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Truth and Public Policy in the Digital Age

The Kevin Barrett-Chomsky Dispute in Historical Perspective – Tenth part of the series titled “9/11 and the Zionist Question” – Read the ninth part here

Noam Chomsky 2 739cc

Prof. Tony Hall | American Herald Tribune | August 9, 2016

In a style much like that of disinformation agents Michael Shermer, Jonathan Kay and David Aaronvitch, Chomsky casts a generalizing net of his own imagination over the diverse array of critics that skeptically interrogate officialdom’s specious account of 9/11. One of the most bizarre of Chomsky’s generalizations is that those who are skeptical of the official interpretation of 9/11 are united by a common delusion that we can become experts in physics and civil engineering on the basis of an hour on the Internet.

Chomsky’s “bizarre non-sequitur” on the Internet and 9/11 “truthers” is at odds with the characterization put forward by another avid defender of the official narrative of 9/11. Jonathan Hillel Kay’s proudly-proclaimed Jewish approach to interpreting 9/11 presents a reverse version of the negative spin that Noam Chomsky gives the Internet in relation to the 9/11 Truth Movement.  Where Chomsky sees “truthers” as a human type prone to abuse the Internet in order to arrive at conclusions too quickly, Kay attacks the 9/11 Truth Movement by associating it with “Internet addiction.” Are Chomsky and Kay delivering talking points emanating from a common source that has identified the “Internet” as a hot button term useful in casting aspersions on those to be attacked?

Whatever the case, there is no denying that the age of the Internet has made it possible for diverse individuals to interact in new types of configuration in the digital commons. This change in our primary mode of communication is eroding many former monopolies of power. The citizens’ investigation of the events of September 11, 2001 forms a classic case in point. Since 2001 the Internet has become the primary medium of convergence of millions of people sharing a common interest in holding the real culprits of 9/11 accountable for their international crimes.

The rise of the 9/11 Truth Movement through digital communication forms a primary test of the implications of New Media in formulating twenty-first century public policy. When, if ever, will the weight of Internet disclosures swing the pendulum of power away from fable-based formulations towards evidence-based formulations of public policy on the big issues of war and peace, life and death? How much longer can the war footing of so many Western governments be maintained as millions of citizens become aware of the specious nature of justifications for military aggression abroad, police state incursions at home? How much longer can the empire of illusion be maintained in an era of massive disclosures through Internet venues such as those through which Kevin Barrett spreads the fruits of his intellectual roots?

Kevin Barrett’s continuing career as a public intellectual would have been difficult to imagine without the Internet. Alternatively many of those that have lined up to insult Dr. Barrett’s work embody the old bastions of power that formerly operated through control of information. The mutual contempt of Jonathan Kay and Noam Chomsky for the intellectual work of Kevin Barrett forms a telling example of a convergence of hostility towards an individual whose career well illustrates the role of the Internet in breaking down old monopolies of academic and journalistic authority.

Mixing Fact and Fiction in the Literature of the Global War on Terror

The concept of “Internet Addicts” comes up in the subtitle of Among the Truthers, Kay’s volume authored to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. By his own self-admission in a written communication to me, Kay is a notorious “poseur” who posed the part in this well-funded project as that of a sleuthing anthropologist turning up stones and slithering along murky caves in search of objects for his subterranean study. In the subtitle Kay advertises his text as A Journey into the Growing Conspiracist Underground of 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings, and Internet Addicts.

Although he would subsequently try to distance himself from the episode, I personally witnessed Jonathan Kay cite Noam Chomsky approvingly in Montreal in 2009. After Richard Gage’s talk on behalf of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Kay publicly aligned himself with Chomsky’s hostility to the 9/11 Truth Movement. Kay’s work on Among the Truthers was supported by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an entity that extended the author a fellowship. The FDD is a richly funded Zionist lobby and think tank created three days after 9/11.

Jonathan Kay Among the truthers 3838c

The FDD receives financial support from a number of Jewish family philanthropies. Many such estates are heavily committed to funding the various entities that work with the media such as the Rupert Murdoch Press, the BBC, the New York Times and the Postmedia newspaper chain in Canada to generate images and circulate stories meant to incite maximum fear and hate of Muslims.

With especially close connections to the New York Times, Rita Katz’s SITE Intelligence agency is an important Zionist entity at the strategic nexus between the media incitement of Islamophobia and the national security state’s Gladio-style engineering of false flag terrorism. The aim of this elaborate system of violence, publicity and deception is to shape public opinion in ways that facilitate Israel-directed war strategies through agencies that include NATO and the US Armed Forces.

Rita Katz’s SITE Intelligence agency is an important Zionist entity at the strategic nexus between the media incitement of Islamophobia and the national security state’s Gladio-style engineering of false flag terrorism.

The influence in high places of the hate-inducing Islamophobia Industry is marked by the fact that there is a virtual absence of skeptical investigation and reporting in the mainstream media when it comes to events where police and government officials blame terror events on Islamic extremists. Reporters are reduced to the status of mere stenographers for police and other public officials. As we have seen, many in the foundation-funded “alternative media” follow suit, betraying their mandate to evaluate official pronouncements honestly and skeptically.

The engineering of false flag terrorist events and the media coverage of them are part of the same dark psychological operation. This psy-op brings together the likes of Noam Chomsky and Jonathan Kay, two public intellectuals seemingly at different poles of the political spectrum. Kay’s sponsor, the FDD, draws on much the same Zionist circles of interest as did the Project for the New American Century. A year before 9/11, PNAC’s Israeli-American brain trust notoriously observed that its agenda of rapid militarization of the US Armed Forces could not be quickly achieved “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” [1]

Kay’s other book-length project is a mixture of fact and fiction co-authored with Michael Ross aka Michael Burrows. Ross worked with Jonathan Kay at the National Post doing stories including on the 9/11 research work of my former graduate student, Joshua Blakeney. The literary style of the book-length Kay-Ross collaboration marries snippets of truth with much fabrication, invention, exaggeration and adornment. The text provides something of a prototype to be replicated and adapted in the supposed news coverage of the Global War on Terror in its many incarnations.

Entitled The Volunteer: A Canadian’s Secret Life in the Mossad, the volume was written apparently with some authorization from the real Mossad. The text is written as Ross’ autobiography focusing on the years he is said to have spent as an agent in the Israeli secret service. Kay lends his literary skills to lionizing the Michael Ross character. Presented as a Jewish convert and Israeli patriot, Ross [Burrows] is said to have been born and raised an Anglican in Victoria BC. As depicted in The Volunteer, the Ross character is made to combine the suave know-how of James Bond with the gutsy bravado of Rambo. The main part of the heavily contrived narrative of the good Canadian Mossad agent unfolds during the decade between the Cold War and the origination of the Global War on Terror in the misrepresented events of 9/11.

Jonathan Kay fd9ac

Kay’s embrace of Zionism is considerably less muted than Chomsky’s. The story co-authored by the Canadian journalist begins and ends with a plea to embrace Israel as the essential shield against “militant Islam,” as the necessary bulwark of the rule of law and of civilization itself. The co-authors proclaim, “Israel’s battle is everyone’s battle.” Thus “Jew and gentile alike” should be joined in “Israel’s cause” because the Jewish state presents “a microcosm of the civilized world’s struggle against a murderous ideology and the men who embrace it.” As Kay and his real or imagined Mossad colleague would have it, the events of 9/11 demonstrate that we are “in a high stakes war that pits civilization against a fascistic death cult.” [1]

In Among The Truthers Kay repeats the core idea of The Volunteer. As Kay would have it, 9/11 confirms the role of Israel as the West’s primary bulwark against Islamic savagery. In making this case Kay repeats the assertion of Benjamin Netanyahu that 9/11 was good for Israel. Kay asserts, “Following the attacks supporters of Israel spoke of a silver lining. The war against militant Islam suddenly was a global one. Now the whole world would see and understand the sort of nihilistic hatred that Israelis confront every day.” As Kay sees it, Jews are being enlisted en masse to serve as primary soldiers in a war of civilizations. He writes, “The Jew was the perfect anti-Islamist, whose zeal and reliability was hard-wired into his political DNA thanks to six decades of Israeli warfare against Islamic terrorists in the Middle East.” [3]

You will read “Jonathan Kay and the Israel First Movement” in the next part.



[2] Michael Ross with Jonathan Kay, The Volunteer: A Canadian’s Secret Life in the Mossad (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2007), p.x-xi, 272

Yossi Melman, “A Bestseller, by Way of Deception,” Haaretz, 16 April, 2007 at

Richard Silverstein, Michael Burrows Exposed as a Former Mossad Agent, All-Round Poseur, Tikun Olum, 14 June, 2013 at

Richard Silverstein, “The Further Fictions and Half Truths of Mossad Agent, Michael Burrows,” Tikum Olum, 2 July, 2013 at

Michael Ross, Richard Silverstein Confuses ‘Tikkun Olum’ with Recklessness, Endangerment, Cyberbullying, Defamation, Mandacity,”

Michael Ross, “The Many Scandals of the Prisoner X Affair,” The Daily Beast, February 21, 2013m at

[3] Kay, Among The Truthers, 2012 edition, pp. 300-301

Dr. Hall is editor in chief of American Herald Tribune. He is currently Professor of Globalization Studies at University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

FBI Notes: Hillary Staffers Smash Burner Phones With Hammers, Destroy Evidence

Sputnik – 03.09.2016

On Friday, the FBI released documents detailing its investigative process into Hillary Clinton’s alleged malfeasance as Secretary of State tied to the use of an unauthorized private email server that opponents contest placed America’s national security in peril by leaving it vulnerable to hacks from foreign powers.

The timing of the release, ahead of a three-day holiday weekend in the United States – a historic lull point in American media coverage as families across the country plan vacations and gather around the barbecue – appears to be the product of a careful stagecraft to limit the impact of the incendiary findings.

Notably, the FBI report included statements by a Hillary Clinton aide, Justin Cooper, who recalled “two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile phones by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer” in stark violation to the mandate for evidence preservation placed on public figures if they have receive a subpoena or if it was foreseeable to a reasonable person that they may be in the future.

Hillary Clinton had at least 13 mobile devices according to the investigation, used by the former Secretary of State to send official emails using her private email server, in a practice some are likening to a mobster’s use of burner phones to avoid detection by authorities.

Her top aide, Huma Abedin, chalked up the unusual use of mobile devices to Clinton’s age and technological ignorance suggesting that Hillary would use a new phone for a few days before reverting back to an older, more familiar model.

It has also been established in the FBI investigatory findings that Hillary Clinton’s IT team wiped the email server erasing any potentially incriminating evidence after she had already received a subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi – an act that appears to meet federal criminal standards for destruction of evidence and failure to preserve documents when under an obligation by subpoena.

Hillary received a subpoena from the House Select Committee on March 4, 2015 instructing her to preserve and deliver all emails from her personal servers, but three weeks later a staffer with Platte River Networks (PRN), Hillary’s IT team that managed the homebrew server, permanently erased the contents of the former Secretary of State’s email archive with a program called Bleach Bit.

The FBI findings show that the PRN staff member “was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s email data on the PRN server.”

Federal officials appear to have decided not to pursue criminal charges against the low-level IT staffer who was not the target of the investigation and were unable to find a definitive link between Hillary and the destruction of evidence – such as a direct order by Secretary Clinton to delete the documents.

It is established that there was a conference call between the PRN staff member and “President [Bill] Clinton’s Staff” immediately before the deletion of emails, but the contents of that call are unknown.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | Leave a comment

As Hillary Clinton kisses up to Henry Kissinger, RT looks at 4 of his most heinous acts

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) smiles as Henry Kissinger © Jonathan Ernst

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) smiles as Henry Kissinger © Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
RT | September 3, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been seeking the endorsement of her long-time idol – and brutal war criminal – Henry Kissinger.

While the approval of such a man may seem at odds with an ideal endorsement, Clinton has long admired the work of the former secretary of state, and even sought his advice during her time in the same position.

Kissinger was national security advisor to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1969-73.

From 1973-77 he was secretary of state under both Nixon and Ford.

While Clinton retains the ultimate warmongering seal, RT examines some of Kissinger’s most memorable acts, with fingers crossed that Clinton doesn’t follow too closely in his footsteps.

Chilean coup

On 9/11 in 1973 the US-backed Chilean military carried out a coup which overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

Documents from the National Security Archive reveal Kissinger, then national security advisor, pushed Nixon to get rid of Allende, as his “‘model’ effect can be insidious”.

With help from the CIA, the coup was the start of more than a decade of horror and repressions under dictator Augusto Pinochet. Kissinger knowingly ignored reports of Pinochet’s repressions, choosing to send his “strongest desires to cooperate closely and establish firm basis for [a] cordial and most constructive relationship.”

The US meanwhile, enjoyed the spoils of a subservient government which allowed its corporations to plunder the country’s resources without interference.

Civilian slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos 1969-73

While the US’s war in Vietnam was well publicized, even as it became clear it had been a failure, the US’s illegal carpet bombing of neighbouring Cambodia and Laos was lesser known.

During this time, the US dropped half a million tonnes of bombs in Cambodia alone, along with more in Laos and Vietnam, as well as devastating chemical weapons including agent orange and napalm, the effects of which are still being felt by Southeast Asians today. Then there are the unexploded bombs which continue to take the lives of innocent people. Studies estimate as many as 25,000 have died at the hands of the US’s unexploded bombs since the attacks ended.

Kissinger’s hand in the Indochina war extended the Vietnam war and set the stage for the Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia.

Indonesia’s East Timor invasion

Kissinger approved the invasion of East Timor by Indonesian dictator Suharto in 1975, supplying Indonesia with arms in spite of an embargo. Suharto, who came to power as a result of a coup and arms support from the US which saw more than 1 million killed, proceeded to slaughter a quarter of a million people in East Timor.

Kissinger and Ford then made efforts to prevent the rest of the world from stopping the violence.

In 1999 when the small island voted for independence, president Bill Clinton chose to ignore the actions carried out by Indonesia which had been avoidable. Military aid given to Indonesia during Clinton’s presidency stood at about $150 million.

Pakistan’s Bangladesh genocide

Kissinger played a part in Pakistan’s invasion of Bangladesh, which saw as many as three million killed.

In 1971, Bangladesh, which was then East Pakistan, declared its independence following the victory of Bengali nationalists in the elections. The Pakistani army attempted to silence the population by raping women and killing civilians with US weapons, particularly the Hindu minority. Victims included children.

Kissinger and Nixon supported the Pakistani regime, with Kissinger congratulating Pakistani dictator Yahya Khan for his“delicacy and tact,” and mocked those who fought for “the dying Bengalis.”

Kissinger’s influence has shaped many other geopolitical disasters, including introducing the US-Saudi Arabia arms for oil relationship, encouraging the use of political Islam to destabilize Afghanistan, and the wiretapping of staffers and journalists in the US.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Second Turkish intervention into Syria; ISIS hands border town of Al-Rai over to Turkish army and affiliated groups

ANF News, September 3, 2016, with additional reporting

Part two of the theater play that began with the Turkish military’s occupation of Jarablus ten days ago continued today in the small border town of Al-Rai to the west.

Twelve Turkish tanks and a number of armored vehicles led a staged military offensive that began at around 13:30 local time on the afternoon of Saturday, September 3. Ground forces of the Turkish army crossed the border into Syria from Salahan village in Elbeyli district of Kilis province.

Local sources report that there has been no fighting in the town since the beginning of the military operation and that militants of Al-Qaeda affiliated groups also entered the town.

As the Turkish army pretends to be engaged in clashes with ISIS, rockets were earlier fired from the Al-Rai area into the Turkish city of Kilis, located northwest of Al-Rai five km from the Syrian border. Some reports say the rocket attack wounded some civilians [Anadolu Agency’s report on the rockets is here].

A larger target of the Turkish operation is the small city of Al-Bab, to the south of al-Rai. This is part of Turkey’s aim of separating the Kurdish-populated and controlled cantons east of the Euphrates River from the Afrin region in the west.

In mid-August, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the formation of a military council of Al-Bab in anticipation of a drive to liberate the city from ISIS control. This was to follow the success of the hard battle in July and early August to liberate Manbij from ISIS. Manbij lies halfway between Jarablus and Al-Bab.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Debtors’ Prison for Kids: Poor Children Incarcerated When Families Can’t Pay Juvenile Court Fees

The debt in effect creates a rift between parents and their children, a grandmother was told to consider giving up custody of her grandson in order to avoid paying his juvenile court fees.
(Photo: Richard Ross/Youth First)
By Nika Knight | Common Dreams | August 31, 2016

Many states are incarcerating poor children whose families can’t afford to pay juvenile court fees and fines, a report published Wednesday finds, which amounts to punishing children for their families’ poverty—and that may be unconstitutional.

Although the growing practice of incarcerating adults who are unable to pay municipal and court fees and fines has been documented for several years, as Common Dreams has noted, the latest report from the Juvenile Law Center is the first in-depth examination of the practice within the juvenile justice system.

The report, “Debtor’s Prison for Kids? The High Cost of Fines and Fees in the Juvenile Justice System” (pdf), documents the results of a survey of 183 people involved in the juvenile justice system—including lawyers, family members, and adults who had been incarcerated as children in the juvenile justice system—in 41 states.

The report authors discovered that in most states there is a pile-up of fees and fines imposed on children and their families once a child enters the juvenile justice system, and that “[m]any statutes establish that youth can be incarcerated or otherwise face a loss of liberty when they fail to pay.”

There are myriad ways in which juvenile court systems levy fines on children’s families, the report authors found, and then imprison those children when their families are too poor to pay the mounting costs:

  • Many states impose a monthly fee on families whose children are sentenced to probation. When a family can’t pay the monthly fee, that counts as a probation violation, and the child is in most cases incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility.
  • If children are sentenced to a “diversion program,” or a community-based program meant to keep them out of detention and help them reintegrate into their communities, the families must pay the costs of such a program. When poor children are unable to pay, they are simply incarcerated instead.
  • Families in most states must pay for their children’s court-ordered evaluations and tests (such as mental health evaluations, STD tests, and drug and alcohol assessments). Failure to obtain certain evaluations may result in a failure to be granted bond by the court, which means the child would remain in juvenile detention. Or if the tests are performed and the family subsequently can’t pay for them, that counts as a probation violation and the child is re-sentenced, which can mean being incarcerated.
  • Some sentences involve a simple fine, such as truancy, and failure to pay results in the child’s imprisonment. “Even when fines are not mandated by statute, they may be treated as mandatory in practice,” the report authers note, describing one impoverished child’s experience with a $500 truancy fine in Arkansas:

One individual who had been in the juvenile justice system there reported that he spent three months in a locked facility at age 13 because he couldn’t afford the truancy fine. He appeared in court without a lawyer or a parent and was never asked about his capacity to pay or given the option of paying a reduced amount. He assumed he had to either pay the full fine or spend time in jail. He explained, “my mind was set to where I was just like forget it, I might as well just go ahead and do the time because I ain’t got no money and I know the [financial] situation my mom is in. I ain’t got no money so I might as well just go and sit it out.”

  • “Almost all states charge parents for the care and support of youth involved with the juvenile justice system,” the report adds. Those include fees for room and board, clothing, and mental and physical healthcare, among many other charges, and “[i]nability to pay […] can result in youth being deprived of treatment, held in violation of probation, or even facing extended periods of incarceration.” (Juvenile prisons also charge their own, often higher, prices for children’s prescription medications, the report says, which frequently results in high charges that poor families cannot afford to pay and interrupts necessary healthcare for their children.)
  • In all 50 states, a statute exists which deems that if a child and their family can’t afford restitution charges—that is, payment to the victim(s) of the child’s crime, which is a popular sentence in juvenile court—the child is incarcerated.

Juvenile detention facilities are often unsafe and inhumane, as Common Dreams has reported.

And the fines imposed by juvenile court are “highly burdensome,” according to the report. The average cost of juvenile system involvement is $2,000 per case in Alameda County, California, for example, and “[f]or young people incarcerated for extended periods of time, the costs can be significantly higher.”

The debt divides families already struggling with the ramifications of poverty, the report notes.

“The debt in effect creates a rift between parents and their children,” one survey respondent said, recalling that “I… spoke to a family where a grandmother had taken custody of her grandson but when facing these insurmountable fees, she was told (by a county employee) that the only way she could avoid paying was to hand over custody. Given her limited income, she has seriously considered giving up custody of her grandson, which would make him a ward of the state…”

In some cases, parents can even face imprisonment themselves if they fail to pay their children’s juvenile court system fees. “In a number of states, parents, like youth, may be found in contempt, either civil or criminal, for failure to pay,” the report says.

“Parents may also face increased financial liability through collection fees and interest accruing on payments, as well as civil judgments for failure to pay,” the report authors add. “When parents face incarceration or mounting debt for failure to pay, they have even fewer resources to devote to educating, helping, and supporting their children.”

The report authors also observe that incarcerating children for their families’ inability to pay fees may be unconstitutional:

[I]t is worth noting that the United States Supreme Court has made clear that an individual may not be incarcerated for nonpayment if the court does not first conduct an indigence determination and establish that the failure to pay was willful. The Supreme Court has also held that courts must consider “alternative measures of punishment other than imprisonment” for indigent defendants. Nonetheless, some states require neither willfulness nor capacity to pay in statute, and only a few explicitly limit or prohibit incarceration for failure to pay.

Additionally, the Supreme Court has held that “courts must provide meaningful notice and, in appropriate cases, counsel, when enforcing fines and fees.” This right is even more important for children, who lack both the developmental capacity and the legal knowledge to represent themselves.

“Moreover,” the report continues, “while further research is needed, existing studies suggest that court costs, fees, and fines have limited, if any, fiscal benefit to states and counties, given the difficulty in collecting from families in poverty and the high administrative costs in trying to do so.”

The Juvenile Law Center details the varying policies on juvenile court system fees state-by-state on a new website, and also highlights the few counties and states who are attempting to rectify the problem.

“Ultimately, state and local policymakers should establish more sustainable and effective models for funding court systems rather than imposing costs on youth and families who simply can’t afford to pay,” the Juvenile Law Center says.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

51 Israeli Violations against Journalists in August

IMEMC News & Agencies – September 2, 2016

journalist-alrayIsraeli occupation forces reportedly committed 51 violations against Palestinian journalists during August of 2016, the government media office stated.

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, a report published by the office revealed that Israeli forces detained eight journalists, holding four in custody, and served a summons notice to one journalist.

Israeli authorities recently renewed the administrative detention of four journalists and the actual prison sentence of two journalists. It also documented five cases of abuses committed against detained journalists.

Additionally, it documented seven cases of injury, regarding four female journalists, involving gas grenades and fire.

Israeli forces also banned five journalists from covering events and travelling, one of them from Gaza.

The report also documented the closing of one local radio in the occupied West Bank, the raiding of two media institutions and the storming of nine houses where Palestinian journalists resided. It also reportedly seized media staff equipment.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Western media propaganda threatens peace and prolongs the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine

By Roger Annis | New Cold War | Sept 2, 2016

Western media is becoming unhinged as its anti-Russia propaganda struggles to keep a hold on its consumers. Two recent examples provide evidence.

Pro-peace conspiracy emanating from Moscow

On August 28, the New York Times published an article by its Moscow bureau chief about the troubling news (from the Times‘ viewpoint) that the people of Sweden are not happy with their government’s wish to join up with the NATO military alliance.

The ruling elites in Sweden and Finland have been quietly pushing for NATO membership for years. In May, the Swedish government pushed through the Riksdag a proposal for a ‘cooperation agreement’ with NATO, allowing it freer access to Swedish territory for transit and training. Finland already has such an agreement in place. In July, government leaders of the two countries proudly joined the NATO summit dinner in Warsaw.

But as a Reuters report at the time of the Warsaw summit explained, “An SvD/SIFO opinion poll showed 49 per cent of Swedes opposed joining NATO, with 33 in favor. Most Finns are against entering, and a government report said in April any such move would trigger a crisis with Russia.”

A Swedish news outlet reported on the same poll results:

In the survey of 1000 Swedes carried out by pollsters SIFO for newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in June, 49 per cent said they did not want Sweden to join NATO, 33 per cent said yes, and 18 said they were undecided.

The results suggest public opinion has changed since the last SIFO survey on the topic in September of 2015. In that poll, 41 per cent said they were in favour of Sweden seeking NATO membership, 39 per cent said they were against, and 20 per cent were undecided.

At the time, the 2015 figures appeared to demonstrate a significant shift in public opinion in the traditionally non-aligned Nordic country, but SIFO’s most-recent round of results indicates that shift was short-lived.

The Times article by Neil MacFarquharaug began, “With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The source of the “confusion”? The Times headline reads, ‘A powerful Russian weapon: The spread of false stories’. The article says there is “a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The Times writer declares a case of Russian dezinformatsiya in action. So powerful is the dezinformatsiya that it can seemingly bamboozle two of the wealthiest and most-educated populations in the world and make them act against their best interests, or at least the best advice of the New York Times, that being to join NATO.

As to the exact source of the public tripwire that Swedish government leaders have encountered, the dezinformatsiya conspiracy fades into the mists of the northern boreal forest. The Times explains, “As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts, and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect…”

Could public attitudes in Finland and Sweden towards NATO have anything to do with the historic ambivalence of Swedes and Finns to imperialist war alliances and their preference for peace over war? Apparently, the New York Times can’t climb out of its Russia conspiracy rut long enough to investigate.

According to the Global Peace Index as well as the  Global Peace Index (produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace), Finland and Sweden score in the top 15 countries of the world in various measures of being peaceful, non-violent places to live. Could it be that the people in Sweden and Finland would like to keep things that way?

Meanwhile, here is the New York Times article’s own dezinformatsiya, in the form of a long list of alleged Russian propaganda initiatives that prove what a dastardly enemy it is:

  • “Disinformation most famously succeeded in early 2014 with the initial obfuscation about deploying Russian forces to seize Crimea.”
  • “… the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the [Malaysian Airlines Flight 17] plane with a missile supplied by Russia.”
  • “… the Kremlin’s English-language news outlets heavily favored the campaign for [Britain] to leave the European Union, despite their claims of objectivity.”
  • “Moscow’s targeting of the West with disinformation dates to a Cold War program the Soviets called ‘active measures’.”
  • “[The Russian state-owned television channel] RT often seems obsessed with the United States, portraying life there as hellish.”
  • “The weaponization of information is not some project devised by a Kremlin policy expert but is an integral part of Russian military doctrine…”

Reuters can’t write a truthful article

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency published a report, also on August 28, purporting to look at the prospects for peace in Ukraine. The article is headlined, ‘Germany, Poland and France call for more efforts to end Ukraine crisis‘. Only ten brief paragraphs long, hardly a one in the article is untouched by distortions aimed at casting the best possible light on the right-wing, ultranationalist government in Kyiv and its civil war in the east of the country. Let’s read the ten paragraphs from start to finish:

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland agreed on Sunday there should be greater international efforts to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters.

He said there had not been sufficient progress in implementing the Minsk ceasefire agreement. “Western officials were talking with Russia and Ukraine to encourage them to implement measures already agreed in the Minsk process, including communal elections,” he said.

“Fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Western news-speak for “We don’t’ wish to name the protagonist in the conflict in eastern Ukraine because it happens to be our friend and ally. And what’s more, we are hoping that you don’t notice that it is the army of Ukraine that has invaded and occupied parts of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, not the other way around.”

Reuters cites Germany’s foreign minister in saying “Russia and Ukraine” should implement the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement (signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarus capital of Minsk). But Minsk-2 is an agreement to end a conflict between two parties in Ukraine–the governing regime in Kyiv, and the people’s republics in Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk). The agreement spells out the precise measures to be taken on both sides, including a cessation of military hostilities, comprehensive prisoner exchanges, recognition by Kyiv of autonomy for Donetsk and Lugansk, to be followed by the holding of elections there, and so on. What does all this have to do with Russia, apart from the obvious facilitation role which Russia (and other regional powers) could fulfill? Is Russia supposed to take over Ukraine so that Minsk-2 may be implemented? How well would that go over in Berlin and Washington?

Why not “Germany and Ukraine” or “France and Ukraine” to be encouraged to implement Minsk? After all, Germany and France are among the four members of the ‘Normandy Four’ group constituted to facilitate a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine and under whose facilitation Minsk-2 was arrived at in the first place.

“We have to work for a de-escalation of the situation,” [Steinmeier] told reporters after a meeting with his counterparts aimed at reinvigorating the Weimar Triangle [Germany-France-Poland] trilateral group.

Steinmeier said the group also wanted to reassure Europeans about the continued importance and relevance of the European Union after the June 23 vote by Britain to exit the bloc.

“The Weimar Triangle can plan an important role … It is a format where we can discuss progress or the lack of progress on issues such as the Normandy format aimed at ending the Ukraine conflict,” Steinmeier said.

The Normandy group comprises Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

So what, exactly, have Germany and France been doing to “de-escalate” the conflict in Ukraine? Have they called on Ukraine to pull its heavy weaponry out of the ceasefire zone and cease its criminal, daily shelling of towns and cities in Donbass, in total violation of Minsk-2? No. Have they called out Ukraine for refusing to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk republics and thereby blocking the holding of elections as required by Minsk-2? No. How about Ukraine’s failure to conduct prisoner exchanges; have Germany and France scolded Ukraine for that? No. So why is Reuters misleading its readers about Germany and France’s failure to work to “de-escalate” the conflict?

The misleading is even worse, because not only have Germany and France failed to aid in de-escalating the conflict, they are constantly adding fuel to the fire. Recently, they led the European Union in extending EU economic sanctions against Russia, including Crimea. They are silent about the provocative action of the United States, Britain and Canada in providing military training and equipping of the Ukrainian army and paramilitary irregulars, which is then applied to the illegal and criminal war against the citizens of Donbass.

Germany and France are members of the NATO alliance whose lead member, the United States, recently constructed provocative and dangerous missile bases in Romania and Poland. These bases have been built as the U.S. undertakes a massive, trillion dollars-plus upgrade of its nuclear weapons. This includes designing new delivery systems that undo the current status quo of nuclear stand-off and greatly increase the possibility of accidental unleashing of nuclear weapons.

Why can’t Reuters provide its readers with important background information of the conflict in Ukraine instead of printing bland phrases that convey exactly the opposite impression of what is really taking place?

The leaders of Russia, Germany and France have agreed to meet to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Sept. 4-5 in China on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the Kremlin said last week.

A recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, and fresh tension in Crimea have raised concern that a fragile ceasefire agreed in Minsk in February 2015 could collapse.

“Recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Reuters-speak for that which not must be spoken: in recent months, Ukraine has greatly increased its criminal shelling of the people of Donbass. What’s more, Ukraine conducts an ongoing military occupation of Donetsk and Lugansk territory and it calls the self-defense forces of Donbass “terrorists”, thus showing it has absolutely no intention of reaching a political settlement.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said last week he did not rule out introducing martial law and a new wave of military mobilization if the separatist conflict worsened.

“Separatist conflict” is Kyiv-speak/Reuters-speak for obscuring and confusing the source of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which is the refusal of Kyiv to grant the slightest decentralization of power in the highly-centralized Ukrainian constitutional setup whereby regions of Donbass could achieve a desired autonomy.

Of course, as a result of Ukraine’s prolonged and cruel war against the people of Donbass, it is highly likely that if given the chance, they would vote to secede from Ukraine to either join Russia or constitute their own independent republics. But that hardly makes them criminals or “terrorists”. As a matter of fact, that would be an entirely lawful act, consistent with international law, such as it is, and consistent with recent political experience in such countries as Canada (Quebec) and the United Kingdom (Scotland).

Propaganda disguised as news or policy is the modus operandi of Western media outlets in reporting on Ukraine. It’s a major contributor to making the conflict there so intractable because it lessens the pressure that would otherwise operate on the ultra-nationalist regime in Kyiv that it cease its civil war course.


On September 1, the Globe and Mail national daily in Canada published  a propaganda opinion piece by Aurel Braun, a professor of international relations and political science at the University of Toronto and a centre associate of the Davis Center, Harvard University. The commentary is titled ‘The West can’t let Putin decide Ukraine’s future‘ and the text begins:

Last week’s celebrations of 25 years of independence in Ukraine were bittersweet. Domestic problems aside, fighting escalated in eastern Ukraine with Moscow-controlled separatist rebels, Crimea remained firmly in Russia’s grip as the Kremlin increased its military presence there, Russian forces massed on Ukraine’s border and the Putin government provocatively accusing the Kiev government of seeking to invade Crimea. A worried President Petro Poroshenko warned just days before that he could not exclude the possibility of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There are two things of note in the commentary. One, the author says Ukraine would be “impossible to govern” if it were to adopt a federal system, ie a devolution of powers from Ukraine’s extremely centralized governing system to its 25 oblasts (regions). This will come as news to the people of many (most?) countries of the world that have a form of federal division of powers, including Canada, The United States… and Russia!

Two, the author describes present-day Ukraine as suffering “decades of failure to institute fundamental economic reforms, it needs to address endemic and damaging corruption, and Ukrainian political parties must learn the art of political compromise and be vigilant against various forms of extremism.” So how can these apparently intractable problems be cured? Why, ‘blame Russia!’

With such uninformed but university-level discourse, it is no wonder that most of the comments by readers posted to the Globe article absolutely mock its ludicrous assertions (and thereby mock the Globe editors for choosing to publish it). Here are a few examples of the withering comments directed at the editors of the Globe:

* Russia is this and Russia is that… The author of this piece of shameless propaganda thinks that we all have a very short memory span and cannot think by ourselves…

* Yet another wretched screed in the endless stream of Russia-baiting, Putin-bashing media commentaries in western media. Cannot the Globe and Mail find some knowledgeable persons from time to time to write something more or less objective and sensible about these and other troublesome international issues?…

* Ridiculous article and the University of Toronto should be ashamed that they have hired someone who is more of a government propagandist than a ‘student’ of foreign events…

* Is this guy really a professor? …

* … The author would do well to stop citing people who’ve lied through their teeth since the [2014] coup – the criminal act which sparked the avoidable crisis. We should all stop listening to people like [Aurel] Braun, who are well-known for doing the same.

* Ah yes, Aurel Braun, the man who destroyed Rights & Democracy (and whose actions possibly contributed to the death of its former director) in order to protect Israeli policy from criticism, is well-known for his anti-Russian bias and willingness to lie to enable conflict…

Final word in yet another chapter of Globe and Mail pro-Kyiv propaganda to another Globe commenter: “… If Western people and governments truly want to see the Ukrainian people begin to prosper, they will stop using that country as a chess piece in the Big Game. Work to ease tensions with Russia in this area, not exacerbate them.”

Roger Annis is a retired aerospace worker in Vancouver BC. He is an editor of the website The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond. He can be reached at


September 3, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Putin’s Warning

This candid conversation took place with representatives of various media outlets during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, in June 2016.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment