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Are the Democrats a Political Party or a CIA-Backed Fifth Column?

By Mike Whitney • Unz Review • July 5, 2020

How do the Democrats benefit from the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests?

While the protests are being used to paint Trump as a race-bating white supremacist, that is not their primary objective. The main goal is to suppress and demonize Trump’s political base which is comprised of mainly white working class people who have been adversely impacted by the Democrats disastrous free trade and immigration policies. These are the people– liberal and conservative– who voted for Trump in 2016 after abandoning all hope that the Democrats would amend their platform and throw a lifeline to workers who are now struggling to make ends meet in America’s de-industrialized heartland.

The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public’s attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. (Racism ain’t what it used to be.) The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues “will and will not” be covered over the course of the campaign. And– since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought– the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary’s ambitious grab for presidential power.

The plan, however, does have its shortcomings, for example, Democrats have offered nearly blanket support for protests that have inflicted massive damage on cities and towns across the country. In the eyes of many Americans, the Dems support looks like a tacit endorsement of the arson, looting and violence that has taken place under the banner of “racial justice”. The Dems have not seriously addressed this matter, choosing instead to let the media minimize the issue by simply scrubbing the destruction from their coverage. This “sweep it under the rug” strategy appears to be working as the majority of people surveyed believe that the protests were “mostly peaceful”, which is a term that’s designed to downplay the effects of the most ferocious rioting since the 1970s.

Let’s be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare.

They are also the policies that have given rise to, what the pundits call, “right wing populism” which refers to the growing number of marginalized working people who despise Washington and career politicians, feel anxious about falling wages and dramatic demographic changes, and resent the prevailing liberal culture that scorns their religion and patriotism. This is Trump’s mainly-white base, the working people the Democrats threw under the bus 30 years ago and now want to annihilate completely by deepening political polarization, fueling social unrest, pitting one group against another, and viciously vilifying them in the media as ignorant racists whose traditions, culture, customs and even history must be obliterated to make room for the new diversity world order. Trump touched on this theme in a speech he delivered in Tulsa. He said:

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

Author Charles Burris expanded on this topic in an article at Lew Rockwell titled America’s Monumental Existential Problem:

“The wave of statue-toppling spreading across the Western world from the United States is not an aesthetic act, but a political one, the disfigured monuments in bronze and stone standing for the repudiation of an entire civilization. No longer limiting their rage to slave-owners, American mobs are pulling down and disfiguring statues of abolitionists, writers and saints in an act of revolt against the country’s European founding, now re-imagined as the nation’s original sin, a moral and symbolic shift with which we Europeans will soon be forced to reckon.”

The statue-toppling epidemic is vastly more disturbing than the the looting or arson, mainly because it reveals an ideological intensity aimed at symbols of state power. By tearing down the images of the men who created or contributed to our collective history, the vandals are challenging the legitimacy of the nation itself as well as its founding “enlightenment” principles. This is the nihilism of extremists whose only objective is destruction. It suggests that the Democrats might have aspirations that far exceed a mere presidential victory. Perhaps the protests and riots will be used to justify more sweeping changes, a major reset during which traditional laws and rules are indefinitely suspended until the crisis passes and order can be restored. Is that at all conceivable or should we dismiss these extraordinary events as merely young people “letting off a little steam”?

Here’s how General Michael Flynn summed up what’s going on on in a recent article:

“There is now a small group of passionate people working hard to destroy our American way of life. Treason and treachery are rampant and our rule of law and those law enforcement professionals are under the gun more than at any time in our nation’s history… I believe the attacks being presented to us today are part of a well-orchestrated and well-funded effort that uses racism as its sword to aggravate our battlefield dispositions. This weapon is used to leverage and legitimize violence and crime, not to seek or serve the truth…. The dark forces’ weapons formed against us serve one purpose: to promote radical social change through power and control.”

I agree. The toppling of statues, the rioting, the looting, the arson and, yes, the relentless attacks on Trump from the day he took office, to Russiagate, to the impeachment, to the insane claims about Russian “bounties”, to the manipulation of science and data to trigger a planned demolition of the US economy hastening a vast restructuring to the labor force and the imposition of authoritarian rule; all of these are cut from the same fabric, a tapestry of lies and deception concocted by the DNC, the Intel agencies, the elite media, and their behind-the-scenes paymasters. Now they have released their corporate-funded militia on the country to wreak havoc and spread terror among the population. Meanwhile, the New York Times and others continue to generate claims they know to be false in order to confuse the public even while the people are still shaking off months of disorienting quarantine and feelings of trepidation brought on by 3 weeks of nonstop social unrest and fractious racial conflict. Bottom line: Neither the Democrats nor their allies at the Intel agencies and media have ever accepted the “peaceful transition of power”. They reject the 2016 election results, they reject Donald Trump as the duly elected president of the United States, and they reject the representative American system of government “by the people.”

So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: Which political party is pursuing a radical-activist strategy that has set our cities ablaze and reduced Capitol Hill to a sprawling war zone? Which party pursued a 3 year-long investigation that was aimed at removing the president using a dossier that they knew was false (Opposition research), claiming emails were hacked from DNC computers when the cyber-security company that did the investigation said there was no proof of “exfiltration”? (In other words, there was no hack and the Dems knew it since 2017) Which party allied itself with senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA, NSA and elite media and worked together collaboratively to discredit, surveil, infiltrate, entrap and demonize the administration in order to torpedo Trumps “America First” political agenda, and remove him from office?

Which party?

No one disputes the Democrats right to challenge, criticize or vigorously oppose a bill or policy promoted by the president. What we take issue with is the devious and (possibly) illegal way the Democrats have joined powerful elements in the Intelligence Community and the major media to conduct a ruthless “dirty tricks” campaign that involved spying on members of the administration in order to establish the basis for impeachment proceedings. This is not the behavior of a respected political organization but the illicit conduct of a fifth column acting on behalf of a foreign (or corporate?) enemy. It’s worth noting that an insurrection against the nation’s lawful authority is sedition, a felony that is punishable by imprisonment or death. Perhaps, the junta leaders should consider the possible consequences of their actions before they make their next move.

What we need to know is whether the Democrat party operates independent of the Intel agencies with which it cooperated during its campaign against Trump? We’re hopeful that the Durham investigation will shed more light on this matter. Our fear is that what we’re seeing is an emerging Axis–the CIA, the DNC, and the elite media– all using their respective powers to terminate the Constitutional Republic and establish permanent, authoritarian one-party rule. As far-fetched as it might sound, the country appears to be slipping inexorably towards tyranny.

July 5, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

The Gulf of Tonkin Lies

Tales of the American Empire | October 11, 2019

The 1964 Gulf of Tonkin congressional resolution authorized President Lyndon Johnson to conduct military attacks in Vietnam. This was considered a blank check for American military intervention that was based on lies. The American destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were not attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on August 4th 1964, which was used to justify this resolution. This is now widely known, but since the Maddox had been fired upon two days earlier, some feel it was justified. However, few know that the US Navy had been supporting armed attacks along the coast and the Vietnamese were defending themselves.

“The Fog of War”; Lesson #7 about the Gulf of Tonkin incident: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yirro…

Related Tale: “The Illusion of South Vietnam” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B9BM… “Nasty! The inside story of Operation 34A”; http://milmag.com/2009/02/operation-3…

“The Truth About Tonkin”; Pat Paterson; Navy History Magazine; February 2008 provides an excellent summary: https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval-…

“Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2-4 August 1964,” originally published in the National Security Agency’s classified journal “Cryptologic Quarterly” in early 2001, provides a comprehensive SIGINT-based account of what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin: https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/NS…

Related Tale: “Ten Lost Battles of the Vietnam War” destroys the myth no battles were lost: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g75i4…

July 5, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

Reparations and Other Scams: Israeli Survivors Live in Poverty and Are Starving?

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | July 5, 2020

The issue of reparations and other compensation has been much in the news of late, most particularly in relationship to possible payments to descendants of slaves in the United States to compensate them for their disadvantages brought about by what is claimed to be a persisting racist culture in the country. There is, of course, considerable resistance on the part of millions of non-black citizens who will have to foot the enormous bill even though they were not involved in slavery in any way, having arrived in the U.S. long after 1865, when involuntary servitude was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Reparations have been around for a long time, normally being exacted by the winners in a war against the losers, who automatically are blamed as the aggressors and therefore liable for the damages. Often the compensation comes in the form of territory, witness for example the German acquisition of Alsace-Lorraine from the French after the Franco-Prussian war followed by its return to France after the First World War. The Germans also were made to endure considerable cash and in-kind payments, primarily to France, after losing the First World War. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles were so onerous that they were subsequently blamed for perpetuating Franco-German hostility, leading inevitably to the Second World War.

Israel and Jewish groups were major beneficiaries of the reparations and restitution programs that were created as a result of World War Two. The Luxembourg Agreement signed in 1952 committed West Germany to pay Israel a sum of 3 billion Deutsche Marks over the next fourteen years, which was at the time an enormous sum. An additional 450 million marks were paid to the World Jewish Congress. The payments that were made to the State of Israel regarded the government as the de facto heir to war victims who had no surviving family or who could not otherwise be identified. The money was mostly invested in the Israeli infrastructure and was significant in aiding in the initial development of the economy of the new state, but there were also considerable barter arrangements whereby Israel purchasing agents obtained German manufactured goods and raw materials.

The reparations program was modified at various points to expand those eligible for benefits and continued to operate long after the fourteen-year term initially envisioned had expired. As of 2012, when the program was 60 years old, it was still fully operational and Germany had paid the Jewish state an estimated $89 billion.

In the 1990s, Israel and Jewish groups began to go after other property that they claimed had either been sold at below market prices as Jews began to flee Germany or otherwise lost. Money trails in Swiss banks were investigated to chart the movement of funds that had originally been derived from Jewish owned property. Individual companies, mostly in Germany, were pressured by survivor groups to provide reparations to former forced laborers, leading the Berlin government in 1999 to establish a separate fund to assist survivors of the so-called holocaust. The Swiss and Hungarians set up similar funds and The World Jewish Restitution Organization was established to organize these efforts. In America, the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission pressured Germany in 1998-9 to compensate Jewish survivors who had arrived in the United States after the war.

Israel, of course, has a vested interest in continuing the flow of Euros by making Germans and other Europeans continue to feel guilty over the war. In 2007 the Israelis pressured the German government to expand the pension program for Jewish survivors of 1939-1945 who had wound up in Israel. In 2009 Israel demanded compensation of between 450 million and 1 billion Euros ($1,120,000,000 currently) for 30,000 claimed former slave laborer-survivors. And the requirements for eligibility for a payment or pension continue to become more permissive. A Jewish survivor qualifies if he lived in “a ghetto” for 12 months as will anyone who can demonstrate that he “hid from” the Nazis for at least six months. One acceptable “ghetto” is in Shanghai China. And given the destruction of many public records, there has been considerable fraud. In 2010 auditors found evidence of a scheme to use fake identification documents to defraud the German government of more than $42 million.

And new and innovative sources of money are constantly being developed. The United States and Israel are currently pressuring Poland, which was occupied by the Germans, to compensate Jewish property owners. It is particularly difficult to do as much of Warsaw and nearly all its public records were destroyed in 1944. In August 2019, no less than 88 U.S. Senators signed a letter urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “act boldly and with urgency” to compel Poland to resolve the property issue. The Poles have argued that the proceedings would be subject to massive fraud and “frivolous lawsuits” while the demands could bankrupt the country.

Meanwhile the French and Dutch rail systems, also under German control, have been forced to pay compensation to survivors because their trains were used to transport Jewish prisoners to camps.

The story of reparations and compensation is of particular interest, not only because the Second World War ended 75 years ago last month, but also because of attempts by Israel and Jewish groups to squeeze some final payments out of the remaining survivors. Quite astonishing is a “campaign” email currently being circulated by an organization calling itself LATET – Israeli Humanitarian Aid. It promotes itself as a charitable foundation with “All donations…tax-deductible in Israel, the U.S., Canada, Australia, France and the U.K.” It describes its activity as:

“Due to Covid-19, many impoverished Holocaust survivors experience an extended stay in deficient and insecure homes. MORE THAN EVER, SUPPORT URGENT HOME REPAIRS THE SURVIVORS CAN’T AFFORD. 1 in 4 Holocaust survivors in Israel lives in poverty. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, our elders spend all their time at home, mostly alone, in run-down apartments and they have nobody to turn to. The need to eliminate all safety hazards and obstacles relating to mobility, safety and comfort has grown and dozens of survivors are waiting for urgent assistance. Latet is the only organization in Israel providing Holocaust survivors in need with a complete aid package, including monthly food boxes, social support and an Emergency Fund for crucial needs. Since 2013, Latet has carried out more than 1,200 home repairs to increase the survivors’ quality of life, at no cost to them. Everyday, 40 Holocaust survivors die. Let’s make sure they spend their last days in decent conditions.

“Donate now. Latet was founded in 1996 and is the largest Israeli NGO combating poverty. Acting as an umbrella organization, Latet provides for the basic needs of populations living in poverty and food insecurity, giving ongoing food assistance to over 200,000 people in Israel. The organization operates the leading national food bank and runs impactful aid programs. For the last 10 years it has been the only organization in Israel providing a comprehensive aid package to Holocaust survivors in need, including a monthly food box, emergency fund for medical and paramedical needs, home restorations as well as ongoing social support in the form of personal volunteers and social events throughout the year. For more information about Latet: www.latet.org.il/en/

One should not necessarily doubt the fundamental decency of LATET and what they are seeking to do, but their solicitation raises some serious questions about the Israeli government and Jewish charities that have been the recipients of more than $100 billion obtained as “reparations” from various foreigners, mostly Germans, specifically to address the needs of the so-called “Holocaust survivors.” How can the survivors be living in terrible conditions and even starving in a socialist country with a formidable safety net, one might ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when they have been granted pensions and other compensation since 1952?

The answer would appear to be pretty simple, that the money has gone directly to the Israeli government and to major Jewish private organizations which have engaged in the extortion racket and have proceeded to divert the flow from the “cash cow” for their own purposes. Soon there will be few survivors of the war left and the scam will presumably end, or maybe not, as there have been claims that the terror of the German camps can be passed on genetically and is inheritable?

Unfortunately, compensating for claims of Jewish suffering is a big business. The regular annual scandalous multi-billion dollar cash flow out of the United States Treasury to fill the Israeli coffers will continue seemingly forever. American taxpayers might be delighted to learn that during the past week Congress, beset by plague, civil unrest and a crumbling infrastructure, found time to move to approve an additional $500 million to Israel for its “defense.”

July 5, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | 5 Comments

Dutch MH17 trial: Court to consider report from Russian missile producer that points to Ukraine as culprit

RT | July 4, 2020

A Dutch court investigating the downing of MH17 has agreed to hear from Almaz-Antey, a Russian arms manufacturer, which argues that the prevailing Western narrative – that rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down the plane – is false.

The hearing in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands says it will explore alternative scenarios in the high-profile trial, in which four anti-Kiev fighters stand accused of using a Russian anti-aircraft missile to destroy the civilian plane, killing 283 passengers – mostly Dutch – and 15 crew on board.

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. It was crossing airspace which had not been closed despite the Ukrainian civil war raging below.

At the time, self-proclaimed republics in the region were involved in an armed conflict with the new Kiev government following the violent, Western-backed ‘Maidan’ which had brought it to power earlier that year. In the weeks preceding the downing of MH17, the Ukrainian military had lost several of its aircraft to its opponents, who had captured shoulder-launched missiles and anti-aircraft guns from Ukrainian arsenals.

Following the tragedy, Kiev and the republics blamed each other for the incident, while almost immediately the US government claimed – without presenting any evidence – that Russia had provided the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) militia with the missile used to down the aircraft.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis accepted a defense request to call more witnesses, including a representative of Almaz-Antey, the Russian producer of Buk air defense systems. A Buk missile is alleged to have caused the downing of MH17 in July 2014, but the model and origin of the projectile are in dispute.

The prosecution maintains that the civilian plane was shot down over the Donbas by rebel forces, which at the time were fighting against the Ukrainian military. The crime was pinned on four men, who they assert obtained the missile system from a Russian military unit and transported it to the rebel-controlled territory to be used for defense against Ukrainian warplanes.

In 2015, Almaz-Antey reported on experiments it conducted when investigating the tragedy. It concluded that the plane was downed with an older variant of the missile that can be fired by Buk systems. This outdated model is no longer in use by the Russian Armed Forces, but Ukraine has plenty of them, having inherited the weapons when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The arms producer also believes that, in order to inflict the kind of damage seen on the debris of the downed aircraft, it had to have been launched from territory controlled by forces loyal to Kiev at the time.

During Friday’s hearing, Steenhuis agreed that Almaz-Antey’s conclusions should be considered. The judge also said an expert witness from the manufacturer can be called to give evidence.

The Dutch court also said it was reasonable to seek disclosure of satellite photos of the area, taken by the US military on the day MH17 was shot down. The Americans have refused to declassify them, citing national security considerations, offering investigators a memo instead. A senior Dutch investigator was allowed to inspect the images but has not yet been questioned during the trial.

The proceedings in the Netherlands are being held without the presence of the defendants. Of the four individuals concerned, only one – Russian citizen Oleg Pulatov – has agreed to engage with the defense team, while the other three have no representation whatsoever.

The trial of the rebel fighters comes after a lengthy probe by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which Russia considers politically biased. The JIT excluded Russia but included Ukraine despite the country’s involvement in the armed conflict and its possible role in the downing of MH17.

Kiev is the source of some key evidence, such as alleged intercepts of phone calls by rebel commanders, which are considered important to the trial. Moscow has made numerous offers to assist in the investigation but has been rebuffed.

Other data that could be crucial in establishing the truth about what had happened to the Malaysian plane is notably absent in the case.

This includes primary radar data from Ukraine, which Kiev claims it’s unable to provide because neither civilian nor military stations were operational on the day of the tragedy. “Ukraine has effectively not presented any primary radar data. Ukraine has told the Dutch Safety Board that no primary radar data was registered, as the radar was not operating at that moment,” Dutch prosecutor Thijs Berge said last month.

Russia has also criticized the JIT for relying on so-called ‘open-source evidence’ like videos published on social media, saying that this can be misrepresented or manipulated.

The JIT’s conclusions seem to be closely aligned with those of Bellingcat, a UK-based group of so-called “civilian investigators” with a track record of using open-source materials to pin the blame for various misdeeds on Russia.

Notably, Bellingcat is funded by both the US and Dutch governments. This important point is rarely, if ever, discussed when the outfit’s work on MH17 is reported, or discussed, in the West.

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Moscow Denies US Allegation of Breach of Underground Nuclear Testing Moratorium

Sputnik – 04.07.2020

US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea on 3 July called Russia’s next-generation Poseidon and Burevestnik, experimental nuclear-powered as well as nuclear-armed submarine and air missile systems, “terrible” and urged for their abolition, while citing allegations of a rise in radiation levels in northern Europe.

Moscow rejects the allegations of non-compliance with the Threshold Test Ban Treaty*, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry went on to explain that the US claims regarding Russia’s alleged non-compliance with the 1974 treaty between the Soviet Union and the United States on limiting underground nuclear tests were built on completely false premises.

“Predictably, the US allegations that Russia has breached the moratorium on nuclear tests by conducting experiments that do not meet the US ‘zero-yield’ standard have not been supported by any evidence. Moreover, the US has admitted that it knows neither the number of such tests in 2019, nor whether they have been conducted at all”, the ministry spokesperson said.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow’s international obligations do not entail compliance with any “US standards” with regard to nuclear tests.

“These insinuations have seemingly been floated to divert attention from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)”, the ministry spokesperson said, adding that “by refusing to ratify the CTBT, the US put it on the brink of complete collapse”.

For several months now, various Russia officials have voiced concerns about the US government’s campaign, aided by the media, to prepare the ground for abandoning the CTBT.

“Claims on Russia’s alleged violation of obligations under the 1974 US-Soviet Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, which stipulate that parties inform each other on any conducted tests, are built on false ‘premises”, the ministry said.

The multilateral CTBT was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 to halt all nuclear tests, both for civilian and military purposes. The treaty will enter into force once all 44 states listed in Annex 2 of the document ratify it. The United States is among the minority of countries which have not yet ratified the document. All European countries, including Russia, have ratified the treaty.

“We officially confirm that Russia continues to strictly adhere to the declared moratorium on nuclear tests and to comply with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) provisions pertaining to the prohibition of tests, despite the fact that the treaty has not entered into force”, a ministry spokesperson said.

The ministry pointed out that any discussions of alleged non-compliance with the United States are counterproductive as long as Washington has not ratified the treaty.

“Unlike the United States, we ratified it 20 years ago and are successfully implementing it. At the same time, we proceed from the fact that any disagreements regarding the criteria for compliance with relevant obligations can and should be resolved within the framework of the CTBT after its entry into force”, the spokesperson added.

Russia has the impression that the US is preparing to stop observing the voluntary nuclear test moratorium, the ministry said.

Late last month, the US Department of State released its annual Compliance Report pertaining to the implementation of arms control commitments by the US and other countries. Russia, in particular, has been alleged in having conducted “nuclear weapons-related experiments that have created nuclear yield” in violation of the 1974 US-Soviet Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, also known as the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT). In the very next sentence, the State Department clarified that it “does not know how many, if any” such experiments were conducted by Moscow in 2019.

*The Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapons Tests, also known as the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), was signed in July 1974 by the United States and the Soviet Union. The treaty established a nuclear “threshold” by prohibiting nuclear tests of devices having a yield surpassing 150 kilotons after 31 March 1976.

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

US used media agency to covertly aid Hong Kong protesters, but tell us how ‘foreign meddling’ is a threat to ‘our democracy’

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | July 3, 2020

Even as Washington designated the Chinese media as a hostile foreign agent, its own propaganda agency was funneling money to the Hong Kong protesters. In a fitting twist, this was revealed by partisan leakers with an ax to grind.

“US has been exposed for funding last year’s Hong Kong protests,” declared columnist Alex Lo in the South China Morning Post on Thursday. Lo brings up the revelation that one of the subsidiaries of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) had to freeze an estimated $2 million worth of contracts aimed at helping anti-Beijing activists in the southern Chinese city.

The source for this is a recent Time magazine article, relying mainly on anonymous USAGM officials upset about the overhaul implemented by the agency’s new head, Michael Pack, an appointee of President Donald Trump, confirmed by the Senate in early June.

The contracts in question were run through the Open Technology Fund, officially an NGO that funds “open-source internet freedom projects” such as the encrypted-messaging app Signal. All of its funding comes from Congress, just like the National Endowment for Democracy, which spent around $643,000 to “foster civil society” in Hong Kong last year.

Given that whoever pays the piper calls the tune, Beijing sees this as direct US meddling in the unrest in Hong Kong – a territory ruled by the British for over a century before being handed back to China in 1997. The city erupted in protests last spring, over a law that would allow extraditions to the mainland. When demonstrators began waving US and British flags, meeting with US diplomats and getting aid from ‘NGOs,’ they gave China a perfect excuse to pass a new security law.

Now imagine the US reaction if Chinese ‘nonprofits’ funded entirely by the government were funneling money to ‘human-rights’ programs in the US, or Black Lives Matter, or Antifa, or any of the groups going around smashing monuments and torching shops across America over the past month. You wouldn’t have to try very hard, given the actual US crackdown on Chinese phone companies such as Huawei and ZTE Corporation, or the State Department designation of several Chinese media outlets as “foreign missions,” accused of engaging in “propaganda” and not journalism.

To China, this rightly looks like a double standard. Most Americans, however, don’t think twice about it. Of course, the US is allowed to do anything it pleases anywhere it wants, from ‘helping democracy’ via color revolutions to ‘humanitarian’ bombing. It’s the exceptional nation, the greatest country in the world, and so on. Even the activists who condemn it as irredeemably racist and in need of revolution at home, generally have no beef with Washington’s meddlesome foreign policy abroad. How else can one explain the recent political marriage of Democrats and neoconservatives, aimed against Trump?

As part of the campaign by this axis and its media allies, for the past four years, the US mainstream media has incessantly hyped the narrative of ‘Russian meddling’ in ‘our democracy,’ based on evidence-free conspiracy theories and wishful thinking.

Media outlets such as RT figured prominently in this propaganda, with fully a third of the infamous Intelligence Community Assessment of January 2017 – which kicked off the Russiagate madness – dedicated to RT programming. Never mind that it dated back to 2012 and was therefore both obsolete and irrelevant; that wasn’t allowed to get in the way of a good story.

Yet it’s Washington that’s actually meddling, and in places like Hong Kong. In that light, the narratives about ‘Russian’ and ‘Chinese’ interference in the US certainly appear to be a massive case of psychological projection. Perhaps the groups seeking meaningful change in this country ought to address that first.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

If US attempts to seize Iranian tankers carrying oil to Venezuela now, de-escalation will be more difficult than ever

By Scott Ritter | RT | July 3, 2020

To expand its “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign targeting Iranian oil and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command, the US has a warrant to seize the cargo of four tankers heading to Venezuela. We should expect the worst.

Just weeks ago, in May and June, the world watched with bated breath as Iran dispatched five tankers carrying cargoes of gasoline and chemicals desperately needed by the Venezuelan nation, starved as it was of the ability to refine its own gas, due to the US’ stringent economic sanctions. While protesting the move, Washington did nothing to stop it, beyond sanctioning the ships involved. In what appears to be a replay, the Iranian government has now engaged four ships – the Bella, Bering, Pandi and Luna – to deliver approximately 1,163,000 barrels of gasoline to Venezuela.

In an effort to prevent this, the US government sought, and obtained, a federal forfeiture warrant on the grounds that the sale of the cargo violates the law regarding economic activity conducted by or on behalf of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command (IRGC), previously designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organization. The Iranian government has condemned the issuing of this warrant as an act of piracy.

How exactly the warrant will be executed, and what the consequences of such an action will be are scenario dependent. One possible scenario would be for the US to attempt a replay of last year’s gambit to bribe an Iranian ship’s captain to steer his vessel to a country that would then impound the tanker and its contents on behalf of the US.

The Iranian ship in question, a tanker named the Adrian Darya, had been seized by the UK on suspicion of violating EU sanctions regarding the sale of oil to Syria, and held in the port of Gibraltar. Iran, in retaliation, seized a British tanker operating in the Strait of Hormuz. After behind-the-scenes negotiations, a Gibraltan judge ordered the Iranian vessel to be released – but not before the US Justice Department had issued a warrant for the seizure of the ship.

Using the warrant as a stick, the State Department had its Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, contact the Iranian captain by email and offer him several millions of dollars to, in effect, defect with his ship and its cargo. The State Department was using a 1984 program known as ‘Rewards for Justice,’ which had been expanded under the Trump administration to target the IRGC by offering rewards of up to $15 million for information that led to the disruption of illicit Iranian activity.

In the case of the Adrian Darya, the effort failed. However, according to information contained in the complaint filed in support of the warrant, the owner of two of the ships engaged in the transport of gas to Venezuela, the Bella and Bering, both sailing under Liberian registry, indicated that he was concerned over what he called “the American threat.” The Iranian middlemen involved in the transaction had pressured him into undertaking the voyage and had offered to purchase the vessels outright, if needed. The key question for all involved is how the captains of any of the four vessels currently underway would respond if subjected to a similar solicitation of money as was made to the captain of the Adrian Darya.

Even if the US wasn’t able to entice a defection from one or more, possibly all, of the targeted tankers, the threat of seizure alone might suffice to compel the captains to abort their journeys and either return to their ports of origin, or seek to transfer the contents of their respective vessels to other tankers willing to complete the task of delivering the gasoline to Venezuela.

The consequences of a ship’s defection would more than likely be treated by Iran as the equivalent of having the vessels boarded and seized in international waters, as the end result – the confiscation of the ship’s cargo – would be the same.

Given past precedent, it is highly likely that Iran would conduct a tit-for-tat seizure of a vessel of similar capacity that was either sailing under the US flag or carrying a US-destined consignment. This would be a risky move that would probably lead to some sort of confrontation between the Iranian and American navies and might very well escalate into a general regional conflict.

Another option is that the tankers would seek to complete their mission by sailing in international waters with their onboard automatic identification system – a transponder that enables the ship’s movements to be tracked by other vessels using satellites – turned off.

This has been the practice that Iranian and Chinese vessels have engaged in during the delivery of Iranian oil to China in violation of US sanctions. Considered a very risky and dangerous move that could result in a collision with other vessels, it also makes a ship difficult to track and therefore interdict.

The US could respond by placing a screen of US naval vessels just outside Venezuelan territorial waters, creating a de facto blockade that the four tankers would have to run if their respective deliveries were to be made. Whether or not the US would actually attempt a boarding and seizure is another question, as it could be seen as a violation of international law. Moreover, the potential for direct conflict with the Venezuelan navy and air force would be high, given their practice of seeking to escort Iranian tankers once they arrive in Venezuelan waters.

In the past, both Iran and the US have shown restraint in seeking to avoid any major force-on-force confrontation between their respective militaries, knowing that once initiated, de-escalation would be difficult, and the transition to a general regional war all but assured. The social, economic, and political costs to all parties involved would be prohibitively high – a universally accepted reality that usually serves as a deterrent against rash action by either Iran or the US. But the present time finds US President Donald Trump in the political fight of his life, with polls indicating a difficult, uphill fight for re-election in November.

By undertaking this attempted delivery of gasoline to Venezuela, the Iranian government has placed Trump in a dilemma that he’s worsened by seeking, and getting, a warrant for the seizure of the involved tankers. Any inaction on the part of the US will be seized on by Trump’s political opponents as a sign of his impotence as a national leader, while a seizure that results in a war with Iran would destroy any chance of the post-pandemic economic recovery he’s betting on to help carry him to victory this fall.

Once again, the world is forced to watch while its collective future is decided not in terms of what is best for the global collective, but in terms of how an action is best interpreted from an American domestic political perspective.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

US Ambassadors Trigger Anti-American Sentiments, Cui Prodest?

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 04.07.2020

On more than one occasion recently, New Eastern Outlook has featured, as have other media outlet publications, what kind of “love” US ambassadors have merited in many countries owing to their behavior and genuinely aggressive countenance, which no diplomatic status can conceal.

The publications in media outlets are more frequently expressing the scandals linked to US ambassadors and all the new protests erupting against them in various countries.

Starting in December on a regular basis, protests against Ambassador Harry Harris – who is insulted by saying that he “resembles a Japanese colonial governor” – take place in front of the US embassy building in South Korea.

This is not the first month that authorities and society in Germany have openly expressed their dissatisfaction with the actions taken by Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to their country, right up until the time he recently left Germany.

In December, the US government was forced to recall its ambassador to Zambia, Daniel Foote, after authorities in this African country had stopped expressing their desire to work with him.

The US ambassador in Warsaw, Georgette Mosbacher, uses Poland like a club by threatening other nations with it, the Polish Kresy even writes, trying to drive home the point to the Poles that she virtually treats Poland like her own possession, and demonstrating that her main priority is merely the income American business owners make in Poland.

In Moldovan society and media outlets, intense criticism is leveled at the actions by American ambassador Dereck Hogan for how he gives the center-right and liberal parties instructions on what to do, and how to do it, in current Moldovan day-to-day realities.

And even today, media outlets in Lebanon wrote that the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs will demand that Dorothy Shea, the head of the American diplomatic mission there, comply with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. We should recall that pursuant to the Vienna Convention the ambassador of any foreign nation does not have the right to interfere in the host country’s domestic affairs, or make speeches that goad some in the country to speak out against others in the country, or against the government.

Another scandal with the US ambassador to Lebanon flared up with particular force after Dorothy Shea, during an interview on June 25 broadcast on the Al Hadath TV channel in Dubai, rained down criticism on the Shiite Hezbollah party – which is represented in both the parliament and the government – accusing it of not allowing decisions to be made that would let Lebanon get out of its economic crisis, and of depriving the country of billions of dollars. The diplomat affirmed that Hezbollah has become “a state within a state and bled Lebanon dry”, hindering the cabinet of ministers from making decisions that would “help Lebanon get out of a deep-rooted economic and financial crisis”.

Previously, the US ambassador D. Shea publicly announced that Lebanese politicians from various regions and communities that support close ties with the pro-Iranian Hezbollah and Syria could be subject to impact from new American sanctions. On top of that, to back up her threats Shea reminded people that the “United States is the largest donor country for the Lebanese economy.”

In response to that proclamation, Judge Mohamed Mazeh in the city of Tyre delivered a ruling on June 27 that prohibited local journalists from interviewing the US ambassador to Lebanon for one year, and said that all people who violate that directive will face both losing their licenses and a pecuniary fine of 200,000 USD. When explaining his ruling, the judge underscored that the words spoken by the American diplomat were geared toward undermining stability in Lebanon. “The voice of any ambassador that inflicts damage on civil peace should not be heard in the media,” stated Mazeh.

Mario Aoun, a Lebanese deputy from the Strong Lebanon parliamentary bloc, called it “absolutely unacceptable, unforgivable interference by American diplomats in Lebanese politics.”

On June 29, Nassif Hitti, the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, called Ambassador Dorothy Shea to a meeting at the ministry to deliver an official protest from Lebanese authorities elicited due to her interference in the domestic affairs in her country of accreditation, and the impermissibility of stoking the country’s domestic political situation.

Lebanese media on June 29 reported that the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, where the American diplomat was summoned after several scandalous announcements made on local television channels, was where the Lebanese public held a campaign involving many thousands to protest against US ambassador Dorothy Shea for meddling in the country’s domestic affairs. Protestors proclaimed during the action that Lebanon does not need to take lessons in democracy from the American ambassador. “An economic boycott on Syria and Lebanon will not break the resistance to US and Israeli plans!” chanted activists.

On May 17, Michael Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, stated that Washington is imposing new sanctions on Damascus as part of the so-called “Caesar Act”, or the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which not only Syrian citizens and companies can fall under, but organizations from other countries, including Lebanon. The “Caesar Act”, which was signed by President Donald Trump on December 20, 2018 was incorporated into the US military budget for the 2020 financial year. It gives the US administration the right to impose sanctions on organizations and individuals that provide direct and indirect assistance to the Syrian government, and to various armed groups that are active inside the country’s borders and that – according to the version of events put forth by the United States – receive support from the authorities of Syria, Russia, and Iran. According to a statement made by Gebran Bassil, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanon’s parliamentary majority, the new round of American sanctions “specifically affects Lebanon’s interests and its ties with the Arab world”. He is convinced that sealing off the border with Syria will “squeeze the life out of” the Lebanese economy, and cause famine.

The reaction to the aggressive actions and behavior on the part of US ambassadors shows that instead of searching for ways to develop relations between the US and other countries, they only reinforce the anti-American sentiment in other countries.

Owing to this, the maxim by Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla, a Roman consul in 127 BC, involuntarily springs to mind: Cui prodest? (Latin for “Who benefits?”).

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

The American War (Vietnamese Perspective)

Ezgi Cihan | Film production 2009

The core of this film is to investigate the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese who fought in that war. How did they sustain their morale in the face of such. Project for U.S. History class. I do not own any of the songs or images used in this video. Special thanks to Mr. Nguyen for the interview and Mr. Hoffman.

Notice

Age-restricted video (based on Community Guidelines)

July 4, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Bounty-Hunter Hoax to Kill U.S.-Russia Relations

Strategic Culture Foundation | July 3, 2020

Relations between the United States and Russia have already been badly wounded during recent years, largely as a result of baseless allegations such as Moscow interfering in American elections, colluding with President Donald Trump, or regarding other international developments, from the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, to purported war crimes in Syria, to the alleged poisoning of British double-agent Sergei Skripal in England.

But the latest U.S. media effort claiming Russian military intelligence involvement in sponsoring Taliban assassins or “bounty hunters” to target American troops in Afghanistan appears to be aimed at killing off any remaining possibility for restoring relations between Washington and Moscow.

Even the concept of “bounty hunters” sounds like an outlandish reliance on Wild West folklore which in itself betrays the origins of the story as a figment of imagination rooted in the authors’ American parochialism.

Quite appropriately, however, we can extend the analogy further by referring to the U.S. media reporting on the Russian “bounty hunter” claims as “cowboy journalism”.

America’s supposed finest media outlets jumped on this yarn like a posse in bandwagon fashion. The New York Times “broke” the story on June 26 and was followed by others of presumed journalistic stature: The Washington Post, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and others.

No evidence has been presented to back up the explosive claims made against Russia and against President Trump that he was briefed about the intelligence allegedly implicating Russia in Afghanistan but did nothing about it.

The whole media frenzy has relied on unnamed sources and vague claims about money being found or transferred from bank accounts.

In less than a week since the story “broke” there is a palpable sense that the initial media frenzy has fizzled out, leaving a bitter aftertaste of nothingness and embarrassment for the journalists who pushed the fable with gung-ho grit.

The story has been roundly dismissed as a hoax by the Trump White House, the Kremlin and the Taliban. More politely, the heads of U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon stated there was “no corroborating evidence” for the media claims.

So, what was it all about?

Evidently, it was another shot in the Last Chance Saloon by the anti-Russia Washington political establishment, or deep state, to further undermine bilateral relations. The obsequious way in which supposed bastions of U.S. journalism parroted the disinformation is illustrative of the low standard of American media. As several critical commentators have noted, what we saw from the New York Times et al was not journalism, but rather stenographic dissemination of deep state disinformation.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has remarked that the timing of the “provocative hoax” comes at a critical juncture in efforts to bring a peace settlement in Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of U.S.-led war in that country. Trump is committed to withdrawing U.S. troops and, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Kremlin has been quietly cooperating with the American State Department to mediate a peace deal. The implication is that there are elements within the U.S. intelligence-military apparatus which have a vested interest in continuing the quagmire war in Afghanistan. The “bombshell” claims of a Russian clandestine assassination program against U.S. troops would thus jeopardize a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Secondly, while the U.S. reporting on the bounty-hunter scheme has been a self-inflicted disgrace to journalism, it has nevertheless succeeded, to a degree, in riling up anti-Russia sentiment in Washington. Lawmakers from Trump’s own Republican party have joined with the usual Democrat chorus to call for increased sanctions against Moscow.

Trump has been accused (again) of “treachery” and “treason” by being “infatuated” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. One Republican political action committee released a spoof advert this week in which Moscow thanks “Comrade Trump” for his “loyalty”.

This pathetic poisoning of relations is ludicrous and dangerous.

Another glaring factor is the forthcoming U.S. presidential elections which are only four months away. The media ruse, we can hardly say “reporting”, is evidently designed to aid Joe Biden, the Democrat rival to Trump. Biden reacted to the media claims against Russia with “shock, horror” and he denounced Trump for (allegedly) not being concerned about security of U.S. troops. Biden said if he is elected to the White House he will “stand up to Putin”.

The transparent manipulation attempt of public emotions and votes is almost laughable. It is gas-lighting as in the Cold War days of McCarthyism.

Like him or loath him, Donald Trump has been a thorn in the side of powerful domestic enemies since he won the 2016 election. We can describe those enemies as the deep state and their apparatus in the Democrat party working in conjunction with servile media surrogates. (No doubt the Republican party would be just as obliging if the shoe was on other other foot.) Trump has certainly been no friend to Russia. Bilateral relations remain as blighted as they were under the previous Obama Democrat administrations.

For various reasons, Trump’s domestic enemies are mobilizing in a desperate effort to block his re-election. That is what the whole Russia “bounty-hunter blockbuster” is all about. But in doing so, the relations between the U.S. and Russia are being kicked to the ground and lynched. That is an appallingly reckless consequence.

The grotesque irony is that Russia is accused of “interference”. American deep political forces are interfering in the nation’s democracy to control the elections, as they have previously done. A price will be paid in worse U.S.-Russia relations and greater international tensions.

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

The Empire Bombed Serbia to Seize Kosovo in 1999

Tales of the American Empire | July 2, 2020

The American Empire faced downsizing in the 1990s after the Warsaw Pact disbanded and Soviets troops withdrew home. American politicians demanded a reduction in military spending and the closure of most military bases in Europe. The solution was to start a war in Europe. Serbia (which was called Yugoslavia before 2006) openly resisted demands to open its economy to western banks and corporations and refused to join the European Union. As a result, Serbia was demonized and targeted for destruction. An ongoing rebellion by some Albanian immigrants in Serbia’s province of Kosovo was chosen as a NATO cause. The American CIA began shipping arms to the Islamic Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and transported hundreds of al Qaeda mercenaries to Kosovo to attack Serbs. This was politically awkward since the KLA was on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist groups. Serbian soldiers were dispatched to their southernmost province to repel these Islamic invaders. This increased the level of violence and Serbia was blamed.

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“Let Slobbo speak for himself”; (no evidence of serious Serb atrocities); John Laughland; The Spectator ; 2003; http://www.antiwar.com/spectator/spec…

“We Bombed the Wrong Side” in Kosovo; Major General Lewis MacKenzie; The National Post (Canada), Apr. 6, 2004; http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~leonardo/pub/m…

“Destruction of Yugoslavia was an operation planned by the CIA”; Klagemauer TV: Feb. 28, 2016; https://www.kla.tv/7811

“NATO’s Bombing of Yugoslavia Was Textbook State Terrorism”; Marko Marjanovic; Ant-Empire; March 24, 2019; https://www.anti-empire.com/natos-bom…

“Why Does Camp Bondsteel Still Exist”; Carlton Meyer; G2mil; 2011; https://www.g2mil.com/bondsteel.htm

“Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaci, indicted on war crimes charges ahead of planned White House meeting”‘; Michael Birnbaum; Washington Post ; June 24, 2020; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/…

“Kosovo Indictment Proves Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities”; Jim Bovard; Libertarian Institute; June 25, 2020; https://libertarianinstitute.org/arti…

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

South Korea’s Moon appoints top aides, all advocates of inter-Korean rapprochement

Press TV – July 3, 2020

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has appointed officials, all known as supporters of inter-Korean détente, as his new top national security advisors in an effort to revive stalled negotiations with North Korea.

The officials were appointed on Friday to replace the chiefs of national security, intelligence and unification policy.

Lee In-young, a four-term lawmaker, who was nominated to oversee inter-Korean ties as unification minister said, “Reviving inter-Korean dialogue is a top priority.”

He said that he would “look at the issue of restarting humanitarian exchanges and cooperation which can be done immediately.”

The current minister resigned over worsening relations with the North.

Moon appointed Suh Hoon, as his national security adviser and Park Jie-won, to succeed Suh as NIS head.

The president has so far held three summits with North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-un, with whom he signed an agreement in 2018 to take a step closer to peace by turning the Korean Peninsula into a “land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.”The two Koreas were on a path of rapprochement beginning in January 2018 before US intransigence to relieve any of the sanctions on the North effectively killed diplomacy.

Earlier this year, Moon said he was making efforts to arrange a visit by Kim to Seoul, saying that both sides are in “desperate need” to improve relations.

The South’s president, who has also been trying to mediate between the North and the United States, urged President Donald Trump and Kim to meet once again before the US presidential election in November.

Trump and Kim have already met three times, mainly on Moon’s auspices.

Citing the coronavirus pandemic, the US’s deputy secretary of state and lead negotiator with North Korea, Steve Biegun, said on Monday that another summit was “probably unlikely between now and the US election.”

Biegun, however, said Washington would “continue to leave the door open to diplomacy.”

He is due to visit South Korea next week for meetings with his South Korean counterparts.

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment