Aletho News


Russiagate is #1 threat to US national security – Stephen Cohen

RT | May 25, 2019

The systemwide US Russophobia that reached its nadir with Russiagate has created a “catastrophe” for both domestic politics and foreign relations that threatens the future of the American system, professor Stephen Cohen tells RT.

War with Russia could easily break out if the US insists on pursuing the policy of “demonization” that birthed Russiagate instead of returning to detente and cooperation, New York University professor emeritus of Russian history Stephen Cohen argues on Chris Hedges’ On Contact. While NATO deliberately antagonized post-Soviet Russia by expanding up to its borders, the US deployed missile defense systems along those borders after scrapping an arms treaty, leaving President Vladimir Putin devoid of “illusions” about the goodwill of the West – but armed with “nuclear missiles that can evade and elude any missile defense system.”

“Now is the time for a serious, new arms control agreement. What do we get? Russiagate instead.”

Cohen believes the conspiracy theory – which remains front-page news in US media despite being thoroughly discredited, both by independent investigators and last month by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report – is the work of the CIA and its former director, John Brennan, who are dead set against any kind of cooperation with Russia. Attorney General William Barr, who is investigating the FBI over how the 2016 counterintelligence probe began, should take a look at Brennan and his agency, Cohen says.

“If our intelligence services are off the reservation to the point that they can first try to destroy a presidential candidate and then a president…we need to know it,” Cohen says. “This is the worst scandal in American history. It’s the worst, at least, since the Civil War.” And the damage wrought by this “catastrophe” hasn’t stopped at the US border.

The idea that Trump is a Russian agent has been devastating to “our own institutions, to the presidency, to our electoral system, to Congress, to the American mainstream media, not to mention the damage it’s done to American-Russian relations, the damage it has done to the way Russians, both elite Russians and young Russians, look at America today,” Cohen declares. And the potential damage it could still cause is enormous.

“Russiagate is one of the greatest new threats to national security. I have five listed in the book. Russia and China aren’t on there. Russiagate is number one.”

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia, Video | , | 1 Comment

The US Military Attack on Korea in 1871

Tales of the American Empire | March 14, 2019

Hundreds of Koreans were slaughtered as punishment because the Joseon Dynasty refused to sign a trade agreement with the United States.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

As obsession with Trump tanks CNN ratings, network doubles down

RT | May 31, 2019

The pioneer cable news network is getting crushed in the ratings, coming in below Home and Garden TV, and has recently downsized and changed freelance payment terms – but shows no interest in changing the tone of its programming.

Both CNN and MSNBC have allowed themselves to be defined by hostility to both the administration and President Donald Trump personally since the 2016 election, breathlessly pushing the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory.

While this strategy has largely worked for MSNBC – at least until special counsel Robert Mueller was forced to admit Russiagate was bogus – CNN has struggled to attract an audience beyond those trapped at hospitals and airports.

Nielsen TV ratings for May show Fox News dominating for the 35th straight month with 1.3 million total day viewers, MSNBC lagging behind with 909,000, and CNN in the eighth place with 552,000.

CNN wasn’t even in the top 15 primetime spots (for comparison, HGTV came in fifth), and its three main primetime shows – hosted by Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon – ranked 25, 26, and 35, respectively.

Could this have anything to do with the network’s obsession with Trump and his administration that no longer bothers hiding naked partisanship? No way, says CNN leadership, insisting they are “real news” and claiming to be victims of Trump’s “attacks” on “free press.”

In the real world, CNN offered buyouts to 100 or so people at its Atlanta, Georgia headquarters, earlier this month, including CNN International executive vice president Tony Maddox. Since then, it has also laid off a number of people from its Health division and drastically cut back production at its London bureau.

Furthermore, the network’s parent company Warner Media recently sent out a notice to contractors that it is changing payment terms beginning in June, from 30 days to 90 days – essentially asking anyone it contracts to wait three months to get paid.

But hey, have you heard that the US government now owns a condominium in New York City’s Trump Tower, because of the Mueller probe? Priorities, people!

The twist is that CNN boss Jeff Zucker is laughing all the way to the bank, because CNN’s annual profits have doubled to $1.2 billion during his tenure. Some 70 percent of the network’s revenue comes not from advertisers but from carriage fees charged from cable and satellite operators. Some 90 million US households pay these fees every year, effectively subsidizing CNN and giving the network very little incentive to change its ways.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 3 Comments

‘Where is the evidence?’ Malaysian PM says attempts to pin MH17 downing on Russia lack proof

RT | May 30, 2019

Malaysia has accepted the Dutch report that a ‘Russian-made’ missile shot down its civilian airliner MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, but has yet to see evidence it was fired by Russia, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

“They are accusing Russia but where is the evidence?” Mahathir told reporters at the Japanese Foreign Correspondents Club (FCCJ) in Tokyo on Thursday.

“You need strong evidence to show it was fired by the Russians,” the prime minister went on, according to the Malaysian state news agency Bernama. “It could be by the rebels in Ukraine; it could be Ukrainian government because they too have the same missile.”

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 – amid heavy fighting between residents of two eastern regions who rejected the February coup in Kiev and troops dispatched by the Western-backed government to suppress them.

All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board the Boeing-777 were killed. Kiev immediately blamed Russia for the incident, and most Western media uncritically agreed.

Mahathir was skeptical that anyone involved with the Russian military could have launched the missile that struck the plane, however, arguing that it would have been clear to professionals that the target was a civilian airliner.

“I don’t think a very highly disciplined party is responsible for launching the missile,” he said.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), whose report last year blamed Moscow for shooting down MH17, barred Russia from participating in the investigation, but involved the government of Ukraine. Although Malaysia is also a member of JIT, Mahathir revealed that his country’s officials have been blocked from examining the plane’s flight recorders.

“For some reason, Malaysia was not allowed to check the black box to see what happened,” he said. “We don’t know why we are excluded from the examination but from the very beginning, we see too much politics in it.”

“The idea was not to find out how this happened but seems to be concentrated on trying to pin it on the Russians.”

“This is not a neutral kind of examination,” Mahathir added.

Rejecting the JIT accusations, Russia made public the evidence the Dutch-led researchers refused to look into, including the serial number of the missile that allegedly struck MH17, showing that it was manufactured in the Soviet Union in 1986 and was in the arsenal of the Ukrainian army at the time of the tragedy.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | 1 Comment

A Robust Message from Palestine’s Foreign Minister and an Attempt at Israeli Propaganda from BBC Israeli Hasbara Asset Raffi Berg

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad Al-Maliki, talking in Catham House, London, May 2019
By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | May 29, 2019

Chatham House, the international affairs think-tank in London, recently invited Dr Riad Malki, Palestine’s minister of foreign affairs, to talk about the future of Palestine ahead of the “Deal of the century” dreamed up by the Trump administration. Malki is involved in shaping the Palestinian response to that initiative when it is finally revealed.

During questions Raffi Berg (pictured at right), editor of the BBC News website’s Middle East section, said that while the official Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) position is for two states as the solution to the conflict, he mischievously suggested that the recent Israel election results showed that Israelis consider the Palestinians’ position to be “insincere”. He asked: “Can you make clear whether you fully accept the presence of Israel as a country in the Middle East within/outside [indistinct] the 1967 ceasefire line?”

This sounded a little off-key from the BBC, which is supposed to maintain an air of utter impartiality. However, Malki dealt with the unfriendly prod quite firmly:

We have made it very clear that we are going to accept, and we have taken the decision to accept, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, to accept the historic compromise that the state of Palestine will be established on the 22 per cent of historic Palestine. It is not only the Palestinian position, it is the position of almost every country around the world.

He reminded the audience that there is international consensus about the two-state solution and that the Palestinian state should be established on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem the capital of Palestine and of Israel. He continued:

We have also agreed in principle that we are ready during negotiations to talk about territorial exchange but always to keep the 1967 border as the border of the state of Palestine. So, we are not going to accept anything less than that.

If anyone talks about the State of Palestine on less than the 1967 border, or the State of Israel beyond that line, this is not acceptable because it defies not only the negotiating position but international law and the international consensus.

I recently wrote about Hanan Ashrawi, a long-time member of the PLO executive and an all-round formidable lady, saying we should see and hear more of her in a front line spokes role. The same goes for Raid Malki who is well informed and articulate and came across well at Chatham House. That they remain invisible to the Western world is the fault of the PLO and Palestinian Authority who are simply not media savvy and stubbornly intend to remain that way. Their embassies (or missions) around the globe are the same.

Malki was a one-time leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and has a PhD in civil engineering from the American University. His impressive CV includes Head of the Civil Engineering Department at Birzeit University, the European Peace Prize in 2000 in Copenhagen and the Italian Peace Prize (Lombardi) in 2005. He is a visiting professor at several European universities.

In his Chatham House speech Malki pulls no punches: “I know that some may be uncomfortable to hear the words ‘colonialism’ and ‘apartheid’ associated with Israel. But they are what we experience on a daily basis and what is visible to the naked eye.”

As for America, “the US administration has shown nothing but disregard for Palestinian rights and Palestinian lives, for international law and the internationally recognised terms of reference, and for common sense and decency”.

The Palestinian people, he insists, “want freedom not conditional liberty. They want sovereignty and not limited autonomy. They want peace and coexistence not domination and subjugation. He continued:

There are two ways to end the conflict: a peace accord or capitulation, meaning a surrender act. We continue to stand ready to negotiate the peace accords based on the internationally recognised terms of reference and the pre-1967 borders, under international monitoring holding accountable the parties and within a determined and binding timeframe. We will never be ready to sign a surrender act.

It is worth watching the video. Sparks are set to fly when Trump and Kushner eventually unveil their big deal.

I’m not a reader of the BBC News website. Long ago I came to distrust the BBC’s reporting of Middle East affairs, so I tend to ignore it. Berg’s line of questioning prompted me to look deeper and I found this piece from 2013 by Amena Saleem in Electronic Intifada titled “BBC editor urged colleagues to downplay Israel’s siege of Gaza”, in which she reports that Berg, during Israel’s eight-day assault on Gaza in November 2012 which killed nearly 200 Palestinians, emailed BBC staff to write more favourably about Israel. He urged them, allegedly, not to blame Israel for the prolonged onslaught but to promote the Israeli government line that the “offensive” was “aimed at ending rocket fire from Gaza”, despite the fact that it was Israel which broke the ceasefire.

In another email, he told them: “Please remember, Israel doesn’t maintain a blockade around Gaza. Egypt controls the southern border.” However, the United Nations regards Israel as the occupying power in Gaza and had called on Israel to end its siege, which is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860.

It is interesting to read that Berg’s boss until last year was James Harding, an ex-Murdoch editor and self-proclaimed Israel supporter – a strange choice for a supposedly non-partisan head of BBC News. Almost as strange as the appointment around the same time of ex-Labour minister and former Chairman of Labour Friends of Israel James Purnell as director of strategy at this beacon of impartiality. Purnell is still there.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

UN Rapporteur: Canada’s trade agreement with Israel violates international law

Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied Michael Lynk [Alhadath24/Facebook]

Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied Michael Lynk [Alhadath24/Facebook]
MEMO | May 31, 2019

Canada’s updated trade agreement with Israel violates international law, the UN Special Rapporteur for the [occupied] Palestinian territories, Professor S. Michael Lynk, has said in an article published by the Australian news site, The Conversation.

Commenting on legislation known as Bill C-85 — the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act — which received royal assent on Monday, Lynk said that it lacks “a human rights provision, which would commit both parties to uphold international human rights and humanitarian law.” The Act also allows goods and services originating on illegal Israeli settlements to enter Canada without any tariffs. These “glaring” omissions, said Lynk, not only violate international law but also Canadian law.

The article, which was co-written with Alex Neve, the Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, explained that Canadian foreign policy and Ottawa’s own legislation “has long recognised the Israeli settlements as illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

According to the authors, “The 1957 Geneva Conventions Act commits Canada to respect the strict obligations of the convention, including the prohibition against civilian settlements in occupied territory. And the 2000 Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act designates civilian settlements in occupied territory as a war crime.”

Clarifying their position further, they cite the UN Human Rights Council, which in 2016 urged all states to ensure that: “They are not taking actions that either recognise or assist the expansion of [Israeli] settlements… in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including with regard to the issue of trading with settlements, consistent with their obligations under international law.”

They also cite a number of UN Resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 2334 which states that the Israeli settlements are “a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Lynk pointed out that while Israel denies that it is an occupying power, there is in fact “a virtual wall-to-wall consensus among the international community — including the United Nations, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Canada — that the laws of occupation, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, apply in full to the Palestinian territory.”

The authors state that the Bill “makes no distinction between Israel and its illegal settlements in the Palestinian territory and it provides encouragement to the economic growth of the settlements by allowing their goods and services to enter Canada tariff-free.”

In conclusion, Lynk and Neve say that the Bill “entangles Canada in the serious violations of both international human rights and humanitarian law that are part and parcel of the Israeli occupation.”


Canada court hears lawsuit challenging Israel settlement wine labels

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Second Saudi ship leaves French port without arms cargo

MEMO | May 31, 2019

A Saudi cargo ship has left the southern French port of Fos-sur-Mer without loading its arms cargo destined for Saudi Arabia, blocked from doing so after pressure from rights campaigners, a French rights group said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

The incident reported by ACAT, a Christian organisation against torture, is the second time this month that a Saudi vessel has been blocked from loading arms in France as pressure mounts on Paris to stop arms sales to the kingdom.

A Saudi ship left France’s northern coast two weeks ago without a cargo of weapons after dockers threatened to block its arrival in the port of Le Havre. That came weeks after an online investigative site published leaked French military intelligence that showed weapons sold to the kingdom, including tanks and laser-guided missile systems, were being used against civilians in Yemen’s war.

ACAT said the Saudi freighter, Bahri Tabuk, returned to sea on Wednesday night, with its holds empty.

“Once again, faced with citizen mobilisation and our legal action, a Saudi freighter had to give up loading French weapons, this time in Fos-sur-Mer,” Nathalie Seff of ACAT-France said in a statement.

Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed that the Saudi-flagged ship, labelled as a vehicle carrier which has transported soybean meal in the past, left Fos and was sailing to Alexandria in Egypt.

French and Saudi governments and the port authorities could not be reached for comment on Thursday evening.

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly has said that France had a partnership with Saudi Arabia. When the first vessel was blocked from loading in Le Havre, she said the arms were related to an order dating back several years.

ACAT said it had filed an appeal last week with the Paris Administrative Court to block weapons shipments to Saudi Arabia, arguing that the sales contravened a UN treaty because the arms could be used against civilians in the Yemeni conflict, but it said the appeal was rejected.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Trump’s Delusional Deal for Iran Talks

Strategic Culture Foundation | May 31, 2019

If US President Donald Trump thinks that by merely saying he doesn’t want regime change in Iran, he can then inveigle the Iranians into talks, he is woefully mistaken.

This week during a state visit to Japan, fresh from watching a bout of Sumo wrestling, the American president said he thinks Iran “is ready” for negotiations. He asserted that Washington isn’t after regime change in the Islamic Republic, and that its only concern is to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons.

Trump also restated he wanted to frame future talks with Iran on additional issues of ballistic missile development and Tehran’s “regional activities” – the latter referring to long-held accusations by Washington of Iran “sponsoring terrorism”.

“I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that’s very smart of them, and I think that’s a possibility to happen,” Trump condescended.

This US president is delusional beyond belief. After trashing an international nuclear accord with Iran last year, re-imposing crippling sanctions, and his administration in recent weeks openly threatening military attack, Trump evidently doesn’t have the faintest grasp on reality.

In response to his latest “toned down” rhetoric, Iran’s foreign ministry said Tehran wants to see a fundamental change in US behavior before it could possibly take Trump seriously. In practice, that means Washington returning to the 2015 nuclear accord as an original signatory, lifting punishing economic sanctions (economic terrorism) and withdrawing the recent buildup of military forces from the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has said that negotiations with the Trump administration would be akin to drinking poison.

The Trump administration no doubt realizes it has over-reached with its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. Iran is not going to be intimidated and is more than capable of defending itself. The White House needs to find a way to muffle the war drums it has been beating in recent weeks, especially given the international censure it has been met with, even from its European allies. In short, the Americans are bluffing.

In a bid to save face, Trump is now posing as a magnanimous player, “offering” the Iranians a chance for negotiations. But Iran is hardly likely to succumb to the apparent overture. Since last year, there are reliable reports that the US president has been seeking talks with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on at least eight occasions. Tehran has not budged to oblige Trump.

Tersely put, that is because Trump and his administration have about as much credibility as a snake-oil salesman.

Trump may this week vow that he is not seeking regime change in Tehran. But earlier this year on the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, he disparaged the nation’s leadership for engaging in “40 years of terrorism”.

Trump’s senior White House aides, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, have also indulged in mouth-foaming threats against Iran.

Abundantly evident to Iran, this US administration cannot be trusted in the slightest. The Iranians must also be taking notes on how Trump’s razzmatazz diplomatic engagement with North Korea has floundered after the American side insisted on Pyongyang decommissioning its nuclear weapons before receiving sanctions relief. Where’s the American reciprocity? There is none. It’s all about dominance by a hegemonic power.

Another non-starter for Iran entering into talks with the Trump administration is that the latter’s position is incorrigibly flawed with false premises. How can dialogue be productive when one side is so delusional in its views?

Trump says he wants to ensure “no nuclear weapons” for Iran, as well as engaging in talks about restricting Iran’s ballistic missile defenses, and its alleged malign activities in the region.

As Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently reiterated Iran does not have nuclear weapons nor has any intention of acquiring them. Iran’s non-nuclear doctrine was clearly spelled out several years ago by Ayatollah Khamenei in a fatwa (edict). Iran may resume uranium enrichment at higher levels if the nuclear accord is not upheld by other international signatories, but that is a far cry from embarking on nuclear weapons development.

Trump is thus presuming negotiations with Iran based on false speculation about Iran having or trying to have nuclear weapons. He keeps promulgating that dead-end falsehood with the help of lousy “journalism” in the Western corporate media. His cancelling of the nuclear accord last year was based on a spurious claim that the accord would not safeguard enough against Iran building nuclear weapons. However, countless UN inspections since the 2015 deal have verified that Iran is in full compliance.

The two other premises underlying Trump’s attempt at engaging Iran in talks are also egregiously flawed. Iran’s sovereign right to develop defensive missile capabilities is perfectly within international legal obligations. It is simply outrageous for an American administration to demand Iran curb its defensive systems, especially given the military threats from that administration and its slavish support for Israel which actually has nuclear weapons pointed at Iran.

As for allegations of Iranian “sponsorship of terrorism”, that’s another canard based on American-Israeli-Saudi propaganda. Iran’s support for Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza is a legitimate international demonstration of solidarity against Israeli aggression. Iran’s support for Shia militia in Iraq and Syria has proven to be a successful mission to thwart the destabilizing of those states by US and Saudi-backed terror proxies.

Any genuine dialogue should be premised on mutual respect. Patently, despite occasional superficial words, the Trump administration is seething with Iranophobia. The same might be gleaned regarding US policy towards Russia, China, Venezuela, North Korea and others. There is no mutual respect from Washington. Just a might-is-right attitude underpinned by a superiority complex commonly invoked as “American exceptionalism”.

All told, Iran is not going to indulge the Trump administration with talks that this administration is – between the lines – eagerly seeking. Trump’s “art of the deal” is all about backsliding on already established international commitments. From Iran’s point of view, there is nothing to be gained from dialogue with a duplicitous, delusional president whose view of the world has zero credibility.

Iran is right. The only prospect for future talks is for Washington to undergo fundamental correctional behavior. Don’t hold your breath for that to happen.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

How Yesterday Resembles Today: Iran Confronted The US in The Strait Of Hormuz in The 1980s

By Elijah J. Magnier | American Herald Tribune | May 29, 2019

“We are going to intercept and stop all oil exports from the (Middle East) region if we are prevented from exporting our oil. We shall take every measure possible to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the US aims – by sending jets, carriers – to reinforce its positions and status among the international community, it doesn’t concern us. But if the US is seriously aiming to threaten us, it should know that not one drop of oil will leave the region and we shall destroy all US interests in the Middle East”. This is what the President Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said in 1983, in response to the US President Ronald Regan’s decision to send jet carriers to the Middle East during the Iran-Iraq war. It seems like only yesterday.

Today, in 2019, the experienced and veteran leader of the revolution, Sayyed Khamenei – who played a role in the very similar critical situation in the 80s – is facing President Donald Trump and an administration who seem not to have learned much from history and the previous US-Iran confrontation. Looking at past foreign policy with a critical eye seems not to be part of the current US administration’s practice. A small reminder may give many answers to what Trump can expect in a wider confrontation with Iran.

In the 80s, Iran’s “Islamic Revolution” was facing serious problems on many levels. Its armed forces were disorganised and dispersed; there were serious differences between decision-makers and politicians over how to run the country following the fall of the Shah; domestic security was lacking; there were ethnic and national struggles; no country was ready to sell weapons to Iran; the US, Europe and the Gulf states supported Saddam Hussein’s aggression against Iran; and the country was going through serious economic difficulties.

It was a perfect scenario for Saddam Hussein to invade Iran, which he did in September 1980 by bombing Mehrabad international airport and occupied later Khorramshahr, calling for an uprising of ethnic Arabs “in al-Muhammara”. This same objective, and concomitant regime-change is what the US administration has been aiming at since 1979- and it apparently retains the same fixation in 2019.

Many may not remember that Imam Khomeini did not hesitate to encourage the Iranian leadership, led by the current Rahbar (Spiritual Leader) Sayyed Ali Khamenei (1987), who was the President of Iran then, to confront and open fire against US forces or indeed any hostile country sailing in the Gulf. “If I were you (addressing his speech to the political leadership), I would order the armed forces to target the first vessel protecting an oil carrier trying to cross the Strait of Hormuz. You decide what you think best (as a course of action), whatever it takes”, said Imam Khomeini.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (and Sheikh Hashemi Rafsanjani) gave immediate orders to the armed forces to act accordingly. All armed forces were fully coordinated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Forces (IRGC – Pasdaran). Iran launched Chinese-made Silkworm missiles on Kuwait port al-Ahmadi. Another attack was registered on a Kuwaiti oil tanker that had been registered to fly the American flag and was sailing under US Navy protection- it hit an Iranian mine in the Gulf. Moreover, Iran shot down a US helicopter using US-made Stinger missiles delivered by the Afghan Mujahedeen to Iran. It was ready to take the confrontation further in the Persian Gulf, careless of the US “almighty” military power. Iran also attacked a Soviet vessel, the freighter Ivan Korotoyev, sailing in the Gulf and providing naval escorts for its ships.

It was rare to see the two superpowers, the US and Russia, united against Iran in one Middle Eastern conflict, in support of Saddam Hussein. Of course, Iran’s diplomacy skills were not yet sharpened. It was helping the Afghans against the Soviets and was committed to fighting US hegemony in the Middle East.

Sayyed Ali Khamenei went to New York, and at the UN Security Council told the world that “the US will receive a response to its hideous action” in the Gulf (following a US attack against an Iranian commercial ship called Iran Ajr). Indeed, a US owned giant oil tanker carrying the name of Sungari was attacked and set ablaze by the IRGC. Iran was not willing to stand down, but instead showed itself ready to confront two superpower countries at a time when Tehran was in its worst condition.

Today, Iran is well equipped with all kinds of missiles, and is a more powerful, highly productive country with strong and efficient allies who can hurt its enemies much more than in 1987. The Islamic Revolution principles and values are still the same, led by more or less the same people. The IRGC is stronger than ever and is an integrated part of the armed forces.

Sayyed Ali Khamenei was fully devoted to Imam Khomeini. He served as a faithful guardian of the “Islamic Revolution”, supervised the IRGC, represented Imam Khomeini at the Security Council and played an effective role in arming and merging the IRGC into all levels of the country’s armed forces. He will not hesitate to take further steps against any weakness any leader in the country today might show in trying to soften the relationship with the US. Today, the leader of the Revolution is neither afraid of war, nor of peace. He will not negotiate with Trump and will not help him be re-elected in 2020. Those who think Iran is desperate or cornered or failing due to the US sanctions may need to read more carefully the history and behaviour of the “Islamic Revolution” since 1979.

Elijah J. Magnier is a veteran war correspondent and Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 35 years’ experience covering Europe, Africa & the Middle East.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Deadly Japan Heatwave “Due To Global Warming”

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | May 30, 2019

Japan’s heatwave in July 2018 could not have happened without climate change.

That is the unequivocal conclusion of a report released last week, as the country battles yet another record-breaking heatwave.

The July 2018 heatwave, which killed 1,032 people, saw temperatures reach 41.1C, the highest temperature ever recorded in the country. Torrential rains also triggered landslides and the worst flooding in decades.

Penned by the Meteorological Society of Japan, the study is the first to establish that some aspects of the international heatwave could not have occurred in the absence of global warming. Scientists reached this conclusion by employing a technique known as event attribution (EA).

The relatively new method, lead author Yukkiko Imada told Climate Home News, sought to pin down the causality of climate change in the heatwave by simulating 18 climate scenarios with and without the current 1C global warming above pre-industrial levels.

They found a one in five chance of the heatwave occurring in the current climate, but almost no chance of in a climate unchanged by human activity.

This claim is utterly absurd and dishonest.

As Imada’s study makes abundantly clear, the cause of the heatwave was the coming of two powerful high pressure systems, known as a double-high.

Moreover, two seasonal high-pressure systems, namely the North Pacific subtropical high (NPSH) in the lower troposphere and Tibetan high in the upper troposphere often cause warm climate in Japan (Imada et al. 2014). This two-tiered high-pressure system (double-High) was also visible in July 2018.

The paper goes on to say:

However, experts do not have any  answers on whether the double-High in 2018 was extreme compared to other such  historical events. It is even more difficult to determine the extent to which  human-induced global warming contributed to this event….

Thus, the double-High condition appears to be natural variability  and not affected by the human-induced climate change at this stage.

 In other words, the heatwave would have occurred, regardless of global warming.

As is usually the case with these sort of attribution studies, what this one actually says is that this event was slightly hotter than would have been the case prior to 20thC warming.

It is funny that we never seem to hear about studies that explain how cold winters would have been even colder without AGW!

It is reckoned that 1032 died in the Japan heatwave, but it is certain that many more would have died in pre-industrial versions of that weather event, before the days of air conditioning.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | 1 Comment

The Vaccine Debate Has Gone Off the Rails – By Design

By Helen Buyniski | Helen Of Destroy | May 30, 2019

US media and government have united to demonize “anti-vax” parents, demanding censorship, fines and even jail for questioning scientific progress. If they wanted to end the “crisis,” they could – but that would defeat the purpose, which is to keep the people divided, fearing and hating a malignant “enemy within” that threatens their beloved children.

When anti-vax activist Del Bigtree donned a yellow star in a melodramatic show of solidarity with Hasidic Jewish parents being pressured into vaccinating their children under a short-lived emergency law in upstate New York’s Rockland County, many cringed. Sure, public opinion was against anti-vaxxers, but they weren’t being rounded up and sent away to camps, or fenced into ghettos, or forbidden from operating businesses as Jews were in Nazi Germany.

Then the Washington Post took Bigtree’s idea and ran with it in a bizarre, overwrought editorial that slammed anti-vax parents as “pro-plague” and called for them to be arrested, fined, and isolated, placed on registries like sex offenders (their comparison, not mine), and… fenced into ghettos (“force isolation on pockets of populations that might have been exposed to the outbreak”).

This isn’t how you defuse a controversy. No amount of catastrophizing – whether it’s the World Health Organization declaring anti-vaxxers a threat on the level of ebola and HIV, or New York mayor Bill deBlasio sending “disease detectives” to Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods to hunt down unvaccinated kids, or Facebook removing photos of vaccine package inserts posted by parents concerned by the laundry list of side effects – will convince a vaccine skeptic to embrace inoculation. Indeed, these measures guarantee anti-vaxxers will become further entrenched in their beliefs. If vaccines are truly safe and effective, the argument goes, why are the authorities suppressing anything that questions them?

It’s clear from the institutional response to the measles “crisis” that the powers that be are not interested in changing anyone’s mind. It should be a simple matter for doctors to take scared parents aside, listen to their worries, and address them one by one – perhaps even offer to meet them halfway by developing an individualized health program that takes their child’s needs into consideration.

Certainly, pretending there’s no risk to vaccination when the government’s own vaccine court has paid out $4 billion to the parents of vaccine-damaged children over the past 30 years is disingenuous, and only serves to convince skeptics that a cover-up exists. Many “anti-vaxxers” are parents of autistic kids who believe their children were damaged by vaccination; most have done a significant quantity of research on the subject. Treating them like gullible fools is guaranteed to alienate them further.

Nor is the US government’s response to a measles “epidemic” that has infected 880 people since January in a country of 327 million people designed to put anyone at ease. With a vocal segment of the population already alarmed over unprecedented assaults on First Amendment freedoms of speech and of the press, several states have put forward bills to end religious exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws, thus inflaming another vocal segment of the population, this one concerned for the First Amendment freedom of religion. Headlines like the New York Times editorial earlier this month, titled “Infecting people isn’t a religious right,” deftly add insult to injury. If the government’s goal was to create civic unrest, to encourage division in a country already more divided than ever, they couldn’t have done a better job.

And this may indeed be the goal. “Wedge issues” – controversies which divide and inflame a population, despite often having little or no bearing on their day-to-day lives – are a time-honored means of manipulating popular sentiment. Divide and conquer as a political principle dates back to the Roman Empire. As the American Empire crumbles, with poverty and homelessness at record levels (despite the government’s attempts to redefine poverty and hide unemployment) while companies like Amazon and Google break the trillion-dollar mark, even capitalism’s biggest cheerleaders are concerned about the unwashed masses rising up and breaking things.

It’s no coincidence that the vaccine debate is being amplified at the same time Americans are duking it out over abortion, another popular wedge issue. Threaten people’s children, even other people’s hypothetical children, and a strong emotional response is guaranteed. So why, if the end goal is universal vaccination, is the government threatening the parents of unvaccinated children with taking those children away?

If health authorities are serious about converting the anti-vaxxers, they will have to stop thinking in terms of war. This means engaging in civil dialogue, instead of refusing to debate the other side, and listening to parents’ concerns – even treating those concerns as if they come from their own minds and not nefarious Russian influence campaigns – instead of censoring all criticism. It means conducting more safety studies, studies not funded by pharmaceutical companies or other institutions with a vested interest in the products being tested, and publicly admitting that even the Centers for Disease Control acknowledges certain pre-existing conditions can interact with vaccines to produce devastating developmental disabilities. It certainly does not mean treating anti-vaxxers like plague-loving brainwashed zombies.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

Israel-based meeting of Florida cabinet triggers scandal & suit

RT | May 29, 2019

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his cabinet kicked off controversy after conducting an official meeting on Israeli soil, prompting a flurry of criticism from watchdog groups and constituents alike.

DeSantis and his cabinet met Wednesday at the US Embassy in Jerusalem to proclaim support for the Jewish state and sign a bill prohibiting anti-Semitism in Florida’s public schools. DeSantis, who has promised to be the “most pro-Israel governor in America,” called the meeting “historic.”

The Florida First Amendment Foundation, joined by four media outlets, however, say the meeting violated state legislation known as the “Sunshine Law,” which requires government meetings to be open to the public.

“Holding a meeting at this distance in such a facility violates the constitutional and statutory rights of Florida citizens (and the news media) to personally observe the workings of, and for the public to offer comment to, their state’s highest officials,” the organizations wrote in a complaint filed earlier this week.

Though state officials assured the public the meeting would be “ceremonial” in nature, and would be livestreamed on Florida public television, critics argued it did not qualify as an open proceeding.

“There are legitimate concerns regarding the constitutionality of holding a Cabinet meeting that Floridians cannot attend,” First Amendment Foundation president Barbara Petersen said in a statement.

The initial complaint was dismissed by a Florida judge on Tuesday, but the governor’s office, through a spokesperson, said it intended to comply with Florida law and defend against the allegation. The spokesperson declined to comment further on “pending litigation.”

Some of the governor’s constituents chimed in on social media, many unhappy that state resources were used on the trip.

“Pretending to play secretary of state will do nothing for you in the mind of your constituents,” wrote one Floridian. “Get back home and do something for your citizens.”

Another resident said the state did not need “public funds going towards #DeSantisIllegalVacation in a state accused of apartheid,” adding “our resources need to STAY in FL.”

The DeSantis trip isn’t the only recent collision of US and Israeli politics. In late April, after a months-long legal battle, a Texas judge struck down legislation that banned Texas state employees from engaging in boycotts of Israeli products, arguing the measure sought to “manipulate debate through coercion rather than persuasion.”

The bill was one among several introduced this year to combat the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the US, an organized effort to rein in Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 4 Comments