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Depleted Uranium – The Toxic Time Bomb Gifted to Scots By The Westminster Government

caltonjock | January 11, 2019

A summary of early government papers covering the period 1973 to 1977 was released by The National Archive. The exchanges showed there was knowledge about potential persistent contamination from Depleted Uranium dust. But what also emerged was the manoeuvring by the Westminster government and MOD to keep the firings secret from the Scots and the contempt with which the public was held.

The MoD used a legal loophole to fire thousands of depleted uranium shells into Scottish waters. Military bosses dodged an international ban by saying the 30 tons of radioactive waste had been “placed” not “dumped” off the beach in Kirkcudbrightshire. Outraged campaigners called on them to retrieve the toxic waste. … continue

Debris of INF treaty will fall far and wide

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | January 17, 2019

The US-Russia talks in Geneva regarding the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty have ended in failure. In a final call to salvage the treaty, Moscow offered that American experts could inspect a new suspect Russian missile, which Washington has been citing as the alibi for its decision to quit the treaty, but the US point-blank rejected the offer and instead went on to reconfirm that it intends to suspend observance of the cold-war era pact with effect from February 2. … continue

Trump Embraces the Missile Defense Boondoggle

By Daniel Larison • The American Conservative • January 17, 2019

Today Trump will embrace a huge expansion of the boondoggle that is missile defense:

The Trump administration is seeking to expand the scope and sophistication of American missile defenses on a scale not seen since President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative in a new strategy that President Trump plans to roll out personally on Thursday alongside military leaders at the Pentagon.

Throwing more money at missile defense systems is both a very expensive waste of resources and a highly destabilizing action that will spur other nuclear-armed states to expand their arsenals. Combined with the expected U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the impending expiration of New START, we could be looking at the start of a full-blown arms race with Russia and China in just a few years. The worst part is that the technology doesn’t work as advertised and isn’t going to work in the future, and the only ones to benefit from more spending on missile defense are the defense contractors that build the useless systems. … continue

First Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2019 was struck in head with tear-gas canister

MEMO | January 17, 2019

The first Palestinian child killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2019 was struck in the head by a tear-gas canister during the suppression of protests in the Gaza Strip.

According to Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), Abdel-Raouf Ismail Mohammad Salha – just 13-years-old – was “struck on the left side of his head by an Israeli-fired tear gas canister that caused a brain injury on the afternoon of January 11”.

The child was pronounced dead from his injuries three days later in Gaza City’s Shifa hospital.

“Crowd control weapons such as tear gas canisters can become lethal weapons when fired at children, especially if the point of impact is on a child’s head or torso,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director for DCIP.

In 2018, the NGO documented “three cases where children died after tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces struck them”. … continue

Soldiers Shoot Two Palestinians, Abduct Four, In Jenin

IMEMC News – January 16, 2019

Israeli soldiers shot two young Palestinian men, including one who was shot with an expanding bullet, and abducted four others, in the northern West Bank governorate of Jenin on Wednesday at dawn.

Media sources said the soldiers invaded the Anza village, south of Jenin, and fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs at Palestinian youngster, protesting the invasion.

They added that the soldiers shot Ali Qassem Sadaqa with an expanding bullet in his leg, causing moderate-to-serious injuries, and Abdullah Kamal Barahma with a rubber-coated steel bullet. … Full article

Who attacked the US forces in Syria?

Final Steps in Syria’s Successful Struggle for Peace and Sovereignty

By Federico PIERACCINI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.01.2019

The situation in Syria evolves daily and sees two situations very closely linked to each other, with the US withdrawal from Syria and the consequent expansionist ambitions of Erdogan in Syria and the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takeover in Idlib that frees the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian aviation to liberate the de-escalation zone. … continue

Pompeo Turns Reality Upside Down

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.01.2019

The speech made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the American University in Cairo on January 10th deserves more attention than it has received from the US media. In it, Pompeo reveals his own peculiar vision of what is taking place in the Middle East, to include the impact of his own personal religiosity, and his belief that Washington’s proper role in the region is to act as “a force for good.” The extent to which the Secretary of State was speaking for himself was not completely clear, but the text of the presentation was posted on the State Department website without any qualification, so one has to assume that Pompeo was representing White House policy.

Pompeo immediately set the stage for what was to follow, asserting in his first several paragraphs that “This trip is especially meaningful for me as an evangelical Christian… In my office, I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and His Word, and The Truth. And it’s the truth, lower-case ‘t,’ that I’m here to talk about today. It is a truth that isn’t often spoken in this part of the world, but because I’m a military man by training, I’ll be very blunt and direct today: America is a force for good in the Middle East.” … continue

The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute For Political Economy | January 17, 2019

Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.” … continue

FISA shocker: DOJ official warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased

By John Solomon | The Hill | January 16, 2019

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

At the time, Ohr was the associate attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtained from a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.

Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case. … continue

Can the FBI Investigate the President?

By Andrew Napolitano • Unz Review • January 17, 2019

… the Fourth Amendment requires probable cause of crime in order to obtain a surveillance warrant, but FISA only requires probable cause of communicating with a foreign person in order to get the same warrant.Why should anyone care about this? The dual purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to protect personal privacy in persons, houses, papers and effects, as well as to compel law enforcement to focus only on those people as to whom it has probable cause of guilt. When the feds can bypass these profound requirements, they are violating and rejecting the dual purpose of the amendment, which they have sworn to uphold.

FISA warrants are general warrants. General warrants basically authorize the bearer to search where he wishes and seize what he finds. One FISA warrant authorized surveillance of all 115 million Verizon customers. General warrants were the totalitarian practice of British officials in Colonial America, and the Fourth Amendment was enacted expressly to prevent them.

Trump is correct when he argues that FISA has corrupted and seduced some FBI officials and agents into violating the Constitution — yet they keep getting away with it. The insatiable appetite of government officials to spy in violation of the Constitution has infected the rule of law. If they can do this to the president, they can do it to anyone. – Full article

JFK, Trump, Russia, and the Deep State

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | January 16, 2019

Ever since I began writing on the JFK assassination, there have been those who have said to me, “What difference does it make whether this was a regime-change operation? Most everyone who engaged in it is dead by now anyway. What relevance does the assassination have for us living today?”

The answer: We are still living under the governmental structure that pulled it off, the same structure that has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation of President Trump to determine whether he is a secret agent of the Russian government and, therefore, a threat to “national security.”

While such an investigation appears absolutely ordinary to the mainstream press, it actually is a very shocking notion. After all, the president is the ostensible head of the executive branch of the federal government. Here we have people working in what are ostensibly subordinate parts of the executive branch carrying out a secret counterintelligence investigation of the man at the top.

To understand what is occurring here, it’s important to put the matter in a historical context. … continue

Jailed Press TV anchor’s children subpoenaed to testify

Press TV – January 16, 2019

Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi’s son, Hossein, has told Press TV’s website he and his siblings have received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury in Washington, D.C.

This is a transcription of what Hossein Hashemi said:

My name is Hossein Hashemi. I am the eldest son of Marzieh Hashemi, also known as Melanie Franklin. I just want to give an update from where we stand. Currently, the information that is available to us is that she has been detained as a material witness. There aren’t any charges against her. The officials have let us know that much in regard to her case. However, she is being detained in a Washington DC facility. It is a prison system. She has an inmate number and she is being held in a cell.

So, we have been very curious as to how someone who does not have any charges against them can be held in the circumstances. … continue

Trump’s Anti-Iran Campaign & NDAA Clause Behind ‘Inhumane’ Detention of PressTV Anchor

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | January 16, 2019

Marzieh Hashemi, an American citizen and journalist who has been living and working in Iran, has been detained without charge or justification by U.S. government authorities since Sunday, when she arrived at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis to visit her sick brother. However, her family was not notified until 48 hours after her detention.

Hashemi — an African-American born in New Orleans, who later converted to Islam and currently works as a journalist for the Iranian English-language news network PressTV — has since been transferred to a detention facility in Washington at the request of the FBI, according to reports from PressTV and the Associated Press. U.S. officials have yet to provide any justification for Hashemi’s detention. … continue

Israeli settlers bulldoze Palestinian lands in Nablus

Palestine Information Center – January 16, 2019

NABLUS – Israeli settlers’ bulldozers on Tuesday razed Palestinian-owned lands in Khirbet Yanun in Nablus.

Anti-settlement activist Ghassan Daghlas said in press statements that the settlers leveled about 30 dunums of land in preparation for seizing them.

Daghlas said that these farmlands are owned by Palestinian citizens who have not been allowed to enter or approach them since 2006.

The Palestinian activist noted that Yanun, which is surrounded by five settler outposts, has lost about 85% of its lands because of Israel’s settlement attacks.

Army Destroys Jordan Valley Farmland

IMEMC News & Agencies – January 16, 2019

The Israeli army destroyed the crops of Palestinian farmers when its bulldozers opened a one-kilometer-long road in the area of al-Burj, Northern Jordan Valley, PNN reports.

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers carried out military drills later, Tuesday morning, on the agricultural land that belongs to Palestinians.

The army also forced 13 families in the area of Ibziq, north of Tubas, to leave their homes for the same purpose, according to WAFA.

Benefiting Israel Tops Congressional Agenda

America Can Easily Be Moved

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 15, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously was unaware that he was being filmed when he commented that “America is a thing you can move very easily, moved in the right direction.” His predecessor Ariel Sharon was even more to the point when he reportedly said “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that … don’t worry about American pressure; I tell you, we, the Jewish people, control America and the American people know it!”

If this were only chest thumping rhetoric one might just shrug and go about one’s business, but actions speak louder than words, even in the world of corrupt politicians, where nothing is ever as it seems to be. In the past year alone, the U.S. government has moved its Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, has stopped criticizing the Netanyahu government’s expansion of illegal settlements, and is reportedly currently contemplating recognizing as legal Israel’s illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights. All the moves were and are contrary to actual American interests.continue

The New York Times Smears the President

By David Stockman | January 15, 2019

The Donald has been on a red hot twitter rampage, and he’s completely justified. Actually, we didn’t think the Russian Collusion Hoax could get any stupider until we saw the New York Times’ Friday evening bushwhack.

The trio of authors, apparently self-tortured victims of the Trump Derangement Syndrome, actually had the gall to print a story in the once and former Gray Lady of journalistic rectitude which was nothing more than an ugly smear on the sitting President of the United States—one that would have done Joe McCarthy proud… continue

US media intensify pretext for ousting Trump

By Finian Cunningham | RT | January 16, 2019

It’s no secret that since his election in 2016, powerful elements in the US political and media establishment have been running a non-stop campaign to remove Trump from the White House. Lately, the stakes have been raised.

Spearheading the media effort to defenestrate Trump are the New York Times and Washington Post. Both have been prominent purveyors of the “Russiagate” narrative over the past two years, claiming that Republican candidate colluded with Russian state intelligence, or at least was a beneficiary of alleged Russian interference, to win the presidency against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Congressional investigations and a probe by a Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with relentless media innuendo, have failed to produce any evidence to support the Russiagate narrative.

Now, the anti-Trump media in alliance with the Democratic leadership, the foreign policy establishment and senior ranks of the state intelligence agencies appear to have come up with a new angle on President Trump – he is a national security risk. … continue

Bellingcat activist fails to ban blogger who exposed his ties to UK propaganda outfit on Twitter

RT | January 14, 2019

An activist of the controversial investigative site Bellingcat has tried to make Twitter ban a Canadian blogger, who highlighted his links to a UK-backed covert influence network.

A recent Twitter post by a Canadian blogger, Stephen McIntyre, apparently did not sit well with Dan Kaszeta, an active contributor to the self-styled “citizen journalism” investigative website Bellingcat. The Canadian apparently drew the ire of the activist by highlighting some of his connections to the Integrity Initiative (II), a clandestine propaganda outlet funded by the UK government.

McIntyre posted an invoice sent by Kaszeta’s firm, Strongpoint Security, billing II’s parent organization, the Institute for Statecraft, for about $800 for an article penned by the man. The document is part of a trove of II’s data leaked online. The former US Army veteran apparently got pretty annoyed and turned to the Twitter administration, demanding that the blogger be banned for exposing his personal data. He argues that posting personal data is banned by Twitter rules. … continue

There’s More to Russia than Meets the Eye

By James V. DeLong | American Thinker | January 15, 2019

While I have only a concerned citizen’s knowledge of foreign affairs, I am baffled by the hysterical Russophobia of the MSM and the Democratic Party since the 2016 election.

As far as I can tell, there should be no real issues between Russia and the U.S. Ukraine or Crimea is freighted with questions of local ethnicity and brutal history and should be sorted out by the parties, or at most by Europe. We have no stake. As for the defense of Europe, it is not credible that Russia has designs on an entity that so outweighs it in population and wealth. Trump was right to point out that the Europeans themselves do not believe in the threat, since they are happy to shortchange defense while relying on Russia for natural gas. Why would the Russians send tanks when shutting a valve would cripple Germany?

I do not really understand why either nation is in Syria, and any Russian intervention in the 2016 election was trivial.  In any case, of course the Russians want to influence our elections. We are the world’s 800-pound gorilla (or bull in the china shop), so everyone wants to influence our elections, and who can blame these people? People all over the world live and die depending on the self-centered whims of whoever holds power in the U.S. – just ask Moammar Gaddafi (“we came, we saw, he died“). Saudis, Israelis, Europeans, Brits, and many others have been meddling for decades and will continue to do so. So grow up, MSM.

Irritated by the repetitive triviality of the press, I began searching for sources that would broaden and deepen my perspective. Indeed, I found an avalanche of web material that rarely makes it through the gatekeepers in the U.S. The quality and honesty of these varies greatly, but, to help out readers who share my unease about the information they are getting from the MSM, or even from many U.S. conservative sites, I will list a few that are worth your attention because, in my estimation, they are intelligent observers who know what they are talking about and who are trying to tell their readers the truth as they see it. … continue

Don’t meddle in Venezuela, Moscow tells coup-cheering Washington

RT | January 16, 2019

Russia has criticized the US government for bullying Venezuela and encouraging its opposition to stage a coup against President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in for his second term last week.

“Nations should avoid meddling in other nations’ internal affairs,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday. He said that Washington’s encouragement of opposition forces in Venezuela “has made them unwilling to seek reconciliation [with the president], which is regretful.”

Venezuela is currently in a political crisis, with the opposition-controlled National Assembly declaring President Maduro a “usurper” and its speaker, Juan Guaido, an “interim president” of the country. The move came after strong public support from Washington, which has been advocating toppling Maduro for quite some time.

Washington has targeted Maduro’s government with a series of crippling economic and personal sanctions, and reportedly considered a military intervention in the country. … continue

Pence backs opposition politician claiming to be ‘interim president’ of Venezuela

RT | January 15, 2019

US Vice-President Mike Pence has phoned Juan Guaido, president of the National Assembly of Venezuela who claims to be the country’s legitimate leader, and praised his ‘courageous leadership’ while pledging continued US support.

Pence’s phone call to Guaido was meant as expression of US support for the National Assembly as the “only legitimate body in the country,” Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed White House official.

News of the phone call comes after a tweet by Pence declaring Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro a “dictator with no legitimate claim to power.” Maduro won the May 2018 presidential election with over 67 percent of the vote, but the US has refused to recognize the results. […]

Pence’s phone call falls short of outright US recognition of Guaido as Venezuela’s president, as speculation fed by a CNN report on Tuesday suggested. […]

Industrious Wikipedia editors appear to have already embarked on conjuring Washington’s declarations into reality, declaring Guaido “interim president” of Venezuela as of January 11, while noting that “Maduro is still believed to be in power.” – Full article

Pyongyang Urges End of Foreign Military Exercises on Korean Peninsula – Envoy

Sputnik – 15.01.2019

Pyongyang calls for abandoning military exercises involving foreign forces on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean Ambassador to Russia Kim Hyun Joong said Tuesday.

“In order to eliminate military hostility between North and South Koreas in a fundamental way and turn the Korean Peninsula into a lasting and eternal peace zone, it is necessary to abandon conducting military exercises with foreign forces because North and South Korea agreed to follow the path of peace and prosperity,” Joong said at a dinner marking the occasion of the New Year at the Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Moscow.

Joong went on saying that it was also necessary to abandon foreign strategic weapons on its territory. … continue

Houthis dismiss Pompeo’s accusations of Hudaydah truce breach

Press TV – January 15, 2019

A senior Yemeni official has hit back at US Secretary of State Mike Pomepo over his recent allegations that Houthi fighters are violating the UN-brokered ceasefire in the Hudaydah port city, criticizing Washington for keeping up its support for the Saudi-led war on the impoverished nation.

In a post on his Twitter account on Monday night, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said that the Houthis’ redeployment from Hudaydah refuted Pompeo’s allegations.

“Pompeo’s accusations are refuted by the steps of redeployment at the port of Hudaydah and the submission of positive proposals,” he tweeted.

Speaking in Riyadh on Monday, the top US diplomat claimed that the Houthis had “chosen” not to comply with the Hudaydah truce. … Full article

The moral travesty of Israel seeking Arab, Iranian money for its alleged Nakba

By Ramzy Baroud | Ma’an | January 15, 2019

The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful exodus of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s.

The events that Israel is citing allegedly occurred at a time when Zionist Jewish militias were actively uprooting nearly one million Palestinian Arabs and systematically destroying their homes, villages and towns throughout Palestine.

The Israeli announcement, which reportedly followed “18 months of secret research” conducted by the Israeli government’s Ministry of Social Equality, should not be filed under the ever-expanding folder of shameless Israeli misrepresentations of history.

It is part of a calculated effort by the Israeli government, and namely by Minister Gila Gamliel, to create a counter-narrative to the rightful demand for the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed by Jewish militias between 1947-1948. … continue

Soldiers Abduct Three Palestinians, Confiscate Lathe Machines, In Nablus

IMEMC News – January 15, 2019

Israeli soldiers invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus, on Tuesday at dawn, before abducting three Palestinians, in addition to confiscating several expensive lathe machines from a workshop.

Media sources in Nablus said the soldiers invaded the eastern area of the city, before abducting Fadi Abu Hadrous, from the Old Askar Refugee Camp, and to Sa’id Ja’far Dweikat, from the Housing Projects area, after invading their homes and violently searching them.

The soldiers also abducted another man, identified as Sultan Abu Mustafa, after stopping him at Huwwara military roadblock, south of Nablus.

In addition, the soldiers invaded a lathe workshop, owned by As’ad Nasrallah Shamla, and confiscated seven machines, with the estimated cost of $250,000 to 300,000, and added that this was the second time the soldiers invade, destroy and confiscate the workshop’s machines since the year 2007.

As’ad added that this attack targets the only source of livelihood of seven families.

UK: £1bn subsidies given to firms for burning wood could be scrapped

By Colin Fernandez | Daily Mail | January 14, 2019

Controversial subsidies for burning wood in power stations could be scrapped in the drive to clean up Britain’s air.

Firms that burn wood pellets currently receive about £1billion a year because, unlike coal, these are considered renewable sources of energy.

But critics say burning wood produces similar amounts of carbon dioxide to coal, contributing to air pollution.

It also increases the logging of forests in the US, while shipping them to Britain in vast quantities has a further negative effect on the environment.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove yesterday revealed subsidies for burning wood could be scrapped as he unveiled the Government’s clean air strategy.

The U-turn comes after years of state support for ‘biomass’ such as wood pellets, in schemes pioneered by disgraced former Liberal Democrat energy secretary Chris Huhne.

He was hired by US firm Zilkha Biomass, which makes wood pellets, after serving a prison sentence in 2013 for perverting the course of justice.

The clean air strategy includes proposals to scrap some subsidies paid under so-called ‘contracts for difference’.

The contracts, which last until 2027, offer payments of about £100 per megawatt hour for burning imported wood – more than double the wholesale energy price.

Britain’s biggest power station, Drax, near Selby, North Yorkshire, burns about 7million tons a year of compressed wood pellets imported from the US and Canada. … continue

EU approval of glyphosate weed killer was based on ‘plagiarized’ Monsanto studies, report finds

RT | January 15, 2019

EU regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial glyphosate-based Monsanto weed-killer on an assessment which was heavily plagiarized from agri-chemical industry reports, a cross party group of MEPs has revealed.

The MEPs commissioned the investigation after the Guardian reported that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) had copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies into its safety assessment for the weed killer. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) then based its recommendation that glyphosate was safe based on that very report.

The results of the investigation were published just hours before a parliamentary vote on tightening scrutiny on the approval of pesticides. The cross-party report said that BfR had given the “deliberate pretence” of independent assessment, but in reality was “only echoing the industry applicants’ assessment.” … continue

‘NATO Has Outlived Its Usefulness & Should Go Into Dustbin of History’ – Scholar

Sputnik – January 15, 2019

On Monday, The New York Times cited unnamed senior administration officials as saying that US President Donald Trump has ostensibly questioned US membership in NATO and expressed a wish to withdraw the country from the bloc.

Radio Sputnik has discussed the report with Dr Joseph Cheng, Professor of Political Science at the City University of Hong Kong. … continue

Washington in Panic Mode as Trump Reportedly Mulled Withdrawal From NATO

Sputnik – 15.01.2019

Since taking office in 2017, Donald Trump has on a multitude of occasions slammed NATO member states for failing to meet their annual defence spending obligations and insisted on fair burden-sharing.

Over the course of 2018, US President Donald Trump repeatedly expressed a willingness to withdraw from NATO, The New York Times reported, citing current and former senior administration officials.

Although the unnamed sources said that they were not sure if Trump was serious, they allegedly feared that POTUS would return to his threat as other alliance member states failed to boost their military donations to NATO and reach the spending target set by the bloc. … continue

The US Mainstream Media Prefer Confrontation to Cooperation

By Brian CLOUGHLEY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.01.2019

The Washington Post is a noisily anti-Russian newspaper which every weekday by email produces for subscribers (of whom I am one) the Daily 202 (“Power Post — Intelligence for Leaders”) which covers US politics, a little international stuff, and a section called “There’s a Bear in the Woods” aimed at denigrating, belittling and generally insulting Russia.

The Post is intent on convincing citizens of the United States and the world in general that nothing good is ever done by, in or with the government of Russia, and a favourite target is President Putin. A typical Editorial was headed “Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly” and dealt savagely with the Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki last year. Much of the world believes that such discussions between nations’ leaders are better than hostile rhetoric, and most reasonable people are pleased and even relieved when meetings take place. They prefer amicable dialogue to venomous confrontation.

But the Post ended its comment on the meeting by asserting that “Mr Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power.” … continue

Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go

By Thomas L. Knapp | Garrison Center | January 15, 2019

The New York Times reports that “[i]n the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.”

That’s an interesting way of putting it, but let’s try another:

Enraged at the firing of their director, and suspecting the firing might portend a threat to their place and power in the American political establishment, FBI officials went to war with the president of the United States. They redirected taxpayer money and government resources away from anything resembling a legitimate law enforcement mission, putting themselves instead to the task of drumming up a specious case that said president is an agent of a foreign power. … continue

Russia-gate Evidence, Please

By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | January 15, 2019

For those interested in evidence — or the lack of it— regarding collusion between Russia and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, we can thank the usual Russia-gate promoters at The New York Times and CNN for inadvertently filling in some gaps in recent days.

Stooping to a new low, Friday’s Times headline screamed: “F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.” The second paragraph noted that FBI agents “sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

Trump had been calling for better relations with Russia during his presidential campaign. As journalist Michael Tracy tweeted on Sunday, the Times report made it “not a stretch to say: the FBI criminally investigating Trump on the basis of the ‘national security threat’ he allegedly poses, with the ‘threat’ being his perceived policy preferences re: Russia, could constitute literal criminalization of deviation from foreign policy consensus.” … continue

How Trump Thwarted Calculated Israeli Effort to Keep U.S. in Syria

They worked hard only to have their plans scuttled. But don’t expect them to stop the pressure.

By Gareth Porter • The American Conservative • January 14, 2019

The Pentagon was not the only party pressing Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria last year. It turns out the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington were working very hard to get the Trump administration to use America’s military presence there to support an Israeli campaign of airstrikes aimed at threatening war with Iran.

The Israeli strategy was aimed at dividing Russia from Iran and thus putting pressure on Tehran to withdraw its military personnel from Syria. A campaign by a pro-Israel think tank actually succeeded in getting such a policy ready for Trump’s approval last fall—although it was not supported by some Pentagon officials.

The story of the Israel lobby’s latest attempt to capture American policy, recounted here for the first time, reveals just how far Israel was able to reach into the Trump administration before the president personally intervened. […]

Trump knew that in going ahead with the withdrawal plan, he would face the wrath of not just the national security elite but Israel and its supporters. He went ahead with his announcement anyway, reflecting an important shift in his political priorities. –  Read full article

French Riot Police Deploy Semi-Automatic Weapons Against Yellow Vests As Macron Loses Grip On Country

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 01/15/2019

French riot police were pictured brandishing Heckler & Koch G36 semi-automatic rifles with 30-round magazines near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Saturday afternoon, reports the Daily Mail.

The deployment of rifles with presumably live ammunition visible through the magazine is an intimidating escalation as President Emmanuel Macron continues to lose his grip over France following nine weeks of country-wide protests by the Gilet Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement.

The Gilet Jaunes began as a demonstration against a climate change-linked fuel tax, which quickly morphed into a general anti-government protest against the Macron administration and the world’s highest taxes. We’re sure France’s plege to send 1 billion euros to rebuild Iraq will help calm them down. … continue

After years of speculation, IDF chief admits Israel supplied Syrian rebels with weapons

RT | January 15, 2019

The outgoing IDF chief of staff has spilled the beans on a poorly guarded secret of the Israeli military, that it has supplied Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s government with weapons “for self-defense.”

Gadi Eisenkot, who was the Israeli Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff for the last three years, told the Sunday Times in a farewell interview that Israel had been directly involved in the Syrian conflict on the side of the Syrian rebels, something that Tel Aviv has been reluctant to acknowledge before.

The general, who is retiring from military service, said that Israel supplied rebels at the border with light weapons for the purposes of “self-defense.”

While the direct links between Syrian rebels and Israeli commanders have been officially revealed for the first time, rumors of close military ties between the armed militants and the Israeli government have been circulating for years. … continue