Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Discovery Of Massive Volcanic CO2 Emissions Puts Damper On Global Warming Theory

By James Edward Kamis | Climate Change Dispatch | November 6, 2018

Recent research shows that the volume of volcanic CO2 currently being emitted into Earth’s atmosphere is far greater than previously calculated, challenging the validity of the man-made global warming theory.

Figure 1.) Volcanic gas emissions breakthrough overlying fractured and partially melted glacial ice sheet. (Image credits: Christina Neal, AVO/USGS)

The cornerstone principle of the global warming theory, anthropogenic global warming (AGW), is built on the premise that significant increases of modern era human-induced CO2 emissions have acted to unnaturally warm Earth’s atmosphere.

A warmed atmosphere that directly, or in some cases indirectly fuels anomalous environmental disasters such as ocean warming, alteration of ocean chemistry, polar ice sheet melting, global sea level rise, coral bleaching and most importantly dramatic changes in climate.

There are numerous major problems with the AGW principle.

Identification of Volcanic vs. Man-made CO2

Natural volcanic and man-made CO2 emissions have the exact same and very distinctive carbon isotopic fingerprint.

It is therefore scientifically impossible to distinguish the difference between volcanic CO2 and human-induced CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels (see here).

This major problem with the AGW principle has been rationalized away by consensus climate scientists who insist, based on supposedly reliable research, that volcanic emissions are minuscule in comparison to human-induced CO2 emissions (Gerlach 1991).

Terrance Gerlach’s volcanic CO2 calculation was based on just 7 actively erupting land volcanoes and three actively erupting ocean floor hydrothermal vents (seafloor hot geysers).

Utilizing gas emission data from this very limited number of volcanic features, Gerlach estimated that the volume of natural volcanic CO2 emissions is 100 to 150 times less than the volume of man-made CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and therefore of no consequence.

To put this calculation process into perspective, the Earth is home to 1,500 land volcanoes and 900,000 seafloor volcanoes/hydrothermal vents.

By sampling just an extremely small percent of these volcanic features it is impossible to imagine that the calculation is correct.

Especially knowing that volcanic activity varies greatly from area to area, volcano to volcano, and through time. Utilizing just 0.001 percent (10/901,500) of Earth’s volcanic features to calculate volcanic CO2 emissions does not inspire confidence in the resulting value.

Non-Erupting Volcanoes Can Emit Massive Amounts of CO2 into Earth’s Atmosphere

Recent geological research by the University of Leeds and others proves that non-erupting volcanoes can emit massive amounts of CO2 into Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. The Gerlach calculation and all follow-up calculations utilized volcanic CO2 rates from actively erupting volcanoes.

Lost in the numerous recent media articles concerning the argument of when, or if Iceland’s Katla Volcano will erupt is the discovery that this non-erupting subglacial volcano is currently emitting staggering amounts of CO2 into Earth’s atmosphere!

Researchers from the University of Leeds who studied the Katla Volcano said this.

“We discovered that Katla volcano in Iceland is a globally important source of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in spite of being previously assumed to be a minor gas emitter. Volcanoes are a key natural source of atmospheric CO2 but estimates of the total global amount of CO2 that volcanoes emit are based on only a small number of active volcanoes. Very few volcanoes which are covered by glacial ice have been measured for gas emissions, probably because they tend to be difficult to access and often do not have obvious degassing vents. Through high‐precision airborne measurements and atmospheric dispersion modeling, we show that Katla, a highly hazardous subglacial volcano which last erupted 100 years ago, is one of the largest volcanic sources of CO2 on Earth, releasing up to 5% of total global volcanic emissions. This is significant in the context of a growing awareness that natural CO2 sources have to be more accurately quantified in climate assessments and we recommend urgent investigations of other subglacial volcanoes worldwide.”(see here)

The Number of Volcanoes Emitting CO2 into the Atmosphere at Any One Time 

The calculation of the total yearly volume of volcanic CO2 emitted into the atmosphere is based on the presumption that very few volcanoes are erupting at any one time.

Scientists from various worldwide volcano research institutions, most notably the United States Geological Survey, have estimated this number to be 20.

This very low number has been challenged by many scientists including those at NASA.

A  multinational team led by NASA has initiated a high-resolution satellite CO2 monitoring project (see here). This project is focused on determining how many geological features are emitting CO2 at any one time.

This project may eventually give scientists a better idea of how many land volcanoes are emitting CO2 at any one time.

However, it is doubtful the project will properly record ocean CO2 emissions from Earth’s 900,000 deep ocean floor and very difficult to monitor volcanic features.

In any case, this project is certainly a step forward towards achieving a better understanding of the climate influence of volcanic CO2 emissions.

The Amount of CO2 and heat infused into Earth’s Oceans by Seafloor Geological Features

About 71% of Earth’s surface is covered by oceans making it a water, not land, planet. For many years now, scientists have contended that the nearly one million geological features present in these vast ocean regions have played a minimal role in heating and chemically charging ocean seawater.

Instead of contending that man-made atmospheric CO2 was the root cause of changes to our oceans.

Recent research has proven that the contentions of these scientists are far from 100% proven. To the contrary, it has become clear that geological heat flow and chemically charged heated fluid flow into our oceans is far more influential than previously thought and possibly the root cause of changes to our oceans.

One example is that geological features are warming Earth’s oceans and causing El Nino’s and La Nina’s (see here, here, and here). Warmed seawater is not capable of holding as much CO2 as cold water.

So, the geologically warming of seawater indirectly leads to a large amount of CO2 being released from oceans and emitted into the atmosphere.

Recent research shows that seafloor geological features also directly emit large amounts of CO2 into our oceans and atmosphere(see here, here, here, and Figure 2).

In summary, the volume of volcanic CO2 being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere has not been accurately assessed.

Numerous research studies and articles conducted/written by qualified scientists concur with this contention (see herehere, and here).

In a geological time frame, Earth has gone through many periods of increased volcanism. These volcanic periods resulted in; major plant and animal extinction events (see here, here, and here), the end of glacial eras (see here) and the dramatic alteration of Earth’s climate (see here).

All indications are that Earth is currently experiencing another period of strong volcanic activity which is acting to infuse CO2 into our atmosphere thereby challenging the validity of the global warming theory.

Clearly, its time to put on hold all environmental action plans based on the cornerstone AGW principle of the global warming theory until additional geological CO2 emission research is conducted.


James Edward Kamis is a retired professional Geologist with 42 years of experience, a B.S. in Geology from Northern Illinois University (1973), an M.S. in geology from Idaho State University (1977), and a longtime member of AAPG who has always been fascinated by the connection between Geology and Climate. More than 14 years of research/observation have convinced him that the Earth’s Heat Flow Engine, which drives the outer crustal plates, is an important driver of the Earth’s climate as per his Plate Climatology Theory.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

The Israel Lobby in the U.S. – Documentary by Al Jazeera

Censored Al Jazeera documentary exposing the Israel lobby in the U.S.

If Americans Knew | November 2, 2018

Part 1 of 4

The documentary was never broadcast by Al Jazeera due to pressure from some Jewish groups and individuals. It was eventually leaked to a few groups, which posted some short clips. On November 2nd the first two parts finally became available to the public.

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

For more information see https://bit.ly/2PCKgF0

For information on pro-Israel influence on U.S. Congressional candidates see https://bit.ly/2Qiq2NN

For a full list of the Israel lobby in the U.S see https://bit.ly/2QhxskD

More information and additional documentaries on the Israel lobby can be seen at https://bit.ly/2SJgcGj

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s diamond exports crash as BDS and war crimes impact

By Sean Clinton | MEMO | November 7, 2018

Fig.1 – Graph of diamond exports and trends from main exporting hubs

Israel’s gross diamond exports have crashed by a staggering 45 per cent since the 2014 massacre in Gaza that resulted in the death of over 2,200 people, mainly civilians including over 550 children.

The net value of Israel’s diamond exports has fallen even further, by 60 per cent from $11.25 billion to $4.4 billion over the period. This is about the same as the value of Israel’s total arms exports.

The Israeli diamond exchange initially blamed the decline on weak global demand and more recently on globalisation but the sudden steep decline shows that’s plainly not the case.

De Beers annual insight reports on the state of the global diamond market show demand increased slightly over the past five years.

No other diamond exporting country has suffered such a steep fall.

The Belgian diamond industry, which is a major hub for both the rough and polished diamond trade to and from Israel, has also been impacted by the steep decline in Israel’s exports.

Meanwhile India has gained market share and in 2016, for the first time ever, exported more diamonds to the USA than Israel which has traditionally supplied up to 50 per cent of the US market in value terms.

There can be no doubt that one of the most important and the most vulnerable sector of the Israeli economy is feeling the impact of Israel’s blood-drenched brand image.

Fig. 2 – Israeli manufacturing exports declined sharply after 2014 led by a 45% fall in diamond exports. The 2012 fall in diamond exports was due to the discovery of major fraud in the Diamond Exchange.

The global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has highlighted jewellery industry links to Israeli human rights violations which are funded to a significant degree by revenue from the diamond industry. Both appear to be impacting the Israeli diamond industry particularly hard with exports down a further 6 percent in H1 2018.

The situation has become so serious that Israel is now offering to pay air fares as well as provide free hotel accommodation to attract buyers to Tel Aviv. Although the jewellery industry and NGOs have remained silent about Israel’s leading role in the diamond supply chain human rights activists have campaigned to expose it.

In 2012 activists first revealed the linkage between the Steinmetz Diamond Group (SDG) and the Givati Brigade of the Israeli military which was responsible for the 2009 massacre of the Samouni family in Gaza, a suspected war crime documented by the UN Human Rights Council and others including Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

This set in motion a series of actions that continue to reverberate through the upper echelons of the diamond industry. When the Anglo American owned De Beers Group put a Forevermark Steinmetz diamond on display in the Tower of London in honour of the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee the Inminds human rights group staged regular protests outside the Tower.

A member of the Samouni family in Gaza recorded a video appealing for the blood diamond to be removed. The diamond was removed a few months later without any of the fanfare and publicity that accompanied it’s unveiling. It hasn’t been seen or heard of in public since.

Sotheby’s Diamonds is a 50:50 partnership between Sotheby’s, the famous auction house, and Diacore, the now rebranded Steinmetz Diamond Group.

Since 2012, Inminds has staged a number of protests outside Sotheby’s premises in Bond Street, London, highlighting the link to Israeli war crimes.

In January 2013, Sotheby’s CEO and board were sent a registered letter alerting them to the damage to their reputation and the risks to their brand posed by their partnership with the Steinmetz Group. Months later in Geneva, in a blaze of global publicity, Sotheby’s auctioned the Steinmetz Pink, a specimen diamond. It was bought by a syndicate of investors lead by Isaac Wolf for a world record US$83 million. The pre-auction publicity and spin gave no indication that the diamond was tarnished by association with Israeli war crimes in Gaza and was, therefore, a blood diamond. Four months after the auction it was revealed that the investors defaulted and Sotheby’s were forced to take the diamond into inventory costing them millions.

In April 2017, in a much quieter event, the blood diamond was auctioned in Hong Kong and bought by Chow Tai Fook for $71 million.

The Isaac Wolf syndicate wasn’t sued.

Diamond buyers and sellers attend the International Diamond Week (IDW) in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan, east of Tel Aviv on February 14, 2017. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Sotheby’s continues to partner with Diacore despite the fact that the Steinmetz Foundation “adopted” the Givati Brigade which stands accused of war crimes.

As news of the default became public it was also disclosed that Beny Steinmetz sold his interest in SDG to his brother Daniel and the company was rebranded as Diacore. Some observers believe this was an exercise designed to distance leading diamond brands including Tiffany’s, De Beers, Sotheby’s and Forevermark from the tarnished Steinmetz brand which is indelibly linked to the Samouni massacre. Evidence supporting this was leaked in the Panama Papers which showed that in 2015, Beny Steinmetz was still involved and asked Mossack Fonseca to backdate the transfer of his power of attorney to his brother to 2013.

Further indications that jewellers are shunning diamonds linked to Israeli human rights violations emerged earlier this year when it came to light, via a Tiffany & Co Form 10-K submission to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, that the iconic diamond brand had terminated a supply agreement with a Steinmetz owned mine in Sierra Leone. Tiffany’s loaned Steinmetz $50 million to develop the mine and was one of their leading buyers.

Tiffany’s divestment came following pressure from human rights activists who exposed the fact that Tiffany’s sourced diamonds from a miner that donated to and supported suspected Israeli war criminals.

Although Tiffany & Co divested from a Steinmetz mine they continue to conceal the identity of the companies they buy 25-35 per cent of their polished diamonds from. Tiffany’s customers cannot, therefore, know where their jewellery comes from as alluded to by their new CEO Alessandro Bogliono in Tiffany’s Sustainability Report 2017.

“Our customers place great value on sustainability. They want to know where their jewellery comes from, how it is made and how the jewellery-making process impacts the planet as well as its people and communities. Tiffany & Co. holds this kind of transparency dear and, through this creation of shared value, we have a unique opportunity to build meaningful, lasting relationships with our customers. We are committed to sharing more with them — and all of our stakeholders — about what, exactly, Tiffany is doing to achieve sustainability for our business and for the planet as we very broadly define that goal: enriching the people and places we reach through our business; minimising our environmental impact; improving industry-wide practices; and channelling the power of the Tiffany brand as a force for positive change in the world.”

Given Israel’s leading role in the industry and the absence of a statement from Tiffany’s stating, as they have done with Zimbabwe and Angola, they do not buy diamonds from the apartheid state, it is likely Tiffany’s are sourcing diamonds from companies in Israel.

Fig. 3 – On June 1st, Rajan al-Najjar, a 21 year old paramedic, was shot dead by an Israeli sniper as she treated wounded civilians in Gaza.

Diamond companies in Israel employ people who have served in and are members of the Israeli army, have openly funded and supported attacks on the defenceless residents of Gaza, have been widely implicated in serious fraud and who discriminate against non-Jews who make up 20 per cent of the population.

Furthermore, Tiffany’s haven’t paid reparations to the Samouni family or any of the victims of the Steinmetz supported Givati Brigade. Mitigation for damage caused is a key component of “responsible sourcing” as outlined in the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines to which Tiffany and Co, a member of the UN Global Compact, claims it is committed.

Although revenue from the diamond industry is a significant source of funding for an apartheid regime that has killed over 210 Palestinians including women, children, medics and journalists and injured and maimed thousands more with live ammunition in besieged Gaza in the past six months alone, jewellers fraudulently claim diamonds processed in Israel are responsibly sourced and conflict-free.

This blood diamond cover-up and fraud is perpetuated by public companies and governments who collaborate to shield rogue regimes in Israel, Zimbabwe and Angola that they depend on to keep their coffers full, bolster dividends for shareholders and provide fat pension pots for c-suite executives.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP), the blueprint of which was drafted by the World Diamond Council, is the primary vehicle facilitating the ongoing blood diamond trade.

Although the remit of the KP is deliberately restricted to banning rough diamonds that fund rebel violence, jewellers use it to claim other blood diamonds are conflict free even when they fund war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Shamefully, Amnesty International, Global Witness, Human Rights Watch and Impact (Partnership Africa Canada), that the public rely on to expose the blood diamond trade and speak up for the victims, have said and done nothing to hold the diamond jewellery industry to account for funding Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Fig.4 –The diamond industry has created a matrix of bogus schemes, warranties, standards and codes of practices to con consumers and facilitate the trade in blood diamonds that fund rogue regimes

The silence of NGO’s on Israel’s blood diamond trade means the Kimberley Process charade continues to con most people and can keep mainstream media focused on the mining sector in Africa. Meanwhile, high street jewellers launder cut and polished blood diamonds labelled responsibly sourced and conflict free to unsuspecting customers.

Hilde Hardeman is the EU chair of the Kimberley Process in 2018. Indications to date suggest that she, like others before her in South Africa and Australia, will ignore the latest call from human rights activists for Israel to be suspended from the KP until those responsible for massacres in Gaza are brought to justice and held to account.

Some voices in the jewellery industry are speaking out. The most recent example being the Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies, and Conflict Free Diamonds, from Marc Choyt and his team at Reflective Jewellery. The exposé peels back the layers of bogus schemes “through the metaphor of Russian nesting dolls, with eight layers of babble obscuring the nefarious truth hidden at the core”.

The exposé leaves readers in no doubt as to the magnitude of the fraud being perpetrated by the key stakeholders in the diamond industry, particularly the Responsible Jewellery Council which is now chaired by Signet Jewellers Vice President of corporate affairs, David Bouffard. Signet Jewellers source many of their diamonds from companies in Israel.

The successive withdrawal of human rights organisations from the KP, including Global Witness, Impact Transform, International Alert, Fatal Transactions and Ian Smillie – a key architect of the Kimberly Process scheme – has removed the fig leaf and left its exponents exposed with their bloody diamonds in full view.

Scrambling to conceal the blood diamond trade, the industry’s most recent and emerging addition to the matrix of deception, is the use of blockchain technology to digitally log all transactions a diamond undertakes from mine to market. While the technology has the potential to give consumers the information needed to make an informed decision about the ethical provenance of a diamond, the detailed information will only be available to “authorised users” as “privacy controls” will prevent consumers from accessing “sensitive data”.

Diacore, of the Steinmetz Group, was one of the first companies in a trial conducted by De Beers Group of their blockchain system, Tracr, earlier this year. It is clear, therefore, that blockchain will provide another layer of cover for the blood diamond trade while consumers are kept in the dark.

As the EU chairs a Kimberley Process plenary meeting in Brussels from November 12-16 it will be interesting to observe the corseted language emanating from the spin doctors. No doubt they will inform the public that the major reforms aimed at strengthening the KP and giving added assurance to consumers have been agreed. But one thing is for sure, any reforms that are agreed will not extend to banning blood diamonds that fund rogue regimes guilty of gross human rights violations in Israel, Zimbabwe or Angola.

Read:

Why Israel sees BDS as a ‘strategic threat’

EU urged to end trade in Israel diamonds

Israel’s $72m war chest to fight BDS comes to Brussels

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pentagon Report Questions US’ Own Legal Justification for Staying in Syria

Sputnik – November 7, 2018

The latest quarterly report by the Lead Inspector General on the status of Operation Inherent Resolve, the codename for the US military’s intervention against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, has paid extensive focus to Iran, mentioning it 105 times in 130 pages. However, while accusing Tehran of posing a growing threat to US forces, the report admits that the Department of Defense has “no evidence” that Iranian troops or Iranian-allied militia have actually attacked the US in Syria.

The report also hints at a confused US policy in Syria, pointing to Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton’s recent statement about keeping US troops in Syria so long as “Iranian troops” and “Iranian proxy militias” remain outside of Iran.

This sentiment, the report admits, has led to “questions about the legal justification of maintaining US troops in Syria, which currently relies on the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against those who ‘planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001,’ which has been interpreted as including [Daesh].”

Unlike the presence of the Russian military and Iranian military advisors, the US has no internationally recognized legal justification for its presence in Syria, with Damascus repeatedly condemning US operations in the Arab Republic and demanding a US exit from the country.

The DoD points out that in the wake of Bolton’s remarks, military officials have changed tack, paying lip service to the “enduring defeat” of Daesh while telling congressional committees about the “ancillary benefits” and “leverage” provided by the continued presence of US forces in Syria.

Pointing to shifting political goals, which now seem to include “removing Iran and Iranian proxies from the country, influencing the outcome of the Syrian civil war… and stabilizing areas of northeast Syria liberated from [Daesh],” the report warns that “these non-military goals could keep the US military involved in Syria after the defeat of [Daesh]” over an unspecified period.

Iranian ‘Security Threats’ to US in Syria

Mentioning the intensive US drilling at the Al-Tanf Garrison in southern Syria following calls by Iran to end the illegal US presence in the area, the report warns of “several Iranian-backed militias” operating in the same area, with “their presence creat[ing] the potential for violence with US troops and US-backed forces.”

At the same time, the DoD report admits that “neither Iran nor Iranian-backed militias had hindered counter-[Daesh] operations,” and says that the Pentagon has “no evidence” that ‘Iranian troops’ or Iranian-allied militia have actually attacked the US in Syria.

‘Iran-Backed Militias’ in Iraq

In neighboring Iraq, the report mentions elements of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Shiite militia groups which played a crucial role in defeating Daesh in Iraq, saying that they pose a similar threat to US interests, given what are said to be their “close ties to Iran.”

“The influence of these Shia militias in both the security sector and the political process –and their continued willingness to act independently of the [Iraqi Security Forces] – increases Iran’s influence in Iraq,” the report states.

Alleging that Iran has deployed some 100-150 Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps personnel among the militia, the report accuses these “Iranian proxies” of being “likely responsible for two attacks targeting US facilities in Iraq,” including a mortar attack in the Baghdad Green Zone in early September and rocket attacks in Basra near the US consulate, which led to the diplomatic mission’s temporary evacuation later that month.

The DoD report makes no mention of the fact that Iran firmly condemned the September attacks on US diplomatic areas out of principle. In a statement, the Iranian foreign ministry accused the US of “propaganda and false allegations against Iran and the Iraqi forces,” and called the consulate closure a “suspicious move aimed at evading responsibility and pinning the blame on others.”

Ultimately, the report warns that so far as Iraq is concerned, “if left unchecked, Iranian-sponsored harassment of US forces could increase, and Iranian influence operations could increase as they vie for influence in the new government.”

The Trump administration has shifted its position on Syria several times, with the president saying the US would “be coming out of Syria like very soon” in March before launching airstrikes against Damascus two weeks later. In September, National Security Adviser John Bolton linked the withdrawal of US troops from Syria to the alleged Iranian presence in the country, prompting the Pentagon to change its tone on the purpose of the Syria mission being the defeat of Daesh.

See also:

Israeli Defense Chief: US Sanctions Deal a ‘Critical Blow’ to Iran in Syria

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , | 4 Comments

MI6 knew that terror-suspect was tortured into giving false Iraq-Al-Qaeda info – report

RT | November 7, 2018

UK ministers relied on questions from a tortured terror suspect to make their case for the Iraq War, the Middle East Eye (MEE) has claimed. British spies fed questions to the suspect even though they knew of his mistreatment.

According to redacted documents, seen by the MEE, an MI6 officer knew that Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi was placed inside a sealed coffin by the CIA at a US-run Afghanistan based prison. Al-Libi – alive inside the coffin – was then taken, aboard a truck, to an aircraft that was to fly to Egypt.

The MI6 officer and his colleagues reported the incident to their department’s London HQ, stating that they “were tempted to speak out” on behalf of al-Libi, but failed to do so, adding: “The event reinforced the uneasy feeling of operating in a legal wilderness.”

Once al-Libi was in Egypt, a country with a well-documented history of human rights abuses, both MI6 and MI5 fed questions to the detainee, receiving reports from his Egyptian interrogators.

Al-Libi, under torture, told his jailers that Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda had links to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. The claim was cited as fact by US President George W. Bush as he made the case for war.

Upon being returned to the CIA, al-Libi stated that he had lied to avoid further torture. By that point the US, along with the UK, had already invaded Iraq.

As well as Bush, al-Libi’s false information was cited by then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell in his infamous speech advocating for war at the UN Security Council on February 5 2003. On the same day, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told parliament there were “unquestionably” links between Al-Qaeda and Iraq.

“There is evidence of such links. Exactly how far they go is uncertain. However… there is intelligence coming through to us the entire time about this,” Blair said.

The US had been keen to link Iraq to Al-Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In evidence disclosed to the Chilcot Inquiry, Bush had raised the issue in a phone call with Blair, who is said to have replied that he couldn’t accept it without seeing compelling evidence.

READ MORE:

British govt urged to come clean on ‘links to torture’ after Iraq invasion

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Blocks $199Mln in Assets Belonging to Iran, Syria, N Korea in 2017 – Treasury

Sputnik – 07.11.2018

WASHINGTON – The United States blocked nearly $200 million in assets belonging to Syria, Iran, and North Korea in 2017 as a result of the sanctions imposed on the three countries, the Treasury Department said in its annual report to Congress released on Wednesday.

“Approximately $199 million in assets relating to the three designated state sponsors of terrorism in 2017 have been identified by OFAC as blocked pursuant to economic sanctions imposed by the United States,” the report said.

The statement comes days after the US fully reinstated sanctions against Iran, including measures that curb Tehran’s oil industry. At the same time, the United States temporarily exempted eight nations — China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — from the sanctions on importing oil from Iran.

In May, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and reimpose sanctions against Tehran that were previously lifted under the accord, including secondary restrictions.

The first round of the US sanctions was reimposed in August, while the second round, targeting over 700 Iranian individuals, entities, banks, aircraft and vessels, came into force this week.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CIA’s ‘surveillance state’ is operating against us all

© Getty Images
By Sharyl Attkisson | The Hill | November 5, 2018

Maybe you once thought the CIA wasn’t supposed to spy on Americans here in the United States.

That concept is so yesteryear.

Over time, the CIA upper echelon has secretly developed all kinds of policy statements and legal rationales to justify routine, widespread surveillance on U.S. soil of citizens who aren’t suspected of terrorism or being a spy.

The latest outrage is found in newly declassified documents from 2014. They reveal the CIA not only intercepted emails of U.S. citizens but they were emails of the most sensitive kind — written to Congress and involving whistleblowers reporting alleged wrongdoing within the Intelligence Community.

The disclosures, kept secret until now, are two letters of “congressional notification” from the Intelligence Community inspector general at the time, Charles McCullough. He stated that during “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computer systems,” the CIA collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection.

McCullough added that he was concerned about the CIA’s “potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality and the consequent ‘chilling effect’ that the present [counterintelligence] monitoring system might have on Intelligence Community whistleblowing.”

“Most of these emails concerned pending and developing whistleblower complaints,” McCullough stated in the letters to lead Democrats and Republicans at the time on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees — Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).

The March 2014 intercepts, conducted under the leadership of CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, happened amid what’s widely referred to as the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers and mass surveillance scandals.

Is that legal?

According to the CIA, the spy agency has been limited since the 1970s to collecting intelligence “only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities” and “procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed.”

But here’s where it gets slippery. It turns out the CIA claims it must engage in “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computers” to make sure certain employees aren’t doing bad things. Poof! Now, all kinds of U.S. citizens and their communications can be swept into the dragnet — and it’s deemed perfectly legal. It’s just an accident or “incidental,” after all, if the CIA happens to pick up whistleblower communications with the legislative branch.

Or maybe it’s a lucky break for certain CIA officials.

The only reason we know any of this now is thanks to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), whose staffers were among those spied on. Grassley says it took four years for him to get the shocking “congressional notifications” declassified so they could be made public. First, Grassley says, Clapper and Brennan dragged their feet, blocking their release. Their successors in the Trump administration were no more responsive. Only when Grassley recently appealed to current Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who was sworn in on May 17, was the material finally declassified.

“The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading congressional staff’s emails about Intelligence Community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns, as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly,” wrote Grassley in a statement.

Legal or not, there was a time when this news would have so shocked our sensibilities — and would have been considered so antithetical to our Constitution by so many — that it would have prompted a swift, national outcry.

But today, we’ve grown numb. Outrage has been replaced by a cynical, “Who’s surprised about that?” or the persistent belief that “Nothing’s really going to be done about it,” and, worst of all, “What’s so bad about it, anyway?”

Some see the intel community’s alleged abuses during campaign 2016 as its own major scandal. But I see it as a crucial piece of a puzzle.

The evidence points to bad actors targeting candidate Donald Trump and his associates in part to keep them — and us — from learning about and digging into an even bigger scandal: our Intelligence Community increasingly spying on its own citizens, journalists, members of Congress and political enemies for the better part of two decades, if not longer.

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , | 1 Comment

75,000 Russian expats spying in London? Their handlers’ workload must be a nightmare!

By Simon Rite | RT | November 7, 2018

The true scale of the workload facing Russia’s foreign intelligence agents has been revealed by a London based think tank, which estimates half of all Russian expats in the British capital are spies or informants.

I’m no mathematician, but that seems like a hell of lot of work to get through. In essence, the report from the right-wing Henry Jackson Society – never one to exaggerate scant evidence to justify its existence – suggests that anywhere up to 75,000 Russians are providing intelligence to around 500 spy runners. The paperwork must be a nightmare and the lunches on expenses a massive drain on the Russian budget.

The Henry Jackson Society has collected quotes from all the usual suspects (in this report they’re called Russia-watchers) added in some facts that appear to be dug up from a Google news search, and titled its report ‘Putin Sees and Hears It All’. It’s the perfect subject for this kind of think tank, because they can say almost anything they want.

Before I saw this report, I thought it was unacceptable to attempt to incite suspicion towards an entire community. I thought that a professional organization might look at an outlandish claim that 50 percent of an entire group of people are involved in espionage and conclude that the estimate seems a little top heavy and not include it. I thought when including an estimate that could potentially inflame an already tense situation, at least the sources would be on the record, not anonymous, and there would be more than 16 of them. Well, this report has taught me a lot.

I’ve actually noticed signs of outrage in London’s Russian expat community following this airtight, not at all speculative report. If 50 percent of them are spies, that means 50 percent of them aren’t, and that half want to know what’s wrong with them – why haven’t they been chosen?

There are also signs of relief though, because in my experience, expat Russians have already adapted to the fact that everyone thinks they’re spies anyway, so this report actually offers some kind of relief – at least now only 50 percent of them pose a risk to the local population. A new kind of Russian roulette.

This is the line which is causing most of the fuss: “Perhaps reflecting the level of paranoia within London’s Russian community, interviewees and interlocutors suggested that anywhere between a quarter and a half of Russian expats were, or have been, informants.”

That phrase “Interviewees and interlocutors suggested,” certainly sounds like a legit source of information to include in a report which seeks to target 50 percent of an entire community, doesn’t it?

Vladimir Ashurkov, the Russian expat quoted in the report just before this line, actually responded after publication by saying that actually he thought it was probably closer to 5 percent. The one Russian expat named in the report disputed the claim. Author Dr. Andrew Foxall said on Twitter that Ashurkov was not one of the “interviewees and interlocutors” who suggested that half of all Russian expats are informants, only the unnamed anonymous ones did that. Again, seems legit.

I have a wide circle of Russian friends, all of them so far have told me how ridiculous they think this report is, but then, they would wouldn’t they?! All I can do is applaud their training and try not to let any state secrets slip in front of them.

Is there any advice on how to spot these foreign agents? The report says some “will be Russian nationals living openly in Britain under their real identities, but with few (if any) links to Russia’s intelligence and security agencies (so-called ‘non-official cover’). Yet more still will travel to the UK on short operational visits, either under their own names or with false identities, using standard immigration routes.”

So to paraphrase, suspect all Russians, even the ones just on holiday with no links to Russia’s security agencies.

Some argue that inciting this kind of suspicion towards any other group of people would be dismissed as xenophobia, in fact some Russians have suggested that, but they’re probably just spies aren’t they?

The true value in this report can be seen in Andrew Foxall’s defence of his findings online, where he admits he’s played fast and loose with his figures. He estimated that there are 150,000 Russians in London because that’s what a Guardian article said in 2014.

Foxall admitted that more recent official statistics say it’s more like 70,000. Whoever is funding this think tank (check that out, you’ll be amazed who it is) is paying its analysts to copy and paste from newspapers.

I have decided to put together a little report of my own, using this think tank’s own methods. I’ve asked five Russians living in London whether they are informants, they’ve all said no, so I estimate that this report from the Henry Jackson Society is bulls***. Full findings will be released soon.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

US-British Threats Against Russia Have a Long History

By T.J. COLES and Matthew ALFORD | CounterPunch | November 6, 2018

In their new book Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don’t Tell You About British Foreign Policy (Até Books), doctors T.J. Coles and Matthew Alford debate the rationale of Anglo-American policy towards Russia.

Alford: There seems to be a consensus that we need a strong military because Russia is on the rise.  What do you think about that rationale?

Coles: There’s no consensus, except among European and American elites. Europe and America are not the world.

There are a lot of issues to consider with regards to Russia. Is it a threat? If so to whom? What kind of threat is Russia? So let’s consider these questions carefully. As far as the British establishment is concerned, Russia is an ideological threat because it is a major power with a substantial population. It’s also self-reliant where oil and gas is concerned, unlike Britain. So there’s lots of potential for Russian political ideology to undermine Britain’s status. In fact, there are European Council on Foreign Relations papers saying that Putin’s Russia presents an “ideological alternative” to the EU.[i] And that’s dangerous.

Britain, or more accurately its policymaking elites, have considered Russia a significant enemy for over a century. Under the Tsar, the so-called Great Game was a battle for strategic resources, trading routes, and so on. The historian Lawrence James calls this period the first Cold War, which went “hot” with the Crimean War (1853-56).[ii] Britain had a mixed relationship with the Tsars because, on the one hand, theirs’ were repressive regimes and Britain tended to favour repressive regimes, hence their brief alliance with Russia’s enemy, the Ottomans. On the other hand, Russia was a strategic threat to Britain’s imperial interests, and thus the Crimean War (1853-56).

When the Bolsheviks took over Russia, beginning 1917, the relationship became much less ambiguous – Russians, and especially Bolsheviks, were clearly the enemy. Their ideology posed a threat internally. So Winston Churchill, who began as a Liberal and became a Conservative, considered the Labour Party, which was formed in 1900, as basically a front for Bolsheviks.[iii] That shows the level of paranoia among elites. The Labour Party, at least at the beginning, was a genuine, working man’s political organisation – women couldn’t vote then, remember. So by associating this progressive, grassroots party representing the working classes as an ideological ally or even puppet of the brutal Bolshevik regime, the Tories had an excuse to undermine the power of organised, working people. So you had the Zinoviev letter in 1924, which we now know was a literal conspiracy between the secret services and elements of the Tory party to fabricate a link between Labour and Moscow. And it famously cost Labour the general election, since the right-wing, privately-owned media ran with the story as though it was real. It’s an early example of fake news.[iv]

That’s the ideological threat that Russia has posed, historically. But where there’s a threat, there’s an opportunity. The British elites exploited the “threat” then and as they do today by associating organised labour with evil Bolshevism and, in doing so, alienate the lower classes from their own political interests. Suddenly, we’ve all got to be scared of Russia, just like in 1917. And let’s not forget that Britain used chemical weapons – M-Devices, which induced vomiting – against the Bolsheviks. Chemical weapons were “the right medicine for the Bolshevist,” in Churchill’s words. This was in 1919, as part of the Allied invasion of Russia in support of the White Army. [v]

So if we’re talking about the historical balance of forces and cause and effect, Britain not Russia initiated the use of chemical weapons against others. But this history is typically inverted to say that Russia poses a threat to the West, hence all the talk about Novichok, the Skripals, and Dawn Sturgess, the civilian who supposedly came into contact with Novichok and died in hospital a few days later.

The next question: What sort of threat is Russia? According to the US Army War College, since the collapse of the Soviet Union and since pro-US, pro-“free market” President Boris Yeltsin resigned in 1999, Russia has pursued so-called economic nationalism. And the US doesn’t like this because markets suddenly get closed and taxes are raised against US corporations.[vi] That’s the real threat. But you can’t tell the public that: that we hate Russia because they aren’t doing what we say. If you look through the military documents, you can find almost nothing about security threats against the US in terms of Russian expansion, except in the sense that “security” means operational freedom. You can find references to Russia’s nuclear weapons, though, which are described as defensive, designed “to counter US forces and weapons systems.”[vii] Try finding that on the BBC. I should mention that even “defensive” nukes can be launched accidentally.

The real goal with regards to Russia is maintaining US economic hegemony and the culture of open “free markets” that goes with it, while at the same time being protectionist in real life. (US protectionism didn’t start under Trump, by the way.) Liberal media like the New York Times run sarcastic articles about Russian state oil and gas being a front for Putin and his cronies. And yes, that may be true. But what threat is Russia to the US if it has a corrupt government? The threat is closing its markets to the US. The US is committed to what its military calls Full Spectrum Dominance. So the world needs to be run in a US-led neoliberal order, in the words of the US military, “to protect US interests and investment.”[viii] But this cannot be done if you have “economic nationalism,” like China had until the “reforms” of the ‘70s and ‘80s, and still has today to some extent. Russia and China aren’t military threats. The global population on the whole knows this, even though the domestic US and British media say the opposite.

Alford: What about military threats? 

Coles: The best sources you can get are the US military records. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The military plans for war and defence. They have contingencies for when political situations change. So they know what they’re talking about. There’s a massive divide between reality, as understood from the military records, and media and political rhetoric. Assessments by the US Army War College, for instance, said years ago that any moves by NATO to support a Western-backed government in Ukraine would provoke Russia into annexing Crimea. They don’t talk about Russia spontaneously invading Ukraine and annexing it, which is the image we get from the media. The documents talk about Russia reacting to NATO provocation.[ix]

If you look at a map, you see Russia surrounded by hostile NATO forces. The media don’t discuss this dangerous and provocative situation, except the occasional mention of, say, US-British-Polish war-gaming on the border with Russia. When they do mention it, they say it’s for “containment,” the containment of Russia. But to contain something, the given thing has to be expanding. But the US military – like the annual threat assessments to Congress – say that Russia’s not expanding, except when provoked. So at the moment as part of its NATO mission, the UK is training Polish and Ukrainian armed forces, has deployed troops in Poland and Estonia, and is conducting military exercises with them.[x]

Imagine if Scotland ceded from the UK and the Russians were on our border conducting military exercises, supposedly to deter a British invasion of Scotland. That’s what we’re doing in Ukraine. Britain’s moves are extremely dangerous. In the 1980s, the UK as part of NATO conducted the exercise, Operation Able Archer, which envisaged troop build-ups between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries. Now-declassified records show that the Russians briefly mistook this exercise for a real-world scenario. That could have escalated into nuclear war. This is very serious.[xi]

But the biggest player is the USA. It’s using the threat of force and a global architecture of hi-tech militarism to shape a neoliberal order. Britain is slavishly following its lead. I doubt that Britain would position forces near Russia were it not for the USA. Successive US administrations have or are building a missile system in Europe and Turkey. They say it’s to deter Iran from firing Scud missiles at Europe. But it’s pointed at Russia. It’s a radar system based in Romania and Turkey, with a battery of Patriot missiles based in Poland. The stationing of missiles there provoked Russia into moving its mobile nuclear weapons up to the border in its Kaliningrad exclave, as it warned it would do in 2008.[xii] Try to find any coverage of that in the media, except for a few articles in the print media here or there. If Western media were interested in survival, there would be regular headlines: “NATO provoking Russia.”

But the situation in Ukraine is really the tipping point. Consider the equivalent. Imagine if Russia was conducting military exercises with Canada or Mexico, and building bases there. How would the US react? It would be considered an extreme threat, a violation of the UN Charter, which prohibits threats against sovereign states.

AlfordSo we’ve extended NATO to pretty much the Russian border? But there’s a hard border there. Everyone knows we’re never going to attack Russia, both for reasons of morality and self-preservation. So maybe this situation is safer than you imply.

Coles: There’s no morality involved. States are abstract, amorphous entities comprised of dominant minorities and subjugated majorities who are conditioned to believe that they are relatively free and prosperous. The elites of those states act both in their self-interests – career, peer-pressure, kickbacks, and so on – and in the interests of their class, which is of course tied to international relations because their class thrives on profiting from resource exploitation. So you can’t talk about morality in this context. Only individuals can behave morally. The state is made up of individuals, of course, but they’re acting against the interests of the majority. As we speak, they are acting immorally– or at least amorally – but creating the geopolitical conditions that imperil each and every one of us.

As for invasion, we’re not going to invade Russia. This isn’t 1918. Russia has nuclear weapons and can deter an invasion. But that’s not the point. Do we want to de-escalate an already tense geopolitical situation or make it worse to the point where an accident happens? So while it’s not about invading Russia directly, the issue is about attacking what are called Russia’s “national interests.” Russia’s “national interests” are the same as the elites’ of the UK. National interest doesn’t mean the interests of the public. It means the interests of the policy-making establishment and the corporations. For example, the Theresa May government sacrificed its own credibility to ensure that its Brexit White Paper (2018) appeased both the interests of the food and manufacturing industries that want a soft Brexit – easy trade with the EU – and the financial services sector which wants a hard Brexit – freedom from EU regulation. Everyone else be damned. That’s the “national interest.”

So for its real “national interest,” Russia wants to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence because its oil and gas to Europe pass through Ukraine. About 80% of Russia’s export economy is in the oil and gas sector. It’s already had serious political tensions with Ukraine, which on several occasions hasn’t paid its energy bills, so Russia has cut supplies. If Europe can bump Ukraine into its own sphere of influence it has more leverage over Russia. This is practically admitted in Parliamentary discussions by Foreign Office ministers, and so forth.[xiii] Again, omitted by the media. Also, remember that plenty of ethnic Russians live in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Russia has a naval base in Crimea. That’s not to excuse its illegal action in annexing Ukraine, it’s to highlight the realpolitik missing in the media’s coverage of the situation.

T. J. Coles is a postdoctoral researcher at Plymouth University’s Cognition Institute and the author of several books.

Matthew Alford teaches at Bath University in the UK and has also written several books. Their latest is Union Jackboot (Até Books).

SOURCES

[i] Mark Leonard and Nicu Popescu (2007) ‘A Power Audit of EU-Russia Relations’ European Council on Foreign Relations, Policy Paper, p. 1.

[ii] ‘Anglo-Russian relations were severely strained; what was in effect a cold war lasted from the late 1820s to the beginning of the next century’. The Crimean War seems to have set a precedent for today. James writes:

[It] was an imperial war, the only one fought by Britain against a European power during the nineteenth century, although some would have regarded Russia as essentially an Asiatic power. No territory was at stake; the war was undertaken solely to guarantee British naval supremacy in the Mediterranean and, indirectly, to forestall any threat to India which might have followed Russia replacing Britain as the dominant power in the Middle East.

Lawrence James (1997) The Rise and Fall of the British Empire London: Abacus, pp. 180-82.

[iii] Churchill said in 1920:

All these strikes and rumours of strikes and threats of strikes and loss and suffering caused by them; all this talk of revolution and “direct action” have deeply offended most of the British people. There is a growing feeling that a considerable section of organized Labour is trying to tyrannize over the whole public and to bully them into submission, not by argument, not by recognized political measures, but by brute force …

But if we can do little for Russia [under the Bolsheviks], we can do much for Britain. We do not want any of these experiments here …

Whether it is the Irish murder gang or the Egyptian vengeance society, or the seditious extremists in India, or the arch-traitors we have at home, they will feel the weight of the British arm.

Winston Churchill (1920) Bolshevism and Imperial Sedition. Speech to United Wards Club. London: The International Churchill Society.

[iv] The fake letter says:

A settlement of relations between the two countries [UK and Russia] will assist in the revolutionising of the international and British proletariat, … [and] make it possible for us to extend and develop the propaganda and ideas of Leninism in England and the colonies.

It also says that ‘British workmen’ have ‘inclinations to compromise’ and that rapprochement will eventually lead to domestic ‘[a]rmed warfare’. It was leaked by the services to the Conservative party and then to the media. Richard Norton-Taylor (1999) ‘Zinoviev letter was dirty trick by MI6’ Guardian and Louise Jury (1999) ‘Official Zinoviev letter was forged’ Independent. For media coverage at the time, see James Curran and Jean Seaton (1997) Power without ResponsibilityLondon: Routledge, p. 52.

[v] Paul F. Walker (2017) ‘A Century of Chemical Warfare: Building a World Free of Chemical Weapons’ Conference: One Hundred Years of Chemical Warfare: Research, Deployment, Consequences pp. 379-400 and Giles Milton (2013) Russian Roulette: A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin’s Global Plot London: Hodder, eBook.

[vi] ‘The Russian Federation has shown repeatedly that common values play almost no role in its consideration of its trading partners’, meaning the US and EU. ‘It often builds relationships with countries that most openly thwart Western values of free markets and democracy’, notably Iran and Venezuela. ‘In this regard, the Russian Federation behaves like “Russia Incorporated.” It uses its re-nationalized industries to further its wealth and influence, the latter often at the expense of the EU and the U.S.’. Colonel Richard J. Anderson (2008) ‘A History of President Putin’s Campaign to Re-Nationalize Industry and the Implications for Russian Reform and Foreign Policy’ Senior Service College, US Army War College, Pennsylvania: Carlisle Barracks, p. 52.

[vii] Daniel R. Coats (2017) Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence CommunitySenate Select Committee on Intelligence, Washington, DC: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, pp. 18-19.

[viii] US Space Command (1997) Vision for 2020 Colorado: Peterson Air Force Base.

[ix]The document also says: ‘a replay of the West-sponsored coup against pro-Russian elites could result in a split, or indeed multiple splits, of the failed Ukraine, which would open a door for NATO intervention’.Pavel K. Baev (2011) ‘Russia’s security relations with the United States: Futures planned and unplanned’ in Stephen J. Blank (ed.) Russian Nuclear Weapons: Past, Present, and Future Strategic Studies Institute Pennsylvania: Carlisle Barracks, p. 170.

[x] Forces Network (2016) ‘British troops to deploy to Poland’.

[xi] For example, Nate Jones, Thomas Blanton and Christian F. Ostermann (2016) ‘Able Archer 83: The Secret History’ Nuclear Proliferation International History Project Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

[xii] It was reported in the ultra-right, neo-con press at the time that:

[Russian] President Dmitri Medvedev announced in his first state-of-the-nation address plans to deploy the short-range SS-26 (“Iskander”) missiles in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad if the U.S. goes ahead with its European Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Medvedev told parliament that the deployment would “neutralize” U.S. plans for a missile defense shield based in Poland and the Czech Republic [now in Romania), which the U.S. claims as vital in defending against missile attacks from ‘rogue states’ such as Iran.

Neil Leslie (2008) ‘The Kaliningrad Missile Crisis’ The New Atlanticist, available at atlanticcouncil.org.

[xiii] For example, a Parliamentary inquiry into British-Russian relations says of the newly-imposed US-British ally in Ukraine:

President Poroshenko’s Government is more openly committed to economic reform and anti-corruption than any previous Ukrainian Administration. The reform agenda has made considerable progress and has enjoyed some successes including police reform, liberalisation of the energy market and the launch of an online platform for government procurement …

The annexation of Crimea also resulted in a ban on importing products from Crimea, on investing in or providing services linked to tourism and on exporting certain goods for use in the transport, telecoms and energy sectors.

House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (2017) The United Kingdom’s relations with Russia Seventh report of session 2016-17, HC 120 London: Stationary Office, pp. 28, 31.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Trudeau’s Warm Welcome To The “White Helmets” Is Highly Hypocritical

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 07/11/2018

Canada has accepted over 100 so-called “White Helmets” from Syria.

Popularly described as “neutral civilian volunteers” and “humanitarian rescuers”, this organization was proven by investigative journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett to be linked to terrorist groups, which makes Canada’s rolling out of the red carpet for them especially controversial considering its recent tiff with Saudi Arabia over the Kingdom’s alleged violation of human rights. What’s clearly happening here is that Canada evidently has a hierarchy of human rights violators, albeit one that’s only selectively enforced when it politically suits the country to do so. Prime Minister Trudeau is a Liberal-Globalist who tries to embrace this ideology’s zeitgeist at any given moment as opposed to ever taking an independent decision, so in hindsight he can be said to have acted against the Saudis because he felt like it was the “popular” thing to do while he welcomed the “White Helmets” for the very same reason.

There’s more to it though than just blatant hypocrisy if one takes the time to analyze his country’s decision. The “White Helmets” are part of a global Hybrid War network that was put to devastatingly effective use in the War on Syria before being exposed by the aforementioned independent journalists, and Canada may have been obliged by its NATO allies to do its part in supporting this group upon its recent Israeli-assisted evacuation from the Arab Republic. Canada’s very lenient immigration regime that practically amounts to a policy of “open borders” made the country an ideal destination for these terrorist-linked forces to flee to, where the government could always try to justify its decision under any future pressure on the grounds of guilting the populace into accepting what the Mainstream Media portrays as “innocent victims of the Assad regime”, even though that’s clearly not what they are.

What’s important to keep in mind is that the growing global awareness of the “White Helmets;” true activities in Syria might eventually cause some Canadians to doubt the wisdom of their Prime Minister in letting these very controversial individuals into the country. There’s already a visible trend sweeping the world of conservative movements toppling liberal governments or at the very least hamstringing them like what recently happened in Germany, so it wouldn’t be all too unexpected if this helps fuel the flames of a similar movement in Canada that could chip away at Trudeau’s support. There’s still another year to go before Canadians head to the polls to decide whether he stays on as Prime Minister or is replaced by what could be a conservative politician, so it remains to be seen whether his warm welcome to the “White Helmets” figures into that upcoming campaign or not.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Mixed Bag Midterms: Democrats Take House by Slim Margin, Republicans Increase Lead in Senate

21WIRE | November 7, 2018

Undoubtedly, 2018 saw one of the most hotly contested Midterm contests in living memory. As the final returns trickled in this morning, it seems that ‘check and balances’ have returned to Washington, sort of.

The results are now in. As many pollsters had predicted, the Democratic Party succeeded in flipping the House, regaining control after eight years on the outer rim. In the upper chamber, the Republicans were able to expand their Senate majority lead. What will it mean going forward?

After sifting through the remains of this heated Midterm battle, here are the key domestic takeaway points thus far:

♦ Democratic win in the House dealt a major blow to President Trump’s legislative agenda going forward, although their majority is very thin with less than a 30 seat advantage – meaning they will still struggle to pass measures on even a basic majority. In a nutshell: expect lots of gridlock.

♦ The Republican result in the Senate means that Trump will have a clearer path to confirming any political and Cabinet appointees, as well as any Supreme Court Justices, should any more vacant seats become available during the remainder of the current term.

For months the Democrats were hyping a “blue tsunami” which was downgraded to a ripple, largely in thanks to Trump himself. Nearly all of the seats which president Trump stumped for on his nationwide whistle-stop tour went red, while nearly all GOP runners who opposed Trump ended up losing their bids – indicating a marked increase in the Trump factor. This result will be duly noted looking forward into the 2020 GOP races. This also bodes well for Trump erecting a full GOP tent in his reelection bid.

The Democrats lost in their marquee Senate effort, a race which attracted more national attention than any other race, between GOP incumbent Ted Cruz and his bilingual skateboarding challenger, Beto O’Rourke. Cruz’s narrow victory did little to abate the shock realization that Texas, a perennial lock for Republicans, is how split evenly right down the middle.

Also, the ‘curse of Kavanaugh’ appeared to be in play as Missouri’s Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill lost to Republican Josh Hawley in that key race. Last month, McCaskill had voted against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

If legacy figure Nancy Pelosi is elected as Democrat Speaker of the House, then expect Democrats to push for impeachment proceeding against President Trump. Whether that effort will prevail or not depends on how many Rhino Republicans they can recruit into the anti-Trump ranks. It remains to be seen how the Rhino factor will look in a year, but expect newly elected Mitt Romney to assume the crown of John McCain in leading the Never Trump vanguard as well as pushing for weapons and war around the globe.

One thing is certain: if gaff-prone Pelosi reigns again, it will provide the GOP with endless soundbites from which to lambast Democrats in their 2020 election adverts.

Get ready for a tumultuous two years in US domestic politics.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment