neighbour and a moral outrage which rested upon a wilful ignorance regarding what Trump supporters really believe – actually have an impact?

The question reminded of an ancient Chinese aphorism: “The murder of a ruler by his minister, or of a father by his son, is not the result of events of one morning or one evening.”

The radicalisation of fake-leftists into faker fake-leftists? Or will the US truly reform its imperialist ways?

The larger point of that aphorism is that actions have consequences, and that if we allow things to go too far down the wrong road an unjust ruler gets murdered, or a country becomes as incredibly internally divided as the US now is.

Journalists are supposed to be combative and even provocative, but the problem here is entirely with the never-stated ideology of Bidenism. (Please note that is entirely different from me writing: the problem is with the rabidity of the never-Trumper ideology.)

Because actions have consequences, we should grasp that Bidenism is not just a “return to (the 2015) normal” but also includes a vindictive, ever-more flaming evangelical insistence that US-led Westernism (neoliberalism and neo-imperialism) is the one true religion, which Donald Trump was heretically and treasonously wrong to even partially call into question.

Who are these unreadable new and old columnists of The New York Times? I can tell you what they are not: they are not journalists who openly denounce imperialism, the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the oppression of the Wall Street high finance class or the other key ideas which differentiate leftism from centrism and rightism.

No, the loudest Bidenites are people who are upset that Trump is now trying to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq; are upset that Trump did not bomb Syria; could not care less about the famine in Yemen; and who would not have expressed outrage at all for the assassination of Iranian anti-terror hero Qasem Soleimani if Barack Obama had killed him.

The idea that Biden’s foreign policy is going to be less belligerent than Trump’s is something based only on hope and not on the past four years (nor Biden’s 47 years in public service). Just look at how Bidenites are preparing to deal with Trumpers and ask yourself: is the neo-imperial hegemon really going to treat foreigners – especially Muslims in oil-rich areas – better than their very own neighbors?

Bidenites essentially want to criminalise working for Trumpism, censor Trumpist analyses, and make Trump the very first president to ever be prosecuted (what happened to the outrage of Trump’s calls to prosecute “crooked Hillary”?). These are all “radical” in the very worst sense of the word. The obstacle in implementing such radical policies is that Trumpism won at every level on November 3rd except the presidency, in a total concretisation and not repudiation of Trumpism, whether one likes that or not; the problem is that Bidenites at this time in 2016 were, incredibly, already talking publicly about impeaching the then-president-elect Trump, gutting their credibility.

These do not seem like the people who are going to herald a new era of tolerance for non-American ideas because they can’t even tolerate half of America’s ideas. Bidenism may turn out to be “Western universal values” on steroids because Bidenites realise there truly is a threat to the 2015 status quo, which they are obviously hell-bent on suppressing.

These do not seem like the people who are going to become more tolerant of those who do not accept America’s fake-leftist and divisive identity politics, which are entirely based around one thing: distracting from opposition to and the discussion of both neo-imperialism and neoliberalism.

Like Obama, will Biden get a Nobel Peace Prize for his election campaign?

Many of us are old enough to have seen the failure of this idea, currently held by many non-Americans, that the switching from a Republican to a Democrat will herald an entirely new era free from American belligerence.

The younger class may not remember the intense hatred Democrats had for George W. Bush, but the proof of it is in that shocking, totally unmerited Nobel. In 2013 Obama would be credibly quoted as saying, “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”

If things really do change for the better if Biden wins, journalists will have to have changed as well. Of course, we cannot expect their publishers and editors to allow them to be towards Biden but a fraction of how oppositional they were with Trump, but the younger generation of reporters have now been weaned on journalistic ideas which may prove hard for neoliberal and neo-imperialist forces to rein in.

However, the problem of their essential fake-leftism – of Bidenism – remains, no?

And this is a problem for journalists worldwide, who often read the US mainstream media and are so proud that they can understand a foreign language so well that they may fail to realise they are also imbibing Biden’s latent, never-stated neoliberalism and neo-imperialism; they are so happy Trump is gone they forget the corruption and anti-“universal values” stances which got him elected in the first place. 

The worry is that instead of a genuine move away from American rightism, journalists in the US and abroad only imbibe a key hallmark of Bidenism: intolerance for dissent and the refusal to engage in dispassionate conversation about vital societal issues. The worry is that they become accepting of Bidenism’s flaming insistence that Western liberalism is the only acceptable form of human society worldwide – this is all adds up to the “unradical radicalism” of Bidenism.

Journalists must be skeptical, but they must be accurate – refusing to report on the reality of American Trumpism is as bad as those Americans whose family relations who have become frozen because of their inability to tolerate their relative’s right to vote as they wish.

That’s an American problem, but the idea that Bidenism is actually an anti-imperial and anti-neoliberal movement, or that it will continue Trump’s relative drawdown of American forces worldwide – that’s something you’ve never actually heard from Bidenites.

Think you will (if Biden wins)?


Cheerleading Fraud

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Instead of truth-telling journalism and support for an open, free and fair process, the Times leads establishment media cheerleading for rigged results over legitimate ones in the Trump v. Biden/Harris race.

Extreme bias for the dubious challengers shows up in daily editions — readers consistently lied to and otherwise deceived.

I support neither wing of the one-party state. 

I reject a process that shuts out independents and increasingly seeks to suppress speech, media, and academic freedoms.

Corporate-controlled conventional and social media censor truth-telling on vital issues, wanting content diverging from the official narrative restricted or blocked.

Google and its YouTube subsidiary operate as gatekeepers for powerful interests. 

Its personnel are tasked with eliminating what it calls extremist and other offensive content — code language for wanting alternative views silenced.

The Internet is the last frontier of digital democracy, the only reliable independent space for real news, information and analysis.

Yet its survival as now exists is jeopardized by dark forces opposed to free and open expression.

Eroding in plain sight, it may disappear altogether ahead on the phony pretext of protecting national security.

The self-styled newspaper of record NYT is part of the problem, not the solution.

Countless examples abound, supporting brazen Election 2020 fraud one of them.

In its latest edition, it lied claiming “the will of one man (opposes) the will of voters.”

I strongly oppose virtually everything Trump has done in office — domestically and geopolitically, including his serial lying.

Yet he’s right in sounding the alarm about brazen election fraud.

Instead of supporting a democratic process the way it should be, the Times has gone all-out for Election 2020 losers Biden/Harris to replace winner Trump on January 20. 

Saying “Trump revealed the fragility of the electoral system and shaken it” ignores a deeply corrupted process that’s too debauched to fix.

When powerful interests choose winners and losers — voters disenfranchised by having no say — selections, not elections, take place, what clearly happened in the US on November 3.

The Times and other establishment media consistently and repeatedly pretend that democracy in America is real — knowing full well it’s pure fantasy.

If the real thing showed signs of emerging, it would be legislatively or otherwise formally banned.

Saying Trump is “relying on false claims of fraud” is typical Times disinformation.

If Biden/Harris replace Trump in January, they’ll be illegitimate throughout their tenure — selected by dark forces, clearly not elected.

State courts are part of the debauched process, upholding the will of powerful interests over the rule of law and elections the way they’re supposed to be held.

Et tu Supremes? It won’t likely be long to find out.

The Google Archipelago

The Google Archipelago

November 20, 2020

By Jimmie Moglia for the Saker Blog

During the cold war the West called dissenters those Russians in the USSR who voiced their complaints against the system. A definition – ‘dissenter’ – which, processed through the lexical grinding machine of the CIA and associates, was actually stripped of its original meaning to become a weapon of trivial instrumental imperialist propaganda. Said it another way, it was the dissenters who gave the pigs of the animal farm the tools for the pigs’ full spectrum propaganda.

But none can halt the inaudible and noiseless foot of time. And with the fall of the Berlin Wall it has come to pass that Western propaganda itself has created the dissenters. Meaning people who have been persecuted or even tortured, as is the case of Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning. Plus a hefty list of others – uncomfortable men, daring an escape from the Twilight Zone, thus dangerous by definition, and therefore marginalized or branded as traitors, maladapted or plainly mad, for to define true madness what is it but to be nothing else but mad.

However, increasingly, such criminalizing or demonizing measures appear inadequate – notably in the current phase of the ‘great reset’, meaning a global theft of freedom in exchange of a pseudo-security or pseudo-salvation from system-fostered terrors, dangers and apocalyptic ills.

And yet it is not enough. Unlike with dictatorships, Western pseudo-democracies have established a soft and practically invisible censorship consisting of the concentration in a few power groups of all main sources of communication and information, so as to drown any dissenting voice into the bottomless ocean of silence.

It may help that our Zionist “elder brothers in the Abrahamic faith” (that’s how the current Vatican calls them, reversing 1000 years of Catholic theology and practice), own and control 90% or thereabouts of all communication media, printed, Hollywood, academia, radio-TV and Internet.

Still, he who does not submit is jailed, or simply marginalized, rendered irrelevant in the Google archipelago, a wondering atom among the million molecules of deplorables.

Yet the strategy is increasingly proving inadequate, while freedom is hijacked in exchange for a pseudo-security that is fake, proclaimed and accompanied by threats. Nevertheless it is a pseudo-security made inevitable, following the train of provoked and questionable epidemic threats, possibly set up by the very security-providing system. 9/11 may serve as the master key or copy.

Therefore sundry ‘free’ countries have passed or are passing legislation involving punishment for the crime of opinion. This is inevitable for the greater the enforcement of the official ministerial truth, the more likely are desertions of the ministry by the unbelievers. So far, desertions are limited and rendered noiseless by a thousand-eyed censorship. And yet they risk to garnish attention and rip the curtain cloth that shelters fiction from fact.

For example, Germany has pending laws to prevent the questioning of vaccine(s), a remarkable instance of a new medical theology. And with the spirit of rebellion growing at large, so grows the violence of repression, even though the ‘elder-brothers’ owned media waters down the reports to dampen or hide their impact.

Much as, in another continent and settings, the same media all but ignored Trump’s mass rallies, while extolling Biden’s, often attended by eight people and a dog.

Massive censorship is justified on the ground that social media companies are private, therefore entitled to establish what is and isn’t true. What more evidence is needed to demonstrate the ethical and intellectual rotting decline of the West.

Clearly the escalation of threats and repressions is a sign of weakness among the globalist masters. For to establish their own truth they need to cast off the mask of liberty. Though given the flow and development of pandemic-related events even that mask may be redundant.

The legitimation of what is but an influenza wave, branded as a bubonic plague, falsified in the numbers and yet lethal for the cure of other illnesses. The imposed obedience clearly inconsistent, contradictory, ridicule in scope and medieval in appearance, should open the eyes of those who like to use them.

That may not be the case. Hence the path is open for the cashiering of constitutions and the introduction of freedom-killing legislation.

It is questionable whether generations educated to passiveness and in love with the ephemeral, may attempt a defense. They have but a rudimental notion of liberty, mainly associated with the liberty to purchase and consume. It is equally questionable whether their defense may trespass the borders of disillusionment. And even disillusionment is uncertain, as for many belonging to the herd can overcome the fear of being led to slaughter.

Therefore it is not with a large mass of inert followers of the mainstream media from hell that the West can defend its position of some kind of leadership.

In my archive, there is a video snippet where the ‘spokesman’ for a band of Pakistani migrant hooligans in the North of England says, “In 20 years we will take over f—ing England.”

I know I am but one of many living in the Google archipelago, where the godfathers of globalism reign supreme.

It seems we cannot bring light to darkness or call forth the mutinous winds of rebellion. As rhetorical as it may sound, we may as well dispel the illusion of redemption, bury it in the earth and, deeper than did ever plummet sound, drown the book that extols the values and worth of European civilization.

PS. For this article I relied on material provided by an anonymous European writer whom I would gladly cite if only I knew his name.

Why Trump Has Been Unable to End Endless Wars. US Troop Withdrawals from Afghanistan?

By Keith Lamb

Global Research, November 19, 2020

The Times of London reported, on November 16, that Trump’s recent installation of loyalists in top Pentagon jobs is likely to be for the purpose of fulfilling his long-term pledge to bring an end to the U.S.’ “endless wars”. It is expected that Trump will order the withdrawal of 4,500 troops from Afghanistan and so end 19 years of occupation.

There are two prominent objections to Trump’s likely proposal. Firstly, a swift withdrawal of U.S. forces, that would have to take place before January, will bring logistical chaos. However, the daily state of chaos which occupation brings to the lives of millions is barely considered.

Secondly, an “early” withdrawal will disrupt efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Christopher Miller the current U.S. Acting Defense Secretary sent out a memorandum saying, “we are on the verge of defeating Al Qaida and its associates, but we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish.” A fair point, but if not now then when? Furthermore, who gets to define when a mission is accomplished?

If 19 years of occupation, by the mightiest military force of our modern age, has not led to a suitable conclusion then unlikely will another year make any difference. The fact is the U.S. occupation, of Afghanistan, has been an unmitigated disaster that next to Libya, Syria, and Iraq represents a litany of the greatest human rights violations of the 21st century.

There are now 2.7 million Afghani refugees worldwide while Afghanistan’s GDP per capita stands at a paltry $531. Afghanistan now cultivates over two-thirds of global opium and has 2.4 million opium addicts. Tragically, the U.S. spent $52 billion occupying Afghanistan, in 2019, which is more than twice Afghanistan’s GDP at $20.68 billion.

With the devastating suffering which occupation has brought to the Afghani people, notwithstanding the criticisms of an abrupt exit, Trump’s efforts to bring an end to the occupation of Afghanistan and end U.S. wars are commendable.

In contrast, unlikely will the mild-mannered, but often hawkish, Biden take the same line. While he has not always supported military action he nevertheless believes in the U.S. hegemonic right to use hard force. For example, Biden supported the catastrophic 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq and he pushed for NATO’s expansion eastwards.

However, Trump’s actions, in regards to Afghanistan, may be too little too late. Instead of concentrating on ending U.S. global occupation, he has been busily engaged with a self-destructing economic war with China who could have been a useful ally in ending the Afghanistan quagmire. Why then has President Trump been distracted by China at the expense of fulfilling his pledge to “bring home the troops”?

Trump’s problems stem from being able to recognize the unease of working-class America that arise from both national and transnational capital, i.e. the one-percent, while concurrently being beholden to the propaganda of the one-percent used to control the ninety-nine percent.

For example, Trump, in contrast to previous presidents, captures the zeitgeist of a large section of traditional working-class Americans who serve in the military. It is they who make needless sacrifices, through their blood and taxes, for the service of an elite who care little for their subaltern. However, due to Trump’s billionaire status, and his own willingness to swallow the propaganda fed to the working-man, he has been ideologically crippled.

Firstly, being a billionaire, he has been unable to see that unfettered U.S. capital, both in their national and transnational forms, represents the nucleus of where the U.S.’ primary contradiction emanates from. On one hand, Trump has supported capital with avaricious tax breaks. On the other hand, the military-industrial-complex, that has resisted Trump, is a business itself that feeds on the suffering of never-ending wars.

Secondly, Trump’s rightly sees that the American worker has been disempowered due to U.S. transnational capital shifting production to Asia. However, Trump unfortunately falls into the trap of jingoism by predominantly vilifying China for events beyond China’s own control. China then is as much an innocent party as the American working-class who are taught to hate China.

In addition, Trump, when it suits him, is quick to criticize the disseminating of “fake news” by the U.S. mass-media itself controlled by transnational capital. However, Trump like much of the U.S. working-class has nevertheless been indoctrinated to accept simplistic narratives this mass-media propagates. It is these narratives which justify and distract Americans from their home-grown problems which stem from U.S. class contradictions.

For example, the mass-media’s constant China-bashing, which has been a feature long before Trump’s arrival, along with their support of U.S. foreign interventions work hand in hand. Threats are used to justify war at an ideological level, to the masses, while the war itself is used to achieve the strategic and economic goals of the one-percent.

In addition, foreign threats and wars work to distract Americans from their own deep-state’s machinations. This in turn drums up a national fanaticism that provides an “emasculated” working-class with a masculinized American identity linked to the U.S.’ global supremacy and “righteous wars”. Trump, of course more than any other president, has tapped into this masculinized American “tough man” image.

While the existence of a corporate media, along with deep-state interests, negate U.S. democracy and make the country ungovernable for the ordinary citizen, it is, these same external influences which form the “embodying features” of Trump who being from the swamp has been unable to extradite himself from the swamp.

Thus, the very quagmire that is U.S. democracy and that is Trump is also the quagmire of Afghanistan today. Regrettably, transnational capital, who Trump calls the globalists, has played Trump well throughout his presidency. As such, unless serendipity allows the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan, in the next two months, Biden, who cannot be accused of being ideologically naïve will be ready to take over the reins from where Bush and Obama left off which is the never-ending journey to war.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Featured image is from InfoBricsThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Keith Lamb, Global Research, 2020

Trump Must Choose Between a Global Ceasefire and America’s Long Lost Wars

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2)

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2)
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

November 15, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

For months the United States’ corporate-dominated media has terrified everyone with promises of right-wing militias taking to the streets, but here’s the thing: the pressures currently being put on 70 million Trump supporters is exponentially raising the possibility of that actually occurring, not reducing it.

It is ghastly illuminating to see just how quickly – and with such disregard for modern human rights – both the elite and the highly partisan citizens of the United States are attacking those who refuse to fall at the feet of Joe Biden, and even before all the votes are counted in a very narrow and highly-disputed election.

It is not an exaggeration, as I will list them below, but the tactics being used to push Biden into office are akin to wartime, yet the US is most emphatically not at war – all this derangement is over merely trying to vote as equals. I am not reporting from 1917 USSR, or 1949 China, or 1959 Cuba, or 1979 Iran – there are no foreign armed forces meddling in a revolution/civil war.

“Bidenism” is most emphatically not a revolutionary force. It is openly and proudly the exact opposite: a return to the “normalcy” embodied in the 2015 status quo. Nor is the US at civil war, but it seems some never-trumpets are actually hell-bent on starting one rather than do what every nation does: rely on a calm judicial review when there is a contested and very narrow vote. There is simply no other way out for the US than to follow normal democratic procedures, even if their electoral process is routinely called the worst among the Western core democracies by Harvard think-tanks.

(The US goes one step too far, as usual – other nations at least wait until the votes are actually mostly counted until a candidate declares victory, unlike Donald Trump and Joe Biden.)

If this does turn out to be the “Biden presidential(-elect) era” the world can easily grasp what a terrible, very Trumpian start it is. Americans, I think, cannot.

It’s just very unclear what Americans in 2020 truly believe in anymore?

We know that many American elite don’t truly believe in free press or free speech:

Part 1 of this article, “CNN’s Jake Tapper: The foreman/overseer keeping all journalists in line” discussed how one of the nation’s top news anchors threatened lesser-privileged journalists with blacklisting if they don’t side with Biden immediately. His intimidation went uncommented upon/tacitly condoned by his top colleagues, when his pathetic careerism amid social instability should cost him at least some of his privileges.

Censorship is one way to prevent dissenting journalism, but informal censorship is another: The US doesn’t need formal government censors when their own journalists enforce such obvious suppression informally.

The goal of censorship is conformity. The US media which is corporate dominated – from the (fake) left New York Times to right-wing Fox News – is producing coverage which seemingly exclusively conforms to the false idea that it’s good journalism to exclude the massive number of Americans who feel the vote was not “fair and free”.

Since this troubled election began that number includes a stunning 70% of Republicans, per recent polls, but also independents and leftists. Since the election I interviewed both the Party for Socialism & Liberation and the Socialist Alternative Party (you have never heard of them because of the duopoly which strangles American elections) and both of them said the same thing: this is a terribly antiquated system in America, but in any democracy you count all the votes and litigate any contentious problems.

We know that many Americans don’t believe in the right to an attorney:

The anti-Trump and totally mainstream PAC/think tank The Republican Project has been lauded from the (fake) left to the far-right Washington Post for successfully harassing Trump’s Pennsylvania election lawyers into abandoning their client. The tactics used were not rhetorical and moral but mere intimidation, harassment and doxxing (releasing private information about people into public).

Trump is appalling, but does he not even deserve a lawyer?

Do people who associate with Trump, such as his lawyers, deserve such treatment? How far does this go – that’s the question those engaged in a witch-hunt are too fanatical to ask themselves.

Trump’s legal grievance is obviously supported by too large a democratic minority to ignore without causing lasting damage to the integrity of the American system.

By denying the right to an attorney these rabid anti-Trumpers do not technically betray the letter of their 1776 Revolution, that anti-imperialist event, but they certainly do seem to betray the spirit. It seems to violate the spirit if not the letter of the 6th amendment (ratified in 1791), which guarantees a lawyer in all criminal prosecutions, as well as the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th amendment (ratified in 1868).

Congratulations to rabid anti-Trumpers for being so very progressive that they have made it to just past the slavery era?

1868 is a good place mark for the mentality of US Democrats, who remain obsessed with race and totally untouched by any of the anti-imperialist and class-based analyses which began to prevail worldwide since 1917.

We know that some American lawmakers don’t believe in open elections:

Earlier this month I reported on the blacklist of Iranian media by the Bernie Sanders-affiliated Democratic Socialists of America, so we shouldn’t have expected much from this fake-leftist faction openly committed to working within the Democratic Party.

But many Americans were shocked that DSA’s most powerful member, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, actually doubled down when a tweet of hers suggested that lists should be compiled of pro-Trumpers who have committed no crime other than supporting not her party.

When top elected officials vaguely threaten citizens with “the idea of being responsible for their behavior over last four years” and their behaviour is just working for a democratically-elected candidate, what else is this but massively undemocratic intimidation? That would makes free elections in the future impossible.

AOC is seemingly advocating for a one-party state, without knowing it, perhaps, but incompetence is no excuse. It’s certainly another sign of the widespread hysteria of rabid anti-Trumpers.

Directly after AOC’s call sprang up the “Trump Accountability Project”, headed by former Democratic National Committee press secretary Hari Sevugan, which is seemingly looking to blacklist all those that worked for the (possibly) outgoing administration. Would Mr. Sevugan approve of a “Biden Accountability Project” in 2024 for Biden’s staff? Or is that a superfluous question because Democrats are preordained to rule in an unbroken, 1,000-year dynasty?

Why would anybody of merit want to go into public service anymore if they are just going to get blacklisted for doing so?

All the above: This is all wartime-era stuff.

And Chicago, where I am currently based, has been boarded up like it was wartime since the election. (And in August/September. And in May/June.)

It’s as if America can’t help but inexorably draw itself to conflict, because this is all totally self-imposed. This is not the 1960s – there is no peace movement here anymore.

America is acting like what it is: half-full of rabid imperialists

Of course, “neo-imperialism” means colonising your own nation for an international 1%, as the European Union – that supremely US-guided project; that project which is more American than even America – proves.

Of course America is in a state of xenophobia (hostility or fear towards different cultures or strangers) and witch-hunting: this is exactly what the Democratic Party has normalised via their failed Russophobia campaign since 2016.

Did they think they could just turn that off?

Many current Biden supporters failed to stand up against this phony campaign designed to deflect from the Democrats 2016 election failures (2020 saw an even bigger “Blue Wave” failure, but isn’t this anti-Trump supporter hysteria deflecting attention from that for now?), and the most vociferous of them are now aiming their pitchforks at the people who dared to vote differently. The problem is that there are so very many of such persons.

We should add that for four years on US social media this hate mongering has to be multiplied by millions, maybe even billions of time-wasting, venomous posts and spiteful “likes” about veritable political nonsense. It’s practically a justification for state-sponsored censorship, because what kind of society can be healthy towards their neighbors, much less foreigners, when there have these been daily witch-hunts in the phony online world?!

So these lists can go on and on, but our tolerance of such intimidation should not.

(And, yes, before Russophobia there was Islamophobia, and before that it was socialism-phobia, Blackphobia, Indianphobia, etc.)

What’s going on in America is that the most Trump-hating Democrats are acting exactly like what they are: not fascists, as is so often alleged of the other side in Western discourse, but imperialists, which is so rarely discussed in Western discourse.

Like Jake Tapper, they are not just careerists who aspire to outdo everyone in extremism in order to rule from atop the pyramid, they also want to believe they also have the moral high ground despite that. It is arrogance combined with a lust for power and a hysterical, unreasoning rage which comes from we know not where?

Half of the US is so hysterical about being doubted that they can’t recognise themselves in the mirror, but many of those they have colonised, blockaded, sanctioned, brutalised and impoverished sure can.

It’s absolutely appalling and the solution is not simply, “Say that Biden is the president.”

Any nation which has a culture willing to go to such lengths to get others to accept their view – rather than relying on reasoned, secure reflection and some sort of litigation or vetting process – is deeply messed up.

But, as the US proved with their murderous meddling in Iran’s 2009 election: many in the US don’t just not care about anyone’s else’s rules, judges or systems of conflict resolution – the 2020 election proves that many Americans don’t even care about their own.

They are the law-giver and the life-taker and the president-maker, because they say so. Better side with “they”, or else.

*************************************************************

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The foreman/overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2)

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized

November 09, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

It’s impossible for the US presidential election to have gone worse for the empire: America now has two presidents.

That can’t be denied, yet their mainstream media is spinning like mad the idea that there is no problem: The election is over and that Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect. This is likely a biased view, but it’s certainly terrible journalism. Journalists have the right to do whatever they want – project election winners, ignore half the electorate, talk about “partition” – but we have no legal power to decide who actually won.

Not only has a certainly narrow vote not been certified, but the votes aren’t even all counted yet. And it’s not as if this vote wasn’t already disputed for months in the public eye. And it’s not as if there were’t several hundred lawsuits filed before the vote even took place. And it’s not as if there won’t be many lawsuits dated after the November 3rd vote.

But to their clearly anti-Trump mainstream media: “Nothing to see here, move along.”

Seriously? American journalism in action is really something to see.…

The media keeps pointing out that all the lawsuits have failed so far, but it just takes is one and it goes to the top – the Supreme Court deciding this election continues to look not just possible but probable. The idea that American judges are mostly liberal rebels and not by-the-book conservatives is preposterous – they are judges, after all. Record absentee balloting and an incumbent who focuses on his rights and benefits first, last and always both remind us how very not by-the-book this election is.

The ultimate fault for the current “Avignon Papacy” situation – the Roman Catholic church had two popes for most of the 14th century – lays not with the media but with the candidates, and especially Joe Biden. For months he bemoaned the unpredictability of Trump, and yet Biden declared victory Saturday based merely on an AP projection. It was an incredibly self-interested, dangerous, destablising and confidence-shaking move to make – it was a very Trumpian.

If the very slim numbers (Biden is up by an average of just 30,000 votes in three different states) were flipped and Trump declared early the mainstream media would be up in arms, and rightly so. Biden continues to – as the first debate reminded us – willingly jump down to the Trumpian unpresidential gutter, and yet because Trump licks the gutter’s floor Biden is somehow given a free pass.

Red state/blue state now officially outdated: it’s Trumpism vs. ‘universal values’ holdouts

The former was based on two things: a nation divided by new wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a nation with huge inequalities between rural and urban/suburban citizens (in access to technology, cultural influence and standard of living). It was rural Americans who fought in these wars of imperialism (and not mere revenge for 9/11), which drastically shaped the communities they lived in, thus making the divide especially inflamed.

However, in 2020 Texas almost flipped Democrat?! Arizona – the proud home of reactionary radical John “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” McCain – is currently flipping Democrat?! Several Great Lakes states have already flipped back and forth in the Trump era. Trumpism has – for better or for worse – obviously changed American politics in a major way because unthinkable realignments are happening, and this forces us to eject old paradigms if we want to understand what is going on here.

The new partition is “brazen imperialism” versus “soft imperialism”.

But here’s our dilemma: Which party represents which? That we pause is entirely the change to grasp in 2020.

Democrats have become the party which backs the Deep State, “humanitarian interventions”, “universal values” which are a code phrase for their preferred values, free trade (which benefits the rich the most), censorship and which evinces a dangerous evangelism and hysterical self-righteousness (as their failed three-year Russophobia campaign showed). Violent evangelism is forbidden in Islam, but not in the Protestant or Catholic West.

What can we call French President Emmanuel Macron’s unprecedented declaration that Islamophobia is now state policy but a hysterical evangelism in favor of Western secularism? It’s hardly as if secularism has produced more moral or just governance than in religious-inspired nations, yet Macron’s faith cannot be shaken no matter how many innocent people his anti-Muslim tirades get killed.

And who is more globalist, “universal values” and pro-European Union than “neoliberal strongman” Macron, no matter how many French Yellow Vests lose an eye just for insisting that neoliberalism means the colonisation of the average of Westerner by an international 1%, and also that the post-1991 EU is a “neoliberal empire”?

I broaden out the US experience because in the other Western imperialist nations we clearly see similar cultural movements – engaging in imperialism inherently produces exceptional and distorted cultures. Ex-Labor chief Jeremy Corbyn was just suspended by his own party for absurd anti-Semitism allegations because that is what hysterical imperialists do to those who don’t embrace 1%-led globalisation. It used to be that such denigrations were limited to conservatives, but Corbyn proves how flexible our analysis needs to be precisely because traditional Western paradigms have become outdated.

Trump has signalled the start of a new era: the Cold War ended in 1991, US unipolar dominance (and thus Western dominance) ran from 1992-2016, and Trumpism coincides with the Great Recession-era propelled return to a multipolar era.

The undeniable electoral rejection of a “Democratic Blue Wave” in favor of “Trumpian Republicans” – where Trump increased his vote totals with every ethnic group and gender except White males – shows that the concept of White male supremacism being the foundation of Trumpism is as false as the labels of anti-Semitism pinned on Corbyn and the Yellow Vests. Trumpism is something bigger: it certainly must now include the idea of a Western domestic rebellion against their politicians who have presided over (or caused) the establishment of our new multipolar era.

The digital era does not seem to lend itself to the values still required to thrive in rural areas, so far, but last week’s vote totals prove that we cannot say that Trumpism is simply a “red state” phenomenon anymore.

This is not new: heads are divided in the US metaphorically, and maybe soon literally

Trump is planning to hold “recount rallies”, to publish the obituaries of dead people alleged to have voted in the election, to sue various state election boards, and to generally keep refusing to play by the rules of the globalist/“universal values” dominated US establishment (which is the basis of Trump’s popularity). You might be shocked by all that, or oppose all that, but you cannot say that Trump supporters should be frozen out of how this election concludes unless you openly prefer unilateral declarations to democracy with checks and balances.

A concession speech by one candidate is not legally required, but it is obviously a cultural necessity. How long can US media pretend that the election is over even though there has been no concession speech?

That’s an incredibly dangerous question to ask, and undoubtedly terrible journalism, and more proof that this election could not have gone worse for Americans if it had tried.

What would have happened Saturday in Chicago if pro-Trump supporters had gone to Trump Tower, where all day and night there were hundreds of people celebrating Biden’s “victory”? I can tell you, as I was there: a whole lot of innocent young people would have gotten their heads split open.

That’s the danger Biden just caused, and which is being increased by poor journalism and which has only just begun.

Biden set off this era of two presidents rather than counselling patience and faith in the process amid crisis. Biden has also set the stage for dramatic domestic disillusionment with their electoral process and political structure. Trump voters are incensed, and Biden just trolled them even though the US mainstream media was already doing exactly that for him.

In 2009 the moderate candidate declared early in Iran’s presidential election and after periods of peaceful rallies and counter-rallies it got violent. America should have learned from Iran’s experience (shared by countless other examples in modern history) but apparently Biden is not smart enough despite 47 years experience as a public servant. Nobody ever assumes great public service and intelligence from Trump, and certainly not the virtue of forbearance, but Biden promised better yet failed to deliver on what he said was his Day 1.

Biden was supposed to be better than Trump, but this was the worst start possible.

He can smile for the cameras, and create a corona task force which can’t start until January 21, and ignore the calls to finish counting the vote and to certify it, but the simple reality is that 70 million Trump voters are not going away in 2020 any more than they went away after they won in 2016. They need to be understood – they were unexpected, at the very least, and seem to herald a new era, at the most.

Trump’s re-election would probably not be good for the same countries as in 2016 – Iran, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela and any other of the few nations with a socialist-inspired revolution/movement – and so we see why leaders and diplomats from these nations especially want him gone: Trump cannot be reasoned with regarding these revolutionary (unique) nations. Who knows what a Trump second term would bring? But Biden continues to show plenty of worrying evidence that he plans to get away with the same unilateral nonsense Trump set the precedent for, rather than re-establishing basic decorum, concern for others and diplomacy. I examined this notion last month in an editorial titled, “US debate debacle shows Democrats will adopt Trumpian self-interest globally”, and Biden’s reckless premature declaration shows the idea has a worrying amount of merit.

Unilateral nonsense is not good for the American 99% or the 99% of any other nation. With two presidents, American nonsense has only doubled.

*************************************************************

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism wasn’t a cult of personality (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

With 2 presidents US election as chaotic as feared

Monday, 09 November 2020 3:29 PM  [ Last Update: Monday, 09 November 2020 3:29 PM ]

2020 election: Experts fear post-election crisis as Trump sets the stage to  dispute the results in November - CNNPolitics
Video here

Ramin Mazaheri 
Press TV, Chicago 

The United States has not been so divided in recent memory, as there are two people claiming to be president.

The mainstream media rushed to accept Joe Biden’s declaration of victory, even though he has an average lead of only 32,000 votes in three states in a vote which is not even finished counting yet. Donald Trump has also claimed victory prematurely.

It appears half the country believes Biden is the president-elect while the other half believes Trump is the president-elect. No one knows what will happen next, and many fear tensions could elevate into violence. 

But mail-in ballots were used in unprecedentedly massive numbers, and the vote’s legality has been openly disputed for many months. It seems certain the courts will ultimately decide the legality of the vote, and maybe even who won, as in the year 2000, which caused massive political alienation, cultural division and mistrust.

The lack of trust is also because the US election process is considered the worst of any of the core Western democracies. That’s according to the Harvard-based Electoral Integrity Project, whose 2019 index ranked US elections just 57th in the world. 

Pro-Biden corporate media is seemingly acting as if there is no dispute at all, while skeptical pro-Trump outlets insist this unique election must be vetted by the courts and that Trump must not concede before that process is finished.

Both sides appear to be bewildered by the stance of the other side and both sides are certain of their own righteousness. With two presidents many say the US election could not have turned out worse, and the worst seems yet to come. 


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

%d bloggers like this: