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Veterans of Foreign Wars urges Trump to apologize over downplaying brain injuries

Press TV – January 25, 2020

Veterans of Foreign Wars, an American organization advocating for military veterans, has called on President Donald Trump to apologize for downplaying brain injuries that were inflicted on the country’s soldiers during Iran’s retaliatory strikes at a US base in Iraq.

“TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly. TBI is known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches, dizziness and fatigue — all injuries that come with both short- and long-term effects,” VFW said in a statement.

Over 30 US service members have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) after Iran attacked the Ain al-Assad air base in response to assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani.

“The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks. And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has,” read the statement by Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander William “Doc” Schmitz.

The Pentagon made the announcement on Friday over three weeks after the January 8 attack.

Nine service members are reportedly being treated in Germany while some have already been sent home for additional treatment.

Tensions have been rising between the US president and former commanders as well as active duty senior officers in the wake of General Soleimani’s assassination following his order.

January 25, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

The Fate of post-WWII Germans Deported from their Homes by the Allies

Institute for Political Economy | January 24, 2020

Germany’s War, Chapter 6: The German Expellees by John Wear

The Allies’ Crimes Exceed Those of the Third Reich

At the end of World War II in violation of the Atlantic Charter, between 12 and 19 million Germans were expelled from their long-established homes in East Prussia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Silesia, Memel and the Baltic states, Danzig, Poland, Czechoslovakia (Sudetenland), Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Romania. This mass expulsion of ethnic Germans from their homes was going on while the Nuremberg trials were prosecuting officials of the German Third Reich for mass deportations of Jews and Gypsies. The allied expulsions of Germans exceeds in number the deportations by the Third Reich. Unlike the Israelis, the German government does not demand reparations for the dispossessed Germans. Instead of being compensated for their dispossession, the Germans pay compensation to the Jews, and the amount rises over time.

The number of Germans who died from the crimes inflicted on them during the expulsions rival the number of holocaust victims and is better documented. Estimates are that 25% of German expellees died in the process. That could be as many as 4,750,000. While as many as nearly 5 million German expellees were dying from the starvation, exposure, and murder that characterized their deportation, the French chief prosecutor at Nuremberg sanctimoniously declared deportations by the Third Reich to be “one of the horrors of our century.”

During World War II the Americans expelled Japanese-Americans from their homes and businesses and kept them in concentration camps.

The Israelis have been deporting Palestinians from Palestine since 1947. Gaza today is the largest concentration camp in world history.

Stalin deported millions of Russians to the Gulags where they died from over-work, under-nurishment, and exposure.

But only Germans were punished for deportations.

The post-war mass deportations of Germans supports  Hitler’s view that ethnic Germans needed to be gathered into one territory for their protection. Today ethnic Germans are being displaced in their own country by Third World peoples brought into Germany by Germany’s anti-German political leadership. Indeed, all of Europe has anti-ethnic European leadership. The anti-European leaders of Europe are erasing Europe. This is the last century of European peoples. By the end of this century, European people and European culture will not exist. A leaderless people cannot survive.

While reading chapter 6, keep in mind that you are not reading John Wear’s opinion. You are reading facts documented by many historians and published by Harvard University Press, Yale University Press, Basic Books, and Palgrave Macmillan.   

The 6th Chapter of Wear’s book, Germany’s War, is posted here: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/01/24/germanys-war-chapter-6-the-german-expellees/  

“The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons.”

January 25, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Trying to memory-hole ‘climate hysteria’ will only create more climate change skeptics

1984 was not an instruction manual

By Helen Buyniski | RT | January 25, 2020

Germany’s literary establishment has declared a moratorium on the phrase “climate hysteria.” No wonder “climate denial” is epidemic – there’s no better way to convince people something’s not real than making belief mandatory.

An annual ritual by German linguists and journalists to exile a term from the language subjected the term “klimahysterie” (“climate hysteria”) to the linguistic equivalent of burning at the stake earlier this month, naming it the “un-word of the year” because it “defames climate protection efforts and the climate protection movement, and discredits important discussions about climate protection.”

One might think that painting the climate debate in black and white – evil “climate deniers” versus saintly Greta Thunberg and her Extinction Rebellion carbon cult – would be more discrediting to the climate protection movement than begging for some realism from a narrative that is rapidly taking on religious trappings. Implying the keening end-of-timers gluing themselves to trains at rush hour are just as rooted in clear-eyed science as legitimate climatologists is frankly insulting to the latter, and implying both are too sacred to be described with a term like “hysteria” harms the environmental cause far more than any slick oil industry PR.

By trying to shame the concept of “climate hysteria” out of existence, the establishment is simply drawing more attention to it. Smearing those who are merely pointing out an unscientific tendency in a supposedly scientific movement only encourages more people – including those who were on the fence about the climate issue before – to question the entire narrative. With Thunberg herself at Davos for a second year in a row, testily reminding the international ruling class that “our house is still on fire,” it’s impossible not to notice that there’s a bit of irrationality in the air. While she herself once said “listen to the science,” a multi-billion-dollar hysteria-driven vaporware economy has arisen at the same time, proclaiming “listen to Greta.” Carbon offset firms, green branding agencies, “sustainability consultants,” the notorious ‘green social network’ We Don’t Have Time that shot Thunberg herself to stardom – none of these would exist without “climate hysteria,” as they provide no value to a society not in its grip. An official diktat declaring it doesn’t exist merely adds weight to all criticisms of the climate change movement, whether or not they have merit.

There’s no faster way to convince someone a narrative is false than to make belief in it mandatory. And carbon-centric anthropogenic climate change is quickly taking on this level of gravitas – Soros-funded nonprofit Avaaz has declared war on so-called “climate denial,” releasing a report accusing YouTube of “driving its users to climate misinformation” that attempts to shame advertisers into pulling their money from the platform until it starts de-platforming (or at least hiding videos from) those pesky “deniers.”

The use of the word “denier” is deliberately meant to elicit an emotional response. Many of the wrongthink-perpetrators Avaaz takes issue with don’t deny the climate is changing, and some would agree that human activity plays a role in this change.

However, the slightest difference of opinion is framed as heretical, and the perpetrator placed in the “climate denier” camp. Such a divisive approach naturally makes people more curious about those who have been smeared as “deniers.” If the narrative managers are trying to shame us for questioning the wisdom of prosecuting meat-eaters for “ecocide,” or stamping global corporations like Bayer-Monsanto as “net zero” carbon emitters as a reward for their voracious appetite for carbon offsets, the reasoning goes, what else are they lying to us about?

Independent-minded individuals wonder why so much energy is being spent to discredit people who find fault with the prevailing climate change orthodoxy. Most wrong ideas are merely ignored – no one wastes time campaigning against flat-earth videos, for example – so surely, they reason, “climate deniers” must be a threat to the status quo. From the crumbling Douma gas attack narrative, still defended in the mainstream media – to Russiagate, to ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ flimsy establishment narratives have been shored up by demonizing their opponents (as “Assad apologists,” “useful idiots,” and “Saddam apologists,” respectively) because the narrative managers know they cannot win an argument with their critics. If climate change proponents are making a conscious decision to throw their lot in with these epistemologically bankrupt charlatans, they shouldn’t be surprised when “climate change denial” becomes epidemic.

In case there was any doubt that the climate narrative is being imposed from above, “climate hysteria” wasn’t even the most popular choice to be given the ‘un-wording’ treatment for 2019. “Old white men,” “flight shame,” and, yes, “climate deniers” all got more votes – the ritual is open to public comment in the spirit of democracy – but all three were mysteriously disqualified by the five-person linguistic-journalistic panel for violating the selection criteria. Receiving almost twice as many votes as “climate hysteria” was “environmental pig”, the newly minted pejorative at the center of a controversy over a “green” children’s song last month – but that, too, was disqualified. Democracy, it seems, has its limits.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

Also on rt.com:

‘My grandma is old environmental pig’: German broadcaster in hot water over brazen children’s song

Bayer-Monsanto’s secret weapon: Ex-Green lobbyist to tell the world its cancer-linked weedkiller will save the climate

January 25, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

Unlike Hezbollah Fighters, Israeli Soldiers Lack Combat Motivation: Zionist Military Analyst

Al-Manar | January 25, 2020

The Israeli military analyst Alon bin David said that the Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi has prepared a plan to develop the army over several years, stressing that it suffers from shortage of manpower and lack of combat motivation.

The Zionist military expert, Benjamin Amidor, on Saturday also said that Hezbollah and Hamas fighters are more skillful, experience and trained that the Israeli army soldiers, adding that the Resistance members undergo more drills than the Israeli army soldiers and have more field experience.

Amidor, who is a former army officer, added that the Zionist army is not reinforcing the commitment to the military instructions, adding that it is trying to follow an approach that minimizes human losses during wars.

January 25, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

“No One Has Suggested My Son Did Anything Wrong”: Joe Biden Doubles Down On Denial

By Jonathan Turley | January 24, 2020

We have previously discussed the denials of former Vice President Joe Biden that his son did anything wrong in Ukraine. As I have written, not only did Hunter Biden clearly enter into a corrupt (but arguably lawful) contract but Joe Biden did not do enough to confirm that his son was not engaging in influence peddling. Nevertheless, this week, Joe Biden continued this indefensible position and declared bizarrely that “no one has suggested my son did anything wrong.”

According to the Washington Post, Joe Biden declared on the campaign trail that “There’s nobody that’s indicated there’s a single solitary thing that he did that was inappropriate, wrong … or anything other than the appearance. It looked bad that he was there.” He then curiously added “He acknowledges that he in fact made a mistake going on the board.” So, in other words, he did nothing wrong but he apologized for it.

Joe Biden continues to maintain that “no one” has accused his son of wrongdoing when there is a chorus of such allegations. He seems to be drawing a distinction between what is criminal and what is not — as if the criminal code is the only measure of wrongdoing or unethical conduct.

Hunter Biden not only clearly engaged in influence peddling but he is clearly a relevant witness.

Ukraine was a virtual gold rush for Washington’s elite and Hunter Biden was one of the first in line to cash in. Biden’s quest for a Ukrainian windfall took him to one of Ukraine’s most controversial and corrupt associates, Mykola Zlochevsky, who leveraged his post as minister of ecology and natural resources to build a fortune. Before fleeing Ukraine, Zlochevsky paid Hunter Biden and several other Americans to be directors of his energy company, Burisma Holdings. Hunter Biden had no experience in the field — but he did have a notable connection to the vice president, who publicly has bragged about making clear to the Ukrainians that he alone controlled U.S. aid to the country. A stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry also was asked to serve as a director but reportedly declined and warned Hunter Biden not to do it; Biden didn’t listen. He later told The New Yorker that “the decisions that I made were the right decisions for my family and for me.” His decisions certainly were profitable, but they were not “right” as an ethical matter for himself or his father.

The use of spouses or children in influence peddling schemes is a tried and true technique in Washington. You find some kid of a powerful politician and give them a windfall salary or contract. There is no direct bribe or criminal violation, just influence with the politician. Joe Biden seems to believe that, so long as it does not violation the criminal code, it makes it “right” or curiously somehow “not wrong.”

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Corruption | , | Leave a comment

The 3rd Annual REAL Fake News Awards!

Corbett • 01/25/2020

And now, from the palatial Corbett Report studios in western Japan, it’s time for The 3rd Annual REAL Fake News Awards. Which media organization will take home the most Dinos for their dishonest reporting? Who will bear the shame of the biggest fake news story of the year? Find out in this year’s exciting gala broadcast!!

Watch this video on BitChute / Minds.com / YouTube or Download the mp4

THE AWARD FOR FAKEST NARRATIVE ABOUT A CONTEXTLESS INTERNET VIDEO GOES TO:

THE AWARD FOR FAKEST FALSE FLAG COVER-UP OF THE YEAR GOES TO:

THE AWARD FOR FAKEST CLIMATE CRUSADE OF THE YEAR GOES TO:

THE AWARD FOR FAKEST VIDEO FOOTAGE OF THE YEAR GOES TO:

  • ABC News for their “dramatic coverage” of “Turkey’s” military bombing “Kurd civilians” in a “Syrian border town”:
  • Dishonorable mentions go to Emannuelle Macron, Leo Dicaprio, Madonna and other Twitterati who posted there own fake news about the Amazon fire (h/t manbearpig)

THE AWARD FOR FAKEST ECONOMIC STATISTICS OF THE YEAR GOES TO:

  • The Japanese government, for their admission that 40% of the 56 key government economic releases are in fact fake, fudged or completely made up!

AND THE AWARD FOR FAKE NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR GOES TO:

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Netflix, Iran and the Documentary as Geopolitical Weapon

By Brian Mier | FAIR | January 21, 2020

Netflix: Nisman: The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy

Netflix‘s Nisman: The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy

Like The Mechanism before it, Netflix’s new series Nisman: The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy is an entertainment product that advances US interests through character assassination of a popular left-wing Latin American leader.

“Try saying this,” the director said:  “‘In the ’80s, Rio de Janeiro was a land of the haves and the have nots. I was a have not.’” In 2016, I was working as a fixer on an episode of a Netflix documentary crime series, and the main character was not cooperating with the script.

He was Afro-Brazilian, but he was not the stereotype they had imagined while preparing the story in England. He had never lived in a favela, was educated in elite private schools, and was an Army special forces captain before entering a life of crime. “In the ’80s,” he said, “Rio de Janeiro was a land of the haves and the have nots. I was a have.”

To the production team’s credit, after half an hour of trying to get him to say he was a “have not,” they changed the story to better fit what really happened. But this episode illustrates an important point that most casual viewers are unaware of: Nearly all documentaries are highly manipulated.

As I learned on the set of various TV documentaries, if an important character refuses to give an interview, their importance to the “narrative thread” of the documentary is minimized, and the script is adjusted accordingly. Characters are prone to get more airtime and scripts are likewise adjusted if they have expressive facial features, good eyebrow control and appear pretty, handsome or humorous on camera. All of this makes sense if the end product is entertainment, but what happens when the program involves real people in positions of power?

Furthermore, if documentarians regularly manipulate narratives and script dialogue for entertainment purposes, wouldn’t it be reasonable to think  that they may also do this to advance the geopolitical interests of the companies that hire them? The Capital Group, for example, is the largest investor in both Netflix and Shell, a corporation that has made  billions of dollars through petroleum privatizations by right-wing governments in South America. Could it be that it and the other big mutual funds that invest in both Netflix and the oil industry, such as Blackrock, use their power to influence content in a manner similar to how governments influence the TV and film industry in accord with their geopolitical interests?

Netflix: The Mechanism

Netflix‘s The Mechanism

During Brazil’s 2018 election year, Netflix launched a dramatic series called The Mechanism, which portrayed a thinly disguised character based on former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva—who in real life was leading all polls for a return to the presidency, with double the popularity of his nearest rival, the neofascist Jair Bolsonaro—as a criminal mastermind behind a multi-billion dollar corruption scheme. This led to a boycott drive in Brazil, international media attention, an apology by director José Padilha, and probably influenced Netflix’s purchase of transmission rights to Edge of Democracy, an Oscar-nominated documentary about the 2016 Brazilian parliamentary coup that was less biased against Lula’s center-left PT party.

On January 1, four days before the US assassinated Iranian General Soleimani, Netflix launched a six-part documentary series called Nisman: The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy, about the death of conservative prosecutor Alberto Nisman. He was found dead in his bathroom five days after accusing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and four of her aides of treason, in connection to an alleged cover up of Iranian involvement in the 1994 AMIA Jewish cultural center bombings that killed 85 people.

The documentary makes it clear that the treason charges are frivolous. Treason can only take place, according to Argentinian law, during a time of war. Nisman accused Kirchner and her aides of covering up for Iran in exchange for a bilateral agreement between the two nations which was never ratified. Finally, as the documentary painstakingly shows, despite 20 years of joint investigations between the police, intelligence services, the FBI and the US Department of Justice, nobody has ever been able to provide any material evidence linking Iran to the bombing (FAIR.org, 11/3/15).

But this is what series director Justin Webster refers to as “cinematic non-fiction,” and the facts do not seem  as important as the tone and the mood. It spends a lot more time with the Prosecutor and the Spy characters than it does with former President Kirchner, who averages about one minute of airtime per episode.

Alberto Nisman

Alberto Nisman in Nisman

Nisman, coming to life through old footage and stories from friends and family, gets the lion’s share of attention. The week before his death, he appears nervous about having to defend his treason accusations in front of Congress, initially saying he will only appear to members of the sympathetic and conservative Republican Proposal party, and if there are no reporters. When he is told it will be a public hearing, he asks his friend, Congressmember Laura Alonso, to postpone it for a week.

The night before the hearing, his body is found in his bathroom, in what is initially ruled a suicide. As sad music plays in the background, Alonso talks about the dark mood that was sweeping over the country and her worries about her friend.

We are not told that Alonso is former Argentine director of Transparency International, the ostensibly “anti-corruption” NGO which is funded by the US and British governments, Exxon Mobil and Shell (Guardian, 5/22/08). We are not told that Alonso was the most vocal public critic of Kirchner’s nationalization of the petroleum industry, or that she directly benefited from the charges filed against Kirchner, assuming the position of Anti-Corruption Minister in the Mauricio Macri government. In the doc, she is just a concerned friend.

Jaime Stiuso

Nisman‘s Jaime Stiuso

According to Webster, the other two main characters in the series, the Spy and the President, are “Shakespearean.” The Spy is Antonio “Jaime” Stiuso, a 42-year veteran of Argentina’s State Intelligence Secretariat (SIDE) with close ties to the CIA and the Mossad. He was in the agency during the Argentine military junta’s Dirty War, when it participated in the notorious “disappearances”  of leftists, 30,000 of whom were machine-gunned down, or drugged and pushed out of airplanes into the South Atlantic. He was corrupt and dangerous but, like the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover, apparently too powerful to fire, until Cristina Kirchner did it in December 2014, one month before his partner Alberto Nisman filed treason charges against her.

In terms of entertainment value, Stiuso is a fantastic character, and he gets more airtime than any other living person in the documentary. With a boyish gleam in his eye and a quick, mysterious grin, he is the type of subject documentary-makers dream about, and is already showing himself to be a favorite of the critics—“charming and evasive,” according to Variety (9/23/19).

Cristina Kirchner

President Cristina Kirchner is not seen much in Nisman.

The third main character, President Kirchner,  in office from 2007–15, is a center-left politician who rejected Washington consensus economic policies in favor of Keynesian developmentalism, and reached out to Washington bete noires like Fidel Castro, Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez. She  set an example for leaders around the world by strengthening labor unions, initiating large minimum wage hikes and by renationalizing strategic companies that had been privatized during the disastrous IMF-imposed structural adjustment period of the 1990s, including the train system, the water system, the Aerolinas airline company and the YPF oil company. Her government was marked by high growth rates and innovative redistributive policies that reduced inequality. Consequently, she became extremely popular with the poor and working class.

After Nisman died, Alonso’s right-wing Republican Proposal party capitalized on the frivolous treason charges against Kirchner, spread conspiracy theories about his death and catapulted party leader Mauricio Macri to the presidency. Praised by Barack Obama and English-language corporate media, Macri used presidential decrees to immediately gut the public health and education systems, lay off tens of thousands of public sector workers, reestablish a relationship with the IMF and implement privatization.

As had happened during the IMF structural-adjustment period, poverty skyrocketed and widespread hunger led to food riots. As Macri’s popularity plummeted, fellow Nisman character Alberto Fernandez won the presidential election by 7 percentage points, with Cristina Kirchner as his VP; they took office on December 10, 2019. You would have no idea that any of this had happened by watching Nisman.

Cristina Kirchner is one of the most fascinating political characters of the 21st century, but all we see of her in Nisman are short speech fragments and soundbites, peppered with unflattering photos and ominous background music.

During her 50 seconds of airtime in episode 5, for example, she says, “This isn’t an issue that started here in Argentina, it is a political, judicial and communications matrix that extends throughout the entire region.” Kirchner is talking about “lawfare,” the weaponized use of legal tactics to destroy political enemies. This has indeed been applied to left and center-left politicians across Latin America, often with the support of the US Department of Justice, as happened to her friend and former Brazilian President Lula, who was arrested on frivolous charges with no material evidence in order to bar him from the 2018 presidential elections.

The frivolous treason accusation against her, also apparently prepared in partnership with the US DOJ, is another clear example of lawfare. Taking a small fragment of a speech on this subject out of context, however, makes her look like a paranoid conspiracy theorist. This is ironic to see in a six-part documentary that is entirely built upon two conspiracy theories which, as is shown in the series itself, do not have any material evidence to back them up.

This is not to say that the documentary is totally one-sided. Throughout, there are moments in which members of Kirchner’s party and journalists—all men—defend her. Importantly, however, Webster chose not to let her defend herself, despite the widespread availability of archival footage in which she does so eloquently.

Variety: Justin Webster Sheds Light on the Alberto Nisman Case in New Documentary Series

Audiences “may well come to a conclusion, one open to interpretation,
though it not for me to say,” director Justin Webster, Variety (9/23/19).

In  Variety (9/23/19), Webster says:

The rules with fiction and non-fiction are completely different in a sense of the relationship with the truth. A good non-fiction story is showing you “this much is true,” uncovering the details, the evidence…. It’s not like there is one version of the truth and another version of the truth, there is only one truth.

The problem is, a television director is not a judge or a prosecutor, and normally has little knowledge of the law. The proper venue for deciding whether the president of a foreign nation is guilty is a court of law, not a television channel controlled by corporate investors who have a vested interest in privatizations in the nation presided over by that president. In a court of law, defendants have the right to to defend themselves, normally through a final argument. In a documentary, the director can arbitrarily decide to limit someone they’re accusing of a crime to one minute of airtime per episode.

Given the long history of US-backed right-wing coups in Latin America, most recently in Argentina’s neighbor Bolivia, given the rising tensions between the US and Iran, and given the fact that neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies vice president Toby Dershowitz, who appears in the documentary, began associating Fernandez and Kirchner with Iranian terrorists as soon as they took office last month, it would be reasonable to suspect that the US and its integral state allies in the corporate media are going to use this nonexistent Iran story from 1994 as justification for a coup attempt in Argentina in the near future.

Nisman is beautifully filmed and entertaining, and director Justin Webster does a good job uncovering the relationship between the FBI, CIA and Argentinian intelligence services. But the bottom line is that he casts suspicion on Cristina Kirchner even though he knows that there is no proof against her.

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Film Review | | Leave a comment

Iranian news agency says its website has GONE DOWN ‘due to US sanctions’

RT | January 24, 2020

The website of Iran’s Fars News Agency, often described as semi-state operator, has gone offline worldwide, with the agency claiming its server company blocked the site on orders from Washington.

Internet users trying to access farsnews.com on Friday found only a blank screen, along with a message stating “farsnews.com’s server IP address could not be found.” Fars News announced on Twitter that its server company had blocked the site because of US sanctions.

It is unclear where the server company is based, but several multinational tech firms have withdrawn service to Iranian users in the past, for fear of violating Washington’s ban on doing business with the Islamic republic. GitHub limited access to Iranian users last year, while Apple removed Iranian apps from its App Store two years earlier, as did Google.

Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have all removed accounts they claim were linked to the Iranian government.

As Fars News remained inaccessible through Friday evening, state outlets Mehr News Agency, Press TV, and Islamic Republic News Agency were seemingly unaffected, and were, at the time of writing, accessible.

Iran is not the only country whose state media have been affected by US sanctions. Economic penalties on Venezuela led the Latin American country’s TeleSUR network to cut back on its programming in 2018. TeleSUR’s Facebook page was also repeatedly taken offline that year, with the network accusing the Silicon Valley company of targeted censorship.

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | | 1 Comment

We have legal age limits for driving, voting, and having sex, why not for transgender treatment?

By Tomasz Pierscionek | RT | January 23, 2020

Vulnerable children and adolescents are being influenced by PC culture that elevates rights over responsibilities, teaches children there are over 100 genders, and where a fear of offending others trumps common sense.

Western democracies preach tolerance and require its citizens to accept progressive ideas; the more unconventional the better. A particular idea or course of action may even go against common sense and lead to harm, yet an overriding fear of causing offence or being labelled a [insert blank]-phobe thwarts open discussion about important issues.

There are, however, those who speak out and remind us to think carefully about embarking down a slippery slope from which it is difficult to return.

Susan Evans, a mental health professional and former employee of the UK’s only Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), is asking the High Court to undertake a judicial review and raise the age at which individuals can consent to receiving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to 18. Ms Evans is joined by the parent of a 15-year-old adolescent on the GIDS waiting list.

Although individuals in the UK cannot undergo gender reassignment surgery until the age of 18, children and teenagers suffering from gender dysphoria (uncomfortable feelings brought on by a person’s gender identify differing from their birth sex) may receive medications to slow the onset of puberty and thus delay development of physical characteristics associated with their undesired sex. Later, from the age of 16, either testosterone or oestrogen (cross-sex hormones) are given to help an individual’s physical characteristics better align with those of their preferred gender identity.

Evans wants to raise the age of consent for children with gender identity issues receiving puberty blockers and other cross-sex hormones on the basis that under 18s are unable to provide informed consent for potentially life changing procedures. The former nurse expressed concerns that children, some aged as young as nine, are too hastily prescribed puberty blockers, reportedly the first step on the path towards gender reassignment.

Evans commented: “It’s about informed consent. Under [18s], we don’t think, are sufficiently mature enough to consent to a treatment that is going to potentially affect their adult life, because they go on a pathway. They start the blockers and then they go on the cross-sex hormones. [The trust’s] own research shows that virtually 100% of children they started on the blockers go on to the cross-sex hormones.”

She added“My experience with staff is that they’ve become fearful of doing anything that disagrees with a patient. The important thing in mental health work is to keep an open mind, it’s not to jump to the same conclusion that your patient comes to.”

It is worth noting that across the pond in the US, the state of South Dakota recently passed a bill making it illegal for medics to provide gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy to minors. Similar bills could also be introduced across a number of other US states.

Puberty is confusing at the best of times, we’ve all been there. No one doubts that children and teenagers are more susceptible to external influence than adults and are less capable of considering the future impact of major decisions. Granted, there are exceptions to the rule but it’s safe to say that on the whole adolescents lack knowledge, life experience, forward planning, and an awareness of consequences in contrast to adults. That is partly why we have legal age limits for driving, voting, and having sex. The frontal lobes of the brain – those parts responsible for planning, self-regulation, exercising good judgement, and preventing unwise decisions – are not fully developed in children and adolescents. Evidence even suggests that the frontal lobes may not fully mature until the mid 20s.

An adult has the right to take cross-sex hormones after weighing up the pros and cons, and coming to an informed decision. Part of that right involves accepting the risks and possible regrets that may accompany their decision. Adolescents typically lack the maturity to commence treatments that interfere with their natural development, a decision they may later regret when they find themselves less physically and sexually developed than their peers. Those suffering from gender dysphoria should indeed be supported and offered psychotherapy to help them manage their distress. A rise in under 18s receiving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones could be followed by a rise in medico-legal cases and compensation claims as those same individuals (now adults) later maintain they were insufficiently informed or were not mature enough to provide informed consent. In such cases lawyers would be the only winners.

There has been an explosion in the number of under 18s referred to the GIDS, rising from 94 in 2009-2010 to around 2500 in 2018-2019. Of particular concern are reports that children as young as five have been referred. It is also likely that vulnerable children and adolescents are being influenced by a culture that elevates rights over responsibilities, teaches children that there are over a 100 genders, and where a fear of offending others trumps common sense. As it happens, due to the growing number of referrals, a child or teenager referred to GIDS today might have to wait until early 2024 for their first appointment, giving them plenty of time and opportunities to change their mind.

In the US the gender reassignment industry is now worth over $1.3 billion a year; cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers also provide American Big Pharma with a healthy windfall. It seems that both identity politics advocates and the pharmaceutical industry have a common interest; they wish to exert greater (socio-ideological or financial) influence over future generations. In the battle for profits and minds, neither group is going to step aside without a fight.

Tomasz Pierscionek is a medical doctor and social commentator on medicine, science, and technology. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact and is editor of the London Progressive Journal.

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

The Median Age of Wuhan Virus Fatalities Is 75

By Marko Marjanović | Anti-Empire | January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 4 Comments

Voting for World Zionist Congress heats up

If Americans Knew | January 23, 2020

Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper reports that “the stakes are extremely high” in the current election for members of the World Zionist Congress (WZC).

Elections are held every five years. Voting began Jan. 21 and will end in two months.

The Jerusalem Post explains that the WZC is “the legislative body that determines the policies of the world’s leading Jewish organizations – the World Zionist Organization (WZO), the Jewish Agency of Israel (JAFI), the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and Keren Hayesod.

“The WZC is the body that makes major policy decisions concerning the future of Zionism, Aliyah [‘ascending’ to Israeli citizenship] and absorption, Israeli advocacy worldwide, Jewish education and the war against antisemitism, settlement in Israel and other vital issues for Israel and the Jewish people’s future.”

According to the WZC website: “The Zionist Congress is the supreme ideological and policy-making body of the World Zionist Organization. It convenes once every five years in Jerusalem and brings together over 2,000 Zionist activists from around the world (750 delegates and twice as many alternates). This gathering represents the entire political and religious spectrum of the Zionist movement.”

The Jewish Forward reports that voting surged in the first day of voting. It reports: “Voting is open on the American Zionist Movement website until March 11. It will determine the American delegation — 152 of the 500 total participants — to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem in October, which will in turn determine $5 billion in spending on Jewish causes over the next five years.”

Mondoweiss reports that “over 1,500 candidates from 15 slates are running for the U.S.-held seats. Approximately 56,000 US Jews voted in the last election.”

Any permanent resident of the US who is Jewish, pays the the $7.50 voter fee, and signs a statement affirming that they believe “a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel to be the expression of the common responsibility of the Jewish people for its continuity and future” may vote.

The election has drawn a heated response as Israel partisans from the left and the right battle for influence.

The Forward reports: “The Orthodox party Eretz HaKodesh warns on its website that high Orthodox turnout could “prevent values of the liberal movements from infiltrating the Torah atmosphere of Eretz Yisrael,” and the Zionist Organization of America warned in an email that if they don’t win, other parties “will turn the World Zionist Congress into the anti-Zionist Congress.”

The head of the American Forum for Israel urges conservatives to vote, warning that “extreme-Left figures” like Peter Beinart and Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, “have entered the fray to move the balance of power even further Left.”

While some may view J Street as almost pro-Palestinian, blogger Richard Silverstein reports that “J Street endorsed Israeli invasions of Gaza; attacked international investigations of Israeli war crimes, such as the Goldstone report; rejected the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) and Hamas; and urged the Obama administration to reject a UN resolution demanding an end to illegal Israeli settlements.”

According to the WZC and its members, the land that used to be named Palestine belongs to Jews worldwide; the Palestinians who live there (or used to live there before they were forced out) are to have minimal say in matters that control their lives.

What Palestinians?

Author Donna Nevel points out in Mondoweiss that the WZC holds “that Israel belongs to the Jews of the world and that, therefore, Jews outside of Israel deserve the right to determine policies, sit on boards, and direct funding and resources that, among other things, control the day to day lives of Palestinians.

“Israel, together with the WZO and other Zionist institutions, have a long history of privileging Jews at the extreme expense of Palestinians.

“Beginning with the Nakba, when 750,000 Palestinians were forced out of their land and homes during Israel’s creation, Palestinian citizens of Israel have continued to be treated as third-class citizens subjected to racism and anti-democratic policies and actions, as well as ongoing intimidation and harassment. Palestinians in the occupied territories have routinely endured ongoing land theft, home demolitions, military checkpoints, arbitrary arrests, torture, and administrative detentions without trial or charge, and have no say in what happens to them.

Nevel emphasizes that participating in the WZC elections “violates the Palestinian-led, global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), which is one of the most effective and ethical ways to join with Palestinians in the struggle for justice. Participating in these elections doesn’t begin to tackle Israel’s unjust, apartheid system and its underlying Zionist ideology, but, rather, feeds that system and ideology and gives them more roots.”

Below is a promotional video for the election:

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Iraqis march in ‘millions’ to call for expulsion of US troops

Press TV – January 24, 2020

Iraqis have rallied in Baghdad in massive numbers to call for an end to US military presence in the country following high-profile assassinations and airstrikes targeting anti-terror forces.

Sayed Sadiq al-Hashemi, the director of the Iraqi Center for Studies, said more than 2.5 million took part in the demonstrations on Friday.

Since the early hours on Friday, huge crowds of men, women and children of all ages converged on the Jadriyah neighborhood near Baghdad University.

The protesters were seen carrying banners and chanting slogans calling for the expulsion of US forces.

“Get out, get out, occupier!” some shouted, while others chanted, “Yes to sovereignty!”

Iraq’s al-Ahd news network reported that Iraqis from all of the country’s provinces had gathered in the city.

On January 5, the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all foreign forces after the US assassination of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The massive rally came after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations”.

Sadr issued a statement on Friday calling for US bases to be shut down and Iraqi airspace closed to US warplanes and surveillance aircraft.

He warned that US presence in the country will be dealt with as an occupying force if Washington does not agree with Iraqi demands to withdraw for the country.

In a message delivered through a representative at Friday prayer in the holy city of Karbala, top cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also urged Iraqi political groups to do what is needed to the safeguard the country’s sovereignty.

He called on Iraqi groups to stand united, far from any foreign influence in countering the dangers which threaten the country.

On Thursday ahead of the planned rallies, Sadr called on Iraqis to mobilize and defend the country’s independence and sovereignty.

“Oh women, men and youth of the country, the time is now upon us to defend the country, its sovereignty and dependence,” Sadr said in a tweet.

“Spread the word of an independent future Iraq that will be ruled by the righteous; an Iraq which will not know of corruption nor aggression” he added, calling on Iraqis to expel the “tyrants”.

Various Iraqi resistance groups affiliated with the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have also backed the anti-American rally.

‘Zero hour in face-off with US’

Speaking to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel, Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the PMU-affiliated Kata’ib Hezbollah resistance group, said “other means” will be used against the Americans if they do not leave Iraq.

The American presence, he said, has led to corruption and instability in the country.

In an interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency, Firas al-Yasser, a member of the political bureau of Iraq’s Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, said Friday’s rallies marked “a new chapter” in the Arab country’s relations with the US.

He said Iraqi resistance groups support the stance of the country’s clerical leadership, which does not tolerate Washington’s “theory of dependence and humiliation” of Iraq.

“We believe we have reached the zero hour in facing off with the US,” he said.

Yasser added that Iran’s missile attack on the Ain al-Assad base in the western Iraqi province of Anbar earlier this month was a “prelude” to the expulsion of US forces from the country.

Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, which is part of the PMU, described Friday’s rallies as a “second revolution” a century after the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920 against British forces.

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , | 2 Comments