Sayyed Nasrallah: One “I Have Only Seen Beauty” Frustrates the Goal Millions of Dollars Were Put to Achieve

 August 29, 2020

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah
Click the Picture for video

Al-Manar Website Editor

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah assured on the eve of Ashura that our tools of confrontation in the battle we are facing today are our honesty, religious, political and moral commitment and wise presence in media.

His eminence assured that the battle we are facing today is unprecedented since the last 50 years.

“Due to the big role that media plays today, they follow a strategy in which they wage huge attacks through different media outlets all at once. This is because the administration of this wide campaign in one, so you see the same news on different media outlets and newspapers. The battle today is one of the most critical ones after they have failed on the security, military and political levels.”

“For example if an accident occurs in some place like Lebanon, Iran, or Iraq, statements are released, then they suddenly spread more and more, and if you trace the source of these statements you will find the 80% of them are from Saudi Arabia or Emirates or other countries. So these sentences are not from the people of the country in which the accident took place, this is rather an electronic army that is trying to impose a public opinion on the people of this country. Today journalists themselves assure that they are being offered money or monthly payments in return for writing articles against Hezbollah.

“It is our duty to confront by developing our media capacities and presence, and as Imam Khameni said, each of us should be an officer or a soldier in this soft war. We must hold on to our honesty, clean hands, virtuousness, our moral, religious, and political commitment, and our loyalty, etc… This frustrates all the attacks. When our environment reveals itself as a firmly coherent and strong one, this frustrates them.”

“Many social media and media outlets were cut from funds for a period of time because they failed to achieve the goal of prompting our environment against us. Now because there is a new battle, funds are being distributed once again. So the coherence of this environment is our weapon. For example when they try to take advantage of our martyrs’ families, just one stance like “I have only seen beauty” is capable of frustrating the goal that hundreds of millions of dollars were paid for media to achieve.”

“After all lying has an end, just like the events after the port explosion. Some claimed it was a missile storehouse related to Hezbollah, but eventually the truth was revealed after investigations by the Army, FBI and international intelligence.”

“I call for boycotting such media outlets, checking the credibility of all the news and avoiding the spread of rumors whether they are true or false. There is also no need to show any interest in any report that does not help. This is just a waste of time. It is better if you help yourself by following programs of benefit for you like documentaries…”

In conclusion his eminence assured that “neither killing nor threatening us will let us surrender… Moreover, we were offered huge amounts of money in order to abandon our cause but we haven’t and wouldn’t accept. We are not position or money seekers. We are the ones who offer money just as we offered blood.”

Source: Al-Manar

How Israel views the Beirut explosion and Hezbollah’s involvement

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

“Hezbollah controls the Harbour of Beirut and is knowledgeable of everything happening in it. It uses its influence to smuggle its shipments through and prefers to keep these shipments at the harbour to prevent Israel from bombing them.”

“Hezbollah controls Lebanon and forced the choice of General Michel Aoun as a President and of Hassan Diab as a Prime Minister. Moreover, through its influence in the parliament and the cabinet, it is enforcing the protection of its arsenal and of its presence as a powerful armed organisation”.

“Israel will use its influence to prevent any financial support from reaching Lebanon unless it is conditioned on the disarming and dissolution of Hezbollah and prevention of its participation in the forthcoming Lebanese government”.

“The international community should prevent Iran from helping Lebanon to reconstruct its infrastructure or to offer financial support to the country; it should keep tight control over all cash flows reaching the government.”

“The international community should prevent Iran from taking advantage of the weakness of Lebanon and stop it from helping the Lebanese.”

Israeli media, military analysts and official commanders commented in these terms on the Beirut harbour explosion of 4th August. The explosion was caused by negligence and lack of regard for public safety. 2,755 tons of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) – classified as dangerous goods– were left at the harbour in 2013 while local officials and judges threw the ball of responsibility at one another until it exploded. The AN (NH4NO3) widely used as fertiliser but is also a component in many types of mining explosives if mixed with fuel oil or detonated by an explosive charge.  AN does not burn on its own but acts as a source of oxygen to accelerate the burning of other materials. It is the rapid release of gases that causes an explosion if an intense fire ignites nearby. This is indeed what happened: at Beirut harbour, several tons of ignited combustible materials were left and firefighters tried to control the fire that had started an hour before someone realised it.

Israeli Foreign Minister GhabiAshenazi said “Hezbollah is acting in urban and populated territories and using Lebanese citizens as human shields as we saw in the unfortunate event last week. Hezbollah is responsible for the explosion of the harbour.”

Israeli Prime Minister said, “in order to avoid disasters like the one at Beirut port, we have to confiscate the explosives and missiles that Hezbollah has hidden in civilian population centres in Lebanon.”

Most Israeli officials and analysts concluded that Hezbollah is much weaker today and, therefore, should remain outside the forthcoming government. They considered the resignation of Prime Minister (now caretaker) Hassan Diab as a positive step for Israel because he was leading a “Hezbollah cabinet”.

Israeli officials called “for the rapid formation of new government excluding Hezbollah so Diab doesn’t remain for long as a caretaker.” It seems the general opinion among experts in Israel is that the political power in Lebanon will definitely change in favour of Israel’s objectives in Lebanon and the Middle East.

There should be grave doubts regarding the Israeli assessment, which is superficial and indicates little knowledge of Lebanese internal dynamics. Most of what the Israeli media and analysts said is taken from the Arabic and Gulf media hostile to Hezbollah, expressing wishful thinking and part of their general anti-Hezbollah propaganda.

Significantly, Israel’s own intelligence reports undermine the general conclusions of these analysts. They say, in no uncertain terms, that “no adequate options are available to indicate Hezbollah’s position has been weakened. All previous attempts have so far failed to isolate Hezbollah and to undermine its power.”

Israeli media analysts, like many Lebanese and Arab leaders and writers, failed completely to explain how a weak country like Lebanon could disarm Hezbollah, “one of the strongest armies in the Middle East”, according to Benny Gantz. Hezbollah is considered the only protector of the south of Lebanon against Israel’s ambitions and the defender of the Lebanese oil and gas rights in the Mediterranean. The US and Israel called for the disarmament of Hezbollah but offered no means for the Lebanese army to protect itself against over 53 monthly Israeli violations of Lebanon’s air, land and sea territories.

It is strikingly obvious that the Israeli demands, and those of the international community, coincide exactly with those of a few Lebanese political leaders, notably the Christian Leader Samir Geagea, the former ally of Israel and the leader of the “Lebanese Forces”, and with those of other politicians allied to Saudi Arabia. If the international community intends to link the financial support of Lebanon to the disarmament of Hezbollah, ……..

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Podcast: The Beirut Explosion, Economic Terror and the Drumbeat of War Against Hezbollah

Beirut Blast podcast image

By Mnar Muhawesh Adley

Source

Lebanese journalists Laith Marouf and Marwa Osman recount their experience living through the recent blast that destroyed much of Beirut, an explosion that not only occurred during a period of rapid economic decline but of increasing public outrage over corruption and Western sanctions that have squeezed Lebanon dry.

Welcome to MintCast — an interview series featuring dissenting voices the establishment would rather silence– I’m your host Mnar Muhawesh Adley.

Lebanon is reeling from a blast that destroyed much of the capital Beirut on Tuesday, August 4. 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate in the city’s port is thought to have caught fire and exploded, killing at least 157 people and injuring thousands more. The blast, believed to be one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history, destroyed much of the city and has left an estimated 300,000 people homeless.

Exploiting this tragedy are the usual suspects within Western media and government including the United States and Israel who are beating the drums of war as they try to blame Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah for the massive explosion.

Joining us today to discuss this and what this means for the region and world are two independent journalists and analysts who lived through the blast, Laith Marouf, and Marwa Osman.

Laith Marouf is a journalist, geopolitical analyst, and activist who has served as Canadian National Chair of the group, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. He was the Executive Director of Concordia University Television in Montreal and currently lives in Beirut where he saw first hand the devastation caused by the August 4 explosion.

Marwa Osman is a lecturer at the Lebanese International University and Maaref University. She’s also the host of the MidEaStream broadcasted on Al-Etejah English Channel. Her writing focuses primarily on Middle Eastern issues and can be found in a wide range of outlets, including Press TV.  Like Marouf, Osman is a resident of Beirut.

 

The explosion could barely have come at a worse time for Lebanon, which is suffering through an economic meltdown, with a collapsing currency, rampant inflation, employment difficult to come by, and food becoming increasingly scarce. Worse still, the country’s Economy Minister Raoul Nehme confirmed that grain silos at the port, containing around 15,000 tons of wheat, were destroyed. As a result, the country has barely a few weeks of food in reserve.

Hospitals, already feeling the strain due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak, have been overwhelmed, and have been forced to turn away many arriving for urgently needed medical care. With the city destroyed, roads closed and vehicles upended, most of Beirut’s residents have had little option other than to stay where they are, begin to clean up, even as clouds of toxic fumes engulf the area.

The blast occurred in a context of rapid economic decline, increasing public outrage over corruption — including from Washington — and Western economic sanctions that have squeezed the country dry.

Saker appeal: please help me get a better picture about this! (UPDATED)

Saker appeal: please help me get a better picture about this! (UPDATED)

August 11, 2020

Dear friends,

As I expected, today Russia has registered the first vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  I took a quick look at CNN and BBC, and did not find that reported (maybe they have added it since, I only scanned the headlines).

As most of you know, I don’t follow the legacy corporate ziomedia, but in this case, maybe I could ask all of you to let me know here IF the western media covers the registration of this first vaccine and HOW they cover it.

So here is my request:

If you come across any article discussing the fact that Russia was the first country on the planet to register a vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, please post a link to it in the comments section.  If you want, please include a key excerpt and a personal commentary.

Deal?

I am really interested to see if ANY western media outlets will honestly cover this or not (I think not).

Finally, this is not an English language blog, only a MOSTLY English.  So please feel free to include articles in any language, but please also add a translated summary.

Many thanks and hugs and cheers to all,

The Saker

UPDATE: Wow, just WOW!  What an avalanche of information, thank you all!!!  I have just one request: please do NOT emails me links, but please post them here for all to see. 

Thank you!!  The Saker

Related

Lebanese government resigns: ‘Corruption is stronger than the State’


Date: 10 August 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Statement by Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announcing the resignation of his government, August 10, 2020.

This technocratic government formed in January 2020 was the first ever in which Hezbollah’s strongest opponents didn’t hold positions.

Source: http://www.pcm.gov.lb/arabic/subpg.aspx?pageid=18047

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

We are still in the throes of the tragedy that struck Lebanon. This disaster that struck the Lebanese people to the core occurred as a result of chronic corruption in politics, administration and the State.

I said previously that the system of corruption is rooted in all articulations of the State, but I have found that the system of corruption is bigger than the State, and the State is constrained by this system and can’t face it or get rid of it.

One of the examples of this endemic corruption has exploded in the port of Beirut, and this calamity has struck Lebanon, but such examples of corruption are widespread in the political and administrative geography of the country, and the danger is very great that other hidden woes (still threaten the people), very present in many minds and stored in other warehouses, with the protection of the class which controls the fate of the country and threatens the lives of the people, falsifies the facts and lives off the sedition, trading in the blood of the Lebanese people as soon as the opportunity arises, depending on fluctuating interests, whims, calculations and allegiances.

Today, we are facing a great tragedy, and all the forces concerned with preserving the country and the interests of the people were supposed to cooperate to overcome this ordeal, by imposing on themselves silence for several days, mourning for the souls of the martyrs, respecting the pain of the bereaved, parents, siblings and orphans, striving to help people, heal their wounds, and provide them with housing, and helping those who have lost their livelihood.

The scale of the tragedy is too great to describe, but some live in another era. They are not interested in everything that has happened except to the extent that it can allow them to score political points, launch populist electoral speeches and demolish what remains of the State.

They should have been ashamed of themselves, for their corruption has produced this calamity hidden for seven years, and God knows how many calamities they hide under the cloak of their corruption.

But these people have the habit of changing their position according to the circumstances, to falsify the facts, when what is needed is to change them (get rid of them permanently), because they are the real tragedy of Lebanese people. Yes, they are the real tragedy of the Lebanese people.

They have changed and evolved a lot in the past, (to neutralize) every opportunity to get rid of their corruption.

They did not correctly interpret the Lebanese revolution of October 17, 2019. This revolution was against them, but they did not understand it well. They continued with their practices and calculations, believing they could dilute the Lebanese people’s demands for change, for a just and strong State, for an independent judiciary, to end corruption, waste and theft, and the policies that have emptied the State treasury, squandered the savings of the people and placed the country under enormous debt burdens, causing this financial, economic and social collapse.

But the greatest paradox is that a few weeks (only) after the formation of this government, they tried to make it bear the responsibility for their infamies, and to hold it responsible for the collapse, the waste and the public debt.

Really, they should die of shame.

This government has gone to great lengths to chart a road map to save the country.

Each minister in this government has given his maximum because we are concerned about the country, and we care about its future and that of our children.

We have no personal interests, and all that matters to us is saving the country. Because we have taken on this mission, we have suffered many attacks and false accusations. But we refused to let ourselves be drawn into futile polemics, because we wanted to work. Nevertheless, the enraged trumpets did not stop their attempts to falsify the facts, to protect themselves and cover up their crimes.

We carried the Lebanese demand for change. But between us and change lies a very thick and very thorny wall, protected by a class which resists by all dirty methods, in order to preserve its privileges, its positions and its ability to control the state.

We fought fiercely and with honor, but this battle could not be won. We were alone and they were united against us. They have used all their weapons, distorted the truths, falsified the facts, spread rumors, lied to people, committed all mortal and venial sins. They knew that we were a threat to them, and that the success of this government would mean real change in this class which has always reigned until the country was suffocated by the smells of its corruption.

Today we have come to this, with the earthquake that struck the country, with all its humanitarian, social, economic and national repercussions. Our first concern is to deal with these repercussions, along with a swift investigation that defines responsibility and does not let the disaster be forgotten over time.

Today we appeal to the people, to their demand that those responsible for this hidden disaster for seven years be held to account, to their genuine desire to move from a state of corruption, waste, bribes and thefts to a rule of law, justice and transparency. To a State that respects its children.

Faced with this reality, we are taking a step backwards, in order to stand alongside the people, to lead the battle for change with them. We want to open the door to a national salvation that the Lebanese will help shape.

Therefore, today I am announcing the resignation of this government.

May God protect Lebanon. May God protect Lebanon. May God protect Lebanon.

Long live the Lebanese people. Long live Lebanon.

***

Hassan Nasrallah: our opponents have demonstrated their moral bankruptcy and lack of lucidity

Echoing extracts from the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General on August 7, 2020.

[…] In general, it is said that dignified peoples, who have a certain level of culture and ethics, a certain sense of responsibility and humanity, a sense of national interest, even when there are struggles and disputes among themselves, when a great national tragedy occurs, or a terrible event occurs, everyone temporarily freezes their struggles and disputes, as well as their personal calculations, to rise above all these (partisan) considerations, and to behave on a nobler ethical and human basis, and everyone helps each other to overcome this tragedy or this catastrophe. Once the crisis is over, things can resume their usual course. Things are like this (in general) all over the world.

Sometimes we have even seen that in the midst of war, when a tragic event such as a massacre occurs, the enemies conclude a truce, a ceasefire, even in the midst of war! It does happen and it is well known (even against Israel), but I will not waste time citing examples. But outside of war, within the same country, where there is a government, an opposition, rival political forces, when a catastrophe affects everyone, all regions, all families. What happened was not a tragedy that only targeted certain categories of the population, no. In general, in such situations (of national disaster), differences are temporarily put aside, and everyone helps and cooperates (even with their political opponents), and adopts more dignified language, with different sentiments, and different statements and political speeches. Likewise, the media behave differently, with humanity and ethics, each granting a respite (to their adversaries), if only for a few days, at least a few days (of truce)! I’m not talking about months or years, no, a few days, (one or) two weeks! To give people time to recover the remains of their martyrs, to heal their wounds, to visit the wounded, to assert the fate of the missing people, to put out the fires, to clear the debris, to find a way to relocate the displaced, etc. After that, we can reopen the accounts (and rekindle the rivalries), no problem.

But unfortunately what happened in Lebanon with this incident is that from the first hours of this tragedy and this cataclysm, and even from the first hour, not the first hours, when no one yet knew what was going on or had happened [our adversaries flooded the media with lies accusing Hezbollah of the explosion]. […] Even before anyone knew the answer to these questions, the Lebanese and Arab media, and certain political forces expressed through their official social networks, and even through some public statements by officials… These are not from obscure people running (Twitter or Facebook) accounts, but statements on television and in the media, made as soon as the explosion was known to the public, and while the fires in the port were not yet extinguished, and the destruction and amazement was the lot of all the Lebanese and the whole world. But these people spoke out in the media and announced their position before they knew anything. Their position was decided in advance: the cause of the explosion in hangar number so-and-so at the port of Beirut was a Hezbollah missile warehouse that exploded and caused this unprecedented terror and cataclysm. Or, they said it was stockpiles of Hezbollah ammunition, explosives, or weapons. The bottom line is that it must have belonged to Hezbollah, whether it was missiles, ammunition, explosives. […] Even before an investigation was launched, before anyone knew what happened, some media, some Lebanese and Arab TV channels, since the incident began and until now —they haven’t changed their tune— asserted that the hangar belonged to Hezbollah, that what exploded was Hezbollah missiles, Hezbollah explosives, Hezbollah nitrate, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah… We heard nothing else from them, because there is no other (hypothesis) for them. It is a great crime committed against us. And their method has been to lie, lie, lie and lie and lie again, until people believe it. […]

I have seen yesterday and today that the majority of international media and journalists have abandoned the hypothesis (of a stockpile of Hezbollah weapons), except for a few voices in Lebanon and the Arab world. Thus, those who launched (this slander) are now all alone (to support it), because all the media and all the voices in the world are anxious to keep a minimum of credibility, even if they are our enemies engaged in a political war against us; but when it turns out that the accusation is clearly a lie as shiny as the sun at its zenith, they (have enough good sense to) back off and conjure up other possibilities.

Either way, investigations are ongoing, and the truths will emerge quickly, as this is not a question that will take time. I believe that the criminal, security, military and technical investigation will be able to quickly establish (with certainty) what was in the hangar, what was the nature of the explosives and how it was triggered, because at the technical level, this does not require much time, and the truths can be expected to come to light quickly.

When the truths come to light, I hope that the Lebanese public opinion, in all regions of Lebanon, because in our country there is a problem in terms of punishments and responsibilities, and in the name of freedom of opinion and expression, some (media and politicians) accuse, insult, abuse, oppress and lead the country to the brink of civil war, and (despite all this), ultimately, the Criminal Court imposes them a (mere) fine of 10 to 50 million Lebanese pounds (6,000 to 35,000 dollars), and it stops there. What I want to ask the Lebanese people is that they should themselves judge these media (and politicians) and condemn them. In what way? By ceasing to give them the least credit, the least importance, and by ceasing to consult them or to look at them. Because when we know that such media has no credibility, and that it is based on lies, manipulation and falsification, and that it participates in the battle that targets our country (to destroy it), then we must condemn them and turn our backs on them for good. And it is in my opinion the most important punishment (that can befall) these false and falsifying television stations which push to the civil war. This should not be taken lightly! This is not a (simple) political accusation. When somebody comes and tells hundreds of thousands of people that it is Hezbollah who is responsible for this carnage, all these deaths and injuries, all this destruction and all this displacement, what is it (if not pushing the country towards civil war)?

On the other hand, still concerning the political scene, on the other hand we saw the political instrumentalisation of the incident, and all those who had a problem with so and so reopened this problem (in this tragic context), whether it is the Lebanese National Pact, the government or other political forces, and of course those who have a problem with us. Today, I do not want to open an argument with anyone, and we are putting off (the settling of accounts) for later because we remain attached to avoid settling political or personal disputes, out of ethical, humanitarian and national considerations. This is the time for solidarity, compassion, mutual aid, to heal wounds, to clear debris, to determine the fate of the missing, to treat the wounded, to help people return home, which is a vital priority. The country needs this kind of attitude and calm for several days in order to overcome the crisis. Then we can talk politics and settle accounts. Our position will be firm. And as for certain analyzes which compare the current situation with previous experiences (assassination of Hariri in 2005, etc.) or build hopes (on capitalizing on this tragedy for political gains) like so many of their past illusions, (remember that) for a long time, some people (Hezbollah adversaries) chased after mirages, only to realize that they were all mirages, but I will talk about that later. At this point, I don’t want to get into these considerations, and I don’t want to attack anyone. I’ll put it off until later. The priority is compassion, cooperation and mutual aid, to overcome these days of pain, suffering and humanitarian crisis. Let’s put all the differences aside and get back to political (disputes) later.

My last point, which is most important, is investigation and retribution. A huge, terrible and dangerous event has happened. First, there must be an investigation. His Excellency the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister declared from the outset that there will be an impartial, resolute, firm, definitive and strong investigation, and that whoever will be identified as having a responsibility in this incident, by his actions or by negligence, corruption or insufficiency, will be held to account, whoever he is, big or small. Very well. It’s a good start. The Lebanese are now asking for action and effort (in this direction). I consider that faced with the shock of the event, there is national, popular and governmental unanimity, of all political parties and all deputies, etc., demanding that an exhaustive, frank, transparent, precise, fair and impartial investigation be carried out on this event, and that whoever bears any share of responsibility be judged and condemned in the most severe and exemplary manner —a fair punishment, of course (not a lynching). We are also among the voices that demand this loud and clear. We must not allow anyone to be covered or protected during the investigation, and truths to be withheld about anyone. It is not tolerable that the investigation and then the trial should be done in the “Lebanese fashion”, that is to say in this well-known way where one takes into account religious and sectarian calculations and balances. Anyone who was inadequate or negligent, instigated (this event) or engaged in corruption, has no religion or sect, as is the case with collaborators (of the Israeli enemy). They should be judged on the basis of what they have done, not on the basis of their sectarian, religious or political affiliation. Neither the investigation nor the trial should be conducted on a sectarian basis (requiring a precise ratio of Sunnis, Shiites or Christians). Whoever is in charge, whether they belong to several sects or are all from the same sect, whatever their political affiliation and group, whatever their family clan, truth and justice must prevail and determine the position, the investigation and the punishment. […]

In this regard, I would also like to add something very important. Just as the event is exceptional, today the attitude of the Lebanese State towards this event will be in our eyes decisive and fateful. This will determine the future of Lebanon. In what way? Today it is not about the President of the Republic, the National Pact or the government (which can come and go at the whim of elections and crises). It is about (the safeguard of) the Lebanese State, (which will depend) on the way in which the authorities will behave in this regard, be it the judicial body, the army, the security services, and even the Chamber of Deputies. It is about (the sustainability) of the (Lebanese) State and its institutions. Everyone has some responsibility for the trial and the punishment. The way to act in the face of such a catastrophe, which has affected all sects, all neighborhoods and all regions, and must in no way be tinged with sectarianism, religion or politicization, a national and humanitarian tragedy par excellence, the way State institutions will behave about it, as well as political leaders and the various political forces in the country, will have a fateful consequence for the whole country. What will this fateful consequence be? How this tragedy is dealt with will determine in the eyes of the Lebanese people —and in my eyes the verdict will be irrevocable— whether there is a (genuine) State in Lebanon or not. The second question (which will find an irrevocable answer) is about the hope of building a State (in Lebanon). Because I tell you quite frankly: if the Lebanese State and the Lebanese political forces —whether in power or in the opposition—, in such a case and such a cause, do not achieve a result in the investigation, and fail to punish (all those responsible), it means that the Lebanese people, political forces, State institutions (are bankrupt), and that there is no hope to build an (authentic) State. I don’t want anybody to despair, but I accurately describe the reality.

But we must (all) work so that this despair does not happen, in order to confirm, create and sow hope (to see a real State) among the Lebanese. Today, all the calls to fight against corruption that may have denounced a biased judge, a cowardly judge, a force that buried court files for such or such consideration, (are eclipsed by the magnitude of this case). We have to see a heavy punishment, because even if the investigation reveals that it was an intentional act or an aerial bombardment, the fact that this nitrate was stored in this way for 6 or 7 years clearly implies that there was a (criminal) negligence, inadequacy and corruption on the part of judges. This is where the war on corruption must (be a priority)! If in this case all those who call for a war on corruption, and we are part of it, if we are unable to do anything (to identify and punish all the culprits), it means that we are unable to do anything (forever). Game over. We will frankly declare to the Lebanese people that it is impossible to fight corruption, to fight neglect and insufficiency, and we will say, “O Lebanese people, you have no State and there is no hope of building an (authentic) State, so it’s up to you to see what you can do with yourselves”. To me, such is the magnitude of the question. So that people do not say later that it was a tragedy (without culprits) and forget about the matter, we make it clear that as far as we are concerned, it is impossible to forget this disaster, to move on and to allow let it be neglected. The whole truth must be revealed about this tragedy, and those responsible must be tried without any protection, whether political, sectarian or partisan. If that doesn’t happen, yes, I will consider that there is a crisis of the regime, a crisis of the State, maybe even a crisis of the (Lebanese) entity, some will be entitled to go this far. And some people try to ignore it, one way or another.

Therefore, I call on State officials, at all levels and in all authorities, to show the utmost seriousness and determination, whether to complete the investigation or to judge and blame, and chastise all those responsible for this tragedy. This is required so that the leaders and the political forces can give hope to the Lebanese people that there are authorities, a State and institutions, or at least that there is hope that a State be erected on the basis of truth, justice, transparency and the protection of the Lebanese, because sometimes the consequences of corruption, negligence and incompetence accumulate and become apparent after several years, and can be destructive, like what happened in this terrible event where in seconds, in a matter of seconds, tens of people were killed or missing, thousands were injured, hundreds of thousands of families were affected and had to leave their homes… And some people say that God prevented an even greater tragedy, and that if this hangar had not been so close to the sea, and without such and such peculiarities of the site, if this same amount of nitrate had exploded in a different geographic configuration, perhaps the whole city (of Beirut) would have been destroyed. All this in an instant, in a matter of seconds, because of corruption, neglect and incompetence, and no one should say it is simply because of the intricacies of the bureaucracy. Never. We are talking about stocks that could completely destroy the capital and certain suburbs (in an instant). The blame cannot be blamed on the intricacies of bureaucracy. […]

I declare to all those who, from the first moment, launched a campaign against us, against the Resistance and against the Axis of Resistance, trying to take advantage of this tragedy, you will get nowhere, and I tell you that frankly and sincerely. I also declare to the masses (who support) the Resistance, and some of whom are perhaps worried, scared, wonder what is the (underlying) atmosphere, if this is a big regional or international plot , (I reassure them by reminding them) that the regional situation is very different (from what it was before), as is the international situation (much more favorable to us than ever). We are very different from what we were, and so is the (Axis of) the Resistance (we are stronger than ever), so there is really nothing to worry about (for us). These people (our adversaries) run after mirages, as they have always run after mirages. All of their choices have always been doomed to failure and defeat.

And I say this to our adversaries: just as you have been disappointed and defeated (in all your past undertakings: Special Tribunal for Lebanon, 2006 war, war in Syria, etc.), you will once again be disappointed and defeated. You will not achieve anything. This Resistance, by its credibility, its sincerity, by the confidence of the Lebanese people in it, by its (victorious) battles, by its positions, by its attitude and its behavior, and by its strength, its place in the country and in the region, is too large, too strong and too noble for it to be tainted by (the slanders) of certain oppressors, liars and falsifiers of the truth, who (constantly) incite sectarian rivalry, and who encourage civil war. They have always worked at this and have always failed, and they will fail again. […]

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Has Nothing to Do with Beirut Port, The Resistance is Greater than Being Attacked by Liars

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Has Nothing to Do with Beirut Port, The Resistance is Greater than Being Attacked by Liars
Click

By Zeinab Essa

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled Beirut Port tragedy resembled by the blast that targeted the Lebanese capital port on August 4. 

Considering that “What happened in Beirut is a huge humanitarian and national catastrophe by all standards,” Sayyed Nasrallah expressed sympathy and offered condolences to all the families of the martyrs, the injured, the lost and the displaced ones.

He further asked Al-Mighty God a speedy recovery for all the injured and patience to all people affected in this catastrophe. 

“This blast was cross-confessional as there are martyrs from all sects,” His Eminence added, pointing out that “The repercussions of the catastrophe are very serious and have major social, health and economic impacts.”

As the Resistance Leader stressed that “This tragedy needs exceptional approach at all levels,” he further praised “the popular solidarity among the Lebanese people.”

“In this tragedy, the popular scene has appeared to stand by each other, as the civil agencies and institutions were present on the ground from the first hour,” His Eminence said.

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “Hezbollah, with all its institutions, individuals, and capabilities is at the disposal of the Lebanese state and our people.”

Denouncing the fact that “The entire country was besieged by the Americans and not only a single party”, he declared that “Hezbollah is ready to help every family that has lost its home and needs temporary alternative housing.”

“At the international level, we witnessed great sympathy. We thank all the countries that sent aid,” Hezbollah Secretary General underscored, mentioning that “The most prominent international scene was the visit of the French President to Lebanon, and we look positively to every visit and aid.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah hoped that “The international scene opens an opportunity for Lebanon to emerge from the siege and hardship that Lebanon is passing through. The international dealing with the incident is an opportunity and it should not be missed. We must look for the opportunities that the blast has generated.”

On the internal political level, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that “In front of such catastrophe, the parties in any country would suspend their disputes. Unfortunately, in Lebanon, since the first hour of the tragedy, some local and Arab media and some political forces came out and fabricated that the amber is a Hezbollah ammunition storehouse.” 
“Those who insisted that there was a Hezbollah arms depot sought to tell the Lebanese people that Hezbollah is to blame and this is a false accusation,” he added, stating: “We do neither manage the port, nor do we interfere in it, and we do not know what is inside it.”
As His Eminence clarified that Hezbollah and its people were affected by the tragedy as some of its people and supporters were martyred and injured, Sayyed Nasrallah “categorically and firmly denied that there is nothing for Hezbollah in the port, neither a weapon store, nor a gun, nor nitrates; not in the past and not now.”

Slamming the fact that “Lebanon has witnessed a great political exploitation of the incident,” Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that “Any claims that Hezbollah runs the Beirut Port are lies.”

“The investigations are underway and the facts will emerge quickly because the matter is not complicated,” His Eminence added, noting that “Hezbollah might have knowledge of what exists at Haifa’s port, but not at Beirut’s port, because this is not our responsibility.”

Moreover, His Eminence said: “I don’t want to engage in any debates with anyone. This is a moment for solidarity and cooperation.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also urged fair punishment on anyone who the investigation shows involved in the incident, away from any accounts or affiliations. “It should not be allowed during the investigation to protect anyone or hide the facts.” 

In parallel, His Eminence called on the “Lebanese people to hold accountable the media channels that instigated and sought to push the country into the edge of civil war.”

“All security agencies can take part in a joint investigation. The Lebanese Army, which everyone says they trust, can carry out the investigation,” he added, underscoring that “The most important point is investigation and accountability.”

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “If the Lebanese state, with all its authorities, has not been to reach a conclusion in the investigation and trial, then there is no hope of building a state. I’m one of those who believe that the approach towards this incident would decide whether or not there is hope in building a state in Lebanon.”

To all those who opened a battle with Hezbollah and the axis of resistance, on the basis of the blast incident, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a clear message: “You will reach nowhere.”

“This resistance, with its credibility and the confidence of the Lebanese people in it, in its performance, strength, as well as its national and regional position, is greater than being attacked by some oppressors, liars, and civil war-seekers,” he assured, pointing out that: “From the womb of the tragedy, chances could be born, and the international approach towards the recent incident is a chance that must be seized by the Lebanese state and people. We can get out of this crisis stronger and more determined to win.”

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Sayyed Nasrallah Denies Fabrications about Missile Cashes in Beirut Port: Hezbollah Concentrates on Haifa Port

Source

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Friday offered deep condolences to the families of the martyrs claimed in Beirut Port’s blast, hoping a speedy recovery for the wounded.

“We are in face of a major humanitarian and national catastrophe according to all the standards,” his eminence said in a televised speech.

“There are more than 150 martyrs; the majority of them are Lebanese, with a remarkable number of Syrians and national from of different countries.” “There are thousands of wounded, and dozens are missing. Tens of thousands of families  left their homes damaged by the explosion.” “Livelihoods of thousands were affected, and a panic that stormed the hearts of millions. “Buildings shook in a way that made people believe that it was a major earthquake or that there was an explosion close to them.”

Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the major negative effects of Beirut blast on the humanitarian, medical and economic situation in the country.

“Beirut blast has been completely obliterated. This would cause major economic losses.”

“This explosion affected all the Lebanese with all their sectarian affiliations.”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that all the Lebanese must face such catastrophes in an exceptional way psychologically, politically and in media, adding, “We must express sympathy, love and solidarity with each other.”

In this regard, Hezbollah Secretary General underscored the speedy intervention of the civil committees in helping the state authorities, adding that the role of the medics, rescue teams, municipalities, religious boards and individuals was vital in face of the consequences of the calamity (removing debris, cleaning streets, etc.).

Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that Hezbollah followers, institutions, and committees rushed after the explosion to provide relief aids to the affected people, reiterating the party’s readiness to assist the government authorities in face of the catastrophe and provide temporary shelters for those whose houses were damaged or destroyed.

Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the stances taken and relief aids sent by the Arab and foreign governments as well as resistance movements to support Lebanon despite the siege imposed by the United States, pointing out that Hezbollah views the visit of the French President positively as it come in the context of helping and uniting the Lebanese.

“We wish US imposed its siege just on Hezbollah, not on all the Lebanese.”

Sayyed Nasrallah added that when catastrophes occur, everyone halts disputes and conflicts in order to preserve unity in face of the challenge, but that after Beirut explosion, this unfortunately did not happen.

“Just after the explosion, some local and Arab TV channels as well as social media pages adopted an alleged scenario which claims that Beirut port’s warehouse which exploded contained missiles or ammunition for Hezbollah. Although official sources denied the presence of missiles in the port and confirmed that of nitrate used for agricultural and industrial purposes, they (local and Arab TV channels) insisted that the ammonium nitrate had been stored by Hezbollah for 6 years in order to blame the party for the explosion.”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that this claim is an unjust defamation, adding that they follow the propaganda law: “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”

“I categorically deny the claim that Hezbollah has stores of missiles, ammunition or anything else.”

“Although the US administration and the Western media stopped promoting this unfair claim, some Lebanese and Arab TV channels continued circulating it.”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah neither runs Beirut port nor does it interfere in its administration, adding that the Resistance knows about Haifa Port in Occupied Palestine more than Beirut Port.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the investigations are ongoing and can reveal the truth about the explosion and the stored substances within a short time, calling on all the Lebanese to boycott the media outlets involved in falsifying the truth.

Sayyed Nasrallah said he would not engage in political quarrels with the parties attempting to utilize the explosion, stressing that it is the time of sympathy and solidarity.

Hezbollah leader underlined the importance of holding just and serious investigations that can reveal the truth as called for by the President and the Prime Minister in order to try and inflict the fair punishments on all the culprits regardless of their religious and political affiliations.

Truth and justice must prevail, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who proposed tasking the Lebanese Army to hold the investigations and identify the culprits “as all the political parties trust it”.

Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the investigations must be up to the exceptional catastrophe and culprits must be tried and punished regardless of their affiliations, adding that this would be a main test which indicates whether the Lebanese parties can establish the state or not.

“If the competent authorities fail to reach justice in the case of Beirut blast, it would never be possible to establish and maintain the state in Lebanon.”

The way how the foreign countries is dealing with the consequences of the explosion opens new chances that must be seized by the Lebanese, Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Addressing those who have engaged in a battle against Hezbollah on the basis of Beirut explosion, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “You will not reach any result.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also reassured the Resistance supporters, saying: “The international and regional situation has changed. Hezbollah is too strong to be overcome by some unjust liars who commit forgery and push to the civil war.”

http://english.almanar.com.lb/ajax/video_check.php?id=104942

Hezbollah Secretary General said, in the beginning of the speech, that he delayed his speech scheduled to be last Wednesday due to the catastrophic blast, clarifying that the speech was specialized to identify Hezbollah attitude towards the developments on the border with the occupied Palestine and to dwell on other important issues in Lebanon and the region.

Lebanon has been in mourning as Beirut was ravaged by the two massive blasts which rocked its port, killing at least 150 people and injuring more than 5,000 others. Dozens have been also still missing.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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حروب الشيطنة… وقوة المقاومة بالتنوّع واللامركزيّة

ناصر قنديل

مشاريع الشيطنة التي تستهدف المقاومة منذ سنوات هي حروب معلنة على لسان أصحابها، وتنفق في تزخيمها موازنات طائلة من مخصصات الجيش الأميركي ومشاريع الكونغرس للسياسة الخارجية إلى موازنات أجهزة مخابرات كيان الاحتلال وصناديق أموال النفط الخليجي المكرسة للترويج للسياسات، والتي صارت مكرّسة كلها لشيطنة المقاومة، بحيث يزيد ما يتم إنفاقه عبر جمعيات مجتمع مدني وتنظيمات ناشطين وكتّاب ورموز ودورات تدريب وموازنات مواقع إلكترونية وذباب إلكتروني وقنوات فضائية ومساعدات لقنوات وصحف كلياً وجزئياً، عن مئات ملايين الدولارات سنوياً، وتتنوع عناوين الشيطنة من إطلاق الشائعات إلى التحريض على الفتن المذهبية إلى اتهام المقاومة بكل ما يسيء لسمعتها، وصولاً لمحاولة تحقيق أوسع عملية غسل أدمغة تنتهي بعزل المقاومة عن بيئات مساندة، وتصل لتفكيك البيئة الحاضنة.

يؤخذ على المقاومة عدم اتباع خطة منظمة تحشد طاقات عقولها وعقول مؤيديها وتنتظم في جبهة إعلاميّة تملك روزنامة موحّدة، وتطلق شعارات ومشاريع عمل على أفكار، تتصدّى للشعارات ومشاريع العمل التي يطلقها خصوم المقاومة، بينما يشكل هذا النهج امتداداً لمفهوم الإعلام الاشتراكي الواقعي الذي ساد في مرحلة الاتحاد السوفياتي، ويعتمده اليوم خصوم المقاومة، وهم يتحدثون عن الحداثة، ويعود سبب اعتماد هذا النهج من قبل خصوم المقاومة إلى كون المنخرطين في خطتهم اقرب إلى الموظفين من أصحاب القضايا، وأقرب للأفراد من الجماعات، فالأفكار التي يحملونها رغم صخبها في وسائل الإعلام ووسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، تبقى في قشرة الوعي أقرب للنمّية في الصالونات، فلا تمثل رأياً سائداً في عمق وجدان شريحة صلبة في أي من المجتمعات المعنية بحروب المقاومة، يجعل هذا الرأي القضية الأولى التي تحرك جمهور هذا الشريحة وتصيغ موقعه السياسي، فقد يبلغ سقف نجاحها بأن يستسيغها جمهور ما لكنه لا يعتبرها أفكاره الوجوديّة التي يقاتل لأجلها، بينما تقع قضية المقاومة في هذه المنزلة المقرّرة والوجودية في الشرائح المقابلة.

بالحصيلة لا زالت الحرب على العقول مستمرّة رغم مرور عقدين على الأقل على انطلاقتها، أي منذ نجاح المقاومة بتحرير جنوب لبنان عام 2000، واستمرار الحرب يعني عدم تحقيقها أهدافها، ولو أمكن لأصحابها وخصومها التحدث عن نجاحات جزئيّة، إلا أن السمة الأبرز لهذه الحرب لا تزال هي الإخفاق، فقد نجحت المقاومة خلال هذين العقدين بالاحتماء وسط منظومة إعلامية شبكية متحركة، فهي أقوى كمشروع مستقبلي في صفوف شعوب فلسطين والعراق واليمن وسورية من قبل عقدين وكفكرة وسط الجمهور العريض، ولم تتراجع قوتها كفكرة في صفوف الآخرين في ساحات متعدّدة رغم المد والجزر بفعل النزاعات وتقدّم هموم الساحات وخصوصياتها، وتجذر المذهبية وتداعياتها، ورغم ما لحق بوسائل إعلام المقاومة من تضييق وعزل وعقوبات، وكان مصدر القوة في هذه المنظومة هو الخصوصيّة التي تحكم كلاً من عناصرها، ودرجة الحرية التي تحكم أداء مكوّناتها، وتحويل التمايز من نقيصة إلى فضيلة، والتخلّي عن السعي لمركزية مواجهة حرب الشيطنة، على قاعدة اعتبار اللامركزية إقراراً وقبولاً، بتحالف عريض مرن وفضفاض تحمل كل من قواه وأدواته، خصوصيتها وانتقاداتها وطلباتها، وتصغي المقاومة لها جميعها بثقة وأخوة وقدرة تحمل وصبر وملاقاة حيث يمكن، لأن المقاومة تماهت مع قناعاتها برفض مصادرة الآخرين، تحت إبطها.

تحيط بالمقاومة وسائل إعلام متنوّعة ورموز تأثير إعلامي ومعنوي متعدّدة، تبدأ من تلك التي تخاطب بيئتها المباشرة، وتشدّ عصبها وتبث الأمان في أوساطها، وتزيد منسوب ثقتها بقيادتها، وتتسع حولها لدائرة إعلام ورموز وشخصيات حلفائها المحليين والإقليميين الذين يملك كل منهم إعلامه وهويته وشخصيته وخطابه، من مروحة خطاب مسيحي يراها سنداً وجودياً في زمن التطرف، إلى خطاب حليف في بيئتها الطائفية يرى في وحدة هذه البيئة صمام أمان وبوليصة تأمين، إلى خطابات وبيئات علمانية تنظر إليها كتعبير أصيل عن حركة الشعب وتوق أحرارها، ويتشكل من حول المقاومة حضور مؤسسات إعلامية تلفزيونية وصحافية وازنة في بيئات اليسار ودعاة التغيير تخالف المقاومة في الكثير من السياسات والمحطات وتخالف بعضها بعضاً، لكنها تلتقي على عدم الاستعداد في المفاصل الحاسمة للتفريط بالمقاومة، كما يحيط بالمقاومة حضور إعلامي وسياسي قومي عربي ناصري وبعثي وإلى جانبه حضور إسلامي قريب من مناخات الأخوان المسلمين أحياناً ومن مناخات الأزهر أحياناً أخرى، يحمل الكثير من خصوصياته وتمايزاته عن بعضه وعن المقاومة وخطابها أحياناً كثيرة، لكنه حاسم في التمسّك بها كأنبل ظاهرة عربية وإسلامية معاصرة.

قوة المقاومة في مواجهة هذه الحرب الإعلامية الهادفة لشيطنتها، انها لا تواجه بجيش منظم ولا تضع خطة مركزية، فيصعب تشخيص مراكز قوتها ونقاط ضعفها، وربما يقع خصومها ببذل جهودهم على أجنحة من قوة حربها بصفتهم مشاريع قابلة للاستقطاب بسبب ظاهر الخلاف، ليكتشفوا بعد طول رهان عقم سعيهم، لكل هذا وللأصالة في قبول التنوّع، تتقبل المقاومة كل الأعراض المصاحبة لهذه اللامركزية، بما في ذلك تصرف المشاركين في حرب حماية الخيار الذي تمثله المقاومة، بصفته خيارهم هم، وتحميل المقاومة وقياداتها مسؤولية التهاون في حمايته، فتصيبها الرصاصات الصديقة، وهي تبتسم لأنها ترى الارتباك سيد الموقف في معسكر الخصوم والأعداء.

Iran reveals for the first time its losses from Israeli attacks in Syria

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-16

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – On Thursday, the Iranian military revealed the number of Iranian killed by Israeli strikes in Syria.

Citing Major General Abu al-Fadl Shukarji, a spokesman for the Iranian Army, the Tasnim News Agency said that Israel’s raids on Syria nine years ago killed nine Iranians, and that the talk of the Israeli and Western media about hundreds or thousands killed is a lie.

Maj. Gen. Shukarji said that what the Israeli and American sides are saying about this number comes in the context of psychological and media war against Iran, and to pretend that Iran is still present in Syria .

The general stressed that “the Iranian presence in Syria is legal, and it came at the request of the Syrian government and people, with the aim of helping them confront American and Israeli terrorism as well as to deal with ISIS terrorism.”

For years, opposition media have claimed several Iranians have been killed in Syria, despite providing little proof to corroborate their claims.

In addition to falsified death tolls, the total number of Iranians present in Syria have been greatly hyperbolized, with some anti-Iranian government sites claiming “90,000” Iranians in Syria.

Iran maintains that their presence in Syria is legal, as their advisers were invited to the Arab Republic by the government in Damascus.

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رسالة موجهة من قنديل إلى زاسيبكين: نأمل أن يتسع صدر القيادة الروسية للتعامل مع هذه العريضة المرفقة كتعبير صادق عن الصداقة

الصديق العزيز المحب لشعوبنا والمناصر لقضايانا

سعادة السفير الكسندر زاسيبكين المحترم

تحية الصداقة وبعد

Photo of في ذكرى اغتصاب فلسطين اقتراح للتفكير… ومبادرة سلام القدس عليكم وصباح القدس لكم

في ضوء تكرار بعض وسائل الإعلام في روسيا لتعامل خارج عن المهنية والموضوعية ومخالف لمدوّنات سلوك الإعلام الحر بالمعايير العالمية، وهو ما نؤمن به ونتمسك بحمايته، ونشرها معلومات مفبركة تسيء للدولة الروسية وللعلاقات الروسية العربية، أو فتح المجال لضيوف مبتذلين لا يمثلون شيئاً ليقوموا بالإساءة للقضايا العربية، ورموزها، وفي مقدمتهم صديق روسيا وحليفها الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، فيما يجري الالتزام باحترام سائر قادة الدول بمن فيهم خصوم روسيا، وفقاً لموجبات القانون والمدونات المهنية، ما يشكل عملاً مبرمجاً لاستثارة الغضب والإيحاء بأن روسيا لا تقيم اعتباراً لمفهوم سيادة الدول وشرعيتها الدستورية، وهو العنوان الذي تحرص الدولة الروسية على تحصينه وتثبيته، وقد جعلته عنواناً لمشاركتها وتضحياتها في الحرب على الإرهاب في سورية، وقدّمت علاقتها بسورية كدولة وشرعية وسيادة نموذجاً لعلاقات التحالف وللعلاقات الدولية في آن واحد، في مقابل نوعية العلاقات القائمة على الاستعلاء والوصاية التي تسود التعامل الأميركي مع من تسميهم بالحلفاء، ما استدعى قيام عدد من السياسيين والمثقفين والإعلاميين والنخب في سورية والبلاد العربية من خيرة أصدقاء روسيا ومحبيها، التحرك لإسناد موقف القيادة الروسية في السعي لوضع القانون والسلوك المهني أساساً في مواصلة حماية الإعلام الحر في ظل ديمقراطية تعتز بها روسيا ونساندها.

سعادة السفير الصديق

الموقعون على هذه العريضة هم خيرة أصدقاء روسيا في العالم العربي ويعتقدون أن ما يفعلونه يعزز رؤية القيادة الروسية وعلى رأسها الرئيس الاستثنائي فلاديمير بوتين الذي نعتز به رمزاً للعالم الجديد، ووزير خارجيته المحترف السيد سيرجي لافروف، الذي نعتبره بحق وزير خارجية كل الدول المظلومة وفي مقدمتها سورية.

سعادة السفير المحترم

نأمل أن يتسع صدر القيادة الروسية للتعامل مع هذه العريضة المرفقة كتعبير صادق عن الصداقة، من مناضلين يؤمنون بأن صديقك مَن صدقك لا من صدَقَك، وأملنا أن تقوموا بإيصالها إلى المعنيين في الدولة الروسية، وأن تلقى الآذان الصاغية.

لقد شرّفني زملائي برفع هذه العريضة عبركم، كما سيقوم زملاء في عواصم عربية أخرى، بتقديمها لسفارات روسيا الاتحادية.

مع الشكر والتقدير سلفاً

ناصر قنديل – نائب لبناني سابق – مقرّر لجنة الإعلام والاتصالات النيابية سابقاً

رئيس سابق للمجلس الوطني للإعلام المرئي والمسموع

رئيس تحرير صحيفة البناء اليومية السياسية القومية

بيروت في 14-5-2020.

AngloZionist controlled media bans SouthFront

The Saker

AngloZionist controlled media bans SouthFront

Dear friends,

Here is the email I got in my inbox today:
——-

Dear friend,

Once again, SouthFront faced an unprecedented censorship.

On April 30, our Facebook page with about 100,000 subscribers was deleted without any notifications or an option to appeal the decision:

On May 1, YouTube terminated SouthFront’s channels with 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.

This happened despite the fact that our YouTube channels had zero active strikes. 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. There was no so-called “coronavirus conspiracy” content on our YouTube channels.

SouthFront’s YouTube channels were terminated without any warning. All that we got was a single automated email regarding the termination ofour 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.

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.

The explanation may be 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.

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 ask you to cover this situation and, if you have an opportunity, to provide us with informational or juridical help.

Sincerely yours,
SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence

——-

What can I say?

First, the fact that the AngloZionist controlled media wants to silence SouthFront is a sign of how effective SouthFront’s work has been.  They can wear that as a badge of honor.

Second, I don’t believe that there is anything that should/could be done.  The First Amendment only applies to situation in which the state silences somebody, not when corporations do it.

Third, I strongly believe that we all (those in overt resistance to the Empire) should never become dependent on the good-will or decency of AngloZionist controlled media/hosting outlets.  Expect no decency or mercy from these people, they are servants of Satan, quite literally!

Please try to help SouthFront either financially or by lending them a helping hand.  These are good people, doing an important job and, unlike so many others, they have always repaid us with their faithful support and friendship.

By helping SouthFront you help all of us, including the entire Saker Community!

Please do the right thing.

Kind regards

The Saker

A few recent political developments which should not go unnoticed

THE SAKER • MARCH 25, 2020


Russian Army Trucks in Italy

The COVID19/SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is, by any measure, an immense planetary crisis which will probably change the world we live in forever. Still, there are other issues which are maybe not quite as dramatic and important, but which deserve not to be forgotten. Here are some of those

The grand betrayal of Tulsi Gabbard

It was pretty clear to most observers that Tulsi Gabbard, being the only real “peace candidate” would never be allowed to get the nomination, nevermind make it into the White House. It was also clear that Tulsi, for all her very real qualities, simply did not have what it takes to take on “The Swamp”. Still, in spite of this all, her candidacy and campaign were like a huge pitcher of cool water in the middle of an immense and dry desert. Her uniqueness amongst all the candidate is what make her betrayal even more painful for those who respected or even supported her. Once it became clear that she would never get the nomination, not only did she not run as an independent (something which Hillary seems to fear a lot), she endorsed Uncle Joe, the clearly senile, totally corrupt and generally repugnant frontman for the Clinton gang. This endorsement of Biden is something which she did not have to do, but she did it.

When the DNC stole the nomination from Sanders, he did not lead a protest or run as an independent, he endorsed Hillary. I always considered him a fraud for this (and many other) reasons. Now Tulsi Gabbard is doing the same thing, which probably is a good indicator that the Democratic Party is evil and corrupt to the core, which is hardly big news, but which is dramatically confirmed by Gabbard’s profoundly immoral decision. Why do I say that? Because Biden is the ultimate “anti-Gabbard”, she should have endorsed either Bernie, or even Trump, but instead she endorsed a morally corrupt warmonger, a total pawn for the MIC.

At the end of the day, she mostly betrayed herself, and that is the saddest aspect of this debacle.

The AngloZionist Empire – as clueless as ever

I have forced myself to listen to the daily COVID19 briefings from the White House and I have to say that Trump’s constant flag-waving and self-worshiping is almost physically painful to watch. The worst parts of these briefings are when Trump, or Pompeo, speak about the US “leadership” as if the entire planet was desperately expecting the US to help. It does not. In fact, most of the planet is disgusted by US action, be it the denial of vitally needed meds to countries like Iran or Venezuela, to the attempts are buying off German vaccines, to the mantric repetition about how great the US private sector is and how Amazon and Walmart will help us weather this crisis.

The truth is that this worldwide pandemic will allow us all to compare how different political systems, countries and cultures have reacted to the threat. In a year or so, we shall all know how free-market capitalism and libertarianism compared with social-democracies, socialist and even communist countries when their population needed protection and assistance.

True, other countries have responded with truly amazing incompetence (including several EU countries), so the inability to protect its citizens is not a purely US problem, it really affects all the countries currently subjugated by the Empire.

Finally, it appears that the China-bashing strategic PSYOP has largely failed. Most fake-news about China was quickly and rapidly debunked, and even the legacy corporate ziomedia could not completely obfuscate the fact that China is, so far, the only country on our planet which defeated COVID19.

Will there be an “ideological lessons learned” once the crisis subsides? I sure hope so!

For the time being, the Empire does what it always does, it plans to deny even more civil rights to its own people which has true patriots like Ron Paul extremely worried. What else is new?

Capitalism with a human face?

Nope, that sure ain’t gonna happen this time around.

Serbia betrayed by Europe (again!) while Russia provides vital aid to Serbia and Italy

Serbia has been betrayed by the Europeans, again. This time around, the Europeans did not bomb Serbian civilians, they simply refused to sell the meds needed to respond to the crisis. President Aleksandar Vucic has now officially declared that the EU solidarity “exists only on paper“. He then openly appealed for China to help, and help China did – the Chinese sent aircraft filled with much needed medical equipment and doctors. Then Russia followed suit and sent 10 heavy transporters filled with gear and specialists.

Even more amazing (and appalling) is the fact that the Empire does not even help its own subjects – in Italy, it was Russia again which organized a major air bridge (over 15 heavy transporters!) and now we see Russian Army units deployed in northern Italy to help the struggling Italians. Check out these short videos reports by the Russian military. You don’t need to understand Russian to see the size of the air-bridge the Russian Aerospace Forces have established or to how grateful the Italian officials are!

I have to say that the Serbs have been fantastically naive to trust the very same people who bombed them, in total illegality, for 78 days, murdering scores of innocent civilians (including those murdered in the TV stantion). For example, the Serbs could have considered how the EU has been lying to Turkey, for decades. But no, the Serbian elites now seem to think that they will be able to fill their pockets with lucrative contracts with the EU.

Hopefully, what these events have demonstrated shall not be forgotten when the next elections take place in Serbia.

That also goes for Italy.

And, finally,

The situation in northern Syria and Iraq

The situation in northern Syria and Iraq has developed pretty much as expected. So far, the Turks have been unable to re-take full control of the M4 highway. As a result of that failure, the joint Russian-Turkish patrols have not been able to move along the full length of the highway as spelled out in the agreement between Russia and Turkey. Clearly, Turkey lacks either the will, or the capability, or both, to remove the Takfiri forces from the M4 highway. So far, the Russians and Syrians have very kindly agreed to wait a little longer, but the recent visit of Russian Defense Minister Shoigu to Damascus clearly shows that big decisions are being worked on:

As for Iraq, the various Shia militias are doing exactly what everybody had predicted, they are executing limited but very disruptive strikes against US forces in Iraq. Here is a good infographic by the Institute for the Study of War which sums it up very nicely:

What we have hear is a small trickle of attacks which do not yield any major victory to the Iraqi forces, but which over time will tremendously demoralize US forces. Finally, such “death by a thousand cuts” strategy also will severely limit the operational capabilities of the US forces in Iraq: when you are mostly busy protecting yourself, you have less time to murder locals.

Still, sooner or later the Shias will have to step up their attacks because forcing the occupation forces to hunker down and actually kicking them out of your country are two very different propositions. These small strikes are very useful, not only because they demoralize the enemy, but because by forcing him to stay inside fortified “secure” areas only makes them better targets for a bigger missile strike.

This is a very sound strategy against which the US forces have no good option, other than throwing in the towel and leaving, which they will have to do anyway (except that they call it “declare victory and leave”, but its the exact same thing).

Lebanon Coronavirus Debate: Thank You Iran or Thank You Italy?!

coronavirus test

March 19, 2020

Marwa Haidar

Shortly after the Lebanese Health Ministry announced first confirmed coronavirus case in the country earlier last month, anti-Hezbollah local factions politicized the matter.

The ministry made the announcement on February 21, saying that the patient was a pilgrim who returned from Iran. These factions, along with their affiliated media outlets took aim at the resistance and the Islamic Republic, blaming them for “sending” the contagious virus to Lebanon.

“Thank you Iran for letting a plane carrying coronavirus infected people to enter our airspace,” MTV channel, which is close to the Lebanese Forces Party, started its news bulletin at that day.

“As if what Iran offers to Lebanon is not enough?! So it has sent the corona to finalize its favor,” the Lebanese channel said, wondering: “Is this cooperation? Is this the support which Iran promises?”

As the anti-Iran propaganda campaign has continued, reports by local media emerged, showing the real figures and how the deadly virus was spreading across the country.

In a report broadcast by independent Lebanese channel LBC, on March 14, number of coronavirus patients who came from Iran reached 12. The report said that 5 other patients contracted the disease from those pilgrims. The report added, citing sources at the Lebanese Health Ministry, that one infected person who was in Italy transmitted the disease to other 34 patients, which is double the number of patients who contracted the virus from pilgrims returning from Iran. It is worth mentioning here that the toll of the infections with coronavirus at that day (March 14) was 93.

First Coronavirus Case Reportedly Transmitted from Italy

Later on Wednesday (March 18), Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar revealed that the first coronavirus case was transmitted by a monk who was in Italy and returned to Lebanon between February 15 and February 20, few days before the case from Iran was announced.

Al-Akhbar’s Maysam Rizk reported that a team tasked by the health ministry with monitoring the pandemic has been following up this issue. She said that the monk, whose identity is still unknown or at least unannounced, took part in a religious ceremony at Saint Joseph Monastery in Beirut’s Achrafieh.

Rizk added that the monk transmitted the disease to several monks, noting that the monastery kept silent on the matter of the religious ceremony.

One of the deaths caused by coronavirus was the teacher Maroun Karam, who contracted the disease from the monk, according to the report.

However, and honestly speaking, this debate is meaningless. For Lebanon, it doesn’t matter whether the coronavirus was transmitted by passengers who were in Iran or in Italy. What really matters is how the Lebanese people can combat this disease. So let’s put the politics aside, forget to “thank” neither Iran, nor Italy, and just pray for both of them, pray for Lebanon and for the entire world!

Source: Lebanese media

Related

Being Ahead of Time

 BY GILAD ATZMON

By Gilad Atzmon

https://www.unz.com/

In my recent book, Being in Time, I analyse Jewish controlled opposition. I argue that some self-identified Jews end up being on both polar extremes of every debate that is even mildly relevant to Jewish existence: Those who have recently been disturbed about the Jews who are at the centre of the impeachment trial have also found that Jews hold key positions on Trump’s defense team. Those who accuse Jews of pushing immigration and multiculturalism can’t deny that Trump’s senior policy advisor on immigration is Stephen Miller and that breitbart.com was “conceived in Jerusalem.” The Palestinians’ solidarity movement is dominated by a few well organized Jewish solidarity groups that do little but divert the discourse from the Palestinian right of return and exhaust the movement in their relentless witch-hunting of truth speakers and seekers.

In Being in Time, I point out that as soon as an issue or event is identified as a potential Jewish problem, a Jewish satellite dissent emerges to ‘calm things down.’ As soon as Corbyn became the modern Amalek (‘existential threat’), Jews for Jeremywas formed to dismantle the idea that Jews hate Corbyn collectively. Those who view Capitalism as a Jewish construct are similarly reminded that Marx was also a Jew. In Being in Time I argue that none of this is necessarily conspiratorial. It is only natural for Jews to denounce the crimes that are committed on ‘their behalf’ by a state that defines itself as ‘The Jewish State.’ The same applies to Jews who are genuinely tormented by the vast over representation of Jews in some problematic spheres. Yet, the outcome of all this is potentially volatile: every crucial debate regarding the West and its future; Globalism, Neocons wars, capitalism, immigration, multiculturalism, Israel and so on, is too frequently reduced into an internal Jewish exchange.

It was therefore just a matter of time before some Jews would admit that the involvement of a few prominent Jewish celebrities in some spectacular sex crimes is becoming rather embarrassing and even dangerous for the Jews.

It seems as if Jonah Goldberg has launched the ‘Jews against pedophilia’ campaign. Today, The Jewish World Review published an article titled “French pedo flap a cautionary tale for OUR cultural aristocrats.” In the commentary, Goldberg digs into the activities of Jewish radical ideology, along with those of the notorious paedophile, Gabriel Matzneff.

Goldberg was triggered by a New York Times article that examined the rise and fall of the paedophilia devotee. Matzneff is 83, an old man now, but he has been the darling of the French literary world and media for decades: his work was supported by leading newspapers and literary publications. “He’d appear on highbrow TV shows,” Goldberg writes, where he’d “regale interviewers and audiences with the sublime pleasures of having sex with children in France and on sex tours of southeast Asia.”

In his book “Under 16 Years Old,” Matzneff wrote, “To sleep with a child, it’s a holy experience, a baptismal event, a sacred adventure.”

But the contrast Goldberg draws between Jeffrey Epstein and Matzneff is surprisingly clumsy: “The well-connected billionaire spent vast sums to keep his sexual abuses at least somewhat secret. Matzneff not only confessed to his crimes, his confessions were celebrated as literary contributions.” I feel the need to remind Goldberg that nicknaming one’s plane the “Lolita Express” is hardly an attempt to hide one’s sexual morbidity and crimes. If anything Matzneff is like Epstein in that both celebrated a peculiar sense of impunity. Needless to mention, no Jewish outlet denounced either of them or their not very secretive activities before they were caught and charged.

Jewish Radicals and the role of the Orgasm

Next comes the ‘rationalisation.’ “Matzneff was a Child of 68,” Goldberg writes, “a product of the left-wing ‘May 68’ movement that shook France in the 1960s. These radicals subscribed to the idea that anything smacking of traditionalism or bourgeois morality was backward. Conventional sexual morality was part of the same rotten edifice as imperialism and racism.”

Goldberg doesn’t approve of the ‘Jewish radicals and their ideology. He reminds us that “a few years ago, Daniel Cohn-Bendit (a.k.a. Dany le Rouge), the famous former radical and leader of the European Green movement, got in hot water for his earlier writings and statements about “erotic” encounters with 5-year-olds. He (Cohn-Bendit ) dodged major consequences by disavowing his own words, saying they were merely intended to provoke.”

Goldberg is a well-known and successful writer, he could have published his criticism of Matzneff and Jewish radicals in numerous national American news outlets but, presumably he made the decision to use a Jewish outlet. Whether intentionally or not, Goldberg provides an insight into Jewish survival strategy in general and Jewish controlled opposition in particular. Criticizing radical philosophy and the advocacy of pedophilia on ideological grounds by Jews in a Jewish media outlet conveys the image that Jews can deal with their problems. The goyim should let it go or, even better, move on.

But Goldberg’s account is either mistaken or misleading. The sex revolution that branched into advocating paedophilia wasn’t invented in 1968. Its radical Jewish roots take us back to the 1920-30s and, in particular, to the early work of Wilhelm Reich.

The Following is an excerpt from Being in Time in which I delve into Wilhelm Reich and his ‘genital utopia.’

In his 1933 work, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Jewish Marxist and Freudian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich attempted to explain the striking victory of ‘reactionary’ Fascism over ‘progressive’ Communism. Reich was desperate to rescue the relevance of revolutionary Marxism. In order to do so he formed a new ‘post Marxist’ theoretical outlook to explain why the Germans of his time favoured ‘authoritarianism’ over a ‘preferable’ communist revolution.

According to Reich, the attraction of reactionary and conservative politics and the inclination towards fascism is driven by a long history of rigid, authoritarian patriarchy which affects the family, parenting, primal education and eventually, society as a whole.
Of course, the remarkable popularity of fascism in Europe could have provided the scientifically-orientated Reich with a clear refutation of Marxist working class politics, theories and predictions. After all, dialectical Marxism had failed as a social theory as well as a methodical prophecy. But for some reason, he, like many other Jewish intellectuals of his time, decided to stick with Marx. Hoping to rescue what was left of dialectical materialism, and insisting that true communist political revolution would prevail once sexual repression was overthrown, Reich synthesized Marx and Freud into a ‘Sex Revolution.’

Wilhelm Reich posited that sexual liberation on a mass scale would save Marxist dogmatism and working people as well. In chapter five of The Mass Psychology of Fascism, he declared war on the patriarchal and conservative family which he saw as being at the core of mass conservatism: “From the standpoint of social development,” Reich wrote, “the family cannot be considered the basis of the authoritarian state, only as one of the most important institutions which support it.” The traditional family is a “central reactionary germ cell, the most important place of reproduction of the reactionary and conservative individual. Being itself caused by the authoritarian system, the family becomes the most important institution for its conservation.”

In the eyes of the neo-Marxist affection, both romanticism and traditional family values were obstacles to socialist reform and Reich’s vehicle towards the new world order was … orgasm! In his 1927 study, The Function of the Orgasm, he came to the conclusion that: “there is only one thing wrong with neurotic patients: the lack of full and repeated sexual satisfaction.” In the hands of Reich, the Marx-Freud hybrid was leading to what some critical cynics dubbed “genital utopia.”

Reich believed that for women within the patriarchal society, sex was within the realm of duty and/or restricted to procreation. “The maintenance of the authoritarian family institution requires more than economic dependence of wife and children on husband and father. This dependence can be tolerated only under the condition that the consciousness of being a sexual being is extinguished as far as possible in women and children. The woman is not supposed to be a sexual being, only the producer of children.”(The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Wilhelm Reich pg 56 37. Ibid pg 56)

Within the traditional society, the woman was robbed of any libidinal consciousness: “This idealization of motherhood is essentially a means of keeping women from developing a sexual consciousness and from breaking through the barriers of sexual repression, of keeping alive their sexual anxieties and guilt feelings. The very existence of woman as a sexual being would threaten authoritarian ideology; her recognition and social affirmation would mean its collapse.” Women were mere baby factories, who had only an instrumental role because: “Imperialistic wars require that there be no rebellion in the women against the function that is imposed on them, that of being nothing but child-bearing machines.” This description of the woman and the family fits the traditional Jewish orthodox family rather better than, say, the German, French, Italian or Spanish family cell.

But Wilhelm Reich wasn’t only a dialectic social revolutionary, he was also a pragmatist. He invented the Orgone Energy Accumulator, a wooden box about the size of a telephone booth, lined with metal and insulated with steel wool. The Orgone itself was a vague concept: an esoteric energy, a universal life force that was massless yet omnipresent and promised to charge up the body with the life force that circulated in the atmosphere and which he christened “orgone energy.” His Orgone box promised to improve “orgastic potency” and, by extension, physical and mental health Thus, the newly liberated Western subject was invited to experience the true meaning of Marx and Freud through sweating towards full emancipation by means of accumulating ‘Orgone energy’ in this wooden box.

Those who watched Woody Allen’s comedy film Sleeper (1973) probably remember the Orgasmatron – the orgasm inducing machine. In Allen’s satirical take on Reich’s Orgone box, it is actually the authoritarian regime that encourages its citizens to emancipate themselves by means of their genitalia. In Allen’s prophetic movie, the orgasm, like consumerism is a reward from the oppressive regime that diverts the masses’ attention from their existential misery.

The ‘authoritarian’ Germans, both fascist and communist, quickly expelled Reich from their ranks. By 1934, even Freud didn’t want anything to do with Reich. The progressive Americans however, tolerated his ideas, at least for a while. Reich was eventually arrested and died in an American prison leaving behind some radical minds, still convinced that the Orgone box was acting as a greenhouse for cosmic, libidinal energy. Within the free-ranging pornographic realm in which we live, the universe has become an extended Orgone container: pornography is free to all; genital sex is deemed almost Victorian; heterosexuality, at a certain stage, was on the verge of becoming a marginal adventure. And yet authoritarianism hasn’t disappeared. Quite the opposite; to borrow Marx’s metaphor – it is sex and pornography rather than religion that have become the opium of the masses. And yet, this ‘progressive’ universe in which we live didn’t defeat the inclination towards violence. We are killing millions by proxy in the name of moral interventionism and Coca Cola.

Donate

Kevin Barrett interviews the Saker

February 13, 2020

Dear friends,

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kevin Barrett.  Here is where you can listen to our interview:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/33954379

https://www.unz.com/audio/kbarrett_the-saker-on-our-fundamental-disagreement-about-wwii-hitler-jews-and-race/

I want to use this opportunity to sincerely thank all those Nazis who angrily defended Hitler and the Nazis – they made my case better than I ever could!  Thank you guys for doing exactly what I thought you would do 🙂

Hugs and cheers,

The Saker

Feb 12 at 6:39am

The Saker on “Our Fundamental Disagreement About WWII, Hitler, Jews and Race”

Western views of Jews, Jewish identity politics, and Zionism are extremely polarized these days. The mainstream world seems enslaved to Zionist propaganda caricatures; while perhaps in reaction to the appalling lies and omissions of the MSM, increasing numbers of alt-right dissidents have gravitated toward severely anti-Jewish views. 

The Saker—one of the anglophone world’s most important voices on Russia-related strategic issues—recently incited a constellation of controversies with his new article “Our Fundamental Disagreement About WWII, Hitler, Jews and Race.” He wrote me: “Do you know that I never got as much hate mail as for that article about Russia and Jews…I REALLY pissed a lot of people off.”

What are the Saker’s fundamental disagreements with the people sending him angry comments and emails? “First of all, there is my philosophical position: that Jews share common humanity with all of us. I don’t see them as a separate group that has some kind of unique, different quality.” He goes on to assert that Westerners who don’t like Jews “are actually the mirror image of what they accuse Jews of doing. They say Jews are supremacists, and then they say, at the same time, that Jews are somehow fundamentally different. Well, that’s denying our common humanity. And I don’t care who does it. If it’s done by a rabbi or if it’s done by a nazi, the message is the same: ‘There are some people who are better and more important and more valuable than others.'”

Among the many other points raised in this interview:

*The Russian monarchy wasn’t overthrown by Jews or (80% Jewish) Bolsheviks, it was overthrown by freemasonic Russian elites.

*19th century Russian radical movements were not dominated by Jews the way Bolshevism was.

*Historically, Poland and Polish-occupied Ukraine witnessed a much more intense and fraught relationship between Jews and non-Jews than Russia did.

*Many of the nations that fought in World War II committed horrific atrocities; but however we evaluate them, one thing the Nuremburg Tribunals got right was to establish forever the fact that aggression is the worst war crime, the ultimate war crime, the one that includes and entails all of the others.

*Putin’s attendance at the World Holocaust Forum in Occupied Jerusalem was about mourning victims of World War II, not endorsing Zionist ideology.

*But yes, Russia does unfortunately tilt toward Israel more than Palestine, because Russia has a significant and powerful Jewish population but no Palestinian/Arab population.

*Russia perceives NATO, not Israel, as its biggest threat: “Russia has been preparing for a full-scale conventional and/or nuclear war with the West for at least five years now. They hope to avoid it. They will do their utmost to not give (NATO) a pretext (to attack). But they know that this is the ultimate danger. And they’ve bought enough time. Now Russia is basically non-attackable by the United States…so the next level is, what about a local conflict? Iran is the clear example now, with the murder of Gen. Soleimani. The Russians do see that Israel has a hand in that. But I don’t think they think that Israel always is the single explanation for everything the Empire does.”

*”I’m absolutely convinced that everyone in Russia knows that 9/11 was an inside job. But they also realized that saying that openly was absolutely suicidal for them, because they could never prevail, no matter what kind of proof they present, and it would just be dismissed.”

Lies, Newsweek and Control of the Media Narrative: Tareq Haddad’s First-Hand Account

By Tareq Haddad

Source

Newsweek_OPCW_82ecf.jpg

A mafia runs editors. Freedom of the press is dead. Journalists and ordinary people must stand up.

  • Introduction
  • Syria
  • Newsweek Suppression: A Timeline of Events
  • Editors at Fault
  • Is Rep. Ilhan Omar a Spy?
  • External Control of the Media Narrative

INTRODUCTION

Until several days ago, I was a journalist at Newsweek. I decided to hand my resignation in because, in essence, I was given a simple choice. On one hand, I could continue to be employed by the company, stay in their chic London offices and earn a steady salary—only if I adhered to what could or could not be reported and suppressed vital facts. Alternatively, I could leave the company and tell the truth.

In the end, that decision was rather simple, all be it I understand the cost to me will be undesirable. I will be unemployed, struggle to finance myself and will likely not find another position in the industry I care about so passionately. If I am a little lucky, I will be smeared as a conspiracy theorist, maybe an Assad apologist or even a Russian asset—the latest farcical slur of the day.

Although I am a British citizen, the irony is that I’m half Arabic and half Russian. (Bellingcat: I’m happy to answer any requests.)

It is a terribly sad state of affairs when perfectly loyal people who want nothing but the best for their countries are labelled with such preposterous accusations. Take Iraq war veteran and Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for example, who was the target of such mud slinging for opposing U.S. involvement in Syria and for simply standing up to the Democratic Party’s most corrupt politician, Hillary Clinton. These smears are immature for a democracy—but I, in fact, welcome such attacks.

When the facts presented are utterly ignored and the messengers themselves are crucified in this way, it signals to right-minded people who the true perpetrators of lies are and where the truth in fact lies.

That truth is what matters most to me. It is what first drove me to journalism while I was working in Jersey’s offshore finance industry after completing my degree from Binghamton University’s School of Management in upstate New York. I was so outraged when I grew to realize that this small idyllic island I love and had grown up on since the age of nine, a British Crown dependency fifteen miles off the coast of France, was in fact a hub for global tax evasion. This realization came to me while the British people were being told that austerity had to continue—public funding for schools, hospitals, policing and all matter of things were to be slashed—all while the government “recovered” after bailing out the banks following the 2008 crash. That austerity lie was one I could no longer stomach as soon as I came to understand that my fairly uninspiring administrative role was in fact a part of this global network of firms to help multinational companies, businessmen, politicians and members of various royal families in avoiding paying trillions in tax—all under a perfectly legal infrastructure that the government was fully aware of, but kept quiet about.

In my naivety, as I left that industry and began my journalism training, I wrote a piece that detailed some of this corruption in hopes of changing the public awareness around these issues and in hopes that they no longer continued—albeit I did so in a manner of writing and sophistication I would be embarrassed of presently—but to my disappointment at the time, the piece was hardly noticed and the system remains little changed to now. Nonetheless, since that moment, I have not once regretted speaking truthfully, most especially for my own mental wellbeing: I would not have been able to regard myself with a grain of self-respect had I continued to engage in something I knew was a lie. It is the very same force that compels me to write now.

There is also another, deeper force that compels me to write. In my years since that moment when I decided to become a journalist and a writer, although I suspect I have known it intrinsically long before, I have come to learn that truth is also the most fundamental pillar of this modern society we so often take for granted—a realisation that did not come to us easily and one that we should be extremely careful to neglect. That is why when journalistic institutions fail to remember this central pillar, we should all be outraged because our mutual destruction follows. It may sound like hyperbole, but I assure you it’s not. When our record of where we come from is flawed, or our truth to put it more simply, the new lies stack on top of the old until our connection to reality becomes so disjointed that our understanding of the world ultimately implodes. The failure of current journalism, among other factors, is undoubtedly linked to the current regression of the Western world. In consequence, we have become the biggest perpetrators of the crimes our democracies were created to prevent.

Of course, for those who pay attention, this failure of mainstream journalism I speak of is nothing new. It has been ongoing for decades and was all too obvious following the Iraq war fiasco. The U.S. and U.K. governments, headed by people who cared for little other than their own personal gain, told the people of their respective countries a slew of fabrications and the media establishment, other than a handful of exceptions, simply went along for the ride.

This was something that consumed my interest when I was training to be a journalist. How could hundreds of reputable, well-meaning journalists get it so wrong? I read numerous books on the issue—from Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and Philip Knightley’s The First Casualty to work by Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer-prize-winning former foreign correspondent for the New York Times who was booted out for opposing that war (who I disagree with on some things, for the record)—but still, I believed that honest journalism could be done. Nothing I read however, came close to the dishonesty and deception I experienced while at Newsweek. Previously, I believed that not enough journalists questioned the government narrative sufficiently. I believed they failed to examine the facts with close enough attention and had not connected the dots as a handful of others had done.

No. The problem is far worse than that.

SYRIA

In the aftermath of the Iraq war and during my time studying this failure of the media since, I was of course extremely aware of the high likelihood that the U.S. government narrative on Syria was a deception. For starters, there were the statements made by the retired four-star general, General Wesley Clark, to Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman in 2007, four years prior to the beginning of the Syria conflict. The following is worth watching to in full.

Nonetheless, once I joined IBTimes UK in 2016, after training with the Press Association and working at the Hull Daily Mail (both of whom I am eternally indebted to for giving me an excellent foundation for starting my career) I solidly understood that journalism was not the profession of making unverifiable claims. I, or any journalist for that matter, could not out-right say that the nature of the Syrian conflict was based on a lie, no matter how strongly we suspected it. To do so, we would need unshakeable evidence that pointed to this.

Through the years, good journalists did document evidence. Roula Khalaf, who will soon take over from Lionel Barber as the editor of the Financial Times, wrote one such piece alongside Abigail Fielding-Smith in 2013. It documented how Qatar provided arms and funded the opposition of Bashar al-Assad’s legitimate government to the tune of somewhere between $1 and $3 billion from the outset of the conflict, rubbishing claims that it was a “people’s revolution” that turned violent. Footage captured by Syrian photographer Issa Touma—made into a short film titled 9 Days From My Window in Aleppo—similarly showed how Qatar-funded jihadists from the Al-Tawhid Brigade were present in the streets of Syria’s capital from the very outset of the war.

“Fighters re-enter my street,” Touma says as he films covertly out of his window. “They look different. They are heavily armed men with beards. I had only heard about them before. This is Liwa al-Tawhid. National television calls them terrorists. The international press calls them freedom fighters. I don’t care what they call it—I refuse to chose a side. But it’s a lie that the revolution started peacefully everywhere. At least in my street, Al Said Ali Street, it started with guns. It didn’t start peacefully at all.”

Veterans of the trade Seymour Hersh and Robert Fisk also poked holes in the U.S. government narrative, but their treatment by other journalists has been one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the press.

Hersh—who exposed the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, the clandestine bombing of Cambodia, the torture at Abu Ghraib prison, in addition to telling the world the real story of how Osama Bin Laden died—was shunned from the industry for reporting a simple fact: Bashar al-Assad’s government is not the only actor with access to chemical weapons in Syria. After a sarin attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in 2013, he was further smeared for reporting that Barack Obama withheld important military intelligence: samples examined in Britain’s Porton Down did not match the chemical signatures of sarin held in the Syrian government’s arsenals.

Fisk, writing days before the Syrian conflict escalated, in a piece that asked Americans to consider what they were really doing in the Middle East as the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 approached, also raised important questions, but he too was largely ignored.

I also did my best to document evidence that poked holes in the narrative as best I could. In 2016, I wrote how Egyptian authorities arrested five people for allegedly filming staged propaganda that purported to be from Syria. Though I’m not aware of any evidence to suggest that the two are connected and I make no such claims, these arrests came to light after The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Sunday Times revealed that a British PR firm, Bell Pottinger, was working with the CIA, the Pentagon and the National Security Council and received $540 million to create false propaganda in Iraq a month prior.

The following year, after the alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, I documented the intriguing story of Shajul Islam, the British doctor who purported to have treated the alleged victims and appeared on several television networks including NBC to sell the case for retaliation. He gushed with heroism, but it was not reported he was previously charged with terror offences in the U.K. and was in fact considered a “committed jihadist” by MI6. He was imprisoned in 2013 in connection with the kidnapping of two Western photo-journalists in northern Syria and was struck off Britain’s General Medical Council in 2016. Why he was released without sentencing and was allowed to travel back to Syria remains a mystery to me.

I also refused to recycle the same sloppy language used, inadvertently or not, by a number of other publications. Al Qaeda and their affiliates had always been referred to as terrorists as far as I was aware—why the sudden change to “rebels” or “moderate rebels” for the purposes of Syria? Thankfully, the news editor I worked with most frequently at the time, Fiona Keating, trusted my reporting and had no problems with me using the more appropriate terms “anti-Assad fighters” or “insurgents”—though one could arguably say even that was not accurate enough.

When buses carrying civilian refugees hoping to escape the fighting in Idlib province were attacked with car bombs in April of 2017, killing over 100, most of them women and children, I was disappointed with the Guardian and the BBC for continuing with their use of this infantile word, but this was not the language I felt to be appropriate in my report.

At roughly the same time, in light of the Khan Sheikhoun attack, confronted with an ever-growing list of irregularities and obvious falsifications—such as increasing evidence that the White Helmets were not what they purported of being, or the ridiculousness that the Western world’s de facto authority on Syria had become 7-year-old Bana al-Abed—I wrote an opinion piece that came short of calling the narrative around the Syrian conflict a lie, but simply pleaded that independent investigations of the alleged chemical weapons attack were allowed to take place before we rushed head first into war. I still believed honesty would prevail.

That piece was ultimately declined by IBTimes—though I covertly published it in CounterPunch later—but the rejection email I received from the editor-in-chief at the time makes for interesting reading.

I was sad to hear that asking for an independent investigation into a chemical weapons attack was an “incendiary theory,” but I was forced to move on.

By that summer, I was let go alongside a number of other journalists from the publication after the Buzzfeed-style model of click-bait-aggregation journalism was heavily punished by a new Google algorithm and had largely failed: page views plummeted and editors couldn’t seem to understand it was because we weren’t doing any real journalism. Having felt frustrated with the industry, I decided to not pursue another position in reporting and decided to move to mainland Europe in hopes of pursuing my other passion—literature—with aspirations of being able to write more freely.

Fast forward to 2019, I decided to return to journalism as I was feeling the pressure to have “a grown-up job” and could not count on my ability to be a novelist as a means of long-term career stability. So when I joined Newsweek in September, I was extremely thankful for the opportunity and had no intention of being controversial—the number of jobs in the industry appeared to be shrinking and, besides, the Syrian conflict appeared to be dying down. As soon as I arrived, Newsweek editor-in-chief Nancy Cooper emphasised original reporting and I was even even more pleased. I wanted to come in, get my head down and start building my reputation as a journalist again.

Then on October 6, President Donald Trump and the military machine behind him threw my quiet hopes of staying well clear of Syria into disarray. He announced the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country and green-lit the Turkish invasion that followed in a matter of days. Given my understanding of the situation, I was asked by Newsweek editors to report on this.

Within days of the Turkish invasion into Syria beginning, Turkey was accused of using the incendiary chemical white phosphorus in an attack on Ras al-Ayn and, again, having pitched the story, I was asked to report on the allegations. This spurred a follow-up investigation on why the use of the substance—a self-igniting chemical that burns at upwards of 4,800 degrees Fahrenheit, causing devastating damage to its victims—was rarely considered a war crime under the relevant weapons conventions and I was commended by Nancy for doing excellent journalism.

It was while investigating this story that I started to come across growing evidence that the U.N.-backed body for investigating chemical weapons use, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), issued a doctored report about an alleged chemical attack in Douma in April of 2018, much to the anger of OPCW investigators who visited the scene. Once Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday published his story containing a leaked letter that was circulated internally from one of the disgruntled OPCW scientists, I believed there was more than enough evidence to publish the story in Newsweek. That case was made even stronger when the letter was confirmed by Reuters and had been corroborated by former OPCW director-general Dr. Jose Bustani.

Although I am no stranger to having story ideas rejected, or having to censor my language to not rock the ship, this was a truth that had to be told. I was not prepared to back down on this.

Let me be clear: there is evidence that a United Nations body—whose jurisdiction was established after the world agreed to never repeat the horrors of World War I and World War II, such as German forces firing more than 150 tons of chlorine gas at French colonial troops in Ypres—is being weaponized to sell the case for war.

After OPCW experts found trace levels of chlorine when they visited Douma—i.e. no different than the levels of chlorine normally present in the atmosphere—or raised concerns that the canisters may have been tampered with or placed, both of which were reflected in their original reports, they made protestations because this information was withheld from the final report that was released to the world’s media. Instead, the final wording said chlorine was “likely” used and the war machine continued.

This is not a “conspiracy theory” as Newsweek sadly said in a statement to Fox News—interestingly the only mainstream publication to cover my resignation. Real OPCW scientists have met with real journalists and explained the timeline of events. They provided internal documents that proved these allegations—documents that were then confirmed by Reuters. This is all I wanted to report.

Meanwhile, OPCW scientists were prevented from investigating Turkey’s alleged use of white phosphorus. This flagrant politicization of a neutral body is opening the world up to repeating the same horrors we experienced in those two devastating wars.

This is unacceptable and I resigned when I was forbidden from reporting on this.

NEWSWEEK SUPPRESSION: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS

I first became aware of the Mail on Sunday report on Monday, November 25, and this is when I raised it with Alfred Joyner, Newsweek’s global executive producer, who had been my main point of contact for pitching stories.

Following a conversation with Alfred, he asked me to write the pitch in a note to him and Newsweek’s foreign affairs editor, Dimi Reider, on the company’s internal messaging system. The following is a copy and paste of that pitch, alongside the conversation that followed in the next few days.

Dimi Reider Alfred Joyner Chat.pdf

Once I returned to the office on Thursday, November 28, I proceeded to have a conversation with Dimi, but to my disappointment, he did not address any of my protestations against why the article could not be published. He made the famous joke about former Soviet politician Leonid Brezhnev irrelevantly, one he had already made to me a couple of weeks before, and after listening to my reasoning for wanting to have the story published for several minutes, all he had to say was: “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid it’s a no.”

The following morning, feeling incredibly frustrated, I wrote an email to Nancy and Newsweek’s digital director and London bureau chief, Laura Davis, to express my concerns.

Several stressful days passed where I did not hear from either Laura or Nancy, but in the meantime, as I tried to continue as best as I could with my every day reporting role, I noticed how an entertainment editor by the name of Tufayel Ahmed began to pick up most of the following stories I wrote.

In my experience of working with editors in the past, if an issue ever arose with a story, we would have a perfectly civil conversation, I would make the relevant adjustments where necessary and the article would be published without further problems. That was not my experience with Tufayel.

At first, when he sent me long, overly critical and often hostile criticisms on articles I wrote, I considered asking him to step into a meeting room in order to ask him whether I had inadvertently done something to offend him. Having come from a newspaper background where mistakes in articles required embarrassing apologies printed in the paper the next day, and having held the belief that editors were your best friend and should always be kept on side, I always prided myself in filing copy that was free of any errors and throughout my career, I was frequently commended for doing exactly this.

In my time at the Hull Daily Mail for example, regarded as one of the U.K.’s best regional newspapers, I do not recall a single correction being printed on any of the articles I wrote. That was the case despite covering murder trials, rape cases and numerous other sensitive stories.

On the eve of the Brexit referendum, despite still being a trainee reporter, I had built such a reputation for my accurate journalism and my attention-to-detail skills that I was even entrusted to single-handedly edit and publish copy from two politics reporters to the publication’s website, while managing the live blog, all social media channels and filing my own stories on national developments as the results came in. The following morning, following a short nap, the editor was so impressed with my efforts that I was asked to conduct the interviews with the local leaders of each political party, despite being one of the most junior reporters on the team.

Brexit.pdf

Furthermore, in close to 1,000 published articles for IBTimes UK, I can only recall one incident where an article required a correction. An Israel lobby group—forgive me for being unable to recall which one—objected to my use of the word “settlements” and requested that it be replaced with “settlement units” instead. This was a reasonable request and the article was updated to reflect this without further incident.

I do not say these things to be self-congratulatory. I say these things because I was deeply saddened and disturbed. Because when I finally received a response from Laura about the OPCW story on December 5, six days after my initial email and after repeated attempts to speak to her in person, only one paragraph was devoted to the leaked letter and the rest of the email attacked my capability as a journalist.

It listed all the instances that Tufayel had criticised me on, unfairly mischaracterising my actions, in addition to listing one genuine mistake I made in the course of everyday reporting—something not to be unexpected when every day I was expected to write four stories, often about complicated topics, sometimes with no prior experience in them. Nonetheless, even for this story, I had taken immediate action needed to resolve and had apologised to editors at the time, the characterisation of what took place in Laura’s email was deeply maligned.

That was the moment I knew beyond doubt what my gut had been telling me before: there was no valid reason for this OPCW story not to be published. It was simply being suppressed. I was being attacked for pushing back against this.

As I have nothing to hide, I will publish Laura’s response in full.

You will see my full response in due course, but first, some further comments about Laura’s criticisms must be addressed.

EDITORS AT FAULT

My first “indiscretion” is rather simple to address. I believe—however I must admit I am not certain, as the information was never published—that the article Laura is referring to this. Regardless of which piece it was, the following events took place.

In 2018, confirming the earlier reporting by Hersh, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that the Pentagon has no evidence to support the allegations that the Syrian government used sarin in Ghouta, as reported here by the Associated Press. As Newsweek did not report this fact (more evidence of suppression?) I linked to an opinion piece on our website that addressed that report. The first line of that piece links back to the AP story. When questioned by Tufayel why I did this, I explained that I was simply trying to link to references on our website, explaining to him the source was AP—ironically, I was trying to help Newsweek gather more clicks. The information which was ultimately removed from my article was not badly sourced.

The second point listed by Laura—the only occasion out of 156 stories written during my two-month stint at Newsweek where an article required a correction—raises another serious problem at the publication: editors tell journalists what to report.

This article was assigned to me by Alfred on Newsweek’s internal messaging system, as is commonplace for editors to do, and I felt obliged to report the story, although I had concerns and it is not one I personally would have chosen to do. I raised these concerns with Alfred—whose background is in video editing, not journalism—but instead of ditching the story, a new angle was suggested and a new headline was provided too. Feeling that I couldn’t challenge his authority any further without being rude, I proceeded as best as I could, but in the course of doing so, I made two mistakes: One, I neglected to reach out for comment on two of the five parties involved (thinking Facebook, who I contacted, would comment on behalf of the remaining). Two, I wrongly reported that some funds were donated by Mark Zuckerburg as opposed to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

When the Facebook spokesperson returned my request, she simply pointed me in the direction of tweets made by the remaining individuals and asked if I could update accordingly. The tweets did not criticize our reporting, but of the original reporting done by Popular Information, the source assigned to me by Alfred to base my reporting on.

Once their statements came to my knowledge (which reflected the concerns I had about the article in the first place), I alerted Alfred immediately and did my best to redress. Laura’s criticism also neglected to mention that Newsweek’s chief sub-editor—whom I will not name as he has been among a handful of editors to treat me fairly—was the one to look over the article and he had no problems in publishing my piece.

This practice of editors telling journalists what to write, with what angle and with headlines already assigned is completely backwards and is the cause of numerous problems. How can journalists find genuine newsworthy developments if what to write has already been scripted for them?

I spoke to several Newsweek journalists about this very problem prior to my departure and they shared the same concerns. This was the very same problem that led to Jessica Kwong’s firing a week before my resignation.

Kwong, who I do not know, wrote a story titled “How is Trump Spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, Golfing and More,” a day before the day in question—only for it to emerge that Trump made a surprise visit to Afghanistan. No proper journalist would have written that piece by their own volition—it was only done because editors were on their tireless crusade for clicks.

In the end, she was fired because she did not approach the White House for comment, although all the information came from the president’s public diary.

“Dear press office,” her email should have read supposedly. “I am writing a piece that is of no useful public information, but will be criticising the president for what he choses to do in his leisure time on Thanksgiving. Can you please provide a statement at your earliest convenience.”

For goodness sake, whatever your opinions are of President Trump, what were most of you doing on Thanksgiving Day?

Most appallingly, in a team meeting between the New York and London offices following the firing, where “lessons to be learned” were discussed at length, the editor in question tried to make a joke along the lines of: “Don’t worry guys! I’ve learned my lesson! I’ll happily edit the story ‘What’s Trump doing on Christmas Day?” Silence followed. You should have seen the faces of the journalists in the room.

A final note on the contents of Laura’s email, for the rest is addressed in my response.

Yes. I did make adjustments in the content management system and republished some articles. Journalists are permitted to do this if they spot small mistakes—such as in spelling or grammar, for example—but I did not editorialise as the email claims. And yes. On the white phosphorus story, I did question an editor’s judgement. It was Nancy’s in fact.

After the article had been published, she amended the headline so that it was more attention grabbing, but the grammar she used made it non-sensical and she also didn’t abide by Newsweek’s own house style in doing so. (She wrote “US” not “U.S.”) I didn’t want an article I spent three weeks working on to be ruined because of sloppiness. Is there something so wrong with that? For the record: I am still unhappy with the headline on the piece as it stands.

Now, before I return to my response and to my ultimate resignation, there were several other important things to note.

IS REP. ILHAN OMAR A QATARI SPY?

On Saturday, November 30, a day after I sent my initial email to Laura and Nancy, I was working a weekend shift and there had been a change in the rota: Tufayel was to be the news editor for the day. There was nothing demonstrably unusual about this, but what did strike me as odd is how I was immediately assigned a story about some relatively unknown congressional candidate who had been kicked off Twitter for tweeting something in relation to the Democratic Congresswoman of Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, and allegations that she was a spy.

The nature of the story was not odd in itself, but only seemed strange because of Dimi’s earlier refutation of my OPCW piece.

“It’s not just about Syria,” he wrote. “This was part of my reluctance to put take up this weird story going around since yesterday about Ilhan Omar being a Qatari spy. Not a single serious U.S. site picked it up, which confirms my hunch it’s BS.”

At the time, not knowing about the story, I thought that was fair enough—it seemed like a ridiculous claim. In fact, when I had seen that line written in Dimi’s refutation, it further enraged me: why was my provable story about the existence of this leaked letter (verified by Reuters!!!) being smeared by being placed next to this?

Regardless, when I was assigned the story by Tufayel, I did my best to be professional and I did what I always did: I pulled up as many resources as I could find on the matter at hand and began to research and fact-check. That was when I was shocked to discover this report in Al Arabiya about Ilhan.

The publication acquired a 233-page legal deposition, made to a U.S. district court, by a Kuwaiti-born Canadian businessman by the name of Alan Bender. He gave evidence against the Qatari emir’s brother, Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani, after al-Thani was accused of ordering his American bodyguard to murder two people and after holding his hired American paramedic prisoner. In that deposition, Bender claimed to have high connections among Qatari officials—presumably why he was asked to testify—and it was there that he made the Ilhan spy allegations.

Now, I have no further evidence to support Alan Bender’s claims—I will be the first to admit I know very little about Qatari politics—but surely a well-connected businessman’s deposition in a U.S. court of law did not justify Dimi’s “hunch it’s BS” without providing further evidence. If Alan Bender’s claims are untrue and he is lying under oath, he has to answer for them. I suddenly realised that this was a test.

Would I get the hint and do my reporting in line with management orders? Or would I continue to report perfectly publishable details that are in the public interest?

Of course, there is the possibility I was assigned the article by mere happenstance, but what took place after I submitted my draft copy to Tufayel for editing was revealing. The draft I submitted was as follows.

All reasonable journalists, I hope, will not find anything wrong with my reporting here. Despite this, following the submission of my draft, all references to Alan Bender were scrubbed from my piece, and so too was the link to the Al Arabiya’s story. All that was left of the newsworthy information I provided on the matter were the words “baseless claims”.

How was Tufayel so certain that the claims were baseless? Did he have information to the contrary of what Alan Bender said? Or was there any other journalistic justification for removing information that was provided in a court of law, although I clearly stated there was no other evidence to currently support the claims? Was there any good reason at all? I suspect not, other than the fact that it could be deeply damaging if the allegations emerged to be true, and that management orders had been to suppress anything Alan Bender said, as was the same across most media organizations across the U.S.

Curiously, Nancy later amended the article again, this time changing the word “baseless” to “unverified”—softening the language, I imagine, in order to not draw unnecessary attention to it.

This is shown by the content management system (CMS) logs that capture all changes made.

EXTERNAL CONTROL OF THE MEDIA NARRATIVE

While all this was going on, and while I waited for a response from Laura, I started to have strong suspicions that something wasn’t quite right with Dimi, the so-called foreign affairs editor. For starters, he rarely did any foreign affairs editing. He rarely did any editing at all.

Newsweek has a system where reporters paste the relevant CMS link of draft articles ready to be edited into a “publishme” channel of the internal messaging system and editors make their way down the list, picking up stories that reporters had filed. Once they are looked over and published, editors dropped them in another channel called “published_stories” for all to see.

I made a habit of watching this list closely—it was useful to know what other reporters had filed in order to be able to link to their stories and also for ensuring articles were not repeated accidentally. In the two months I spent at Newsweek, I saw Dimi post in the “published_stories” channel only a handful of times. This is odd as most editors publish several stories a day. Instead, his most active contributions to the messaging system were with funny tweets or articles in the “general” thread. Sadly, I do not have physical evidence to support this, but the journalists I worked with will know this to be true.

The only times Dimi appeared to be involved is when a story had the potential to be controversial. He worked on my white phosphorus investigation, made the decision to not publish anything about the original Ilhan spy claims and rejected my attempts at publishing the OPCW leaks.

While working on that white phosphorus story, before I was fully aware of his background, he spoke to me of how he co-founded +972 Magazine—a liberal Israeli publication that started out by covering the 2008-2009 Gaza War. I glanced at his resume and was honored to be working with such an accomplished foreign affairs journalist. I had genuinely hoped to build a closer relationship to him.

That was why I was so bewildered when he flatly refused to publish the OPCW revelations. Surely any editor worth their salt would see this as big? Of course, I understood that the implications of such a piece would be substantial and not easy to report—it was the strongest evidence of lies about Syria to date—but surely most educated people could see this coming? Other evidence was growing by the day.

But no. As the earlier messages showed, there was no desire to report these revelations, regardless of how strong the evidence appeared to be. Dimi was simply happy to defer to Bellingcat—a clearly dubious organization as others have taken the time to address, such as here and here—instead of allowing journalists who are more than capable of doing their own research to do their job.

It was this realization that made me start to question Dimi. When I looked a little deeper, he was the missing piece.

Dimi worked at the European Council on Foreign Relations from 2013 and 2016—the sister organization to the more prevalent think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Some may be asking why this matters, but the lobbying group—the largest and most powerful in the United States—is nicknamed “Wall Street’s think-tank” for a reason, as the book by Laurence H. Shoup with the same title explains.

To understand just how influential the body is, it is worth noting that 10 of George H. W. Bush’s top 11 foreign policymakers were members, as was the former president himself. Bill Clinton, also a member, hired 15 foreign policymakers with CFR membership from a total of 17. George W. Bush hired 14 CFR members as top foreign policymakers and Barack Obama had 12, with a further five working in domestic policy positions.

Its European sister act is also highly influential, as this graphic from its website about current members demonstrates.

It is also worth noting that the CFR’s current chairman is David Rubenstein, co-founder and executive chairman of the Carlyle Group—the same Carlyle Group which previously described itself as the “leading private equity investor in the aerospace and the defense industries,” until it probably decided it was not a good look to boast about its war profiteering, though its investments in those industries remain.

It is the same Carlyle Group that hosted Osama bin Laden’s brother as the guest of honor for the group’s annual investor meeting in Washington D.C. the same day the Twin Towers fell. George H. W. Bush, an informal advisor to Carlyle, was also present.

Furthermore, one of the CFR’s most notorious exports was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger—a man famously described by Christopher Hitchens as America’s greatest ever war criminal. His long list of crimes against humanity cannot be summarized quickly.

Jeffrey Epstein was also a member from 1995 to 2009 and in a PR push, the CFR recently announced its decision to donate $350,000 to help fight sexual trafficking victims, equivalent in amount to the donations received from him. It may be obvious to state, but the Epstein story is another that’s not being investigated adequately by the media.

For those wanting to learn more about the influence of the CFR over the years, there is more in this paper published in the political science journal Reviews in American History.

But what about the think tank’s influence on journalism?

I’m unaware if what I will report here is common knowledge to the rest of the industry, but what I discovered when researching this topic is unacceptable to me.

I learned that aside from a large number of prominent journalists holding membership, I discovered that the CFR offers fellowships for journalists to come work alongside its many State Department and Department of Defensive representatives. A list of historical fellows includes top reporters and editors from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and CNN, among others—not forgetting journalists from Newsweek.

The most prominent CFR member to join Newsweek’s ranks was Fareed Zakaria. After stints at Yale and Harvard, at the age of 28, Zakaria became the managing editor of Foreign Affairs—the CFR’s own in-house publication. From there, he became the editor of Newsweek International in 2000, before moving on to edit Time Magazine in 2010.

 

When CIA intelligence analyst Kenneth Pollack wrote a book titled The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, Zakaria lauded the work and described Pollack as “One of the world’s leading experts on Iraq.”

Zakaria’s Newsweek columns prior to the war also make for interesting reading. “Let’s get real with Iraq,” one headline reads as early as 2001. “Time to take on America’s haters,” another one goes on. Others include “It’s time to do as daddy did,” and “Invade Iraq, but bring friends.” I could go on.

Interestingly, once the war had started in 2003, Foreign Affairs—where Zakaria writes to this day—was ranked first by research firm Erdos and Morgan as the most successful in influencing in public opinion. It achieved the accolade in 2005 and again in 2006. Results for other years are not known.

Scrolling through LinkedIn and Twitter, numerous individuals listed as journalists have taken the same path Zakaria has taken. They complete State Department-funded “diplomacy” degrees from prestigious universities—such as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, or at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London—before gritting their teeth at publications or think tanks funded by the CFR or Open Society Foundations. Once their unquestioning obedience is demonstrated, they slowly filter into mainstream organizations or Foreign Affairs.

It also emerged that this is the same path that Dimi has taken. +972 Magazine’s biggest funder is the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund, whose president and CEO, Stephen Heintz, is a CFR member. In addition to his work with the ECFR, Dimi is also listed as a research associate at SOAS.

This conflict of interests may be known to other journalists in the trade, but I will repeat: this is unacceptable to me.

The U.S. government, in an ugly alliance with those the profit the most from war, has its tentacles in every part of the media—imposters, with ties to the U.S. State Department, sit in newsrooms all over the world. Editors, with no apparent connections to the member’s club, have done nothing to resist. Together, they filter out what can or cannot be reported. Inconvenient stories are completely blocked. As a result, journalism is quickly dying. America is regressing because it lacks the truth.

The Afghanistan Papers, released this week by the Washington Post, showed further evidence of this. Misinformation, a trillion dollars wasted and two thousand Americans killed—and who knows how many more Afghanis. The newspapers ran countless stories on this utter failure, however, none will not tell you how they are to blame. The same mistakes are being repeated. The situation is becoming more grave. Real journalists and ordinary people need to take back journalism.

This was the letter I sent to Newsweek when I resigned.

Twitter Suspends Syrian Presidency Account after Broadcasting Assad Interview with Italian TV

Twitter

Source

December 10, 2019

Twitter on Monday temporarily suspended the account of Syrian Presidency after it broadcasted an interview with President Bashar Assad conducted by RAI News 24 but was not aired by the Italian TV.

“During the broadcast of President Assad’s interview, which RAI News 24 refrained from airing, Twitter suddenly suspended the account of the Syrian presidency and without giving justification,” the Syrian Presidency announced on its Facebook account.

Later on Monday the account was enabled.

Assad’s office said the president gave the interview to RAI 24 on November 26 and that both parties agreed that the interview would air on Dec. 2, on both Italian RAI News 24 and Syrian national media outlets.

It added that RAI asked that the interview be postponed twice and Assad’s office said that it will broadcast the interview in full, on Monday (December 9), which they did.

RAI later issued a statement saying the interview wasn’t commissioned by any of the RAI news organs “thus it was impossible to agree in advance about a date to broadcast it.”

Source: Agencies

Related

 

Western counter-revolution tragically on display at gas price hike protests

A picture taken on November 17, 2019 shows a scorched gas station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in Eslamshahr, near the Iranian capital of Tehran. (By AFP)

A picture taken on November 17, 2019 shows a scorched gas station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in Eslamshahr, near the Iranian capital of Tehran. (By AFP)

Western counter-revolution tragically on display at gas price hike protestsBy Ramin Mazaheri

Thu Nov 28, 2019 08:18AM [Updated: Thu Nov 28, 2019 08:24AM ]

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.’

 

A simple question for you: are there, for lack of a better word, “counter-revolutionaries” in Ukraine, Hong Kong, or Syria? By that I mean: do those nations have people on the far extremes of the political spectrum who will provoke, take advantage of, and even relish in violence against their governments?

Obviously, only a liar or somebody foolishly playing devil’s advocate would not respond that, yes, in these nations there are many such persons — the proof is overwhelming.

So why would it be so hard to believe that there are such persons — counter-revolutionaries — in Iran, and that they hijacked recent protests over gas price hikes to provoke, take advantage of, and devilishly relish in death and violence against the government? Iran, unlike the nations I listed — and unlike almost every nation, period — actually had a popular revolution for extremists to counter in the first place.

Iranians are reminded of their exceptionalism when, for example and for certain, such far-right groups drove on a motorcycle to a gas hike protest, fired on the crowd, and fled.

Such vicious, armed people — the allies of the governments of many of those reading this article — are obviously the worst, most anti-democratic type of criminal. Their goal is just as obvious: to foment a counter-revolution in Iran.

What is unfortunate regarding the West’s coverage of the national tragedy which was the violence at the Iranian gas hike protests is that there isn’t the barest mention of this very real, very life-and-death, very accurate reality.

The term “counter-revolutionary” staggers the Western mind in its tracks — they seem to think it has been consigned to history? Or because there are no revolutionary countries in the West, and many ones filled with neo-imperial propaganda, perhaps they cannot even conceive of the existence of counter-revolutionaries?

The impact of such naivety is profoundly deadly.

Iranian counter-revolutionaries are aware of this yawning Western blind spot, and so they know that every single Iranian death — when reported by Amnesty International or Western journalists — will be blamed on the government and national security forces even though every Iranian knows that this is false and impossible.

The sweet, good-hearted innocents at Amnesty and the desk-only journalists in London, Paris, and New York City simply do not have the experience, or maybe even the editorial approval, to write this truthful question asked by every Iranian: how many innocent deaths were caused by counter-revolutionaries, and how many counter-revolutionaries pushed their far-right views all the way to their own demise?

We don’t know, as an official government report of the deaths has not yet been released. But everyone in Iran has an idea of the answer — a lot of them.

And there were many innocent deaths of protesters, too. This is why the gas hike protests are a tragedy.

And we know, because no one denies the right to self-defense, that the government simply had to fire back: when somebody drives by on a motorcycle and opens fire… what is the alternative for any civil servant working in security?

What needs to be impressed on non-Iranians is that there are regular protests in Iran and that they are not violent. Iran is not Cuba, which has no protests besides the “Ladies in White.” Iran is also not China, which has almost too many protests to keep track of. Iran is also not the US, which seemingly forgot how to protest in between the end of their Vietnam invasion and the election of Donald Trump. So if Iran has many protests which do not get violent, why did these?

The gas price hikes were launched without warning, and I assume it is because the government knew that they would be very unpopular… but they didn’t want them to be explosive.

And by “explosive” I mean that they didn’t want the old-money monarchists, the insane MKO who are even less popular than the criminal monarchists, ISIL (an attack of theirs caused 70 innocent casualties in Tehran in 2017), the cynical mercenaries bought by Western nations and their Arab monarch puppets, the secret service agencies of such nations which of course target Iran (is this is not a great number of people, already?) to have time to plan their drive-by shootings, building bombings and arsons at a  moment of heightened social unrest. I would say it’s not that the government wanted to catch the Iranian people by surprise, but to catch these illegitimate, undemocratic, far-right, definitely “counter-revolutionary” forces by surprise.

Were there legitimate protests against the gas hikes? As I mentioned, of course, and nor were they unusual or unexpected.

But attacking a police station, probably to get weapons — it is a normal journalistic question to ask if these are the works of counter-revolutionaries or “normal protesters,” regardless of the passport such attackers hold? Take a moment to imagine what the Western mainstream response would be be if French Yellow Vests did that — the idea that any of them would receive the barest sliver of public support is preposterous.

Just like with the Yellow Vests, the West lies about the true authors of protest violence

This should be stating the obvious to anyone with a rudimentary political awareness, but in the Iranian context, a “far-rightist” is synonymous with a “counter-revolutionary.” This is the case of every society which had a revolution since 1917, and Iran is no different. There is no “far-right” party in China, Cuba, Iran, or in any revolutionary nation because revolutionary nations all banish/declare war on far-right forces, after all.

It is difficult for Westerners to understand the recent Iran protests because they are denied this historical-political honesty and context about Iran. Their difficulty is further compounded by the fact that the top NGOs and the Western mainstream media cannot or will not admit that in Western nations the far-right is firmly a part of their establishments, unlike in Iran.

Look at the Yellow Vests in France: across the West, they have been portrayed as violent, far-right thugs masquerading as protesters. The reality is — and I have been there nearly every Saturday and can testify — the scenes of extreme violence always come from Black Bloc members who infiltrate the protests. Black Bloc is totally detrimental to the legitimate pro-democracy and socioeconomic demands of the Yellow Vest protesters; their ultra-left anarchism is totally unwanted; they are easily infiltrated by rogue cops, who merely have to wear black; French riot cops don’t lift a finger to stop Black Bloc’s vandalism — they are either colluding or, certainly, told to allow violence to occur in order to discredit the Yellow Vests.

The Yellow Vests are innocent protesters, just like the Iranian gas hike protesters — they are unarmed and cannot possibly stop people from committing unreasonable violence. Therefore, how can the West blame the Yellow Vests for violence they disavow and have no part in? I don’t know… but that is certainly what they have done for a calendar year.

The real violence comes not from Iranian gas price hike protesters nor Yellow Vests (who started following a gas price hike) in either of their situations, but from outside, unwanted, self-interested forces with incredibly dubious democratic intentions.

It is crystal clear: just as the West doesn’t report that it is Black Bloc committing violence and not the Yellow Vests protesters, the West also doesn’t report that it is far-right/counter-revolutionaries who are the authors of violence in Iran.

The Iranian government must absolutely punish police wrongdoings whenever proven. They must not be like France, which last week finally opened their first trial for police brutality despite the full calendar year of incredibly calculating repression. Iran has had a short-lived paroxysm of violence — the French government cold-bloodedly wages police brutality with sadistic regularity and precision.

However, comparing France and Iran is to compare apples and bowling balls. France’s government doesn’t have to spend one second thinking about catching “anti-France” forces “by surprise.” France is not beset by many rich, far-right groups / nations / monarchs / ex-monarchs / terrorists who get out of bed in the morning with the sole goal of destabilizing their national system.

Iranians, unlike the French, know this article is full of truths.

They know that because they know what propaganda is: France just had its bloodiest day since being kicked out of Beirut some 40 years ago, as 13 French soldiers died while fighting in Mali. President Emmanuel Macron immediately tweeted, “These 13 heroes had just one goal: To protect us.” Now that is laughable propaganda about France’s “one goal!”

Nobody can believe that, but many in France and the West do — all part of the “war on terrorism,” right? But Malians know better: a January 2018 poll in the capital of Bamako revealed that 80% of respondents believe that France’s army is in Mali only to defend its own interests. Which is, of course, obviously the case. Macron immediately and robotically made his phony “war on terror” claim because he knows such scaremongering propaganda is desperately needed to stop honest discussion.

Just as many Westerners will believe Macron’s false propaganda, many Westerners will believe 100% that the Iranian government is responsible for every recent death. The emphatic, self-righteous certainty with which Western propaganda insists this falsehood and inaccuracy is appalling.

Iranians believe otherwise — some told me the majority of the dead were ardent counter-revolutionaries. This is a common perception, but it cannot be verified yet — what’s certain is that innocents did die, and that is a tragedy.

US clarifies its ‘diplomacy:’ allow a counter-revolution or starve to death

The real economic problem in Iran is the Western sanctions blockade. Such sanctions are made to create instability to the point of civil war. The West also funds groups which are designed expressly to create the most sparks precisely at times of heightened dissatisfaction and difficulty.

Those are all facts, and why would they not have been on full display at the gas price hike protests?

They were, but honest analysis of Iranian politics has few forums available. This article has discussed and analyzed these rarely-discussed realities which Iranians know well and will not deny.

In Iran, the violence comes from an ultra-violent right but the West naively acts as if such a political sector in Iran does not exist. The West also naively acts as if within their own nations there is not establishment support of far-right, conservative, certainly “counter-revolutionary” ideas and groups. It should thus be clear why the West is so unwilling to support revolutionary Iran in maintaining its revolution.

The West allies with the far-right across the world. Iranians know this, and they also pay the price. They pay the price at the gas pump, as the West’s blockade has undoubtedly forced the recent price increase, and they pay the price in so very many liters of blood, just as they have done ever since the beginning of the Western-forced invasion by Iraq in 1980.

Why can such realities not be even be broached in Western media or by Western NGOs? To this, I have no satisfactory answer.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just said, essentially, that Iran has to have a counter-revolution if “they want their people to eat.” As Yemen proves (in case North Korea did not do this already), the US is fine with starvation as a “legitimate” political tactic.

What is certain, sadly, is that no Western journalist called Pompeo a “far-rightist,” a “fascist” or a “counter-revolutionary” — they all simply nodded and reported what he said without question, contestation, or a hint of shame.

The counter-revolutionaries lost in Iran recently, again; Iran mourns that they still keep trying. The nation mourns most of all because of the West’s never-ending blockade against Iranian self-determination.

The terroristic inhumanity of their starvation-strangulation-sanction policy is something which cannot be broached in Western media, NGOs, governments or among many Western citizens, as well.

 

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

 

Report Showing ‘Iranian Military’ Hit by the Israeli Air Raid Near Damascus!

 

Beit Saber Damascus western countryside - israeli missile strikes house killing civilians

Everything Israel bombs in Syria sells it to the fools who believe its propaganda as ‘Iranian military targets’, and especially ‘Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ facility, as if that is not a breach of international law by itself.

On the ground and in reality it’s totally the opposite. Everything you hear from Israeli sources reflects totally the opposite to cover their crimes.

The US Taxpayers should watch this following report to see how their money is used by Israel. They must be satisfied with the ‘achievements’ of their 51st unofficial state living completely on their account.

Mohammad al-Khodr from the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel paid a visit to the village of Beit Saber, an agricultural village about 50 kilometers from the Syrian capital Damascus which was struck by one of the Israeli missiles two days ago, and also visited Qudsayya, another suburb near Damascus which was hit by another Israeli missile and this is their findings:

 

The video is also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/7chXUEzARh1E/beit saber damascus countryside israel missile strike house killing civilians

Israel was always present to lend a hand to terrorists fighting their unholy fake ‘jihad’ war against the Syrian state and the Syrian people under the US leadership. Whenever they need support help comes from their brethren in the IDF terrorist organization, and whenever the US wants to increase the pressure on Syria, the terrorist attacks would mount, foreign parties would increase their negative intervention, EU stooges will increase their sanctions against Syria, and Israel will be there for the dirty work.

From yesterday’s NATO terrorist attacks against Aleppo which never stopped throughout the Syrian crisis:

 

Note that Israel carries out its bombings against all targets after midnight, and from across borders, and in many cases hiding behind civilian airlines, showing the heinous nature of its war criminal leaders.

Those who believe Israeli media, similarly to who believed other Pentagon mainstream propagandists and fell for the Iraqi WMDs lie, then Libya lie, then countless other lies across the planet will continue to fall for the same lies by the same liars. There is a saying in America: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, so big shame on the US fools.

Social Media Censorship Reaches New Heights as Twitter Permanently Bans Dissent

Mnar Muhawesh speaks with journalist Daniel McAdams about being permanently banned from Twitter, social media censorship and more.

Most recently, it was revealed that Twitter’s senior editorial executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is an active officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations.

In other words: he specializes in disseminating propaganda.

The news left many wondering how a member of the British Armed Forces secured such an influential job in the media.

The bombshell that one of the world’s most influential social networks is controlled in part by an active psychological warfare officer was not covered at all in the New York TimesCNNCNBCMSNBC or Fox News, who appear to have found the news unremarkable.

But for those paying attention and for those who have been following ’MintPress News’ extensive coverage of social media censorship, this revelation was merely another example of the increasing closeness between the deep state and the fourth estate.

Amazon owner, and world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos was paid $600 million by the CIA to develop software and media for the agency, that’s more than twice as much as Bezos bought the Washington Post for, and a move media critics warn spells the end of journalistic independence for the Post.

Meanwhile, Google has a very close relationship with the State Department, its former CEO Eric Schmidt’s book on technological imperialism was heartily endorsed by deep state warmongers like Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair.

In their book titled, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, Eric Schmidt and fellow Google executive Jared Cohen wrote:

What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century…technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first.”

Another social media giant partnering with the military-industrial complex is Facebook. The California-based company announced last year it was working closely with the neoconservative think tank, The Atlantic Council, which is largely funded by Saudi Arabia, Israel and weapons manufacturers to supposedly fight foreign “fake news.”

The Atlantic Council is a NATO offshoot and its board of directors reads like a rogue’s gallery of warmongers, including the notorious Henry Kissinger, Bush-era hawks like Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, James Baker, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security and author of the PATRIOT Act, Michael Chertoff, a number of former Army Generals including David Petraeus and Wesley Clark and former heads of the CIA Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell.

39 percent of Americans, and similar numbers of people in other countries, get their news from Facebook, so when an organization like the Atlantic Council is controlling what the world sees in their Facebook news feeds, it can only be described as state censorship on a global level.

After working with the council, Facebook immediately began banning and removing accounts linked to media in official enemy states like Iran, Russia and Venezuela, ensuring the world would not be exposed to competing ideas and purging dissident voices under the guise of fighting “fake news” and “Russian bots.”

Meanwhile, the social media platform has been partnering with the U.S. and Israeli governments to silence Palestinian voices that show the reality of life under Israeli apartheid and occupation. The Israeli Justice Minister proudly revealed that Facebook complied with 95 percent of Israeli government requests to delete Palestinian pages. At the same time, Google deleted dozens of YouTube and blog accounts supposedly connected to the government of Iran.

In the last week alone, Twitter has purged several Palestinian news pages, including Quds News Network — without warning or explanation.

Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah wrote, 

This alarming act of censorship is another indication of the complicity of major social media firms in Israel’s efforts to suppress news and information about its abuses of Palestinian rights.”

 

Alternative voices not welcome

The vast online purge of alternative voices has also been directed at internal “enemies.”

Publishers like Julian Assange and whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning are still being held in solitary confinement in conditions that international bodies and human rights groups call torture, for their crime of revealing the extent of the global surveillance network and the control over the media that Western governments have built.

As attempts to re-tighten the state and corporate grip over our means of communication increases, high-quality alternative media are being hit the hardest, as algorithm changes from the media monoliths have deranked, demoted, deleted and disincentivized outlets that question official narratives, leading to huge falls in traffic and revenue.

The message from social media giants is clear: independent and alternative voices are not welcome.

One causality in this propaganda war is Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a public advocacy group that argues that a non-interventionist foreign policy is crucial to securing a prosperous society at home. McAdams served as Senator Paul’s foreign affairs advisor between 2001 and 2012. Before that, he was a journalist and editor for the Budapest Sun and a human rights monitor across Eastern Europe.

McAdams, who spent much of his time on Twitter calling out the war machine supported by both parties, was recently permanently banned from the platform for so-called “hateful conduct.” His crime? Challenging Fox News anchor Sean Hannity over his hour-long segment claiming to be against the “deep state,” while simultaneously wearing a CIA lapel pin. In the exchange, McAdams called Hannity “retarded,” claiming he was becoming stupider every time he watched him.

Yes, despite that word and its derivatives having been used on Twitter over ten times in the previous minute, and often much more aggressively than McAdams used it – only McAdams fell victim to Twitter’s ban hammer. Something didn’t make sense about this ban. One only needs to read the replies under any of President Trump’s tweets to see far more hateful speech than what McAdams displayed to suspect foul play.

I spoke with McAdams about the ban and began by asking him if he accepts the premise of the ban, or if he believes something else was afoot.

Feature photo | Spirit Boom Cat | Shutterstock

Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups.

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