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March 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 3 Comments

UK Intel Planned Massacre at Catholic School – Former Ulster Paramilitary

Sputnik – February 20, 2019

Former Royal Ulster Constabulary officer and Ulster Volunteer Force operative John Weir has claimed British military intelligence initiated a plan to carry out a massacre at a Catholic primary school in County Armagh in the 1970s.

Similar claims were previously made by fellow former RUC officer Billy McCaughey, now deceased, who was in 1980 convicted along with Weir for the murder of a chemist in Ahoghill in 1977.

Weir, a member of the UVF’s notorious Glenanne Gang — a secret alliance of Ulster loyalists who carried out shooting and bombing attacks against Catholics and Irish nationalists, and are linked to at least 120 murders — made his incendiary allegation in the new documentary Unquiet Graves, which premieres in Belfast 21 February.

He says “the plan was to shoot up a school in Belleeks”, in retaliation for the January 1976 Kingsmill massacre of January 1976 in which 10 Protestants were shot dead by the IRA — the plot was formulated in order to make the Troubles “spiral out of control” into a full civil war. It was only cancelled because the UVF leadership considered it a step too far.

The allegation has been corroborated by the Historical Enquiries Team.

Years in the Making

Unquiet Graves is the work of filmmaker Sean Murray, who spent four years researching and producing the project. He suggests “hawks” within British intelligence were responsible for the plot, and “there was an internal power battle going on” at the time.

“There were people who would have been against that, but the hawks wanted a gloves-off approach to the IRA. It’s quite revealing the UVF were unwilling to go through with this. Films like this are the only viable option for some semblance of the truth for victims, particularly against state violence,” he added.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has recently been criticised for not releasing files to the Police Ombudsman related to the 1992 mass-shooting in Sean Graham bookmakers, in which five Catholics — including 15-year-old James Kennedy — were murdered by the Ulster Defence Association.

“Trust needs to be built for both communities to move on. I viewed [loyalist groups] as de facto paramilitary groups. I’m still willing to speak and work with former members to move forward. It’s OK to sit in 2019 and reflect that these people were psychopaths. In many ways, they were born into an era when this was sanitised. It was normal behaviour in many working class areas. I think admitting this is a great justice to the victims. Without [Weir], I’m not sure a lot of families would get some semblance of truth,” he concluded.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Film Review, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | Leave a comment

Russia’s Oil Product Exports To U.S. Surge Amid Sanctions On Venezuela

By Tsvetana Paraskova | Oilprice.com | March 8, 2019

Russian exports of oil and oil products to the United States surged in the last week of February to their highest level since 2011, with Russia taking advantage of the Venezuelan collapse, Russian news outlet RBC reports, quoting investment bank Caracas Capital Markets as saying in a note to clients.

At least nine tankers delivered 3.19 million barrels of oil and oil products of Russian origin to U.S. ports in the week February 23 to March 1, according to Caracas Capital Markets, which specializes in Venezuela. These 3.19 million barrels is the largest volume of Russian oil deliveries “we have seen since 2011,” Russ Dallen, Caracas Capital Markets Managing Partner, wrote in the note, as carried by RBC.

Most of the Russian oil deliveries were naphtha and fuel oil, and tankers from Novorossiysk and St Petersburg, among others, shipped the oil products to U.S. ports, Caracas Capital said, citing the U.S. database of shipping documents.

The rise in Russian oil shipments to the U.S. is the result of the U.S. markets adapting to the loss of Venezuelan oil, RBC quoted the bank as saying.

Ironically, Russia—the staunchest supporter of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela—is benefiting in the U.S. oil market from the U.S. sanctions on Maduro’s government, on the state oil firm PDVSA, and on the Venezuelan oil industry.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s crude oil exports to the U.S. are dropping.

U.S. crude oil imports from Venezuela slumped to just 83,000 bpd in the week to March 1, compared to 208,000 bpd in the previous week, according to EIA’s preliminary data on crude oil imports by top 10 countries of origin, ranked based on 2017 data.

The U.S. sanctions on Venezuela are also prohibiting U.S. exports of naphtha to the Latin American country which uses the product to dilute its heavy crude. But Russia’s Rosneft is said to be coming to the rescue with shipments of heavy naphtha to Venezuela expected in the next few weeks, Bloomberg reported earlier this week, citing shipping reports and a source with knowledge of the plans.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Economics | | 1 Comment

Canadian apologist for Israeli war crimes nominated for Peace Prize

By Yves Engler · March 9, 2019

Hypocrisy, lying, disdain for the victims of ‘our’ policies and other forms of rot run deep in Canadian political culture.

The latest example is former prime minister Paul Martin nominating Irwin Cotler for the Nobel Peace Prize, which has been applauded by the likes of Bernie Farber, Michael Levitt and Anthony Housefather.

This supposed promoter of peace and former Liberal justice minister has devoted much of his life to defending Israeli violence and has recently promoted war on Iran and regime change in Venezuela.

In a story titled “Irwin Cotler’s  daughter running with Ya’alon, Gantz” the Jerusalem Post recently reported that Michal Cotler-Wunsh was part of the Israel Resilience and Telem joint election list. The story revealed that Irwin Cotler has been an unofficial adviser to Moshe Ya’alon for years. Former Chief of Staff of the Israeli military and defence minister between 2013 and 2016, Ya’alon recently boasted about his role in setting up the West Bank colony of Leshem and said Israel “has a right to every part of the Land of Israel.” In 2002 Ya’alon told Haaretz, “the Palestinian  threat harbors cancer-like attributes that have to be severed. There are all kinds of solutions to cancer. Some say it’s necessary to amputate organs but at the moment I am applying chemotherapy.”

Ya’alon’s Telem party is in a formal electoral alliance with Israel Resilience, which is led by Benny Gantz, a former Israeli army chief. To launch his party’s campaign, Gantz released a video boasting about his role in the killing of 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza in the summer of 2014It actually notes that “parts of Gaza were sent back to the Stone Age.” Gantz faces a war crimes case in the Netherlands for his role in the deaths of civilians in Gaza.

Cotler has described illegal Israeli colonies in the West Bank as “disputed territories” and the Canadian lawyer justified Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon that left 1,200 dead. He savagely attacked  Richard Goldstone after the South African judge led a UN investigation of Israeli war crimes during operation Cast Lead, which left 1,400 dead in Gaza in 2008–09. Cotler called for the removal of Richard Falk as UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories and William Schabas from his position on the UN Human Rights Council’s International Commission of Inquiry into the killings in Gaza in 2014. Alongside attacking these three (Jewish) lawyers tasked with investigating human rights violations, Cotler promotes the notion of the “new anti-Semitism” to attack critics of Israeli policy.

In an indication of the unquestioning depths of his support for Israeli crimes, Cotler has repeatedly criticized his own party and government’s (mild) expressions of support for Palestinian rights. In May Cotler tweeted his “regret [of a] Canadian Government statement” criticizing Israeli snipers for shooting thousands of peaceful protesters, including Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani, in Gaza. In 2000 Cotler complained when the government he was a part of voted for a UN Security Council resolution calling on Israel to respect the rights of Palestinian protesters. “This kind of resolution, which singled out Israel for discriminatory and differential treatment and appeared to exonerate the Palestinians for their violence,” Cotler said, “would tend to encourage those who violently oppose the peace process as well as those who still seek the destruction of Israel.”

In 2002 a half dozen activists in Montréal occupied Cotler’s office to protest the self-described ‘human rights lawyer’s’ hostility to Palestinians. Cotler’s wife, Ariela Zeevi, was a“close confidant” of Likud founder Menachem Begin when the arch anti-Palestinian party was established to counter Labour’s dominance of Israeli politics.

‘Canada’s Alan Dershowitz’ has also attacked Iran incessantly. He supported the Stephen Harper government’s move to break off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 2012 and pushed to remove the MEK, which is responsible for thousands of Iranian deaths, from Canada’s terrorist list. As a member of the advisory board of “United Against Nuclear Iran”, Cotler opposed the P5+1Iran Nuclear Agreement. Recently, he called for Canada to invoke the Magnitsky Act to “impose sanctions in the form of travel bans and asset freezes” on Iranian officials.

As well as promoting US/Israel propaganda about Iran, Cotler criticized Hugo Chavez’s government since at least 2009 when Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with Israel in response to killings in Gaza. In recent weeks Cotler has disparaged Venezuela’s government in a number of articles, including a National Post story headlined “Canadian unions helped fund delegation that gave glowing review of Venezuela election widely seen as illegitimate.” Cotler was quoted saying, “the notion that free and fair elections could possibly be taking place when you not only criminalize those who are on the opposition … but when you don’t have any allowance for expressions of freedom of speech, assembly, association and the like, simply is a non-sequitur.” But, as Dave Parnas wrote in response, “for two weeks we have been seeing pictures of streets filled with people who assembled, associated and spoke freely against President Nicolás Maduro.”

Cotler pushed for Canada to request the International Criminal Court investigate Venezuela’s government. Cotler was one of three “international experts” responsible for a 400-page Canadian-backed Organization of American States (OAS) report on rights violations in Venezuela that recommended referring Venezuela to the ICC. At a press conference in May to release the report, Cotler said Venezuela’s “government itself was responsible for the worst ever humanitarian crisis in the region.” As this author wrote at the time: “Worse than the extermination of the Taíno and Arawak by the Spanish? Or the enslavement of five million Africans in Brazil? Or the 200,000 Mayans killed in Guatemala? Or the thousands of state-murdered ‘subversives’ in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil?”

For four years Cotler has been working with Juan Guaidó’s “ultra right wing” Voluntad Popular party to oust Nicolas Maduro’s government. In May 2017 Cotler helped bring Lilian Tintori, wife of Voluntad Popular leader Leopoldo López, to meet the Prime Minister and opposition leaders. The Guardian recently reported on Tintori’s role in building international support for the slow-motion coup attempt currently underway in Venezuela. Tintori acted as an emissary for Lopez who couldn’t travel to Ottawa because he was convicted of inciting violence during the deadly “guarimbas” protests  in 2014. A series of news outlets have reported that Lopez is the key Venezuelan organizer in the plan to anoint Guaidó interim president.

Cotler joined Lopez’s legal team in early 2015. At that time the Venezuelan and international media repeated the widely promulgated description of Cotler as Nelson Mandela’s former lawyer (a Reuters headline noted, “Former Mandela lawyer to join defence of Venezuela’s jailed activist”). In response, South Africa’s Ambassador to Venezuela, Pandit Thaninga Shope-Linney, said, “Irwin Cotler was not Nelson Mandela’s lawyer.” For his part, Nelson Mandela mentions a number of lawyers (he was one) in his biography but Cotler’s name seems absent.

Cotler’s human rights credentials are a sham. He is a vicious anti-Palestinian who aggressively criticizes enemy states such as Venezuela, China, Russia and Iran while largely ignoring rights violations committed by Canada and the US.

For those appalled by the idea of Cotler receiving the Nobel Peace Prize Iranian-Canadian activist Mehdi Samadian has created a petition titled “Irwin Cotler does not deserve nomination for Nobel Peace Prize”.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

If US sanctions Turkey, can India be far behind?

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | March 9, 2019

Turkish-American relations are at a crossroads. Unlike the past history of their troubled relationship which saw hiccups but the two NATO allies moved on eventually, this time around, they are barreling toward a clash.

From an Indian perspective, it is of interest that the clash is over the Turkish decision to buy the S-400 Triumf missile defence system from Russia, which violates the US’ sanctions regime against Russia known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

In September last year, Washington invoked CAATSA for the first time and sanctioned China over its purchase of Russian military jets and surface-to-air missiles — 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles. Will it be Turkey’s turn now? And if Turkey gets sanctioned, can India be far behind?

The US had explicitly warned India against going ahead with the S-400 Triumf deal with Russia. But India went ahead, nonetheless, last October. (The deal is estimated to be worth at least $5.4 billion.) But while Delhi went about its decision tactfully, Ankara is openly defiant. The Turkish President Recep Erdogan stated on Wednesday in a TV interview,

“We signed a deal with Russia for the purchase of S-400, and will start co-production. It’s done. There can never be a turning back. This would not be ethical, it would be immoral. Nobody should ask us to lick up what we spat. Later, we may perhaps go for the S-500s as well, after the S-400.”

The US probably never ever heard such spiteful words from a key NATO ally. Erdogan also warned that the U.S. should not try to “discipline” Turkey through trade measures. If it did, he emphasised, Turkey has its own measures prepared. One of the trade measures he alluded to is the US’ intention to exclude Turkey from the generalised system of preferences (GSP).

Interestingly, while notifying the US Congress last week regarding his intention to remove the GSP benefits to them in trade, President Trump bracketed India with Turkey. India downplayed Trump’s move, saying the GSP benefits are only marginally affecting India’s exports to the US. But Erdogan apparently plans to retaliate.

The Pentagon has sharply reacted to Erdogan’s remarks, warning Turkey of “grave consequence in terms of our military relationship.” Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the senior US general for operations in Europe and NATO’s top officer, warned in congressional testimony on Tuesday that Turkey’s pursuit of the S-400 deal would jeopardise American plans to sell to Ankara the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for both policy and security reasons.

“My best military advice would be that we don’t then follow through with the F-35, flying it or working with an ally that’s working with Russian systems,” Scaparrotti told the Senate Armed Services Committee in testimony. According to a Reuter report, he hinted at concerns that Turkey’s using both the S-400s and the F-35 could provide Russia with valuable information on how to defeat the tech-heavy jet slated to become a signature fighter for NATO countries and their partners.

However, Turkey is not backing down. The Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has disclosed that the S-400 missile system will reach Turkey in July and deployment will go ahead as planned in October. The space for diplomatic manoeuvring is shrinking and, clearly, the chances for imposition of US sanctions against Turkey under CAATSA are increasing.

Of course, if Washington imposes sanctions against its key NATO ally, it is going to be highly problematic to exempt India from similar punitive measures for committing the very same offence. Interestingly, like Erdogan, Modi is also getting a very bad press in the US lately. They are the kind of ultra-nationalists that the US regards as hindrances to its regional strategies.

The Turks harbour the suspicion that the failed coup in July 2016, which was masterminded by the Turkish Islamist preacher Fetullah Gulen living in Pennsylvania in exile for the past two decades, had covert American support.

Last week, incidentally, US First Lady Melania Trump visited a pre-kindergarten class in Oklahoma, which Ankara believes is linked to supporters of Gulen. Turks believe that the White House was taunting Erdogan.

President Trump’s detractors in the US and in Europe used to berate him for empathising with “strong men” like Erdogan or Vladimir Putin. But as it turns out, the US finds such world leaders irksome in their zeal to uphold strategic autonomy in their foreign and security policies. The US media has been highly critical of Modi too in the recent months.

But US attempts to undermine these nationalist leaderships have run into headwinds since leaders like Erdogan and Putin happen to enjoy mass support in their respective countries. For sure, Washington will be keenly watching the outcome of the upcoming parliamentary election in India in April-May where Modi is seeking a renewed mandate.

As for India, what emerges at the end of the 5-year term of the Modi government is that under his watch India’s relations with the US have been pragmatic and based on limited common interests — shared notions of countering the rise of China and Islamism — and that too, without undermining India’s strategic autonomy. The US seems disappointed that Modi failed to fulfil their high expectations of him as a strategic partner. A sense of frustration is palpable among the US’ lobbyists in India as well.

At any rate, the Modi government continues to negotiate big weapons deals with Russia, disregarding the CAATSA. Last week, PM Modi inaugurated a massive Russian-Indian joint venture, which will reportedly produce about 7,50,000 AK-203 rifles, the most recent version of the famous AK-47 rifles for the use of the Indian armed forces as the standard assault rifle for decades to come. Again, on Friday, Delhi inked a defence deal worth over $3 billion with Moscow for the lease  of a nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia. It cannot be lost on Washington that the Modi government expedited these mega deals with Russia even as its term in office is ending, while US arms vendors have been kept waiting.

All in all, the S-400 which is one of the world’s most advanced AMB systems, is fast acquiring the reputation of a Russian “geopolitical missile” targeted at the US. If the US proceeds with sanctions against Turkey on account of the S-400 deal, it will have deleterious downstream impact on many geo-strategic templates.

The very cohesion of the NATO and the alliance’s overall effectiveness in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East could be affected. Similarly, the US also eyes India as a potentially big customer for American weaponry and will be shooting at its own feet if it were to sanction India. Suffice to say, paradoxically, any US sanctions may only increase Turkey or India’s dependence on Russia for sourcing advanced weaponry, which of course would defeat the very purpose of the CAATSA.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump and the Gordian Knot, Year Two

By Patrick ARMSTRONG | Strategic Culture Foundation | 09.03.2019

About a year ago I advanced the theory that US President Trump understood that the only way to “Make American Great Again” was to disentangle it from the imperial mission that had it stuck in perpetual wars. I concluded that his statements implied that he believed that

1) the post 9/11 military interventions did nothing for American security;

2) foreign interventions impoverish the country;

3) the alliance system is neither useful nor a good deal for the country;

4) Russia is not the once and future enemy.

I further argued that he understood that the Gordian Knot of entanglements could not be cut from the American end because Americans were too wedded to the idea that the USA was “the indispensable nation” or too complacently accepting of the conceit that it had a moral obligation to set the world aright. (Gallup has just revealed that Americans greatly overestimate the respect and affection the rest of the world holds for them.) In any case “The Swamp” was too entangled in the war business ever to change. I speculated that he understood that the cutting could only come from the other side.

In short I saw method in Trump’s boorishness and well-displayed contempt for Washington’s allies.

So what do we find thirteen months later? Well, of course, one year is not nearly enough time to cause American allies to quit. Washington has not pulled out of NATO and no one has left it, the wars continue, the bases remain; but the Knot is loosening a bit. Despite very strong pressure from Washington, Ankara is going ahead with its S-400 purchase and Berlin is determined to complete Nord Stream. Washington has made its opposition plain – and with menaces – but these two important allies persevere in their contumacy.

Recently more cracks widened. Secretary of State Pompeo at Warsaw, trying to get everyone on board with attacking Iran: “Sadly, some of our leading European partners have not been nearly as cooperative. In fact, they have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions.” Vice President Pence at the Munich conference all but ordering the allies to get on board with Washington’s leadership, to stop buying weapons from “our adversaries” and equating opposition to Washington’s stand on Iran with anti-Semitism.

These efforts fell flat. Even The Economist called the Warsaw effort “shambolic” and a number of invited key players sent lower-ranking substitutes. So unenthusiastic was the response that the meeting had to be rebranded as about security in the Middle East rather than about making war on Iran. So, altogether, a bust: the whistle blew but the dogs didn’t come. But worse, Pence’s speech at Munich, praising Trump in every paragraph and threatening allies, fell completely flat with almost no applause. German Chancellor Merkel, speaking for the opposition (lots of applause) demurred. NPR sums up the two meetings:

First, in Warsaw, Poland, the U.S. organized a conference seeking to marshal international outrage over Iran, and Vice President Pence urged France, Germany and the U.K. to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, accusing them of concocting a “scheme” to continue to [do] business with Iran. Top European allies trying to keep the nuclear deal alive declined to send top-level diplomats to the conference.

Then on Saturday, in Munich, German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the security conference with several critiques of U.S. foreign policy – and received a sustained standing ovation.

So, a failure for Washington but, if you agree with my theory, a success for Trump’s scheme.

Merkel devoted some time in her speech to Russian gas supplies, pointing out that in the Cold War, both Germanys reliably received gas from Moscow, thereby reminding Pence, if he was listening, of Disagreement Number Two – Nord Stream. We had earlier been reminded of Disagreement Number One which was the unilateral American rejection of the JCPOA. Washington has sanctioned Tehran; the repellent CAATSA (in fairness, not Trump’s doing) means that anyone who trades with someone Washington dislikes will also become a target of Washington’s sanctions. In reaction, Germany, France and the UK have developed a Washington-independent payment system. How effective it will be remains to be seen but it is undeniably a rebellion against Washington’s fiat.

And now we come to Disagreement Number Three: Washington’s rejection of the INF Treaty. Negotiated in 1987 between the USA and the USSR, it eliminated all land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 km. The Treaty had been preceded by large demonstrations across Europe against the deployment of American missiles. Washington’s excuse is that Russia has violated the Treaty (Theodore Postol has convincingly argued that, whatever Russia may have done, the USA did violate it). Some see it as the latest target of Washington’s dismantling of the arms control treaties of the Cold War, although one cannot rule out the possibility that this is Trump’s opening position to get a new INF Treaty with Russia and China. But it could put the Europeans on Moscow’s target list if the US puts intermediate range missiles into Europe. (The European protests were a causative factor of the original treaty.) In her Munich speech, Merkel called the cancellation “very bad news” and the former head of the NATO Military Committee, Harald Kujat, flatly called it “a betrayal of the security of the European allies“. The full ramifications of this latest trampling of allies’ interests have not been felt but the Atlantic Alliance will not be stronger for it. And I doubt allies will be any happier with Pompeo’s latest blank war cheque.

Even in Korea, where Trump’s new foreign policy has had, perhaps, its greatest success, we see a touch of the same thing. The two Koreas and China are moving forward whatever Washington does or, as in the Hanoi meeting doesn’t, do.

The economic integration plans are moving forward even before the nuclear issue has been resolved, the sanctions have been lifted, or a formal treaty ending the war has been signed. The entire region appears to be breaking out of Washington’s orbit and charting a new course on its own.

Two things seem pretty clear: the Trump Administration is alienating its allies and it doesn’t seem to care very much that it is. Washington has always overborne its allies but it has usually been more polite and discreet about it. Today there is no attempt to hide it: Trump & Co brusquely tell them our way or else.

Will Washington’s contempt and indifference make Europe start to look east?

Donald Trump and his “America First” attitude has thereby afforded Europeans some space to maneuver and establish some level of autonomy, resulting in increasing synergies with Moscow and especially Beijing.

Or will Europe swallow the insults? Will it stand on its “own two feet“? Or have its feet atrophied? We don’t know yet: there is talk, but talk is cheap and easy.

My question remains: we see the alienation but is it deliberately-caused or is it not? Is Trump behaving in a boorishly unilateral way to force his allies to break the imperial connection, or is it just the habitual “America First” style now crudely stripped of the earlier politesse?

(Which is not to say that they’re aren’t some significant inconsistencies in Trump’s foreign policy and, on closer examination, these exceptions become very confusing and inconsistent themselves. I will take up this question separately.)

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

US Embassy Employee Tried to Carry Mortar Shell in Luggage at Moscow Airport

Sputnik – 09.03.2019

The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that it expects the US Department of State to explain the actions of one of its employees after a mortar shell was found in the luggage of a US embassy worker in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Following the discovery of a mortar shell in the luggage belonging to a US embassy employee at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry described this incident as an attempt to stage a provocation.

“It seems that the United States is trying to test Russia’s security capabilities not just from without, by regularly sending their warships and aircraft on provocative raids near our borders, but from within as well, even by using their embassy employees”, the ministry officials told Sputnik.

The incident occurred in the morning of 9 March when an object resembling a mortar mine was found during the screening of luggage belonging to a US embassy employee at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow.

“Bomb disposal experts who arrived at the scene confirmed that the object is indeed a mortar shell fitted with a detonator but devoid of explosive material, even though traces of explosives were present inside its casing”, the ministry explained.

The culprit himself reportedly claimed that he bought the dud shell as a souvenir for his “private collection”.

According to foreign ministry officials, the man managed to board another flight to New York and safely left Russia, without the mortar shell.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also noted that the American embassy was immediately notified of this incident by police and expressed hope that the embassy will explain the actions of their employee.

The ministry also remarked that considering the level of attention airport security gets in the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the embassy worker had to realize that “a mortar shell in the luggage is very serious”, which means that he “made this move deliberately”.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

YouTube terminates Middle East Observer after almost 10 years online

Middle East Observer | March 9, 2019

After almost 10 years online, over 250 videos, almost 13,000 subscribers, and about 8 million total video views, YouTube has terminated the Middle East Observer (MEO) channel on its platform.

Although perhaps MEO became best known for its video translations of regional political actors such as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, its work was certainly not limited to that. Middle East Observer sought to provide its viewers with reliable English translations on politics, religion, and culture from the Middle East more broadly, with a particular focus on media from key states such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The termination of MEO’s channel came after several months of seemingly routine ‘violation’ emails sent to us by YouTube, the taking down of various videos of ours (most of which were uploaded several years ago) and the imposition of ‘channel strikes’ accompanied by emails about how we could better uphold its rather vague and in many ways hegemonic ‘Community Guidelines’. We gradually realised that no matter what measures we took, it would not satisfy YouTube’s ‘Guidelines’, as the platform’s architecture and policies increasingly moved towards the censorship of alternative news and views.

This censorship process against MEO began several years earlier, when YouTube deactivated our ability to monetise the absolute majority of our videos, classifying them as “Non-advertiser friendly”. Needless to say, this demonetisation regime has increasingly been criticised by many observers and major ‘YouTubers’ in recent years. They argued that the “Non-advertiser friendly” label was deeply ideological, as it worked to effectively censor (no funds = less ability to produce content) alternative and non-mainstream narratives while continuing to portray YouTube as a democratic and transparent media platform.

To bypass reliance on YouTube advertising revenue, we tried various options over the years, the last of which being an up-until-now successful experience on Patreon (here’s our page), where after only a few months 17 of our global viewers/readers joined the highly flexible crowd sourcing platform to fund our work and keep it going. Truly without their support we would not have been able to continue producing translations consistently (by all means support us to help us expand our work too).

Nevertheless, we believe that the termination of our channel today is a great blow to the coverage on YouTube of voices, news, and perspectives found on Arab and Islamic media that are rarely covered – or even purposefully silenced – by Western mainstream media.

YouTube’s message today is clear: the production, uploading, and viewing of genuinely critical and alternative ideas and viewpoints is not welcome.

Thankfully we at MiddleEastObserver.net have been anticipating this scenario for many years, and especially in the last 6 months. For now, these are the best ways to continue to follow and support our work:

– Support us financially (even with $1/month) on Patreon
– You won’t miss out on any content if you subscribe to our Website Mailing List
– We will now be uploading our video content on our Daily Motion channel
– Like our Facebook page 
– Follow us on Twitter

Best wishes,
Middle East Observer

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 3 Comments

They Actually ADMITTED There’s No Money in Curing People

Truthstream Media | February 11, 2019

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment