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New Poll: US Military Occupations Supported By Far More Democrats Than Republicans

By Caitlin Johnstone | Medium | January 10, 2019

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll has found that there is much more support for ongoing military occupations among Democrats surveyed than Republicans.

To the question “As you may know, President Trump ordered an immediate withdrawal of more than 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria. Based on what you know, do you support or oppose President Trump’s decision?”, 29 percent of Democrats responded either “Somewhat support” or “Strongly support”, while 50 percent responded either “Somewhat oppose” or “Strongly oppose”. Republicans asked the same question responded with 73 percent either somewhat or strongly supporting and only 17 percent either somewhat or strongly opposing.

Those surveyed were also asked the question “As you may know, President Trump ordered the start of a reduction of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, with about half of the approximately 14,000 U.S. troops there set to begin returning home in the near future. Based on what you know, do you support or oppose President Trump’s decision?” Forty percent of Democrats responded as either “Somewhat support” or “strongly support”, with 41 percent either somewhat or strongly opposing. Seventy-six percent of Republicans, in contrast, responded as either somewhat or strongly supporting Trump’s decision, while only 15 percent oppose it to any extent.

These results will be truly shocking and astonishing to anyone who has been in a coma since the Bush administration. For anyone who has been paying attention since then, however, especially for the last two years, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

This didn’t happen by itself, and it didn’t happen by accident. American liberals didn’t just spontaneously start thinking endless military occupations of sovereign nations is a great idea yesterday, nor have they always been so unquestioningly supportive of the agendas of the US war machine. No, Democrats support the unconscionable bloodbaths that their government is inflicting around the world because they have been deliberately, methodically paced into that belief structure by an intensive mass media propaganda campaign.

The anti-war Democrats, after Barack Obama was elected on a pro-peace platform in 2008, went into an eight-year hibernation during which they gaslit themselves into ignoring or forgiving their president’s expansion of George W Bush’s wars, aided by a corporate media which marginalized, justified, and often outright ignored Obama’s horrifying military expansionism. Then in 2016 they were forced to gaslight themselves even further to justify their support for a fiendishly hawkish candidate who spearheaded the destruction of Libya, who facilitated the Iraq invasion, who was shockingly hawkish toward Russia, and who cited Henry Kissinger as a personal role model for foreign policy. I recall many online debates with Clinton fans in the lead up to the 2016 election who found themselves arguing that the Iraq invasion wasn’t that bad in order to justify their position.

After Clinton managed to botch the most winnable election of all time, mainstream liberal America was plunged into a panic that has been fueled at every turn by the plutocratic mass media, which have seized upon unthinking cultish anti-Trumpism to advance the cause of US military interventionism even further with campaigns like the sanctification of John McCain and the rehabilitation of George W Bush. Trump is constantly attacked as being too soft on Moscow despite having already dangerously escalated a new cold war against Russia which some experts are saying is more dangerous than the one the world miraculously survived. Trump’s occasional positive impulses, like the agenda to withdraw US troops from Syria and Afghanistan, are painted as weakness and foolishness by the intelligence veterans who now comprise so much of corporate liberal media punditry. And their audience laps it up because by now mainstream liberals have been trained to have far more interest in opposing Trump than in opposing war.

And how sick is that? Obviously Trump has advanced a lot of toxic agendas which need to be ferociously opposed, but how warped does your mind have to be to make a religion out of that opposition which is so all-consuming that it eclipses even the natural impulse to avoid inflicting death and destruction upon your fellow man? How viciously has the psyche of American liberals been brutalized with mass media psyops to drive them into this psychotic, twisted reality tunnel?

There was one group in the aforementioned survey which was not nearly as affected by the propaganda as armchair liberals. To the statement “The U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan for too long, and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm’s way,” military households responded 54 percent that this statement aligns with their view. Turns out when it’s your own family’s blood and limbs on the line, people are a lot less willing to commit to endless violence. Sixty percent of Republicans agreed with this statement, while only 41 percent of Democrats did.

Could these statistics have something to do with the fact that younger veterans are statistically much more likely to be Republicans than Democrats? Is it possible that a major reason Trump beat Hillary Clinton, and a major reason Republicans are now far less bloodthirsty than Democrats, is because mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers are tired of flag-draped coffins being shipped home containing bodies which were ripped apart for no legitimate reason in senseless military entanglements on the other side of the world? Seems likely. And it also seems likely that the mass media propaganda machine is having a harder time steering people toward war once they’ve personally tasted its true cost.

January 11, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

The War on Populism

CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory | January 10, 2018

Remember when the War on Terror ended and the War on Populism began? That’s OK, no one else does.

It happened in the Summer of 2016, also known as “the Summer of Fear.” The War on Terror was going splendidly. There had been a series of “terrorist attacks,” in Orlando, Nice, Würzberg, Munich, Reutlingen, Ansbach, and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, each of them perpetrated by suddenly “self-radicalized” “lone wolf terrorists” (or “non-terrorist terrorists“) who had absolutely no connection to any type of organized terrorist groups prior to suddenly “self- radicalizing” themselves by consuming “terrorist content” on the Internet. It seemed we were entering a new and even more terrifying phase of the Global War on Terror, a phase in which anyone could be a “terrorist” and “terrorism” could mean almost anything.

This broadening of the already virtually meaningless definition of “terrorism” was transpiring just in time for Obama to hand off the reins to Hillary Clinton, who everyone knew was going to be the next president, and who was going to have to bomb the crap out of Syria in response to the non-terrorist terrorist threat. The War on Terror (or, rather, “the series of persistent targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America,” as Obama rebranded it) was going to continue, probably forever. The Brexit referendum had just taken place, but no one had really digested that yet … and then Trump won the nomination.

Like that scene in Orwell’s 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of the Hate Week rally, the War on Terror was officially canceled and replaced by the War on Populism. Or … all right, it wasn’t quite that abrupt. But seriously, go back and scan the news. Note how the “Islamic terrorist threat” we had been conditioned to live in fear of on a daily basis since 2001 seemed to just vanish into thin air. Suddenly, the “existential threat” we were facing was “neo-nationalism,” “illiberalism,” or the pejorative designator du jour, “populism.”

Here we are, two and a half years later, and “democracy” is under constant attack by a host of malevolent “populist” forces …. Russo-fascist Black vote suppressors, debaucherous eau de Novichok assassins, Bernie Sanders, the yellow-vested French, emboldened non-exploding mail bomb bombers, Jeremy Corbyn’s Nazi Death Cult, and brain-devouring Russian-Cubano crickets. The President of the United States is apparently both a Russian intelligence operative and literally the resurrection of Hitler. NBC and MSNBC have been officially merged with the CIA. The Guardian has dispensed with any pretense of journalism and is just making stories up out of whole cloth. Anyone who has ever visited Russia, or met with a Russian, or read a Russian novel, is on an “Enemies of Democracy” watch list (as is anyone refusing to vacation in Israel, which the Senate is now in the process of making mandatory for all U.S. citizens). Meanwhile, the “terrorists” are nowhere to be found, except for the terrorists we’ve been using to attempt to overthrow the government of Bashar al Assad, the sadistic nerve-gassing Monster of Syria, who illegally invaded and conquered his own country in defiance of the “international community.”

All this madness has something to do with “populism,” although it isn’t clear what. The leading theory is that the Russians are behind it. They’ve got some sort of hypno-technology (not to be confused with those brain-eating crickets) capable of manipulating the minds of … well, Black people, mostly, but not just Black people. Obviously, they are also controlling the French, who they have transformed into “racist, hate-filled liars” who are “attacking elected representatives, journalists, Jews, foreigners, and homosexuals,” according to French President Emmanuel Macron, the anointed “Golden Boy of Europe.” More terrifying still, Putin is now able to project words out of Trump’s mouth in real-time, literally using Trump’s head as a puppet, or like one of those Mission Impossible masks. (Rachel Maddow conclusively proved this by spending a couple of hours on Google comparing the words coming out of Trump’s mouth to words that had come out of Russian mouths, but had never come out of American mouths, which they turned out to be the exact same words, or pretty close to the exact same words!) Apparently, Putin’s master plan for Total Populist World Domination and Establishment of the Thousand Year Duginist Reich was to provoke the global capitalist ruling classes, the corporate media, and their credulous disciples into devolving into stark raving lunatics, or blithering idiots, or a combination of both.

But, seriously, all that actually happened back in the Summer of 2016 was the global capitalist ruling classes recognized that they had a problem. The problem that they recognized they had (and continue to have, and are now acutely aware of) is that no one is enjoying global capitalism … except the global capitalist ruling classes. The whole smiley-happy, supranational, neo-feudal corporate empire concept is not going over very well with the masses, or at least not with the unwashed masses. People started voting for right-wing parties, and Brexit, and other “populist” measures (not because they had suddenly transformed into Nazis, but because the Right was acknowledging and exploiting their anger with the advance of global neoliberalism, while liberals and the Identity Politics Left were slow jamming the TPP with Obama and babbling about transgender bathrooms, and such).

The global capitalist ruling classes needed to put a stop to that (i.e, the “populist” revolt, not the bathroom debate). So they suspended the Global War on Terror and launched the War on Populism. It was originally only meant to last until Hillary Clinton’s coronation, or the second Brexit referendum, then switch back to the War on Terror, but … well, weird things happen, and here we are.

We’ll get back to the War on Terror, eventually … as the War on Populism is essentially just a temporary rebranding of it. In the end, it’s all the same counter-insurgency. When a system is globally hegemonic, as our current model of capitalism is, every war is a counter-insurgency (i.e., a campaign waged against an internal enemy), as there are no external enemies to fight. The “character” of the internal enemies might change (e.g., “Islamic terrorism,” “extremism,” “fascism,” “populism,” “Trumpism,” “Corbynism,” et cetera) but they are all insurgencies against the hegemonic system … which, in our case, is global capitalism, not the United States of America.

The way I see it, the global capitalist ruling classes now have less than two years to put down this current “populist” insurgency. First and foremost, they need to get rid of Trump, who despite his bombastic nativist rhetoric is clearly no “hero of the common people,” nor any real threat to global capitalism, but who has become an anti-establishment symbol, like a walking, talking “fuck you” to both the American and global neoliberal elites. Then, they need to get a handle on Europe, which isn’t going to be particularly easy. What happens next in France will be telling, as will whatever becomes of Brexit … which I continue to believe will never actually happen, except perhaps in some purely nominal sense.

And then there’s the battle for hearts and minds, which they’ve been furiously waging for the last two years, and which is only going to intensify. If you think things are batshit crazy now (which, clearly, they are), strap yourself in. What is coming is going to make COINTELPRO look like the work of some amateur meme-freak. The neoliberal corporate media, psy-ops like Integrity Initiative, Internet-censoring apps like NewsGuard, ShareBlue and other David Brock outfits, and a legion of mass hysteria generators will be relentlessly barraging our brains with absurdity, disinformation, and just outright lies (as will their counterparts on the Right, of course, in case you thought that they were any alternative). It’s going to get extremely zany.

The good news is, by the time it’s all over and Trump has been dealt with, and normality restored, and the working classes put back in their places, we probably won’t remember that any of this happened. We’ll finally be able to sort out those bathrooms, and get back to paying the interest on our debts, and to living in more or less constant fear of an imminent devastating terrorist attack … and won’t that be an enormous relief?

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Photo: Zakaria Abdelkafi – AFP

January 10, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Trudeau’s vacuous Haiti declaration ignores revolution, slavery

By Yves Engler · January 9, 2019

Justin Trudeau likes making high-minded sounding statements that make him seem progressive but change little. The Prime Minister’s declaration marking “Haiti’s Independence Day” was an attempt of the sort, which actually demonstrates incredible ignorance, even antipathy, towards the struggle against slavery.

In his statement commemorating 215 years of Haitian Independence, the Prime Minister failed to mention slavery, Haiti’s revolution and how that country was born of maybe the greatest example of liberation in the history of humanity. From the grips of the most barbaric form of plantation economy, the largely African-born slaves delivered a massive blow to slavery, colonialism and white supremacy.

Before the 1791 revolt the French colony of Saint Domingue was home to 450,000 people in bondage. At its peak in the 1750s the ‘Pearl of the Antilles’ provided as much as 50 per cent  of France’s GNP. Super profits were made from using African slaves to produce sugar, cocoa, coffee, cotton, tobacco, indigo and other commodities.

The slaves put a stop to that with a merciless struggle that took advantage of divisions between ‘big white’ land/slave owners, racially empowered though poorer ‘small whites’ and a substantial ‘mulatto’ land/slave owning class. The revolt rippled through the region and compelled the post-French Revolution government in Paris to abolish slavery in its Caribbean colonies. Between 1791 and 1804 ‘Haitians’ would defeat tens of thousands of French, British and Spanish troops (Washington backed France financially), leading to the world’s first and only successful large-scale slave revolution. The first nation of free people in the Americas, Haiti established a slave-free state 60 years before the USA’s emancipation proclamation. (It wasn’t until after this proclamation ending slavery that the US recognized Haiti’s independence.)

The Haitian Revolution’s geopolitical effects were immense. It stimulated the Louisiana Purchase and London’s 1807 Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. The revolutionary state also provided important support to South American independence movements.

Canada’s rulers at the time opposed the slave revolt. In a bid to crush the ex-slaves before their example spread to the English colonies, British forces invaded Haiti in 1793. Halifax, which housed Britain’s primary naval base in North America, played its part in London’s efforts to capture one of the world’s richest colonies (for the slave owners). Much of the Halifax-based squadron arrived on the shores of the West Indies in 1793, and many of the ships that set sail to the Caribbean at this time were assembled in the town’s naval yard. Additionally, a dozen Nova Scotia privateers captured at least 57 enemy vessels in the West Indies between 1793 and 1805. “Essential tools of war until the rise of large steam navies”, the privateers also wanted to protect the British Atlantic colonies’ lucrative Caribbean market decimated by French privateers. For a half-century Nova Scotia and Newfoundland generated great wealth selling cheap, high-protein cod to keep millions of “enslaved people working 16 hours a day”.

A number of prominent Canadian-born (or based) individuals fought to capture and re-establish slavery in the French colonies. Dubbed the “Father of the Canadian Crown”, Prince Edward Duke of Kent departed for the West Indies aboard a Halifax gunboat in 1793. As a Major General, he led forces that captured Guadalupe, St. Lucia and Martinique. Today, many streets and monuments across the country honour a man understood to have first applied the term “Canadian” to both the English and French inhabitants of Upper and Lower Canada.

Other “Canadians” played a part in Britain’s effort to corner the lucrative Caribbean slave plantations. Born into a prominent Québec military family, Charles Michel Salaberry “was part  of successful invasions of Saint-Dominique [Haiti], Guadeloupe and Martinique.” A number of monuments commemorate Salaberry, including the city in Québec named Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.

To commemorate Haitian independence the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, Irwin LaRocque, also released a statement. Unlike Trudeau, LaRocque “congratulated” Haiti and described the day as “a timely reminder of the historic importance of the Haitian Revolution and its continued significance as a symbol of triumph over adversity in the quest for liberty, equality and control of national destiny.”

Trudeau should have said something similar and acknowledged Canadians’ role in the slave trade and crimes against the free people of Haiti.

January 10, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Imperialism Abhors a Void: Guest: Sarah Abed

The Rabbit Hole | January 3, 2019

Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox

Final Podcast 2018

Guest: Sarah Abed
Topic: US “Withdrawal” from Syria

On this episode of Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox we discussed Trump’s announcement to withdraw US troops from Syria, the media’s reaction, and the impact this will have on Kurdish militias and Syria’s ultimate fight against imperialism.

Below are some of the points that I made during our chat (this is not a full transcript) or some thoughts I would like to expand on.

Cindy asked what I make of Trump’s announcement to withdraw 2,000 troops from Syria.

My response:

Trump had stated during his campaign and his presidency and even prior to that during Obama’s presidency in 2013 that he did not think we should be in Syria, nor should we be bombing Syria, that it was a waste of money and lives and that the Arab League and neighboring countries should be the ones to step up to the plate.

I think this was one of the reasons that many people voted for him, because of his non-interventionist foreign policy, which was in stark contrast to that of Hillary Clinton.

In April, of this year he had announced that he wanted to pull the US out of Syria and then just days later there was an alleged chemical weapons attack that was pinned on the Syrian government in Douma, to which Trump responded with attacking multiple targets along with his allies the UK and France.

This of course derailed his plan to pull out US troops, which is the exact outcome that the terrorists that staged the whole theatrical performance had wanted. And we have seen this sort of thing happen time and time again during the war. Whenever the Syrian army and government have made significant progress new allegations and attacks are made against them in corporate media in order to garner international support for military, political intervention as well as increased sanctions.

There are other factors at play with this latest withdraw announcement which was made on December 19th, in addition to standing by his America first promise, campaign statements, saving money and lives, there’s the fact that Turkey’s president Erdogan had threatened to attack the Kurdish militias on his border, if the US didn’t have them removed. He sees the YPG (People’s Protection Units) which was rebranded at the request of the US into the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) as an extension of the PKK (Kurdistan workers party) which is a terrorist group that has been in conflict with the Turkish state for decades.

As I had written about back in March the Olive branch operation in Afrin proved that NATO alliances are stronger than any other alliances and that the US will choose Turkey over the Kurds and that’s what we are seeing happen right now. Some have also speculated that Israel may have given the US a heads up that it would be engaging in an intense bombing campaign and that US troops should be sent home so that they are not caught in the crosshairs.

Cindy asked what I make of the reaction by democrats, liberals, celebrities etc.

My response:

It would be comical if it wasn’t actually dangerous. In their blind opposition to anything and everything that Trump says these overnight analysts and pundits started claiming that if US troops were to withdraw from Syria then Kurds would be annihilated by Turkey or succumb to some other equally horrible fate.

What we have seen over the past few days however is that leaders of Kurdish militias have actually reached out to the Syrian government and asked that they step in and take back Manbij and all the territory under their control west of the Euphrates in order to protect them against Turkey. This is a clear shift in their political alliance away from the US and towards Syria and Russia. Turkey will not directly confront the Syrian army so Trump’s announcement could actually signify a big step towards peace in this almost eight-year western imposed insurrection.

The US entered Syria illegally and has since set up over a dozen military bases and supported the Kurdish militias during the last few years only. Prior to using the Kurdish militias as a tool to create chaos and division in Syria, the US was predominately supporting the hardcore Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in the Free Syrian Army and an assortment of other alphabet soup groups who they affectionately referred to as “moderate rebels” to topple the secular Syrian government.

Had the US not supported the Kurdish militias they would have not had the motivation to turn against the Syrian state. During the beginning of the war, the Kurds were fighting with the Syrian army against terrorists, by the way some still are and many Kurds in Syria are not in agreement with the separatist ambitions of the Kurdish militias.

I want to stress the fact that before 2011 Kurds, Arabs, and Christian minorities lived peacefully in Syria and till now they are NOT the majority. They do not have any justifiable claims to the north eastern region (which also happens to be the most agriculturally and oil rich part of the country) or any other part of Syria. They are a nomadic people and I do not mean that in a condescending way at all but to illustrate that they came into Syria in waves to escape mistreatment in neighboring countries and were treated fairly and given equal rights. Not all Kurds envision a unified Kurdistan that would span four different sovereign countries (Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran). Most Kurdish movements and political parties are focused on the concerns and autonomy of Kurds within their respective countries. Within each country, there are Kurds who have assimilated and whose aspirations may be limited to greater cultural freedoms and political recognition.

It’s also worth noting that only Israel is their main and really only supporter and their plans for an independent Kurdistan align almost perfectly with Israel’s greater Israel plan. They have historically been used by Israel and NATO.

Cindy asked about the demands being made that Russia or Iran should withdraw from Syria if US troops are to be withdrawn.

My response was basically that Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah are there with the Syrian government’s permission. Whereas the US, UK, France, and Turkey are there illegally and need to leave. Cindy noted and I agreed that it’s a false equivalency and a logical fallacy.

We also spoke about fasting to raise awareness #illuminateYemen for the entirely man-made and avoidable Saudi war and genocide that’s been going on for over three years and nine months. We discussed the latest developments and how Saudi Arabia is outsourcing their front line fighters with children and men from Dafur, Sudan and paying their families $10,000.

My response:

Fasting for seven days was a very humbling experience. The war on Yemen is truly heartbreaking especially because it is entirely man-made and avoidable. It’s so important for us to continue to raise awareness and get people to talk about it to literally everyone they know. For the past 3 years and nine months the murderous Al Saud regime, has been bombing civilians using weapons bought from the US, UK, and Germany, what they are doing is nothing short of committing genocide and deliberately starving Yemeni’s them through blockades. Tens of thousands have been killed since it began.

There was actually a report in the New York Times today that Saudi Arabia was recruiting children from Darfur to fight on the front lines and paying their families $10,000. Sudan has been part of the Saudi-led alliance, and deployed thousands of ground troops to Yemen. In the NYT report they said that five Sudanese fighters who had returned from Yemen told them that that children made up 20-40 percent of their units in Yemen.

The fact that House of Saud is on the UN human and woman’s rights council while also being the leading violator in crimes against humanity and the main sponsor of terror in the world shows the western worlds blatant hypocrisy. A United Nations-sponsored peace agreement was signed in Sweden earlier this month, and was agreed upon by both sides to implement a ceasefire in Hodeida. The panel will be meeting again on January 1 to discuss “detailed plans for full redeployment”. Every effort needs to be made for this conflict to end.

January 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiresome Things of 2018:

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | December 31, 2018

Tiresome things of 2018:

“News” that is just stuff someone tweeted;

“News” that is just repeating what a late night TV host said;

“News” reported on one web site which is just a rewrite of a story on another web site;

Deification by the left of scum from the right like McCain, Mattis, Clapper, Comey, Brennan, et al, only because they said something bad about Trump;

Desperate creation of insta-heroes to satisfy some greater political goal (‘Dem Parkland Kids, the cult of ‘Notorious’ RGB, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Friggin’ Beto), empty heros in a time of disappointment and cynicism;

Movements which claim they have changed everything because their hashtag trended on Twitter;

All media abandoning even the pretence of objectivity in favor of advocacy but pretending they are still objective;

The primacy of “sources say…” over anything resembling actual fact-gathering;

“Fact checking” that is actually partisan gaming of information;

Idiots thrilled when bad things happen (like stock market declines) because they think it validates their Trump hate;

Idiots over-dramatizing bad things (like stock market declines) into evidence the world is ending, fascism is taking over, end of democracy, time to worry, walls closing in, tick tock;

Idiots hoping for more bad things to happen, like a doomsday cult does, because they think that will hasten the end of Trump;

People who have been saying “Just wait” for three years now into Russiagate. We’re waiting.

That most social media which isn’t cat pictures is now endless self-promotion because everyone is a brand or selling something or demanding we follow them or friend them or like them or thumbs up them;

People who just read the headlines and media which writes headlines which are not reflective of the actual content;

The way transpeople have become progressives’ adopted bestest minority of the moment;

Over-use of the word “folk”;

Insta-hate that finds some way to make anything Trump does from the dramatic to the mundane evil and wrong;

Historical revisionism that turns people like George W. Bush into kindly old men sharing candies with Goddess Michelle instead of thugs who dragged America into war and recession and forever damaged our nation’s credibility by torturing human beings;

Anything that starts with “As a ____” (woman, POC, Kurd, left handed Asian-American) because you know the rest is just going to be someone whining about how life is unfair, the system unjust, the deck stacked, because they are a ____ and can comment with the full authority for everyone ____ everywhere because they are a ____ and you are not;

Discussions on immigration policy that dead-end when someone has to tearfully tell us about how his great grandfather didn’t speak English, forestalling any serious attempt to look at broader policy in the 21st century.

January 1, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Gefälschte Nachrichten

ZMAN | December 23, 2018

Last week, the German publication Der Spiegel was forced to fire its star performer, when it was revealed he was a fabulist. Claas Relotius had written for the publication for close to a decade. He had been handed several awards by other media organs. His exposure as a serial fabricator was the result of his piece on the small town of Fergus Falls Minnesota, after the 2016 election. The thrust of his story was that rural America voted for Trump, because it is full of xenophobic weirdos and economic losers.

His mistake was to pick on a small town in the age of the internet. The yokels were able to look up the article and compare his version of reality with their own. More important, they could go to a popular platform and post their reactions to his article, so the world could then compare his work to reality. Michele Anderson and Jake Krohn, who live in Fergus Falls, posted their analysis of the article on Medium. Eventually, it took over a year, Der Spiegel was forced to address the issue publicly.

In Germany, this is quite a scandal in media circles, because Der Spiegel is like their version of New York Times. That is, it positions itself as the official arbiter of truth, with regards to public morality. They not only decide what is true, they decide which truths can be said. Worse yet for them, they have been bragging about their fact checking for a long time. As a result of this tent pole toppling over, the German media is scrambling to convince everyone that it is an isolated incident, not a system failure.

The amusing bit is the German media is rushing around looking puzzled, as to how the vaunted fact checking system could have failed. After all, the best people are in control of the media. How could the best people have made such basic errors? As is the case in America, whenever these things happen, the media hand-wringing is just a dodge. What really concerns them is how easy it was for two bumpkins from dirt country to sluice out the facts from the fiction in this particular article.

That’s always the thing with these scandals. The media big shots always come off as if they have been insulted about their shenanigans being revealed. In this case, the other major media outfits are rallying to defend Der Spiegel. In the dreaded private sector, competitors are always quick to take advantage of the mistakes of a competitor. In the main stream media, the opposite is always true. They circle the wagons and begin lecturing the hoi polloi about the dangers of questioning the media.

That is the real cause of these scandals. For a long time, the mass media in the West has been a mono-culture. You can’t have a career in the media if you don’t hold all the right opinions. To call the media an echo chamber for the left is to understate the problem. The better analogy is a school of fish. Each individual just reacts to those around him, giving the effect of the school having agency as a whole. What looks like collusion is just the result of a uniformity of mind, experience and social class.

That’s why no one at Der Spiegel, or anywhere else in the German media, noticed the fraudulence of Claas Relotius. He was writing the things his coevals and superiors said at luncheons, cocktail parties and in the office. His story about slack-jawed yokels in the American heartland ticked all the boxes popular with the left-wing cultural outlook. He was not sent there to report on the place. He was sent there to confirm what his employers already knew about Middle American and Trump voters.

This is why Western media is something worse than propaganda. The person hired by the state or hired by the corporate marketing department has self-awareness. They know their job is to polish the apple of their superiors. The tricks they employ to do that are done with knowledge and forethought. The guy telling the public that his employer, the pesticide company, is deeply concerned about the environment does so knowing full well that no one believes him, including his family.

The media is a different thing. They really believe their own nonsense. They think they are part of a special class of human, a priestly class that not only reports facts to the public, but provides moral instruction. The mass media is so intoxicated by their own self-righteousness, they lack the ability to question their own actions. When Claas Relotius came back from the bush, reporting exactly what his bosses knew was the case, they had no reason to question it. It was too good to check.

December 29, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | | Leave a comment

Christmas 2018: Iran and Syria show respect, Israel and Saudi Arabia don’t

By Neil Clark | RT | December 29, 2018

Christmas is a time of goodwill to all men. Or at least it should be. But while the West’s Middle East ‘bad guys’ Iran and Syria, showed the Yuletide spirit, its closest allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel, failed to do so.

Iran is demonized by Western neocons and we’re meant to see the country as an evil, ‘monster‘ regime of foaming-at-the-mouth religious fanatics who hate everyone.

So it goes against the dominant narrative somewhat that Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted a Christmas message and wished ‘peace and joy to all in 2019’, on Christmas Eve.

It also goes against the narrative, that Zarif, back in September, wished Jews, in Iran and across the world, “a very Happy New Year filled with peace and harmony.”

We’re told repeatedly that the Iranian ‘regime’ is ‘anti-Semitic’, but do ‘anti-Semites’ wish Jews a happy ‘Rosh Hashanah’? If so, it’s a rather strange definition.

The Iranian Foreign Minister also tweeted on December 26 a message of goodwill to Iran’s Zoroastrian community.

Contrast this consideration to people of different faiths from Tehran, with the lack of congratulations on other religious holidays from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A week before Iran’s Foreign Minister was tweeting positively about Jesus, the KSA’s Customs Authority was also on the social media platform, confirming that Christmas trees were banned from entering the Kingdom for the festive season.

In fact, despite the large number of Christians from other countries who work in the country, including many Britons, the holding of any Christmas-related services or commemorations in Saudi Arabia is strictly banned. “The Christmas season – often a season where Christians around the world are most visible – is a tense time for Christians in Saudi Arabia, who have to celebrate the holiday in secret, risking arrest and deportation,” said Jeff King, President of the International Christian Concern, in 2016.

Imagine being a Christian and not being able to openly celebrate the birth of Christ. It happens in Saudi Arabia, yet Western leaders, so keen to lecture others about ‘human rights’ and ‘religious freedom’ stay silent, preferring to pick on Iran – where Christmas can be openly celebrated.

Syria is another country ‘monstered’ by the endless war lobby but where, against all the odds, the Christmas spirit is still maintained. Big seasonal celebrations were held this year in Aleppo and Damascus. Remember Aleppo?

It was recaptured by the Syrian Arab Army from Islamist ‘rebels’ two years ago this month, and the neocon/’liberal interventionist’ commentariat, and most of the political class portrayed it as a most terrible thing. Ian Austin MP said that people in Aleppo faced ‘slaughter’.

John Woodcock MP called the Morning Star newspaper ‘traitorous scum’ for referring to the recapture of Aleppo by Syrian forces of their own territory, as a ‘liberation’. But if you look at the pictures of Christians celebrating Christmas there once again, which they were forbidden to do under the western-backed head-chopping ’rebels’ you can see that the ‘L’ word was indeed appropriate.

This year in Damascus though, the festive celebrations were defiled by another act of aggression against Syria from a Western-supported-country, one which incidentally Ian Austin and John Woodcock have been Parliamentary ‘Friends’ of.

On the evening of December 25, loud explosions could be heard seven miles from the center of Damascus. Russia’s Defense Ministry said that Israel’s Christmas Day F-16 strikes endangered two civilian flights – as well as injuring three personnel at the logistics compound.

Whatever your stance is on Middle Eastern affairs – and leaving aside the illegality of the operation whenever it took place – the question is: did Israel really have to bomb Syria on Christmas Day?

Would Israel’s ’security’ have been lessened if the raid had taken place on December 28 and not the 25th? Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did tweet Christmas greetings out to ‘Christian friends’ in Israel and around the world on December 24, but why did his forces attack a country where Christians were celebrating one day later?

Just imagine the enormous outcry if Russia had carried out air strikes on Ukrainian targets on the evening of 25th December. In fact, the US magazine Newsweek, doing its best to ratchet up East-West tensions still further, predicted such an event only last week. They published an article on Christmas Eve which began with the words “As people in Western Europe and the United States get comfortable for the holidays, the chances increase that Russia will take advantage of the distraction to launch attacks against its neighbor Ukraine, experts said.”

And who are these ’experts’, I hear you ask. Well, guess what, they were all from the Atlantic Council.

The ‘experts’, surprise surprise, were wrong. The ‘monster’ Russia did not launch attacks on Ukraine over Christmas. But Israel did attack Syria – and there was silence from those who would have screeched very loudly (and be calling for RT to be taken off the air immediately) if the Kremlin had ordered such a sacrilegious act.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) were also busy bombing on Christmas Day. The genocidal group carried out suicide bomb attacks on Libya’s Foreign Ministry in Tripoli on Tuesday morning, killing three and leaving over half-a-dozen injured.

One doesn’t expect IS to respect Christmas, but you would expect Western leaders – of predominantly Christian nations to regard the group as public enemy number one. Yet in Syria, the US and its allies welcomed the group’s growth precisely because it threatened the secular, Christian-protecting government of Bashar al-Assad. A declassified US intelligence report from August 2012 predicted the establishment of a “Salafist principality in Eastern Syria” and said that this is “exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

Furthermore, in a leaked tape recording the former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the US allowed IS to expand its territory to threaten Damascus.

At the same time, those fighting IS, and other al-Qaeda-linked death squads in Syria, namely the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, have been ‘monstered’ by the West and its regional allies’ propaganda machines.

Reflect on this: It wasn’t Syrian, Russia, Iranian or Hezbollah forces or followers who slaughtered British and other Western holiday-makers on the beach in Tunisia in 2015 – but an IS terrorist who is thought to have trained at a jihadist camp in neighboring Libya and whose government had been forcibly toppled by NATO powers four years earlier. Similarly, it wasn’t Syrian, Russian, Iranian or Hezbollah forces or followers who carried out murderous attacks against civilians in Paris, Nice, Brussels, and London, or at Christmas markets in Berlin and Strasbourg.

Respecting Christmas and what it stands for is an important litmus test, as it tells us a lot about the actors involved, especially if they are not themselves Christians.

The ‘monstering’ of those who do show the proper ‘Yuletide spirit’, and the turning of a blind eye to those that don’t, highlights the spectacular hypocrisy of those in power in the West who profess to support ‘Christian values’ but in fact do everything possible to subvert them.

If anyone needs an Ebenezer Scrooge-style epiphany this Christmas, it’s the ‘monster-slayers’ themselves.

Read more:

Christmas in Aleppo: Syrians celebrate as city recovers from years-long bloodshed (VIDEOS)

December 29, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Troops Out of Syria and Afghanistan? That’s a Good Start!

By Ron Paul | December 24, 2018

We all had a big shock this week when, seemingly out of the blue, President Trump announced that he was removing US troops from Syria and would draw down half of the remaining US troops in Afghanistan. The president told us the troops were in Syria to fight ISIS and with ISIS nearly gone the Syrians and their allies could finish the job.

All of a sudden the Trump haters who for two years had been telling us that the president was dangerous because he might get us in a war, were telling us that the president is dangerous because he was getting us out of a war! These are the same people who have been complaining about the president’s historic efforts to help move toward peace with North Korea.

There was more than a little hypocrisy among the “never Trump” resistance over the president’s announcement. Many of the talking heads and politicians who attacked George W. Bush’s wars, then were silent for President Obama’s wars, are now attacking President Trump for actually taking steps to end some wars. It just goes to show that for many who make their living from politics and the military-industrial complex, there are seldom any real principles involved.

Among the neoconservatives, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reaction was pretty typical. Though it seems Sen. Graham is never bothered when presidents violate the Constitution to take the US into another war without authorization, he cannot tolerate it when a president follows the Constitution and removes US troops from wars they have no business being involved in. Sen. Graham is now threatening to hold Congressional hearings in attempt to reverse the President’s decision to remove troops from Syria.

Neoconservatives are among the strongest proponents of the idea that as a “unitary executive,” the president should not be encumbered by things like the Constitution when it comes to war-making. Now all of a sudden when a president uses his actual Constitutional authority to remove troops from a war zone the neocons demand Congressional meddling to weaken the president. They get it wrong on both fronts! The president does have Constitutional authority to move US troops and to remove US troops; Congress has the power and the obligation to declare war and the power of the purse to end wars.

Most of the Washington establishment – especially the “resistance” liberals and the neocons – are complaining that by removing US troops from these two war zones President Trump has gone too far. I would disagree with them. I call President Trump’s announcement a good start. Americans are tired of being the world’s policemen. The United States does not “lose influence” by declining to get involved in disputes oceans away. We lose influence by spending more on the military than most of the rest of the world combined and meddling where we are not wanted. We will lose a whole lot more influence when their crazy spending makes us bankrupt. Is that what they want?

We should pay attention to Washington’s wild reaction to Trump’s announcement. The vested interests do not want us to have any kind of “peace dividend” because they have become so rich on the “war dividend.” Meanwhile the middle class is getting poorer and we’re all less safe. Let’s hope President Trump continues these moves to restore sanity in our foreign policy. That would really make America great again!

December 26, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 2 Comments

The Year of Putin-Nazi Paranoia

By CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory | December 19, 2018

As my regular readers will probably recall, according to my personal, pseudo-Chinese zodiac, 2017 was “The Year of the Headless Liberal Chicken.” This year, having given it considerable thought, and having consulted the I Ching, and assorted other oracles, I’m designating 2018 “The Year of Putin-Nazi Paranoia.”

Not that 2017 wasn’t already paranoid. It was. It was completely paranoid, and otherwise clinically batshit crazy. But 2018 has been batshit crazier. It started out with the Internet companies that control the flow of information that most of us now perceive as “reality” launching an all-out War on Dissent, purportedly to protect the public from “divisive” and “confusing” content, and other forms of Russian “influencing.”

Twitter started sending out scary emails warning customers that there was “reason to believe” that they had “followed,” “retweeted,” or “liked the content of” accounts “connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization.” Facebook launched its own Ministry of Truth, manned by “a dedicated counter-terrorism team” of “former intelligence and law-enforcement officials” (also known as The Atlantic Council, NATO’s unofficial propaganda wing). Google stepped up its covert deranking of insufficiently Russia-hating and other “non-authoritative” websites.

This Orwellian corporate censorship campaign was enthusiastically welcomed by liberals and other Russia-and-Trump-obsessives, who by this time were already completely convinced that secret Russian Facebook agents were conspiring to transform the Western masses into zombified, Russia-loving neo-Nazis by means of some sort of irresistible Putin-Nazi hypno-technology that would melt their brains to oatmeal the second they clicked on one of those dancing cat GIFs.

But the paranoia was just getting started. By the Spring, professional Putin-Naziologists were issuing warnings explaining that anyone using words like “globalist,” “globalism,” or “global capitalism” was an anti-Semite. There was no such thing as “globalism,” they told us. “Globalist” was just Nazi codespeak for “JEW!” Moreover, anyone criticizing “the media,” or mentioning “banks,” “Wall Street,” or “Hollywood,” or, God help you, making fun of “George Soros,” was clearly a Russia-loving, Sieg-heiling Nazi.

Meanwhile, in London, Blairites were busy combing through six year-old Facebook posts in an effort to prove that Jeremy Corbyn had transformed the British Labour Party into his personal Putin-Nazi death cult. The Guardian published over one hundred articles smearing Corbyn as an anti-Semite and “linking” Labour to anti-Semitism. The BBC jacked up the Russia paranoia, doctoring Corbyn’s hat on TV to make it appear more insidiously Slavic. Owen Jones sprang to Corbyn’s defense, explaining that, yes, the Labour Party was a disgusting hive of anti-Semites, but they were doing their utmost to root out the Nazis, ban all criticism of the IDF, and reverse the mass exodus of Jews from London.

All this was happening in the wake of the notorious Novichok Porridge and Perfume Attacks, allegedly perpetrated by two totally incompetent, pot-smoking, prostitute-banging “assassins” that Putin personally dispatched to Salisbury to miserably fail to take out their target and then waltz around getting photographed by every CCTV camera in Great Britain. According to the corporate media, Putin tried to cover the crimes of these Jason Bourne-like GRU assassins by ordering his network of Putin-Nazi Twitter bots to flood the Internet with disinformation. Sky News captured and mercilessly interrogated one of these alleged “Twitter bots,” who it turned out was just a feisty British pensioner by the name of Ian, or at least that’s what Putin wants us to believe!

Back in America, millions of liberals and other Russia-and-Trump-obsessives were awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse, which despite the predictions of Resistance pundits had still, by the Summer, failed to materialize. The corporate media were speculating that Putin’s latest “secret scheme” was for Trump to destroy the Atlantic alliance by arriving late for the G7 meeting. Or maybe Putin’s secret scheme was to order Trump to sadistically lock up a bunch of migrants in metal cages, exactly as Obama had done before him … but these were special Nazi cages! And Trump was separating mothers and children, which, as General Michael Hayden reminded us, was more or less exactly the same as Auschwitz! Paul Krugman had apparently lost it, and was running around the offices of The New York Times shrieking that “America as we know it is finished!” Soros had been smuggled back into Europe to single-handedly thwart the Putin-Nazi plot to “dominate the West,” which he planned to do by canceling the Brexit (which Putin had obviously orchestrated) and overthrowing the elected government of Italy (which, according to Soros, was a Putin-Nazi front).

As if that wasn’t paranoia-inducing enough, suddenly, Trump flew off to Helisnki to personally meet with the Devil Himself. The neoliberal establishment went totally apeshit. A columnist for The New York Times predicted that Trump, Putin, Le Pen, the AfD, and other such Nazis were secretly forming something called “the Alliance of Authoritarian and Reactionary States,” and intended to disband the European Union, and NATO, and impose international martial law and start ethnically cleansing the West of migrants. That, or Trump and Putin were simply using the summit as cover to attend some Nazi-equestrian homosexual orgy, which The Times took pains to illustrate by creating a little animated film depicting Trump and Putin as lovers. In any event, Jonathan Chait was certain that Trump had been a “Russian intelligence asset” since at least as early as 1987, and was going to Helsinki to “meet his handler.”

In the wake of the summit, the neoliberal Resistance, like some multi-headed mythical creature in the throes of acute amphetamine psychosis, started spastically jabbering about “treason” and “traitors,” and more or less demanding that Trump be tried, and taken out and shot on the White House lawn. A frenzy of neo-McCarthyism followed. Liberals started accusing people of being “traitorous agents of Trump and Moscow,” and openly calling for a CIA coup, because we were “facing a national security emergency!” A devastating Russian cyber-attack was due to begin at any moment. National Intelligence Director Dan Coats personally assured the Associated Press that the little “Imminent Russia Attack” lights he had on his desk were “blinking red.”

Into this maelstrom of monomania boldly slunk the Charlottesville Nazis, who had resolved to reenact their infamous national white supremacist tikki torch conclave right across the street from the White House this year. The Resistance and Antifa had been promoting this event as the long anticipated Putin-Nazi uprising, and Kristallnacht II, and other such nonsense, so it was a bit of a letdown when only twenty or thirty rather timid Nazis turned up. It felt like maybe the Great Nazi Panic of 2018 was finally over.

But no, of course it wasn’t over. The Nazis had just gone underground. Weeks later, right there on national television, a Jewish-Mexican-American Nazi was spotted transmitting secret Nazi hand signals to her Nazi co-conspirators. One of them, a U.S. Coast Guard member, then relayed the secret Nazi signal to … well, it wasn’t entirely clear, perhaps the Underground Putin-Nazi Navy, which was steaming toward the Florida coast hidden in the eye of Hurricane Florence.

By the Autumn, with the midterm elections fast approaching, the Putin-Nazi terrorists finally struck. It soon became clear that those secret hand signs were just parts of a much larger Trumpian conspiracy to “embolden” a couple of totally psychotic wackos to unleash their hatred on the public. Wacko Number One accomplished this by mailing a series of non-exploding explosive devices to various prominent members of the neoliberal Resistance. Wacko Number Two stormed into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and murdered a lot of people. While the corporate media were unable to prove that Trump, Putin, or possibly Jeremy Corbyn, had personally “emboldened” these wackos, clearly, they had been “emboldened” by somebody, and thus were definitely domestic Putin-Nazi “terrorists,” and not just mentally disturbed individuals … like all the other mentally-disturbed individuals who go around murdering people all the time.

In November, at last, the tide began to turn. Despite the relentlesschaos campaign to undermine faith in American democracy” that the Russian bots and Nazis were waging, the Democrats managed to win back the House and rescue America from “the brink of fascism.” Apparently, the War on Dissent was working, because the millions of Black people that the Russians had brainwashed into not voting for Clinton in 2016 with those Jesus-doesn’t-like-masturbation memes had all miraculously been deprogrammed.

Liberals celebrated by singing hymns to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and compiling lists of people to subpoena to testify before congressional committees in what will someday be known as “the Hitlergate Hearings.” The New York Times even published a “roadmap” that Mueller and his team can follow to “send incriminating evidence directly to Congress,” thus protecting this “evidence” from the Justice Department, which is totally infested with Russians and Nazis!

But it’s not quite time for liberals to break out the vuvuzelas and Trump effigies yet … or to let up on the paranoia. The Putin-Nazi menace is still out there! The Internet is still literally crawling with all sorts of deviant, division sowing content! And now the Russian bots have brainwashed the French into staging these unruly Yellow Vest protests, and the Putin-Nazis have “weaponized” humor, and the economy, and religion, and Brexit, and Wikileaks, and pretty much everything else you can imagine. So this is no time to switch off the television, and log off the Internet, and start thinking critically … or to forget for one moment that THE NAZIS ARE COMING, and that A DEVASTATING RUSSIAN ATTACK IS IMMINENT!

So here’s wishing my Russia-and-Trump-obsessed readers a merry, teeth-clenching, anus-puckering Christmas and a somewhat mentally-healthier New Year! Me, I’m looking forward to discovering how batshit crazy things can get … I have a feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Photo: Film Forum

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

December 19, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Christopher Steele Admits He Was Hired To Help Hillary Challenge 2016 Election

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 12/17/2018

Former UK spy Christopher Steele admitted in a London court that he was hired to help Hillary Clinton contest the results of the 2016 election in case Trump won, according to the Washington Times.

Steele assembled an anti-Trump “dossier” of opposition research investigative firm Fusion GPS, which was in turn hired by DNC law firm Perkins Coie LLP. The document used “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,” and “a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin,” according to Vanity FairIn other words, Hillary Clinton – through Steele and other intermediaries – was working with Russians against Donald Trump.

He said the law firm Perkins Coie wanted to be in a position to contest the results based on evidence he unearthed on the Trump campaign conspiring with Moscow on election interference.

His scenario is contained in a sealed Aug. 2 declaration in a defamation law suit brought by three Russian bankers in London. The trio’s American attorneys filed his answers Tuesday in a libel lawsuit in Washington against the investigative firm Fusion GPS, which handled the former British intelligence officer.

In an answer to interrogatories, Mr. Steele wrote: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.” – Washington Times

During the election, Clinton told voters that Donald Trump would “threaten democracy” if he didn’t promise to accept the results of the 2016 election – after Trump suggested he might not accept the results of a “rigged” contest.

Now listen to Hillary when she thought she was going to win the election:

Meanwhile Clinton was open to challenging the election more than ten months after her historic loss – if only there were a way. “There are scholars, academics, who have arguments that it would be, but I don’t think they’re on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don’t think we have a mechanism,” Clinton told NPR in September 2017.

The dossier Steele produced was used as the basis for an FBI FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on members of the Trump campaign. Notably, the agency never told the FISA court that the dossier their application hinged on was paid for by the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, although it did indicate that it was opposition research.

The mainstream media used still-unverified key claims within the dossier to fuel a conspiracy theory that President Trump conspired with the Russian government to win the 2016 US election.

Meanwhile, as we reported earlier Monday, FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn’t believe a key claim contained in the “Steele Dossier,” the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.

The Post‘s Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross.

“We’ve talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere — they don’t believe that ever happened,” said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.

We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down… there’s an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to – just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty. -Greg Miller

Meanwhile, Trump is still living under the spectre of Russian collusion, while Hillary Clinton actually colluded Russians in her plan to challenge the 2016 election.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Tale of two uprisings: Ukraine’s Maidan got McCain & cookies, French Yellow Vests get shunned

By Robert Bridge | RT | December 13, 2018

Unlike the 2014 Ukraine uprising, which witnessed invasive meddling on the part of US politicians and diplomats, Western support for the French Yellow Vest protests has been conspicuously missing in action.

With the streets of Paris ablaze for a fourth weekend in a row, as a swarm of Yellow Vests assert themselves against a French government which, they argue, has become increasingly detached from the cares of ordinary citizens, support among Western capitals for the protesters is nowhere to be found.

This is a bit odd since the ‘gilets jaunes’ are not just protesting Macron’s (rescinded) plans for a fuel tax, but have released a list of 42 demands they want to see implemented. This includes an increase of the minimum wage, pensions and wages, as well as a halt to illegal immigration into the country. In other words, we are not talking about violent anarchists on the streets of France, but regular citizens. Thus far, the movement enjoys a high level of support among the French, with one poll showing 72 percent siding with the protesters.

The United States and its allies may have trouble explaining their tone-deafness in the face of these legitimate concerns on the part of millions of French citizens. At the very least, their icy silence will reveal a no small amount of double standards and outright hypocrisy since the West rarely misses an opportunity to interfere in the affairs of foreign states – mostly in the Middle East – when ‘democracy’ is purportedly on the line.

Consider Washington’s starkly different attitude to Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan revolution, which brought down the government of Viktor Yanukovich through the explicit support of the United States, as well as a number of influential NGOs operating in the country. Yanukovich committed the unforgivable mistake of thinking he would be allowed to pursue an independent course for his country, despite the fact that since 1992, the US had spent over $5 billion propping up ‘democracy-building programs’ in Ukraine.

Did Kiev really think that Washington would not eventually expect something in return for all those dollars, like maybe deciding who would eventually rule the Eastern European country on Russia’s border? And that is exactly what happened.

When Yanukovich signaled that he would not sign Ukraine up to an EU trade deal, he awoke a sleeping giant below his feet. Several weeks after the announcement, as his country was becoming increasingly divided over its options, the late US Senator John McCain appeared in central Kiev where he tossed dry wood on the smoldering fires by proclaiming at a rally on Independence Square, “Ukraine will make Europe better, and Europe will make Ukraine better… America is with you.”

What could have motivated Washington to pursue such blatant interference in the affairs of Ukraine, while ignoring the French ‘gilets jaunes’ that are now fanning out across France, protesting the neo-Liberal policies of President Emmanuel Macron? Could the answer have anything to do with something as simple as money? That certainly seems to be a large part of the equation.

After all, steering Kiev away from Russia, Western officials understood, would pay off handsome dividends for Western lending institutions, like the International Monetary Fund, which had already lent Kiev billions of dollars to stay afloat. The West was fiercely opposed to the idea of Russia and China becoming ‘lenders of last resort’, a financial and political function that the Western world covets more than any other, with the possible exception of military interventionism against sovereign states.

Fast forward one year after John McCain was agitating rallies in Kiev, and Victoria Nuland was handing out cookies to the protesters, and we find Ukraine, under the new leadership of the US-anointed President Petro Poroshenko, inking a $17.5bn (£11.5bn) loan deal with the IMF, together with the painful austerity measures that always accompany the bags of cash.

Presently, there are no such financial incentives in France that would convince Western capitals to ‘rally on behalf of democracy’ as it had done without delay in Ukraine.

This glaringly hypocritical position with regards to the French protesters reveals a deeply flawed, cart-before-the-horse Western axiom that commands: ‘whatever works to the advantage of Western institutions and its political elite is automatically good for democracy.’ This does not exclude social upheaval and revolution. If violence in the streets translates into the empowerment of Western institutions, not least of all the global financial institutions, then such actions will be rewarded with Western support without a moment’s thought.

Today, Emmanuel Macron, 40, the former Rothschild investment banker known as “president of the rich” by his countrymen, is facing the prospect of an early political demise, no less than Viktor Yanukovich faced in 2014.

Indeed, to say that Macron’s popularity among the French is in the toilet would be putting the situation mildly.

As one local English-language French magazine summed up his plight: Macron is “long-hated by the extreme-leftist groups because of his past as a banker… detested by the far-right because of his pro-European, globalist beliefs and now hated by many ordinary French people, who see him as arrogant, aloof and unsympathetic to their problems.”

Yet, not a single Western politician to date has appeared in the French capital, rallying the protesters and demanding Macron step aside; nor has any top-ranking US diplomat been spotted handing out cookies to the French rabble as Victoria Nuland did in Kiev at the height of Ukrainian tensions.

Incidentally, with such stark images in mind, it seems preposterous that the US can actually accuse Russia of meddling in its political affairs, and without a shred of evidence to back the claims. But I digress.

The simple reason that no Western country has come out to condemn Macron is because he toes the line on neo-liberalism and extreme free-market economics that has ravaged the French middle class to breaking point. The fuel hike was just the proverbial straw that broke the voters’ back.

It would be no exaggeration to say that all segments of French society have become caught up in the protests. Today we see hundreds of French schools, for example, shutting down as students take to the streets to protest Macron’s unpopular education reform. Pensioners are also counted among the protesters after Macron lectured them to stop “whining” about spending cuts, at the very same time he was slashing taxes for the wealthy.

Clearly, there is nothing about Macron that Western leaders can find not to their liking. He is carrying out painful liberal reforms with gusto, and only under pain of usurpation does he backpedal on his political program. Although the rudderless French president may fancy himself as a modern-age Napoleon, acting tough with his subjects to get what he wants, ultimately it will be the French street that decides his fate, which at the moment looks very bleak.

Such a brutal wake-up call may very well be in store for many more Western neo-liberal leaders, who fail to feel the pulse of their people when instituting their unpopular policies, in the weeks and months to come.

December 13, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment