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Rising Crimea tensions mar Trump-Putin meeting

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | November 26, 2018

The ‘frozen conflict’ in Ukraine has suddenly become active on Sunday with an encounter involving the naval vessels of Ukraine and Russia at Kerch Strait in Crimea, the entry point of the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea. The Russians have detained three Ukrainian ships that tried to enter the Sea of Azov (where Ukraine has two ports). Russian boats fired on the vessels for allegedly disregarding warnings and violating Russian territory. Three Ukrainian personnel received injuries.

The Sea of Azov was steadily becoming the focal point of tensions between Ukraine and Russia with Kiev asserting its right of navigation (under a 2003 treaty with Russia) and Moscow insisting on its sovereign prerogative to control the narrow Kerch Strait.

Of course, the tensions basically have their origin in Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Ukraine calls the annexation illegal. Moscow estimates that western powers are egging on Ukraine to strengthen its naval presence in the Sea of Azov, which would of course have serious security implications for Crimea.

To compound matters, Russia has lately built a 19-km bridge connecting Crimea with the Russian hinterland. Russia suspects that there could be covert operations to damage the Kerch Bridge, which provides the vital communication link to Crimea.

From available details, Ukraine precipitated the incident on Sunday. Now, why would it have made such a move? One interpretation could be that it is all related to Ukrainian politics. Ukraine is heading for presidential and parliamentary elections in March next year. The incumbent pro-US president Petro Poroshenko is keen on securing another term. But he is terribly unpopular and his rating stands at 8% currently. He is unlikely to get a fresh mandate.

Interestingly, Poroshenko has seized Sunday’s incident in Kerch Strait to declare martial law. The martial law regulations give the government the power to curb public demonstrations, regulate the media and suspend the upcoming elections. The probability is high that Poroshenko is moving in the direction of canceling the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. And, arguably, the West would also like its s.o.b in power in Kiev at any cost.

But then, Ukraine situation is also at the very core of the tensions between Russia and the Western powers. It is all but certain that Poroshenko pushed the envelope only with some degree of quiet encouragement from certain Western power centres that may want to poke the Russian bear to see what its reaction could be.

What complicates matters is that the anti-Russian constituency in Europe and NATO on the one hand and the ‘Deep State’ in the US on the other (especially the Pentagon) are kindred souls in opposing President Trump’s agenda to improve relations with Russia. Significantly, the incident in Kerch Strait comes just before the planned meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin in Argentina in the weekend.

The Kremlin has signaled that the forthcoming meeting in Argentina is on course. But the anti-Russian transatlantic caucus will try to undermine the meeting, if not get it derailed altogether. Their fear is that Trump is more assertive today (after the US midterm elections) than ever before in his presidency and might simply brush aside opposition to his agenda to improve relations with Russia.

To be sure, the Western camp which rejects Trump’s approach to Russia has lost no time to condemn Moscow for Sunday’s incident in Kerch Strait. The European Union, NATO and France have taken a strident position demanding that Russia should forthwith release the Ukrainian ships and the detained personnel. Moscow, in turn, has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, Sputnik reported that a Crete-based US spy plane entered the Black Sea area on Monday morning.

Of course, an open western military intervention can be ruled out. But the danger lies in the Ukrainian hardliners drawing encouragement from the Western support to stage more provocations against Russia that might lead to a conflict. A flare-up in Donbass between the Ukrainian army and the separatists (backed by Russia) also cannot be ruled out. Any such renewed tensions over Ukraine will help the Cold Warriors to demonize Russia as a revanchist power threatening European security. That, in turn, can provide the alibi for stepping up NATO’s backing for Ukraine and even to impose more sanctions against Russia.

In these circumstances, the upcoming meeting in Argentina between Trump and Putin is unlikely to be productive. Curiously, the transatlantic rift – over climate change, Iran, NATO budget, immigration, trade balance, etc. – has acquired a new dimension with Europe aligning with Trump’s adversaries in the US in a joint enterprise to thwart his best-laid plans to do business with Russia.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

Beware the Trumpenleft!

By C.J. Hopkins | Consent Factory | November 26, 2018

Unless you move in certain leftist circles, you may not have heard about one of the Russians’ most insidiously evil active measures, an active measure so insidiously evil that it could only have been dreamed up in Moscow, the current wellspring of insidious evil. Its official Russo-Nazi-sounding code name is still being decided on by leftist cryptographers, but most people know it as the “Trumpenleft.”

The Trumpenleft (or “Sputnik Left,” as it is also called by professional anti-Putin-Nazi intelligence analysts) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is a gang of nefarious Putin-Nazi infiltrators posing as respectable leftists in order to disseminate Trumpian ideology and Putin-Nazi propaganda among an assortment of online leftist magazines that hardly anyone ever actually reads. The aim of these insidious Trumpenleft infiltrators is to sow confusion, chaos, and discord among actual, real, authentic leftists who are going about the serious business of calling Donald Trump a fascist on the Internet twenty-five times a day, verbally abusing Julian Assange, occasionally pulling down oppressive statues, and sharing videos of racist idiots acting like racist idiots in public.

The Trumpenleft is determined to sabotage (or momentarily disrupt) this revolutionary work, mostly by tricking these actual leftists into critically thinking about a host of issues that there is no good reason to critically think about … global capitalism, national sovereignty, immigration, identity politics, corporate censorship, and other issues that there is no conceivable reason to discuss, or debate, or even casually mention, unless you’re some kind of Russia-loving Nazi.

Angela Nagle’s recent piece in American Affairs is a perfect example. Nagle (who is certainly Trumpenleft) puts forth the fascistic proposition that mass migration won’t help the world’s poor, and she claims that it creates “a race to the bottom for workers” in wealthier, developed countries and “a brain drain” in poorer, less developed countries. After deploying a variety of Trumpenleft sophistry (i.e., fact-based analysis, logic, and so on), she goes so far as to openly suggest that “progressives should focus on addressing the systemic exploitation at the root of mass migration rather than retreating to a shallow moralism” … a shallow moralism that reifies the dominant neoliberal ideology that is causing mass migration in the first place.

This is the type of gobbledegook the Trumpenleft use to try to dupe real leftists into putting down their phones for a minute and actually thinking through political issues! Fortunately, no one is falling for it. As any bona fide leftist knows, there is no “mass migration problem.” The whole thing is simply a racist hoax concocted by Putin, Alex Jones, and other Trumpian disinformationists. The only thing real leftists need to know about immigration is that immigrants are good, and Trump, and walls, and borders are bad! All that other fancy gibberish about global capitalism, Milton Friedman, labor markets, and national sovereignty is nothing but fascist propaganda (which needs to be censored, or at least deplatformed, or demonetized, or otherwise suppressed).

But Angela Nagle is just one example. The Trumpenleft is legion, and growing. Its membership includes a handful of prominent (and rather less prominent) fake leftist figures: Glenn Greenwald, who many among the “Resistance” would like to see renditioned and indefinitely detained in some offshore Trumpenleft gulag somewhere; Matt Taibbi, who just published a treasonous article challenging the right of the US government to prosecute publishers as “enemy agents” for publishing material they don’t want published; Julian Assange, who is one such publisher, and who the US has scheduled for public crucifixion just as soon as they can get their hands on him; Aaron Maté of the Real News Network, a notorious Trump-Russia “collusion denialist“; Caitlin Johnstone, an Australian blogger and poet who the Red-Brown Putin-Nazi hunters at CounterPunch have become totally obsessed with; Diana Johnstone, who they also don’t like; and (full disclosure) your humble narrator.

Now, normally, the opinions of some political journalists and rather marginal political writers wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, but there’s a war on, so there’s no room for neutrality. As I mentioned in my latest essay, over the course of the next two years, the global capitalist ruling classes need to make an example of Trump, and Assange, and anyone else who has had the gall to fuck with their global empire. Part of how they are going to do this is to further polarize the already extremely polarized ideological spectrum until everyone is forced onto one or the other side of a pro- or anti-Trump equation, or a pro- or anti-populist equation … or a pro- or anti-fascist equation.

As you probably noticed, The Guardian has just launched a special six-week “investigative series” exploring the whole “new populism” phenomenon (which began with a lot of scary photos of Steve Bannon next to the word “populism”). We are going to be hearing a lot about “populism” over the course of the next two years. We are going to be hearing how “populism” is actually not that different from fascism, or at the very least is inherently racist, and anti-Semitic, and xenophobic, and how, basically, anyone who criticizes neoliberal elites or the corporate media is Russia-loving, pro-Trump Nazi.

And this is where this “Trumpenleft” malarkey fits into the ruling classes’ broader campaign to eliminate any kind of critical thinking and force people to mindlessly root for their “team.” See, the problem with us “Trumpenleft” types is not that we support Donald Trump. For the record, none of us really do. Some of us think he is a dangerous demagogue. Others of us think he is a blithering idiot. None of us think he’s Fidel Castro, or that he cares one iota about the working classes, or about anyone other than Donald Trump.

No, the problem is not that we’re on the wrong team; the problem is that we are asking people to question the propaganda of the team that we’re supposed to be on, or at least to be rooting for. We are asking people to pay attention to how the global capitalist ruling establishment is going about quashing this “populist” insurgency (of which Brexit and Trump are manifestations, not causes) so they can get back to the business of relentlessly restructuring, privatizing, and debt-enslaving everything, as they’ve been doing since the end of the Cold War. We’re asking folks, not to join “the other team,” but to pay close attention to how they are being manipulated into believing that there are only two “teams,” and that they have to join one, and then mindlessly parrot whatever nonsense their team decides they need to disseminate in order to win a game that is merely a simulation they have conjured up (i.e., the ruling classes have conjured up) in order to inoculate themselves against an actual conflict they cannot win and so must prevent at all costs from ever beginning … which, they are doing a pretty good job of that so far.

In other words, the problem with us Trumpenlefters is, the prospect of defeating a fake Russian Hitler, and restoring neoliberal normality in the USA and the rest of the West, is just not all that terribly inspiring. So, rather than regurgitating the Russia hysteria and the fascism hysteria that is being produced by the global capitalist ruling establishment to gin up support for their counterinsurgency, we are continuing to focus on the capitalist ruling classes, which are actually still running things, globally, and will be running things long after Trump is gone (and the Imminent Threat of Global Fascist Takeover of Everything has disappeared, as the Imminent Threat of Nookular Terrorist Backpack Attack disappeared before it).

Or maybe all that is just a ruse, an attempt on my part to dupe you into going out and buying a MAGA hat and shouting racist abuse at Honduran kids, assuming you can find some in your vicinity. You never know with us Trumpenleft types. Probably the safest thing to do to protect yourself from our insidious treachery is to start your own personal Trumpenleft blacklist, and spread lies about us all over the Internet, or just report us to Twitter, or Facebook, or somebody, whoever you feel are the proper authorities. The main thing is to shut us up, or prophylactically delegitimize us, to keep us from infecting other leftists with our filthy, nonconformist ideas. The last thing we need at a time like this is a bunch of leftists thinking for themselves and questioning official leftist dogma. Who knows what that kind of behavior might lead to?

N.B. As far as I could gather from my research, the “Trumpenleft” label was coined by Paul Street, a regular columnist at Truthdig and CounterPunch and all-around professional leftist. Like the editors of The New York Times, Street understands the importance of sloppily Germanicizing terms you want to frighten people with, because there’s nothing quite as terrifying as Nazi morphology!

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | | 3 Comments

Manama Invites Israeli Economy Minister to Visit Bahrain

Al-Manar | November 26, 2018

The Israeli Minister of Economy, Eli Cohen received an official invitation to visit Bahrain in mid-April next year, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation (Makan) reported Sunday evening.

Cohen will participate in the Startup Nations Ministerial conference, an international high-tech conference organized by the World Bank.

Makan said the 3-day conference will discuss ways to promote economic growth with the participation of decision makers, entrepreneurs and investors from 170 countries.

Last week, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Netanyahu will visit the Kingdom of Bahrain after having recently visited Oman.

Netanyahu and his wife Sarah visited in late October Oman and met Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Netanyahu said at the time that relations between Tel Aviv and a number of Arab countries are growing.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli military commander calls for Hezbollah leader’s assassination

Press TV – November 26, 2018

Commander of the Israeli military’s 300th Infantry Brigade has called on the Tel Aviv regime to resort to the policy of “targeted killings,” arguing that the assassination of the Secretary General of Hezbollah will deal a fatal blow to the Lebanese resistance movement.

Colonel Roy Levy, in an article published in the Hebrew-language Ma’arakhot magazine, which is affiliated to the Israeli army, wrote that “targeted killings” must be carried out, and that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah should be killed by commando forces backed by the air force, the Hebrew-language Walla news website reported.

“His personality and military experience have turned him into a center of gravity. All of his organization – from senior commanders to the low-ranking soldiers – and thus the fighting spirit of the enemy will be harmed once he is targeted,” Levy wrote.

He then recommended Israeli military operations deep inside Lebanon, asserting that the offensives would yield many benefits despite the risks associated with them.

The Israeli military commander also called for “a proper positioning of combat commando units with the aim of subjugating the enemy.”

“Should we make a similar decision and kill the leaders of enemy organizations, for example, Nasrallah? The answer is not easy.

“But the idea of ​​harming the enemy’s fighting spirit by damaging its property must be examined. We must adopt a policy not anchored in force, but in ruse instead. The deep activity of commandos in a way that surprises the enemy and strikes its equipment will be an important means of damaging its fighting morale, and will lead to its defeat,” Levy commented.

On November 28, 2017, the Israeli military’s chief spokesman said Nasrallah would be a target for assassination in any war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Ronen Manelis added that the Israeli military is conducting psychological and media warfare against Hezbollah.

“One of the things we talk about is the transition from traditional media consumption to social media,” Manelis said, adding, “We are also active in this theater, and it is an operational theater in every respect. Just in the past few weeks, we’ve taken a great many actions that caused consternation on the other side.”

“There won’t be a clear victory picture in the next war, though it’s clear that Nasrallah is a target,” he added.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

After Giving $15 Million To Soros Orgs, USAID Fires Half Of Its West Bank Staff

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 11/25/2018

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that half of its West Bank and Gaza employees will be let go over the next few weeks, and that operations will completely cease by early 2019, according to Haaretz.

The humanitarian agency has been a longstanding presence in the region for nearly 25 years.

The Trump State Department notified USAID last week that they would need to present a list of 60 percent of its employees to be dismissed immediately – with a full shutdown to ensue shortly thereafter.

The U.S. federal government agency handles civilian assistance to various countries around the world. The USAID chapter in the West Bank and Gaza began operating in 1994, focusing mainly on economic issues including water, infrastructure, education and health. USAID has invested about $5.5 billion in the West Bank and Gaza in the construction of roads, schools, clinics and community centers. – Haaretz

The shutdown is thought to be linked to President Trump’s funding freeze for various Palestinian relief organizations, as dozens of USAID projects in the West Bank and Gaza were suspended – even those which were partially completed.

In the current budgetary year, the United States was projected to have transferred a total of $250 million in aid to various Palestinian organizations. $35 million of which was supposed to be allocated to the Palestinian Authority security forces and $215 million to economic development, humanitarian assistance and coexistence projects, some through USAID. Last August, the United States announced that the money would be diverted to matters were deemed higher priority to U.S. interests. – Haaretz

Meanwhile, approximately 180 employees operating out of the US Embassy in Israel have yet to receive budgeting for their 2018 and 2019 operations – while leftover funds have been diverted from projects to paying salaries and maintaining the organization. US Ambassador David Friedman has given USAID the cold shoulder over the past few months, according to Haaretz, citing officials involved in the matter, adding that Friedman has not held meetings with USAID officials on various projects.

In March, Fox News reported that USAID gave nearly $15 million to George Soros’ Open Society Foundation over Obama’s last four years in office alone, which conducts extensive work in the West Bank / Palestine region – however the funding was primarily for Soros operations in Albania and Macedonia.

According to the USAID website, the agency gave over $18 million to an Open Society Institute (OSI) program from 2005 – 2012 operating in the West Bank, which sought to place prospective Palestinian PhD students in United States partner universities with waived or reduced tuition.

These types of programs are coming to an end, however, at least at the US Taxpayer’s expense.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Amid warming ties with Chad, Israel eyes normal ties with Sudan, other Africa states: Report

Press TV – November 26, 2018

Amid warming relations with Chad, Israel is reportedly working to normalize relations with Sudan and other African states as the regime steps up its push to strengthen its foothold in the continent.

A senior Israeli official told Channel 10 TV channel that a visit on Sunday by Chadian President Idriss Deby to the occupied territories was laying the groundwork for normal ties between Tel Aviv and the Muslim-majority African states of Sudan, Mali and Niger.

The unnamed official also noted that Israel was seeking to shorten flight times from the occupied territories to Latin America through normalizing relations with African countries.

Deby became the first Chadian leader to visit Israel on Sunday, 46 years after the two sides severed ties.

After meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Chadian president pledged a new era of cooperation with “the prospect of reestablishing diplomatic relations.”

Israeli media cited sources in N’Djamena as saying that Deby’s visit was focused on “security,” and that the regime in Tel Aviv had already been supplying weapons and other military equipment to Chad.

Netanyahu, however, declined to comment on potential Israeli weapons sales to Chad.

During his visit, Deby said the future resumption of ties with Israel “does not make us ignore the Palestinian issue.”

The Palestinians, however, protested Deby’s trip to Israel.

Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, voiced displeasure over the visit.

“All countries and institutions must boycott the extremist government of Israel and impose a siege on it because of its settlement activities, its occupation of Palestinian land,” Youssef was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Over the past two years, Netanyahu has traveled to several African states in a bid to end decades of hostility against the occupying entity and convince them to stop voting against the Israeli regime at the United Nations in favor of Palestinians.

According to Channel 10, Israeli is now in talks with Sudan in a bid to improve relations with the African state.

The Israeli push comes almost two years after Sudan joined Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in cutting relations with Iran.

At that time, Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Tel Aviv had urged the US and other countries to improve their relationship with Sudan in response.

In a 2016, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said Khartoum was open to the idea of normalizing ties with Israel in exchange for lifting US sanctions.

Israel is also said to be seeking to take advantage of the insurgency and Takfiri militancy gripping parts of Africa to sell advanced military equipment to conflict-ridden states in the continent.

Israel in contact with Persian Gulf Arab states

Meanwhile, reports have emerged recently of Israel’s attempts to make its secret ties with Persian Gulf Arab governments public and establish formal relations with them.

On Sunday, Israeli news sites reported that Tel Aviv is working to normalize ties with Bahrain, hours after Netanyahu hinted he would soon travel to unspecified Arab states.

Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said on Monday he had been invited to attend a conference next year in Bahrain.

Netanyahu met with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos in Muscat last month, but the controversial visit was kept secret until after the Israeli premier returned to the occupied territories.

The visit to Muscat was the first by an Israeli prime minister since 1996.

On Sunday, Israel’s Hadashot television news reported that Netanyahu had secured reassurances from Oman that airlines flying to and from the occupied territories would be permitted to fly over the kingdom’s airspace.

Activists with a pro-Palestine boycott campaign against Israel said Monday that the meeting between Sultan Qaboos and Netanyahu may have breached a long-dormant Israeli boycott law.

“Since 1977, official records stopped mentioning the Law of Boycotting Israel, neither denying it nor confirming it,” an Omani activist with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement told the Middle East Eye news portal.

“This happened when the country took a neutral policy in foreign affairs, including accepting normalizing ties with the Zionist entity,” the activist added.

Another activist said several prominent activists had been arrested shortly before the Israeli prime minister’s visit to Muscat for pro-Palestinian posts on social media, adding, however, that they were freed after disassociating themselves from BDS Oman.

“There is no clear legal path of how to implement the law. But even discussing this topic is a risky business, because there is no political free speech,” he said.

The activist also noted that BDS Oman had sent its “sincerest apologies” to the Palestinian people after a visit by “criminal” Netanyahu.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Post Hypocrisy on Khashoggi and Kennedy

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | November 26, 2018

Ever since Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, the Post has pressed hard to show that the murder was a state-sponsored assassination orchestrated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

If only the Post had shown the same diligence, determination, and perseverance in the assassination of President Kennedy that it is displaying in the Khashoggi assassination. Instead, like many other U.S. mainstream newspapers, the Post has long taken the same position on the Kennedy assassination that President Trump is taking with respect to the Khashoggi assassination: obtuse denial.

This was especially true during the tenure of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s. You couldn’t find a better example of journalistic indifference than what happened during that period of time. The following are just two examples of this phenomenon.

First, though, the background:

In 1991 Oliver Stone came out with his movie JFK, which posited that the assassination of President Kennedy was actually a highly sophisticated regime-change operation at the hands of the U.S. national security establishment, i.e., the military and the CIA.

The mainstream press went after Stone with a vengeance. Although they didn’t dispute the fact that the U.S. national-security establishment carried out assassinations and regime-change operations against foreign leaders, they were indignant and outraged over the suggestion that such an operation would be carried out against a U.S. president.

At the end of Stone’s movie was a blub informing people that despite the passage of almost 30 years since the assassination, the national-security agencies were steadfastly continuing to keep their records relating to the Kennedy assassination secret from the American people, most of whom had never accepted the official lone-nut theory of the assassination.

That blurb produced such outrage among the public that Congress was pressured into enacting the JFK Records Act, which mandated that the national-security agencies disclose their long-secret records to the public.

But there was a major oddity about the law: While the ARRB was charged with enforcing the JFK Records Act, the law also prohibited it from investigating any aspect of the assassination. That is a very bizarre provision. If newly discovered evidence is discovered that incriminates the national-security establishment, why wouldn’t Congress want it investigated?

Did the Post write any editorials questioning that particular provision? Nope. Unlike the Khashoggi assassination, about which the Post has published multiple editorials and op-eds, the Post didn’t see fit to issue even a mild criticism of that no-investigation provision.

Did the ARRB come up with evidence that incriminated the national-security establishment? You bet it did. The following are just a few examples.

  1. The two brain examinations

The military pathologists who conducted the autopsy on President Kennedy’s body claimed that there was only one examination of President Kennedy’s brain as part of the autopsy. The general counsel for the ARRB, an attorney named Jeremy Gunn, and an ARRB staff member named Douglas Horne discovered, however, that that was a lie. They discovered that were actually two brain examinations, the second which could not possibly have involved the president’s brain and instead was almost certainly a brain specimen that had been brought over from the Bethesda Medical School.

How did Gunn and Horne discover the military pathologists’ lie? They did it by examining the testimony and the timelines of the two brain exams.

The first brain examination was held within a couple of days after the assassination. It was attended by the two military pathologists who were falsely claiming that there was only one brain examination, Navy Commanders James Humes and J. Thornton Boswell.

That first brain exam was also attended by the official autopsy photographer, John Stringer, who taught medical photography at the Bethesda Medical School. Stringer told the ARRB that at that brain examination, which almost certainly involved President Kennedy’s brain, the pathologists “sectioned” the brain. That meant that they cut it like one would cut a loaf of bread. That is standard procedure in gunshot wounds to the head, especially to examine the trajectory of the bullet. Once a brain is sectioned, there is no way to put it back together. It remains cut into slices.

The second brain examination was held about a week later. How do we know that? Because the third military pathologist who conducted the autopsy, Army Lt. Col. Pierre Finck, told the ARRB that he attended that brain examination. Also attending that second brain exam were the two lying pathologists, Humes and Boswell.

Thus, Humes and Boswell participated in both brain exams, which they were falsely conflating into one brain exam.

Stringer told the ARRB that Finck was not at the brain examination. Finck told the ARRB that Stringer was not at the brain examination. That’s how Gunn and Horne figured out that Humes and Boswell were lying when they claimed that there had been only one brain examination.

Here’s something important about the second brain examination: The brain in that examination was fully intact. That means that it had to be a brain specimen of someone other than President Kennedy because, again, a brain that has been sectioned cannot be put back together.

Here’s something else to note about the second brain examination: The second brain weighed 150 grams more than an average person’s brain, which would have been impossible if it were President Kennedy’s brain. That’s because the gunshot that hit Kennedy in the head destroyed one-fourth to one-third of his brain. Thus, there is no way that Kennedy’s brain could have weighed more than an average person’s brain after having lost so much brain mass from the gunshot.

That again confirms that the second brain could not possibly have been President Kennedy’s brain. Yet, a photograph of that second brain is what is in the official autopsy record. The photograph of the second brain shows that the brain is damaged but without major loss of brain tissue. In other words, the military’s photograph of President Kennedys’ brain in the official autopsy record is bogus.

But here’s the kicker: Remember that provision in the JFK Records Act, the one that the Washington Post didn’t see fit to criticize when the law was enacted. It prohibited the ARRB from investigating any aspect of the Kennedy assassination. It was a provision of the law that the board of commissioners of the ARRB strictly enforced on the staff, making it very clear that any staff member who was caught violating that restriction would be immediately fired.

Thus, after discovering that there were, in fact, two separate brain examinations, the second of which could not possibly have involved the president’s brain, Gunn and Horne were absolutely prohibited from investigating the matter.

Did the Washington Post investigate the issue? After all, here was clear circumstantial evidence pointing in the direction of a fraudulent autopsy having been carried out on the body of the deceased president on the very day of the assassination. Isn’t that something that any self-respecting investigative newspaper or journalist would relish checking into? Like maybe just a telephone call to Humes and Boswell asking them to explain why Stringer and Finck were both claiming to be at the brain exam at completely different times and denying that the other was there.

And it’s not like the Post was unaware of what Gunn and Horne had discovered. Take a look at these two articles, both of which detail Gunn’s and Horne’s discovery of the two brain examinations:

Newly Released JFK Documents Raise Questions About Medical Evidence” by Deb Riechman, a writer fotr the Associated Press. It was published by the Post on November 9, 1998.

Archive Photos Not of JFK’s Brain, Concludes Aide to Review Board” by George Lardner, a Washington Post staff writer. It was published by the Post on November 10, 1998.

Did the Post follow up on these two articles by assigning an investigative reporter to investigate the matter? Did it publish a slew of editorials and op-eds demanding that the military explain what was going on here, as it has with the Khashoggi assassination? Did it publish critiques of the provision in the JFK Records Act that prohibited the ARRB from investigating the matter and request Congress to amend the law to allow such an investigation?

No, no, and no.

  1. The Saundra Spencer testimony

During its tenure in the 1990s, the ARRB summoned a woman named Saundra Spencer to testify. In November 1963, Spencer was a U.S. Navy Petty Officer who was working in the U.S. Navy’s photography lab in Washington, D.C. She had a top-secret security clearance and helped developed top-secret photographs. She worked closely with the White House. No one has ever questioned the integrity, veracity, or competence of Saundra Spencer. It would be virtually impossible to find a more credible witness.

Spencer told the ARRB an astounding story. On the weekend of the assassination, she was asked to develop, on a top-secret, classified basis the military’s autopsy photographs for President Kennedy. Given that she had been led to believe that the matter was classified, Spencer had kept her secret for some 30 years.

The ARRB’s general counsel, Jeremy Gunn, showed her the official autopsy photographs in the JFK autopsy record. Spencer carefully examined them. She then told Gunn in direct and unequivocal terms that those official autopsy photographs were not the ones she developed on the weekend of the assassination. The records she developed, she stated, showed a massive exit-sized wound in the lower back of Kennedy’s head. The military’s official autopsy photographs show no such wound and show the back of Kennedy’s head to be fully intact.

There is something important to note about Spencer’s testimony: It matched what the treating physicians at Parkland Hospital in Dallas said immediately after the president was declared dead. It also matched what bystanders stated who were situated to the rear of the presidential limousine and who had been splattered with brain tissue. It also matched what two of the Parkland nurses stated. It also matched what Secret Service agent Clint Hill stated. It also matched the bone fragment from the lower rear of the president’s skull that was found the day after the assassination. It also matched what two FBI agents said, one of whom told the ARRB that the official autopsy photographs appeared to be “doctored.” It also matched what many of the official autopsy participants had secretly told the House Select Committee in the 1970s.

That could only mean one thing: The military’s autopsy photograph of the back of President Kennedy’s head was bogus, as bogus as the military’s autopsy brain photograph.

But keep in mind something important: Notwithstanding Spencer’s sworn testimony, the ARRB was prohibited from investigating the matter because of the no-investigation provision that someone had slipped into the JFK Records Act.

Did Spencer’s testimony motivate the Washington Post to launch a journalistic investigation into the Kennedy autopsy? Did her testimony motive the Post to call for a modification of the JFK Records Act to enable ARRB to investigate the matter?

No and no.

You see, only national-security establishments of other countries carry out assassinations and regime-change operations against their own leaders. In the eyes of the U.S. mainstream press, our national-security establishment would never do such a thing. Therefore, there was and is no reason to investigate the manifest fraud in the Kennedy autopsy that was carried out by the U.S. military on the very evening of assassination as well as the origin and purpose of that fraudulent scheme.

For more information, see:

The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger
The JFK Assassination (ongoing video series) by Jacob Hornberger
Regime Change: The Kennedy Assassination by Jacob Hornberger
JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne
The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger
CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley Altered History: Exposing Deceit and Deception in the JFK Assassination Medical Evidence by Douglas Horne (video)

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

American Hypocrisy at Play on 10th Anniversary of Mumbai Terror Attack

Sputnik – 26.11.2018

US citizen of Pakistan descent David Headley, despite pleading guilty of plotting the Mumbai terror attack, was not extradited to India as part of a plea bargain with the US administration in 2010. Indian security agencies were not allowed access to Headley for a second time, despite repeated requests.

The US has announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any individual who committed, conspired, aided or abetted the terror attacks in Mumbai, India on 26 November 2008. This is the second time that the US is announcing such reward, as the first such announcement did not yield any result.

“We call upon all countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and its affiliates,” Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, said.

But why was David Headley, the American spy who allegedly hatched the conspiracy for the attacks, converted into an “Approver” by the US? This question continues to haunt the Indian security agencies, as the US has never explained to India in the last 10 years why it entered into a plea bargain with Headley in 2010 that helped him escape the death penalty.

The plea bargain said that he would not be extradited to India, Denmark (where he hatched terror conspiracy), or Pakistan for any offenses for which he has been convicted under the plea, including conspiracy to bomb places of public use in India.

David Headley’s plea bargain, according to India’s intelligence officers who did not wish to be quoted, made the case weaker as “Indian intelligence only received such information, which was already out there in public domain.”

India’s National Investigative Agency only once interacted with David Headley in 2010 to record his statement and that, too, 10 days after the Indian official landed in the US. Since then, Indian agencies were not able to catch hold of Headley until 2016, when he deposed before a Mumbai court through video conferencing from a US jail, but despite making attempts, the US authorities never disclosed the whereabouts of Headley.

There has been a perception among certain section in the Indian administration that the US had every detail of Headley’s movement and that is why the US administration never allowed Indian agencies to question him independently.

Not getting access to Headley was one of the main reasons why the Indian agencies could not get answers to key questions including “who were the ‘state actors’ Headley was close to?”

It is believed that Headley visited Mumbai several times citing the reason as “for setting up of immigration office” but the key question that remains unanswered is — “how did the US citizen manage to sneak into India several times on false pretext?”

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

US tried to get classified data on Russian missiles with claims of INF Treaty violation – deputy FM

RT | November 26, 2018

Accusations by Washington that Moscow had violated the INF Treaty were actually an attempt by the US to obtain classified data on missile projects that were developed by Russia, the country’s deputy foreign minister has said.

In view of those accusations, Moscow “received several question lists” from the US, according to Sergey Ryabkov.

“The subject of many questions by the Americans far exceeded Russia’s obligations as part of the treaty, and were rightly perceived by us as an attempt to ‘scan’ our newest missile developments,” he told a briefing in Moscow.

The Americans even pressed Russia to reveal the dates on which tests of a certain class of missile were carried out, “so that the US side could themselves pinpoint the questionable launches,” he added.

In other words, for a long time we were asked to ‘solve the puzzle’ from various scattered elements and then to name the missile, which the US believed didn’t conform with the INF Treaty.

The deputy foreign minister said that such an approach was about making Russia “confess to the violation, which it did not commit.” Moscow had no other choice but to “reject such an intrusive attempt.”

At the same, the Americans “haven’t presented any real piece of evidence confirming our violations of the INF Treaty,” Ryabkov pointed out.

Russia has no munitions that violate the INF Treaty, he confirmed. The 9М729 missile, which was the subject of concern from Washington, wasn’t developed or tested to reach the distances outlawed by the accord, he added.

Despite the US clearly being out of line, Moscow still “showed some transparency in the spirit of good will,” but this didn’t change the American stance in any way, the Russian diplomat said.

“They have decided everything for themselves a long time ago, the only thing they wanted from Russia is a confession of its guilt,” he added.

In late October, Donald Trump warned that Washington was considering unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement,” either in form or in spirit. However, the announcement hasn’t yet been followed by any concrete steps. The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”

Ryabkov warned that, with the course of action chosen by the US administration, “we can’t exclude a collapse of the whole system of arms control, which took decades to build.”

However, the deputy FM affirmed that Russia’s nuclear doctrine remains unchanged and is purely defensive in nature. There are only two “hypothetical scenarios” in which nuclear arms could be used by Russia, he explained. “The first one is the use of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction against Russia. The second is an [act of] aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons on such a scale that the very existence of our state is threatened.”

The situation around the INF Treaty will be discussed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump when they meet on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina, Ryabkov said.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Gilad Needs Additional Support

Dear friends

In March I was sued for libel by the chairman of the Campaign Against Anti Semitism (CAA), Gideon Falter, for suggesting that ‘Antisemitism is a business plan.’ As CAA has explained its objective, the lawsuit was intended both to silence me and to wreck my career. Campaign Against Anti Semitism’s web site states that renowned media lawyer Mark Lewis “devised a strategy for bringing libel actions which he and Campaign Against Antisemitism have begun to use to force antisemites into either apologising in court, or paying substantial damages.” And as CAA boasts in its promotional video, “We ensure antisemites face criminal, professional and reputational consequences.”

And of course, the libel suit didn’t manage to silence me. I am at least as prolific and focused as I was before the lawsuit. I am still performing and giving talks around the world, I still publish my writings on a daily basis. In fact, Mark Lewis, the man who ‘devised the strategy’ intended to silence me, is now defending himself in the disciplinary tribunal for solicitors (https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/media-lawyer-mark-lewis-to-face-sdt-over-social-media-comments/5067741.article) for sending “offensive and profane communications.” Instead of managing to obliterate my career, Mark Lewis has left his law firm (Seddons) and is moving to Israel. 

Defending myself against the libel charge has been time consuming and extraordinarily expensive; the costs of defending a libel suit in Britain are insanely extortionate. Last March I was left with no option other than asking for your financial support.  I was astounded and deeply touched by your quick and generous response. This allowed me to respond to the claim and confirmed to me that fatigue with  the strategies used by organisations like CAA is solid and global. I was reassured that I wasn’t alone.

The case has now settled but I am left with a huge hole in my pocket. Although I am selling some of my musical instruments and have made other arrangements to try to raise the necessary funds, I remain short about  £40.000. Unfortunately, I need additional support. Asking you for money is very upsetting for me but this is an important battle for all of us.

I am grateful for any help you can provide, it is heartening to know that you stand with me in support of free speech, and that you will help me manage the consequences of exercising our most important right.

Thanks so much

Gilad

Paypal – I am currently in dispute with paypal and would rather not use this platform. However, if you insist on using paypal please contact me:  giladatzmon(at)mac.com

Bitcoin: 1JJ7V5YzeKkhrEKRq263uE8E72XSQUa7Dy

Ether:  0xb4FC6E150ADf36D61F066a693f8cDf517aFbC87C

Stellar:  GA22ET4JJR527M77LVYDMUYERWHVCHPHXAZNJCV7MA6STVRR2HB3GXKU

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

CAGW: a ‘snarl’ word?

By Andy West | Climate Etc. | November 26, 2018

The term ‘CAGW’  has both appropriate and inappropriate usage.

Introduction

Rational Wiki says: ‘CAGW”, for “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”, is a snarl word (or snarl acronym) that global warming denialists use for the established science of climate change. A Google Scholar search indicates that the term is never used in the scientific literature on climate.’10

Where in turn the link for ‘snarl word’ says: ‘A snarl word is a derogatory label that can be attached to something (or even to people), in order to dismiss their importance or worth, without guilt. When used as snarl words, these words are essentially meaningless; most of them can be used with meaning, but that seldom happens.

So setting aside the snarl implications of the word ‘denialist’11 above, is all the usage of the ‘CAGW’ acronym meaningless, i.e. it is essentially a snarl word only? Or is there significant meaning associated with some usage, i.e. does it have legitimate, ‘non-snarl’ currency also, associated with real meaning?

In typical usage ‘CAGW’ may be followed by words such as narrative, message, story, line, debate, controversy, mantra, meme, myth, scare, hysteria, hoax, scam, religion, cult, cause, movement, believers, faithful, crowd, advocates, promoters, proponents, consensus, theory, hypothesis, premise, claim, case, conjecture and various others. Or it may appear in sentences without any direct descriptors such as those above, for example: ‘Proof positive that CAGW is about power, politics and greed is the fact that…’, ‘Without this strong feedback there is no real basis for CAGW since…’, ‘I have been waiting for someone, anyone, to enunciate a unique, broadly accepted goal for a program to “dodge” the CAGW “bullet”…’, ‘Cost / benefit analysis is apparently against the rules when it comes to CAGW…’, ‘The alarm is not about a warming of the globe, nor particularly AGW. It is about CAGW’.12

These demonstrate a much wider application than for just the ‘established science’, which I take to mean mainstream science, as expressed in the Working Group Chapters13 of the IPCC’s latest full report (AR5), so hereafter AR5WGC. Whether or not any such usages of ‘CAGW’ are justified, they are broadly categorized (albeit with overlaps, especially meme and consensus at the boundaries) as follows:

  1. expressing a communication aspect, applicable not only to climate scientists but to any parties communicating or exchanging on climate change, such as social authority sources, policy makers, NGOs, businesses, other scientists, whoever, and reflected by the words above starting narrative, message and similar.
  2. expressing a social phenomenon aspect, whether assumed to have deliberate causation or emergent causation, and reflected by the words starting, myth, scare and similar.
  3. expressing the aspect of adherents of the phenomena in b), as reflected by the words starting believers, faithful and similar, OR of subscribers to the science per d), OR both.
  4. expressing the science aspect, as reflected by the words starting theory, hypothesis and similar.
  5. expressing the aspect of actual physical climate change, sarcastically or not, as being potentially catastrophic (usually without extra descriptors in this context).

Usage without descriptors per the example sentences, are generally contextualized by one of these same categories.

The communication aspects

This is the most straightforward category to characterize. Within the public domain, there is manifestly a widespread narrative of certainty (absent deep emissions cuts) of near-term (decades) climate catastrophe. This has emanated from many of the most powerful and influential figures in the West throughout the twenty-first century, as exampled by the quotes listed a) to z) in footnote 1. While based only on English language reportage, this sample nevertheless includes leaders, ex-leaders and candidate leaders from 8 Western nations (with the US, Germany, UK and France being economically 4 of 7 and politically 4 of 6, top world powers9), along with high ministers, high UN officials, the Pope and UK royalty, over about the last 15 years. The narrative is also framed in a most urgent and emotive manner, which hugely increases its re-transmission capability14, is global in scope (‘the planet’), and unequivocally attributes the imminent catastrophe from global warming to humans (via ‘emissions’), i.e. the ‘C’ is due to AGW.

Rational Wiki is essentially correct regarding the literal usage of ‘CAGW’ in climate science literature (I found a few references on Google Scholar). Yet it’s right too in a more meaningful sense; i.e. nothing like this narrative of high certainty and imminent global catastrophe is represented within mainstream climate science, i.e. per the AR5WGC. A point that has been noted before on this and other climate blogs. Albeit ‘catastrophic’ (or similar) is actually used in AR5WGC, this is in reference to local / specific improbable scenarios only (e.g. the term used for maximal, yet very rare end of spectrum, episodic river flooding)15. No reasonable interpretation could produce the exampled narrative framing that has achieved such a high public profile over many years. So according to mainstream science, i.e. no skeptics required, this climate catastrophe narrative is flat wrong15a. Even at the best stretch it drags fuzzy possibilities plus probabilities from behind a hedge of caveats and limitations, then pushes them all front and centre, promoted to high certainty within an apparently well-mapped space15b. Nevertheless, this narrative / story / line / mantra exists, and at the highest authority level.

The sampled authority figures do not just speak for themselves. They represent their governments and parties and organizations, to some extent their nations. The power of this representation coupled with high emotive framing should be a very significant factor in the propagation of the catastrophic narrative across society, and especially down the pyramids of functionality spreading out from national / UN leaderships, so influencing policy (impending catastrophe is often cited as the main reason to act). However, other sources are transmitting in parallel, e.g. environmental NGOs, and total propagation will be due to the merged contributions of all. Penetration / propagation of the same catastrophe narrative is highly visible further out from primary leaderships, as exampled by the quotes listed a) to z) in footnote 2, which cover lesser-ranking / local politicians, leaders of less influential nations, NGOs, economists and influencers.

Emergent narratives typically spawn many variants, which are briefly analyzed in the companion post ‘The Catastrophe Narrative’, with further analysis in the (common) footnotes file.

There is nothing inappropriate about coining a name for the widely communicated narrative of certainty of imminent (decades) catastrophe as exampled by footnotes 1 and 2, which prior to the exception of the current US administration permeated Western / UN (and other) authorities high and low, and that falsely claims to be underwritten by ‘the’ science. ‘CAGW’ as a label for this narrative is suitable and has full meaning. Likewise for the narrative variant categories as exampled by footnotes 3 to 5; while as noted in the companion post, a few of such specimens or more emphatic localization may technically escape either full-on certainty or full-on global or maybe, depending especially upon ambiguous word-choices, full-on catastrophe, even this subset are highly emotive pitches of the same ilk that typically aren’t backed by mainstream climate science.

As climate scientist Mike Hulme noted a dozen years ago, this narrative created significant impact even back then: “It seems that mere ‘climate change’ was not going to be bad enough, and so now it must be ‘catastrophic’ to be worthy of attention. The increasing use of this pejorative term – and its bedfellow qualifiers ‘chaotic’, ‘irreversible’, ‘rapid’ – has altered the public discourse around climate change.” In 2010, Hans von Storch agreed16a.

The science aspects

Emphasizing the Rational Wiki quote above, Jacobs et al (in 2016 book) finds no merit in the claim ‘that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is the mainstream scientific position’, i.e. mainstream science doesn’t support the concept of a high certainty (absent action) of imminent global catastrophe. So, although the IPCC integrates a range of scientific opinion and incorporates various outlier possibilities, within the scientific community there cannot be a widely accepted theory or hypothesis or premise or case for this. Hence directly tying mainstream climate science (including conventional AGW theory, no ‘C’) to this concept via ‘CAGW’ labeling, or implying that ‘CAGW theory’ is dominant (so perforce must cover the mainstream), is inappropriate. Some think no current science can claim the catastrophic15b, however…

This doesn’t imply an absence of scientific support for the principle. A minority of scientists, some very vocal, believe that ‘CAGW’ scenarios are more realistic. Footnotes 6 and 7 provide examples of about 50 climate scientists plus environmental and other scientists expressing their views of the catastrophic. To express a truly held belief is not to dissemble, so presumably these individuals have theories (probably not all the same) which lead them to this view, albeit not reflected by the mainstream / AR5WGC. Or at least they think such theories from other sources are highly credible. Their expressions typically ignore more balanced interpretations from their mainstream colleagues, or otherwise criticize the mainstream as being too conservative, often performing the same transformation / promotion as mentioned at the end of paragraph 2 section 2 above. Emotive phrasing is common, also featuring a large range of highly negative metaphors (e.g. hell or ballistic missiles or cars speeding towards cliffs), and / or the end of humans or civilization or the planet, with typically a sense of inevitability (unless major action). Hence using say ‘CAGW theory’ to label the claims of specific such scientists, is legitimate. But the much more typical sweeping references that imply ‘CAGW theory’ is the ‘official’ science, are illegitimate. In relation to the current mainstream, ‘CAGW theory’ is very much unofficial science.

Portraying scientists who propagate ‘CAGW’ notions as representative of the mainstream, via ‘CAGW’ labeling or any other means, is also inappropriate. However, this is a forgivable sin for the general public; how would they know that James Hansen, for instance17, occupies a minority fringe at odds with the main climate science community? And they aren’t the only ones subject to confusion about what is mainstream and where particular scientists might stand. Catastrophe narratives have infiltrated climate science and science communities generally. Their strong emotive content erodes objectivity17a and pressures scientists to reflect such narrative, hence especially within science communication.

In his book climate scientist Mike Hulme describes a step change towards the catastrophic in the ways that climate change risk was expressed in the public sphere, following an international climate change conference held in Exeter UK, in 2005. And to continue Hulme’s 2006 quote (via the BBC) from section 2: “This discourse is now characterized by phrases such as ‘climate change is worse than we thought’, that we are approaching ‘irreversible tipping in the Earth’s climate’, and that we are ‘at the point of no return’. I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric. It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) skeptics. How the wheel turns… … Why is it not just campaigners, but politicians and scientists too, who are openly confusing the language of fear, terror and disaster with the observable physical reality of climate change, actively ignoring the careful hedging which surrounds science’s predictions?” (bold mine). Yet in the face of continuing emotive pressure, even 12 years later a wider acknowledgement of this issue is still weak25.

So, in respect of the science aspects ‘CAGW’ has both appropriate and inappropriate usage. Without a proper survey it seems more typically the latter. Thus it’s likely regarding purely the science aspects that Rational wiki is mostly right, albeit only technically, in saying: ‘Despite the qualifier, denialists apply the term indiscriminately to anything approximating the mainstream scientific view on climate, regardless of whether or not “catastrophic” outcomes are implied’, and notwithstanding its own serious snarl word issue11. In practice, the deep entanglement of catastrophe narratives with climate science communication creates very understandable confusion, and an environment where serious misunderstanding is inevitable.

Given also that for many years the climate change narrative from highest authorities to the public is insistently catastrophic, Rational wiki’s claim that deployment of the acronym is a deliberate ploy of the desperate (‘an attempt to move the goalposts’), is one that ignores the big picture. A-list presidents and prime ministers plus the UN elite and other authorities too (along with some scientists), already moved the goalposts, and indeed repeatedly reinforce that the catastrophic is backed by mainstream science. This impressive and coordinated array of authorities are not generally referred to as ‘deniers’, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that very many folks believe their attribution. Hence such folks are confronted by a complete clash between the unequivocal authority expression that the catastrophic is indeed backed by science18, and affront from individual scientists or their supporters as expressed on side channels when they’re specifically associated with the catastrophic. This affront is very understandable18a. Yet so is the response of those who feel that somewhere within this clash they’ve been hoodwinked, and assume the enterprise of climate science must be the culprit (in fact, an emergent phenomenon is ultimate cause). It’s especially confusing that some actors have a foot in both camps (e.g. significant IPCC contributors who publicly express catastrophe narrative19).

Starting even before AR5 some scientists projecting more severe climate change consequences, including a subset clearly claiming catastrophic outcomes20, complain that mainstream science per the IPCC is way too conservative, even politically diluted. Whether their science is bunkum or has a basis in reality, they likely have significant support. Albeit that the important distinction between ‘severe’ and ‘catastrophic’ isn’t provided, 41% of 998 AGU+AMS members asked about ‘the likely effects of global climate change in the next 50 to 100 years’, replied ‘severe/catastrophic’ (2012, pay-walled, but some details at Wiki). In a more recent expression (Mar 2018) some climate scientists objected to oil companies presenting AR5 as evidence showing lack of serious harms, claiming it was outdated (published 2013/14), and later science predicts much worse consequences. Some scientists emphasizing much higher impacts are socially touted as having better understanding than the majority driving the ‘conservative’ consensus.

However, notwithstanding plenty of catastrophe narrative ballyhoo30 from usual voices regarding the new SR15, as the content itself indicates31 there seems little chance that the steady and incremental evolution of the IPCC reports will change to a dramatically different position for the full AR6, or indeed afterward. And ironically, if various outlier theories regarding the catastrophic did gain enough ground to cause a paradigm shift, becoming mainstream, most of the inappropriate usage of ‘CAGW’ would transform to legitimacy overnight. It’s likely that social pressure to converge upon (cultural, not scientific) narratives of the catastrophic, has contributed to such theories; emotive memes are a major component via which many large-scale social consensuses are formed, e.g. within religions. Such consensuses don’t relate to truth. Note: scientific probing of worst case scenarios is potentially useful, as long as such efforts don’t morph into emotive narratives that help panic the public and policy makers towards perceived ultra-urgency and radical solutions, or indeed towards any agenda. With its speculative nature preserved, such exploration doesn’t earn a ‘CAGW theory’ label. Yet wielding it as authority with sexed-up likelihoods and / or emotively overwhelmed conditionals in order to pressure and persuade (e.g. footnote example 7aa), certainly earns the label ‘CAGW narrative’.

The social phenomena and adherence aspects

Just as with the science section above, there is appropriate and inappropriate deployment of ‘CAGW’ to describe social phenomena in the climate domain. So for instance it’s appropriate to talk about a social consensus in catastrophe among certain groups, but not a scientific consensus within the IPCC, say. It’s appropriate to describe ardent members of a green NGO who are heavily involved in promoting climate catastrophe narratives, as ‘CAGW advocates’ say, yet certainly not to apply this term to ‘all Democrats’, for instance, even if statistically there is somewhat more catastrophe narrative promotion by members of that party. Such labelling even when appropriate, does not imply any wrong-doing or dysfunction on the part of those so labelled, although some level of ‘faith’ (to use another partner term that crops up) in the narrative that many world leaders have lavished on the public for many years, is both likely and eminently understandable. Partner terms like ‘hoax’ and ‘scam’ are generally inappropriate too, because they cannot be main causation for the CAGW phenomenon32.

It comes down to who is adding the catastrophic, or ‘C’, to the mix. Michael Barnard at Quora notes in his discussion of ‘CAGW’: ‘Emotive adjectives are intended to create an emotional response rather than an intellectual response. Catastrophic is an emotive adjective.’ Yes. For sure, over-emotive content tends to cloud judgment; in memetic terms more-emotive memes have a greater selection value than less-emotive ones in domains of high (or even perceived high) uncertainty, thus preferentially prospering. Which is exactly why the narrative of catastrophe abounds within authority statements about climate change, per footnotes 1 to 5, plus is so pervasive within the public domain generally. (However, an ‘intent’ can’t be assumed; regarding emergent narratives the great majority of people are propagating what they genuinely and passionately think is truth). The Quroa text continues: ‘Adding catastrophic to the neutral phrase “anthropogenic global warming” is making it needlessly emotive.’ So, if indeed the person deploying ‘CAGW’ is needlessly adding the ‘C’, then yes. But… if that ‘C’ merely reflects the catastrophic that already existed regarding the social phenomenon or group or followers being described (e.g. Greenpeace politically pressuring with a campaign based upon certain catastrophic climate change), or indeed per section 2 catastrophic narrative or section 3 *specific* science / scientists aligned to catastrophe, then the ‘C’ is a correct and proper description. Emotive persuasion was injected by that being described, not by the mere act of (correctly) describing it.

Michael’s valid points about emotive descriptors and neutrality miss the big picture. While emphasizing as I do that ‘CAGW’ misrepresents mainstream / AR5WGC climate science, he makes no mention that according to an array of the highest authority sources, so largely within the public understanding too, the catastrophic is backed by mainstream climate / AGW science. Not to mention missing that describing pre-existing highly emotive phenomena, requires a meaningful reference to the emotive content.

Summary and Discussion

According to majority / mainstream science and indeed minority skepticism too, the CAGW narrative is a major misrepresentation22. Yet according to a minority of scientists at the opposite fringe to skeptics, this narrative reflects a more realistic position. Whether future history proves notions of CAGW to be right or wrong, acronym usage like the last 2 instances is entirely meaningful; notions of the catastrophic (absent major emissions cuts) and a copious narrative about them, patently exist. Such narrative is widespread in the public domain, being emphatically promoted by highly influential Western authority (until the current US admin exception) plus a raft of other authorities too23, who frequently cite imminent catastrophe as the principal reason for action on emissions. Nor has it spread via demonstrable scientific confirmation (albeit such confirmation may conceivably occur one day), but merely via emotive persuasiveness.

Nevertheless A-list presidents, prime ministers and the UN elite (the latter contradicting their own IPCC) claim that CAGW is validated by mainstream science. It’s difficult to see how this false backing could ever be questioned in the public mind, unless the mainstream science community pushes back far more strongly against such assertions. Meanwhile the fringe camp, i.e. those scientists (general and climate disciplines) comfortable with catastrophic projections, are much less shy about pushing authority with their concerns.

Despite oft-used inflationary descriptors or terminal metaphors5g,7h, sometimes references to extreme weather, or even straight propositions like the ‘save the planet’ or absent action a collapse of civilization, catastrophe narrative as it appears in footnotes 1 to 5 has no consistent definition of what ‘catastrophe’ actually means, or indeed quite how this state is arrived at. From the PoV of narrative success this is a fantastic attribute, allowing the latitude for each person to interpret the worst in their own terms (hence over numerous propagations, a generic apocalypse canon eventually emerges). Perhaps such vagueness might be expected from non-scientists, yet the public propagation from exampled scientists6,7 is no less emotively descriptive and no more consistent regarding actual meaning. Arguably, it is more lurid and emotively penetrating, and less objective.

This fluidity allows the CAGW narrative to hi-jack any view that is not actively skeptical via highly emotive persuasion, also seize the perceived moral high ground, while simultaneously bypassing objective considerations about the real meaning, and by omission avoid culpability regarding any unsupported (by the mainstream) mechanisms of, and uncertainties regarding, global catastrophe, which are not actually detailed. (When quotes are from scientists some detail may appear in associated papers, typically falling short of the framing of high certainty of global catastrophe, yet the public and likely authority too, only sees the public quotes anyhow). In short, it has very high selective value. Its emotive potency even sets the bounds of what skepticism is perceived to be within the public domain, and thus enables authority sources to claim mainstream territory even though mainstream science doesn’t support the catastrophic via any reasonable interpretation of this collective narrative.

Along with appropriate usage, there is much inappropriate usage from engaged skeptics deploying the term ‘CAGW’. In complete contrast to the situation with A-listers and influencers above, whose linkage of the catastrophic with mainstream science isn’t challenged, indeed is often praised, similar associations from skeptics typically attract vociferous objection. Misuse increases polarization and impedes greater understanding; this blunder28 from skeptics shouldn’t be overlooked. However, it seems unlikely that the great majority of the public are even aware of the ‘CAGW’ acronym26, so the impact upon them of any misuse via this term must perforce be very modest indeed. Yet whether leaning skeptical or orthodox or indifferent regarding climate change, few of the public will be unaware of the narrative of certain (absent action) man-made catastrophe that perfectly reasonably earns the acronym ‘CAGW’.

The misdirection and bias plus instinctive kick-back invoked by such highly emotive misinformation, as propagated for years by the exampled A-listers / authorities / orgs, utterly dwarfs any above impact. This acronym may indeed be an invention of skeptics24, yet not the untamed narrative that it describes. The latter doesn’t injure only mainstream science, but all science, including even that work which may point towards more severe consequences, because its long and high profile in the public domain isn’t any result of science, and the emotive biases it amplifies leak back into science21.

So ‘CAGW’ can be used as a ‘snarl word’, and is, albeit misunderstanding is likely the main cause. It is also a perfectly reasonable and meaningful term for a long-lived narrative elephant (with consequent effects) in the public domain and from top authority sources, plus a presence in some science too, and an ethic behind some social responses. Thus, when describing these phenomena, CAGW is not at all the straw-man that some of the orthodox claim. When the naming of a valid concept is avoided, discussing that concept becomes difficult, with awkward / obscure phrases and dancing around the issue. Or still more comedic, like whispering about he-who-must-not-be-named in Harry Potter. Hence despite some acquired cultural aggressiveness, which often sticks to terms within conflicted domains, the appropriate use of ‘CAGW’ is meaningful and necessary. Without it, the domain would simply need a virtually identical replacement term27 to express the valid concept it accurately covers.

www.wearenarrative.wordpress.com

Link to footnotes [Footnotes]

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment