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‘Horrendous’: New York Times Attacks Inter-Korean Peace Process

Sputnik – 31.10.2018

On Monday, the New York Times reported that South Korean President Moon Jae-in is succeeding where all of his predecessors have failed — in engaging North Korea and convincing the country to give up its nuclear weapons program.

However, the article isn’t complimentary, quoting a South Korean newspaper that claimed Moon is Kim Jong Un’s most effective spokesperson.

The New York Times article also quotes an American think tank analyst stating that Moon is a “bad moon on the rise,” quoting an old Creedence Clearwater Revival song.

Simone Chun, a fellow at the Korea Policy Institute and a member of the Korean Peace Network, joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Tuesday to discuss how the US corporate media continues to attack the historic progress towards peace on the Korean Peninsula.

“What this article is suggesting is that Kim Jong Un is either manipulating Moon Jae-in or Moon Jae-in is the unwitting fool falling for deception,” Becker said.

“In the article, they even describe Moon Jae-in as ‘the agent of North Korea.’ It’s a very carefully crafted editorial position designed to sabotage Moon Jae-in’s effort to bring about peace on the Korean peninsula,” Becker added.

In September, North and South Korea signed a joint agreement, proclaiming an end to the state of war. The two nations agreed to cease large-scale artillery exercises and military flights near the demarcation line and make efforts to denuclearize the peninsula.

However, according to the New York Times article, “[A]s Mr. Moon has pushed to deepen ties with Pyongyang, the backlash from his critics has been swift. A major South Korean newspaper this month called him the ‘chief spokesman for Kim Jong-un,’ and an American commentator, quoting Creedence Clearwater Revival, recently referred to him as a ‘bad Moon on the rise.'”

“If Mr. Kim wanted to change his image from nuclear madman to mature negotiator, it’s unlikely he could have found a better agent than Mr. Moon,” the article stated.

The South Korean newspaper being referenced is chosun.com, “one of the most right-wing newspapers in South Korea–and, according to a recent poll, the least trusted media,” Chun told Radio Sputnik. The Creedence Clearwater quotation comes from Gordon Chang, a “notorious right wing” columnist, she added.

“It is a shame [that the] New York Times is giving a platform for the very ultra right-wing and minority voices who are afraid of [the] Korean peace process and who are trying to sabotage the current peace talks,” Chun told Sputnik.

“Based on these two sources [cited by the New York Times ], there isn’t much credibility on this particular article. The image they create is that president Moon is somehow a spokesperson for Chairman Kim. Nine out of 10 Koreans in recent polls support the peace process. I would argue that it’s the Korean people [themselves] who are behind the peace process. The big picture, you see here, is a growing, orchestrated chorus of America’s right wing think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation and CSIS, in conjunction with the minority voices in South Korea, who are now in the process of sabotaging and trying to discredit Moon. I think it is very important to, as your media [Sputnik] is doing, respond to this horrendous claims,” Chun added.

“If this peace plan between the two Koreans has the support of 90 percent of the Korean people and is going so well for Donald Trump, a Republican president, why would the New York Times place an article like that?” Kirikou asked.

“This is a propaganda piece that found its way into the New York Times,” he added.

“The author of the [New York Times ] article is actually Korean,” Chun responded, also adding that the author has taken a conservative viewpoint when it comes to foreign policy over recent years.

“The New York Times, when it comes to foreign policy, has often taken a conservative position” as well, Chun added.

Last week, Seoul, Pyongyang and the UN Command (UNC) on Monday agreed to withdraw firearms and military posts from the village of Panmunjom, known as the Joint Security Area, in the Demilitarized Zone, in what Chun called a “historic attempt” that reveals that the “two Koreas are very determined [to make peace.]”

“The two Koreas and the UNC agreed to take measures of withdrawing firearms and military posts from the JSA by October 25, and for the following two days, the three parties will conduct a joint verification,” the South Korean Ministry’s of National Defense news release said, according to the Yonhap news agency.

In June, Kim also reached an agreement with US President Donald Trump, stipulating that North Korea would make efforts to promote complete denuclearization of the peninsula in exchange for freezing US-South Korean military drills and a potential removal of US sanctions.

October 30, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 4 Comments

Denmark to suspend funding to BDS groups

MEMO | October 30, 2018

Denmark has announced that it will no longer provide any funding to groups that endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in what pro-Israel activists have called a significant step.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced the new policy earlier this month is a document entitled ”Explanations about the conditions for Danish support for Israeli and Palestinian civil society organisations.”

“The use of Danish funds for political purposes, including BDS activities, is unacceptable,” read the conditions. The other guidelines mandate the defunding of any recipient caught “associating with a terrorist movement”, violating human rights principles or “questioning Israel’s right to exist”.

Olga Deutsch, the director of the Europe Desk at the right-wing, pro-Israel watchdog, NGO Monitor commended the Danish move.

“Switzerland and Norway addressed similar issues earlier this year, and we hope that Denmark’s guidelines will serve as an example for other European countries,” she said.

Last December, Denmark suspended its aid to many Palestinian groups and then more than halved the number of such recipient groups it had decided to fund in 2018.

The investigation started after the Palestinian village of Buraq opted to name a women’s centre after slain Palestinian resistance fighter, Dalal Mughrabi. The Swiss Foreign Ministry also announced last year that it had stopped funding the Palestinian NGO Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat due to the name change, alongside Norway. In 2017 Belgium also ended its funding for Palestinian schools over the naming of one such institution in honour of Mughrabi.

Numerous Palestinian organisations have come under fire from donors due to their support for the BDS campaign. Pro-Israeli groups have often been behind such action, after convincing policymakers that any attempts at Palestinian resistance, including support for the non-violent BDS movement, equates to terrorism.

Earlier this month, France announced that it would no longer label products produced in illegal Israeli settlements after it was sued by a pro-Israel think tank for “discrimination”. In August, two municipalities in Spain rescinded their support for the BDS movement after a pro-Israel group threatened them with legal action. In May 2017, Israel also successfully pressured the Danish government into suspending support and funding to groups that advocated for a boycott of Israeli goods.

October 30, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 4 Comments

gab.com & the Great Purge on the Horizon

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | October 30, 2018

gab.com is an alternative social network, set up and launched in 2016. It’s founder, Andrew Torba, stated he wanted to create a home for free speech, and counter what he perceived as “liberal bias” on other platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Two days ago, their website was taken down. This was in response to being blocked by PayPal, and then having their server space taken away by their hosting service. gab’s founder posted this statement on their stripped-down website.

Why did this happen?

Because Robert Bowers, the alleged gunman at the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, had a gab account and posted some things about “the jews” on it.

Is it right, or sensible to punish a platform for the (alleged) actions of ONE user out of 100,000s? And is that really what’s going on?

Robert Bowers also had a Twitter account. And a Facebook page. Neither of these platforms has faced punishment, or censure, from any quarter.

Cesar Sayoc – the alleged MAGABomber – also had a twitter account and allegedly sent threatening messages to some public figures on it. Again, Twitter has not been blocked by PayPal.

In fact, Twitter and Facebook – though occasionally criticised for “not doing enough to combat hate”, have never been blocked, or threatened in any way. Even though Twitter hosted countless pro-ISIS accounts, regularly cited in the media.

So clearly, it can be reasoned, PayPal et al are not only responding to the alleged statements of Robert Bowers. There is a deeper agenda at work.

In fact, this isn’t the first time larger internet companies have tried to stymie gab’s existence. When they were first launched, in 2016, Apple denied them a place in their app store because they allegedly allowed pornography to be posted. When gab installed a filter to block people posting pornography, Apple again denied them access to the app store, this time for breaching their “hate speech” regulations. Google Play did the same in 2017 (reminder – Google allowed ISIS to release their own app on their marketplace).

Early this year a cross-university study conducted on gab (and other “alt-right” sites) found that gab.com used “free speech as shield to protect their “alt-right” views”. (I’m not sure what, if anything, that sentence really means. Surely free speech is a shield protecting all speech? Isn’t that the point?)

In April this year VICE magazine ran an article headlined “Gab Is the Alt-Right Social Network Racists Are Moving to”. It was resoundingly negative about the site, painting it as nothing but a home for racism and “conspiracy theorists”, despite the owner’s protestations that gab is all about free speech, and that anyone is free to join.

Logically, the emergence of networks like gab was inevitable. The internet has always been that way, you shut down one hallway and four more are forced open. Look at Piratebay, notionally banned, yet available through a million different proxies that spring up faster than governments can shut them down.

Social media has undergone unprecedented purges this year. Alex Jones was banned across virtually every mainstream platform. Hundreds of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts were shut down on spurious grounds – allegations of being “Kremlin backed” or “Iran bots”fly around, without any supporting evidence ever being released to the public. This summer, Twitter blocked millions of “fake accounts” (we covered that here).

These actions aren’t independent, either. Alex Jones was banned from multiple platforms, all within 24 hours. Just earlier this month, Facebook unpublished over 800 pages, whilst twitter blocked the accounts of the same pages… all on the same day. Clearly, the companies are either coordinating with each other (possibly in breach of anti-trust laws), or are receiving directions from the same source – almost certainly the government.

In that climate, new platforms were always going to emerge. It’s the classic “Well then I’m gonna build my own theme park, with blackjack and hookers” situation.

YouTube is increasingly corporate, controlled and fake. Demonetising user videos and adding more and more advertisements… so dtube and bitchute open. Twitter censors your free-speech, so we’ll start up a platform where you can say what you want.

Twitter and Facebook both saw their stock-prices tumble as a result of their respective “purges”. So, is the anti-gab movement simply a case of mega-corporations protecting their monopoly by shutting down a budding rival? Is this all just about control of the market and money?

Unfortunately, it seems not. Like the vast majority of media roll-outs, it seems this is a convergence of interests – financial on the one hand, and political on the other.

The push to ban the “alt-right” – or, the even broader term – “hate speech” has been on-going for several years now. It will inevitably pick up in the wake of the events of this week.

Within hours, predictable voices were discussing the “necessary limitations on free speech”:

Today, CNN ran this piece: “Big Tech made the social media mess. It has to fix it”.

Paul Mason, writing in the New Statesman, argued that YouTube needs to censor all the “alt-right” on their platform.

It’s a two-step process – having first established the need to “limit” hate speech, we can then move on to defining what “hate speech” really means.

They’ve started on that already. Criticising George Soros is “anti-semitic” now. As is the term “neocons”:

What else will be deemed hate speech? What does “hate speech” really mean? The simple answer to that is: Whatever they want it to mean.

It seems like there’s a purge coming, you can feel it in the wind. A purge motivated by the greed of multinational companies wielding power that rivals nations, and fuelled by the fascistic need of the “powers-that-shouldn’t-be” to limit and control our existence…just because they can.

It is both authoritarian power grab, and a manifestation of corporate greed. It’s amazing how often those two things come together.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he’s forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

October 30, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Serious Breaches’ Disclosed in Norway’s Treatment of Nuclear Waste

Sputnik – October 30, 2018

An investigation of of Norway’s national nuclear repository has revealed radiation levels up to 57 times above the maximum permitted limit, prompting environmental concerns and second thoughts about its future.

The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority has revealed “serious breaches” in the handling of radioactive material at the national facility for final disposal in Himdalen, including licensing issues, the daily newspaper Aftenposten reported. Starting from February this year, eight illegally stored containers of liquid oxygenated nuclear waste have been discovered, together with other irregularities.

“The breaches of the storage permit and the license terms mean that we can no longer be completely sure that the landfill is as safe as it should be,” Per Strand, department head at the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, told the newspaper.

Three of the containers discovered in Himdalen held the isotope Americium-241; these were found to be up to 57 times more radioactive than permitted. The other six containers were also well above the limit stipulated in the permit and the license terms. Americium-241 is used by a number of Norwegian industrial companies. The substance is also used in small amounts in the fire and smoke detectors found in most Norwegian homes.

According to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, the burial that occurred in 2013 and 2014 invoked a risk of chemical reactions that could have damaged the containers, causing a leak of radioactive contaminants.

Norway’s nuclear waste is currently stored in four mountain halls in Himdalen, Aurskog-Høland municipality. The landfill opened in 1998. By the end of 2017 it was 63 percent full and is scheduled to receive waste until 2030. Then, the waste facility will be left under administrative supervision for another 300-500 years. The waste is encased in barrels filled with cement and cast into the floor.

Aurskog-Høland Mayor Roger Evjen confirmed that the municipality had notified the police of the case. He has also requested a meeting with the Industry Ministry to discuss the operation of the nuclear deposit.

“What has emerged is untenable and deserves criticism,” Evjen told Aftenposten.

The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority asked the Institute of Energy Technology (IFE), responsible for the deposit management, to conduct a full review, starting from the opening of the facility in 1998.

“They must prove that the waste is stored safely and that they thoroughly follow through their own routines,” Strand explained.

The Norwegian police admitted that the case has been on hold since February, citing a lack of investigators. Per Strand encouraged the police to prioritize the matter as a matter of national importance.

The IFE admitted to violating the routines, but denied any possibility of endangering Norwegians’ health or the environment, as the nuclear waste is “safely encapsulated” in containers.

READ MORE:

IAEA Finds Fault With Half of Norway’s Nuclear Reactors

October 30, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Does US Withdrawal from another Nuclear Treaty Really Benefit Russia?

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 30.10.2018

No. Obviously Russia does not benefit from the scrapping of yet another treaty designed to prevent a nuclear exchange amid a war with the United States.

Yet, as an attempt to frame blatant US provocations as somehow “Russia’s fault,” a narrative has begun circulating – claiming that not only does the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty somehow benefit Russia – it was via Russia’s “puppet” – US President Donald Trump – that saw the treaty scrapped.

Spreading this scurrilous narrative are political provocateurs like former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who has re-branded himself recently as a prominent anti-Trump voice – feeding into and feeding off of America’s false left-right political paradigm.

In one post on social media, McFaul would claim:

Why can’t Trump leverage his close personal relationship with Putin to get Russia to abide by the INF Treaty?

In other posts, he would recommend followers to read commentary published by US corporate-financier funded think tank – the Brookings Institution – on how the US withdrawal “helps Russia and hurts US.”

The commentary – penned by former US ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer – admitted that no evidence has been made public of supposed “Russian violations.” It also admits that America’s European allies – those who would be in range of Russian intermediate range missiles if deployed – have not raised a “stink” with the Kremlin, publicly or privately.

But Pifer claims that the US has no missiles to match those supposedly being developed by Russia, and even if it did, the US would have no where to place them – claiming that NATO, Japan, and South Korea would not allow the US to place such systems on their shores. This, he and McFaul suggest, is why the US’ withdrawal from the treaty “benefits” Russia by granting it a monopoly over intermediate range missiles.

Washington’s Other Withdrawals Prove Otherwise 

Yet the US has already withdrawn from treaties and twisted the arms of allies to allow newly developed missile systems to be deployed on their shores.

In the aftermath of Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from another Cold War-era agreement – the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty scrapped by US President George Bush Jr. in 2002 – the US developed and deployed the Lockheed Martin ashore Aegis ballistic missile defense system in Europe along with the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile defense systems to South Korea – also manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

It is clear the unilateral treaty withdrawals under Bush and Trump, as well as the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems to Europe and East Asia under the Obama administration, represent a continuity of agenda regardless of who occupies the White House.

Coupled with these treaty withdrawals and the subsequent deployment of US missile systems to ring Russia and China – there has been a constant build-up of US troops directly on the borders of both nations.

While those claiming Russia has violated the INF Treaty – and has been doing so for “8 years” as claimed in a 2017 op-ed by US Senator Tom Cotton published in the Washington Post, it should be noted that 8 years previously, it would be revealed that in addition to the US placing Patriot missile systems along Russia’s borders, plans for wider military deployments in the Baltic states were also in the works.

The Guardian’s 2010 article titled, “WikiLeaks cables reveal secret Nato plans to defend Baltics from Russia,” would admit:

According to a secret cable from the US mission to Nato in Brussels, US admiral James Stavridis, the alliance’s top commander in Europe, proposed drawing up defence plans for the former Soviet Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Of course, those “defense plans” manifested themselves in the deployment of US forces to the Baltics, meaning US troops were now stationed on Russia’s borders.

It is clear that a pattern is emerging of the US withdrawing from treaties, deploying missiles, then citing Russia’s rational reaction to hostile forces building up on its borders, in order to withdraw from additional treaties and deploy further military forces along Russia’s peripheries and on Russia’s borders.

Who Really Benefits? Follow the Money  

After McFaul’s various claims of the INF Treaty scrapping by the US benefiting Russia, he himself would obliquely admit to who the real beneficiaries were.

In a more recent social media post, McFaul would claim:

If Putin deploys large numbers of new intermediate missiles in Europe, what missile and launcher would the US seek to deploy in Europe in response? & where would we base them? I worry that we wont/cant respond.

Whatever this “missile and launcher” is, whoever builds it will reap hundreds of billions of dollars to develop and deploy it. Each Lockheed Martin ashore Aegis system cost over a billion dollars. Lockheed Martin’s annual revenue rivals Russia’s entire annual military budget. It is clear who benefits most from the US scrapping the INF Treaty – at least in terms of dollars and cents.

As for McFaul’s doubts over Washington’s ability to station weapons in Europe – as proven by the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty – the US is more than capable of developing and successfully deploying controversial and unwanted missile systems to both Europe and East Asia.

The US Department of Defense was already developing plans for an intermediate missile system to do just that – before the US even withdrew from the INF Treaty.
As early as February 2018. Defense One would report in its article titled, “Pentagon Confirms It’s Developing Nuclear Cruise Missile to Counter a Similar Russian One,” that:

The U.S. military is developing a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile to counter a similar Russian weapon whose deployment violates an arms-control treaty between Moscow and Washington, U.S. officials said Friday.

The officials acknowledged that the still-under-development American missile would, if deployed, also violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The article also cited Greg Weaver, the Joint Staff’s deputy director of strategic capabilities, who would claim that the development of such a missile would not violate the INF Treaty unless it was deployed.

With the US’ withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the missile can be openly developed and deployed – meaning even more demand for whichever US arms manufacturer(s) clinches the contract.
Thus McFaul answers for all those in doubt as to who the real beneficiaries are of the INF Treaty’s scrapping – the arms manufacturers that will reap hundreds of billions of dollars in the development and deployment of these new missile systems, operating alongside other multi-billion dollar missile systems already developed and deployed in the wake of the US’ walking away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Also benefiting are those who seek to encircle and contain Russia, but lack any rational pretext to justify doing so.

McFaul and others like him craft narratives predicated on the assumption that their audiences are profoundly ignorant and will remain prohibitively ill-informed. Hand-in-hand with the Western media – the public is kept in a state of ignorance and adversity – where overt provocations aimed at Moscow and the US taxpayers’ pockets can be easily passed off as “Putin and his puppet” tricking the US into encircling and containing Russia – just as McFaul himself called for in a lengthy 2018 editorial he wrote for Foreign Affairs.

By framing Russia as the mastermind behind the US’ own provocations, McFaul and the special interests he represents get to move their openly stated agenda of encircling and containing Russia several more steps forward – proving just who the real threat to global peace and stability is.

October 30, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Syrian FM: US Seeks to Prolong Conflict in Syria

Al-Manar | October 30, 2018

Under the pretext of protecting Kurds, the US is setting up military bases and aerodromes in Syria’s east, which signals their intention to prolong the armed conflict, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a press conference on Monday.

SANA news agency quoted Muallem as saying that the US is using its base in Al-Tanf on the Syrian-Iraqi border to train former members of the ISIL terrorist organization in order to include them later into units fighting against the Syrian army.

The foreign minister noted that the government forces and their allies are “the only real force fighting against ISIL groups and al-Nusra front extremist group on the Syrian territory.”

Muallem also said that terrorists from the al-Nusra group still remain in the area where the Idlib demilitarized zone should have been established.

“This is a signal that Ankara does not want to fulfill its obligations in the framework of Russian-Turkish agreements on Idlib,” he said.

The foreign minister noted that Idlib, located 320 kilometers from Damascus, remains under the control of terrorists who are supported by Turkey and the West, Tass news agency reported.

“We remain in close coordination with Russian friends regarding the situation in Syria’s north-west,” he added. Muallem also reminded that the agreement on Idlib is temporary, and the Syrian government has a legal right to return the province under its sovereignty.

According to the Russian-Turkish memorandum signed in Sochi on September 17 after talks between the presidents of Russia and Turkey, the demilitarized zone 15-20 kilometers deep in Idlib should have been established by October 15. However, Turkey asked to postpone joint patrolling in Idlib due to its inability to guarantee security from its side.

October 30, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment