Aletho News


The Lobby USA – Abridged

If Americans Knew | Mar 4, 2019

1 hour, abridged version of censored Al Jazeera documentary exposing the Israel lobby in the U.S.

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

For more information see

For information on pro-Israel influence on U.S. Congressional candidates see

For a full list of the Israel lobby in the U.S see

More information and additional documentaries on the Israel lobby can be seen at


This abridged version has been shortened to just over an hour.

View a playlist with the intros removed here:

All four parts in one video here:

And the original, unedited versions here:

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

A Stumble at Hanoi, but Negotiations Remain on the Agenda

By Gregory Elich | Zoom in Korea | March 4, 2019

President Trump’s hasty decision to pull the plug on the Hanoi Summit ahead of schedule came as a stunning surprise. The feeling of disappointment in those who were hoping for success contrasted with the sense of relief in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, which remains steadfastly opposed to any improvement in relations.

The widespread assumption going into the summit was that the Trump administration would be able to buy off North Korea with diplomatic trinkets. It was thought that among these would be limited sanctions exemptions, such as allowing humanitarian organizations greater latitude to operate in North Korea. It was also anticipated that a document would be signed which would recognize that the Korean War had ended in 1953. While a peace declaration would have a symbolic “feel good” value, it would change no facts on the ground, and leave the North Koreans essentially empty-handed.

By all accounts, the North Koreans have been more clear-eyed about what they need in talks with U.S. negotiators than they had been given credit. Symbolic measures will not suffice. The North Koreans have serious and well-founded security concerns, given the various wars and military interventions the United States has launched around the world and its decades-long hostility to North Korea.

The Trump administration’s current campaign to destabilize Venezuela and substitute its handpicked lackey as that country’s president can only have further clarified thinking on security matters for the North Koreans.

A more immediate concern for North Korea is the impact of economic sanctions, which have as their aim the collective punishment of the entire population. According to a senior U.S. State Department official, during discussions on sanctions relief with their North Korean counterparts, U.S. negotiators “did our own calculations, and [the damage] tallies up to the tune of many, many billions of dollars.” North Korea’s GDP may be difficult to assess with precision, but it is estimated at around $30 billion. That places it below Vermont, which ranks dead last among U.S. states in terms of GDP. Given the economic damage/GDP ratio, it is obvious that the sanctions war is inflicting enormous hardship on the North Korean people.

According to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, “Our proposal was that, if the U.S. lifts some of the UN sanctions, or in other words those aspects of the sanctions that impede the civilian economy and the people’s livelihood, we will completely and permanently dismantle the production facilities of all nuclear materials, including plutonium and uranium, in the Yongbyon complex, through a joint project by technicians from our two countries, in the presence of American experts”

“They were willing to give everything, including all the facilities at Yongbyon,” revealed an unnamed source. “Not just one physical reactor, but the whole complex. They were also willing to present their willingness to fully dismantle in the form of an official document. They were getting down to business pretty seriously. And then Mr. Trump and the American side turned down the proposal and left,” to the dismay of the North Koreans.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the president to reject the North Koreans’ proposal, as facilities outside of Yongbyon were not included, and nuclear weapons and missiles would remain untouched. National Security Advisor John Bolton may have added objections as well, given his well-known aversion to anything other than unilateral disarmament by North Korea.

“The President in his discussions challenged the North Koreans to go bigger,” a State Department official announced. “The President encouraged Kim to go all in, and we were… prepared to go all in as well.” Trump wanted the North Koreans to put their entire program on the table in exchange for relief on economic sanctions.

From the North Korean standpoint, complete dismantlement of its nuclear program cannot come without a security guarantee. According to Foreign Minister Ri, that guarantee is “even more important” than lifting sanctions. After all, it was for security reasons that North Korea developed its nuclear program, and its security will need to be assured through other means if it denuclearizes. “Given the current level of trust between our two countries,” Ri explained, the dismantlement of the Yongbyon facility is “the biggest step toward denuclearization that we can take at the present moment.” Trump’s proposed grand bargain failed to provide a secure basis for the North Koreans to abandon their nuclear program. Also unaddressed is the concept of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which is habitually interpreted in a one-sided manner in the West as applying solely to North Korea. The meaning of that term needs to be clarified through further negotiations.

The U.S. side, however, remains wedded to the idea of maximum punishment as a negotiating tool and is unwilling to grant relief on economic sanctions without North Korea’s complete denuclearization. That is the essence of the current impasse between the two sides. In an interview broadcast on Fox News, Trump said, “The sanctions are there, and I didn’t want to give up the sanctions unless we had a real program.”

It seems clear that if both parties can agree on timing and sequencing, the possibilities for progress are there, starting with a partial lifting of economic sanctions in exchange for partial denuclearization.

Although the Hanoi Summit failed to produce a concrete result, it would be incorrect to say that it failed. Diplomacy is a process, not a single event. The summit did not end in rancor, and both sides have pledged to continue negotiations. KCNA, the North Korean news agency, reported that the summit “offered an important occasion for deepening mutual respect and trust,” and it noted that President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un “agreed to keep in close touch” and “continue productive dialogues for settling the issues discussed at the Hanoi Summit.”

“They were constructive discussions,” points out a State Department official. “There’s room to continue talking.” In Mike Pompeo’s assessment, “There have been lots of things that we’ve moved forward on, and I think we have a set of shared common understandings. I’ve seen enough congruence between what the two sides are trying to accomplish. I saw the goodwill between the two leaders.”

Despite the lack of agreement, Kim reiterated his commitment to maintain a freeze on nuclear and ballistic missile testing, while the U.S. is renaming and reducing the scope of its annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve military exercises.

The main impediment to progress is U.S. bi-partisan opposition to dialogue and any reduction of tensions in East Asia. An often-repeated charge is that last year’s Singapore Summit produced no tangible result. However, the Singapore Summit was a short meeting meant to establish an agreement on intent, in which not only did North Korea promise to work toward denuclearization, but both sides committed to improve relations and build a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. After decades of hostility and confrontation, the summit redirected the relationship to one of dialogue. That is no small thing. Critics who argue that detailed steps should have been drawn up in that initial meeting are, of course, intentionally distorting the nature of the meeting in an attempt to discredit the concept of U.S.-North Korea negotiations.

Similarly, those who wish to block progress can be expected to argue that the lack of an agreement at Hanoi proves that it is a mistake to meet with the North Koreans and talks must come to a halt. Nevertheless, U.S. and North Korean leaders remain invested in the process, and the less influence opponents have on U.S. negotiating strategy, the more chance of success. Moreover, although there is internal opposition from conservative forces in South Korea, the detente process between the two Koreas has developed its own momentum, which can be expected to exert a positive influence on the U.S. position. For now, there is certainly more reason for hope than despair.

Gregory Elich is a Korea Policy Institute associate and on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute. He is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, a columnist for Voice of the People, and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period, published in the Russian language. He is also a member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific.

His website is

Follow him on Twitter at @GregoryElich

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

The PA refusal to participate in the Warsaw Summit doesn’t change its penchant for compromise

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 4, 2019

The Palestinian Authority described last week’s Warsaw Summit as a US-Israeli conspiracy; US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the Palestinians are “worse off” because of their absence. This prompted the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation to ask if anyone could explain how the people of Palestine are “worse off” by not going to Warsaw.

“Can someone explain this to me?” asked Saed Erekat. “Is the art of negotiations to put the other side in a position where they have nothing to lose?”

Meanwhile, in an opinion piece published yesterday, Erekat penned some notable falsehoods, including this: “Despite the imperialist fantasies of the Trump team, the whole of Palestine remains close in the heart of every Arab, and is not going to fade away.”

The normalisation of relations between Arab countries and Israel was, of course, implicit in the summit and clear for all to see. Did the veteran PLO official not notice that? Why is he squandering Palestine away by stressing its importance to external actors rather than to the Palestinians themselves?

It is not possible to describe the summit as a US-Israeli conspiracy while excluding those countries which did participate — Arab states amongst them — from criticism and scrutiny simply so that you can write an opinion piece replete with statements that do not reflect the politics of the Palestinian Authority. Erekat has claimed that Arab countries will continue to prioritise Palestine, yet there is nothing to substantiate his argument. The Arab Peace Initiative actually includes normalising relations with Israel if the two-state compromise is achieved. It does not demand an end to the colonisation of Palestine; hence, its implementation holds more prospects for Israel than it does for the Palestinians.

The PA’s decision to refrain from participating in Warsaw was not a principled stance but a retaliatory action after the Trump administration implemented measures that exposed its inherent limitations. It is only now that it finds itself verging on political non-existence that the PA is attempting to connect its rhetoric to Palestinian collective memory. However, it is doing so from a compromised existence and framework that jeopardises Palestinian lives. The PA’s decisions which led to further loss of territory and displacement will not be cancelled out just because it is now important, in order to safeguard itself, for it to display a facade of being at one with the Palestinians it has tortured, imprisoned and exploited, while collaborating with the international community over the elusive two-state paradigm.

Refusing to partake in compromise due to not having any other option does not eliminate the PA’s compromised existence. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas stated recently that he will continue security coordination with Israel as it is a “joint agreement to fight terrorism.” If that obligation is eliminated, he insisted, “nothing will remain.” In upholding Israel’s security narrative against legitimate Palestinian resistance, Abbas is extending his “sacred” compromise with Israel and the US.

The PA has no foundation upon which it can differentiate between one compromise and another. Palestinians have not “lost” anything with the PA’s decision to boycott Warsaw. However, this is just one conference that stands out due to US President Donald Trump’s overt support for Israel, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apparently welcome overtures to Arab states. The damage created by Oslo unravelled any possibilities for Palestinian autonomy and the PA’s insistence on seeking international support while lacking consensus among Palestinians due to marginalising the people from the political process must be counted as a loss, though, and one which the PA is not willing to even attempt to rectify.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Robert Fisk Exposes Israel’s Hidden Role in the Brewing India-Pakistan Conflict

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | March 4, 2019

Well-known British journalist Robert Fisk recently wrote a very telling and troubling article in The Independent regarding the outsized role of the state of Israel in the burgeoning tensions between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers. The story — despite its importance, given the looming threat of nuclear war between the two countries — was largely overlooked by the international media.

The tit-for-tat attacks exchanged between India and Pakistan last week have seen long-standing tensions between the two countries escalate to dangerous proportions, though Pakistan helped to deescalate the situation somewhat by returning and “saving” an Indian pilot whose plane had been shot down in retaliation for India’s bombing of targets in a disputed area administered by Pakistan.

That bombing was retaliation for a car bomb attack launched by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants, a group that both India and Pakistan recognize as a terrorist organization, against Indian forces. Some analysts have speculated that India’s decision to bomb this area was made by Indian President Narendra Modi, a Hindu ethno-nationalist, in order to rally his base ahead of upcoming Indian elections in May.

Yet, whatever the reason, the bombing has revealed the close ties that have formed between Modi’s India and Israel, particularly between their militaries. As Fisk notes, following the bombing, Indian media heavily promoted the fact that Israeli-made bombs — specifically, Rafael Spice-2000 “smart bombs” — had been used in the attack. Fisk writes:

Like many Israeli boasts of hitting similar targets, the Indian adventure into Pakistan might owe more to the imagination than military success. The ‘300-400 terrorists’ supposedly eliminated by the Israeli-manufactured and Israeli-supplied GPS-guided bombs may turn out to be little more than rocks and trees.”

Recently released satellite images seem to corroborate what Fisk predicted, as the bombing failed to hit its intended target and instead damaged a nearby forest.

Image courtesy of Planet Labs, Google Earth and Digital Globe

Arguably the most important aspect of Fisk’s report is his detailing of the very close ties that have been forged between the Israeli and Indian militaries in recent years. For instance, according to Fisk, India was Israel’s arms industry’s largest client in 2017, spending nearly $700 million on Israeli air-defense systems, radars, ammunition and missiles. Many of those weapons had been promoted as “combat tested” after being used against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the world’s largest open-air prison. That same year, India represented 49 percent of Israel’s arms export market.

In addition to arms purchases, many Indian soldiers have traveled to the Negev desert to be trained by Israeli “special commando” units, and at least 16 elite Indian “Garud” commandos were recently based at two separate Israeli air bases.

Exporting oppression

Just as troubling as this military cooperation is that ethnonationalism and anti-Islam rhetoric are increasingly becoming the basis for the relationship between the two countries.

For instance, a recent Haaretz article, written by Shairee Malhotra and cited by Fisk, noted that “the India-Israel relationship is also commonly being framed in terms of a natural convergence of ideas between their ruling BJP and Likud parties.” Other reports have noted that this has translated into more “aggressive” policies from Modi targeting Kashmir and Muslims elsewhere in India and that continued Israeli goading of Modi’s anti-Islam tendencies could make life much more difficult for the estimated 180 million Muslims living in India.

Indian police beat a Kashmiri Shiite Muslim for participating in a religious procession in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sept. 19, 2018. Dar Yasin | AP

While some analysts and reports have warned about this danger, Fisk notes that it will be difficult to prevent the Zionist, fascist nationalism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party from influencing India’s ruling party, writing:

It is difficult to see how Zionist nationalism will not leach into Hindu nationalism when Israel is supplying so many weapons to India – the latest of which India, which has enjoyed diplomatic relations with Israel since 1992, has already used against Islamists inside Pakistan.”

Fisk goes on to note that “[s]igning up to the ‘war on terror’ – especially ‘Islamist terror’ – may seem natural for two states built on colonial partition.” Indeed, India’s actions in the disputed Kashmir region share many similarities to Israel’s neocolonial occupation of Palestine. For instance, the Muslim majority of Kashmir are treated as second-class citizens on their own land and their push for self-determination has been brutally suppressed by Indian forces. As of 2016, 500,000 Indian military personnel were present in the region, roughly equating to one soldier for every 25 civilians. As Al Jazeera noted at the time, there have been more than 70,000 killings, about 10,000 enforced disappearances and 7,000 mass graves found since 1947 in Indian-administered Kashmir.

There are many other parallels between Kashmir and Palestine, including the fact that the British government shares a large share of the responsibility for both. Indeed, the British-brokered partition creating the current states of India and Pakistan in 1947 is the root of the current conflict in Kashmir much as the Britain-mandated creation of the Israeli state in 1948 is the root of the current conflict in Palestine. As far as Kashmiris and Palestinians are concerned, the governments of India and Israel picked up where their colonial master of years past left off.

If a deadly conflict ultimately breaks out between India and Pakistan, it will hardly be the first time Israel has armed controversial governments. Israel sold arms to the Rwandan government during the Rwandan genocide and, more recently, to the government of Myanmar during its “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslims. Yet, as Fisk notes, Israel’s export of Zionist nationalism and neocolonialism — and the accompanying oppression that in practice actually helps to create many of the very terrorist groups they fight against — is just as dangerous as its export of arms.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and has contributed to several other independent, alternative outlets. Her work has appeared on sites such as Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire among others. She also makes guest appearances to discuss politics on radio and television. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 3 Comments

Guaido returns to Venezuela to the welcome of foreign ‘bodyguard’ envoys

RT | March 4, 2019

Self-declared “interim president” of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, returned from his South American tour on Monday, arriving into the loving (and protective) arms of ambassadors from the foreign governments backing him.

Despite Venezuelan authorities making it clear he could face 30 years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government and violating a travel ban, Guaido chose to arrive directly to an airport in Caracas.

The risk of arrest was notably mitigated by the presence of ambassadors from Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and several other countries which gathered at the arrival gate to huddle around him like a high-profile human shield. While Guaido was all smiles, his Western-world entourage seemed a bit on edge.

While the media fretted that Maduro might make good on threats to arrest Guaido, the opposition leader passed through customs without incident and headed straight to a rally in central Caracas.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence warned the Venezuelan government that Washington protects its investments, stressing how important Guaido is to them, and threatening a “swift response” if anyone tries to bully him.

Shortly after moving unhindered through the airport, Guaido arrived at a demonstration he called for on Twitter the week before. Addressing crowds in the country’s capital city, he called on his supporters to take to the streets for continued demonstrations next Saturday.

While Guaido toured South America and met with his most critical support base – foreign governments – the US ramped up pressure on Maduro’s government, imposing intensified sanctions and revoking visas for state actors.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel pushing for Africa foothold with military training: Report

Press TV – March 4, 2019

A report says Israeli commandos are training local forces in more than a dozen African nations where Israeli arms exporters are already accused of being complicit in war crimes.

Israel’s Channel 13 on Sunday showed footage of Israeli officers coaching Tanzanian troops in hand-to-hand krav maga, hostage operations and urban combat, saying there is a dramatic rise in Tel Aviv’s military activities in Africa.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made inroads into Africa a key part of his agenda, becoming the first Israeli leader to visit the continent in 50 years in 2016.

“I’ve been in Africa four times in the last two years, that’s gotta tell you something,” Netanyahu said in a speech at an event in February.

Over the past two years, he has traveled to several African states in a bid to convince them to stop voting against the Israeli regime at the United Nations.

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

Tel Aviv’s policy to spice up ties with Africa, the report said, also features combined efforts by Israeli foreign ministry, military, Mossad spy agency and the regime’s so-called security agency, Shin Bet.

The report named Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi , Zambia, South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Ivory Coast and Ghana as among the African countries that Israel was seeking to stake out a niche.

Israel’s military cooperation with the African states possibly emanated from the fact that many of those nations take part in peacekeeping missions on the border between the occupied territories, Syria and Lebanon, it said.

It would be advantageous to Israel if these forces were led by Israeli-trained soldiers, said the report.

An Israeli delegation has reportedly been traveling to countries in Africa and “carefully” weighing requests for further military collaboration.

The delegation is taking into account how likely Israeli military expertise could be used in committing mass atrocities in the continent, the report said.

Israeli media reported in November that Tel Aviv was actively working to establish diplomatic ties with Sudan, as part of wider efforts to upgrade relations with central African countries.

The Israeli TV channel also reported that Israel’s ministry of military affairs recently summoned retired Maj. Gen. Israel Ziv for a hearing after the US accused him of selling $150 million in weapons to both sides of the civil war in South Sudan.

Israeli weapons which ended up in South Sudan extended the duration of the deadly civil war there, the Jerusalem Post newspaper has reported.

Last year, the US Treasury Department placed sanctions on the Israeli businessman for his role in the civil war in South Sudan.

A recent report by the London-based Middle East Eye said the head of Mossad met his Sudanese counterpart in Germany last month as part of a secret plan by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE to oust President Omar al-Bashir.

In January, Bashir was quoted to have lamented that he had been advised to normalize ties with Israel because a normalization would help stabilize growing unrest sweeping Sudan.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

US Deploys THAAD Missile System to Israel

Sputnik – 04.03.2019

WASHINGTON – The United States military deployed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile battery to Israel, European Command (EUCOM) said in a statement on Monday.

“At the direction of the Secretary of Defense, US European Command deployed a THAAD system to Israel in early March,” the statement said.

The move is intended to demonstrate the United States’ ongoing commitment to Israel’s security, the statement added.

As part of the deployment, US service members will work in different locations in Israel to help local military forces align their existing air and missile defence architecture with the THAAD system.

The exercise will allow the US military to incorporate key capabilities stationed in the country and Europe with its partners in the Israeli military, EUCOM said.

The THAAD system, considered one of the most advanced in the world, will be added to the existing Israeli air defence. The latter currently includes the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and the Arrow system.

Commenting on the exercise, IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis specified the US anti-ballistic missile battery would be deployed in the south of the country and that about 200 American servicemen would participate in the drills.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Bolton’s ‘Monroe Doctrine’ remark on Venezuela arrogant & insulting to all of Latin America – Lavrov

RT | March 4, 2019

John Bolton’s “arrogant” use of the term Monroe Doctrine in relation to Venezuela is an insult to the entirety of Latin American as it effectively reduces it to being a US backyard, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov has said.

“The theory and the practice of “backyards” is generally insulting,” the Russian foreign minister said on Monday at a press conference in Doha, Qatar.

He also reminded the US national security adviser that “since 1945, when the UN was founded, the international law is being regulated by this universal and the most legitimate organization.”

Bolton’s statement was “arrogant” and “insulting” to all the countries in Latin America, Lavrov added. On Sunday, Bolton vowed to create “as broad a coalition” as possible to basically overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and confirmed that the US was ultimately seeking to create a “democratic hemisphere.”

“In this administration we’re not afraid to use the phrase ‘Monroe Doctrine,’” Bolton stated. “This is a country in our hemisphere and it’s been the objective of American presidents going back to Ronald Reagan to have a completely Democratic hemisphere.”

The Monroe Doctrine was outlined by President James Monroe in 1823. It proclaims the Western hemisphere as an exclusive zone of Washington’s interests and regards any interference in the Americas by any foreign powers as a hostile act.

Since then, it has been invoked by multiple US presidents for various purposes – from justifying the territorial expansion of the US in the 19th century to battling the spread of communism during the Cold War.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Understanding How Canadian Diplomats Shape the News

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | March 3, 2019

Canadian diplomats abroad seek to shape coverage of their work. And the more nefarious their actions the harder they toil to “spin” what they’re doing as something positive.

During a recent interview Real News Network founder Paul Jay described how Canadian officials in Caracas attempted to shape his views of the country’s politics. Jay noted:

My first trip to Venezuela in 2004, I was producing the big debate show on Canadian TV called Counterspin on CBC Newsworld. … . I was a known quantity in Canada. And so when I was in Venezuela, I said I’ll go say hello to the Canadian embassy. I was trying to figure out what was going on in Venezuela. I figured some Counselor would pat me on the head and say welcome to Venezuela.

No, I got the number two chargé d’affaires that greeted me and brings me into a meeting room with seven members of the opposition who then for two hours beat me over the head with how corrupt the regime was, how awful it was, and so on…

What business does a Canadian embassy have with bringing a Canadian journalist into a room with opposition people, essentially trying to involve me in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government. Canadian government role in Venezuela was promote and nurture the opposition.

Around the same time Canadian officials sought to convince Jay that Hugo Chavez’s government was corrupt, former Montréal Gazette reporter Sue Montgomery had a similar experience in Port-au-Prince. In Parachute Journalism in Haiti: Media Sourcing in the 2003-2004 Political Crisis”, Isabel Macdonald writes:

Montgomery recalled being given anti-[President Jean-Bertrand] Aristide disinformation when she called the Canadian embassy immediately after she had been held up by armed men while driving through Port-au-Prince days before the [US/France/Canada] coup. Canada’s ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Cook, told her, ‘We’ve got word that Aristide has given the order to the chimeres [purported pro- Aristide thugs] to do this kind of thing to international journalists because he’s not getting any support.’ According to Montgomery, Cook had urged her to tell the other international journalists who were staying at the same hotel: ‘I think you should let all your colleagues at the Montana know that it’s not safe for them.’

Given only two days to prepare for her assignment, Montgomery was ripe for official manipulation. Though she later realized the ambassador’s claim was ridiculous, Montgomery told other journalists at Hotel Montana (where most international journalists stay in Port-au-Prince) that Aristide’s supporters were targeting them.

The Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince succeeded in influencing Canadian reporters’ coverage of the country. In her MA thesis titled “Covering the coup: Canadian news reporting, journalists, and sources in the 2004 Haiti crisis,” Isabel Macdonald concludes that the reporters dispatched to Port-au-Prince largely took their cues from official Canada. “My interviews revealed that journalists’ contacts with people working in the Canadian foreign policy establishment appear to have played a particularly important role in helping journalists to identify appropriate ‘legitimate’ sources.”

CBC reporter Neil MacDonald told Isabel MacDonald his most trusted sources for background information in Haiti came from Canadian diplomatic circles, notably the Canadian International Development Agency where his cousins worked. MacDonald also said he consulted the Canadian Ambassador in Port-au-Prince to determine the most credible human rights advocate in Haiti. Ambassador Cook directed him to Pierre Espérance, a coup backer who fabricated a “massacre” used to justify imprisoning the constitutional prime minister and interior minister. (When pressed for physical evidence Espérance actually said the 50 bodies “might have been eaten by wild dogs.”)

Almost all Canadian correspondents develop ties to diplomats in the field. Long-time Globe and Mail development reporter John Stackhouse acknowledges “Canadian political officers” in Indonesia for their “valuable insights” into the country during General Suharto’s rule. In Out of Poverty, Stackhouse also thanks “the Canadian diplomatic missions in Accra, Abidjan and Bamako [for their] … invaluable service in arranging interviews and field trips.” During a period in the mid-2000s when she wrote for the Globe and Mail and CBC, Madeleine Drohan conducted media workshops in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and elsewhere sponsored by the Canadian embassy, High Commission and Foreign Affairs (she taught journalist ethics!).

One of the best Canadian foreign correspondents of the 1970s,” Jack Cahill discusses some ways diplomats relate to reporters in If You Don’t Like the War, Switch the Damn Thing Off!: The Adventures of a Foreign Correspondent. “The Canadian government”, the former Toronto Star reporter notes, “can be good to foreign correspondents if it thinks they are reliable and I had two passports, one for general purposes and one for difficult countries.”

In what may reflect his nationalism, Cahill dubs Canadian diplomats “more reliable” than their southern counterparts. Disparaging his US colleagues, he writes:

There is little doubt, however, that some US foreign correspondents depend almost entirely on their embassies, and thus indirectly the CIA, for their information. It is, after all, the natural thing to be attracted to the truth as propounded by one’s own countrymen in the Embassy offices, at the official briefings, and on the cocktail circuit. It’s this information, with its American slant on world affairs, that eventually fills much of Canada’s and the Western world’s news space.

Jay described his experience at the Embassy in Caracas mostly to highlight Canada’s long-standing hostility to the Hugo Chavez/Nicolas Maduro governments. But, his story also helps make sense of the dominant media’s alignment with Ottawa’s push for regime change in Venezuela today.

Globe and Mail Latin America correspondent Stephanie Nolen, for instance, promotes Canada’s last ambassador to Venezuela. Describing Ben Rowswell as “widely respected by Venezuelans while he was there”, Nolen recently retweeted Rowswell claiming: “the coup happened in July 2017 when Maduro suspended the constitution. The question now is how to fill the void – by backing the president who uses force to remain in power after his term expires, or the leader of Venezuela’s last remaining democratically elected body?” Rowswell has been quoted in at least a half dozen Globe and Mail articles about Venezuela in recent weeks.

Diplomats’ influence over international correspondents is one way the foreign policy establishment shapes discussion of Canadian foreign policy.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

China Says Massive Shale Oil Reserves Found In North

By Tsvetana Paraskova | Oil Price | March 1, 2019

China has found massive shale oil reserves in its northern Tianjin municipality, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.

Two wells at a field have been flowing for more than 260 days, according to Dagang Oilfield, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

The newly found shale reserves will help boost China’s national energy security and economic development, Xinhua quoted CNPC as saying.

According to EIA estimates, China ranks third in the world in terms of technically recoverable shale oil resources, behind Russia and the United States.

Over the past year, China’s biggest energy producers have started to tap more tight oil and gas wells, aiming to increase domestic oil and natural gas production at the world’s largest crude oil importer.

A PetroChina test oil well at a shale field in western China could finally mean a strong commercial potential for shale oil for the first time in the world’s top crude importer, Morgan Stanley said last month.

PetroChina achieved a daily production rate of 100 tons of oil, or 733 barrels, from the Jimsar oil field in the western Xinjiang province, which suggests that shale drilling could finally have a true commercial potential in China, Morgan Stanley said in a note.

“We believe the Jimsar shale oil discovery is likely to trigger China’s shale oil revolution,” Morgan Stanley analyst Andy Meng wrote in the report.

The shale boom in China, however, would be just a fraction of the U.S. shale revolution—Morgan Stanley expects Chinese shale oil production could be 100,000 bpd-200,000 bpd by 2025, which is nothing compared to the millions of barrels of oil pumped in the U.S. every day.

According to EIA estimates, the seven key shale regions in the U.S. produced 8.314 million bpd of oil in February, and an 84,000-bpd increase is expected for March, with the Permian crossing the 4-million-bpd mark for the first time ever.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Economics | 1 Comment

LNG oversupply may be looming

By Tsvetana Paraskova | Oil Price | March 1, 2019

Although China will continue to raise its liquefied natural gas imports this year, the 2019 rise in the world’s key LNG demand growth market may not be enough to absorb all the new supply coming on stream over the next months.

According to analysts at this week’s LNGgc Asia conference in Singapore, new demand this year would be lower than the expected new supply.

Jason Feer, head of business intelligence at Poten & Partners, said that the company expected 33 million tons of new global LNG supply to hit the market this year, while demand is seen growing by just 16 million tons, Reuters columnist Clyde Russell writes.

China will still see its LNG demand growing, but at a slower pace than the growth between 2017 and 2018.

China’s LNG imports reached a new record-high in January 2019, but as the winter heating period is coming to an end in mid-March, imports are expected to drop.

At the same time, oversupply in Asia’s LNG market resulted in Asian spot LNG prices dropping again last week to the lowest since September 2017.

China breakneck demand surge of the past two years is expected to slow down this year as Beijing is determined to avoid severe shortages by boosting pipeline connectivity, building more storage and import terminals, and raising domestic natural gas production.

“Economic slowdown, a more considered approach on coal-to-gas switching and increased domestic infrastructure availability will mean LNG demand will slow in 2019, from the 40-45% growth we have seen in 2017 and 2018,” energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said in its 2019 LNG outlook in early January.

“But China will still grow at around 20%, by far the largest source of LNG demand growth in the global market,” according to WoodMac.

More LNG supply will be coming online this year, while a record LNG volume could reach final investment decision (FID). According to Wood Mackenzie, this year could be a record year for LNG projects approved, with more than 60 mmtpa of capacity likely FID. This would be well above the previous record of 45 mmtpa sanctioned in 2005 and triple the 21 mmtpa projects sanctioned last year.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | Leave a comment

Salisbury poisoning: One year on, still no evidence of Novichok nerve agent use disclosed to public

RT | March 4, 2019

On March 4, 2018, former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were ‘poisoned by a nerve agent’ in Salisbury, UK. Many details do not match up and what happened in reality remains a mystery (though we all know the villain, thanks).

It was on March 4, 2018 that the Skripals were admitted to a hospital in Salisbury. Within days, British Prime Minister Theresa May would claim they had been poisoned by a nerve agent called “novichok” and that it was “highly likely” the Russian government was behind the hit.

A war of words, sanctions and diplomatic expulsions followed, with relations between London and Moscow at their worst since the Cold War, and maybe worse than that. There has been no shortage of often fanciful theories emanating from UK officialdom and NATO-backed “open-source detectives” such as Bellingcat, but none have taken the world closer to knowing what actually happened.

Official narrative: Russia did it!

Right from the start, the UK government, friendly media, and its NATO allies starting with the US, latched onto the alleged (more on that shortly) poisoning as the work of Russian intelligence. The “novichok” nerve agent, they said, was only made by Russia. No one else could have possibly done it. By September, the official narrative was that two military intelligence (GRU) officers had flown in directly from Moscow, allegedly left traces of the poison in their hotel room, and were caught on CCTV cameras in Salisbury on March 4. They supposedly poisoned the Skripals by smearing the nerve agent on the doorknob of their home.

There is just one tiny problem with it all: None of it makes sense, given the evidence actually available to the public. Nor was any other evidence provided to the Russian government.

London peddles lies, Moscow says

Both the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry categorically denied that Russia had anything to do with the events in Salisbury. In April, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the alleged poisoning was a “false-flag incident… beneficial for, or perhaps organized by, the British intelligence services in order to mar Russia and its political leadership.”

Moscow’s envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin listed eight major lies in the official UK story in April.

British media have produced some 100 theories on what exactly happened in Salisbury, widely citing various anonymous leaks – but no real evidence has been brought up, Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko told RT in September, “The major argument of the British government that only Russia is capable of producing this kind of poison is simply not correct,” he said.

Russia repeatedly said that it was willing to assist in the investigation, if Britain were to follow the rules on how such things are done. Instead, all Russian requests were stonewalled by London as it was rallying allies to punish Russia for what had happened.

So what is ‘novichok’?

The deadly nerve agent was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s under a program called Foliant and dubbed “novichok” (newcomer). It’s formula and manufacturing process has been known to weapon experts in the West for decades, including from people involved in its invention, who moved outside of Russia after the USSR collapsed.

Czech President Milos Zeman also debunked the UK claim that only Russia made novichok, saying in May that his country had also made a small batch and destroyed it. This should have blown the UK accusations right out of the water, but London simply shifted the narrative, saying that it was confirmed the novichok came from Russia. It wasn’t and, according to OPCW, cannot be traced to its origin due to high purity of the poison.

Skeptics of the official UK narrative pointed out that the chief British chemical and bioweapons laboratory is just a few miles down the road in Porton Down.

No one has offered a coherent explanation of how the fast-acting deadly nerve agent, supposedly sprayed onto Skripal’s doorknob in the morning, caused him and his daughter to pass out many hours later, did not kill either of them, and did not harm anyone else.

What happened to the Skripals?

Sergei Skripal was a former Soviet and Russian intelligence officer, arrested in 2004 and convicted of high treason for spying for the West. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, but was released in 2010 and sent to the UK as part of a spy swap. He was settled in Salisbury.

British authorities said both Sergei and his daughter Yulia – a Russian citizen who came to visit her father – had survived the attack, and were eventually released from hospital. Sergei has not appeared in public. Yulia issued one public statement through the British police, and appeared in a strange television interview with Reuters in May, asking for no Russian officials or family to contact her.

Russian diplomats were never given access to their citizens. The embassy in London described Yulia’s statement as suspicious and possibly not genuine. Her cousin Viktoria thought the same, and tried to get a visa to visit the Skripals in the UK. She was denied.

From that point, the Skripals vanished. Their relatives have heard not a peep, and there were even rumors they had been relocated to the US and been given new identities.

The Amesbury twist

On July 4, British police reported that a local couple was poisoned in Amesbury, a town in Wiltshire not far from Salisbury. Charlie Rowley, 45, recovered. His partner, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, died in the hospital.

Sturgess and Rowley reportedly fell ill after finding a bottle of Nina Ricci perfume in a waste bin. The perfume, which was still in the wrapper, was supposedly laced with novichok. The question remains how the bottle ended up there (still deadly, four months later). The UK police later said they were unable to confirm whether the novichok nerve agent to which the couple were exposed in Amesbury was from the same batch used to poison the Skripals in Salisbury. The plot thickened.

The unlikely first responders

Early reports of the Skripal “poisoning” mentioned “an off-duty nurse who had worked on the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone” providing first aid to the pair after they were found unconscious on a bench in the public park. It wasn’t until months later that she turned out to be none other than Colonel Alison McCourt, currently the chief nursing officer in the British Army. Her 16-year-old daughter Abigail assisted with first aid, and was put up for an award. Despite not having any protective gear, neither of the McCourts suffered any symptoms from what was supposedly one of the deadliest nerve agents going.

Despite spending over £10 million ($13.2 million) on the probe into the Salisbury and Amesbury cases, the UK government had produced little or no evidence to the public of the “highly likely Russia” hypothesis by August.

The curious case of Petrov & Boshirov

As more and more information put pressure on the official narrative, the intrepid Atlantic Council-backed “open-source” sleuths at Bellingcat pounced on the case, finding two Russians who were in Salisbury on March 4, naming them as suspects and accusing them of being GRU.

Putin responded by saying that both men were civilians, and called on them to appear in public. So they did, giving an interview to RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan on September 13. They insisted they were just friends, civilians, tourists who went to Salisbury to visit the famous cathedral, and denied having any connection to the perfume bottle.

Former Scotland Yard detective Charles Shoebridge was skeptical the duo would be spies, telling RT they had “absolutely left what seems to be a very reckless and clear trail of evidence, which almost seems to be designed, or at least would almost inevitably lead to the conclusions that the police and the authorities have come to today.” That is, pointing to Russia.

Bellingcat’s rabbit hole

Meanwhile, the “detectives” at Bellingcat were not satisfied with “identifying” Petrov and Boshirov. They set out to prove the men were actually super-secret Russian spies.

Boshirov, they claimed in late September, was really highly decorated commando Colonel Anatoly Chepiga, and Petrov was likewise a distinguished military physician Aleksandr Mishkin. Not stopping there, they also claimed the Russian security services had pressured the UK to issue visas to spies, and even that there was a “third suspect,” one Sergey Fedotov, who might have also been involved in Brexit somehow.

Sanctions first, proof later

British allies in Europe and across the Atlantic did not wait for evidence to act against Moscow. They quickly expelled over 150 Russian diplomats, including from the mission to the UN.

In late March, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US was satisfied to take Britain’s word for what happened in Salisbury. Washington later also imposed drastic sanctions against Russia, accusing it of “chemicals weapons use.”

In January 2019, British authorities informed the Skripals’ neighbors in Salisbury they would be demolishing the former spy’s house, effectively destroying the crime scene without providing a shred of evidence to Russia.

Integrity Initiative

Bellingcat’s “research” was tirelessly promoted by journalists and activists who ended up being exposed in November as agents of the “Integrity Initiative,” a shadowy group working for the government-funded Institute for Statecraft. The documents unmasking the II and IFS were posted online by hackers claiming to be part of the anarchist collective Anonymous, and the “network of networks” found itself under scrutiny for smearing UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a Kremlin stooge – ostensibly as part of its noble crusade against anti-Russian disinformation.

One of the documents was the “narrative” of the Skripal affair blaming Russia for it, and reflecting entirely the official story as put forth by the government and presented in the media. Another document showed the group was advocating harsh measures against Russia as early as 2015, hoping for an incident that it could use as a trigger.

The clash of geopolitics and vested interests has done little to shed light on what actually happened to the Skripals.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment