Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Brexit, the Uncivil War: Watering Myths with the Teardrops of the Ruling Class

By Maximilian C. Forte | Zero Anthropology | May 21, 2019

What have been billed as momentous EU Parliament elections are taking place this week (May 23–26), and it seemed like the right time to review some Brexit films—one is entertainment, the other is a documentary. The reason for the Brexit theme has to do more with 2019 than with 2016, especially since the Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, is supposed to make a massive showing in the EU election. As expected, long lists of injunctions against the left retaking ground ceded to the right are coming out in The Guardian, chief purveyor of wishes for doing everything wrong again and never learning from mistakes. Also as expected, Russia is being blamed in advance—because the right thing to do with a really bad conspiracy theory is to keep it alive.

The first movie being reviewed for our Brexit mini-series is Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019), produced by House Productions and shown on HBO and the UK’s Channel 4. It was directed by Toby Haynes, written by James Graham, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch. The plot synopsis is available here, and the official trailer is below. The movie opens with these words on the screen: “This drama is based on real events and interviews with key people who were there. Some aspects of dialogue, character and scenes have been devised for the purpose of dramatisation”. The second sentence effectively negates the first. In fact, not only were “some aspects” merely “devised,” they were completely invented, including not just dialogue but also some of the “real events” with “key people” shown in the film. This movie is a mixture of comedy and docudrama, a tepid attempt at reproducing and combining The Big Short and In the Loop, both of which are immeasurably superior films (and probably less insulting to the intelligence of viewers).

The movie opens with Dominic Cummings (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), the manager of the Leave campaign. Cummings is immediately shown as eccentric—or perhaps a little of an idiot savant. He opens the film with the line, “Britain makes a noise” (only I heard, “Pudding makes a noise”—perhaps the script should have chosen what I heard, to really emphasize how weird the main character is meant to be, for us).

In one of his fragmented opening monologues, the Cummings character makes some indisputably wise points: “as a global society we are entering a series of profound economic, cultural, social and political transitions, the like of which the world has never seen…. Massive increase in resource requirements…. A rising tide of religious extremism…. A synthesis of… inter-generational inequality in the West on an historic level”. At other times, as discussed below, he is a mere puppet for the filmmakers’ polemic against Brexit.

Insight into Elite Myth-Making

The movie can serve as a useful insight into the minds of elite, establishment Remainers, and their ability to dedicate time, energy, and resources into orchestrating a collective international wailing. As has been said repeatedly on this site: those in power would love for us to feel their pain as if it were our own, to make a loss for the transnational capitalist class appear to be our loss, so that we may then rise up and strike out to defend their interests (while annihilating our own).

The movie references the fall of the Berlin wall—with Brexit being the biggest political upset since then. That is a “problem”: the thing about Berlin walls is that they are only supposed to fall in other countries, never in our own. “We” have suffered a basic transgression, a violation of our entitlement to eternal continuity, in spite of the contradictions and conflicts we create and multiply. In other words, it shows you just how deranged our ruling classes have become.

The Ugly Face of Conspiracy

The opening’s main point is to prepare us for the revelation of yet another alleged grand conspiracy, almost like the mythical Russiagate conspiracy theory. We hear forgettable technocrats droning on about UK law and asking Cummings if his actions were within electoral law, or were a threat to democracy. Then the Cummings character, facing the camera, states: “Everyone knows who won. But not everyone knows how”—and that is the point of this movie. And what a miserable little point it is. In the end, what the filmmakers achieve is another reminder to us that the only real conspiracy we face is the conspiracy of enforced unanimity by state and corporate media—unanimous in their contempt for voters, and for the will of the voters. Abolish the “will” of the voter, by making it appear to be merely the by-product of a sinisterly-devised algorithm and data mining operation, and you thus abolish the voter. No agency, thus no agent. The only real people are the members of the ruling elite.

Appropriate for a conspiracy movie, Douglas Carswell (laughable troglodyte), holds a secret meeting with Matthew Elliott (nervous nerd), in a portrait gallery. I foolishly hoped this would be the end of the silly caricatures, forgetting this is a commercial entertainment product and not a documentary. Had I prayed for more caricatures, I would have been immediately satisfied—meet Arron Banks (snarling pig). Only the Boris Johnson character is a softer version of the real thing, the actual Boris Johnson being abundantly self-caricaturing already.

The usual inflation of grotesque features that one finds in British films, is a simplistic equivalent of bold print, only it is applied to faces. The face is meant to convey meaning—and the meaning here is: villainous conspiracy. Thus we are shown the faces “behind the [imagined] scenes,” with the hatching of a conspiracy in the UK Independence Party (UKIP, the notorious villain in all establishment narratives second only to “Russia”). “Gunpowder, treason, and plot,” mutters the Cummings character, thus evoking the 1605 Gunpowder plot.

What follows is a lesson from the arch conspirator, Cummings: “How to Change the Course of History. Lesson One: Kill conventional wisdom”. The aim here is to learn from the “true disruptors of Europe”: Napoleon, Otto von Bismarck, and Alexander the Great.

The film hurries through the reasons for voter discontent—there were many, and they were diverse—so that we instead come away with the impression that mere “talking points” are being generated by conspirators: the EU seems abstract; immigration is a problem—but what kind of problem? Is it about race? Integration? The levels of immigration?; “people are feeling angrier, left out, ignored”; “don’t think our kids will have a better future than us”; “we spend more time than ever online, but we feel more alone”; “we’re not getting married as much”; “less of us have faith”; “we’re not saving as much”; “we trust less the institutions and people our parents trusted”. Had the movie drawn this out longer, it would have been a service to the Remainers who seem particularly thick when it comes to trying to understand the opposition and the groundswell of support for Brexit. No luck.

Instead, we are shown the conspiracy, boiling it all down to core talking points: “Loss of national identity. Clear. Sovereignty. Digestible. Loss of community. Simple. Independence. Message repeated over, and over, and over”.

The point is to, “tap into all these little wells of resentment, all these little pressures that have been building up, ignored, over time. We could make this about something more than Europe. Europe just becomes a symbol, a cypher, for everything: every bad thing that is happening, has happened…”.

One reviewer noted a basic contradiction in the movie’s polemic, which involves its magnification of the role of Dominic Cummings. The movie has Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer, foreign data firms, big private donors, and every theory possible thrown at the screen as to why Brexit won. Then why did Cummings matter at all?

“Post-Truth”: The Anti-Anthropological Message

The movie also shows us what “post-truth” is meant to mean. Truth is where one appeals to voters’ heads, by using “facts”. The other thing, which has no name other than “post-truth,” appeals to voters’ hearts, using “emotions”. What a poor anthropology this is, where human emotions are divorced from the facts of being human. Any anthropologist who uses the phrase, “post-truth,” does not deserve to be called an anthropologist at all, because they have essentially abolished anthropology. A truth that denies that humans often understand facts emotionally, and that emotions can generate facts, is no truth at all. The real “post-truth” then lies among those who coined the phrase “post-truth” in the first place.

This movie makes no bones about which side owns “the truth”: the Remainers. The movie shows the Remain campaign desperate to counter Brexit with, in their own words, “the truth”. The truth is not shared, equally accessible to all—it is the special preserve of an equally special class, the class that has the Nobel prize-winning economists on their side. The Remainers are shown complaining about the media giving any air time to opponents—there is a deep yearning for censorship. It is all about virtue against democracy. The Remainers own “expertise”—and the other side owns the ignorant ingrates who forgot their duty was to obey by believing the experts, regardless of their many mounting failures. This is precisely the kind of movie that is not needed now (or ever); it merely invites more scorn and can only validate the resentment of Brexit supporters (and judging from reviews posted online, it has).

The voice of the establishment—Craig Oliver, communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron—describes Cummings as “basically mental”—“just an egotist with a wrecking ball”. And the voters are Frankenstein: “There’s the danger… of having unleashed something which we can’t then control”.

The voters, shown in focus groups, are cast as either ignorant and bumbling fools, or overly opinionated extremists. We are meant to see voters as a pathetic, troubling mass. If we cannot abolish the vote, and the voters, then we should at least try to do so. If moviegoers thought that, then the movie would have succeeded in achieving one of its aims.

One needs to be familiar with the conventions of British entertainment television and the movie industry, obviously in the hands of elites with an axe to grind, to understand how working class voters are shown. This is the same industry that produces things like Coronation Street and The East Enders, or My Name is Lenny (2017), which portray working class people as freakish, mutant rogues. They are either malicious with contorted expressions, or simple dopes who look like they are permanently suffering a stroke. Lacking truth, so they lack goodness and beauty too. We are thus back at “post-truth,” the cherished trope of a neo-Aristotelian class that claims a monopoly on virtue, that tolerates vast inequalities and produces a teleology to justify them.

Does History Need a Sock Puppet?

The filmmakers also resort to using the Cummings character as their sock puppet, having him mouth lines critical of the referendum as “a really dumb idea”—which is what the filmmakers think, and what they want us to think. Here is fake Cummings:

“Referendums are quite literally the worst way to decide anything. They’re divisive. They pretend that complex choices are simple binaries… and we know there are more nuanced and sophisticated ways out there to make political change and reform, not that we live in a nuanced or political age, do we? Political discourse has become utterly moronic, thanks to the morons who run it…. But there it is. If that is the way it is to be, then I will get us across the line, in whatever way I can”.

This is meant to be the honest, hidden, inside appraisal said in secret—so we think that it’s the truth.

The Cummings character then styles himself as a political “hacker,” entering the “back door,” to “re-program the political system”. It’s all covert, dishonest, and there is a sense of illegality. Meetings are always secret, surreptitious, cloaked—classic conspiracy stuff. Having abolished the will of the voter, the film now abolishes the vote. It’s an expression of a deep desire: for Brexit to have never happened, for the vote to never have been allowed. That’s all. It’s crude, and transparently obvious to even a half-awake viewer.

It was not the only time the filmmakers used Cummings in a contradictory role, that made no sense for the movie. They had this supposed algorithmic genius of online data mining look all disturbed and scared as an American explained to him the new politics of data. He turns and looks at people walking by, using smart phones and tablets, as if they were alien invaders. The final act of sock puppetry was when the filmmakers had Cummings mutter that Nigel Farage is, “a moronic little cunt”—their script, their view. Keeping it classy.

All About Trump?

Of course, there had to be a Trump angle—there is a Trump angle to everything now. We are thus presented with some whispering conspirators from America, in the figures of Robert Mercer (financier), and the Dark Lord himself, Steve Bannon of Breitbart, shown entering the UK to intervene on the side of Brexit. Then we hear “Cambridge Analytica”—the British, not Russian firm that allegedly masterminded Trump’s online campaign. Of course, none of this is true: Robert Mercer never went to offer help with Leave; and, Zack Massingham, the Canadian whose company boasted having a cutting edge date-modeling program, never provided it to the Leave campaign. It’s too bad Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles were not alive to act in this film—their presence could have vastly dignified this poor attempt at film noir. Albert R. Broccoli would have made a more believable film, with more credible villains.

How to Abuse One’s Viewers with Misdirection and Mystification

This movie works by building a chain of misplaced concerns and misidentified problems. That is how mystification works. The “problem” (fake) is with the fear-driven, resentful working class—not their exploitation, marginalization, and even vilification by the privileged. The “problem” (fake) is with nostalgia—not with the current climate being so bad it makes everyday people miss the past. The “problem” (fake) is with hatred—because the problem is always with the response to what has been provoked by those who hold the power. The “problem” (fake) is with xenophobia—not with a system that taught them pride in being British in the first place, that colonized the world, and for centuries looked down on others with contempt. The fact that huge numbers of refugees were entering Europe—fleeing the regime change wars that Europe helped to manufacture by participating in NATO—only added to the sense of an urgent crisis. Engineering a massive influx of immigrants when locals are locked out of the labour market is a recipe for social peace—exactly nowhere. The “problem” (not fake, just misleading) was that Jo Cox, Member of Parliament, was assassinated in the lead up to Brexit—the problem was never that Cox herself backed ever escalating violence in Syria to promote catastrophic regime change in the name of “humanitarianism”. The “problem” (fake) is with the previously apathetic being marshalled to come out and vote—not the fact that they were previously ignored, impeded, and so generally turned off by the dominant politics. The “problem” (fake) is with crafty data miners who know their business—not with the asymmetry in access to information that props up the political system, or the fact that every political campaign exploits data. The “problem” (fake) is with the lying politicians on their side—not the lying politicians on all sides, who get away with lying because the system refuses any corrective mechanism to ensure accountability. And on it goes. When you opt for ideology instead of analysis, you get garbage.

Lessons Not Worth Teaching

So what are the “lessons” of the film? One is “data is power”—actually, data is just data, but anyway. The idea here is that Britain was a “lab experiment” for a new politics based on data mining. Is it bad to gather data about voters? But then why would it be bad? Should one not try to understand voters and what they want? In a system that bars ordinary people from making decisions even about the basic, immediate, day-to-day aspects of their lives, and that permanently distances and silences them except for a few seconds at a ballot box every few years—how many other ways does the system allow itself to hear from them? Does it matter even, if you can effectively criminalize the mere act of gaining knowledge about voters? Even this movie itself repeats the fact that one side—Remain—had access to the national voter database, while the other side had Cummings try to build an alternative from scratch. If there was a conspiracy, it was here, in this lopsided and unfair distribution of advantages, which the Brexit side overcame. Was Brexit wrong to overcome this data disadvantage?

Did only one side mine online data? Was only one side guilty of “spin”? How much did the Remain campaign spend, compared to the Leave campaign? In fact, the Remain campaign outspent the Leave side by millions of pounds. The movie makes no mention of that fact, nor of the private investors backing Remain, and has little to say about their key influencers. The people with the most votes, spent less money (and won), and they came under investigation for campaign finance violations.

If viewers were truly shocked, chilled, appalled, etc., by what they saw in this movie, then what has stopped them from militating for the total abolition of the advertising industry? Advertisers and PR firms have been doing what this movie shows for generations now. Why the sudden raising of a hue and cry? Why is the outrage so selectively focused on a pinpoint example? Because it’s a dishonest pseudo-critique. That’s one of the things you get when ideology substitutes for analysis.

A second lesson of the film appears to be that the Brexit side was backed by shady financiers—with agendas that are not made clear to us. So who backed the other side? Is there an innocent and pure party here, which the filmmakers neglected to present? Was it the Brexit side that invented the structure of private financing of public political campaigns?

A third lesson has something to do with voter apathy, and the ability of one side to tap into the huge mass of people that regularly refuse to vote in elections in our societies (which would include myself). The crime here appears to have been Brexit’s ability to bring out such persons to vote—as if they found a secret list of dead persons and padded voter rolls. Reducing voter apathy thus becomes something like rigging an election. Yet the quest for the non-voter seems to have failed altogether with Trump: a plurality of eligible voters refused to actually vote. The real winners of the popular vote in the 2016 US presidential elections were precisely those who refused to come out and vote.

The final lesson, with which the movie closes, is that the real problem with the referendum was that it had two sides to it, when ideally it should have had only one: stay. A “crime” was committed by the other side working as if they actually wanted to win. Indeed, the movie closes with the statement that, “in 2018, the Electoral Commission found the Vote Leave campaign guilty of breaking Electoral Law. Leave.EU were subsequently referred to the National Crime Agency for investigation into breaches of Electoral Law”. Had the country in question been Venezuela, the headlines would have read: “Authoritarian regime cracks down on opponents”. In fact, the investigations had not opened by the time the film was made and, more importantly, the movie itself shows absolutely nothing about how the Leave campaign violated said law. One would think that is a major omission.

Accidentally Intelligent

“We’re asking voters not to reject the status quo, but to return to it”. The only really intelligent point the movie made, was one done quickly and only in passing—it seems to have been by accident, so it may be wrong to ascribe “intelligence” to the filmmakers. The point was this: the real contest in 2016 was not between the status quo and a “disruptive” insurgency, but between two status quos: the present status quo versus those preferring the status quo ante. In other words, it was effectively a conservative vs. conservative fight. Neither side proposed any revolutionary transformation, of anything really. It was a clash between those clinging to what was known and tried—the only difference being where their preferences fell on an historical timeline. In other words, the Remain vs. Brexit fight was between preservation and restoration, both of which are conservative positions. Now the two sides have been reversed: the pro-Brexit side is struggling to ensure that Britain remains on track to leave, while the pro-Remain side imagines the EU in utopian terms and occupies itself with, “lament, regret, and nostalgia for an imagined arcadian past in which the EU was a land of milk and honey”.

Similarly, in the US Trump was cast as the candidate nostalgically pining away for the lost days of American glory. However today he is campaigning with a new slogan: “Keep America Great”. Joe Biden instead presents himself as driven by the nostalgic need to restore the old order. Just wait until Biden delivers a blistering speech about life in America under Trump—Fox News is certain to denounce him as the “doom and gloom” candidate who offers a picture of “Midnight in America” (just as the others did with Trump).

The best “lesson” of the movie was the one that was unintended, and it is revealed by how the movie backfires on its makers. This movie is a reminder of why dominant interests so richly deserved to lose—and not necessarily that the other side deserved victory. Brexit has been very “profitable” in at least one sense: it has revealed a dysfunctional UK, quasi-governed by inept, visionless elites, incapable of containing a crisis of their own making. Remember: these are the same elites that turn around and lecture other countries about democracy and good governance, and that bomb other nations in the name of human rights. If anything, Brexit was not a mean enough defeat: much more is needed.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Film Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

‘All decent people’ oppose ‘damaging’ Russia sanctions, Salvini says ahead of EU elections

RT | May 19, 2019

EU sanctions targeting Russia don’t work and “all decent people” support removing them, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said ahead of next week’s European Parliamentary elections.

“I continue to believe that we don’t need sanctions. The issue of their removal unites all decent people,” Salvini told Sputnik news agency after holding a major rally that included leaders of 11 right-wing European parties in Milan on Saturday.

The leader of the right-wing League party argued that the economic warfare between the EU and Russia has “caused damage and resolved nothing.”

“If a tool does not work, it is removed,” he added.

Salvini stressed that much would depend on the outcome of the upcoming elections, including whether it would be possible to repeal the anti-Russia restrictions.

Polls show that Salvini’s right-wing alliance, Europe of Nations and Freedom, is expected to become one of the largest blocs in the next EU parliament.

The political group “will perform a historic feat to pass from the 8th place in Europe to third or maybe second,” National Rally leader Marine Le Pen predicted while speaking at the Milan rally.

The United States and the European Union imposed restrictions on Russia produce and other goods following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014. Moscow reciprocated the sanctions in a tit-for-tat move. Since then, the sanctions regime has expanded to include banking and other sectors.

As a result, many European businesses have been pushed out of the Russian market. The issue has sparked considerable anger in Germany, where politicians from both the left and the right have spoken out against the policy as counter-productive and harmful to German interests.

May 19, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Imperiled Dutch PM’s party: Vote us, or our Kremlin-loving rivals will give country to Putin

RT | May 17, 2019

When you get crushed at the ballot box and want to undercut the guys who beat you, the best strategy is to say they are in love with the Kremlin and want to sell the country to Putin, the ruling Dutch party apparently believes.

People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, is in a perilous situation at the moment. Two months ago political newcomers from Forum for Democracy (FvD) crushed the centrist ruling coalition in provincial elections.

Next week Dutch voters choose their representatives at the European Parliament and Prime Minister Rutte and his people have apparently decided it’s time to unpack the ultimate weapon: red-baiting.

A political ad published by VVD on Thursday tells the Dutch they shouldn’t vote for FvD because its leader Thierry Baudet … wants to hand the Netherlands over to Vladimir Putin. Why? Because Baudet, is in love with the Russian president – at least that’s what the cartoonish popping out eyes, with hearts in them and the hashtag #Kremlincrush imply.

The ad does not seem very convincing though. The evidence of Baudet’s infatuation boils down to him going against Western establishment’s common wisdom in saying that the threat of Russia is grossly exaggerated and that Moscow could be a good ally in the modern world. Why the Eurosceptic nationalist party would be conspiring to betray its country to a foreign power is never explained.

The secret proof is probably the Soviet anthem, which creators of the video used as background music. The Russian one uses the same tune with different lyrics, so they are difficult to distinguish for a foreigner, but maybe VVD wanted to say Baudet had been recruited over 30 years ago, when the USSR still existed?

The attack is the latest in a series launched by VVD against their FvD opponents in the run up to next week’s vote and may seem like an act of desperation, but it is actually not. At least that’s what Klaas Dijkhoff, the leader of the party faction in the Dutch House, says.

“We just lost an election. This doesn’t mean we are in a panic,” he told Algemeen Dagblad daily. “If our military and intelligence services all say Russia is a threat and you say Russia can be our friend, you have some explaining to do.”

FvD on the contrary believe their critics are simply going into a full meltdown before ultimate political demise.

Russia scaremongering is quite a popular campaign tactic these days in many countries, but it doesn’t necessarily pay off. For example, Ukraine’s incumbent President Petro Poroshenko tried to get reelected by stating that his actual opponent is Putin rather than Volodymyr Zelensky, the comedian turned politician, whose name was on the ballot. Zelensky won in a landslide, scoring over 73 percent of the votes.

VVD is no stranger to using Putin’s name for political grandstanding and getting burned as a result. Halbe Zijlstra, Dijkhoff’s predecessor as party faction leader who later became foreign minister, had to resign in disgrace last year after confessing that he had lied about a meeting with Putin. Zijlstra had falsely claimed that he heard the Russian leader lay an imperialistic claim on neighboring countries.

May 17, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia | | Leave a comment

The Russians are coming for European elections! Just don’t ask for proof

Graham Dockery | RT | May, 2019

Those dastardly Russian hackers are alive and well and meddling in the upcoming European Parliament elections, warned the New York Times. Just don’t expect to see any proof, because the paper offers none.

Fresh from interfering in seemingly everything wrong in America, unidentified Russian hackers have shifted their attention to Europe, deploying information warfare tactics to give a boost to populist and right-wing parties ahead of next month’s European Parliament elections. At least according to a New York Times article, given the front-page treatment on Sunday.

The story is heavy with accusation. The Russians, it states, are busy “spreading disinformation, encouraging discord and amplifying distrust in the centrist parties that have governed for decades.” Among their tools are news websites that “bear the same electronic signatures as pro-Kremlin websites,” Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles, and WhatsApp groups.

Although the Times article claimed that “intelligence officials,” and “security experts” back up its theories, it quotes only one: Former FBI analyst Daniel Jones, who now runs a nonprofit entitled Advance Democracy.

“They’re working to destroy everything that was built post-World War II,” Jones said, an explanation rivaling George W. Bush’s “they hate our freedom” for its nonsensical reductionism.

Is it possible that Jones might have an agenda? Most definitely. The former intelligence analyst runs a second nonprofit, The Democracy Integrity Project, from his home in Virginia. TDIP spent much of the last two years emailing a daily “collusion”newsletter to journalists, including those at the New York Times.

Jones’ ties to the Democratic party machine are also extensive. A former staffer for California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D), Jones reportedly worked with opposition research firm Fusion GPS to continue to search for evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia even after Trump’s election. The uncorroborated claims made in the so-called ‘Steele Dossier’ often featured prominently in TDIP’s daily memos to reporters, and leaked text messages to Democrat Senate Intelligence Committee member Mark Warner revealed Jones to be an associate of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier.

With the Steele Dossier deemed unfit to print by every single mainstream media outlet (except, of course, Buzzfeed ), and with the “collusion” narrative completely dismantled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report, who else can the New York Times bring in to back up their Russian meddling expose?

Enter Ben Nimmo, who claims at the end of the article that Europe is a “test bed” for Russian interference efforts. Again, Nimmo offers no proof, but a glimpse at his resume gives an idea of what his motivations might be. A senior fellow at NATO-sponsored think tank the Atlantic Council, Nimmo has emerged in recent years as a reliable Russia-basher, always ready to give a juicy soundbite to the media. He’s also identified thousands of ‘Russian-linked’ Twitter accounts, based on some thoroughly dodgy methodology.

With two ‘experts’ down, what has the Times got left? Not much. The article notes that “a definitive attribution would require the kind of tools that the American government used to reveal the 2016 interference.” Of course, none is provided.

Even if the Russians aren’t involved, the article claims that populist and right-wing groups in Europe are “adopting many of the Kremlin’s tactics.” In practice, this means that the nasties on the right side of the political spectrum make funny memes and videos to support their candidates of choice.

Running through the article is a palpable fear that the centrism that has dominated European politics for more than half a century is now under threat. “False and divisive stories about the European Union, NATO, immigrants and more,” amplify the threat, driving voters into the embrace of populist parties, “many of them sympathetic to Russia.”

However, never once does it occur to the authors that perhaps Europeans are simply tiring of the consensus. Perhaps they disagree with mass immigration, especially at a time of slow economic recovery from the Great Recession. Perhaps they disagree with the often unaccountable bureaucracy of Brussels, and their membership in a military alliance that they have personally never felt a connection with. After all, populism is called populism because its positions are popular ones.

But nope, it’s all a sinister Russian plot to undermine democracy. Let’s go with that one.

May 12, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

The West Is in No Position to Lecture Turkey on Democracy or Human Rights

Euro-elitist Guy Verhofstadt
By Martin Jay | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 10, 2019

April fool’s day passed a few weeks ago but when we see news from Turkey that President Erdogan is going to do a re-run of elections in Istanbul, some of us are left doing a double take. But then the jaw dropping moment which follows is not what’s going on in Turkey, a country that certainly has human rights issues, no question – but how the West lines up to chastise the country. The hypocrisy is quite amazing.

And which particular moron should stand first in line with the hilarious opprobrium other than the European Union’s own clown MEP, Guy Verhofstadt a euro-elite type who is hard ignore but well worth the effort. This former Belgian PM recently ejaculated in the European parliament his important thoughts on Turkey and Erdogan, in line with former MEPs who jump on this bandwagon when it suits their federalist interests – before retreating and allowing the circus of EU accession to rumble on in Brussels when it also suits. Right now, with only days before EU elections and record gains expected for populist parties, it was hardly surprising the odious Belgian liberal would take the stage and dutifully pour scorn on Turkey.

But there are times in the EU bubble when reality seems to have been taken over by The Truman Show. Is this for real?

The European Union, probably the most corrupt, anti-democratic, white supremacist, freemason, autocratic organization which has practically invented the handbook on fake news, corruption cover ups and how to bribe journalists and fund despots around the world, is actually holding Turkey to account on its democracy score?

“This outrageous decision highlights how Erdogan’s #Turkey is drifting towards a dictatorship” gushed the Belgian MEP in a tweet. “Under such leadership, accession talks are impossible. Full support to the Turkish people protesting for their democratic rights and for a free and open Turkey!”.

But wait. Is this the same European Union which, when questioned about Romania and Bulgaria’s colossal corruption problem in 2004 (whose judiciaries are run by mafia mobs) said “we’ll let them in and then reform them” only for journalists to be later gunned down in Bulgaria and for Romania to have so many anti-corruption organizations that hacks there joke about getting an EU grant to export it? Or, for that matter, the same EU which repeatedly calls for second elections itself when it doesn’t get the result that it requires, like in Ireland and more recently in the UK with Brexit?

This is the same European Union which signed the arrest warrant of German journalist Hans Martin-Tillack in 2003 – and handed it to Belgian police – so that the journalist’s house could be raided and his computer seized, only for him to be thrown into the back of a police van where a cop tells him “well, it’s not Burmah”?

Or the same EU, which, in the same period where it started a reform process actually just rounded up all its whistleblowers and hung them up on a meat hook as an example to deter others in the EU institutions?

The European Union has a shocking history of human rights abuses not only on its own turf but more poignantly around the world with the regimes it supports with aid. Most central African despots are supported by EU cash, which, in turn, leads to intensified human rights abuses on a grand scale – which then leads to an exodus of migrants who end up in Libya sold as slaves, raped and abused. In many country’s its own environmental programs are bogus so as to funnel slush funds to dictatorships it supports, like in Lebanon for example where its recycling and composting schemes are actually so bad that they are poisoning the country’s water and linked to increased numbers of cancer.

This is the reality of the EU’s human rights record and its own check on democracy. The list just goes on and on and befittingly it is curious that the EU’s own ‘third word country’ (Belgium) which has a shocking deficit on press freedom and is a country infamous for industrial scale pedophilia which historically was the financial basis (blackmail) to fund political parties, is the very country which produced Verhofstadt and accommodates his pathetic ramblings in the European parliament, the only assembly in the world which is so useless that MEPs can’t even initiate legislation in it.

Verhofstadt is a signed up member of the Wet Dream Society, or as it is formerly know the ‘Spinelli Group’ – a sort of freemason’s talk shop of those who believe the EU could one day be a super power and have a real foreign policy. And so it is normal for him to take the floor and deliver such stupendously boring and utterly ludicrous speeches which are delusional at best and simply an old man’s fantasy at worse. Rather like Verhofstadt’s dream in 2004 of being European Commission president – a bid blocked by Tony Blair.

But here’s the real cherry on top if you like your irony in triple doses. The European parliament operates a scheme where it subsidizes all media in their production expenses, running into hundreds of millions of euros. If it didn’t do that, most broadcasters wouldn’t report on the mind numbingly boring events there. Some might call this bribing the press as there is obviously a ‘pay back’ there in helping the EU promote itself. But Euronews, which reported in Verhofstadt’s speech and gave it great prominence, not only profits from the scheme but actually gets a massive subsidy from the Brussels annual budget itself to report on MEPs – a double whammy, so in fact, the Verhofstadt ramble is actually fake news itself. This is an institution – the European Parliament – which voted just recently to actually finance media operations to write propaganda about the EU.

You can’t actually make this stuff up.

But meanwhile, there is news from the other side of the Atlantic, a real super power, which suggests that CNN in Atlanta might send journalists to CNN Turk to train them in the art of journalism. Given that nearly all of its big named foreign reporters make up their stories when they travel the globe – Anderson Cooper, Christiana Ammanpour and Parisa Khosravi – as I was informed by Elise Labott, a ex CNN ‘reporter’ not handicapped herself by journalistic skills, then this could also be a parody, or fake news. CNN Turk is attacked by the West for being pro Erdogan, without any acknowledgement that CNN Atlanta is entirely partisan itself and regularly rigs the news in favour of Clinton or whoever will slip into her peep toes.

At least CNN will not send Labott to Istanbul, a reporter who made a career out of making stories up to such an extent that Atlanta finally had to let her go earlier in the year after at least three investigations into her fabulous lack of journalist ethics, broke all records.

May 10, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

US-Iran Conflict – Europe Indulges Washington’s Aggression

Strategic Culture Foundation | May 10, 2019

Iran’s announcement this week that it is suspending participation in the international nuclear accord is regrettable. But it is hardly unexpected, given the unrelenting provocations by the United States towards the Islamic Republic.

The latest provocation by Washington was the purported dispatch of a naval carrier strike group and B-52 nuclear-capable heavy bombers to the Persian Gulf. That US move was claimed to be based on “security concerns”, which in their vapidity and vagueness should prompt contempt from other observers. Especially, too, because the US concerns of alleged Iranian “aggression” were delivered by none other than John Bolton, the national security advisor to President Trump, who has a long and sordid personal history of telling lies in order to justify American wars in the Middle East.

Iran’s warning that it will walk away completely from the 2015 nuclear accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as it is formally known, marks a reprehensible unwinding of international diplomacy. The JCPOA was signed by Iran, Russia, China, the US and European Union (France, Germany and Britain) after several years of rigorous negotiations. The deal finally signed in July 2015 was ratified by the UN Security Council. The accord is thus mandated by the highest authority of international law. It is the American side under the Trump administration which has done everything imaginable to trash the treaty, primarily by abrogating its signature one year ago.

Furthermore, the Trump administration has ratcheted up economic sanctions on Iran, in particular on the country’s vital oil trade. Recently, Trump announced the US was cancelling waivers on eight nations which had continued to import Iranian crude, including China, India and Japan, thereby indicating that Washington was intent on imposing a global stranglehold on Iran’s economy. The US moves are a total repudiation of the nuclear accord. Indeed, arguably, they constitute an act of war.

Tehran originally signed the deal with the unprecedented commitment to curb its nuclear enrichment activities. It was a generous concession by Iran – an unprecedented self-imposed restriction and forfeiture of its legal right to enrich uranium as a long-time signatory to the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran did that to assuage American claims it was secretly trying to build nuclear weapons, something which Tehran has consistently denied, saying that its nuclear industry is dedicated to civilian purposes, as the NPT permits.

Despite over a dozen on-site inspections of Iranian facilities by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which have all verified Iran’s full compliance with the terms of the nuclear accord, Washington has done everything to impede Iran from benefiting from sanctions relief, which Iran is legally entitled to from implementation of the JCPOA.

Iran’s economy has suffered greatly from the ongoing de facto blockade that the US has imposed, an abuse of power owing to the latter’s influence on global banking and the dominance of the American dollar in oil trade. Washington’s provocations have risen to new heights with the recent US designation of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps as a “terrorist organization”. Claims by Washington that Iran is engaged in covertly sponsoring regional terrorism are groundless, and indeed bitterly ironic given American complicity in sponsoring state and non-state terrorism.

In any case, the alarming stand-off that has emerged between the US and Iran is indisputably the consequence of Washington’s bad faith and irrational aggression towards Tehran. Iran is responding by notifying its cancellation of the JCPOA, and also if it is attacked military by the US it will block the vital oil trade route known as the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf outlet through which a quarter of the world’s daily shipped oil passes. If the stand-off goes that way, then the world will witness an economic meltdown, if not a military conflagration.

This week when Iran announced its intention to suspend participation in the nuclear accord, the European powers reacted by remonstrating with Tehran for not upholding the JCPOA. China and Russia called on all sides to comply with the treaty. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov went further and said that Washington must take responsibility for the dire state of affairs. The European powers have hardly implemented the JCPOA beyond paying lip service over the past four years. They have pathetically ceded to Washington’s outrageous intimidation of “secondary sanctions” hitting legitimate European investment and trade with Iran. How’s that for monstrous arrogance? Washington is no longer a signatory to the JCPOA – a deplorable violation in itself – but in addition it wants to tear up the signatures of others who intend to abide by the treaty.

Rather than admonishing Iran for its intended suspension of the JCPOA, the European Union should be siding with Russia, China and the UN in fully backing the JCPOA and, what’s more, expressing its full condemnation of the US for making a mockery of international diplomacy and law. By not doing so, the Europeans are only indulging Washington’s worst instincts for aggression. And the rest of the world may pay a severe price for this indulgence and lack of European integrity and independence.

May 10, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

The Same Guy Verhofstadt Who Wants a New Brexit Vote Decries a New Vote For Istanbul’s Mayoral Election

By Adam Garrie | Eurasia Future | 2019-05-07

The leader of the Liberal faction in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt has just decried a decision by Turkish officials to conduct a re-vote in the contentious Istanbul Mayoral race. During the initial vote on 31 March, it was proclaimed that CH Party candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu beat AK Party candidate Binali Yıldırım by a razor thin margin.

Since the initial tally, AK representatives have challenged the result alleging serious irregularities that could have influenced the vote in favour of İmamoğlu. Today, the Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK) annulled the result of the 31 March election for the Mayoralty in Istanbul and have scheduled a new election to take place on 23 June.

Although such re-run elections are never ideal, in circumstance when a preponderance of evidence indicates that there were enough irregularities present that could have changed the result, re-run elections become the least bad of no good options. This is what the YSK has decided upon in a manner consistent with the principles of mainstream 21st century democracy.

But while the re-run election will be conducted according to normal democratic principles, this has failed to satisfy the notoriously vocal Guy Verhofstadt. The EU Liberal big wig has taken to Twitter to say the following:

“This outrageous decision highlights how Erdogan’s Turkey is drifting towards a dictatorship. Under such leadership, accession talks are impossible. Full support to the Turkish people protesting for their democratic rights and for a free and open Turkey!”

First of all, it was not President Erdoğan who made the decision to hold a new election. It was the YSK’s decision, a body made up of members from multiple parties who then vote on a majoritarian basis in order to enact a decision. In this case, the democratic decision to hold a new election passed by a margin of seven against four.

Secondly, if Turkey’s long stalled quest to join the EU would portend future anti-democratic interference from the likes of Guy Verhofstadt, perhaps many in Turkey ought to be thankful that Brussels has recently leaned against full Turkish membership of the EU. Finally, it is not the “Turkish people” protesting. Those protesting are CH Party workers and supporters who are naturally upset by the electoral re-run. Likewise, supporters of the AK Party had peacefully protested in favour of a re-run. There is nothing unusual about this and of course the protests are occurring freely and without violence.

But the greatest absurdity of Guy Verhofstadt’s meddlesome comments is that while he decries a second vote in a local Turkish election, he has consistently agitated for Britain to hold a re-run vote in order to overturn the Brexit decision made by voters in 2016.

Unlike in the Istanbul election, the British government and opposition parties all accept that the 2016 election was without any worrisome irregularities. In other words, the Brexit referendum was a free and fair vote whilst Turkish authorities have decided that there were too many irregularities in the Istanbul vote for the initial result to be accepted as legitimate.

And yet, Verhofstadt is allying himself with forces that want to overturn a universally acknowledged legitimate vote whilst complaining that a vote in Turkey found to be illegitimate must be set in stone. Once again, double standards rule the day in Brussels.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

Different when we do it: Why re-voting is ‘dictatorship’ in Turkey & ‘unity’ in EU

EU Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt © Reuters / Eric Vidal
RT | May 7, 2019

The decision to rerun a local mayoral election in Istanbul has sparked scathing criticism in Brussels — ironically, from none other than the EU’s Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt.

Tweeting about the move, which was branded a “coup” by a Turkish opposition newspaper, Verhofstadt said it highlighted that Turkey was “drifting towards a dictatorship” and offered “full support to the Turkish people protesting for their democratic rights.” Along with the verbal slap on the wrist, he said that under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership, talks on Turkey joining the EU are “impossible.”

The irony in Verhofstadt’s outrage, is that the EU itself has a long history of either totally ignoring referendum votes — or just making people vote again until the ‘correct’ result is achieved. But that, of course, does not make the EU a dictatorship. It’s still a “bastion of hope, freedom, prosperity & stability” (as per another recent Verhofstadt tweet). Twitter users wasted no time in pointing out the “irony” and “hypocrisy.”

“How dare [Erdogan] use EU tactics,” one irritated Verhofstadt follower responded, with another saying that the UK itself was currently “battling for its democracy” — a reference to EU officials (including Verhofstadt) who have frequently voiced their personal opposition to Brexit and the ‘Remain’ factions in Britain who have been calling for a re-run of the 2016 referendum.

While there may be at least some merit to the idea of Brexit referendum re-run after two years of failed negotiations and with more accurate information now available to British voters, the idea of simply re-doing EU-related votes is hardly a one-off.

Maybe Verhofstadt should take a trip down memory lane.

France voted ‘no’ to accepting a proposed ‘EU Constitution’ by 54.9 percent in 2005, but the outcome was ignored. The same thing happened in the Netherlands, which rejected it by 61.5 percent. The ‘EU Constitution’ was later repackaged into the Lisbon Treaty and presented to the French parliament where it was adopted, without being put to the people this time (much easier!).

This new Lisbon Treaty was then rejected by Irish voters in 2008, once again sending Brussels into meltdown mode, as the pact needed to be ratified by all member states before taking effect. So, of course, they made some tweaks and asked people to vote again — and got the ‘right’ result the next time. It wasn’t the first time Ireland was asked to re-vote after giving the wrong answer, either. The country also rejected the Nice Treaty in 2001 and accepted it in a second vote a year later.

Greece voted overwhelmingly to reject severe austerity measures desired by the EU in 2015 in exchange for a multi-billion euro bailout. Not long after, under pressure from Brussels, the country’s government agreed to implement even harsher methods — totally ignoring the will of the Greek people.

But way before all that in 1992, Danes, displeased with plans for a single currency, common European defense policies and for joint rules on crime and immigration, rejected the Maastricht Treaty — and were asked to vote again.

Ironically, many European voters voted ‘no’ to these treaties because they were worried that the EU would be turned into some kind of undemocratic superstate where the wills of individual countries and people would be ignored. Being forced to vote until you give the ‘right’ answer doesn’t exactly put those worries to bed. It’s part of the reason why the British voted for Brexit in the first place.

Then there’s Catalonia, where pro-independence leaders were thrown in jail for their role in holding an independence referendum in 2017. One tweeter scolded Verhofstadt and other EU leaders for believing that they have some “moral authority” over Turkey while abuse of pro-independence forces in Catalonia is ignored. “Our leaders are still in prison because they let citizens vote,” they wrote.

With a history like that, maybe it’s a bit rich for Verhofstadt to be going around lamenting the lack of democracy in other countries.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

In Upcoming Elections EU Parliament Faces Long List of Enemies

By Attilio Moro | Consortium News | May 6, 2019

As the EU approaches what are considered to be the most important elections in the history of its parliament — between May 22 and 26 — the EU has never had so many enemies.

The list starts with U.S. President Donald Trump and extends to the Brexiters in the UK. It goes from Andrze Duda, the Polish premier, to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; from the Czech Republic’s Prime Minster Andrej Babis to the Romanian government.

Italy also makes the list. Its unofficial prime minister, Matteo Salvini, has been advocating, until he took office, the exit from the euro and possibly from the EU altogether. Other anti-EU leaders include Austrian Prime Minister Norbert Hofer, who assumed office on an anti-European platform, and France’s Marine Le Pen.

There is also the AFD Party in Germany and a score of sizable anti-EU minorities in almost all European countries.

The most aggressive of all has been Donald Trump, who went well beyond his “American First” slogan in calling EU countries the trade “enemy” of the U.S. Under his watch, EU-U.S. relations have never been so bad.

Divisions with EU

The Trump administration’s divisions with the EU seem to involve everything, from NATO (Europeans have to pay more, Trump keeps saying) to Iran (Washington trying to block Europe from dealing with Tehran); from trade (too many German cars in the U.S.) to the environment (Trump backed out of the collective reduction of Co2, as internationally agreed in Paris).

Trump has given confidence and strength to Brexiteers and every possible type of EU dissident, to the point that Poland’s Duda has openly defied the EU Commission’s demand to abolish the illiberal law allowing his government to appoint the justices of the Supreme Court.

Hungary’s Orban could defy the European immigration policy by refusing to take in one single migrant (Trump is building a wall, after all). And, contrary to the “European spirit of openness” (and against the wishes of many of George Soros’s friends in Brussels) — Orban in 2018 managed to force most of operations of the private university in Budapest funded by the Hungarian-born billionaire philanthropist to move to Vienna.

The Czech Republic’s Babis, the richest man in the country, continues to flout warnings from Brussels about his violations of press freedom and the independence of the judiciary.

Romania is displaying the most conspicuous insubordination in the case of Laura Kovesi, its former chief prosecutor, who oversaw the convictions of thousands of politicians, officials and businesspeople. Now Bucharest, which is holding the rotating presidency of the EU until the end of June, is trying to prevent Kovesi from leading the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which will begin functioning in 2020. Romania’s justice minister has been smearing her in letters to his EU counterparts and the government briefly subjected her to a travel ban. The only government that opposes her nomination is her own.

Sovereignism

The ideology that unifies most of the European “enemies” of the EU is sovereignism, the idea that national interests should come before those of Europe and that sharing wealth doesn’t imply sharing policies and values.

In line with Trump, Sovereignists don’t believe that the problems of the modern world can be dealt with through a multilateral approach. They will win, according to most estimates, a sizeable share of the seats in the EU Parliament later this month.

They will be supported by a substantial share of the European public opinion (mainly right-wing) which is at odds with what they consider to be an EU immigration policy that is too permissive.

They will also be supported by plenty who feel that the EU institutions, including the EU Parliament, are bureaucratic and remote from ordinary people, while too close to the lobbies. They have a point. Around 15 thousand lobbyists are active in Brussels. It is not a mystery that they are very influential in the EU Parliament.

Recently, it turned out that the EU’s liberal party, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, or ALDE, received hundreds of thousands of  euros in donations from Google, Bayer, Microsoft, Uber, Syngenta and Deloitte.

The leftists of the GUE/NGL and the Greens both fiercely oppose corporate lobbying. But with those two exceptions, there is good reason to believe that all the other major political groups have received this much money and more.

One of the most striking cases of EU corporate influence is that of Bayer-Monsanto, which managed last year to renew its European license for the weed killer, Roundup, which has been defined by leading research institutions as an endocrine disrupter with links to cancer.

In addition to corporate corruption, anti-EU sentiment includes those opposed to the neoliberal economic policies (privatizations of public companies, cuts in social spending, deregulation) imposed in the last 20 years by the EU institutions, which not only failed to revive the economy but brought southern European countries to the brink of bankruptcy.

Despite the widespread frustrations, most European citizens consider the EU as vital in the era of globalization. And a reasonable percentage of the European constituency will turn out to elect their delegates to Brussels.

But the EU Parliament senses the threat it is facing and is running an unprecedented voter turnout campaign. In every European airport now, huge (and very expensive) billboards inform travelers of what the EU has done for their country.

Had parliamentarians arranged more transparency in the way they do business, or had they passed a proposal that has been languishing for decades for passage – which would oblige lobbies to register — that might have been more effective than billboards.

Attilio Moro is a veteran Italian journalist who was a correspondent for the daily Il Giorno from New York and worked earlier in both radio (Italia Radio) and TV. He has travelled extensively, covering the first Iraq war, the first elections in Cambodia and South Africa, and has reported from Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan and several Latin American countries, including Cuba, Ecuador and Argentina. Presently, he is a correspondent on European affairs based in Brussels.

May 6, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Economics | | Leave a comment

Google Bans Press TV

What’s Next?

By J. Michael Springmann and Edward C. Corrigan | Dissident Voice | May 5, 2019

What?

On April 19, 2019 (the date of the original Patriots’ Day in New England), American tech giant Google disabled the accounts of Press TV, an Iranian news service, and its sister channel Hispan TV, an outlet in Spain.  Google denied their access to all its services, including its popular video streaming platform YouTube and its E-mail service Gmail. The company’s move took place without prior notice or subsequent explanation.

The action’s date is particularly significant to Americans. That day marked the beginning of the American Revolution. It saw the first armed engagement between British soldiers and colonial militiamen at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. Patriots’ Day was intended to commemorate the colonists’ fight to win freedom from British rule.

But, nearly 250 years later, it observes the loss of that freedom to invisible, uncontrollable organizations.

Google and Facebook, and other social media giants, have been accused of altering search algorithms to slant or even hide information that departs from the government or corporate agenda. Independent media sources on the right and on the left have complained that searched results are tainted and being secretly manipulated on a grand scale. Now the censorship is being imposed openly in the name of political correctness and social harmony. There is a clear campaign to de-legitimize critics of US Government policy.

Target:  Iran.

According to the April 22, 2019 edition of MintPress, “Iran has been on the receiving end of more than its share of censorship. Facebook has repeatedly banned “networks” it believes are “tied to Iran.” Meanwhile, both Press TV and HispanTV have faced prior crackdowns from Google. Recently, Instagram banned a number of Iranian officials following the U.S. designation of Iran’s military as a foreign terrorist organization. In some cases, Facebook has even worked with CIA-funded cybersecurity firms to target accounts. The State Department later trumpeted those findings in a report on Iran’s cybersecurity threat to the U.S., but opted to omit the source of the evidence.”

Additionally, MintPress noted: “Google’s crackdown on Iran is multifaceted, not just singling out its media for censorship, but also shutting down the accounts of its officials. Indeed, Google is on a path to destroy Iran’s ability to independently communicate its message to the world.”

What’s the issue?

Quoting Yasha Levine, journalist and author of Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet… “American Internet companies,” such as Google and Facebook, “are not abstract global platforms, but privatized instruments of American geopolitical power.”

And that’s the real issue.

And it’s not only Press TV, the “Voice of the Voiceless” that’s censored. The American Herald Tribune has been under attack, it says, by Zionist gatekeepers. In August 2018, it wrote one of the authors: “Dear Michael, Google has disabled all of the services we were using.” Then, the next month, it wrote:  “Dear Friends/Colleagues:  We were unable to retrieve our Facebook page after it was taken down without any prior notice. We have created a new Facebook page.”

Protection from bigots?

The attacks on Press TV, American Herald Tribune, and others are always couched in terms of suppressing the malign influence of the “far-right” and/or “anti-Semitic figures and organizations.” On May 3, 2019, the Washington Post used those words to headline an article celebrating Facebook’s action in permanently banning “several far-right and anti-Semitic figures and organizations, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Infowars host Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos [a former Breitbart editor] and Laura Loomer [a right-wing American political activist] , for being ‘dangerous’…” The paper saw this as “a sign that the social network is more aggressively enforcing its hate-speech policies at a moment when bigoted violence is on the rise around the world.”

While the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution states:  “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…,” it seems that “The People” can do as they please, as long as they have large Internet organizations behind them and lots of money.  And if there is pressure from supposedly liberal governments influencing them.

The Post went on to say, “Governments around the world are pushing Facebook to take town [sic] bigoted and other harmful content more quickly–or risk being banned themselves.” Germany heavily fines social media if they run afoul of “The Enforcement on Social Networks Act” (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz). Although it came into force October 1, 2017, social networks were given a three-month grace period to change their policies.  If criminal content, which can include hate speech, defamation, and fake news, isn’t removed within 24 hours of its being reported, social networks can face fines reaching €50 million (US$60 million).

Like in the United States, “hate speech” is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder, especially if it deals with illegal aliens, a sore subject in some countries.  This concept is probably the reason why Facebook and Twitter refused to advertise J. Michael Springmann’s book, Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb, an analysis of forced migration into Europe from American wars in the Middle East.

Conclusion

This all boils down to “political correctness” and lack of common sense. And governmental power. Allegedly liberal societies now engage in censorship–in the name of freedom of speech and political correctness.  But it’s really censorship and control of information that is the real objective.

The Encyclopedia Britannica notes “our perception of reality is determined by our thought processes, which are influenced by the language we use. In this way language shapes our reality and tells us how to think about and respond to that reality. Language also reveals and promotes our biases. Therefore, according to the [Sapir-Whorf] hypothesis, using sexist language promotes sexism and using racial language promotes racism.”

Clever people in well-placed governmental positions and their cats-paws in large corporations evidently have taken note of this linguistic mind control and are now implementing it on a grand scale.

Michael Springmann is a lawyer, author, political commentator, and former diplomat based in Washington, D.C. While abroad with the U.S. Department of State, he served in Germany, India, and Saudi Arabia. He can be contacted at attorney@springmannslaw.net or at 202-256-3878. Edward C. Corrigan is certified as a specialist by the Law Society of Ontario (formerly the Law Society of Upper Canada) in Citizenship, Immigration and Immigration and Refugee Law. He is an author and political commentator based in London, Ontario, Canada and can be contacted at corriganlaw@edcorrigan.ca or at 519-439-4015.

May 6, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

Europe holds no moral high ground in protecting Israeli colonialism

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | April 16, 2019

Discussions which frame Palestine’s precarious future within the context of US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” versus the two-state compromise continue. Apparently with just these two dangerous options on the table, Palestine is being pushed into oblivion.

In anticipation of Trump’s deal, a group of former officials from European countries have sent a letter to EU Foreign Ministers and the EU High Representative for Foreign affairs and Security Policy. They call upon the EU to reject the US deal and affirm “the internationally agreed parameters for a two-state solution.”

Their letter calls the Oslo Agreement “a milestone of transatlantic foreign policy cooperation” and describes Trump’s decisions as “gambling with the security and stability of various countries located at Europe’s doorstep.” This is in the context of the US terminating its financial aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). If Europe does not reject Trump’s deal, the letter warns, the result will “accelerate the demise of the two-state option and fatally damage the cause of a durable peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

A close reading of the letter shows that there is more concern about the EU retaining the upper-hand when it comes to diplomatic negotiations, rather than what happens to Palestinians within the context of Trump’s forthcoming deal. Indeed, in conclusion, the letter states that the current rift in policy is “a defining opportunity to reinforce our shared principles… and thereby manifest Europe’s unique role as a point of reference for a rules-based global order.”

All the concerns exhibited by such former this and former that people are alien to the Palestinian struggle for liberation; where were they when they were in positions of power and influence? What did they do or say then of any benefit to the Palestinians?

It is a fact that Palestine was changed, seemingly irrevocably, by European colonisation and the US has now stepped in to hasten the process. The EU is merely vying for international influence when it comes to Israel and it does so at the expense of Palestinian territory and Palestinian lives; it holds no moral high ground when it comes to protecting Israeli colonialism.

Unlike the US on this occasion, though, it has the backing of the so-called international community due to the common factor which is the “two-state solution”, a fatal compromise which rewards the state responsible for the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the people of Palestine. Since the international community has long since manipulated general consensus as being equivalent to fairness and legitimacy, the EU is diplomatically a step ahead in terms of international relations.

As far as Israel is concerned, both the US and the EU are serving the colonial agenda. The US is focusing on promoting overt normalisation of relations with Israel and providing incentives, while the EU has normalised such relations and maintains the illusion of supporting Palestinian rights. However, the underlying premise remains the two-state imposition supported by the Oslo Accords, the milestone diplomatic endeavour which duped the Palestinians and deprived them of their land.

If the EU is measuring its success by Oslo, it should be clear about its underlying agenda and detriment to Palestinians. Telling the EU to reject Trump’s plan in order to support an obsolete paradigm is just a matter of choosing which violation to uphold; of choosing the lesser of two evils: Trump’s plan or the two-state compromise. Both prioritise Israel, normalise colonialism and render Palestinians as mere recipients of humanitarian aid given in compensation for stolen land and shattered lives.

The EU might well achieve its aim of being an international point of reference, but it is worth reminding Brussels that a “rules-based global order” is not tantamount to justice. Europe’s position, though less belligerent than that of America’s, is also based on the premise of protecting Israel’s colonial project in Palestine at all costs, most of which are being paid by the indigenous Palestinians.

May 5, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Maimed Yellow Vest Protestors: Worse Than Getting Shot

By Tim Kirby | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 2, 2019

The French marched off to war in 1914 in glorious lines of infantry in baby blue coats and bright red trousers to be mowed down by the finest technology the Industrial Revolution had to offer. For us now it is easy to see how insane this was and how flawed the understanding of both the commoners and even the experts was in terms of how combat and war actually worked at the time. This naive view of modern tactics certainly applies to street conflicts we are seeing in France as part of the Yellow Vest protests. The so-called non-lethal (and less-lethal) arms of the French authorities gives them a tactical advantage far beyond that of any assault rifle.

Thanks to the media we have become accustomed to video of protestors getting sprayed by water or having their ranks dispersed thanks to tear gas, leaving everyone wet or coughing respectively but otherwise unharmed. However this humane picture does not meet up with the realities of this civilian vs. cop style warfare.

If we are to take the Yellow Vest protestors at their word then at least 22 of them have lost an eye (from “less-lethal” Flash-ball guns) and 5 have had their hands blown off with 154 being “seriously injured”. Obviously the protestors will want to maximize their statistics but there are plenty of videos from the various actions/demonstrations showing horrible injuries which are too numerous to all be fakes. So the numbers may be off but the overall general tendencies of these injuries do occur from the French authorities in the Human Rights defending EU is a proven fact. The simple reality is that despite a nice marketing phrase non-lethal weapons cripple and on occasion kill.

In order to understand the tactical advantage that non-lethal weapons offer the government (not the individual police but the state itself) we need to put aside our emotional response to seeing French people having their limbs blown off. We have to not jump into ranting about the flagrant hypocrisy of the EU when it comes to human rights and rationally break down how the conflicts between Yellow and Blue vests could look if the arms situation were different.

Scenario A: What if the Yellow Vests were armed?

If the organizers of the Yellow Vests (all movements are organized by someone regardless of what the media tells you) were able to arm their masses with rifles this would indeed lead to horrific short-term violence that would leave a permanent stain on French history. Often hundreds or thousands of protestors are met by dozens of police and handfuls of soldiers, if the protestors were on par with their adversaries in terms of guns, then their numerical advantage would shatter the police’s will to fight.

No policemen are going to fight to the last man against a force 20 times their number, which they may partially agree with dying for nothing, nor will they open fire with tanks in the centers of their own cities. Human psychology would allow them to kill foreigners in some distant country in this manner but not at home.

In this instance of near certain death from pure numbers the police would either “stay home” or possibly switch sides overtly or covertly.

Obviously a full civil war could start from this situation, but in a street warfare sense, escalating from protest to actual hot war is technically a winning scenario as it advances them closer to attaining/changing power.

Scenario B: What if the police fought like an army?

One key component of many Color Revolutions is getting the “bad leader” to be blamed for some sort of direct use of lethal bloody media-friendly massacre. If the French police actually used assault rifles against the protestors this would demonize them to the point of justifying a Revolution. This would not just cause a civil conflict but be a national call to arms to join it, which would be a bad move on the state’s part.

Furthermore, only sociopaths can fire rifles into unarmed crowds (who are not posing a direct threat) of people who speak their own language (i.e. their own “kind”). If the French police just decided to give the order to shoot them all, then in this instance many of the French police would find rifle and bayonet worthless as they would have no desire to shoot.

The result would be a handful of deaths from each protest but the utter collapse of legitimacy of the state and possible “retreats” of police forces unwilling to fire on “their own”.

Scenario C: The “non-lethal” reality we see today.

Psychologically it is much easier for the French police to use non-lethal (in their minds) weapons against the protestors. In the subconscious mind of the policeman he can justify shooting into masses much easier with this type of weapon because in theory it “shouldn’t” kill anyone and if it does it was an “accident”. This is much easier on our psyche and morals than shooting someone in the chest with a Lebel Rifle.

Research by the University of Cambridge supports this tendency. They found that police are far more likely to use force when it is supposedly from non-lethal weapons. This non-lethal status of weapons like tasers (which can and do kill people all the time) makes them so much easier to apply on the populace especially when the subconscious of the police officer tells him that, the guy he fried the other day with a taser died as an accident, one in every so many thousand people just has a weak heart.

So looking at non-lethal weapons tactically they offer the massive psychological advantage of being able to attack without an attack registering in the conscience of the user. As stated above they are also very media and propaganda friendly when anyone who dies from them is just “an accident” giving the government the ability to retain legitimacy while gouging out they eyes of its own populace. Real guns fail at both of these points completely.

Conclusion:

One bizarre irony in our strange postmodern times is that if the Yellow Vests were actually being shot at by real guns and being killed they would be far closer to achieving some sort of systemic change. Being mutilated by all sorts of gadgets and devices of one sort or another makes it easy for the police to do their job psychologically without generating the levels of sympathy and horror from live rounds hitting the innocent that the protestors need to shatter or change the system.

The French Flash-Ball gun should be made the symbol for the EU for it provides crushing repression of the masses with great PR spin to make it seem humane and caring. It is for our safety after all that they use these right?

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment