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Dutch Lies Over Putin’s ‘Aggression’ Expose NATO War Agenda

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.02.2018

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte was this week forced to bear a parliamentary vote of no confidence after his foreign minister finally came clean over a dangerous lie he has been telling for two years concerning Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Halbe Zijlstra quit in shame on Monday as the country’s foreign minister after admitting that a story he had peddled about personally hearing Putin plotting to create a “greater Russia” was false. That then forced premier Rutte to endure a “no confidence” motion from parliamentarians. In the end, Rutte survived the vote. If a majority had voted against his leadership, his coalition government may have collapsed.

But the deep damage done to the Dutch authorities will not be so easily repaired by Rutte’s survival as premier. What has been exposed this week is a senior member of government recklessly telling bare-faced lies in an attempt to slander Russia, poison international relations, and ratchet up already dangerous geopolitical tensions.

Zijlstra had claimed two years ago, in 2016, that he had personally witnessed Russian leader Vladimir Putin boasting about creating a “greater Russia” which, it is claimed, would incorporate Ukraine, the Baltic states, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The newly resigned Dutch top diplomat claimed he heard Putin making the remarks while present with others at the Russian leader’s dacha (summer house) back in 2006.

This week, Zijlstra finally came clean and admitted before parliament that he hadn’t in fact been present at the alleged gathering. He still maintains, however, that a confidant who was among the guests at Putin’s dacha informed him of the alleged “greater Russia” plan. But how can we now trust the word of a self-confessed liar?

Zijlstra’s boss, Prime Minister Rutte, also sought to downplay the debacle, claiming that his foreign minister had made “a big mistake” – but that “lying was not a deadly sin”.

Rutte is in for a rude awakening due to his complacent thinking. For indeed his government has been caught telling a very grave lie whose ramifications concern issues of war and peace in Europe.

Disgraced former minister Zijlstra stands accused of gross distortion of Russia’s foreign policy.

Since the US and European-backed illegal coup in Ukraine in early 2014, geopolitical reality has been turned upside-down. American and European corporate media have peddled relentless anti-Russia propaganda accusing Moscow of “aggression” and “expansionism” in Europe.

This torrent of Russophobia spewed out by Washington, the Pentagon, NATO and the European Union has created the worst crisis in relations with Russia since the Cold War ended nearly three decades ago. There are real fears that the mounting crisis could escalate into an all-out war involving nuclear powers.

Zijlstra’s offense therefore is not merely a “mistaken” lie. His flagrant public distortion has contributed directly to the grave deterioration in geopolitical relations. One could even argue such reprehensible remarks amount to incitement of war, which is a cardinal crime under Nuremberg legal principles.

Lamentably, the mendacious senior Dutch politician is not an isolated case. Recall how former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski was caught out telling similar defamatory lies about Russia in 2014.

Sikorski, who has been an ardent supporter of NATO force build-up against Russia, reportedly claimed that he personally overheard Vladimir Putin in 2008 plotting to annex Ukrainian territory in a covert plot. Sikorski claimed that he heard Putin propositioning then Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk with a carve-up deal of Ukraine between Poland and Russia.

Sikorski was obliged to swiftly retract the claims published in US media, and awkwardly admit that he was not present at the alleged meeting with Putin, and that his quoted remarks were meant as a “surreal joke”.

But, again, this is no joke or mistake. It is deadly serious disinformation by senior government officials, which is recklessly inciting war tensions with Russia. Sikorski is prominently associated with pro-NATO think-tanks like the hawkish American Enterprise Institute. He is married to Anne Applebaum who makes a living from writing anti-Russian screeds for news outlets like the Washington Post.

Zijlstra and Sikorski join the ranks of Russophobia regurgitated by other European foreign ministers like Britain’s Boris Johnson who issued the outlandish claim earlier this year that Russia is “targeting” British infrastructure; or French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who has impugned Russia for chemical weapons use in Syria – only for the French President Emmanuel Macron to admit this week that his government has actually no evidence about the use of such weapons in Syria.

Macron has made his own contribution to Russophobia by leveling unsubstantiated allegations that his presidential election campaign last year was “hacked” by Kremlin agents. He has since banned Russian news media from attending his press conferences.

All these senior government figures are irresponsibly fueling a climate of demonization against Russia which is compounding other unhinged claims made by politicians in Washington and the Baltic states. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, for example, recently claimed that Russian Iskander missiles based on Russian sovereign territory of Kaliningrad were targeting half of Europe, an alarmist claim which has been amplified by US secretary of defense James Mattis in the Pentagon’s recent Nuclear Posture Review.

The climate of hysteria – based on false, fevered official claims – is militating against normal political and diplomatic relations, which is, in turn, exacerbating the war in Ukraine and leading to wider war tensions with Russia across Europe.

A good question is why the ousted Dutch minister decided to own up this week to his lies about Putin.

The answer may be related to the bigger credibility crisis of the Dutch government and its NATO allies with regard to the whole Russophobia propaganda war.

Next month, the Netherlands is to hold a national referendum on extending powers of Dutch state intelligence to monitor public electronic communications. To convince the Dutch public to vote for more snooping powers, the authorities are relying on the hackneyed claims about Russian “meddling” and “interference”.

It seems significant that Dutch media reported last month that the country’s secret services allegedly “hacked into” Russian state hackers who were allegedly penetrating the American Democratic party’s databases during the US presidential elections back in 2015-2016. As usual, no evidence was provided to support the claims. We know from other credible reports that the Democratic party was quite possibly not hacked at all, but rather was leaked from inside by a Democrat staffer. So the Dutch intel story smearing Russia is highly dubious.

But it seems that the purported “good deed” performed by the Dutch intelligence services was pitched in the media as a way to ingratiate bona fides with the Netherlands public. The aim being to dispose the public toward voting in the referendum next month to give the Dutch state more intrusive powers over citizens to “protect” them from “nefarious Russians”.

Now, if the Dutch minister had held on to his office any longer there was a risk that his lies may have become public embarrassingly close to the March referendum, which could have resulted in the public rejecting the authorities’ desire for more snooping powers.

Perhaps then the decision was taken in high office for the minister to take the fall now in order to get rid sooner of an embarrassing story concerning his lies over Russia.

Whatever the explanation about the timing, the admission of Dutch government lying about Russian aggression in Europe is nevertheless an illuminating and appalling insight into how Russophobia and war is being fomented by the US and its European NATO allies.

Abominably, European government officials are willing to risk plunging millions of citizens into a war with Russia based on lies and warped, self-serving prejudices.

February 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Neocon Anne Applebaum: Give Me Money to Fight ‘Russian Disinformation’!

By Daniel McAdams – Ron Paul Institute – May 8, 2017

Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!” In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it’s Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

There is no doubt that Applebaum is a true believer that Putin wants to destroy our democratic institutions, but there is also a more pedestrian way to understand her endless obsession: it pays well to hype up big threats. In fact, according to a mandatory Polish government disclosure (her husband was Polish defense and foreign minister before being forced out in disgrace after an eavesdropping scandal), Applebaum has made out like a bandit for a humble journalist and think-tanker.

As I wrote when her scandal broke:

Interestingly, Applebaum demands transparency for everyone else while rejecting it for herself. A recent mandatory income declaration of her husband to the Polish government shows that her income has skyrocketed from $20,000 in 2011 to more than $800,000 in 2013. No explanation was given for this massive influx of cash, though several ventures in which she has a part are tied to CIA and National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated organizations. Could Applebaum be one of those well-paid propagandists about whom she complains so violently?

Applebaum’s latest Washington Post column is about… you guessed it: the danger of Russian disinformation! Here is a synopsis of Applebaum’s latest Cold War 2.0 propaganda piece from this weekend:

1) The mainstream media has taken a beating. The old business model is no longer working. There are too many new sources of information available, which makes it harder for people to judge the accuracy of what they read.

My comment: Indeed, the US mainstream media no longer controls what we see, read, and think. Applebaum cannot stand that there are websites challenging the central neoconservative foreign policy paradigm. She hates organizations like the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (she even blocked us on Twitter!).

She longs for the days when you could only pick up a Washington Post or a New York Times and had no chance of discovering opposing opinions.

In other words, Anne Applebaum misses the Soviet-style monochrome media that she pretends to despise so much.

2) As a result of mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post losing their monopoly over shaping foreign policy opinion, as she writes: “authoritarian regimes, led by Russia but closely followed by China, have begun investing heavily in the production of alternatives.”

My comment: Applebaum is saying here that it’s all our fault that the Russians are coming because as soon as the Internet and alternative news and analysis sites offered a point of view different from Applebaum’s neocons, we played into the hands of the Russians by ignoring the Washington Post and turning to alternatives. If we had only kept our faith in the neocon worldview, the Russians would not be set to take us over.

3) This new Cold War is even worse than the old Cold War! Unlike back then, in the new Cold War, as Applebaum writes, “Russia does not seek to promote itself, but rather to undermine the institutions of the West, often using discordant messages.”

My comment: Anne Applebaum offers no evidence or even clues to back her claim. But what she is saying is that by allowing voices to be heard that run counter to the Washington Post and neocon foreign policy paradigm, Russian-funded outlets like RT are seeking to sow “confusion” among Western listeners and viewers. Applebaum does not want us to be “confused” by messages that run counter to the neocon view of a US empire fighting endless wars against manufactured enemies. We would be far less “confused” if we would all just read Anne Applebaum and stop questioning the neocons!

4) Don’t worry, this effort to sow confusion is being countered.

Applebaum writes:

Some countries are waking up to this, especially those that have been hardest hit. The invasion, occupation and dismemberment of Ukraine in 2014 was preceded by a highly effective propaganda blitz that fomented confusion in Russian-speaking areas and blinded both Ukrainians and Westerners to what was really going on. In response, Ukrainian organizations such as StopFake began to expose and ridicule Russian propaganda.

My comment: She does not explain exactly what that “propaganda blitz” looked like. Was it the release of the tape of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland plotting the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Kiev? Well, according to Applebaum, at least the noble, independent NGOs are spontaneously springing up across Europe to counter this Russian propaganda blitz!

Except for one problem: The “StopFake” organization that she praises is not a grassroots Ukrainian organization as she would have us believe. In fact it’s a George Soros astroturf organization, funded by his International Renaissance Foundation. In other words, “StopFake” is fake.

5) In fact, when it comes to funding, Anne Applebaum knows which side of her bread is buttered. As the Washington Post notes in the article’s byline: “Anne Applebaum, a Post columnist, and Edward Lucas, a senior editor at the Economist, are this week launching a counter-disinformation initiative at the Center for European Policy Analysis, where they are, respectively, senior vice president and senior adjunct fellow.”

My comment: Who funds the (Washington, D.C.-based) Center for European Policy Analysis? The United States Department of Defense and a handful of US defense contractors!

From their own website:

Recent donors to CEPA include:

Bell Helicopter
Boeing
Chevron Corporation
FireEye
Lockheed Martin Corporation
New Vista Partners
Raytheon Company
Sikorsky Aircraft
Textron Systems
The East Tennessee Foundation
The Hirsch Family Foundation
The Hungarian Initiatives Foundation
The International Visegrad Fund
The Poses Family Foundation
The Smith Richardson Foundation
U.S. Department of Defense

There are one or two surprises on the above list. The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has been quite cautious about following the neocon line that any resistance to massive refugee inflows from the Middle East are signs of unforgivable xenophobia and that Russia and Putin must be resisted at all costs. In fact, Orban’s opposition in Hungary is furious that he is not following the Russia-bashing neocon line. So why is the Hungarian government-funded Hungarian Initiatives Foundation backing Anne Applebaum’s neocon initiative to demonize Russia? Good question. Maybe Fidesz supporters will want to ask their government why their tax money is going to such a worthless, anti-Fidesz cause.

6) And again on funding, we come to the crux of Anne Applebaum’s problem: the US government does not spend nearly enough money creating its own propaganda to counter what she claims is Russian propaganda. They are outspending us and outmaneuvering us!

She writes:

There is no modern equivalent to the U.S. Information Agency, an organization dedicated to coping with Soviet propaganda and disinformation during the Cold War. Although there has been some extra funding for U.S.-backed foreign broadcasters such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, they cannot provide a complete response.

My comment: But that’s not really true, is it? The idea that the US government is pinching propaganda pennies while the Russians are going in for the whole fake news hog is not backed up by those pernicious little things called facts. In fact, the Russian government spent around $300 million on RT in 2016. Compare that with the US propaganda arm, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose 2017 budget runs to $777.8 million dollars, or more than two and a half that of RT. And Congress just gave the green light to another $100 million to “counter Russian influence” in its stop-gap omnibus budget. We are out-spending them three-to-one. So why are we still “losing”?

Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

As for Russian “propaganda,” like everything else in that vast cornucopia now thankfully available for our consumption, we should read all we can while keeping our wits about us. There is no one authoritative, unbiased source of information. That we do know. But we also know that we are far more able to think for ourselves now that the neocon gatekeepers like Anne Applebaum have been defeated in the marketplace of ideas.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

British neocons take new McCarthyism across the Atlantic

RT | November 23, 2016

A neoconservative British lobby group literally wants to blacklist people for talking to what they consider to be undesirable media. McCarthyism has gone trans-Atlantic.

If the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) was on a solo run, their campaign to smear anybody remotely sympathetic to, or even open to engaging with, Russia as “Putin’s useful idiot” might have been easily dismissed as an absurd, paranoid throwback. After all, the organization is of questionable provenance and is named for a hawkish US senator who rarely saw a war he didn’t like. From Vietnam to Cambodia and Iraq, ‘Scoop’ Jackson’s pursuit of foreign misadventures was legendary.

However, this new narrative is anything but a fluke. Because in the past month, both The Times of London and NATO’s Atlantic Council adjunct have pushed much the same message. And all three entities are interconnected when it comes to evaluating Moscow. Indeed, the “blame Russia” crowd seems to move around with great haste on this think-tank fellow/journalist/expert commentator merry-go-round.

A cold front

This autumn, The Times kicked off the current campaign with a series of articles smearing British personalities who have appeared on Russian stations. Interestingly, the apparent driving force behind the coverage, and lead writer at the paper, is Oliver Kamm, who was a founder member of the HJS and a signatory to the statement of principles.

And that proclamation is some piece of work. In it, we learn how the HJS does not regard a large number of states as “truly legitimate.” Amazingly, they include two of the world’s top three military powers, namely Russia and China. Their sin? Not being American style “liberal democracies,” which in itself is ironic at a time when the US appears to be questioning its own fealty to unbridled liberalism.

For its part, NATO’s Atlantic Council prefers the term ‘Trojan Horses’ rather than ‘useful idiots,’ and it used its November report to slam a particular subset of European public figures, those who do not give unconditional support to the military bloc and its aims. They seemingly include French presidential front-runner Francois Fillon, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, and British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The simplicity of the defamation is astounding, as the authors refuse to countenance any domestic or moral reasons for why these politicians may not support the further militarization of Europe.

Instead, the only explanation entertained is that they are doing it to suit Moscow.

The introduction to the Atlantic Council’s diatribe is written by Radoslaw Sikorski, the controversial former Polish foreign minister. He happens to be married to Anne Applebaum, who works as a lobbyist for American defense contractors at a Washington and Warsaw-based advocacy named CEPA. She’s joined there by Peter Pomerantsev, who is slated to launch the HJS communique at Westminster on Wednesday.

Also, another person who links the Atlantic Council to HJS is their colleague Michael Weiss. While the activist is now employed to campaign for the former’s interests, he was previously the communication’s director at the latter.

Not to mention the fact that he also edits The Interpreter, a blog dedicated to denigrating Russia, which is a special project of the US government broadcaster RFE/RL Yes. It really is a small world.

New sensation

The HJS report is penned by Andrew Foxall, a former climate change ‘expert’ who has jumped onto the anti-Russia bandwagon in recent years. Foxall’s crude pitch is that somehow the Kremlin is manipulating both Britain’s right and left to control events in the country. Which begs the question of where, exactly, are you allowed to be on the UK political spectrum? Is no one allowed a critical thought that falls outside the bounds of the Foxall-approved centrist establishment?

The title ‘Putin’s Useful Idiots’ is also interesting. Because it’s well known how this phrase is used in the UK to describe people who work in the mainstream media and can be relied on to peddle a certain line when it comes to particular stories, for instance to spin a tale to the benefit of the government or the intelligence agencies. Given that Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6 from 1999 to 2005, was a founder signatory of the HJS, it’s probably fair to say they are fully aware of this association.

Foxall’s advice for how to counter his mythical Russian management of the UK processes certainly seeks to exude the spirit of McCarthyism. He proposes that “activists, journalists, and politicians should point out the pro-Russian connections of individuals and parties across the political spectrum” and “the personal and organizational connections of left- and right-wing politicians and parties and their Russian counterparts should be mapped across Europe.”

Plus, “Parliaments across Europe should amend current legislation or pass new legislation that forces politicians to declare all media appearances they make, whether they receive money for them or not.”

It homes in on people like Nigel Farage, currently the UK establishment’s bête noire, and insinuates how Arron Banks, UKIP’s primary donor, has “colorful links” to Russia. Corbyn and his chief adviser, Seumas Milne, are also harangued for having appeared on RT. As is Ken Livingstone, a two-term mayor of London.

Meanwhile, Milne is further attacked for having attended the Valdai Club in Sochi, an international discussion group designed to promote understanding across borders. The gathering has hosted many influential world figures, not to mention academics from places like Harvard, Stanford, LSE and the Sorbonne. Here it is misrepresented as “an annual propaganda and ego-boosting event.”

Winter campaign

The rather unexpected outcome of the US presidential election had distracted Russia’s ‘fan club’ for a short while, but the team is now back on the circuit, with gusto. And the same names just keep popping up all the time, repeating their usual dirge of “Kremlin bad; anything west of St Petersburg – good.”

No wonder many Western establishment politicians love these guys. Because with their imprimatur, they don’t have to accept responsibility for their own failings or inadequacies. Instead, they are presented with a ready-made boogeyman on which everything undesirable can pin.

Why should the establishment analyze its own failings when considering why Brexit passed, or Donald Trump is US President-elect, despite their best efforts to ensure the opposite outcome? Why take a sober, internally focused look at the rise of Marine Le Pen in France or increasingly popular alternative political movements in Austria, Italy or the Netherlands? Instead, the anti-Russia lobby groups offer an easier option: “Blame the Kremlin, for everything.”

While musing on ‘useful idiots’ or ‘Trojan Horses,’ another expression comes to mind: ‘burying one’s head in the sand.’ While ostriches get the bum rap for the practice, really it is the humans of the media-political establishment variety who have perfected it in recent times. And reports like these are only perpetuating this self-destructive practice.

Read more:

‘UK’s censorship & harassment are no solution’: European journalists’ union speaks up for RT

EU Parliament promotes democratic values by lumping journalists in with terrorists

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Madeleine Albright, latest pro-Clinton Neocon hawking anti-Russia conspiracy theories

By Robert Bridge | RT | November 6, 2016

Show me an American Neocon today and I will show you a pro-Clinton supporter. In fact, it is indicative of Hillary Clinton’s particular brand of foreign policy that Republican hawks have fled the GOP standard to join ranks with the warmongering Democrats.

In order to guarantee another 4-8 years of US-led military aggression in the Middle East, and heightened tensions with Russia and China (which all translates into lucrative defense spending), the Neocons have found it necessary to drag Russian President Vladimir Putin into the 2016 presidential race as a means of deflecting attention away from a devastating series of leaked emails, courtesy of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, that portray Clinton and her campaign team in less than glowing terms.

The latest Neocon to grease the wheels of Clinton’s War & Wall Street machine is Madeleine Albright, 79, the former Secretary of State, who is perhaps most famous for two quotes, “What’s the point of having this superb military… if we can’t use it?” And second, when asked in a 1996 interview with the news program 60 Minutes if the price of UN sanctions against Iraq – which was half a million dead Iraqi children – was worth it, Albright unhesitatingly responded, “We think the price is worth it.”

Albright opened her opinion piece in USA Today with a fast curve ball, no easy feat even for professional throwers: “Democrats have been renewing their call this week for the FBI to release more information on the connections among Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government. But it is already clear that Russia’s intervention in our election on Trump’s side is the real scandal of 2016… ”

Like a veteran manipulator, Albright attempts to control the narrative, not to mention the history books, by telling the reader that Russia’s (unproven) intervention in the 2016 presidential election is the “real scandal” of the year, as opposed, of course, to Julian Assange’s torturous, slow-drip outing of Hillary Clinton and her mind-boggling list of ‘poor decision-making.’

“The Russian government has already hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in an effort to create confusion and turn voters off from politics,” Albright wrote, essentially telling Americans ‘nothing to look at here, please move on and have a nice day.’

Nowhere does Albright question the meaty contents of the emails. Instead, she waxes poetic about the undefiled beauty of the democratic landscape and the authoritarian governments and their “shadow campaigns” that would trash them. This deliberate oversight explains why Albright and her fellow Neocons found it so necessary to drag Russia into this scandal. The allegations contained in the WikiLeaks emails are so potentially damaging to Clinton’s chances at the White House that they required a diversion as large as Russia to conceal them.

Yet, even the FBI admits there is no convincing evidence linking the leaked emails as an effort by Russia to boost Trump’s victory chances on Nov.8th. And judging by the tarnished reputations of the Republican and Democratic contenders, it should come as no surprise that Russia should have no clear favorite in this dog race even if they could rig the game.

But all this misses the main point, indeed as it is cunningly designed to do. With all of the spin going on, can anybody still recall what the released Clinton emails revealed?

In short, the leaked documents revealed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had colluded with the Clinton campaign to ensure Hillary Clinton received the nomination ahead of other potential candidates, including the popular Bernie Sanders. These damning revelations led to the ouster of DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Russians clearly had nothing to do with that.

Second, the woman who replaced Schultz, Democratic strategist and former CNN contributor, Donna Brazile, was found to have tipped off the Clinton campaign on the content of two questions ahead of the final Clinton-Trump CNN-hosted debate. The horrific implications of that explosive finding, which could have tipped the scales in favor of Clinton, deserves nothing short of a Watergate-style investigation.

By the way, the Russians had nothing to do with that bit of insider intrigue, either.

But that’s mere child’s play compared to documents that show how Clinton, as the Secretary of State, severely mishandled the 2012 Benghazi attack, which was orchestrated by a radical Islamic group. US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens was killed in the attack. In an interview with Democracy Now, Assange said Clinton was even responsible for arming Islamic State fighters in Syria in an effort to bring down the government of President Bashar Assad.

Clinton’s leaky emails point to “the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails,” the WikiLeaks co-founder said. “There’s more than 1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton’s collection, that we have released, just about Libya alone,” he added.

Nor did the Russians help the United States to bungle Benghazi, or command Clinton to furnish arms to Islamic State, as the correspondences suggest she did.

So why all the mindless media chatter about Russia?

There was yet another potential bit of ‘collateral damage’ in the ongoing WikiLeaks drama that has largely gone overlooked. Since it is preposterous to think that Russia would have any need or desire to influence the US elections, nor has there been a single piece of convincing evidence to support the claim, WikiLeaks somehow managed to get the leaked documents. Why not from a DNC insider? In fact, why not from Seth Rich, the director of voter expansion with DNC who would have had access to the incriminating emails?

We’ll probably never know because Mr. Rich is no longer around to provide his testimony.

In the early hours of July 10th, Rich was shot multiple times in the back as he walked home alone from a Washington pub. Was Rich the victim of a robbery? If so, investigators were baffled as to why his wallet, credit cards, wrist watch and cellphone were not removed from his body.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier admitted at a press conference, “Right now, we have more questions than answers.”

Julian Assange, falling short of admitting Rich – as opposed to Russia – was the source of the leaked information, offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for the premature death of Mr. Rich.

Neverthless, Newsweek was just one of many media outlets that brushed off the incident as “yet another round of Clinton conspiracy theories, this one claiming that Rich was murdered—at dawn—as he was on his way to sing to the FBI about damning internal DNC emails.”

Funny how the Western media regularly accuses foreign media of jumping on wild “conspiracy theories,” yet they have no qualms saddling up their own highly questionable ideas about “Russian involvement” in the WikiLeaks.

Although it may be true that Mr. Rich died the victim of a robbery gone awry, there are still grounds to believe that he was the DNC whistleblower. Somehow the mainstream media, however, found it more expedient to pin the blame on a foreign power without a shred of evidence.

Indeed, Newsweek was apparently satisfied that it had performed due diligence by quoting an anonymous source that said: “There was no indication that any insider was involved in this… Every indication is this was a remote attack from a foreign government—the Russians.”

When the Neocon defection began

When Donald Trump first announced he would scale back the size of America’s global military footprint if elected president, neo-conservatives unleashed a collective howl of pain as they began fleeing en masse the ship of the Republican Party.

Robert Kagan, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and a top Neocon ideologue, signaled the defection when he said a Trump presidency would herald in a new age of American-style fascism.

Today, the tattered flag of the Neocons is flapping high above the Clinton camp, distant fires glowing, as they continue to spearhead a scathing attack on Trump just days before the election. What is the source for this great defection against their own party? Quite simply, it shows the Neocons have no allegiance except to individuals – like George W. Bush and, yes, Barack Obama – who pledge to continue America’s wars of expansion and empire.

Clinton’s past record in Iraq, Libya and Syria strongly suggest she will lead the Neocons to more plunder; Trump has pledged to bring home the troops in order to “Make America Great Again.” Neocons are not big fans of filling potholes and spending on schools.

Trump alienated the Republican warhorses when he pledged to pursue, like a real disciple of the conservative political creed, a foreign policy that does not send American men and women off to distant battlefields to be killed and maimed in senseless military adventures.

The following passage by Joseph A. Mussomeli – in the Washington Post, of all places – really nailed it as to why the Neocons hate Donald Trump:

“Our cadre of neoconservative foreign policy experts, unhumbled after marching us into a reckless war in Iraq and a poorly conceived one in Afghanistan, who applauded as we bombed Libya and bitterly resent our having failed to bomb Bashar al-Assad in Syria, are frightened… But what really troubles them is [Trump’s] generally level-headed and unmessianic attitude toward foreign affairs… Clinton is just another neocon, though wrapped in sheep’s clothing — just as on some foreign policy issues Trump is little more than Bernie Sanders in wolf’s clothing.”

Anne Applebaum, perennial anti-Russia scaremonger and notable Neocon, tossed a smoke grenade into the WikiLeaks scandal, attempting to obfuscate Julian Assange’s work with groundless accusations:

“Russia will continue to distribute and publish the material its hackers have already obtained from attacks on the Democratic National Committee, George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, former NATO supreme commander Gen. Philip Breedlove and probably others. The point will be to discredit not just Hillary Clinton but also the U.S. democratic process and, again, the “elite” who supposedly run it.”

Applebaum wants the distracted public to forget that the leaks already discredited Clinton. Moreover, the lesson between the lines of Applebaum’s diatribe is that all the bad things Clinton has been connected with should be forgiven and forgotten because, well, Russia allegedly had a hand in the mess. A disturbing example of ‘killing the messenger’ who never delivered the message to begin with. Now, all the news is about the fictional messenger who should know better than to be the bearer of bad news, or meddle in America’s lily-white affairs.

Albright claimed that Russia seeks to “undermine Western leaders by making them seem corrupt or malicious.” The reader may discern, based on what we already know from Mr. Assange, the value of that statement for themselves.

So in closing, here we have the very same provocateurs that cheered when former Secretary of State Colin Powell shook a vial of fake anthrax in the UN General Assembly, spooking the world into believing Saddam Hussein was sitting on a hoard of WMDs, thereby triggering war against a sovereign state that has killed over 1 million Iraqis and counting, now would like us to believe Russia is behind the WiliLeaks emails that threaten to sink Clinton’s rat-infested ship once and for all.

We would be fools to let them get away with such deliberate deception again.

@Robert_Bridge

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist based in Moscow, Russia. His articles have been featured in many publications, including Russia in Global Affairs, The Moscow Times, Lew Rockwell and Global Research. Bridge is the author of the book on corporate power, “Midnight in the American Empire”, which was released in 2013. email: robertvbridge@yahoo.com

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Assange: Clinton is a cog for Goldman Sachs & the Saudis (VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT)

November 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Who Will Weed Out the Warmongers?

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | October 30, 2016

If Hillary Clinton hangs on to win the presidency, liberal Democrats have vowed to block her appointment of Wall Street-friendly officials to key Cabinet and sub-Cabinet jobs. But there has been little organized resistance to her choosing hawkish foreign policy advisers.

Indeed, Washington’s foreign policy establishment has purged almost anyone who isn’t part of the neoconservative/liberal-interventionist “group think.” That’s why pretty much everyone who “matters” agrees about the need to push around Russia, China, Syria, Iran, etc.

Reflecting that attitude, Sunday’s lead editorial in the neocon Washington Post hailed the broad consensus within the Establishment for more warlike actions once President Obama is gone, taking with him what the Post calls Obama’s “self-defeating passivity.”

The Post praised a new report from the liberal Center for American Progress which calls for bombing the Syrian military and getting tough to “counter Iran’s negative influence” in line with what all the neocons — as well as Israel and Saudi Arabia — want the next President to do.

The absence of any significant counter to this neocon/liberal-hawk “group think” represents one of the greatest dangers to the future of the human species, since this new hubris comes with a cavalier assumption that nuclear-armed Russia and China will simply accept humiliation dished out by the “indispensable nation.”

If they don’t, we can expect Official Washington to ratchet up tensions in a game of nuclear chicken with the expectation that the leaders in Moscow and Beijing will bow down to U.S. “exceptionalism’ and slink away with their tails between their legs.

Surely, that is what the armchair warriors at The Washington Post will demand and they have, of course, a spotless record of infallibility, such as their certainty that Iraq was hiding stockpiles of WMD in 2003. Editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt was so sure of that he wrote it as flat fact.

Given the Iraq War catastrophe and the failure to find the WMD, you might have assumed that Hiatt was summarily fired and has never worked in journalism again. But, of course, you’d be wrong. He is still the editorial-page editor of The Washington Post continuing to ladle out his extraordinary wisdom and brilliant insights.

The New McCarthyism

And, if you dare question those new certainties or note the risks of stumbling into a nuclear conflagration, the Post’s editorial pages label you a Moscow stooge repeating Russian propaganda.

That is what Post columnist Anne Applebaum wrote about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump when he warned about the risks of World War III if a President Hillary Clinton starts shooting down Russian planes over Syria.

Rather than acknowledge the genuine risk of getting into a shooting war with Russia, neocon Applebaum declares such concerns unacceptable and offers a whiff of McCarthyism toward anyone who thinks such a thing.

“Why is Russian state media using such extreme language?” she asks darkly. “And why is Trump repeating it?”

Then, with the typical perceptiveness of a neocon ideologue, Applebaum determines that the Kremlin is warning its citizens about the growing risks of nuclear war to scare them into line amid a recession that the U.S. helped create as part of its “regime change” strategy to destabilize Russia by making its economy scream.

A thoughtful person might stop here and wonder if the use of economic sanctions and other means to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia is such a good idea, but no mainstream person is allowed to raise such questions inside Official Washington. That would just make you a Russian puppet, in Applebaum’s view.

Applebaum then rants on with some wild conspiracy theories about Russian plans to exploit the U.S. presidential transition:

“Whatever the outcome on Nov. 8, political uncertainty will follow: the months of transition, a change of White House staff, perhaps even the violent backlash that Trump may incite. This could be an excellent moment for a major Russian offensive: a land grab in Ukraine, a foray into the Baltic states, a much bigger intervention in the Middle East — anything to ‘test’ the new president.

“If that’s coming, Putin needs to prepare his public to fight much bigger wars and to persuade the rest of the world not to stop him. He needs to get his generals into the right mind-set, and his soldiers ready to go. A little nuclear war rhetoric never fails to focus attention, and I’m sure it has.”

Reckless Drivel

Perhaps the more immediate question here is why a major American newspaper runs such crazy and reckless drivel from one of its regular columnists. But the fact that the Post does so indicates how dangerous the moment is for humanity. For those of us who read the Post regularly, such insane rhetoric barely registers since we see similar nuttiness on a daily basis.

But the “group think” that the Post and other mainstream publications create and then enforce explains why there is such unity among the Establishment as it presses ahead with these dangerous policies in much the same manner that almost the same cast of insiders “group thought” their way into the disastrous Iraq War.

So, the wannabe insiders at the Center for American Progress and the more established pooh-bahs at the Brookings Institution and other preeminent think tanks know they have to promote “regime change” strategies and other forms of warmongering to appease Hiatt and his fellow neocon editorialists and columnists.

In Washington, this “group think” has moved beyond the usual careerist and conformist “conventional wisdom” into something more akin to totalitarianism, at least on foreign policy issues.

That is why it is hard to even come up with a list of sensible people who could survive the onslaught of character assassinations if they were to be proposed as senior advisers to a President Hillary Clinton.

That is also why the attention of progressives, such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, only on vetting domestic officials in a prospective Hillary Clinton administration is so insufficient.

If a hawkish President Clinton surrounds herself with like-minded neocons and liberal hawks, the costs of their warmongering would surely swallow up the tax dollars necessary for domestic priorities – on infrastructure, education, health care, the environment and other pressing concerns.

And, if the McCarthyistic intolerance of The Washington Post influences or infects her administration, the genuine risks of World War III will dwarf any other worries.

October 31, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Establishment Media Caught Promoting Fake Russian Story On #TrumpWon Hashtag

By Dan Wright | ShadowProof | September 29, 2016

There is a specter haunting the establishment media, the specter of a Trump presidency. This idea is apparently so terrifying that no unethical and hypocritical action is too extreme for “mainstream” journalists to take if it they believe it will damage Trump’s presidential prospects.

Enter the Russian threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has become this election cycle’s boogeyman with the campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton constantly invoking him as if he is her actual opponent. She invokes Putin, even though Clinton has extensive connections to Putin and his inner circle.

The establishment media, taking its cues from the Clinton campaign, is now peddling any unhinged conspiracy theory if it somehow connects Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. The theories collapse under the slightest of scrutiny, but that seems to make no difference in the rapidity with which they are published.

The latest backfire was a claim that the Twitter hashtag “#TrumpWon” was started in Russia before it trended. This would, in theory, prove Russia was trying to meddle in the U.S. election.

Not long after the story went viral, it became undeniably clear it was hoax. The Washington Post, a major center for unhinged conspiracy theories about Russia, had to concede the claim was “probably false.”

But this admission is unlikely to stop the Washington Post from publishing deranged ramblings from Legatum Institute’s Anne Applebaum, who recently speculated that Putin is engaging in a covert action program to help Trump win the presidential election. (Whether Applebaum believes her own statements is unclear, but they are nonetheless very self-serving.)

That these Manchurian candidate stories keep falling apart, or are exposed as Clinton campaign propaganda, is irrelevant to the establishment media because Trump is such an existential threat so the rules no longer matter.

Recently, a columnist for the New York Times admitted it was not possible to cover Trump objectively, that “you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century.”

What this ultimately translates into is doing the bidding of the Clinton campaign, which the establishment media has done with glee. So, as long as the Clinton campaign peddles paranoia about Russia, regardless of how this hearkens back to the Cold War, expect numerous journalists to follow suit.

October 4, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch people are stupid and they shouldn’t be allowed to vote!*

(*What Anne Applebaum really meant but couldn’t say in her Washington Post column.)

By Bryan MacDonald | RT | April 16, 2016

The Washington Post’s foreign affairs columnist seems to believe that Dutch people are stupid and, as a result, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Of course, she can’t write it directly. So, instead, she blames RT, and other Russian media, for a democratic choice that delivered a result she doesn’t like.

In the legendary 1976 movie, Network, Peter Finch, as Howard Beale, famously bellowed: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” The film was loaded with preachy rants and self-righteous contempt for ordinary folk watching the television channel in question.

Anne Applebaum is a pro-establishment Howard Beale. Given to similar hubris from her various soapboxes. Yet, her visceral hatred of Russia helps makes her position even more entrenched than the fictional anti-hero. As a result, Applebaum seems incapable of reviewing a situation without seeing Russia’s hand somewhere.

Take last week’s Dutch Referendum on the proposed association agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

Numerous analysts, actual EU officials, the Dutch Prime Minister and voters themselves, have given reasons why the scheme was rejected. They have, most prominently, cited anger with the EU’s lack of transparency, Ukrainian corruption, fear of eventual EU membership for another large, poor eastern state and internal Dutch disillusion with the country’s elite.

Over in Kiev, locals have blamed “their (own) political leaders for not doing enough to tackle corruption and improve the country’s image,” according to Reuters correspondents on the ground. Here’s a sample reaction: “People there in Europe understand the level of corruption, that the authorities are now simply incapable of doing anything better for their own citizens,” said Ilya Zhyzhyyan, a 29-year-old Kiev resident. “So the Dutch probably think – why do they need a country that can’t do any good for its own people?”

The head of the Ukrainian parliament’s own committee on European integration MP, Iryna Herashchenko, blasted the fallout from the Panama Papers. The massive data leak contained information that Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko was probably evading taxes while his impoverished country endured a brutal civil war.

As you can see, people directly affected by the Netherlands ballot are capable of offering reasonable explanations for the negative verdict. They make grown up, measured arguments. Yet, Applebaum can only see Russia, Russia, Russia!

Blinkered views

In her latest Washington Post column, her primary argument is that “the Dutch just showed the world how Russia influences Western European elections.” You can translate that to mean that Applebaum refuses to accept any other reason for failure aside from dastardly Russian meddling. This is utterly bizarre.

She takes issue with 59 percent of Dutch ‘no’ voters stating that Ukrainian corruption motivated their unfavorable ballots. Applebaum derides their, quite understandable, worries as “hardly a rational argument.” Yet, two years ago, she wrote: “The West has let Russian corruption destabilize Europe. It’s time to stop it.” It’s beyond reasonable logic that anybody could believe that Russian corruption is a grave threat to Europe, but extortion in Ukraine is totally harmless.

Even Ukrainians admit that bribery in their nation is endemic. In fact, Transparency International reports that it’s the “most corrupt country in Europe.” Indeed, many experts believe that graft has actually worsened since the Maidan coup in 2014. Even the Wall Street Journal has acknowledged the fact. Without question, this situation is depressing, considering that corruption was ostensibly the motivation for the initial, peaceful, marches against Viktor Yanukovich’s government. Nevertheless, remaining in denial about it isn’t going to help matters.

A European Dream

She also argues that Dutch voters are wrong to blame Ukraine for the MH17 disaster. However, families of the victims are suing Kiev for not closing its airspace during a time of war. Even if, as investigators believe, the Donbass rebels were responsible, they didn’t have control of civilian aviation.

Applebaum further rails against the belief “that the treaty would (eventually) guarantee Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.” The problem is that it’s not Russians scaring people with this notion. It’s Ukrainians. President Poroshenko has stated that Ukraine will be “ready to join the EU in five years.” Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk  recently said that he is “sure that Ukraine will become a European Union member state despite all the challenges and hardships.”

Applebaum has written extensively about her support for democracy. Indeed, she’s warned that we “shouldn’t take it for granted.” Now, because of a verdict she objects to, she backtracks. “A treaty already approved by 27 countries can’t be renegotiated from scratch,” our hero writes.

The problem here is that these countries didn’t vote on the Ukrainian question. Their governments merely nodded through the agreement, as is the norm on EU issues. Yet, when one country actually let the people decide, the verdict was an overwhelming ‘no.’ Now, Applebaum, a self-styled champion of democracy, suggests we ignore that choice. This is amazing hypocrisy.

Applebaum is blinkered by her association with a Eurocrat elite, who are doing their best to suppress suffrage within the EU. Despite platitudes about “liberation” and “freedom,” these people are vigorously anti-populist and are determined to deny people the right to choose their own fate. It’s revealing that Carl Bildt, a close political ally of Applebaum’s husband Radoslaw Sikorski, expressed almost identical sentiments on Twitter after the results became known.

Utterly convinced that their Atlanticist, neoliberal outlook is the only possible future for Europe, they are unwilling to accept their own inadequacies or admit their own failures. Thus, whenever something puts a brake on their plans, they need to blame a third-party. Russia, as the only major European nation outside the EU/NATO blocs, is their favorite whipping boy.

If something doesn’t go the way Brussels/Washington establishments want, the Kremlin is always behind it. This denies ordinary EU citizens any kind of respect for their own concerns and interests.

Nobody, with any grip on reality, could honestly believe that 2.5 million Dutch voters rejected closer cooperation with Ukraine because Russia, and its media services, told them to. So why does the Washington Post’s star foreign affairs columnist, and, presumably, the editorial board who appointed her, think people will swallow this nonsense?

April 17, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments