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Skripal 2.0: It’s High Time for the British Government to Explain Itself – Here’s 10 Easy Questions to Help Them Out

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | July 7, 2018

In his statement to the House of Commons on 5th July, the British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, stated the following:

“The use of chemical weapons anywhere is barbaric and inhumane. The decision taken by the Russian government to deploy these in Salisbury on March 4 was reckless and callous –  there is no plausible alternative explanation to the events in March other than the Russian state was responsible. The eyes of the world are on Russia, not least because of the World Cup. It is now time the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on.”

Anyone with their wits about them will immediately notice the cognitive dissonance in Mr Javid’s statement. On the one hand, he states that the Russian government took a decision to deploy chemical weapons in Salisbury on 4th March, 2018. This is an emphatic declaration, and implies that the British Government possesses irrefutable evidence that this is so. Then in the next breath, he states that there is “no plausible alternative”. This is very much less than emphatic, and the word “plausible” implies that the British Government does not have irrefutable evidence to back up their claim.

This is not a subtle difference. It is the difference between suspecting something and knowing something. If you know something to be true, because you have the hard evidence to back it up, you don’t use equivocal phrases like “no plausible alternative”. You simply say, “here is the evidence to prove it beyond reasonable doubt.” On the other hand, if you do not possess irrefutable evidence of something, as the weasel phrase “no plausible alternative” suggests, then you have no right to pronounce definitively on the matter, as Mr Javid felt fit to do.

Still, he’s only the Home Secretary. You can’t expect him to understand such petty legal concepts.

As it happens, there are plenty of plausible alternatives, as Mr Javid no doubt knows only too well. If he’s interested, he can check out the one I have put forward here. Of course, regardless of whether my “plausible alternative” is correct or not, it is unlikely that Her Majesty’s Government would want investigations to follow the line of inquiry I advanced, since it might raise an awful lot of troublesome questions about the role of British Intelligence in the attempt to stop Donald Trump getting elected. Apparently, they want to keep that quiet. Which is why they slapped D-Notices on various aspects of Skripal 1.0 to hush all that up.

So Mr Javid states that Russia must explain itself, but in so doing unwittingly admits that the Government has no hard evidence of Russian state involvement. It merely is unable to imagine a “plausible alternative”, which either means that its members are somewhat lacking in imagination, or they don’t wish other “plausible alternatives” to be discussed (of course, it could even be both). Nevertheless, since he and the Government are the ones making the claim, I’d say that actually it is incumbent on them to explain themselves, not the ones they are accusing. That is how these things are supposed to work, is it not?

This being the case, I have a number of questions for them, which urgently need answering. Urgent, because they could prove vital to the investigation. However, before I come onto the questions, I must explain the nature of them, which may well come as something of a surprise, given the latest twist to this sorry tale in Amesbury. The surprise is that not one of the 10 questions relates to the Amesbury case. This might seem odd, but there is a very important reason for it.

At the moment, very few details have emerged about the Amesbury case, and so it is not exactly clear which questions could even be asked. True, the details that have emerged so far in the official narrative are about as coherent and plausible as those in the original case, one of which I have already debunked here. However, what Mr Javid sought to do, with a very clever sleight-of-hand to cover his case of cognitive dissonance, is to make definitive claims about Case 2, based on the assumption that Case 1 has somehow been proven. But of course it hasn’t. Not even remotely. In fact, there are a ton of questions about Case 1 still hanging in the air that have not been answered, and I really don’t think that we should let Mr Javid and Co. off the hook before they’ve given us the answers to them.

But in the spirit of decency, let’s make it extremely easy for them. Let’s not ask them any hard questions. Nothing like, “C’mon, tell us the names of the people wot did it,” for instance. No, let’s instead satisfy ourselves by asking them some remarkably simple questions that they – or at least the Metropolitan Police – must know the answers to if their narrative is correct, and for a very simple reason, as you will see. So here goes:

  1. What were Mr Skripal’s and Yulia’s movements on the morning of 4th March?
  2. Why were their phones switched off?
  3. Did Mr Skripal see anyone or anything suspicious near his house that day?
  4. According to witnesses in Zizzis, Mr Skripal appeared to be very agitated. Was this because he was feeling unwell?
  5. According to witnesses in Zizzis, Mr Skripal appeared to be in a hurry to leave. Was this because he had an appointment to keep?
  6. What did Mr Skripal do after he left Zizzis?
  7. Can he confirm or deny that the couple seen on the CCTV camera in Market Walk, one of whom was carrying a large red bag, are him and Yulia?
  8. Did either Sergei or Yulia have a large red bag with them that day?
  9. What are his last memories before collapsing at the bench?
  10. Is Mr Skripal prepared to make a public statement answering the above, and will members of the international media be free to ask him questions?

So why must they know the answers to these questions? Simple. Because all they have to do to get answers to them is ask Sergei Skripal. They know where he is, don’t they? They must have questioned him, haven’t they? And Mr Skripal must surely have been eager to answer them, since the answers he gives could prove vital in helping to find out who poisoned him and his daughter, mustn’t he?

Just pause there for a second and think about it. Here we are, a third of a year after Skripal 1.0, with both Mr Skripal and his daughter having recovered months ago, and we still don’t know the answers to these basic, vital, but extraordinarily easy-to-establish questions. Isn’t that amazing?

I could even make it easier for them by boiling it down into one question:

When will the world hear from Mr Skripal about the events and circumstances of 4th March 2018, from the time he awoke until 4pm that afternoon?

C’mon British Government. It really isn’t hard. Or at least it wouldn’t be if the case you’ve presented is true. Just ask Sergei. But in the continued absence of answers to these simple questions, it seems that there might well be no “plausible alternative” but to assume that your case simply does not stack up. Which is why the onus is on you, not those you accuse, to explain yourselves.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Italy will not buy F-35s anymore, mulls walking out of existing contracts – Defense Minister

RT | July 7, 2018

The anti-establishment Italian government’s defense minister has said that the country won’t purchase any more Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets from the US and will review the existing order for 90 planes.

Elisabetta Trenta, the country’s new minister of defense from the Eurosceptic Five Star Movement, has ruled out new contracts with the US for the purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets, adding that the order for 60 F-35A and 30 F-35B jets, which concluded in 2012, might be placed under review.

“We won’t buy any more F-35s,” Trenta said in an interview with Italian broadcaster La7’s Omnibus program on Friday.

“We are assessing what to do regarding the contracts already in place,” she added, noting that while her party has always been a vocal critic of the program, she said that scrapping it altogether may “cost us more than maintaining it.”

The fact that the cancellation of the bulk deal and the resulting “strong financial penalties” might cost the Italian budget a hefty sum is one of the main reservations that is holding the government back, she explained.

The termination of the contract can negatively impact Italian workers who are employed in the production, she said, listing other merits of the deal such as “technological activity” and “important research” in a Facebook post accompanying the interview

Italy became the only country with an F-35B assembly line outside the US. In May 2017, it rolled out the first jets. However, they had to be delivered to the US Navy base in Maryland for certification and crew training.

The line in Cameri is set to produce a total of 30 F-35Bs to be delivered to the Italian Navy, Italian Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Back in 2012, Italy already downsized its initial order for 135 jets to 90 as it was battling with a sovereign debt crisis.

The March general election in Italy, following weeks of uncertainty and political bickering, propelled a new government of the right-wing Lega Nord and anti-establishment Five Star Movement to power. The fact that it is now a part of the ruling coalition might have put some constraints on the party’s policy, which has always been in stark opposition to the costly program.

As the party presented its defense manifesto in May last year, Tatiana Basilio, then a Five Star MP in the parliament, said that “there will be no ifs or buts about leaving the F-35 program” if her party clinched the vote.

“€14 billion for 90 F-35s is too costly and we are putting ourselves in the hands of the US,” Basilio said at the time.

One aircraft currently costs Italy €51.3 million, while, overall, it has to spend some €14 billion on the jets.

Meanwhile, the program has been bogged down by unresolved technical issues, such as faulty helmets, malfunctioning ejector seats and overblown costs.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Purported neutrality at the UN is harmful to Palestinians

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | July 6, 2018

On Monday, Israeli lawyer Yuval Shany was appointed to chair the UN Human Rights Committee – a body of experts that monitors the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 1(1) of the covenant states: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

Commenting on his appointment as quoted in Haaretz, Shany stated: “Currently the UN’s Human Rights Committee faces several challenges, chiefly that we live in an international climate that no longer supports human rights.” His aim as committee chair, he said, is “to harness its positive and apolitical influence to secure human rights for all citizens of the world.”

There are always discrepancies between the UN and human rights. Shany’s appointment, which is not the first occasion in which an Israeli has held influential positions at the UN, is another example of how the international institution exists to serve human rights violations. By allowing Israel this platform, the committee is also calling attention to the fact that the UN is in favour of normalising Israel’s colonial violence against Palestinians.

According to the Times of Israel, Shany described the committee as being less dictated by global politics. This specification seems to be making the case against other UN organisations which have been deemed as having an “anti-Israel bias”, notably by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. However, the play upon what constitutes political, particularly in terms of power, is always subject to manipulation at the UN.

Self-determination – the subject of Article 1 in the mentioned Covenant – is a political right. The presence, or absence, of such a right, cannot be divested from political acts. If, by commenting upon “apolitical influence”, Shany is indicating neutrality, there is also no escaping the fact that taking such a stance is also a clear political act.

The overseeing of implementation of the Covenant, which is the committee’s role, takes the form of reviewing individual state reports and offering “concluding observations” accordingly. It is a strategy that is employed across several UN institutions and that leaves severe political implications for Palestinians.

One of these implications is the constant pleading by Palestinian officials to the UN for international protection; the latest by PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi. Wafa news agency carried Ashrawi’s comments, in which she emphasised the need for “serious intervention from the international community”.

Shany, however, does shine a light on international complicity in rendering the Palestinian cause apolitical. The underlying purported neutrality across UN institutions with regard to Palestine, particularly its persistence regarding the two-state compromise, makes the organisation a very dangerous platform. It is easy to forget that behind the international banner, individual countries are exerting their power and building allegiances to the detriment of the oppressed.

In Palestine’s case, there is no doubt it is in dire need of political action. However, expecting such a stance from institutions that wield their political power behind screens of alleged neutrality is to cede what remains of Palestine’s political rights. Looking within and returning to the roots of anti-colonial struggle is important. Yet it is precisely the foundations that are being neglected, with the result that Palestinians are constantly exploited at an international level, to pave the way for the international community’s manipulation of politics that marginalises Palestine and puts another Israeli representative at the helm.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel to attack Syrian forces if they move into border zone: Israeli minister

Press TV – July 5, 2018

An Israeli minister has warned Syria that Israel could strike Syrian government troops if they are stationed in a border zone subjected to a UN demilitarization agreement, a few days after Tel Aviv announced that it had beefed up its military presence in the occupied Golan Heights near the Syrian border.

“We must verify and do everything to clarify vis-a-vis the Russians and [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad’s government, that we will not accept any armed presence by the Assad regime in the areas which are meant to be demilitarized,” said Gilad Erdan, the regime’s public security minister, in an interview with the Israeli news website Ynet on Thursday.

In 1967, the Israeli regime waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, including those of Syria, occupied a large swathe of Syria’s Golan Heights and annexed it four years later, a move never recognized by the international community.

In 1973, another war, known as the Arab-Israeli War or the Yom Kippur War, broke out between the Israeli regime and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria. A year later, a United Nations-brokered ceasefire came into force, according to which the Israeli regime and the Syrian government agreed to separate their troops, and create a buffer zone patrolled by the UN Disengagement and Observer Force (UNDOF).

Erdan’s comments came as Syrian government troops have managed to liberate a string of towns and villages in the southern and southwestern regions of the country from the clutches of militant outfits in recent weeks.

Syria, which has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011, has said that the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies have been aiding Takfiri terrorist groups.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which once held large swathes of land in Syria, is no longer in control of any urban center. Following its crushing defeat against Syrian government forces late last year, the terror outfit is only active through its remnants, sparsely based in some rural areas. Other Takfiri groups are either significantly weakened or increasingly losing ground to advancing government troops.

The Syrian government also strongly seeks to take back its share of the mountainous plateau of the Golan Heights from the Israeli regime.

When asked if the Israeli regime was prepared to take military action against the Syrian army, Erdan said: “Unequivocally, yes,” citing Israeli air strikes conducted in recent months against positions held by the Syrian troops.

Back on May 10, Israel conducted what it called its most intensive airstrikes on Syria in decades. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Israel had used 28 warplanes in its airstrikes on Syria and fired 70 missiles. Both Damascus and Moscow said that the Syrian army managed to shoot down over half of the missiles.

The Tel Aviv regime, at the time, claimed that its assault was in response to a barrage of 20 rockets fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts in Golan.

Over the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in what is considered an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces. It has also been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical treatment to Takfiri elements wounded in Syria.

“Here, too, if there is a violation, and certainly in the southern Syrian region which is close to” the Israeli settlements, “and a bringing of weaponry that should not be there, Israel will take action,” Erdan added.

Late last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alluding to the so-called truce, told the Israeli cabinet that “we will demand strict adherence to the 1974 disengagement deals with the Syrian army.” He also said that he was in constant contact with Washington and Moscow on the matter.

In a Sunday statement, the Israeli military said that it had deployed artillery and armored reinforcements to the occupied mountainous plateau, saying the move was the result of a situation assessment “in light of developments on the Syrian Golan Heights.”

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US establishment in hysterics that Trump-Putin summit might succeed

RT | July 6, 2018

There are many reasons the bipartisan US establishment hates Trump. His heresies from neoliberal orthodoxies on immigration and trade are prominent. But top among them is his oft-stated intention to improve relations with Russia.

That’s fighting words for the Deep State and its mainstream media arm, for which demonizing Russia and its president Vladimir Putin is an obsession.

The fact that Donald Trump made his intention to get along with Moscow a priority during his 2016 campaign, both against his Republican primary rivals and Hillary Clinton (who has compared Putin to Hitler) was cause for alarm. This is because far more than even the frightening prospect that the 70-year state of war on the Korean Peninsula might end, US reconciliation with Russia would yank the rug out from under the phony justifications for spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually to counter a “threat” that ceased to exist over a quarter century ago. Absent hostility to Russia that money has no reason to keep sustaining the power, privilege, and prosperity of a horde of moochers and profiteers, both at home and abroad.

That’s why when it was reported soon after his January 2017 inauguration that Trump was seeking to open dialogue with the Kremlin and set an early summit with Putin there was a hysterical counteraction. As described just over a year ago by conservative columnist and former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan:

Trump planned a swift lifting of sanctions on Russia after inauguration and a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin to prevent a second Cold War. The State Department was tasked with working out the details. Instead, says Daniel Fried, the coordinator for sanctions policy, he received ‘panicky’ calls of ‘Please, my God, can you stop this?’. Operatives at State, disloyal to the president and hostile to the Russia policy on which he had been elected, collaborated with elements in Congress to sabotage any detente. They succeeded.

“It would have been a win-win for Moscow,” said Tom Malinowski of State, who boasted last week of his role in blocking a rapprochement with Russia. State employees sabotaged one of the principal policies for which Americans had voted, and they substituted their own.

Back then, constitutional government and the rule of law took a back seat to bureaucratic obstructionism, atop months of a phony “Russian collusion” story that even anti-Russian Republican Congressmen are now calling to “finish the hell up.” But now, in the aftermath of the successful Singapore summit and with the collusion narrative looking ever more threadbare, Trump is back on track. The summit with Putin will finally take place on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland, the site of earlier meetings between American and Russian leaders.

Today the assaults on Trump are no less frenzied than a year ago, but they seem to pack less of a punch with the critics’ glum awareness that, aside from some extraordinary provocation, little can be done to stop the summit from taking place. The Beltway Swamp’s flagship bulletin board Washington Post accused Trump of “kowtowing” to Putin by merely agreeing to meet with him. Trump’s one-on-one with the “autocrat” Putin will be a “meeting of kindred spirits,” warned the conceited New York Times. Putin has “devoured” Trump grumbled über-Russophobe Ralph Peters on CNN. Trump wants to “Finlandize” the US moaned Max Boot. Officials in the United Kingdom, a key culprit in ginning up “Russiagate” in the first place, are particularly scared that – horror! – there could be a “peace deal” between Trump and Putin.

Major worries are voiced by useless freeloader countries we call “allies,” whose governments fret that the US will become “less reliable” – to their rulers’ interests of course, not to those of the American people. This specifically means the members of NATO, whose summit Trump will attend prior to Helsinki. As former US ambassador to Moscow and to NATO Alexander Vershbow suggests, “allies are wondering whether they will be in for nothing more than a tongue lashing by President Trump over insufficient defense spending, further inflaming transatlantic divisions over trade, the Iran deal, and other issues.”

Indeed, Trump’s hammering on the NATO deadbeats’ treating the US as a “piggy bank” that will no longer be at their disposal exposes the biggest fraud at the heart of the long-obsolete alliance: there is no threat of Russian military “aggression” and they all know it. If these countries really thought they were in danger of invasion from Russia (and not from Third World migrants, regarding which NATO is totally worthless) they wouldn’t need Trump to nag them about spending, they’d commit more money because they knew they had to. The proof is in noting which NATO member, after the US, consistently spends the largest GDP share on its military: Greece. Is that because the penniless Greeks are terrified of Russia? No, they’re afraid of a genuine threat from their fellow NATO “ally,” Turkey.

In the absence of an actual military menace from the east, NATO advocates are scrambling to come up with ever more imaginative justifications. As described by one member of Latvia’s parliament on the website of the Atlantic Council, a leading Washington establishment think tank, the real Russian threat comes from “hybrid warfare, with an increased focus on asymmetric and nontraditional military capabilities, has made it considerably more difficult for NATO to counter destabilization efforts, information operations, cyber-attacks, disinformation, propaganda, and psychological operations.” Yeah sure, maybe Trump will fall for that! Anything to save the Atlantic Council’s $30 million budget provided by a Who’s Who of US government agencies, NATO and Gulf Arab governments, and military contractor firms.

However, it should not be thought that the US and NATO establishment’s hostility to Russia is entirely venal. There is also a strong ideological component. Whereas during the first Cold War much of the western establishment, especially on the Left, felt an affinity for the materialist goals of communism (if not its methods), Russia’s reemergence under Putin as a conservative country in which national traditions and the Orthodox Church are respected has led to a bitter sense of betrayal. That makes Putin, as articulated by Hillary Clinton, leader of the worldwide “authoritarian, white-supremacist, and xenophobic movement” who is “emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists, and even neo-Nazis.” No Soviet leader, not even Joseph Stalin, was ever portrayed in such diabolical fashion in US media and government circles the way Putin is.

It is no coincidence that Trump himself is vilified in the same dire Hitlerian terms once reserved for foreign targets of regime change like Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi. Together with the rising elements of anti-establishmentism in Europe, most recently in the installation of a patriotic Lega/Five-Star government in Rome, the post-modern, neo-liberal elite on both sides of the Atlantic feels its dominance slipping away.

For some Democratic partisans and Never-Trump neo-conservative Republicans, horror at improved US-Russia relations competes with the loathing of Trump personally. But for other Americans, both supporters of the President and people who find him objectionable, the summit should not be seen as a litmus test about their attitudes toward the current occupant of the White House. Rather, the issue is what the summit can mean for Americans’ safety and security – and perhaps our very survival.

Claims of Russian collusion and attitudes toward Trump have obscured the fact that Russia is the only country on the planet with a nuclear establishment on a par with ours. Even during the worst periods of the first Cold War with the USSR, US administrations of both parties kept in mind that a minimum of mutual respect and open communication was not just prudent, it was literally a matter of life and death – for the American people and for the world.

During the past few years as we have entered what has been called a second Cold War, this time with post-communist Russia, the seriousness with which the US used to regard the old Soviet Union has been lacking. The bipartisan foreign policy consensus became a closed, incestuous loop in which Republicans and Democrats vied for who could be most strident in their anti-Russian attitudes: let’s poke the bear and see if he growls!

NATO expansion right in Russia’s face became an end in itself, continuing with induction of Montenegro in 2017, plans to welcome Macedonia (or “North Macedonia” or whatever other silly name is concocted to appease Hellenic pride) – even Ukraine, Georgia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina remain formally on track for joining.

Color revolutions and disastrous wars of regime change toppled Moscow-friendly governments, justified as supposed “democracy promotion.” Risk of confrontation between US and Russian military personnel – studiously avoided during Cold War 1 – takes place with reckless glee in Russia’s Black and Baltic Seas littorals, in Ukraine, and especially in Syria, where earlier this year American forces reportedly slaughtered many Russian contractors – to the delight of some of those now warning darkly against the Trump-Putin meeting. Perhaps most dangerously, the painfully constructed complex of arms control agreements has atrophied as both sides build up stocks of new hypersonic, cyber, and space weapons.

It is perhaps beyond the power of either Trump or Putin to reverse this dangerous trend with one stroke, but maybe they can at least make a start in arresting it. The usual suspects warn of failure, but their real worry is that the summit might be a success. Let’s hope their worst nightmare comes true and peace breaks out.

Jim Jatras is a Washington, DC-based attorney, political analyst, and media & government affairs specialist.

Read more:

‘Trump wants to be his own drummer at Putin meeting after NATO Summit’ – Jim Jatras

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump-Putin Summit Flushes Out the Russophobes

Strategic Culture Foundation | July 6, 2018

Any reasonable person would have to welcome the summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to be held on July 16 in Helsinki.

However, what is most telling is the crescendo of scurrilous attempts purveyed by Western news media to spoil the forthcoming meeting. Trump’s political enemies in the US are almost apoplectic that he is willing to engage in a cordial, constructive fashion with the Russian leader.

The anti-Russia tropes are being dredged up to denigrate Putin and by extension Trump for holding the conference. Trump is being lambasted for daring to engage with an alleged “autocrat” who allegedly “annexed Crimea”, who has allegedly aided and abetted a “dictator” in Syria, and who allegedly ordered Kremlin agents to “interfere in US elections.”

On the latter accusation of electoral interference, a recent analysis piece by Jack Matlock, the former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, is both welcome and highly instructive. Matlock, who is a veteran of assessing top-secret files, makes a withering assessment that the so-called US intelligence claims of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections was “politically motivated.” The respected diplomat debunks the “intelligence” and subsequent media mantra as cooked up like the earlier shameful scam over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. In short, fabricated.

The list of alleged Russian malfeasance has expanded like elastic in recent years. But as Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cogently pointed out in a recent British media interview not one of these attenuated claims has ever produced substantiating evidence.

One suspects that the strange case this week of an English man and woman being allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent is a contrived timely reminder of the Skripal poisoning affair which happened in Salisbury four months ago. As with all Western media campaigns attempting to smear Russia, the alleged poison cases rely on pejorative innuendo and assertions, spun by a dutiful and derelict news media.

Plausibly, the timing of the latest “story” of an alleged Soviet-made chemical weapon being deployed in Britain is a convenient excuse to further undermine the forthcoming Trump-Putin summit.

Next week also sees a major NATO summit in Brussels during which delegates are to dwell – as they ever tediously do – on alleged Russian aggression. The strange case of poisoning this week in England – which the authorities there have used to once again implicate Russian involvement – will no doubt lend added animus to the NATO agenda.

Trump’s political opponents in the US have been bolstered by pro-Atlanticists in Europe who are claiming that his meeting with Putin “makes Europeans very nervous”, to quote former Swedish premier Carl Bildt writing in the Washington Post.

That’s a sweeping claim. More precisely, the people Trump is making nervous are elitist European politicians like Carl Bildt who have made lucrative careers from being cheerleaders for NATO’s military expansion on Russia’s borders. It is a fair assumption that most ordinary citizens of the European Union – some 500 million – are glad to see the leaders of the world’s two biggest nuclear powers open a long-overdue dialogue to reduce fearful tensions and to try to repair badly damaged relations between East and West.

One talking point doing the rounds in Western media is to compare unfavorably Trump’s meeting with Putin to his earlier summit last month with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. Trump’s detractors in the US and in Europe are claiming that he gave too many easy concessions to Kim over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. There has been a steady US media campaign – citing anonymous US intel sources – claiming that North Korea is cheating Trump over its promises.

That theme is being applied to Trump’s gathering with Putin in Helsinki. Assorted Russophobic talking heads like former US ambassador Michael McFaul are asserting that Trump will be played and hoodwinked by the wily Putin, as he allegedly was too by Kim Jong-Un. These cynics seem to be more content with conflict and even war, rather than attempts for peace-making.

Such negative views are nothing but cynical opportunism by vested powerful interests among militarists, NATO expansionists, and their European acolytes to derail the Trump-Putin summit, or at least to severely limit the American president’s efforts at engaging normally with Russia.

The two leaders have much to discuss in an effort to begin resolving highly dangerous global security risks. They include settling the conflict in Ukraine and Syria, and trying to de-escalate tensions over the buildup of NATO forces along Russia’s Western flank. Let fester, these issues could ignite into a wider, disastrous conflict between the two nuclear superpowers.

Surely, it is urgently needed for Trump and Putin to engage in direct talks to mitigate the worst tensions since the end of the Cold War more than a quarter-century ago. Since Trump took office nearly 18 months ago, he has met with President Putin only on two fleeting occasions at multilateral forums. It is long overdue that the two leaders should meet in a full summit for in-depth, face-to-face negotiations. To Trump’s credit, he doing just that, despite the naysayers and fantasists claiming “Russian influence” over the American president.

Instead of welcoming this engagement as an important step towards securing world peace, an array of powerful interests both in the US and Europe are trying their best to sabotage the high-level crucial talks.

The Russophobes and their perverse warmongering predilections are being flushed out for the whole world to see, and to condemn as reprehensible, irresponsible wreckers of global peace.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

NED Pursues Regime Change by Playing the Long Game

By Edward Hunt | Lobe Log | July 3, 2018

During a recent congressional hearing, the heads of three influential non-profit organizations that operate in numerous countries around the world revealed the subtle ways in which the United States meddles in the internal affairs of other countries by playing what the officials called “the long game.”

The three officials—Carl Gershman, Daniel Twining, and Kenneth Wollack—told Congress about their long-term efforts to empower the opponents of U.S. enemies and boasted about their ability to change foreign governments. They said that they had recently helped their political allies gain political power in Malaysia, acknowledged that they have helped train thousands of activists in Nicaragua, and speculated about the potential to create new governments in China, Russia, and North Korea.

All three men strongly defended their activities, insisting that they are critically important to the advancement of democracy in the world.

“We’re not asking people to do anything that they don’t want to do,” Gershman said. “We’re supporting their own aspirations and giving them some of the tools to realize those aspirations.”

Gershman is the president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S. taxpayer-funded nonprofit created by the U.S. government in 1983. As the president of NED, Gershman oversees the issuance of grants to its political-party-associated organizations, including the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is headed by Twining, and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which is headed by Wollack.

Facing skepticism about their work from the Trump administration, which views the organizations as unnecessary expenses and wants to cut their funding, Gershman and his colleagues provided Congress with a broad overview of how their work affects the world. They defended their ongoing operations, trying to persuade Congress that they should continue to receive funding.

Ultimately, the three officials revealed how they are helping the U.S. government interfere in numerous countries around the world.

The NED Approach

The general strategy of NED is to empower like-minded activists to build new political movements in their home countries. NED helps these activists become influential political actors, often with the goal of creating new possibilities for political change.

Officials typically describe their approach as one of “democracy promotion.” They argue that they are helping democratic forces introduce democratic politics into countries ruled by authoritarian leaders.

“These leaders, their strategic Achilles heel is fear of their own publics,” Twining explained. “And I think we should think about the old Reagan message of exploiting that a little bit.”

The strategy requires a long-term commitment in the countries where the NED is active. Twining calls it “playing the long game.” Gershman calls it “long-term work.”

The officials discussed numerous examples. Twining said that IRI has been working with opposition forces in Malaysia since 2002. He credited IRI with helping opposition forces prevail in the country’s recent parliamentary elections, calling the victory “an example of playing the long game.”

U.S.-backed opposition forces are “now in-charge of this very strategic country right there on the frontlines of the South China Sea, right there on the frontlines of the Islamic world’s intersection with rest of Asia,” Twining said. “And that’s good for America.”

The NED has also been active in Nicaragua, where opposition forces are organizing major protests against the Nicaraguan government. The protesters are trying to bring down the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, a popular leftist leader who has been in power since 2007.

“We have been working on youth leadership programs and have worked with more than 8,000 youth on a very extensive coursework and academies to develop U.S. engagement,” Wollack said.

Although Wollack denied that the organizations are training their grantees for the purpose of overthrowing Ortega, Gershman indicated that regime change is the ultimate goal. “Time for him to go,” Gershman said, referring to Ortega.

The three officials also cited many additional opportunities to influence governments around the world. They are especially excited about opportunities in Armenia, where a major social movement recently ousted a government backed by Russia.

Twining speculated about the possibility of achieving regime change in Russia, calling Putin a “very brittle” leader who is “frankly quite insecure.”

Gershman saw potential for a similar outcome in North Korea. “This is an eroding totalitarian system, so we shouldn’t give up hope on the possibilities for internal change,” he said.

Gershman believes that the primary focus should be on China, however. He called China “the most serious threat our country faces today.”

Although Gershman said that the U.S. government will initially respond to challenges from China with a mix of military, economic, and geostrategic power, he insisted that the long-term solution could be found in the “unhappy people” who oppose the Chinese government.

“We have to not give up on the possibility for democratic change in China and keep finding ways to support them,” he said.

The Controversy in Washington

The open talk of U.S. meddling in other countries around the world was so commonplace that the U.S. mass media spent no time covering the hearing, even though the speakers did encounter some pushback. Not all members of Congress are on board with the programs.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) made the strongest critique, insisting that U.S. meddling destabilizes countries while creating more problems for the United States in the long run. Rohrabacher blamed recent U.S. meddling for destabilizing Ukraine. He argued that the U.S. involvement in national protests that led to the downfall of the government of Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 prompted the subsequent Russian invasion of the country and the war that continues there today.

“I don’t believe the Russians would have invaded Ukraine had we not arrogantly involved ourselves to overthrow that democratically elected government in Ukraine,” Rohrabacher said.

Rohrabacher also insisted that the U.S. should support dictators. He singled out Egypt, saying that the country should continue to be ruled by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the military dictator who gained power by overthrowing the country’s first democratically elected government in 2013.

“I know I am making everybody mad at me, but I had to say it,” Rohrabacher commented.

Faced with Rohrabacher’s criticisms, the remaining participants in the hearing made some effort to counter his arguments but otherwise said very little, preferring instead to blandly praise NED for performing admirable work by promoting democracy around the world.

The general feeling in Congress is that the U.S. government should continue to fund the work of the NED and its affiliated institutes. Most members of Congress view the organizations as important assets in the U.S. government’s toolkit, believing they play an important role in U.S. global strategy.

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) unabashedly praised NED, IRI, and NDI, calling their work “exciting.” He told the three officials that “nothing does America prouder than the work frankly you’re doing.”

July 6, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Debunking the First Piece of Nonsense in Skripal 2.0

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | July 5, 2018

Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury is a rather lovely park. Situated next to the river, and overlooking the Water Meadows, it is a wonderful place to take an early morning stroll, and then to walk along the town path, where you get a wonderful view of the towering 13th Century gothic cathedral from the very spot where Constable painted his famous Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows.

Yet, like the centre of the City, it is now apparently a place synonymous with poisoning. According to latest reports, it is apparently the place at which Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley became poisoned on Friday 29th June. This from The Mail :

“Police are hunting for the deadly syringe or vial laced with Novichok that poisoned a couple in Salisbury as they finally evacuated homes five days after they fell catastrophically ill. Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her boyfriend Charles Rowley, 45, became critically ill within hours of visiting Salisbury on Saturday – the site of the murder attempt on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The authorities are still searching for the container carrying the nerve agent, which could kill anyone who found it, and the homeless shelter where Dawn lived in Salisbury and Charlie’s home in Amesbury have now been screened-off and residents evacuated.

A security source told the Evening Standard : ‘It could have been picked up by anyone, including a child. There’s no doubt it will be contaminated still’, adding the poison could be deadly ‘for decades’ if kept dry.

Salisbury Hospital chief executive Cara Charles-Barks has revealed the victims remain in a critical condition in intensive care and are ‘acutely unwell’ but added that nobody else has been poisoned.

One friend of the couple, who were known to be drug users, believes they may have found a syringe believing it contained heroin rather than the deadly poison used by assassins Britain claims were sent by Russia.

‘It was definitely an accident. I think they found a package and it looked like drugs’, she said.

Dawn and Charlie collapsed after a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Gardens on Friday, an area not searched or decontaminated after the Skripals were poisoned in March, raising serious questions about the quality of the clear-up operation four months ago.”

Okay, so this one is pretty easy to debunk, and I think I can save the media the trouble of going on about this for days on end, only to have to shift their explanation away from the vial/syringe in Queen Elizabeth Gardens to another door handle perhaps, or a car, cemetery, restaurant, bench, or even porridge.

The article points your attention to the apparent expert, who is able to assure us that the substance A-234, which prior to March 2018 was reckoned to be highly volatile, is able to survive in a syringe/vial for donkeys years. Here’s my advice: Don’t pay any attention to what he’s saying! Why? Because it’s a complete and utter red-herring, which – either wittingly or unwittingly – turns your attention away from a rather obvious reason why this is complete nonsense. And what is that?

It is this: Queen Elizabeth Gardens is nowhere near Christie Miller Road. Even if you had accepted the Government narrative that the Skripals were poisoned by a military grade nerve agent (of a type 5-8 times more toxic than VX), which was poured (or now presumably squirted from the syringe) onto the door handle of Mr Skripal’s front door, by professional assassins not wearing HazMats – all of which requires much cognitive dissonance – what are you now being asked to believe? That the professional unHazMatted Russian assassins, after leaving Chez Skripal, decided not to leg it to Heathrow or Gatwick pronto, but to drive to Elizabeth Gardens.

As I say, it’s a beautiful park, and one which I would encourage people to visit, although you may find that quite tricky just at the moment. But here’s the thing: How likely do you suppose it to be that the alleged professional Russian hitmen, after undertaking their dangerous and potentially deadly assignment, decided to drive from Christie Miller Road to Elizabeth Gardens, which is out of the way, and certainly not the way you’d drive if you wanted to get to an airport quickly, where they parked their car, got out and then went for a walk to drop their deadly (but non-lethal) Novichok-laced syringe in the gardens, where it lay undetected for four months. I’d put the chances of that at zero, and not a smidgen more.

But that’s apparently what we’re being asked to believe. Until of course they change the narrative tomorrow.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

‘Russophobia British Gov’t Encouraged is Beginning to Boomerang’ – Ex-UK Envoy

Sputnik – July 6, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is deeply disturbing to see two British citizens, who remain in critical condition in hospital, poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent. While the UK’s Security Minister has stated that the Amesbury poisoning was not a targeted attack but a contamination by Novichok and not linked to the Skripal case.

Sputnik has discussed this with Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Syria.

Sputnik: The British media has already accused Russia of the poisoning despite there being no proof, what do you think are the main reasons for that?

Peter Ford: Well, it’s certainly embarrassing for the British government on more than one level. First of all it seems as such an amazing coincidence, again it’s a man and a woman, again it was within a few miles from the Porton Down chemical research facility. You go on social media and you find many, many British people are deeply skeptical about anything the government says in the entire matter, not just about this latest incident, but about the earlier incident with the Skripal pair. In fact, this whole Skripal saga appears to be backfiring on the British government. It’s become an embarrassment, even the BBC were putting ministers into uncomfortable positions trying to defend the government’s apparent failure to keep people safe. Really, it’s becoming a bit of midsummer madness. It’s not helping the British government at all, they may be beginning to regret that they pointed the finger at Russia in the first place.

Sputnik: Do you think that they could actually revoke their previous accusations or make an official apology?

Peter Ford: No, they’ve gone too far out on a limb. They’re in a hole, and they are digging themselves deeper and deeper into the hole and another coincidence as well — it is happening just as Russia is having good press because of the World Cup. Again, this contributes to the skepticism of many people. It looks to many people like it might be an attempt by somebody who wishes Russia ill, to spoil the football party with the World Cup.

Sputnik: We never got the complete results and the evidence to link Russia to the first Skripal poisoning and now we have the second one, do you think that there’s going to be an attempt to connect this with Russia this time around as well?

Peter Ford: Well, the government are saying that the police investigations must take their course and this could take weeks or months. So it looks like they’re trying to push the ball into the long grass and hoping that the whole subject will go away and be quietly forgotten, given the apparent impossibility of finding conclusive evidence establishing the guilt of Russia. Of course, the government are being careful not to pursue other lines of inquiry, all the evidence that I have seen in the public domain is consistent with an attempt on some third-party to frame Russia, very similar to what we witnessed in Syria with repeated fabrications of evidence to show that Syria has been using chemical weapons.

Sputnik: It’s very strange that in both cases, the Skripal case and the second case. Okay, the Skripals at least had some kind of Russian link and there was reason to believe that there might be something else going on because he was a person who was returned by the government for being a double agent, but in this case there’s no links to Russia. There is no reason to believe that these people could’ve had any reason to be targeted. Also in both cases they were not fatal and if we’re talking about a military grade nerve agent, shouldn’t contact with that be fatal?

Peter Ford: So many inconsistencies in the government’s story, it’s hard to know where to begin. They tried to scare people by saying that it was this deadly, contaminating agent that could be fatal to entire populations, and they’re left with the embarrassing fact that originally two people were hurt, they had bad stomach attacks but have recovered. So on every level it’s embarrassing for the government. Now this time, they may be right, that what’s happened is whoever carried out the Skripal attack threw away the syringe, and these two unfortunate people in Amesbury happened to pick it up. There are other theories which are also consistent with the evidence such as the fact that this could be another deliberate attempt to incriminate Russia. It is just impossible to say, this is not preventing the British government from going on record and pointing yet again the finger at Russia.

Sputnik: Has anybody officially pointed the finger at Russia in this case?

Peter Ford: The government is being a bit cautious. They are saying that Russia must have done the Skripal poisoning; this latest incident is linked to that. So even if the latest poisoning was not deliberate, not targeted, nevertheless Russia is responsible, because of the fallout from the first incident. Even the government has woken up to the fact that public opinion just will not buy anymore straightforward empty accusations.

Sputnik: How damaging is this for Theresa May?

Peter Ford: I think there is a mounting theme, particularly in the media to blame May. May is extremely vulnerable. She has been completely obsessed with Brexit in the recent months and appears to have no time for anything else. She exudes an aura of incompetence all around. Now she’s going to be blamed for the absence of British football fans, which was very much noticed in the Colombia match because the Colombians far outnumbered the British. The British government had discouraged them from going to Russia because of hooliganism. This is all beginning to boomerang on the government now and they must be regretting the Russophobia which they have encouraged and I thought that President Putin’s suggestion that May might attend the next match was really just turning the knife in the wound.

Read More:

‘Being Russian is Enough’ to Be Suspected to Wrongdoing in UK — Activist

UK Recklessly Linking Moscow to Amesbury Without Proof – Ex-Intelligence Agents

Porton Down Laboratory Confirms Amesbury Сouple Exposed to Nerve Agent, Not Sure It’s From Skripals Batch – Scotland Yard

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

Amesbury poisoning incident fuels another wave of anti-Russian hysteria

RT | July 5, 2018

A new poisoning incident on UK soil has given British politicians a perfect reason for launching another McCarthian witch hunt on dissent. One MP already targeted RT and was called out for limiting free speech.

“Could … members of this house on all sides not appear on Putin’s propaganda television channel?” Mike Gapes, a Labor MP for Ilford South, said during his speech in the House of Commons in an apparent attempt to discourage his fellow parliamentarians from providing any commentaries to RT.

He also accused RT, as well as some perceived “St. Petersburg troll factories,” of “gearing up to spread misinformation.” He spoke just a day after the reports about a Wiltshire couple being poisoned with what was later described as the same strand of ‘Novichok’ nerve agent that was used against the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.

It goes without saying that Gapes did not bother to provide a single piece of evidence to support his claims. Nevertheless, his words apparently resonated with the British Interior Minister Sajid Javid, who praised the MP for raising the issue and then complained that “there have been far too many incidents where members of the [House of Commons] have sadly supported the Russian propaganda machine” by apparently appearing on RT.

Javid then took the liberty to speak for all the British people in what appeared to be another blatant attempt to exert pressure on lawmakers. The minister said that “the British public will not support any” of those MPs that “support” Russian President Vladimir Putin. The implication here is that anyone who appears on RT automatically supports Putin.

This alleged fight against “insidious Russian propaganda” perfectly plays into London’s broader political narrative, in which Russophobia has become one of the leading trends. The UK has so far failed to provide any solid evidence to prove that Russia had anything to do with the Skripals’ poisoning, as the official investigation has not yet provided any clear results. However, London has already presumed that Moscow might be implicated in another poisoning incident at a time when the investigation of the new case has only just started.

It is far from the first time that British officials have involved RT in their political games, as they apparently desperately seek to silence the channel that is not perfectly in line with their narrative. In March, when the Skripals case hit the news and the British government was falling all over itself to convince the world that Moscow was behind the attack on the ex-spy and his daughter, some British MPs already took advantage of the situation and called for RT UK to have its license revoked on some contrived pretext that it was allegedly “broadcasting propaganda.”

In their overzealous attempts to “protect the freedom of speech” by trying to shut down an alternative opinion, the MPs fell out of touch with their own constituents, who turned to social media to enlighten the people’s chosen ones that their suggestions actually amount to censorship.

Gapes already admitted that he had been confronted by angry people on social media over his remarks in parliament. Unsurprisingly, he just discarded all those who disagreed with his stance on the issue as “squawking Putin apologists.”

Even though it has not yet come to calls for banning RT altogether, one cannot rule out such possibility, taking into account the British politicians’ previous attempts to deal with the channel. The calls for the MPs to stay away from RT might well indicate that London would very much like to see public figures confined to appearing only in the media that so conveniently peddles the government narrative.

After all, apart from ostracizing RT, such moves show a much more worrying trend that some British officials are quite willing to limit the freedom of speech of their own fellow citizens by telling them who they may or may not speak to.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Nicaragua, unraveling a plot

The US’ NED distributed $4.2 million in Nicaragua, between 2014 and 2017, to train “new leaders” to overthrow the Sandinista government

By Francisco Arias Fernández | Granma | June 29, 2018

AS early as 2016, talk of war against Nicaragua could again be heard in Miami, at a time when the streets of this nation were a regional example of security, peace, and prosperity, where a hardworking, tranquil people proudly enjoyed the social and economic advances achieved by the Sandinista government, that had established a national consensus, in the wake of one of the worst interventions carried out by the United States in Central America.

With no justification whatsoever – when the news from Nicaragua around the world was about a proposed inter-oceanic canal that would boost the economy and impact global navigation – Congress members who make a living off the U.S. war against Cuba and Venezuela were mounting efforts to reverse the prosperity and calm that reigned in the land of Augusto César Sandino.

Congress members, first in the House of Representatives and later the Senate, introduced a bill to create obstacles to the awarding of international loans to Nicaragua, hamper foreign investment, and put a brake on socio-economic development in the country. This imperialist punishment, cooked up by the worst of the anti-Cuban mafia in 2015, set in motion the fabrication of a pretext regarding the alleged lack of democracy, justified as a way to “guarantee electoral transparency and fight corruption.” The result of this initial maneuver was the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act of 2017 (NICA Act).

Ileana Ros, Albio Sires, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, and others, among the most reactionary legislators in Congress from South Florida, Texas, and New Jersey, are again attempting to reinvent the Contras and get rid of the Sandinista government, which has repeatedly shown at the polls that it enjoys the people’s majority support.

The tentacles of this subversive plot go beyond the capital, since these forces are well connected to the United States’ coup-manufacturing machinery, and laid the foundation for a media campaign in coordination with agencies specialized in carrying out dirty wars and soft coups, working with U.S. intelligence and the CIA, in particular.

In this specific case, international press media have documented the participation of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), as well their sub-contractors, which have been working meticulously, since Daniel Ortega was first elected, to re-invent a “new leadership,” selectively infiltrating key sectors of the economy, targeting youth, students, medium and small businesspeople, environmental and feminist groups, among others, to undermine the foundation of support for the Sandinista government.

It is revealing that on April 16, this year, following the same line espoused by anti-Cuban Congress members, USAID Administrator Mark Green announced that the U.S. government would continue supporting the participation of a “free … genuine” civil society in Nicaragua, after stating that the United States is concerned about the closing of democratic spaces in Nicaragua, “systematic” violations of human rights, and government corruption.

In March, Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Albio Sires sent a letter to Green, in which they call on the U.S. government to reverse its decision to provide “zero aid” to Nicaragua through USAID for the fiscal year 2018-2019, while at the same time calling on the agency to avoid supporting “members of the private sector linked to corruption, money laundering, or the Daniel Ortega regime.”

At the end of 2008, the media reported that USAID had provided at least a million dollars in Nicaragua that year to NGOs, radio broadcasters, and political groups like the Communications Research Center (CINCO), to intervene in municipal elections.

This financing, as was denounced at the time, contributed surreptitiously as “small donations,” that were not to exceed 25,000 dollars, was part of a large scale U.S. plan to overthrow the government of Daniel Ortega, carried out since then by internal agents from the Nicaraguan right.

The strategy mounted to discredit the Sandinista government in the media was conducted via two financing routes; one directed by USAID and the Casals & Associates firm, and another managed by the so-called Common Fund in Europe, which provided funds to organize campaigns and mobilizations to destabilize the government.

By 2008, media in Nicaragua had identified at least 14 subversive projects run by USAID across the country, under the cover of a wide range of titles and objectives, made possible by this funding.

Another key element of the U.S. machinery linked to the CIA is the National Democratic Institute, an instrument dedicated to promoting “change” that focuses on “empowering” so called “agents of change” in countries with governments not to Washington’s liking.

A Swedish journalist reported, this past June 4, that three students from Nicaragua were conducting a tour of Europe to raise support for a plot against the Sandinista government, stating that at least one of the youth represented an organization created and financed by the United States.

Jessica Cisneros, he reported, was active around the issue of the involvement and participation of youth in political processes, and was a member of the Movimiento Cívico de Juventudes (Civic Youth Movement).

Another of these “agents of change” promoting hate for the Sandinista government and support for a coup, was Yerling Aguilera, from the Polytechnic University in Managua (UPOLI) and specializing in research on revolution and the feminist movement, who, according to the reporter, has been an employee and consultant for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policy (IEEPP) in Nicaragua, that works to “strengthen the abilities of political, state, and social actors for a better informed public via creative, innovative services,” which has received 224,162 dollars from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) between 2014 and 2017.

The NED has distributed some 4.2 million dollars in Nicaragua, over this three-year period.

The USAID, NDI, and NED have been busy in the country, with thousands of activists trained to “change society.” Hundreds of NGOs, universities, and political parties have received funds and materials as part of the subversive plan that was not conceived to advance through traditional political organizations, but rather those invented to give the impression that they emerged “spontaneously” from dissatisfaction, hiding the true interest of the North at work.

Although efforts were intensified after Ortega’s 2006 electoral victory, since 2015, with the approval of the NICA Act, U.S. agencies increased and broadened financial support and resources for their “agents of change” in Nicaragua, above all through leadership courses and money for young people in universities, NGOs, and political parties.

In their political, diplomatic, and media advice to the coup-plotters, Washington has insisted on demonizing Daniel Ortega and his government, an effort carried out not only by the White House, and its agencies, allies, satellites, and mercenaries, but also the corporate media monopolies and fabricators of lies, which magnify internal problems and accuse authorities for all types of human rights violations, totally omitting the crimes and destruction committed by individuals who have been “empowered” by the USAID, NDI, NED, and CIA, who have caused the failure of talks and calls for peace. As is the case in Venezuela, Donald Trump and his advisors, architects of a thousand invasions, do not believe in dialogue or pacts, opting for war on all fronts.

Nicaragua has become the epicenter of U.S. warmongering efforts, hand in hand with Anti-Cuban legislators and profiteers, and other veteran hawks. Washington is attempting to re-invent its strategy at the cost of human lives and destruction in the streets of Nicaragua.

USAID’S THINLY DISGUISED SUBVERSION PROJECTS IN NICARAGUA:

– Citizen participation in electoral processes

– Developing a culture of transparency among Nicaraguan youth

– Communications training for students to produce stories that promote self-efficacy

– Multimedia for democratic governability

– Strengthening civil rights of women and youth in Masaya

– Citizen action legal framework for journalists

– Active participation for Nicaraguans exercising their right to vote

NDI TENTACLES

– Since 2010 the NDI has been associated with Nicaraguan universities and civic organizations conducting a youth leadership program which has helped prepare more than 2,000 “youth leaders,” and worked to increase the political influence of women, LGBT persons, and electoral processes

– The Movimiento Cívico de Juventudes (MCJ) is an organization financed, created, and part of the NDI.

– Several members of the group graduated from the NDI program earning a Certificate in Leadership and Political Management (CLPM).

Francisco Arias Fernández, internet@granma.cu

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment