إعلام محور المقاومة

22/06/2021

فجأة ودون سابق إنذار تمّ إغلاق مواقع تابعة لقنوات تلفزيونيّة لمحور المقاومة، وأعلن على صفحاتها الرئيسية أنها تغلق بقرار من وزارة العدل الأميركيّة، والإغلاق سواء كان رسمياً أو عبر قراصنة هو تعبير عن هشاشة المزاعم الأميركيّة حول التمسك بحرية الرأي والإعلام، والسابقة ليست جديدة فهي تعبير عن استمرار سبقه الكثير من إجراءات القمع التي بدأت مع تصنيف مؤسسات إعلاميّة على لوائح الإرهاب. وكانت البداية مع قناة المنار.

اللافت أن هذا يجري في بداية ولاية الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن، الذي جعل في مقاربته لإعادة صياغة سياسات بلاده عنوان حقوق الإنسان المرجع الذي يوجّهها، وأول هذه الحقوق حق التعبير، فعندما تفاوض واشنطن مع طهران لرفع العقوبات والعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، لا تفعل ذلك بحساب الاعتراف بحق الشعب الإيراني، بل دفعاً لما تعتقده الأصعب وهو امتلاك إيران لسلاح نووي. والسياسة الفعلية لواشنطن هي ما يجسّده قرار إقفال موقع قناة العالم ومواقع قناة المسيرة اليمنيّة وقناة الكوثر العراقية وقناة فلسطين اليوم، وكلها مواقع إعلاميّة لا تحمل إلا الآراء.

في الوقت نفسه يصمت الأميركي عن انتهاكات جدية ومؤلمة لحقوق الإنسان، واعتداءات موصوفة على حرية التعبير، فتسقط المعارضة الإماراتيّة آلاء الصديق في حادث مدبّر في لندن، كانت واشنطن ستشكل له لجنة تحقيق دولية لو كان المعني منشقاً روسياً، وستتخذ من باب الاحتياط عقوبات فورية حتى ينتهي التحقيق، وبالمثل بعد شهور من الوعود بالسير حتى النهاية في تحميل ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان مسؤوليّة قتل الصحافي جمال الخاشقجي، قرّر بايدن وقف أي ملاحقة بحق ابن سلمان.

يحظى نظام البحرين برعاية وحماية واشنطن رغم فضائح الانتهاكات التي توثقها كل الهيئات الدولية الأممية والمنظمات الحقوقية، حيث آلاف معتقلي الرأي يقبعون في السجون مهددين بتفشي وباء كورونا، ويعاني قادة كبار السن ومرضى بينهم من معاناة المرض من دون أن ينالوا أبسط رعاية صحية.

لا ترفّ عين المسؤولين الأميركيين عندما يقرأون التقارير عن أحوال الفقر في اليمن والمعاناة في سورية وفنزويلا، بل يتباهون بنتاج الحصار والعقوبات، وهم يعرفون ويعترفون أنهم يعاقبون الشعوب على خياراتها، كما فعلوا عندما رفضوا الاعتراف بنتائج الانتخابات الفلسطينية التي قاموا برعايتها عبر مؤسسة كارتر عندما جاءت النتائج تحمل قوى المقاومة إلى البرلمان.

فيديوات مرتبطة

Cops May Get 30 Years: Feds Charge 2 Corrupt NJ Cops With Beating Yemeni Teen, Falsifying Arrest Report

Source

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor -April 27, 2021

VT: Our sources tell us that this investigation has found not just this incident but dozens of others and widespread corruption at every level of the Patterson New Jersey Police, tying them directly to drug cartels and human traffickers along with Blue Lives Matter extremists.  Watch the video that will take down an entire corrupt police department, one of thousands in the US:

Daily Beast: Two police officers in Paterson, New Jersey have been charged with civil rights and obstruction of justice offenses for allegedly beating a 19-year-old Yemeni man last year, then falsifying a police report about it.

Kevin Patino, 29, and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo, 28, approached Osamah Alsaidi shortly after midnight last December as he was walking to his car to drive to work.

According to the DOJ, the officers grabbed him and started punching him, including when he was lying on the ground. The pair then filed a police report falsely claiming Alsaidi had approached them “acting belligerent” and punched Patino, justifying the arrest. As The Daily Beast reported in February, Alsaidi was charged until CCTV emerged showing a completely different story. The cops face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Tuesday the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office would take over the Paterson P.D.’s internal affairs function. At least 10 Paterson cops have been charged with misconduct in recent years.

BIOGRAPHY

Gordon Duff, Senior EditorSenior Editor , VT

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014gpduf@aol.com

Boulder: Police Strip Mass Killer Because He Was Dressed Like One of Them…What a photo that would have been…

Initial Report: Came in wearing “Boebert style” Tactical gear with patches…left in boxers and handcuffs

By VT Editors -March 23, 20218956

Shooter equipped like a “Proud Boy-Oath Keeper” law enforcement “associate”…AR 15 and full tactical gear…white with a beard…

VT: At Columbine, police waited 45 minutes to go in..waited for the firing to end..for the shooters to run out of ammunition.  They told us that this would keep the kids inside safer…if they let the shooters exhaust their ammunition killing kids.

Let’s be perfectly clear, for many Americans, a majority of the alleged 75 million who voted for Trump, the killings in Boulder are a reason for joyous celebration.  Boulder is an anti-gun town, a liberal town, one of the finest placed to live in the US and somewhere long targeted by right wing extremists.

This was a political act driven by extremist reporting on Fox News, now running up ratings reporting it.

Witnesses told FOX 31 Denver that they heard pops that sounded similar to fireworks and saw a man brandishing an “AR-15 style weapon” and wearing what looked like tactical gear.

This time only one officer went in…and he was killed.  VT extends it condolences to the officer’s family and, of course, to the families of the other victims as well…and from Atlanta…and Washington…and and and and and and and…

No, we aren’t making this up.

Our folks say it was an AR 15 rifle…and we are afraid police misplaced it….

These weapons had been banned in Boulder until the NRA pushed through an effort to overturn Boulder law to enable shooters like this one to open carry an assault rifle into a supermarket and murder ten people.

Now they will tell us he has mental problems…like other Trump supporters.

Now we have one dead police officer…let’s have his story.  Let’s also have the whole story, how long for police to arrive, how long before they engaged the “subject” as he can’t be a terrorist as he is white and middle aged and most likely a Trumpster who was in Boulder to “own the libs.”

Our guess..and we guess pretty darned good.

We will say it over and over.  We want to see what he was wearing, we want to see his social media…we want his history…we want his name…we want to see his weapons and we want to know what happened.

And we are being bullshitted….and this is not for any legal reason…it is a coverup…

The common denominator, we are told, between Atlanta and Boulder is “Tucker Carlson.”

Why do people who watch Tucker Carlson become mass killers?

Where were the guns?  No guns were found, none reported, let’s see what shows up tomorrow?

Why did they take his clothing off?  Oath Keepers or Proud Boy patches maybe?

Where are his clothes?  His guns, his gear…why no reports from anyone of what he was wearing…nobody saw him…?

How did he get there?  Car?  Pickup truck?  Bumper stickers?  Trump flagpole in the bed?

NRA bumpersticker maybe?

Did he kill everyone who saw him or is this a coverup?

The press conference was pure deception….there is something very wrong here…police are hiding something from us.  No name?  No guns?  NO gear?  NO family for the “detained possible subject”…or job or politics or social media…

Give us his name…let us see his social media…let’s learn about him and we want it now in real time…before the truth is buried…

Police keep putting off the press conference. Cooking up lies, one might think as many of the Boulder police, with the absolute exception of one murdered police officer…are militia members and big followers of Boebert and Q

OK…we saw the press conference…smoke and mirrors…total bullshit….shamefully focused on patting law enforcement on the back and covering something up….

no facts discussed…nothing…”person of interest in custody”…”seeking correct outcome”…

…this is a police force that needs immediate defunding…until they can start pretending they are answerable to the public…

long history of corruption with Boulder Police…

unhappy white male with dick problem, pissed about the election or in love with Boebert…

who just tweeted…

ABOUT VT EDITORS

VT EditorsVeterans Today

VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff.

All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

editors@veteranstoday.com

The Post-American World; Crooke, Escobar, Blumenthal and Marandi lay it all out

Via The Saker

The Post-American World; Crooke, Escobar, Blumenthal and Marandi lay it all out

February 17, 2021

Thirty years ago, the United States dominated the world politically, economically, and scientifically. But today?

Watch this in-depth discussion with distinguished guests:
Alastair Crooke – Former British Diplomat, the Founder, and Director of the Conflicts Form
Pepe Escobar – Brazilian Political Analyst and Author
Max Blumenthal – American Journalist and Author from Grayzone
Chaired by Dr. Mohammad Marandi – Professor at University of Tehran

Mind blowing hypocrisy!

Mind blowing hypocrisy!

January 06, 2021

The Saker

I just listened to Trey Gowdy and a few others GOP big-shots condemn the “terrible violations of the law” committed by the protestors today and I take my hat off to these folks: they are truly world class hypocrites.

When cops and mayors refuse to protect the innocent, the rule of law is doing great!

When the letter soup agencies spend millions on a typical witch hunt, the rule of law is doing great!

When the First Amendment is being destroyed by Big Tech, the rule of law is doing great!

When the corporate legacy ziomedia brazenly silences the President, and simply does not report on crucial events, the rule of law is doing great!

When elections are stolen, the rule of law is doing great!

When courts refuse to enforce the law, the rule of law is doing great!

When the Supreme Court refuses to defend the Constitution, the rule of law is doing great!

But when the people, literally, those whom the elected officials are supposed to represent, demonstrate all day peacefully and then a few, not necessarily even Trump supporters (false flags are very easy to organize with crowds!), storm the halls of Congress, then the GOP bigshots take to the air and lament the “tragedy” of the law being violated.

No country and no regime can stand on such truly galactic levels of doublethink, hypocrisy and cowardice.

This is the beginning of the end of this regime.

My thoughts tonight are with the “deplorables”.  In the prophetic words of George Orwell:

“If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be overthrown from within. Its enemies, if it had any enemies, had no way of coming together or even of identifying one another. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, as just possibly it might, it was inconceivable that its members could ever assemble in larger numbers than twos and threes. Rebellion meant a look in the eyes, an inflection of the voice; at the most, an occasional whispered word. But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They need only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it.”  

Orwell’s “proles” are our “deplorables”.  And for all the self-evident weaknesses and delusions, they are the only ones left, literally, and they will have to be the soil from which the liberation of the USA will have to begin.

The rest of them make me feel nauseated.

‘Gloves will come off’ once Trump’s out & media stop protecting Biden, Democrat’s accuser Tara Reade tells RT

8 Nov, 2020 05:44 

‘Gloves will come off’ once Trump’s out & media stop protecting Biden, Democrat’s accuser Tara Reade tells RT
FILE PHOTO © REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Tara Reade, the former US Senate aide who accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, said more allegations may surface as the media allows more truthful reporting on the former VP’s alleged corruption once his victory is sealed.

“I think there will be more interest as far as other people may be coming forward,” Reade said on Saturday in an interview with RT’s Polly Boiko.

Reade noted that journalists such as Glenn Greenwald were stifled during the election in their efforts to report on alleged influence-peddling by Biden’s family in Ukraine and China, but once Biden has replaced Trump in the Oval Office, the rules may change.

Reade argued that the US media was forced to exercise self-censorship in their reporting on Biden during the election cycle, saying that “the journalists … have been frustrated that they have been basically given a message to not go after Biden.

“I think the gloves come off after he becomes president,” Reade said. “I think the truth needs to come out, and I don’t mean attacks, I don’t mean attacks like I experienced, by any means. What I’m talking about is actual journalism being able to get done. If there was corruption, reveal it. If he used his position as vice president to enrich his family, in the way he’s accusing Trump, then it should be revealed.”

Reade earlier this year accused then-senator Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993. Last year, she was among seven women who alleged that he had touched them inappropriately. She called Biden a “predator” in her interview with Boiko and said some of her friends considered his support for the 1994 Violence Against Women Act a “cover for his misogyny.”

“It’s like the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Reade said. “Oh look at me, I’m safe. Not really.”

Reade, who claimed she was pressured to quit her job on Biden’s staff after filing a sexual-harassment complaint, said that since leaving Washington in 1993, she has watched the Democratic Party evolve and become more dominated by corporate interests. Even in the 1990s, she said she witnessed Biden’s devotion to credit-card companies and other corporate donors, arguing that such dominance has only increased. 

“We’ve kind of become the United States of oligarchy.”

The party’s controllers also have become more pro-war, Reade said. “What gets me about the Democratic Party is our hypocrisy,” she said. “I was part of that cult, if you will, the Democrats, and I’m out of it now. I really see the hypocrisy, the sanctimoniousness. We need to stop.”

Reade said the party also needs to “stop blaming everything on Russia, which is just ridiculous,” and start having real conversations about improving the US political system.

“Hopefully we can start looking at other countries as allies and collaborators on ways to work with them rather than as enemies and find the next war,” she said. “My fear with Biden’s cabinet, the packed cabinet he will pick, is that we might end up by spring in another regime war. That’s my prediction.”

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ALSO ON RT.COM

John Lennon at 80: One Man Against the Deep State ‘Monster’

By John Whitehead

Source

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)

John Lennon, born 80 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist, and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files illegally collected on his activities and associations.

For a while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI at the time, directed the agency to spy on the musician. There were also various written orders calling on government agents to frame Lennon for a drug bust. “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes,” observed reporter Jonathan Curiel.

Document with portions of text blacked out, dated 1972.

Confidential (here declassified and censored) letter by J. Edgar Hoover about FBI surveillance of John Lennon (Public Domain)

As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”

Indeed, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution.

For all of these reasons, the U.S. government was obsessed with Lennon, who had learned early on that rock music could serve a political end by proclaiming a radical message. More importantly, Lennon saw that his music could mobilize the public and help to bring about change. Lennon believed in the power of the people. Unfortunately, as Lennon recognized: “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”

However, as Martin Lewis writing for Time notes: “John Lennon was not God. But he earned the love and admiration of his generation by creating a huge body of work that inspired and led. The appreciation for him deepened because he then instinctively decided to use his celebrity as a bully pulpit for causes greater than his own enrichment or self-aggrandizement.”

For instance, in December 1971 at a concert in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lennon took to the stage and in his usual confrontational style belted out “John Sinclair,” a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana cigarettes. Within days of Lennon’s call for action, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Sinclair released.

What Lennon did not know at the time was that government officials had been keeping strict tabs on the ex-Beatle they referred to as “Mr. Lennon.” Incredibly, FBI agents were in the audience at the Ann Arbor concert, “taking notes on everything from the attendance (15,000) to the artistic merits of his new song.”

The U.S. government, steeped in paranoia, was spying on Lennon.

By March 1971, when his “Power to the People” single was released, it was clear where Lennon stood. Having moved to New York City that same year, Lennon was ready to participate in political activism against the U. S. government, the “monster” that was financing the war in Vietnam.

The release of Lennon’s Sometime in New York City album, which contained a radical anti-government message in virtually every song and depicted President Richard Nixon and Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung dancing together nude on the cover, only fanned the flames of the conflict to come.

The official U.S. war against Lennon began in earnest in 1972 after rumors surfaced that Lennon planned to embark on a U.S. concert tour that would combine rock music with antiwar organizing and voter registration. Nixon, fearing Lennon’s influence on about 11 million new voters (1972 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote), had the ex-Beatle served with deportation orders “in an effort to silence him as a voice of the peace movement.”

Then again, the FBI has had a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures. Most notably among the latter are such celebrated names as folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg.

Among those most closely watched by the FBI was Martin Luther King Jr., a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968.

Lennon and Ono sit in front of flowers and placards bearing the word "peace." Lennon is only partly visible, and he holds an acoustic guitar. Ono wears a white dress, and there is a hanging microphone in front of her. In the foreground of the image are three men, one of them a guitarist facing away, and a woman.

Recording “Give Peace a Chance” during the Bed-In for Peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal (CC BY 2.5/Roy Kerwood)

While Lennon was not—as far as we know—being blackmailed into suicide, he was the subject of a four-year campaign of surveillance and harassment by the U.S. government (spearheaded by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), an attempt by President Richard Nixon to have him “neutralized” and deported. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times points out, “The F.B.I.’s surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of how easily domestic spying can become unmoored from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately more unsettling, is the degree to which the surveillance turns out to have been intertwined with electoral politics.”

As Lennon’s FBI file shows, memos and reports about the FBI’s surveillance of the anti-war activist had been flying back and forth between Hoover, the Nixon White House, various senators, the FBI and the U.S. Immigration Office.

Nixon’s pursuit of Lennon was relentless and in large part based on the misperception that Lennon and his comrades were planning to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. The government’s paranoia, however, was misplaced.

Left-wing activists who were on government watch lists and who shared an interest in bringing down the Nixon Administration had been congregating at Lennon’s New York apartment. But when they revealed that they were planning to cause a riot, Lennon balked. As he recounted in a 1980 interview, “We said, We ain’t buying this. We’re not going to draw children into a situation to create violence so you can overthrow what? And replace it with what? . . . It was all based on this illusion, that you can create violence and overthrow what is, and get communism or get some right-wing lunatic or a left-wing lunatic. They’re all lunatics.”

Despite the fact that Lennon was not part of the “lunatic” plot, the government persisted in its efforts to have him deported. Equally determined to resist, Lennon dug in and fought back. Every time he was ordered out of the country, his lawyers delayed the process by filing an appeal. Finally, in 1976, Lennon won the battle to stay in the country when he was granted a green card. As he said afterwards, “I have a love for this country…. This is where the action is. I think we’ll just go home, open a tea bag, and look at each other.”

Lennon’s time of repose didn’t last long, however. By 1980, he had re-emerged with a new album and plans to become politically active again.

The old radical was back and ready to cause trouble. In his final interview on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon mused, “The whole map’s changed and we’re going into an unknown future, but we’re still all here, and while there’s life there’s hope.”

The Deep State has a way of dealing with troublemakers, unfortunately. On Dec. 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman was waiting in the shadows when Lennon returned to his New York apartment building. As Lennon stepped outside the car to greet the fans congregating outside, Chapman, in an eerie echo of the FBI’s moniker for Lennon, called out, “Mr. Lennon!”

Lennon turned and was met with a barrage of gunfire as Chapman—dropping into a two-handed combat stance—emptied his .38-caliber pistol and pumped four hollow-point bullets into his back and left arm. Lennon stumbled, staggered forward and, with blood pouring from his mouth and chest, collapsed to the ground.

John Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. He had finally been “neutralized.”

Yet where those who neutralized the likes of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.

Lennon and Ono performing at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in December 1971 (Public Domain)

Thankfully, Lennon’s legacy lives on in his words, his music and his efforts to speak truth to power. As Yoko Ono shared in a 2014 letter to the parole board tasked with determining whether Chapman should be released: “A man of humble origin, [John Lennon] brought light and hope to the whole world with his words and music. He tried to be a good power for the world, and he was. He gave encouragement, inspiration and dreams to people regardless of their race, creed and gender.”

Sadly, not much has changed for the better in the world since Lennon walked among us.

Peace remains out of reach. Activism and whistleblowers continue to be prosecuted for challenging the government’s authority. Militarism is on the rise, with local police dressed like the military, all the while the governmental war machine continues to wreak havoc on innocent lives across the globe.

For those of us who joined with John Lennon to imagine a world of peace, it’s getting harder to reconcile that dream with the reality of the American police state.

Meanwhile, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, those who dare to speak up are labeled dissidents, troublemakers, terrorists, lunatics, or mentally ill and tagged for surveillance, censorship, involuntary detention or, worse, even shot and killed in their own homes by militarized police.

As Lennon shared in a 1968 interview:

“I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal means. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government and the Russian… Chinese… what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane. But I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”

So what’s the answer?

Lennon had a multitude of suggestions.

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

“War is over if you want it.”

“Produce your own dream…. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders…. You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”

“If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.”

And my favorite advice of all:

“Say you want a revolution / We better get on right away / Well you get on your feet / And out on the street / Singing power to the people.”

A very good discussion of the Kenosha shooting

August 31, 2020

Source

A very good discussion of the Kenosha shooting

Friends,

I want to share what I consider a very good and useful video discussing what happened during the now famous shootout in Kenosha.  I just want to add two things:

First, in my opinion, the single most important advice this video gives is this: don’t go somewhere you would not go without a gun with a gun.  Or don’t ever do what you would not do without a gun with a gun.

Second, some of you might recall an article of my about self-defense myths and choices for civilians.  I want to repeat here something I wrote in that past article: (red stress added)
——-
What is the main difference between a civilian and a law enforcement officer?

It’s not the gun they carry, nor is it the quality of their training (cops are typically pretty bad shots). It is not the legal right to use deadly force, in self-defense civilians can do that (at least in those jurisdictions which allow civilians to carry a firearm to defend themselves). So what is it? It is the following crucial differences:

When cops hear gunshots they have to go and investigate/intervene whereas when civilians hear gunshots they have to take cover or run.

This is absolutely crucial: law enforcement officers have to enforce the law and protect everybody. Civilians only are allowed to protect themselves (or somebody under their protection) and only until the law enforcement forces show up. This is so important that I want to stress this again: civilians do not have the duty to arrest anybody (even in jurisdictions where so-called “citizens arrests” are legal). Civilians have no business chasing and arresting criminals, they don’t have to initiate a confrontation with gangs, thugs, hooligans, or petty criminals. Civilians do not enforce drug laws (neither should the cops, in my opinion, but that is another topic) and civilians do not make traffic stops. If you are a civilian and you see three thugs going down a one-way street while snorting cocaine and brandishing their guns, you should seek cover and get the hell out of there. Cops are duty bound to immediately intervene. That is a *HUGE* difference.

For civilians firearms are a stop-gap personal protection tool of last resort. It is only when everything else fails that you can produce your weapon and, if that also fails, use it.

Law enforcement officers and civilians live in totally different realities.
——-

I will believe that failing to make this distinction is one of the three what get so much people in trouble (the other two being 1) not calling 911 first and 2) speaking to cops (*only* your lawyers should do that!).

Anyway, here is that video, I hope you find it useful.

The Saker

PS: this guy is not a cop, but former military. Very reasonable guy.
PPS: for whatever this is worth, I agree that BLM/Antifa are anti-US, they hate this country, but they are not Communists at all, even if they claim otherwise. Communism (Marxism-Leninism) is an objectively existing ideology, not a label to apply to any and all anti-US slogans or movements. BLM/Antifa thugs would be immediately jailed in both Cuba or China, irrespective of their ideological pretexts for violence.  My 2cts

Kenosha Wisconsin Footage The Media Doesn’t Want You To See (Compilation)

Now reporting from the US! Wait… this is what the whole world must be like?

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)
Heavily-armed police stand outside the Kenosha Country courthouse, Aug. 26, 2020.
Now reporting from the US! Wait… this is what the whole world must be like?

Saturday, 29 August 2020 4:14 AM  [ Last Update: Saturday, 29 August 2020 4:14 AM ]

By Ramin Mazaheri 

It is amusing that one of the first people I spoke with in Kenosha, Wisconsin – as I filmed a car dealership whose entire inventory had been torched – was a French journalist, considering that I have been posted in France for over a decade. It really is a small and interconnected world….

The situation in Kenosha is a microcosm of the United States in 2020 – tragedy on top of tragedy on top of tragedy:

A Black man wantonly paralysed by cops, his three sons forced to watch, ethnic-based violence deteriorating a community already gutted by anti-patriotic neoliberal economics, shops frantically boarding up their windows after having been shuttered during a pandemic lockdown, a 17-year old shooting and killing two protesters – there is just a complete lack of security everywhere over here.

The failure to provide physical security for their citizens is the ultimate failure of any government, no? Providing physical security is the primary reason anyone ever elevated a king, president, tribal elders, communist party, whatever. In the US, however, insecurity is as rampant in real life as it is absent from their seemingly innumerable, slick television shows.

There is no security for Black men here. There is also no security for the home of the cop who shot Jacob Blake so savagely – locals told me they expect his house to be burned down shortly, and that his street is now full of strange cars at night. There’s not going to be any security for that 17-year old shooter when he gets to prison – I can’t see how he’ll survive in a US prison where ethnic-based gangs are seemingly encouraged to proliferate.

Security for Black men, security for prisoners, security for protesters, security via basic health care, security from total economic ruin – these are all things which governments could provide but which are cruelly withheld from the American people. This perpetual insecurity perpetually creates tragedy on top of tragedy on top of tragedy in a country which is most definitely not poor.

Reporting on the United States for this election season/Civil War II is going to require the constant presentation of contradictions, most of them impossible to reconcile (thus “Civil War II”). One guiding idea should prevail, however: the leaders on both sides are so inherently reactionary, power-hungry and arrogant that there is no side which can be chosen with a full heart.

That’s not me calling for (so-called) “objective reporting”, but simply reporting how Americans already feel: Polls reveal that 60% of Joe Biden voters support him only in order to stop Donald Trump, with just 30% voting because they actually support Biden (for his performance or temperament).

This is nearly exactly the same as in France, where in 2017 precisely 24% of the electorate voted for Emmanuel Macron’s proposals or personality – nearly half of his voters only wanted to block neo-fascist Marine Le Pen. In both Western countries voters somehow get stuck with trying to block a far-right candidate, which is to say they are manipulated into voting for a right-wing, aristocratic privilege-protecting candidate who only works to ensure the security of his 1%-er backers.

The problem is not the Western people themselves – the problem is baked into the Western liberal democratic system, which obviously creates and protects a self-perpetuating aristocracy which leans drastically to the political and economic right-wing. Western liberal democracy is seemingly guaranteed to produce political cynicism, distrust and disunity.

This has culminated in a widespread perception in the US that an American maintains his or her security only as long as the government remains uninvolved – this anarchic view is not some sort of universal value but a somewhat logical response to the insecurities perpetuated by the West’s essentially aristocratic (bourgeois), pre-1917-inspired systems.

However, in a time of major crisis a degraded, neglected and neglectful government is unable or unwilling to respond, and that explains why the dog-eat-dog, decentralised US system has had such a terrible pandemic response; that explains why even their small towns are up in flames.

The governor of Wisconsin required four days to finally visit Kenosha – I guess other parts of Wisconsin were making international news/burning down? Or perhaps he put his own safety and interests first. Local law enforcement has been appallingly tight-lipped regarding information on the shooting – above all they want to protect their own little cop aristocracy, even though this lack of democratic transparency drastically inflamed tensions and almost certainly led to the tragic shooting of protesters.

In America there is a constant and often hysterical desire for self-protection – to protect your job, your often meagre “benefits”, your property, your body, etc. – no matter what the cost to anyone else or to society. This is a direct result of the American’s system guaranteed inability to fulfil the primary directive of any type of government: to provide security.

This is not some sort of sad inevitability, as neoliberals and libertarians insist. And although they insist otherwise, there are indeed alternate choices to the American/Western system of societal construction. However, when it comes to nations with alternative views and inspirations – Iran, China, Cuba, etc. – prominent Western politicians lie about these nations just as easily as Trump lies about Biden, or as much as Democratic leaders obfuscate in general.

Craziness in Portland, Minneapolis and Chicago – perhaps to be expected in America, but in Kenosha? Shocking… but not when you think it over.

Will the selection of Trump or Biden end the average American’s crazy, endemic instability amid so much wealth and resources? Not likely.

Americans know that all too well, and it helps explain why there is so much rebellion going on.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV 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.


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

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Trump’s Inhumanity Is Deeper Than We Knew – WP

Trump’s Inhumanity Is Deeper Than We Knew - WP

By George T. Conway – The Washington Post

Just as crises can provide a test of anyone’s character, they do so especially with presidents. We stand burdened with watching a president fail his test, in cataclysmic fashion, and with the nation suffering the consequences.

Until three brief months ago, [US] President [Donald] Trump never faced a serious crisis, at least one not of his own making. But now he has faced two, and is failing two, in short order: the covid-19 pandemic, with its concomitant economic devastation; and now social unrest, and rioting, stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Lacking in humanity, Trump has had no idea how to handle either one. He has responded to the police-brutality protests only by making matters worse. Faced with circumstances warranting calls for calm and restraint, he answered with almost sadistic invitations for more violence, fulminating about “THUGS” and extrajudicially “shooting” looters, issuing threats about “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons,” and celebrating “Domination” and “Overwhelming force.”

Tweeting about “LAW AND ORDER!” and “Anarchists,” and ignoring the distinction between peaceful, aggrieved citizens and the relatively few lawbreakers among them, Trump castigated governors in a phone call as “weak,” effectively upbraiding them for not spraying more fuel on the fire. And then, after he was wounded by mockery about having been hustled to a White House bunker as protests mounted, his administration used chemicals and projectile munitions to disperse peaceful demonstrators so that this morally deficient could awkwardly pose with a borrowed Bible as a stalwart defender of public order and Christian values in front of a Lafayette Square church.

And all with little more than token acknowledgment of the tragedy that triggered it all, and of the righteous outrage that has caused the streets to fill. Little more than a few robotically recited lines tucked into a speech at NASA about a rocket launch, and a speech at the White House that prefaced his parade to the church. He made a sympathy phone call to Floyd’s family, but the dead man’s brother, Philonise, said it went by so quickly that he was barely given a chance to speak.

So, too, with covid-19: The pandemic response sorely needed a leader with competence and intellectual understanding, guided by a basic humanity. Instead, Trump began with denials, lies, delusions — cases going down to zero, and the deadly pathogen would miraculously disappear. He veered from extreme to extreme: from covid-19 as a flu-like problem to a national emergency, from calls for precautions to demands for “liberation” from them, with miracle cures sprinkled about along the way.

Erratic press briefings featured Trump blathering and preening, and treating government experts cavalierly, as if he were on a phone call with Philonise Floyd. The briefings mercifully ended after Trump apparently realized they did him political harm.

And all without appreciation by the president of the human toll exacted not only by the virus itself, but also from his own inattentiveness to it. On Memorial Day weekend, as the death count approached 100,000, he indulged himself with two days of golf. When asked during a March virus briefing a simple question that any humane politician could have knocked out of the park — “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now and are scared?” — he responded not to the American people, but with an angry attack on the journalist: “I’d say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I’d say.”

So much of Trump’s inaptness and ineptness in these and other matters stem from his exceptional narcissism, and the empathic deficit that attends it. Few who have considered it would today doubt, as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) so perceptively put it in 2016, that Trump was “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country has ever seen.”

But it’s more than just narcissism that drives this failing, flailing president. However difficult they can be, even extreme narcissists can have consciences. They don’t necessarily cast aside behavioral standards or laws, or lie ceaselessly with reckless abandon. Trump’s behavior is conscienceless, showing utter disregard for the safety of others, consistent irresponsibility, callousness, cynicism and disrespect of other human beings. Contempt for truth and honesty, and for norms, rules and laws. A complete inability to feel remorse, or guilt. As a New Yorker profile of Trump put it nearly a quarter-century ago, Trump lives “an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.” That’s Donald Trump’s problem yesterday, today and tomorrow.

It’s our problem, too, for now: We remain governed by a soulless man with a broken mind. The damage will continue, and it won’t stop until voters end it. Come November, it will be up to the eligible human population of this country to look to their souls, their consciences, their humanity — and to cast their votes for one of their own.

US Activist: Internal Crises Overwhelming Racist US, People Will Not Retreat

US Activist: Internal Crises Overwhelming Racist US, People Will Not Retreat 

By Elham Hashemi

The latest riots and looting in the United States of America were triggered by the cold-blooded killing of the US citizen George Floyd. The entire planet knows the sad story of Floyd no need to mention in it here.

But this story is only the tip of the iceberg. For those who think that Floyd’s killing is the real reason that made streets of different US states and regions flood with protestors and rioters, you are mistaken. Underneath the tip of the iceberg is what has been accumulating for long years.

If you know the US well, you must know by now that there is no universal healthcare, there are starvation wages, there exists mass incarceration, the US has a long history of police brutality, there is a lack of opportunities, racist politicians are everywhere, a racist justice system exists, there are no reparations and there is no access to affordable education.

With the coming of Covid-19 and the state of chaos across the country, and the sad crime of killing Floyd, it seems that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Thanks to alternative and social media networks, nothing is hidden; information flows in specs of a second through fiber optic technology to reach millions across the world.

News activist and analyst Sam G. from the city of Michigan told al-Ahed news that “Information is not monopolistic anymore. People across the world have become news junkies contributing to the multiplicity of informative voices as well as provide information on first-hand experience and what is happening in each country.”

Sam told al-Ahed “Corona, the pandemic which probably should be thanked at a certain point, revealed the spirit of each country, that is, those who are interested in giving more importance to the economy, as is the case of the United States, while other countries such as Iran carried out a coronavirus control policy where the health of its people was given more importance despite being financially sanctioned by the United States where its people are suffering from the individualistic policies of their government.

“The difference is clear, economy versus health, money versus life and here are the countries that suffer the most that are setting the example.”

The activist noted “The United States has loads of internal crises that it needs to overcome. The political crisis has extended to reach US President Donald Trump; his own officials who can no longer support his statements and poor decisions.”

“We are talking about a government that is racist towards its people. It is a country that is sinking in problems and complex issues and has a government that is sort of living in a state of denial. The US suffers an economic crisis where unconventional oil companies declared bankruptcy and the state had to go out to subsidize them while people continue to die for not being able to access the health system that is private and segregating.” 

This, according to Sam, “leads to an unprecedented social crisis that proves once again that the Trump administration has no intention of improving its own country.”

According to Sam, this is only the beginning of change in the US as well as the world and its order. The activist thinks that people are not willing to retreat or stop protesting until they see the arrest of all officers involved in the killing of Floyd and see action in terms of protecting the rights of African Americans at least.

In many parts of the world, the death of yet another black man at the hands of the police in the United States set off mass protests against police brutality. For many activists and community organizers, Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer was a blunt reminder of Chicago’s racial divide and history of police brutality against African Americans.

Between 2013 and 2019, police in the United States killed 7,666 people, according to data compiled by Mapping Police Violence, a research and advocacy group. In 2019 alone, more than 1,000 people were killed by police, according to Mapping Police Violence, a research group.

Several states have called in National Guard troops to help quell the protests, some of which have turned violent. Cities nationwide have also implemented curfews, but protesters appear undeterred.

The US has even failed in ensuring the right of citizens to protest, which is the simplest form of freedom of expression and human rights in the so-called land of democracies and freedoms. According to the human rights group Amnesty International, police tactics used so far can trigger escalating violence. “Equipping officers in a manner more appropriate for a battlefield may put them in the mindset that confrontation and conflict are inevitable,” read the statement, adding that police “should demilitarize their approach and engage in dialogue with protest organizers”.

Georgia Attorney General Requests Federal Investigation into Ahmaud Arbery Case

Georgia Attorney General Requests Federal Investigation into Ahmaud Arbery Case

By Staff, Agencies 

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has requested the US Department of Justice to investigate the handling of the Ahmaud Arbery case by local prosecutors. Arbery’s murder was committed on 23 February, but saw public outcry after a video of the shooting emerged online.

“We are committed to a complete and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the outset. The family, the community and the state of Georgia deserve answers, and we will work with others in law enforcement at the state and federal level to find those answers”, Carr said.

According to a statement released by the Attorney General’s office, the request to the US Department of Justice “includes, but is not limited by, investigation of the communications and discussions by and between the Office of the District Attorney of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit and the Office of the District Attorney of the Waycross Judicial Circuit related to this case”.

Earlier on Saturday, Carr tweeted that he would handle the case himself.

The video of the shooting emerged in the social media around 5 May, causing massive public outcry, as many believe the murder to be racially motivated. Shortly after the graphic footage of the Arbery’s killing was released, two Georgia residents, Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested and charged with murder.

The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

By Charles M. Blow, NYT

This video is short and shocking.

It’s taken from the perspective of a vehicle following a young black man running at a jogger’s pace has been circulated. The jogger is 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery approaches a pickup truck parked in the street. There are two white men, one outside the vehicle with a shotgun, 34-year-old Travis McMichael, and the other, his father, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael, standing aloft in the flatbed.

The McMichaels had reportedly chased Arbery, blocking his path at another location, at which point he had turned around and jogged another way to avoid them.

In the video, when the men encounter each other, there’s immediately an altercation. Arbery and the younger McMichael fight for control of the shotgun.

Shots are fired. Arbery tries to run away, but he is clearly wounded and his knees buckle. He collapses to the ground. The video ends.

After Arbery fell, the younger McMichael rolled over the limp body “to see if the male had a weapon,” according to a police report. There was blood on McMichael’s hands when the police arrived.

Arbery died of his wounds.

This is how the police report detailed the father’s explanation for why he and his son chased Arbery:

“McMichael stated he was in his front yard and saw the suspect from the break-ins ‘hauling ass’ down Satilla Drive toward Burford Drive. McMichael stated he then ran inside his house and called to Travis [McMichael] and said, ‘Travis, the guy is running down the street, let’s go.’ McMichael stated he went to his bedroom and grabbed his .357 Magnum and Travis grabbed his shotgun because they ‘didn’t know if the male was armed or not.’”

Arbery was not armed, and he was not the “suspect” in any break-ins. He was a former high school football player who liked to stay active and was jogging in the small city of Brunswick, Glynn County, Ga., near his home.

Neither of the McMichaels was arrested or charged. From the time this happened in late February, they have had the luxury of sleeping in their own beds, free men, while Arbery’s body is confined to a coffin, deep in a grave at New Springfield Baptist Church in Alexander, Ga.

According to The New York Times, “Gregory McMichael is a former Glynn County police officer and a former investigator with the local district attorney’s office who retired last May.” The local prosecutor recused herself from the case because Gregory McMichael had worked in her office. The next prosecutor, a district attorney, also recused himself because his son worked for the district attorney for whom Gregory McMichael had worked.

But, before the second prosecutor’s recusal, he said in a letter obtained by The Times:

“It appears Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and Bryan Williams were following in ‘hot pursuit,’ a burglary suspect, with solid first hand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/telling him to stop. It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia law this is perfectly legal.”

The third and current prosecutor on the case said Tuesday that the case should be heard by a grand jury.

He cites the statute: “A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge.”

But there is a clear problem here: Arbery had committed no offense. His only offense, the thing that drew suspicion, was that he was black and male and running through these white men’s neighborhood.

The recused prosecutor’s letter states: “Given the fact Arbery initiated the fight, at the point Arbery grabbed the shotgun, under Georgia law, McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself.”

The similarities here to the Trayvon Martin case are uncanny. These men stalked Arbery, projecting onto him a criminality of which he was not guilty, then used self-defense as justification to gun him down in an altercation that they provoked. Arbery was killed eight years to the month after Martin was killed, just about three hours north.

The Black Lives Matter movement that peaked a few years ago focused activism and protests largely around police killings of black people, but the moment was born of another phenomenon, one present in the Martin case and again here: anti-black vigilantism.

This form of anti-blackness marks black masculinity as menacing, and state laws protect the vigilantes’ rights to involve their weapons and their power to end lives.

The most infuriating part of most of the cases in which unarmed black men are killed, either by the police or vigilantes, is the lack of arrest, prosecution or conviction. It is not any suggestion that the killers were right, morally, but rather that in most cases it could be reasonably argued that the killings were legal.

As has too often been the case in this country, the law works to black people’s detriment and sometimes their demise.

Slavery was legal. The Black Codes were legal. Sundown towns were legal. Sharecropping was legal. Jim Crow was legal. Racial covenants were legal. Mass incarceration is legal. Chasing a black man or boy with your gun because you suspect him a criminal is legal. Using lethal force as an act of self-defense in a physical dispute that you provoke and could easily have avoided is, often, legal.

It is men like these, with hot heads and cold steel, these with yearnings of heroism, the vigilantes who mask vengeance as valor, who ­cross their social anxiety with racial anxiety and the two spark like battery cables.

Arbery was enjoying a nice run on a beautiful day when he began to be stalked by armed men.

What must that have felt like?

What must he have felt when he approached the truck and saw that one of the stalkers was brandishing a shotgun?

What must he have thought when he fought for the gun?

What must he have thought when he took the first bullet?

Or the second?

What must he have thought as he collapsed to the ground and could feel the life leaving his body?

Ahmaud Arbery was a human being, a person, a man with a family and a future, who loved and was loved. The McMichaels took all of that away on a glorious Sunday afternoon in February. Who knows what Arbery could have become. He was young, his life a buffet of possibilities. Friday would have been his 26th birthday.

SOUTHFRONT’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL IS BANNED

South Front

SouthFront's YouTube Channel Is Banned

On April 30, we reported that Facebook permanently banned SouthFront’s public page with about 100,000 followers. (LINK)

Now, the situation appears to be even worse.

On May 1 (in the  evening by CET), YouTube terminated SouthFront’s channels with a combined sum of approximately 170,000 subscribers. The main YouTube channel in English had over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and about 60,000,000 views.

SouthFront's YouTube Channel Is Banned

This happened despite the fact that our YouTube channels had zero active strikes. As you know we cover conflicts in the Middle East. This is a sensitive topic. Therefore, we strictly follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and comply with the Terms of Service.

SouthFront’s YouTube channels were terminated without any warning. All that we got was a single automated email regarding the termination of our inactive channel in Farsi “SouthFront Farsi” that included several translations of our war reports. However, even this email provides no details regarding the decision and just claims that “SouthFront Farsi” violated YouTube’s Terms of Service without any elaboration.

SouthFront's YouTube Channel Is Banned

For over 5 years of our work, SouthFront repeatedly faced attempts to censor our coverage, analysis and videos. However, the current blatant and illegal ban of our activity is an unprecedented case. (LINKLINKLINK)

The only reasonable explanation, we may imagine, is that US authorities ordered YouTube and Facebook to cleanse the media sphere of sources of objective coverage and analysis on the Middle East region as a part of the ongoing preparations for a war with Iran. (LINK)

We think that the current situation deserves attention of the international public, including the journalistic community beyond individual ambitions of separate media organizations and journalists.

WE CRITICALLY NEED YOUR INFORMATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Please, help to share this message with the global audience. Also, please, inform your friends, your social circles about southfront.org as an independent platform covering crucial developments in the Middle East and around the world.

Also, in this hard time, your donations are especially important to keep SouthFront alive:

A Teleological Response to the Crash of the Price of West Texas Intermediate Oil as a Consequence of the Corona Virus

A Teleological Response to the Crash of the Price of West Texas Intermediate Oil as a Consequence of the Corona Virus

April 24, 2020

By Blake Archer Williams for The Saker Blog

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“God damn America, not God bless America!”

“If we can’t sell our oil,” the Iranians said, “you won’t be able to sell your oil [either]!” This turned out to be more of a prayer than a threat that was actually implemented.

The same prayer could be extrapolated for the economy: “If you want to destroy the economy of an entire nation with your barbaric ‘Maximum Pressure’ policy, then may your economy be destroyed instead!” And also with respect to safe air travel: “If you won’t let your Europoodles sell us their Airbus airplanes because they contain American avionics components; and if you won’t let Boeing sell us any of their airplanes once the JCPOA paved the way for such a deal, then may your airplanes be grounded, and may Boeing go bankrupt! And may global air travel be reduced down by more than 80%.”

As Obama’s erstwhile preacher Jeremiah Wright memorably said, “God damn America, not God bless America!” Amen, brother! This is the prayer of all of the people of Iran, the people of Syria, of Yemen, of Iraq, of Libya, of Bolivia, of Venezuela, of Cuba, of the Axis of Resistance, and of all of the peoples whose countries have been ruined or are victims in some way of the American imperium.

Télos

One of the major differences between the theistic worldview of Moslems and Christians on one hand, and that of the modern mindset and of pre-modern atheists revolves around the issue of whether there is such a thing as a ‘Final Cause’, which is the fourth of the four Aristotelian causes (material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, and final cause). Final or télosic cause is the ultimate purpose of the existence of a given object; it is its telos, or the end-term or ultimate purpose of a process that is goal-driven and goal-directed. In the theistic worldview, everything exists for an ultimate purpose, which is to play its part, however small, in the arrival at the eschaton, or at the Final Event in God’s Plan, which is the Day of Judgment: the day everyone will be judged for their deeds on Earth, and the day upon which the eternal fate of their souls shall be determined. Everything is drawn (as opposed to driven) towards God, who is in control of the whole process, which control includes allowing a certain volitional latitude to the sons and daughters of Adam for testing purposes. It is this observation of man’s volitional acts by God and His ultimate judgment of them that gives them meaning.

The atomistic materialistic atheistic view, on the other hand, holds that there is no God and there is no control. Rather than a centripetal motion being drawn to a singularity at the center of the process (as in a vortex), the forces of the universe are mechanical and centrifugal, driving everything outwards towards nowhere in particular and with no particular meaning or purpose. (I talked about this recently on a radio show hosted by Kevin Barrett. Those interested in learning more about the political system in Iran can listen to the show here, where I discuss the thesis of my 2017 book, Creedal Foundations of Walīyic Islam – How Shī’a Theology, Prophetology and Imamology give rise to the theory of Velayat-e Faqih).

And so if we were to subject the phenomenon of the Covid-19 virus to an analysis that includes such a dichotomy, while the materialist and atheistic perspective maintains that the occurrence of the virus, or at least its dispersion, is random and non-purposive, the theistic perspective might see the interference of the Hand of Providence in the big picture view of the phenomenon. Perhaps it is an answer to the prayers of the hundreds of millions of people who have suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of “Christian” war pigs like Pompeo, and the “Jewish” war pig who heads the US Treasury Department, Steven Mnuchin, may they both be damned to Hell. Amen. Ditto the meathead Trump, of course.

This picture has been making the rounds on WhattsApp here in sunny Tehran.

The caption reads “An Artistic Impression of [the Meathead] Trump

More not Less Religious

Of course, there are conditions that prevent prayers from being answered. Perhaps if the authorities in Iran were a little more religious, their prayers would have been answered sooner. Perhaps if the Leader of the Revolution had used the facilities afforded by mass communication technology and had the tens of millions of people who poured out into the streets of the cities of Iran to bid farewell to their beloved Major General Qāsem Soleymānī to supplicate in unison for the ending of the American siege of the Shī’a Citadel, their prayers would have been answered sooner. The experiment in mass prayers has been carried out in Christian nations through the power of radio at least on one occasion that I know of, and that was conducted by George Noory, the host of the Coast to Coast radio show.

Much of the problems of modern man stem from his financial over-reach and his living beyond his actual means. And Iran is no exception (though of course the phenomenon is less pronounced in developing countries). Perhaps if the political order of Iran had eliminated the practice of their banks lending money with the policy that has come to be known as ‘fractional reserve’ banking where banks lend out more money than they actually have, their prayers would have been answered sooner. “By what right,” God will put the question to you, O bankers and Statesmen of modern governmental institutions, “did you lend money that you did not have? By what right did you create money out of thin air and create value and worth by fiat?? By what right did you de-couple the value of your national currency from real value, so that you could print money at will, making a mockery of the earnings of your citizens?” So the Islamic Revolution still has a long struggle ahead of it…

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Whether or not this virus is an answer to people’s prayers remains to be seen, especially with the effect it is going to have on the US economy, which has already seen a staggering 22 million people filing for unemployment benefits in the last month. Robert Redfield, an American virologist and the current Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has warned that the virus will be with us until the winter at any event, and that the effects of its second wave will be much worse because it will be compounded by the usual influenza epidemic which will be taking its toll, especially on the elderly, at the same time, as it does every year, taking the capacity of the health care system to breaking point. Time will tell. But either way, what is clear is that the United States needs to clean up its act and “start behaving like a normal nation” to quote the war pig Pompeo.

دونالد ترامب وحروب «الأمة المختارة»

توفيق شومان

انقلبت أفكار أبي الطب اليوناني أبقراط (460 ق.م ـ 370 ق.م) رأساً على عقب، حين اجتاح وباء الطاعون بلاد الإغريق في عام 430 ق. م، إذ ربط أبقراط علم الطبابة بالأخلاق وجعلهما متكاملين غير منفصلين، فحين رأى الناس يموتون صرعى الطاعون، قرّر إخراج الطب من عالم مغلق على الكهنة والتوارث والاحتكار، إلى عالم مفتوح لكلّ راغب ومريد ومريض.

بعد هذا الانقلاب ورث أبقراط لقباً إنسانياً سامياً، لعله الأرفع، وغدا يُعرف بأبي الطب في العوالم القديمة والحديثة.

ماذا يمكن أن يُقال عن الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب حين يحظر مستلزمات الوقاية من وباء كورونا عن إيران أو يحجرها عن الإيرانيين؟

الرئيس ترامب يقول إنه يخوض حروبه ويمارس سياساته في الخارج والداخل وفقاً لـ «مشيئة الله».

هكذا قال عن حربه التجارية مع الصين، فـ «الله اختارني لخوض هذه الحرب وإنجاز هذه المهمة».

وهكذا قال في تجمع انتخابي مع الإنجيليين قبل فترة قصيرة فـ «الله يقف إلى جانبنا وكلّ مذبح شيطاني يُرفع ضدّنا سيسقطه الله».

وقال مراراً وتكراراً إنّ إيران تقود «محور الشر».

هذا الخطاب الإيمانيّ ـ القدريّ وفقاً لتأويلات المستوطنين الأميركيين الأوائل، وعلى الرغم من مخالفته الصريحة لما تورده الأناجيل المقدّسة عن السيد المسيح وقوله على سبيل المثال: «إن ألقيتم السلام على إخوانكم وحدهم، فأيّ زيادة تفعلون؟ أوَليس الوثنيون يفعلون ذلك؟»، أو قوله: «إن أحببتم من يحبكم فأيّ أجر لكم؟»، فإنه يعيد إلقاء الضوء على مفهوم «الأمة الرسالية وأرض الميعاد» التي أسبغها أوائل الأميركيين على أنفسهم، واعتبارهم الأرض الأميركية المكتشفة حديثاً منحة من الله بهدف إقامة «الأمة الفاضلة».

قليل من التاريخ المعاصر والقريب قد يفيد:

أكثر الكتب المعروفة على المستوى العالمي، تناول نشوء الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، كتاب للفرنسي ألكسيس دو توكفيل (1805ـ 1859) بعنوان «الديمقراطية في أميركا» يقول فيه إنّ مؤرّخ السنوات الأولى للولايات المتحدة ناثانيل مورتون كتب عن مستوطنة «نيو إنيجلند» فقال: «إنه لواجب مقدس علينا، نحن الذين نال آباؤهم كثيراً من نعم الله، بإلهامهم إنشاء هذه المزرعة، أن نقوم بتخليد ذكراها، حتى نبيّن للأجيال المقبلة أنّ الواجب عليهم أن يحمدوا الله على ما أتاهم، وكيف أمر الله بنقل هذه الكروم وغرسها في الصحراء، وكيف طرد الوثنيين منها»، وفي الفترة نفسها كتب فرنسيس هيجنسون قائلاً: «نحن هنا نعلم الدين الحق والوصايا المقدسة، ولا نشك أن الله معنا، وحين يكون الله معنا، فمن يستطيع أن يكون ضدنا؟».

مثل هذه الكتابات المتحوّلة إلى عقيدة لدى شريحة من المستوطنين الأميركيين، ستجد لها مماثلات عدة في كتاباتهم وعقائدهم وممارسات أصحاب القرار السياسي والاقتصادي، وبحسب فرانك لامبرت في كتابه «الدين في السياسة الأميركية» أنّ أقوى الأساطير في الثقافة الشعبية الأميركية «أن الله اختار البراري الأميركية لإنزال نعمه عليها»، ويعتبر جاي باريني في كتابه «أرض الميعاد» أنّ من بين الكتب الثلاثة عشر التي غيّرت أميركا وشكلت عقلها الجمعي، كتاب لماري آنتين عن «أرض الميعاد» (1912)، وهو كتاب يحتلّ مكانة مرموقة في الثقافة الأميركية العامة، وعلى ما يقول ألمع المؤرّخين الأميركيين في القرن العشرين دانيال بورستين (1914ـ 2004) في كتابه الذائع الصيت «الأميركيون» إن جماعات من المهاجرين الآوائل كان لديها اليقين بأنها تسير على «الصراط المستقيم لبناء صهيون جديدة في الأرض الأميركية الجديدة».

قد يصعب حصر الكتابات والمؤلفات المتحدثة عن «الرسالية الأميركية»، غير أنّ هذه «الرسالية» كما يصفها ميشال بوغنون ـ موردان في كتاب «أميركا التوتاليتارية» أدّت بالولايات المتحدة إلى انتهاج سلوك سياسي على المستوى العالمي انطلاقاً من قاعدة إيديولوجية تقوم على محورين:

ـ الأول: الاقتناع بأنّ الولايات المتحدة مكلفة برسالة إلهية.

ـ الثاني: الاقتناع بأنّ تنفيذ هذه الرسالة يستلزم استخدام كلّ الوسائل بلا تحريم.

هنا بالضبط، يمكن العثور على خلفيات «تحريم» دونالد ترامب تزويد الإيرانيين بالوسائل الطبية المفترضة أو الإفراج عن أموالهم المجمّدة.

ومن هنا بالضبط يمكن فهم ما قالته المتحدثة باسم وزارة الخارجية الأميركية مورغان أورتاغوس ـ قبل تفشي وباء كورونا في الولايات المتحدة: «إننا نرى قادة إيرانيين يموتون»، وكذلك تصريح وزير التجارة الأميركية ويلبر روس حين قال: إنّ تفشي فيروس كورونا في الصين قد يفيد الاقتصاد الأميركي وينعش فرص العمل في الولايات المتحدة.

كلّ هذا يعيد عقارب إيديولوجيا الرؤساء الأميركيين إلى الوراء بعض الشيء:

ـ الرئيس بنيامين فرانكلين (1706ـ 1790) وقوله: إنّ مصلحة أميركا هي مصلحة الإنسانية.

ـ الرئيس جون آدامز (1735ـ 1826) حيث يقول: أميركا هي وطن وأرض السعادة البشرية.

تلك شواهد من الماضي البعيد نسبياً

ماذا عن الماضي المعيش والحاضر؟

المفكر الأميركي فرانسيس فوكويوما صاحب الكتاب الشهير «نهاية التاريخ»، يقول في كتاب له بعنوان «أميركا على المفترق» إنّ الأميركيين رأوا في هزيمة ألمانيا واليابان في الحرب العالمية الثانية «نتيجة أخلاقية» وأنّ كثيرين منهم أدرجوا الحرب الأميركية على العراق في عام 1991 في سياق «الهيمنة الخيّرة التي تقدّم خيراً كونياً عاماً».

ينقل رئيس التحرير الأسبق لصحيفة «الحياة» جهاد الخازن في كتابه: «المحافظون الجدد والمسيحيون الصهيونيون» أنّ الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس قال له نقلاً عن الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق جورج بوش الإبن: «إنّ الله أمره بمحاربة حركة طالبان وبقتال الرئيس العراقي صدام حسين».

آنذاك قال الرئيس بوش أيضاً: إنّ النصر حتمي في هذه الحرب لأنّ الله يقف إلى جانب قوى الخير التي تمثلها الولايات المتحدة».

الرئيس بوش قال: إنّ الله يقف إلى جانب أميركا، تماماً كما قال الرئيس ترامب: «إنّ الله يقف إلى جانبنا» في المجمع الانتخابي الإنجيلي، كما سبق القول.

ومثلما قال ترامب في المجمع نفسه: «كلّ مذبح شيطاني يُرفع ضدّنا سيسقطه الله»، كان قاله فرنسيس هيجنسون قبل مئتي عام: «لا نشك أنّ الله معنا، وحين يكون الله معنا، فمن يستطيع أن يكون ضدّنا؟».

القناعة نفسها والمفردات نفسها كأنها صراط لغوي واحد، وهو الأمر عينه الذي أبدع به الرئيس الأميركي رونالد ريغان في ولايتيه الرئاسيتين (1981ـ1989)، وإليه يعود سبق تقسيم العالم إلى فسطاطين: محور الشر ومحور الخير، علماً أنّ عتبة ولايته الرئاسية الثانية كانت بدأت تشهد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي، ومع ذلك أخذه الإصرار إلى العقيدة الفسطاطية، والهدف من ذلك التأكيد على «خيرية» الولايات المتحدة ونصرة الله لها على أعدائها الأشرار، فهي «الأمة الطاهرة»، ولذلك يجب تعميم هذه «الطهرانية» على كلّ مفاصل الدولة الأميركية، فـ «الرب ألزمهم بذلك، وأنّ من واجبهم أن يطيعوا أمر الرب»، مثلما ورد في كتاب كيمبرلي بلاكر المعنون بـ «أصول التطرّف اليميني في أميركا».

تقدّم القول إنّ حروب الولايات المتحدة لا تعرف التحريم كما قال ميشال بوغنون ـ موردان، وفي ذلك تقول جين كيركباتريك السفيرة الأميركية لدى الأمم المتحدة في عهد الرئيس ريغان في كتاب حرّره آرون سيلزر بعنوان «المحافظون الجدد» وأورد فيه مقالات ومحاضرات لرئيسي الوزاء البريطانيين الأسبقين مارغريت تاتشر وطوني بلير ووزيرة الخارجية الأميركية السابقة كوندوليزا رايس وآخرين: «إنّ من شأن الدفاع عن مصلحتنا القومية ألا يكون مرتبطاً عضوياً بالدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان أو أيّ قضية أخرى جديرة أخلاقياً».

في هذا الكلام لجين كيركباتريك، يتمّ التقاط أبعاد أخرى في الحروب الأميركية على العالم، ومن ضمنها الحرب الدوائية والمالية على إيران، فطالما أنّ هذه الحروب تصبّ في مصلحة الولايات المتحدة، فهي «حروب خيّرة»، حتى لو رآها كلّ العالم مغايرة لذلك، فإيديولوجيا الخير حصرية بالمكان والزمان الأميركيين، وما يقوله الآخرون لغو وشطط.

هو تعريف غير مسبوق للخير.

تعريف يستند إلى المصلحة الذاتية والنفعية وليست المصلحة الإنسانية.

ولكن من الإنصاف القول إنّ الحرب الدوائية والمالية على إيران، بالرغم من كونها تتخذ واقعاً أكثر سفوراً في جانبه غير الأخلاقي، إلا أنّ سياسات التطرف الأميركي، لم تبق ولم تَذَر أحداً، لا روسيا ولا الصين، ولا حتى الحليف الأوروبي العجوز كما وصفه الرئيس ترامب ذات مرة، ونقاش «الحرب الباردة» بين الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد الأوروبي مفتوح على جوانب عدة منذ تسعينيات القرن العشرين، ولعلّ كتاب «الفردوس والقوة» لروبرت كيغن، والذي خرج من المطابع في عام 2003، يشكل نموذجاً صارخاً لنمط التفكير الأميركي تجاه القارة الأوروبية.

هي «الأمة الخيّرة» كما اعتقد بها الأميركيون السابقون والأميركيون اللاحقون ومن ضمنهم الرئيس ترامب.

هذه «الأمة» ماذا تريد؟

هذه «الأمة» تريد كلّ شيء: أن تكون القوة العسكرية الأقوى ـ أن تكون الاقتصاد الأقوى ـ أن تكون مركز المال والأعمال ـ أن تتجاوز الأمم المتحدة ولا تأبه لقراراتها (نموذج صفقة القرن) ـ أن تقبض على صندوق النقد والبنك الدوليّين ـ أن تهيمن على منظمة التجارة العالمية ـ أن تنسحب من اتفاقية المناخ ـ أن تخوض حروباً نفطية ومالية ودوائية ويميل نحوها الآخرون حيث تميل، وكلّ ذلك تحت شعار «أميركا أولاً» لأنها «الأمة المختارة».

كيف هي «مختارة»؟ ويقودها الرئيس ترامب ومن «أقواله المأثورة»:

ـ منافستي على الرئاسة هيلاري كلينتون محتالة ـ رئيسة مجلس النواب نانسي بيلوسي جرو مريض ـ وزير خارجيتي ريكس تيلرسون كان كسولاً وغبياً ـ وزير دفاعي جيمس ماتيس وقح وسيّئ أجبرته على الاستقالة ـ مستشاري للأمن القومي جون بولتون شحاذ ومتسوّل ـ «نيويورك تايمز» كذابة ـ «وول ستريت جونال» غير شريفة.

تقول صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» (1ـ 1ـ 2019) في تحليل لمواقف وتصريحات الرئيس ترامب: «إنه كذب 5600 كذبة في عام 2018، وبمعدل 15 كذبة في اليوم الواحد».

لم يتمّ تحليل مواقف الرئيس ترامب في عام 2019، بسبب انشغال الصحافة الأميركية بجائحة كورونا في عام 2020، إلا أنّ هذه الصحافة نقلت عنه مواقف وتغريدات في غاية السوء، ومنها: «أودّ أن أرى الكنائس تكتظ بجمهور المصلين، في عيد الفصح فهذا سيحرك اقتصادنا».

هو يعلم أنّ جائحة كورونا مستمرة، ومع ذلك يدعو الناس إلى الموت. يدعو كبار السنّ إلى القبور.

ما لم يقله ترامب حرفياً، قاله نصيره في الحزب الجمهوري، جيف دان باتريك، نائب حاكم ولاية تكساس، حيث دعا المعمّرين والكبار في السنّ لأن يضحّوا بأنفسهم إنقاذاً للاقتصاد والأحفاد!

«قادة مختارون» لـ «أمة مختارة» يحجبون الدواء عن الناس في إيران، و»قادة مختارون» لـ «أمة مختارة» يدعون إلى ترك كبار السن في بلادهم في عراء الموت!

هؤلاء «القادة المختارون»: هل قرأوا ما قاله السيد المسيح: «أكرم أباك وأمك كما أوصاك الرب… أكرم أباك وأمك كي تطول أيامك»؟

هؤلاء «القادة المختارون»: هل يقرأون الأناجيل المعروفة أم يقرأون أناجيل غير معروفة؟

في أية أناجيل يقرأون…؟

Racism amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Why I Don’t Feel Safe Wearing A Face Mask

Racism amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Why I Don’t Feel Safe Wearing A Face Mask

By Aaron Thomas, Boston Globe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a 180-degree turn last week and is now recommending that people wear face masks in public. The guidelines say that medical grade masks should be reserved for health professionals, who are facing a shortage of supplies, and suggest that Americans use T-shirts, scarves, handkerchiefs, or any other spare fabric to make homemade masks to cover their noses and mouths.

On Saturday I thought about the errands I need to make this week, including a trip to the grocery store. I thought I could use one of my old bandanas as a mask. But then my voice of self-protection reminded me that I, a Black man, cannot walk into a store with a bandana covering the greater part of my face if I also expect to walk out of that store. The situation isn’t safe and could lead to unintended attention, and ultimately a life-or-death situation for me. For me, the fear of being mistaken for an armed robber or assailant is greater than the fear of contracting COVID-19.

These are the fears that Black Americans have to constantly face. Where we can go, how we can show up, what we can wear, what we can say – it never ends. The world is upside down right now with the coronavirus pandemic, and we are living in a dystopian nightmare come to life. Still, we are living in an America where history dictates that, even in the most absurd times, hatred and bigotry continue to reign. We are still judged, convicted, and sentenced by race, by gender… and class.

Early reports highlight what many have predicted: Those who are impacted by COVID-19 are overwhelmingly people of color, poor people, the homeless, and those living with disabilities. This stems from a lack of equitable access to health care.

Meanwhile, the bigotry escalates. There has been an increase of anti-Asian discrimination because COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China. Racial tensions are increasingly escalating, and the situation for minorities is getting worse.

As this is a historical moment, it is important that we remember our history. Black men and women in this country have been killed for any and everything. A child with a toy gun, a young girl sleeping in her family home, a man buying an air gun at Walmart. Knowing all that, I just don’t feel safe. Even in a time of pandemic, the discrimination does not stop.

I will not be covering my face until I am able to obtain a face mask that is unmistakable for what it is. Let me be clear: This is not because I do not trust the advice of the CDC – I do. I believe in science, and I have followed all of its guidelines up to this point. I know masks work, and I trust the CDC’s recommendation.

What I do not trust are the innate biases and lack of critical thought about the implications of these decisions. I do not trust that I can walk into a grocery store with my face covered and not be disturbed. I do not trust that I will not be followed. I do not trust that I will be allowed to exist in my Black skin and be able to buy groceries or other necessities without a confrontation and having to explain my intent and my presence. I do not trust that wearing a make-shift mask will allow me to make it back to my home.

So until I receive a mask, I will get to live out my childhood dream of being on “Supermarket Sweep.” And yes, I will attempt to get everything I need into my cart and to the checkout in three minutes or less.

Aaron Thomas lives in Columbus, Ohio.

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media

March 25, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The Chicago Tribune – seemingly the only major newspaper which did not endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016 (they endorsed Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson) – has reported that price gouging in Chicago has skyrocketed a spectacular 9,000% since March 1.

What’s worse, that figure only includes complaints to the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department from March 1, excluding the first two months of 2020.

From some it’s a dagger in the heart of perceptions of superior codes of polite conduct in the Midwest. For others it’s verification of all the worst accusations of moral, and especially financial, corruption in the city forever linked in the global imagination with gangster Al Capone.

Now… this is all entirely accurate. I have even presented it with hallowed (and phony/naive) “objectivity”. Nobody can sue me for anything.

But it’s terrible journalism.

It’s eye-catching, newspaper-selling, ratings-grabbing, if-it-bleeds-it-leads journalism. It’s journalism designed to grab eyeballs by inciting panic… and panic is what the West is doing very, very well during the Corona crisis.

The City of Chicago received 175 price gouging complaints so far this month – there were only 2 such complaints all of last year, per The Chicago Tribune. The newspaper’s journalists handled the story ok: only got quotes from the government – nothing from victims, grassroots groups or even vox pops – but it’s not terrible.

Now my headline was rather click bait-y and terrible – irresponsible/negligent use of a colon, certainly. See what I can do if I decide to use my powers for evil rather than good?

Was there an 8,650% increase? Yes. I can say I was, “Just reporting the facts,” which is the ultimate journalistic cop-out. This was exactly the defense used by the reporter in Clint Eastwood’s fine new movie on Atlanta Olympics non-bomber Richard Jewell when confronted by Jewell and his lawyer. MSMers would do the same if you questioned their constant, provoking “Corona death toll reaches ___” headlines.

But even The Chicago Tribune knew better than to phrase this trend that way. Is price gouging a real concern? Yes, and more to me than The Chicago Tribune, judging by the space they gave the story.

But it probably won’t be a concern at all to MSNBC because Illinois is a solidly Democratic state which has no chance of flipping to Trump, and Illinois also has a (billionaire, aristocratic) Democratic governor. The hyper-partisan channel is happy to excuse in Democrats what they shame Republicans for; their editorial line is – ignore blue state malfeasances, attack red states.

(FYI, my headline’s colon is negligent because MSNBC has not reported on this story, and the colon implies that. Should have been a comma.)

I like to read the business sections of the world’s top papers and media when I can – you often find the most serious hard news there – and certainly we all have time off now. I figure it’s either do that or panic. That’s how I found this price gouging story.

I also had time to check out fake-leftist darling/rightly-guided prophet Rachel Maddow’s latest show: she opened with the Spanish ice rink converted to a morgue story, which was the most eye-catching, panic-inducing, if-it-bleeds-it-leads choice possible to start her show.

That was terrible journalism.

In my first article on the corona crisis I quickly got to the point: “The problem in the West is that those in power during the corona crisis should not be in power.”

Maddow, incredibly, has become the Walter Cronkite of seemingly one-third of the US despite constantly evincing atrocious and sensationalistic journalism standards.

In 2018, for fun while on vacation, I wrote a minute-by-minute analysis of one of her shows, which just happened to be about (of course) her one-woman Russophobia campaign: “This was supposed to be a funny article, but when you diagram it out…I rather feel like I just watched Joseph McCarthy at work.”

Why would we assume that instead of McCarthyist red-baiting (and I have more red in my pinky toenail clippings than Maddow has in her whole body) or Russophobia-baiting or Trump-baiting, Maddow isn’t now fine with corona-baiting? Her viewers do not seem to ever ask themselves this fundamental question.

Of course, as many foreigners know: in the US there is no such thing as “propaganda” – that only exists in other countries.

Kudos to Maddow for being a Rhodes Scholar, but that does not make her qualified to be a journalist, and certainly not one holding such a vital position.

Journalists, of course, need no official qualifications. It’s a craft and not a profession – there is no single code of conduct, nor any board to revoke your license as no such license exists. A journalism degree is a nice way to start learning the craft but not necessary (Maddow does not have one), and who on earth would waste their time getting a Master’s in Journalism (except journalism professors)? The US public airwaves are not nationalised, and nearly all privately-owned, so forget about governmental review boards for civil servant journalists.

My irresponsible/negligent use of colons is thus no problem: my colon, my business. And that’s no matter how much confusion I sow. And maybe this is all a problem? But in the “free speech” loving West such ideas are verboten.

From what I can gather Maddow’s only serious daily journalism job was as a local morning radio talk show host. FYI – US morning talk radio is about as serious as the regular flu (although that may now be upgraded to semi-pandemic status). Then she was tapped for hosting a show with a US rapper. I simply don’t observe in her work any solid grounding in the craft of journalism and the importance of its social responsibilities. As I wrote in that article: “As a journalist you can’t make an unproven claim just because you hope the future proves you right.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper may be a scion of the oligarch Vanderbilt family, and while he did admit to working for the CIA for two summers he has way, way more serious journalistic experience than Maddow: He waited 10-15 minutes before running the Spanish ice morgue story on his show last night.

Not such good politicians, not such good governors, not such good journalists = a really good response to the Corona crisis? That’s pretty funny math.

What’s stunning as well is to see how – even amid what they are telling us is a huge global pandemic which rivals the Spanish Flu of 1918 (even though it clearly does not) – the Western MSM continues to obsess with degrading Donald Trump: in their broadcast media it’s still taking up a huge proportion of their coverage. But how can a daily habit dating from November 2016 be shut off so easily?

Well, journalist, it’s your job to roll with the punches, eh? You should be able to easily transition from a pandemic story to a cat-in-the-tree-rescue story to covering the local high school football game. This is what good journalists can do.

But the MSM doesn’t want good journalists, especially in front of the camera or at the editor’s desk; you do get good journalists writing columns. Newspapers, after all, are a whole different kettle of fish than TV, radio and internet journalism.

There has been a long-running trend in Western journalism: I call it the “sports-journalization of news journalism”. Everything is presented as a dramatic game, or a “war”; statistics (minus analysis and discernment) are paramount; incredibly juvenile attitudes and behaviors are not just considered normal, but expected.

Have you ever dealt with any sports journalists? I have: they are by far the most juvenile, emotionally-stunted people in any newsroom.

They often are gamblers and drunks – how else can you possibly get excited about covering a local high school football game time after time? Of course they are emotionally-stunted: they are covering something which can be fairly called more juvenile than the fashion or (what they used to call the) society pages, and how juvenile are those sections? These guys hope to make it to the big time one day: to stand next to the used jock strap laundry basket while naked men answer questions about why the ball bounced funny that one time.

Don’t give me anecdotal evidence – I know sports journalists who are intelligent, artistic, suave, upstanding people, sure. But if I had a daughter who said she was marrying a sports journalist I’d think: “Well, I should get some free tickets, which are so expensive now due to inflation… but I can’t talk about inflation with this guy: This guy probably only wants to talk about stuff 8-year olds excitedly discuss.”

My point is: in broadcast journalism the journalists who get promoted in the West best apply the absurd, childish dramatics of sports journalism into hard news issues, and especially in the US. France’s media isn’t nearly as bad: they have far more newspapers; they actually have normal-looking people as anchors on the top channels; they have far more state-run channels; they have state subsidies for media to provide some stable revenue. The UK is, of course, terrible and tabloid, but at least they are hilarious.

So of course the US is hyper-partisan, hyper-panicked, hyper-dramatic and hyper-susceptible to things which adults should not be. A sign of adulthood is putting away childish things and acting responsibly on serious issues.

Sports is the ultimate reality TV – yes, we men grasped that first! – but who doesn’t know it’s only an empty-calorie diversion? The sports-journalization of US media, contrarily, has made their hard news an empty-calorie diversion, and this trend diverts the public’s attention into the worst, bloodiest, scariest aspects of the Corona virus situation.

This article from the great website CounterPunch is an extension of my first article on Corona: Starvation, bad water, urban violence, imperialist war – these, and others, kill far, far more innocents annually than Corona: Where has been the panic for those?

Such things often don’t come near to touching the White fake-leftist class in America, which slavishly follows MSNBC. However, Corona might touch them – thus the panic and, above all with them: outrage, outrage, outrage.

If we judge by the Western MSM sports scoreboard (and what’s more capitalist-imperialist than competition?): Western good sense is getting its butt kicked during the Corona crisis.


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

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