Aletho News


EU To Spend Quarter Of Budget On Climate Policies

Not A Lot Of People Know That | April 30, 2018

Bear in mind this is only the tip of the iceberg, as individual countries are already standing the major costs themselves of climate policy.

The EU Budget is about 150bn euro pa. If anything shows how fatuous the whole EU project is, this must be it:

Climate-Linked Spending Set to Rise to a Quarter of EU Budget

Bloomberg | April 30, 2018
  • European Commission to present 2021-2027 budget proposal May 2
  • Climate to be component of regional aid, transport spending

The European Union’s executive is poised to propose spending 25 percent of funds available in next EU multiannual budget on activities related to climate protection, making sure new economic and political challenges don’t weaken the bloc’s resolve to fight pollution.

The European Commission’s blueprint for the 2021-2027 budget, to be proposed on May 2, will boost the so-called climate mainstreaming from 20 percent in the current multiannual financial plan, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The funds for reducing emissions and adapting to climate change will be earmarked under policies such as regional aid, transport, research and external relations, said the person, who asked not to be identified because talks on the draft budget are private.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Israel revokes residency of 4 Jerusalemite officials

Palestine Information Center – April 30, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Palestinian human rights sources said that Israel decided on Sunday to strip four Jerusalemite officials of their permanent residency under the pretext of not being loyal to Israel.

Lawyer Fadi al-Qawasmi said that Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided to revoke the residency of MPs Mohammed Abu Tir, Ahmad Attoun, and Mohammed Toutah as well as former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafa.

Al-Qawasmi said in press statements that the decision came after the Knesset approved a new bill earlier in March that allows the Interior Minister to strip any Jerusalemite of his residency rights if he is involved in “terrorism” or “anti-Israel acts”.

According to al-Qawasmi, the Israeli Supreme Court in mid-September 2017 overturned a decision to revoke the residency of the Jerusalemite MPs. However, it decided to give the Israeli government a time limit to enact a law that gives the Interior Ministry the authority to strip any Jerusalemite of his residency.

The Palestinian lawyer described the bill as “unfair” and “illegal”, saying that it was applied retroactively. He affirmed that he will return to Israeli courts to oppose the decision.

The Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the Druze in the Syrian Golan Heights are considered residents not citizens by the Israeli authorities. Revoking their residency, according to the new bill, means expelling them permanently from these territories.

In 2006 the Israeli authorities confiscated the ID cards of the four Jerusalemite MPs after arresting them following their participation in a protest in Occupied Jerusalem. They spent several months in Israeli jails before they were deported to the West Bank.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Korean “peace pipeline” gains traction

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | April 30, 2018

The two “peace pipelines” – one carrying Iranian natural gas via Pakistan to India and a second transporting Russian gas via North Korea to South Korea – surfaced as tantalizing ideas roughly a decade ago. They were promptly lampooned as “pipedreams”. But the Russia-DPRK-ROK pipeline (RDR) is having the last laugh on its detractors, thanks to the “thaw” on the Korean Peninsula.

The South Korean President Moon Jae-in telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday to personally brief him on the outcome of the inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom last Friday. The Russian readout says that during the conversation, Putin “reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to continue facilitating practical cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK, including through major trilateral projects in infrastructure and energy.”

The South Korean media reported that Putin “stressed the need to take advantage of the success of the inter-Korean summit to launch economic cooperation projects between the two Koreas and Russia” and flagged, in particular, that “connecting railways, gas pipelines, and electric power transmission between Russia and the Korean Peninsula via Siberia will contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula.”

Earlier, in a statement in Moscow on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry had welcomed the Panmunjom summit as “a significant step by Seoul and Pyongyang to national reconciliation and the establishment of strong relationships of independent value.” The statement said, “We are ready to facilitate the establishment of practical cooperation between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, including through the development of tripartite cooperation in the railway, electricity, gas and other industries.”

Moon understands that Russia is uniquely placed to provide underpinning for inter-Korean reconciliation in practical terms. A Russian rail-cum-pipeline transiting North Korea toward South Korea is a “win-win” project. Russia is a gas superpower, while the two Koreas are dependent on energy imports.

A RDR gas pipeline was discussed in 2011 during a rare visit by then North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to Russia with then President Dmitry Medvedev at a summit in Ulan-Ude near Lake Baikal in Siberia. They reportedly discussed a pipeline that will send natural gas from Sakhalin Island to South Korea. Russia had previously discussed this idea during a summit at Moscow between the then South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Medvedev in 2008.

Seoul can expect huge economic benefits as it would receive gas from Russia on a cheap and stable basis. Gas accounts for one-seventh of its energy consumption. The project held the potential to bring North Korea at least $100 million annually as transit fee alone, apart from giving access to much-needed access to energy at a cheap price. Besides, of course, the RDR would help stabilize the inter-Korean ties.

The fly in the ointment is going to be the United States. Simply put, RDR may fuel regional integration, which can hurt US interests. It remains to be seen how the US can stop the RDR except by undermining the dynamics of the Korean reconciliation. But Moon is a leftist politician and taps into the deep yearning for Korean reconciliation among the South Korean people. Moon is tactful and is making it look as if Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach is working, while in reality pushing his normalization plans vis-à-vis North Korea.

When Moon met Putin in September last year on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum at Vladivostok, there was discussion on South Korean investment in the development of Siberia and Russian Far East. A month ago, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that the normalization of the North Korean crisis might pave the way for resuming the project involving the construction of a gas pipeline that would connect Russia and the two Koreas. During Sunday’s conversation, Putin invited Moon to visit Russia during the FIFA World Cup in June-July. South Koreans are crazy about football.

From the Russian perspective, RDR’s main attraction lies in the potential for integration of the South Korean and Russian economies. (A parallel Trans-Korean Railway project is expected to be connected to Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway.) Quite obviously, Russia gains significant advantages through a privileged transportation link to the LNG market in the Asia-Pacific. Thus, Moscow favorably views Moon’s Trustpolitik, whose logical progression could open the door to Korean unification, elimination of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and reducing the prospect of a US-led war on Russian borders. Looking ahead, South Korean society is already divided on the presence of the US military. South Korea demonstrates greater foreign policy autonomy than Japan – and is less devoted to the rivalry between the US and China than Japan. South Korea refused to yield to US pressure to apply sanctions against Russia.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , | 3 Comments

Corbyn should learn his lesson: compromise with the devil is not an option

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | April 30, 2018

There are two kinds of compromise: the strong compromise, and the weak.

The former is where you cede an interest to uphold a principle, the latter when you ignore your principles to further your interests.

The first is an important tool in all aspects of life, the second should almost always be avoided. Jeremy Corbyn should learn that lesson.

Twice in recent weeks Corbyn’s leadership has faced an opportunity to cede a point of principle in order to further – as they apparently see it – the interests of their party. Both times they have done so, both times were a huge mistake.


The first question is: What does “Antisemitism in the Labour party” actually mean?

Let’s start by acknowledging what it isn’t. Criticising the government of Israel is not antisemitic. Supporting Palestine in its struggle for emancipation and justice is not antisemitic. Opposing George Soros’s neoliberal crusade through his various NGOs is not antisemitic. Accusing a Blairite MP (who happens to be Jewish) of working hand in hand with the right-wing press to undermine Corbyn is not antisemitic. Claiming Hitler was a “Zionist” may or may not be accurate, but it is not antisemitic. Even supporting the freedom of expression for a painter who makes a mural about the 1% that some third parties allege might appear to represent unflattering images of Jewish people (even though the artist denies it completely) is not antisemitic, unless specific intents can be established.

When we remove all these non-antisemitic incidents from the list of alleged “antisemitism” in the Labour Party, how much real antisemitism remains?

Very little to none would seem to be the answer. You might even argue there is less antisemitism within the Labour party than within the general population. Certainly there’s little evidence of any more. Ken Livingstone shows no signs of being antisemitic. Nor does the latest victim of the latest purge – Marc Wadsworth.

Wadsworth – a veteran anti-racism campaigner – has been expelled from the party for notionally being racist (it was actually “bringing the party into disrepute”, the evidence of racism was so little they couldn’t even officially call it that). He has been effectively sacrificed to appease the state-sponsored and state-supporting media in the UK.

This is a terrible mistake. By conceding this point of principle in order to gain a perceived strategic advantage Corbyn’s team have in fact conceded both principle and strategy to a force that has no interest in compromising with them and simply wants them gone. The result is this:

1. Labour’s right-wing, (who DO, demonstrably, work “hand in hand” with the anti-Corbyn press), have been allowed to define what “antisemitism” means, and they are going to take full advantage of this. From now on, any Labour MP or even grassroots member who criticises Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians – or who simply disagrees with another Labour member who happens to be Jewish – can look forward to being shamed and expelled. How does Corbyn see this as furthering the cause of freedom and democracy?

2. They have accepted the lie as truth. A man has been expelled for antisemitism. Even though the grounds are spurious, it will in future be cited as evidence that the left does indeed have a problem with antisemitism.

Corbyn’s team decided to play soft and weak, in the hopes that letting a little blood would sate the thirst of the media. But you don’t abate a feeding frenzy by chumming the water. You don’t compromise with the devil by selling a piece of your soul. They have made it immeasurably worse. Livingstone and Walker will follow, and slowly Corbyn’s allies in the party will be chipped away.


The same exact process is playing out with the “Russian interference” situation. When the first accusations of being “soft on Putin” were thrown around, the strong principled position to take would be to dismiss the smears as racist and stupid. Argue the issues, ignore the white noise of smear and innuendo.

Corbyn’s principles, and those of the Labour party, dictate that they should stand against prejudice, abuse, censorship and summary justice.

They COULD have made statements that RT is just as valid a medium to be interviewed on as the BBC or CNN. They could have pointed out that Russian money in London is fleeing Putin’s crackdown on the oligarchs. They could have stood by the truth, and to hell with what the press say.

Instead Corbyn’s camp saw a chance to score some easy points in the media. McDonnell decided to publicly denounce RT, whilst the “leftwing” press tried to attack the Tories for their “dirty” Russian donors. Instead of saying “this campaign of demonising Russians is degraded & offensive”, they said effectively “Yes, Russians are demons, but they like the Tories more than us!”

This is potentially a more egregious mistake than the antisemitism issue. Firstly, it endorses the quasi-racist idea that all things Russian are inherently tainted with evil. Secondly, it undermines RT, an important voice for alternative politicians in the UK. And it opens the gates to this:

Headline in the Sunday Times, April 29 2018

This is the most predictable headline I have ever seen. It’s more predictable than sunrise or the tides or the waning moon. It was destined from the moment of his first leadership victory. And Corbyn has no one to blame but himself.

By allowing the “Russiagate” hysteria to blossom without challenge, by allowing the memes of “dirty Russian money” in London, and the “Russian influence” of the Brexit vote to go unchecked, Corbyn has encouraged the climate where people can be “denounced” in true McCarthyite fashion. And now he is paying the price.

Corbyn seems to think a few little compromises will get him accepted in the mainstream media. It pains me to say it, but this is fundamentally untrue. You can’t compromise with someone who wants nothing but your total destruction. Hopefully Corbyn has learned this lesson by now.

And truth in politics is important, it has power, not simply through its rarity. Corbyn’s power came from telling truths we all knew and no one else was saying, and he has undermined it by allowing convenient lies to stand.

You can’t build a greater truth on a foundation of small, convenient lies. When a person tells a lie, it is an act of weakness to allow it to stand. Responding “Yes, but”, does nothing but reinforce the initial dishonesty.

You cannot allow the deep state to use their tools in the media to set the narrative. You cannot try to meet them in the middle, because they’ll just use that leverage to pull you further over to their side. A half-truth is just a lie that lacks conviction, and by letting them slide you allow the media to set the width of the Overton window.

Jeremy Corbyn is a good man, his entire career – apparently his entire outlook on life – is built around principle. It’s those principles that got him elected leader and made him so popular. He should not compromise them now, in order to appease people who will never be appeased.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The UK Government’s Skripal Conspiracy Theory – or The Art of Holding a Mass of Contradictory Thoughts in Your Head

By Rob Slane – TheBlogMire – April 30, 2018

The Official Narrative on the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal is a collection of illogical claims and assertions that cannot be made to fit together, that make no rational sense, and which would require us to hold a mass of contradictory thoughts in our head if we were to accept it. It is in short a conspiracy theory, and a particularly bad one at that.

As I have pointed out before, I am not attempting to counter this conspiracy theory with one of my own. I make no claims to know what happened in the Skripal incident. I am merely stating that the story that the UK Government and media have so far asked the public to believe cannot be true, since it is full of discrepancies and claims that are impossible to reconcile with the known facts.

They are, of course, welcome at any time to show how those contradictions and improbable assertions can be reconciled, but until such time as they advance a compelling and coherent explanation, rational and objective observers shall just have to assume that these contradictions exist for a reason – namely that the official narrative of what happened in the Skripal case is not in fact what really happened in the Skripal case.

So what exactly are those contradictory elements and improbable assertions in the Official Narrative, which place it firmly in the territory of a Very Bad Conspiracy Theory? There are many, but below are 10 of the most obvious:

1. A lethal nerve agent followed by a drink and a meal

The Official Narrative requires you to believe not only that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by the military grade nerve agent A-234, a substance which is said to be 5-8 ten times the toxicity of VX nerve agent (which itself has a median lethal dose of 10mg), and the effects of which are said to take place within 30 seconds to two minutes.

… But also that after coming into contact with this substance, they then spent the next four hours wining and dining in the City of Salisbury.

2. A deadly nerve agent without antidote, but where everyone is fine

The Official Narrative requires you not only to believe that Mr and Miss Skripal were poisoned by a deadly nerve agent with no known antidote (according to Gary Aitkenhead, Chief Executive of Porton Down), and for which treatment is “practically impossible”, according to The Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents.

… But also that just a few weeks later, both were fine and one of them at least was fit to be discharged from hospital.

3. Symptoms that don’t match those produced by the substance allegedly used

The Official Narrative requires you to believe that the Skripals were poisoned by a substance which produces the following symptoms:

“Acetylcholine concentrations then increase at neuromuscular junctions to cause involuntary contraction of all skeletal muscles. This then leads to respiratory and cardiac arrest (as the victim’s heart and diaphragm muscles no longer function normally) and finally death from heart failure or suffocation as copious fluid secretions fill the victim’s lungs.”

… Yet according to witnesses at the bench in The Maltings, Mr Skripal was making “strange hand movements”, “looking up to the sky” and “looking out of it” – symptoms which strongly suggest poisoning by a hallucinogenic, such as BZ or Fentanyl, and not A-234, which tends to produce death, rather than hallucinations.

4. That Salisbury District Hospital mistook the symptoms of military grade nerve agent for opioid poisoning

The Official Narrative requires you to believe that the Skripals were the victims of poisoning by a lethal nerve agent, which produces the symptoms mentioned above, including “involuntary contraction of all skeletal muscles”, “respiratory and cardiac arrest” and “finally death from heart failure or suffocation.”

… Yet it also requires you to believe that Salisbury District Hospital completely mistook the symptoms of nerve agent poisoning for opioid poisoning — even though the symptoms are very different — since on the following day a press release was issued stating that they were treating the pair for exposure to Fentanyl:

(This, by the way, is extremely interesting. The screen shot above is the original report on the website of Clinical Services Journal, and it can now be found on the website, The original piece, however, has since been updated on the Clinical Services Journal, not with a correction, but with the reference to Fentanyl being removed altogether (compare here with here h/t Dilyana Gaytandzhiev)

5. A lethal nerve agent that can be dealt with by water and baby wipes

The Official Narrative requires you not only to believe that the substance which poisoned the Skripals is so deadly that Mr Skripal’s house may need to be demolished and a multi-million pound clean-up of Salisbury with chaps in HazMats a necessity.

…But that the same substance can be treated with warm water, soap and baby wipes, as evidenced by the advice given by Public Health England (PHE) a week after the incident, to anyone who may have come into contact with it:

“Wash the clothing that you were wearing in an ordinary washing machine using your regular detergent at the temperature recommended for the clothing. Wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes and dispose of the wipes in the bin (ordinary domestic waste disposal)… Other items such as jewellery and spectacles which cannot go in the washing machine or be cleaned with cleansing or baby wipes, should be hand washed with warm water and detergent and then rinsed with clean cold water. Please thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after cleaning any items.”

6. The nerve agent went undetected on a door handle for weeks

The Official Narrative requires you not only to believe that the assassins poured “military grade nerve agent”, in liquid form, on the handle of Mr Skripal’s front door, and that the British Government had possession of an FSB “assassin’s handbook” detailing this procedure.

… But that despite apparently having this handbook, the door handle theory was only mentioned more than three weeks after the incident, during which time many people (such as the unsuspecting policewoman at the top of this piece), came within a few feet of a door apparently smeared with lethal nerve agent, with no protective clothing, and suffered no ill effects.

7. The highly volatile nerve agent that was still highly pure weeks later

The Official Narrative requires you not only to believe that the substance examined in blood and environmental samples by the OPCW, weeks after the incident was:

“…of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.”

… But also that the substance used is known to be both unstable and vulnerable to water – and Salisbury definitely had plenteous rain and even snow between the incident and the coming of the OPCW!

8. That the substance used is proof of Russian state culpability

The Official Narrative requires you to believe that because the substance allegedly used was first developed in Russia (actually Soviet Union), there are only two explanations for the poisoning:

  1. It was an act of the Russian state
  2. That the Russian state lost control of its stocks

… Yet it requires you to believe this in the full knowledge that not only have other countries produced it (the United States has been patenting “Novichok” products for years; Iran produced it in 2016; and the United Kingdom possesses samples of it), but according to the chairman of the OPCW, Ahmet Uzumcu, A-234 could be produced:

“…in any country where there would be some chemical expertise.”

9. That the movements of Detective Sergeant Bailey on 4th March cannot be officially confirmed

The Official Narrative requires you to believe not only that Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who is a member of Wiltshire Criminal Intelligence Department (CID), was poisoned with the same substance as the Skripals.

…But that his movements cannot be established, since it has still not been officially confirmed whether he was at the bench in The Maltings or at Mr Skripal’s house (and in point of fact, either scenario is remarkably odd, since D.S. Bailey is a member of CID, and there was no suggestion until at least 24 hours after the incident that a crime may have been committed).

10. The cleansing of Salisbury hotspots, but not all Salisbury hotspots  

The Official Narrative requires you to believe not only that there are parts of Salisbury that may be contaminated with a lethal substance, and that this will require a clean up operation involving thousands of man hours, costing millions, and taking months to complete.

…But that some of these areas were no danger to the public for a month-and-a-half, when they were cordoned off with nothing more than police tape. In addition, some of the areas that the Skripals were known to have walked down after apparently coming into contact with the substance, such as the Market Walk, have been free to the public to walk through since the start of the incident and remain completely open (I know this personally, because as a Salisbury resident, I have walked through the Market Walk in the last few days).

*  *  *

Put all these things together — and this is not to even mention the current condition and whereabouts of the Skripals — and what you have is a theory in which claims are flatly contradicted by basic facts, many so-called facts are simply not facts at all, and assertions are made without any recourse to the reality on the ground. It is abundantly clear that the Official Narrative not only did not happen; it cannot have happened. As things stand it is “highly likely” that what we have been told is a conspiracy theory of “high purity”, “of a type developed by Whitehall.”

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Google, Big Tech and the US War Machine in the Global South

By Michael Kwet | CounterPunch | April 27, 2018

The recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica fiasco deepened public concern about the political power and allegiances of Big Tech corporations. Soon after the story went viral, 3,100 Google employees submitted a petition to Google CEO Sundar Pichai protesting Google’s involvement in a Pentagon program called “Project Maven”.

Last week, the Tech Worker’s Coalition launched a petition protesting tech industry participation in development for war, urging Google to break its contract with the Department of Defense (DoD). Will Pichai respond?

Google has a lot to answer for. In March 2016, then US Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, tapped then Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt to chair the DoD’s new Innovation Advisory Board. The Board would give the Pentagon access to “the brightest technical minds focused on innovation” –  culled from Silicon Valley.

More recently, details about Project Maven emerged. The project uses machine learning and deep learning to develop an AI-based computer vision solution for military drone targeting. This innovative system turns reams of visual data – obtained from surveillance drones – into “actionable intelligence at insight speed.”

Because there are many more hours of surveillance footage than a team of humans can view, most of the footage cannot be evaluated by Pentagon workers. Using AI, Project Maven steps in to make sure no footage goes unwatched. The AI performs analytics of drone footage to categorize, sift and identify the items the DoD is looking for – cars, people, objects and so on – and flag the sought-after items for a human to review.  The project has been successful, and the Pentagon is now looking to make a “Project Maven factory”.

Reports of Google’s participation in Project Maven comes amidst news they are bidding alongside Amazon, IBM and Microsoft for a $10 billion “one big cloud” servicing contract with the Pentagon. Eric Schmidt, who is no longer CEO of Google or Alphabet, but who remains a technical advisor and board member at Google’s parent company Alphabet, claims to recuse himself of all information about Google AI projects for the Pentagon, because he also chairs the DoD’s Innovation Advisory Board.

Schmidt’s central role in this story underscores controversy about Google’s close relationship to the US military. In 2013, Julian Assange penned an essay highlighting Google’s sympathy for the US military empire in his essay, The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’– a criticism of Schmidt and Jared Cohen’s co-authored book, The New Digital Age.

In 2015, Schmidt hosted Henry Kissinger for a fireside chat at Google. He introduced Kissinger as a “foremost expert on the future of the physical world, how the world really works” and stated Kissinger’s “contributions to America and the world are without question.”

For many, Henry Kissinger’s “contributions” are drenched in the blood of the Global South. Declassified documents show that during the Vietnam/Indochina War, Kissinger, then a national security advisor, transmitted Nixon’s orders to General Alexander Haig: use “anything that flies on anything that moves” in Cambodia. According to a study by Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan (Director of Genocide Studies at Yale University), the United States dropped more tons of bombs on Cambodia than all of the Allies during World War II combined. Cambodia, they conclude, may be the most bombed country in history. By all reason, Kissinger should be tried for genocide.

Carpet bombing Cambodia is just one of many crimes carried out by Dr. Kissinger. During his time in government, he bolstered “moderate” white settler-colonial forces in Southern Africa to subvert the black liberation struggle for independence and self-determination. The US deemed Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress and other, less-recognized black liberation groups as “terrorist” and “communist” threats to US interests. The apartheid regime subjugated the black majority not only inside South Africa, but in brutal wars across the border in countries like Angola and Mozambique.  More than 500,000 Africans died in Angola alone.

US corporations profited from business in the region, and provided white supremacists the arms, vehicles, energy resources, financial support and computer technology used to systematically oppress black people. IBM was a primary culprit, supplying the apartheid state with the bulk of computers used to denationalize the black African population and administer the state, banks, police, intelligence and military forces.

On April 6, 2018, Kissinger welcomed one of today’s new tech leaders, Eric Schmidt, to keynote the annual Kissinger Conference at Yale University. This year’s theme was Understanding Cyberwarfare and Artificial Intelligence. After praising the ROTC and Ash Carter (both in attendance), Schmidt told the audience it is a “tremendous honor to be on the same stage as Dr. Kissinger, and we all admire him for all the reasons we all know.” In his speech, he spoke of how the US must develop AI to defend against today’s familiar adversaries: the “nasty” North Koreans, the Russians, the Chinese. A couple of Yale students were kicked out for protesting.

In decades past, human rights advocates famously challenged the development of technology for racial capitalism. Activists, including students and workers, pressured IBM, General Motors and other corporations to stop aiding and abetting apartheid and war.

Today, a new wave of technology is being tapped by military and police forces. IBM has partnered with the City of Johannesburg for early efforts at “smart” policing, while Africa and the Middle East are targets of the US drone empire. Activists advocating democracy and equality inside Africa and the Middle East are staunchly opposed to these developments.

The bi-partisan effort to police Trump-designated “shithole” countries with advanced weaponry has Big Tech on its side. Google’s involvement with Project Maven constitutes active collaboration in this endeavor.

An activist campaign about Silicon Valley’s collaboration with the US military could be unfolding. However, it’s going to take grassroots pressure across the world to make technology work for humanity.

Michael Kwet is a Visiting Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

EU Sanctions Have ‘Disastrous’ Effects on Syria’s Civilian Population – AfD MP

By Suliman Mulhem | Sputnik | April 30, 2018

Earlier this year, a delegation from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party visited Syria to gain a better understanding of the situation in government-held areas of the war-torn country. The delegation’s leader Christian Blex, a member of the Bundestag, spoke to Sputnik reporter and columnist Suliman Mulhem about his findings.

Dr. Blex said the delegation “felt safe” throughout their tour of Syria – which included the cities of Damascus, Homs and Aleppo – while noting the presence of checkpoints manned by troops from the Syrian Army to clamp down on terrorists and smugglers attempting to transport armaments to militant-held parts of the country.

“The people on the streets looked completely normal and relaxed. The security situation seemed to me very good, at least beyond the reach of the artillery of the ‘moderate’ terrorists. But East Ghouta is fortunately free now, so Damascus cannot be targeted by mortars and rockets anymore as it is out of range,” Dr. Blex said in an interview with Sputnik on April 30.

On the topic of the repatriation of Syrian refugees in Europe, he said that the religious leaders of the Arab state, in addition to representatives of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in Aleppo, called for the return of externally displaced Syrians.

“During our stay, we found no doubt that the return of Syrians of any religious affiliation is eagerly awaited.

When asked for his thoughts on the EU’s sanctions against Syria, Dr. Blex cited a 2016 report from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) which described the sanctions as “some of the most complicated and far-reaching sanctions ever imposed” and warned that they “punish ordinary Syrians and make the work of aid agencies almost impossible.”

The German lawmaker said his delegation saw the adverse implications of the sanctions on civilians during their visit to Syria.

“We were able to convince ourselves of the disastrous effect of the sanctions on the civilian population. In particular, the head of the University Hospital of Aleppo drew out attention to their devastating impact on the health system. Medicines and medical equipment, such as x-ray equipment, are no longer available. A spokesman for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid organization lamented that barely any more baby milk or child prostheses exist,” Dr. Blex told Sputnik.

“Extending the suffering of the Syrian people to topple President Bashar al-Assad is incompatible with my humanitarian principles and certainly not in German interests. The inhibiting effect of the sanctions on the Syrian economy also increases the pressure for migration to Germany. The sanctions will deliberately hinder the reconstruction of the country,” the lawmaker added.

Dr. Blex went on to outline how lifting the anti-Syria sanctions and providing economic assistance in the reconstruction phase will serve Germany’s interests.

“Every year, Germany pays 40 to 50 billion euros for the accommodation of the so-called refugees. These people will for the most part be permanently dependent on social benefits. Of course, therefore, it makes more sense to support the reconstruction in Syria in order to offer these people the opportunity to return to their homeland and earn a living there,” he concluded.

See Also:

Charity Activist: ‘Western Sanctions Against Syria Have Caused More Suffering Than War’

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment