Aletho News


Trump-Kim summit to show real progress

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | January 23, 2019

The White House disclosed in Washington on January 19 that President Trump’s second summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “will take place near the end of February”. One month is a very long time in politics but the White House disclosure came at the conclusion of three-day working level talks between senior officials of the US, North Korea and South Korea at a secret location near Stockholm, Sweden.

In particular, the visit to Washington last week by North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chul’s and his meeting with Trump, has raised expectations. (Kim’s visit to the US opened the door for the working level negotiations in Sweden.)

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later said in Davos that progress has been made at these talks and he anticipated that they provided a “good marker” for the upcoming summit. As Pompeo put it, “There’s an awful lot of things to be done but some good things have happened already.” He added that there are “many steps along the way to achieve” the goal of North Korea’s denuclearization, while expressing optimism that the next summit will be productive.

The US-North Korea negotiations after the Singapore summit last June had stalled since Pyongyang remained reluctant to “denuclearize” and on its part the US was averse to a step-by-step approach to dismantle the sanctions regime. North Korea has warned that denuclearization could be at risk unless the US eases sanctions, while the US has demanded so far that Pyongyang must first demonstrate its commitment to abandoning the nuclear weapons.

The big question is how this deadlock could be ending. Pompeo’s remarks articulating denuclearization concerns in the same breath as “security and stability and peace on the Peninsula” suggest that the US is gradually shifting its position and is open to embracing the approach of step-by-step concessions. Trump’s upbeat remarks after meeting the North Korean envoy last week lends credence to such a reading.

In the period since the June summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim Jong-un, the latter has consolidated his position. Most importantly, Kim has mended his equations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he visited earlier in January (Kim’s fourth visit to China in the past year), and the relations between the two countries have remarkably improved.

According to Chinese media reports, Kim assured Xi that he is committed to “achieving results” at the second summit with Trump and will “continue sticking to the stance of denuclearization” and “make efforts… to achieve results.” Equally, Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying that Pyongyang and Washington would “meet each other half way.”

Equally, the relations between the two Koreas are also proceeding smoothly. It was a measure of Kim’s confidence that in his annual New Year’s speech, the emphasis was heavily placed on his economic programme rather than on threat perceptions.

But the problem lies on the American side. A big campaign is already unfolding with a view to deny Trump the legacy of a successful summit with Kim and a foreign-policy achievement in defusing the North Korea tensions (here and here.) Simply put, North Korea problem has got intertwined with the US domestic politics – like Russia, Syria or Afghanistan. In an editorial comment, Washington Post wrote,

“The North Koreans no doubt hope they can manipulate Mr. Trump into new giveaways at a second summit, such as a relaxation of sanctions, a declaration ending the Korean War, or even the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea… We’d like to hope that Mr. Trump’s advisers, such as Mr. Pompeo, would dissuade him from reckless action; but then, as the president’s recent decision to order U.S. troops out of Syria showed, he’s not inclined to listen. All of which means that a resumption of U.S.-North Korean negotiations should be welcomed — but warily.”

The fact of the matter is that Kim, who has consolidated his position thanks to the backing of Beijing and the prospect of a beneficial economic partnership with South Korea, may well be in a mood to compromise by offering a road map for denuclearization. And if that happens, Trump being highly unpredictable, especially if he is called upon to reciprocate, all bets are off. Indeed, what if Trump reciprocates with the mother of all concessions like withdrawing US troops from South Korea?

Coincidence or not, with just about several weeks left for the Trump-Kim summit, the talks between the US and South Korea regarding the cost-sharing of American military presence in South Korea have reached a deadlock after 10 rounds of intense negotiations since last November. Trump has complained more than once that the US was “subsidizing” the militaries of South Korea. According to Trump, US paid for “about 60 percent” of South Korea’s military costs.

At any rate, through a diplomatic channel, the US demanded in late December that South Korea pay $1.2 billion for costs related to the presence of the 28,500 US soldiers, under a contract valid for one year. The proposal has been framed as an ultimatum from Trump, who stipulated that no offer less than $1 billion would be entertained. Whereas, the South Korean negotiators insist that the amount should not exceed 1 trillion won ($887 million), calling that number “psychologically significant” for the Korean public, and that there should be a five-year contract.

All in all, even if the negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear programme have been exasperatingly slow during the period since the Trump-Kim summit last June in Singapore, it is still better than a hostile standoff or a military confrontation. Without doubt, the Trump-Kim summit created an ambience in which inter-Korean rapprochement could commence, which has since gained traction.

As 2018 ended, the world witnessed the astounding sight of a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new inter-Korean railroad. At the recent talks in Sweden, South Korea actually played a mediatory role between the US and North Korea. If the summit in Singapore was a historic one, real progress can be expected in the upcoming round 2. The South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said last week that the corresponding measures the US may offer in response to North Korean progress toward denuclearization could include “an end-of-war declaration, humanitarian aid, and a permanent channel for dialogue between the US and North Korea.”

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Venezuelan army disavows self-proclaimed leader, will defend national sovereignty – defense minister

RT | January 23, 2019

The Venezuelan military will not accept a president imposed by “dark interests,” Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said after Washington and a number of its allies recognized a lawmaker as the new leader in Caracas.

The army will continue to defend the constitution and national sovereignty, Padrino said on Wednesday afternoon, hours after opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido was proclaimed interim president by the National Assembly, in a direct challenge to President Nicolas Maduro.

The US quickly recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, with the Organization of American States (OAS) following Washington’s lead. Canada and France have also recognized Guaido, while Mexico has declined to do so “for now.”

Bolivia declared “solidarity with the people of Venezuela and brother Nicolas Maduro” in resisting the “claws of imperialism” in South America, President Evo Morales tweeted.

Maduro responded to the US announcement by cutting diplomatic ties with Washington and giving American diplomats 72 hours to leave Venezuela.

Guaido, however, countermanded that in a tweet and promised that Venezuela “will continue to maintain diplomatic relations with all the countries of the world.”

The issue of diplomats has raised the stakes in the US-Venezuela confrontation, as Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) – one of the driving forces behind the recognition of Guaido – argued that US diplomats should stay put, since leaving would mean recognition of Maduro’s legitimacy.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Syria Ready to Strike Tel-Aviv, Determined to Liberate Golan (Full UN Speech)

Statement of the Permanent Representative of Syria at the UN, Dr. Bashar Ja’fari, during the Security Council devoted to the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, January 22nd, 2019.


Thank you, Mr. President.

In the beginning, I congratulate your country [Dominican Republic] for your non-permanent membership in the Security Council, and I congratulate you personally for presiding over the work of this Council during this month. I welcome the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Mrs. Marsudi, and I congratulate Palestine, the State of Palestine for presiding over the G77 + China.

Mr. President,

Yesterday, the Israeli occupation forces once again committed a series of aggression using missiles targeting the Syrian Arab Republic territories from above Lebanese territories – it was mentioned by my colleague, the representative of Lebanon in great detail. They attacked us from above the Lebanese territories, from the occupied Palestinian territories and from the See of Galilee in the occupied Syrian Golan. This was a gross violation of international law, of the UN Charter and of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement (between Israel and Syria).

These acts of aggression would not have been committed if the Security Council hadn’t failed in compelling the implementation of Security Council Resolutions relevant to the Israeli-Arab conflict over long decades, and were it not for the unlimited support provided by some permanent members of this Security Council to this rogue entity. This encouraged Israel to increase their frequent crimes, violations and State terrorism, away from any kind of accountability, even purely formal. This was demonstrated by the repeated acts of aggression against my country carried out by Israel, and the multifaceted support they provided for years to terrorist organizations.

These acts were not condemned, nor was there any call by the Security Council to stop such acts, in light of the position of the US, Britain and France, who are accomplices and supporters of Israel in such acts of aggression. The policies of these 3 countries and their stances in the UN run counter, in the letter and spirit, to the responsibility they are supposed to shoulder in maintaining international peace and security in line with the international law and the UN Charter’s provisions. The fact that these countries continue to play the role of false witnesses and prevent the Security Council from undertaking its responsibilities will not stop us from exercising our legitimate right of self-defense and work on retaking the occupied Syrian Golan by all means possible.

Mr. President,

Recovering the Syrian Golan is an established right for the Syrian Arab Republic. This imprescriptible right is not subject to negotiations, concessions or expiration. The full withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from the Golan, to the June 4th, 1967 line is an obligation that shall be fulfilled. It is an unwavering demand based on the principles of international law and the binding UN International Resolutions, including your own resolutions 242, 338 and 497.

Israel feverishly strives to alter this reality, as we have seen today in the Israeli representative’s intervention – he talked about everything, except the Palestinian cause and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Israel feverishly strives to alter this reality, and keeps uttering aggressive statements and undertaking criminal acts, but they are doomed to fail, and will never lead in any form whatsoever to any prejudice against the legal or sovereign rights of my country.

Certain countries have invested heavily in the terrorist war waged against my country, and counted on the situation of some countries in the region to overshadow Arab rights and choke the voices calling to implement the binding UN International Resolutions imposing the end of the Israeli occupation of Arab land. Moreover, these countries tried to achieve gains for the occupation and promote some suspicious deal to liquidate the Palestinian cause and the established and unwavering rights of the peoples and countries in the region.

They tried to ignite artificial strife and stir surrealist conflicts between countries of the region, in order to deviate their attention from the fundamental cause of what’s happening in the Middle East. All this lack of stability, prosperity and development is because of the continued Israeli occupation, Israeli settlements and Israeli massacre of the Palestinian cause.

Mr. President,

The past period has witnessed many dangerous and systematic Israeli practices, through which the occupying forces tempted to consolidate their control and impose their will on the occupied Syrian Golan. Let us mention for example: holding meetings of the Israeli government in the occupied Syrian Golan; striving to organize illegitimate local elections there; signing deals and issuing permits to loot the natural resources of the Golan; just recently, looting the properties of Syrians and displacing them to establish a project for wind power generation over around 6000 dunams of land, in some of the surrounding sites around the cities of Magd al-Chams, Ayn Qania, Buqata and Massada; and the continuous settlement activity as well as crimes and daily repression against Syrian citizens under the yoke of the occupation. They arrest them and throw them in Israeli prisons arbitrarily, as is still the case of the activist Sedqi al-Maqet, Syria’s Nelson Mandela, and Amal Abu Saleh. They also subject other Syrians to house arrest. The Israeli officials have also issued repeated aggressive statements, which stress that the occupying power cares neither about international law nor about the Resolutions of your Council, and intends to continue its occupation.

Unfortunately, all these issues and their rejection by our people in the Golan did not catch the attention of the Special Coordinator, Mr. Mladinov, so that they could be included in his monthly briefing to you. Worse, he avoided on purpose to call things by their names. He talked to us about about the side “Alpha” and the side “Bravo”, as if each of you knew what means Alpha and what means Bravo [1], instead of issuing a clear condemnation of the almost daily Israeli aggression against the territories of the Syrian Arab Republic, including the continuous aggression against the Damascus International Civil Airport, which is, I repeat, a civilian airport. Such blatant disregard is a political and moral failure to undertake his mandate in a way that turns counter to the principles and rules applicable in the UN, and thus deprives him of any legitimacy.

Mr President, isn’t it high time for this Council to take the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli aggression against the territories of my country? Or should we attract the attention of the war makers of this Council by exercising our legitimate right for self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression against the Damascus International Civil Airport in kind by striking Tel-Aviv Airport?

Mr. President,

We are pragmatic and we know the differences in the political stances of the members of this Council. However, we call upon you to focus on the common ground that joins us, that is the international law, the UN Charter and the Resolutions of this Council of yours. Thus, we stress the necessity for the countries supporting Israel, its policies and stances to review their approach, to stick to that common ground that I have touched upon now, and to work towards the restoration of the legitimate rights to their true owners in line with the binding UN International Resolutions and the internationally recognized bodies. Otherwise, the destiny of this international organization will be just a repeat of the failure of the League of Nations for the same reasons.

Let us remember that many of the calamities suffered by our country came due to the violation of international law and of the UN Charter, through the constitution of illegitimate coalitions like the ones which targeted Irak, Libya, Yemen, Syria and others, and due to call for meetings that bypass the Security Council, like this Warsaw Meeting [called by the US against Iran], or the Middle East Strategic Coalition known among intelligence experts as the NATO of the Middle East. All these coalitions are made outside the UN Security Council.

This begs the question : from where do such coalitions and meetings gain their legitimacy? Are international relations governed by international law and the UN Charter upon which the founding fathers strove to agree? Or are they governed by the will and the destructive agendas of some countries? Are we not correct, Mr. President, to warn that this organization might end up just like the League of Nations if we do not hold a stance against the policies of these countries? The absence of a UN sponsoring of the Warsaw meeting clearly shows that such an approach will not manage to resolve anything, and won’t realize what was announced by the organizers themselves, namingly the drafting of a common strategy on the Middle East. They said themselves that the Warsaw meeting meant to draft a common strategy on the Middle East.

Mr. President,

My country expresses its firm and principled position supporting the rights of the Palestinian people for self-determination and independent statehood over all its territories with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, and the right of return of the refugees in line with Resolution 194 of 1948. We renew and stress that any measures that would prejudice those rights are null, void and rejected, and will only escalate tensions and threaten peace and security in the region and in the world.

To conclude, Mr. President, I tell those who are trying to redraw the maps of our region along their own whims that our people, who stood against the unprecedented international terrorist war imposed on us, will also stand against such evil plans, and will thwart them just as he thwarted others over decades.

Thank you, Mr. President

[1] Here is how Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council on the Israeli aggression, at the beginning of the session:

“On the occupied Golan, the ceasefire between Israel and Syria has been maintained with relative calm and low levels of military activity in the areas of separation and limitation on the Bravo side. UNDOF attributes this activity to controlled detonations of explosive ordnance as part of clearance conducted by Syrian security forces. The relative calm in the UNDOF area of operation was interrupted by events that occurred on 25 December and most recently on 20 and 21 January.

On 25 December, UNDOF observed a helicopter on the Alpha side fire four rockets that impacted on the Bravo side. On that day, UNDOF also heard and observed surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft defense guns, rockets and heavy machine guns fired on the Bravo side but could not observe the points of origin or impact.

On 20 and 21 January, UNDOF observed and heard an increase in air activity over, and firing of missiles into, the areas of separation and limitation on the Bravo side. UNDOF liaised with both sides to de-escalate the situation. The observations of military activity coincided with open source reports of Israel’s confirming that it had conducted a series of airstrikes on targets in Syria in response to a missile fired from Syria intercepted by Israel.

Such events demonstrate the volatility of the area and risk jeopardizing the long-standing ceasefire between the two countries. It is critical that both parties to the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement respect the Agreement at all times to prevent escalation across the ceasefire line and actions that undermine progress towards stability in the area.”



January 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

UN Officials Reaffirm that Forcible Transfers are In Breach of Geneva Convention

IMEMC News & Agencies | January 23, 2019

After visiting the Palestinian Sabbagh family, who is facing eviction from its home, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem, for the benefit of Israeli settlers, United Nations and other officials have again warned that forced eviction and transfer of Palestinians are a breach of Fourth Geneva Convention.

Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, Gwyn Lewis, Director of West Bank Operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), James Heenan, Head of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territory, and Kate O’Rourke, Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a statement that they visited the Sabbagh family “who face imminent forced eviction from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and are at heightened risk of forcible transfer.”

According to the statement, the Sabbagh family is a Palestinian refugee family originally from Jaffa city, who were settled in the neighborhood, along with 27 other families, with the support of the United Nations and the Jordanian government, in the 1950s.

Like other families in the area, for years they have been engaged in a legal dispute opposing efforts by Israeli settler organizations to evict them from their homes. Recently, this legal struggle was deemed unsuccessful as Israeli courts have ruled in favor of the settlers’ claims. Thirty-two members of the Sabbagh family, including six children, now face forced eviction, while an additional 19 members will be directly affected by the loss of the family property, should the eviction take place.

“In the occupied Palestinian territory, strict obligations apply with regard to the prohibition of forcible transfer and forced eviction,” said the officials in the statement. “Along with house demolitions, forced evictions are one of the major factors contributing to the creation of a coercive environment that may result in no other choice for individuals or communities but to leave. Forcible transfer is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Forced evictions contrary to international law also violate the right to adequate housing and the right to privacy, and may be incompatible with other human rights.”

They added, according to WAFA : “In many cases in East Jerusalem, including in Sheikh Jarrah, the forced eviction of Palestinians is occurring within the context of Israeli settlement construction and expansion, illegal under international humanitarian law. An estimated 3,500 Israelis are currently living in settlements established with the support of the Israeli authorities in the heart of Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem. In Sheikh Jarrah alone, more than 200 Palestinians face potential eviction, should they be unsuccessful in similar cases currently before Israeli courts.”

They called on the Israeli authorities “to immediately halt plans to evict the Sabbagh family to prevent further displacement of these refugees, cease settlement construction, and abide by their obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

In letter, Palestinian Authority asks US to drop all remaining aid

Press TV – January 23, 2019

The Palestinian Authority (PA) says it will refuse American aid in its entirety after Washington cut humanitarian funds to Palestinians, adding that accepting such help could carry unwelcome legal consequences for the Ramallah-based administration.

The Authority “sent an official letter to the US administration requesting it stop all aid to the PA, including assistance to the Palestinian security services,” senior negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump has already pledged to cut almost all humanitarian aid to Palestinians. American-funded projects are being phased out gradually.

Erekat further said the decision was made due to concerns over the so-called Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), approved by President Trump in October 2018, which makes it possible for US citizens to sue foreign entities that receive US aid.

This may prompt US families to start exposing the PA to “costly” lawsuits over alleged “past Palestinian attacks,” AFP said.

American authorities have, in the past, blamed Palestinians for “political violence” targeting American interests inside and outside the occupied territories. This is while Washington provides an annual military aid of around $3 billion to Israel, which engages in routine deadly acts of aggression against Palestinians.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah wrote in the letter sent to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo back on December 26, 2018 that “as of January 31st, 2019, it fully disclaims and no longer wishes to accept any form of assistance referenced in ATCA.”

The US aid features roughly $50 million in annual support for Palestinian security services, including support for security coordination with the regime in Tel Aviv. Israel claims that the coordination is “crucial” for maintaining calm in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli acts of aggression are a daily occurrence.

Relations between the PA and the US, already strained due to Washington’s unwavering support for Israel, took an unprecedented dip in late 2017, when Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” in the face of the Palestinians’ internationally-recognized claims to the occupied city.

The PA, in response, stopped recognizing any mediation role by Washington in the decades-long conflict with the Israeli regime.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Western journalists have become cheerleaders for war’ – analyst on Estonian ‘bomb Russia’ article

RT | January 23, 2019

A recent Estonian op-ed calling for capability to shell St.Petersburg and sink Russian ships in case of conflict may be hypothetical, but the pressure on Tallinn to buy missiles from NATO is real, a British journalist told RT.

“Just several limited strikes” on St. Petersburg could be enough to change Russia’s mind if it ever decides to attack Estonia, an opinion piece in Delfi, one of the top online news outlets in the Baltics, suggested. Its author, Estonian journalist Vahur Koorits, also urged the country to become capable of sinking or hijacking Russia ships in order to disrupt trade in the Baltic Sea.

Koorits’s article is part of a wider trend that signals “a sad decline in journalism” in Europe and the US, according to UK journalist Neil Clark.

“A lot of journalists in the West have become cheerleaders for military confrontations and wars… Instead of being skeptical, looking at issues objectively and actually trying to hold power to account, they’re doing the opposite. This is very worrying,” he said.

The publication in Delfi was “the latest in a number of similar articles, basically calling for aggression against Russia,” Clark noted. He recalled another example in the Washington Examiner last year, in which US political commentator Tom Rogan advised Ukrainian authorities to bomb the newly built 19km bridge connecting Crimea with mainland Russia.

“Just imagine a Russian writer saying a similar thing about America or Britain, saying that infrastructure in the US should be bombed. It would be seen as outrageous… hailed as evidence that Russia is aggressive; threatening the West,” Clark said.

However, when a Western journalist is calling for the use of force against the countries that have been labeled as “bad guys” by Washington and London, “there is silence,” he added.

Moscow, of course, has “zero reasons” to attack Estonia and Tallinn would never dare to attack Russia, so the op-ed by Koorits should be treated with “a smile,” the British journalist stated.

However, he warned that Estonia and its Baltic neighbors in Latvia and Lithuania “are very crucial actors of this new Cold War against Russia.”

“Think tanks working for the Western arms companies are promoting this narrative of a Russian threat to the Baltics in order to sell weapons. It could well be that Estonia does come under pressure to buy missiles that could threaten St. Petersburg,” Clark said.


‘Russians will die in Tallinn if they invade’: Estonian commander launches bizarre rant

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Councils have cut services but spend millions on CCTV

TruePublica | January 23, 2019

Most people in the UK think quite wrongly that they live in a country where freedom and privacy is the basic right of all citizens. The UK currently holds the record for the largest number of CCTV cameras per person. Although Britain contains only contains 1 per cent of the world’s population, its citizens are watched by 20 per cent of the world’s CCTV cameras. Research in 2013 estimated that there are up to six million cameras in the UK, and the network is expected to expand even further, which according to a recent report it has achieved. But there’s more.

To add to worries of illegal state surveillance – “the risk potential for intrusion on citizens has significantly increased both by lawful operators of surveillance camera systems and those individual or state actors who seek to hack into systems,” Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter said.

In addition, we should not forget the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system. ANPR is one of the largest non-military databases in the UK, with around 9,000 cameras nationally that captures between 25 million and 40 million pieces of data per day, while up to 20 billion “read” records are held.

Porter described this activity as “formidable”, saying:

“The nature of its capabilities to intrude on privacy by building patterns of travel and the provision of imagery should not be underestimated.”

“I firmly believe that this system needs legislative oversight and that the Government should place this system on a statutory footing.”

It is estimated that there are over half a million CCTV cameras in London alone where the average person is photographed or videoed approximately 300 times every single day.

And if mass state surveillance, much of which has been deemed illegal by the highest courts in the land is of concern, then diverting much needed public funds from important social support programmes to surveillance is utterly appalling.

Reported in The Times is an article about how councils are now spending millions of pounds spying on residents despite cutting services in almost every other area.

“Local authorities in England have spent more than three-quarters of a billion pounds on CCTV over the past decade, an increase of 17 per cent a year since 2010. Over the same period councils have reduced spending on street cleaning by 12 per cent, food safety by 16 per cent, trading standards by 32 per cent and libraries by 35 per cent.

Critics said the increase in spending on CCTV while other departments had their budgets cut was “offensive”.”

Big Brother Watch Director, Silkie Carlo, said:

“Research consistently shows that public cameras are ineffective at deterring, preventing or even solving crime, but that too much CCTV does curb citizens’ freedom. The UK is already one of the most surveilled nations in the world, with six million CCTV cameras recording us every day. Surveillance is no substitute for policing and this will prove to be a terrible waste of money.”

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 1 Comment

UK-funded psyop outfit Integrity Initiative locks Twitter account after wiping content from website

RT | January 23, 2019

After wiping its website clean pending a ‘probe’ into embarrassing leaks, the British state-funded Integrity Initiative (II) has hidden its Twitter account from the public, meaning only ‘approved’ followers can see its activity.

The Scotland-based organization, which received roughly £2 million in government funding over the last 18 months, had fashioned itself as a benign charity fighting “disinformation” online.

That was until a series of leaks, posted online by a group that claimed to be associated with the Anonymous hacker collective, revealed that it had been working with “clusters” of journalists, politicians and academics to engage in shady anti-Russia ‘influence’ campaigns across Europe, as well as a domestic smear campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who it tried to frame as a tool of the Kremlin.

The decision to lock its Twitter account comes just a day after the II announced (via that Twitter account) that it had deleted all content from its website pending an investigation into the “theft” of its data.

A statement posted on the site claimed that some of the leaks had been “falsified” but didn’t include any evidence to back that up, leading to speculation that the organization was simply trying to clean house and prepare a credible excuse in the wake of the disturbing leaks.

That perception has only intensified since it decided to hide its tweets from the public, with some wondering why the group would need to delete all of its content and hide its social media activity from the public if there was nothing questionable in its history.

Academic Tim Hayward tweeted that it was strange that a person now had to be an “accepted” follower in order to see how the II defends them from disinformation. Hayward said the move should force the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to “reconsider” its funding for the sketchy operation.

Others complained that the general public should be allowed to view the activity of a taxpayer-funded organization and suggested that it would only make its account private if it had something to hide.

The II has faced sharp criticism from alternative news outlets and independent journalists since the first batch of leaks were dumped in November, but little coverage from British and US mainstream media which has preferred to stay away from the story despite many questions about its funding and activities being left unanswered.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Deception | | Leave a comment

The Integrity Initiative and the British Roots of the Deep State: How the Round Table Infiltrated America

Kissinger’s takeover of the State Department ushered in a new era of British occupation of American foreign policy

By Matthew Ehret | Oriental Review | January 23, 2019

With the nearly weekly revelations that the British Foreign Office, MI6, and GCHQ have been behind the long standing agenda to undermine the Presidency of Donald Trump and undo the peaceful alliance between nationalist leaders in America, Russia, China and elsewhere, a new focus on the British hand in undermining the United States has become a serious thought for many citizens. In the first week of the new year, fuel was added to this fire when internal memos were leaked from the British-run Integrity Initiative featuring a startling account of the techniques deployed by the anti-Russian British operation to infiltrate American intelligence institutions, think tanks and media.

For those who may not know, The Integrity Initiative is an anti-Russian propaganda outfit funded to the tune of $140 million by the British Foreign office. The January 2019 leak, featuring documents dated to the early period of Trump’s election, demonstrate that this organization, already active across Europe promoting anti-Russian PR and smearing nationalist leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn, was intent on spreading deeply into the State Department and setting up “clusters” of anti-Trump operatives. The documents reveal high level meetings that Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly had with former Trump Advisor Sebastien Gorka, McCain Foundation director Kurt Volker, Pentagon PR guru John Rendon among many others.

The exposure of the British hand behind the scenes affords us a unique glimpse into the real historical forces undermining America’s true constitutional tradition throughout the 20th century, as Mueller/the Five Eyes/Integrity Initiative are not new phenomena but actually follow a modus operandi set down for already more than a century. One of the biggest obstacles to seeing this modus operandi run by the British Empire is located in the belief in a mythology which has become embedded in the global psyche for over half a century and which we should do our best to free ourselves of.

Debunking the Myth of the “American Empire”

While there has been a long-standing narrative promoted for over 70 years that the British Empire disappeared after World War II having been replaced by the “American Empire”, it is the furthest thing from the truth. America, as constitutionally represented by its greatest presidents (who can unfortunately be identified by their early deaths while serving in office), were never colonialist and were always in favor of reining in British Institutions at home while fighting British colonial thinking abroad.

Franklin Roosevelt’s thirteen year-long battle with the Deep State, which he referred to as the “economic royalists who should have left America in 1776″, was defined in clear terms by his patriotic Vice-President Henry Wallace who warned of the emergence of a new Anglo-American fascism in 1944 when he said:

“Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.”

The fact is that already in 1944, a policy of Anglo-Saxon imperialism had been promoted subversively by British-run think tanks known as the Round Table Movement and Fabian Society, and the seeds had already been laid for the anti-Russian cold war by those British-run American fascists. It is not a coincidence that this fascist Cold War policy was announced in a March 5, 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri by none other than Round Table-follower Winston Churchill.

The Empire Strikes

When the Round Table Movement was created with funds from the Rhodes Trust in 1902, a new plan was laid out to create a new technocratic elite to manage the re-emergence of the new British Empire and crush the emergence of American-inspired nationalism globally. This organization would be staffed by generations of Rhodes Scholars who would receive their indoctrination in Oxford before being sent back to advance a “post-nation state” agenda in their respective countries.

As this agenda largely followed the mandate set out by Cecil Rhodes in his Seventh Will who said “Why should we not form a secret society with but one object: the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, and for the making of the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?”

With the help of an anglophile, racist president in America, leading figures organizing these think tanks first advanced a program to create a “League of Nations” as the solution to the “nationalist problem” which humanity was told “caused” World War One. Nationalist forces in America rejected the idea that the constitution should be rendered obsolete and the plan for global governance failed. However that did not stop the Round Table Movement from trying again. Leading Round Table controller Lord Lothian (British Ambassador to the USA) complained of the “American problem” in 1918.

”There is a fundamentally different concept in regard to this question between Great Britain and the United States  as to the necessity of civilized control over politically backward peoples…. The inhabitants of Africa and parts of Asia have proved unable to govern themselves…. Yet America not only has no conception of this aspect of the problem but has been led to believe that the assumption of this kind of responsibility is iniquitous imperialism.

They take an attitude towards the problem of world government exactly analogous to the one they [earlier] took toward the problem of the world war. If they are slow in learning we shall be condemned to a period of strained relations between the various parts of the English-speaking world. [We must] get into the heads of Canadians and Americans that a share in the burden of world government is just as great and glorious a responsibility as participation in the war”.

A Chinese leader of the American-inspired republican revolution of 1911 named Sun Yat-sen warned of the likes of Lord Lothian and the League of Nations in 1924 when he said “The nations which are employing imperialism to conquer others and which are trying to maintain their own favored positions as sovereign lords of the whole world are advocating cosmopolitanism [aka: global governance/globalization -ed] and want the world to join them… Nationalism is that precious possession by which humanity maintains its existence. If nationalism decays, then when cosmopolitanism flourishes we will be unable to survive and will be eliminated”.

New Name. Same Beast

By 1919, the Round Table Movement changed its name to the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) with the “Round Table” name relegated to its geopolitical periodical. In Canada and Australia, branches were created in 1928 under the rubrics of “Canadian and Australian Institutes for International Affairs” (CIIA, AIIA). However in America, where knowledge of the British Empire’s subversive role was more widely known, the name “American Institute for International Affairs” was still too delicate. Instead the name “Council on Foreign Relations” was chosen and was chartered in 1921.

Rhodes Scholar William Yandall Elliot surrounded by a few of his leading disciples: Sir Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski Samuel Huntington and Pierre Trudeau

Staffed with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians, the CFR (and its International Chatham House counterparts) dubbed themselves “independent think tanks” which interfaced with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians in academia, government and the private sector alike with the mission of advancing a foreign policy agenda that was in alignment with the British Empire’s dream of an Anglo-American “special relationship”. One such Rhodes Scholar was William Yandall Elliot, who played a major role mentoring Henry Kissinger and a generation of geo-politicians from Harvard, not the least of whom include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Samuel (Clash of Civilizations) Huntington.

The Round Table in Canada and the Coup Against FDR

In Canada, five leading Rhodes Scholars were busy creating the League of Social Reconstruction as a self-described “Fabian Society of Canada” in 1931 which was meant to be a fascist/technocratic answer to the chaos of “greedy nationalism” that supposedly caused the economic collapse of Black Friday in 1929. During the same time in America, a different path to fascism was taken by these networks during the early 1930s. This plan involved installing a General named Smedley Butler into power as a puppet dictator steered by the Anglo-American establishment. Luckily for America and the world, General Butler blew the whistle on the coup against Franklin Roosevelt at the last minute.

Kissinger’s British Takeover of America

Though it took a few assassinations throughout the post war years, Kissinger’s takeover of the State Department ushered in a new era of British occupation of American foreign policy, whereby the republic increasingly became the “Dumb Giant” acting as “American Brawn for the British brains” using Churchill’s words. While a nihilistic generation of youth were tuning in on LSD, and an old guard of patriots surrounding Wallace and Kennedy had fallen to the “red scare” witch hunt, geopolitical theory was fed like a sweet poison down the throat of a sleeping nation, replacing a policy of peace and “win-win cooperation” advanced by true nationalist patriots as FDR, Wallace and the Kennedys, with an imperial clone masquerading as a republic.

Sir Kissinger did nothing less than reveal his total allegiance to the British Empire on May 10, 1981 during a Chatham House conference in Britain when he described his relationship with the British Foreign office in the following terms: “The British were so matter-of-factly helpful that they became a participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never practiced between sovereign nations… In my White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better informed and more closely engaged than I did the American State Department… It was symptomatic”.

During this period, Kissinger worked closely with CIA director George Bush Senior, who was later rewarded for his role in advancing the British-planned first war on Kuwait with a knighthood. This war set the stage for the second wave of Middle East wars beginning with the Anglo-Saudi orchestrated operation known as 9/11 and the ushering in of the new “post-nation state order” by Kissinger and Blair.

This was the era which was celebrated by both Kissinger and Bush in sundry places as “the New World Order”.

The Dystopic New World Order Threatened by a New Deal of the 21st Century

It is this dystopic geopolitical order which has been challenged by the Russia-China alliance which arose in earnest with Xi Jinping’s 2013 announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative as the Grand design for large scale infrastructure projects internationally and in September 2015 with Vladimir Putin’s intervention into Syria which defeated the Hobbesian regime change paradigm which poisoned the west. In 2016, the election of nationalist American President Donald Trump opened the door for the first time in over 50 years to a true national coalition of sovereign nations to eliminate the cancer of colonial thinking forever from the earth.

It is this same British-run deep state which owns Robert Mueller, who along with the Integrity Initiative, Five Eyes and other Deep State operatives are dedicated to overthrowing President Trump from office and undoing the great potential now facing the world as outlined by the Schiller Institute and American statesman Lyndon LaRouche: 1) an FDR-style re-organization of the bankrupt banking system and 2) the unleashing of a global New Silk Road as the New Deal of the 21st Century.

Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Did Khashoggi Really Die?

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 23.01.2019

I have not been convinced about the claims coming from Turkey and from the Washington Post and others regarding the allegations of a gruesome murder of intelligence asset, Jamal Khashoggi, in October, 2018. There are too many anomalies as it was portrayed by various statements from Turkey President Erdogan, and echoed by a chorus of the Western mainstream media. Recent research suggests that perhaps Khashoggi was never in that Saudi Consulate in Istanbul that day, and in fact may still be quite alive and in hiding. If so, it suggests a far larger story behind the affair. Let’s consider the following.

The best way to outline this is to go back to the events around the surprise arrest and detention of numerous Saudi high-ranking persons in late 2017, by Prince Mohammed bin Salman or MBS as he is known. On November 4, 2017 MBS announced via state TV that numerous leading Saudis including one of the wealthiest, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, had been arrested on charges of corruption, and were being detained in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton hotel. Prince Alwaleed is clearly the critical person.

The son-in-law of President Trump had reportedly made a non-publicized visit to Riyadh for private talks with MBS just days before the mass arrests. A report in the UK Mail newspaper in 2018 claimed that Jared Kushner, representing the President, had informed MBS of a rival Saudi Royals plot to eliminate the Crown Prince. Prince Alwaleed was reported to be at the center of the plotters.

After three months imprisonment, Alwaleed was released from detention on 27 January 2018, following a reported financial settlement. In March 2018 he dropped out from Forbes’ World’s Billionaires’ list. Before his arrest Alwaleed was the largest shareholder in Citibank, a major owner of Twitter, once partner of Bill Gates in Gates Foundation vaccine programs, and generous donor to select Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. According to media reports, Hillary campaign aide Huma Abedin’s brother, Hassan Abedin, Muslim Brotherhood member, worked with Bin Talal on a project called “Spreading Islam to the West.” Bin Talal and other Saudi sources donated as much as $25 million to the Clinton Foundation as she was preparing her Presidential bid. The Prince was also an open foe of Donald Trump.

Who was Khashoggi Really?

Jamal Khashoggi was no ordinary journalist. He actually worked for Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. In an interview in the Gulf Times in November last year Alwaleed stated, “Jamal wasn’t only my friend. He was working with me. Actually, his last job in Saudi Arabia was with me…” Jamal was, or is, nephew of CIA-linked asset, the recently deceased Adnan Khashoggi, a nefarious arms dealer involved in the CIA-Saudi BCCI bank and Iran-Contra. Nephew Jamal also worked for the then-Saudi Ambassador in Washington, Prince Bandar, someone so close to the Bush family that George W. nicknamed him “Bandar Bush.” In short, Khashoggi was part of Saudi circles close to the Bush-Clinton group. When King Abdullah decided to skip over Alwaleed’s father, Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, dubbed “The Red Prince” for his reformist views, in his succession, a move that led to Salman, father of MBS, as successor, Alwaleed was on the outs in the Saudi power calculus of King Salman and Crown Prince MBS.

The Saudi government as well as the Brookings Institution confirm that Khashoggi had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was banned from Saudi Arabia in 2011 following the Obama-Hillary Clinton Arab Spring, when the Saudi monarch, King Abdullah, and those around him realized that the royal house itself was a potential target for brotherhood regime change, as in Egypt and Tunisia.

The Obama Administration, as I detail in Manifest Destiny, working with the CIA, planned a drastic series of regime changes across the Islamic world to install Muslim Brotherhood regimes “friendly” with the CIA and the Obama administration. Key members of the Obama Administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s special assistant, Huma Abedin, had deep ties to the Saudi part of the Muslim Brotherhood where Abedin’s mother lives. Her mother, Saleha Abedin– an academic in Saudi Arabia where Huma grew up– according to a report on Al Jazeera and other Arab media, is a prominent member of the womens’ organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Huma’s brother is also reported linked to the organization. Notably, the late John McCain, whose ties to leading members of ISIS and Al Qaeda is public record, tried to discredit fellow Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for pointing to Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood ties. This is the faction within Saudi Arabia that Khashoggi was tied to.

As President, Trump’s first foreign trip was to meet MBS and the Saudi King, a trip sharply criticized by Democrat Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Once a Trump Presidency moved to rebuild the frayed relations that had developed between Obama and the Saudi monarchy under King Abdullah and later King Salman, father of Crown Prince MBS, the faction around pro-Obama Prince Bin Talal Alwaleed was out of favor, to put it mildly, especially after Hillary Clinton lost. In June 2017 Alwaleed’s former employee, Jamal Khashoggi, fled into self-imposed exile in the US where he had studied earlier, after the government banned his twitter account in Saudi.

Khashoggi alive?

Once MBS acted to arrest Alwaleed and numerous others, the future of the money flows between Alwaleed to not only Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and to other Democrats he had “supported” with Saudi millions, was in jeopardy. While it is difficult to confirm, a BBC Turkish journalist in Istanbul reportedly told an arab language paper after the alleged gruesome murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi that, in fact, Jamal Khashoggi was alive and well, somewhere in hiding.

It is a fact that former CIA head and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, gave a briefing to the US Senate in which they told the senators that there was no evidence to suggest MBS was behind this alleged crime. They added that they couldn’t even confirm a crime had happened! Only CIA head Gina Haspel, former CIA London station chief, disputed their claims. The Erdogan claims that the body was chopped up and then dissolved in acid for disposal without trace harkens back to the account of the Navy Seal disposal of the dead body allegedly of Osama bin Laden, which the Obama Administration claimed they dumped at sea “according to Muslim tradition.” Conveniently in both cases there was no body to forensically confirm.

Indeed the allegations to world media around the Khashoggi affair were tightly controlled by Turkey’s President Erdogan who repeatedly promised then failed to reveal, what he said were secret Turkish intelligence tapes of the alleged murder. Erdogan is reported very close to the Muslim Brotherhood if not a hidden member, one reason for his close support of Qatar after MBS and the Saudi king declared economic sanctions on Qatar for support of terrorism, in fact Qatari support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Here we are dealing with shifting political alliances with huge consequences potentially for US and world politics given the enormous size of the Saudi financial resources. It’s also bizarre that Khashoggi allegedly agreed to go to a Saudi Consulate in Turkey and to supposedly get divorce papers. Further, his reported fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, seems to be equally mysterious, with some asking whether she in fact is an agent of Turkish intelligence used to discredit Saudi Arabia.

The claims of Erdogan of the assassination of Jamal by a Saudi team were buttressed by a mysterious Khaled Saffuri, who told Yahoo News reporter, Michael Isikoff, that Khashoggi became a bitter foe of MBS for his articles in the media criticizing the arrests of Prince Bin Talal and others. Research reveals that Saffuri, media source on the Khashoggi alleged murder, also has had close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood front organization, American Muslim Council, and to Qatar, host to the exiled Brotherhood for years. Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood was a factor in the break between MBS and Qatar two years ago.

Saffuri is also the protégé of al-Qaeda fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, reportedly also an influential Muslim Brotherhood supporter who before 2004 met with both G.W. Bush and Hillary Clinton. Alamoudi is currently in US federal prison since 2004 for his role as bagman for a Libyan/Al-Qaeda assassination plot to assassinate then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. In brief, the prime sources on the Khashoggi murder are few and hardly without bias.

At this point it is difficult to go beyond speculation. Clear is that Jamal Khashoggi is missing from public view since early October. But until the Turkish government or someone else presents serious forensic evidence, habeas corpus, that indeed shows Alwaleed’s former employee, Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by a Saudi assassination team, let alone by one commanded by Crown Prince bin Salman, the situation warrants more serious examination. It is curious that the same liberal media such as Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post that attacks MBS for the alleged murder of their reporter, Khashoggi, fails to criticize previous Saudi executions or even subsequent ones.

Did Khashoggi really die at the Istanbul Consulate or was something else going on? To stage a fake execution of Khashoggi to discredit and even possibly topple MBS might possibly have appeared to Alwaleed and his CIA friends in Washington to be a clever way of restoring their power and financial influence. If so, it seems to have failed.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , | 1 Comment

House passes bill preventing Trump from leaving NATO, tells allies to start pulling weight

RT | January 23, 2019

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to prevent President Donald Trump from withdrawing the country from NATO, but called on European allies to pay their dues – just like Trump has demanded.

The bipartisan NATO Support Act was passed on Tuesday in a 357-22 vote that reiterated US commitment to the military bloc and included a provision that rejects any effort made by the president to withdraw from it, banning funding for such actions.

“It’s crazy that we have to be introducing this bill. But it is, unfortunately, both necessary and urgent,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski, one of the Democratic co-sponsors of the bill. “I believe it’s necessary that I take the president of the United States seriously. President Trump has made no secret of his disdain for NATO and his willingness to consider leaving it.”

On the campaign trail and during his presidency, Trump repeatedly criticized NATO, saying the organization allowed other members to take advantage of American generosity and enjoy protection it offers without sharing the burden. The US is by far the biggest contributor to the alliance in terms of finances and soldiers carrying out its missions.

Among other NATO allies, few meet the benchmark two percent of GDP that they are required to spend on defense, which is a commitment that all members made. On many occasions, Trump demanded that this slight was addressed.

The new bill makes the same demand, but Rep. Jimmy Panetta, who spearheaded the legislation, insists it is not like those made by the president.

“What we have to realize is that NATO is not just a transactional relationship,” he said, adding that the focus “can’t just be on who pays what and who gets what. Being a member of NATO is not like being a member of a country club.”

In their statements on the bill, several lawmakers stressed NATO’s role in defending Europe from ‘aggression by Russia.’ This perceived threat has been used to justify an increased military presence of NATO troops close to Russia’s border and regular exercises on a scale unseen since the Cold War. Russia is responding with additional deployments of troops in the west of the country and exercises of its own.

NATO’s uncontrolled expansion eastwards, contrary to verbal assurances made to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, made Moscow increasingly suspicious of the West’s actions and caused it to spend a lot of resources modernizing its armed forces and boosting its nuclear deterrence over the past two decades.

This policy is now cited as the reason why NATO is necessary. Retired US four-star general David Petraeus recently called it “the greatest gift” the bloc could receive.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Geopolitics before sport: Russian athletes were punished for being Russian

By Neil Clark | RT | January 23, 2019

Russian athletes, falsely accused of doping, won an important legal victory at the weekend. But unfortunately, the mud has stuck which is what Russia’s geopolitical enemies always wanted.

As the old saying goes “a lie can be halfway around the world before the truth has got its boots on.” Basically on the ‘evidence’ of one man, who lives in America, and the lobbying of certain NATO countries, Russian athletes were collectively held to be guilty of doping offences and deprived of their opportunity to compete at the very highest level.

A great injustice was done to the sportsmen and women involved, but now, finally, the record is being put straight.

On Saturday, the Swiss Supreme Court turned down the International Olympic Committee’s appeal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling to acquit 28 members of Team Russia of doping allegations during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Christof Wieschemann, the lawyer for Russian cross-country skier Alexander Legkov, who the IOC tried to deprive of Olympic medals, has stated that Russian athletes falsely accused could have avoided career-ruining bans if the IOC hadn’t concealed facts of their innocence.

His firm says that the IOC “seriously violated the procedural rights of the athletes and even withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense and the court.”

Wieschemann says he filed no fewer than five written requests to the IOC for evidence against his client, but he was never shown any.

Just imagine if US athletes had been treated in such a scandalous way. But it’s Russians and of course we all know they’re a bunch of cheats, don’t we? That’s certainly what we are supposed to believe by those who want us to hate Russia as much as they do.

The campaign to get Russian athletes banned can be traced back directly to those countries who are most vocal in opposing Russia internationally. This is about politics and not genuine concern about sporting malpractice.

In July 2016, Reuters revealed how the heads of US and Canada’s anti-doping bodies had drafted a letter to WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, calling for ALL Russian athletes to be banned from the Rio Olympic Games. The letter was circulated by the Canadian representative to other WADA members.

As I wrote here, just imagine if the Russian anti-doping agency had sought to get all US or Canada athletes banned, whether or not they had been found guilty of cheating.

The WADA report into alleged Russian ‘state-sponsored’ doping, based solely on the testimony of former Moscow anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov, who defected to the US in 2015, was put together by a Canadian lawyer, Richard McLaren.

No one is saying that McLaren was himself biased, but surely in the interests of natural justice, would it not have been better if the report had been compiled by someone from a non-NATO country and not a country that was, quite clearly, pushing for a Russian ban?

Even Russian Paralympians have been victimized. In 2016, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) bowed to pressure to introduce a blanket ban on Russian Paralympians competing in Rio. Six of the 14 members of the IPC’s governing board came from NATO countries.

The IOC itself came under enormous pressure to introduce a similar blanket ban on Team Russia competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. We know from leaks from the hacktivist group Fancy Bear, that the IOC was far from satisfied with the ‘proof’ of a state-sponsored program in parts of the McLaren report. We also know that Martial Saugy, the former director of the WADA’s accredited doping Laboratory of Lausanne accused the McLaren report of making “incorrect allegations.”

In November 2017, WADA chief Craig Reedie admitted that, while there were “hints” and “claims” of evidence of a systematic state-sponsored Russian doping scheme, 95 of the 96 cases of Russian athletes WADA was investigating had been suspended because “there was not sufficient evidence to pursue an anti-doping rule violation.”

In normal times, the IOC would have acknowledged that the case against Russia did not stack up. But these were not normal times.

Portraying Russia as a country that cheated, on a routine, state-sanctioned level at sport has been an important part of the propaganda campaign to delegitimize the country and place it in the international ‘sin-bin.’ This would be punishment for Russia for daring to thwart neocon plans for regime change in Syria and for being a competitor with the US in the lucrative European energy markets. Russia can’t be trusted. It needs to be sanctioned. Don’t you get the message?

It was entirely predictable that the IOC’s decision to ban Russian athletes from competing under the Russian flag in PyeongChang, was lauded on social media by the late US neocon Senator John McCain. He also used it an opportunity to call, once again, for FIFA to take the 2018 Football World Cup away from Russia.

An American playwright called Bryan Fogel, also did his bit. As I noted here, it was Fogel and Rodchenkov who took their story to the New York Times, triggering the McLaren report.

‘Icarus’, the documentary film Fogel made, which included interviews with Rodchenkov, not surprisingly given the neo-con induced Russophobic climate, won an Academy Award in 2018.

In an interview with the FT, Fogel said Russia had a “cultural problem” with drugs, which went back to communism.

Let’s not mention how communist Hungary were cheated out of the 1954 World Cup, or the allegations about widespread US doping made by Wade Exum, the US Olympic Committee’s former director of drug control, in 2003, shall we?

I took a look at Fogel’s Twitter feed and guess what? The first tweet is a retweet of Kremlin critic Bill Browder. Fogel also refers to WADA chief Sir Craig Reedie – who spoke to RT in 2017 – as a “criminal President.”

You can see where he’s coming from.

Saturday’s Swiss court decision comes too late for the innocent Russian athletes who lost their chance to compete under the flag of their own country at the greatest sporting events in the world.

But it should, I think, inspire a new report and then a new investigative documentary on the campaign to get Russia banned. It could be called ‘Robbed!’. Only this time, don’t expect it to win an Oscar.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia, Wars for Israel | | Leave a comment