Facebook, Google Outline Unprecedented Mass Censorship at US Senate Hearing – by Andre Damon and World Socialist Web Site

 In this Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, from left, Facebook's General Counsel Colin Stretch, Twitter's Acting General Counsel Sean Edgett, and Google's Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker, are sworn in for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian election activity and technology, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

The hearing was called to review what technology companies are doing to shut down the communications of oppositional political organizations.

Hold Your Applause for Trump Selling Snake Oil – By Phil Butler

Author: Phil Butler

 

 

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When Donald J. Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the race for the U.S. presidency in 2016, about a billion-people pegged their hopes on the billionaire developer’s promises. Now, a little more than a year into his presidency, and those vested hopes have evaporated. The only “genuine” good news where Trump is concerned, comes with the relief Hillary Clinton is not madam president. But the question now arises; “Did Clinton and the globalists really lose?”

As one of the analysts and journalists who’s attempted to moderate the so-called “fake news” aimed at all opponents of the liberal world order, I somehow figured Donald Trump would do what he said he would – and maybe even make America great again to boot. My first doubts came when the new president almost immediately stepped on Native Americans with his final approval of the Dakota pipeline. This easement for the energy industry angered both Native Americans protesters and climate change activists, but Trump and “his” America seemed to care less. An update from last month on Trump’s brilliant move reveals a preliminary report on suggesting the Keystone pipeline had the earmarks of an environmental disaster early on. In December of 2017 news reports came out suggesting construction goofs from 10 years ago may have led to the leak of 210,000 gallons of crude oil in a prairie grass field near the South Dakota-North Dakota border in November.

Since I’d supported Trump on the weight of his “Drain the Swamp” campaign promises, the sacrifices of a few indigenous people’s of America seemed to me a small price to pay for a rejuvenation of the American Way, and all. Then Trump pressed the cruise-missile button from his golf cart to send fifty-nine Tomahawks to strike an airbase in Syria. “Opps! Neocon/Liberal World Order against Russia back on,” I thought to myself. But it took Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, wild eyed Vietnam revisionist and National Security Adviser HR McMaster, and United Nations token US political bimbo Nikki Haley all defended the move in chorus. It was at this moment I really started to worry.

The months rolled on. Hillary Clinton and the swamp things that helped ruin the United States of America in the first place – they went nowhere! Instead of cleaning up like he said he would, Trump became the ring leader of a dog and pony show America gobbled up every day. CNN took the role of evil news channel, the vagina hat wearing Hillary fanatics mutated into Oprah for President campaign workers. And the “swamp” got bigger and a lot more murky, instead of the little Golden Pond MAGA fans envisioned. Trump became, for all intents and purposes, the buffoon to distract the audience in the three-ring-circus that is our leadership. The old “good-cop, bad, cop” routine wafted first under, then far above the big top. I got the nagging feeling we’d all been had, and that those pictures of the Clintons being chummy with Trump were more significant than we’d thought. Russia became more of an enemy than during the Obama administration. I now thing to myself; “How is that even possible?”

Next came the moronic Tweets concerning climate change. Even before Trump ditched the Paris Summit, Trump sidled up with the energy lobby in proclaiming invalid the whole of global warming science. His next moves were clearly designed to free up US corporations for reverting to 1970s misdeeds. Trump even resorted to citing Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal in his Tweeting rampages about indestructible Earth. This Tweet convinced me our new president is either a dumbass or just crazy:

“In the 1920’s people were worried about global cooling–it never happened. Now it’s global warming. Give me a break!”

I’ll not launch into a tirade here over “unlimited Earth theorists”, but predators like Donald Trump are the reason the oceans are heating up. Like Barack Obama before him (for those who remember) this president betrayed humanity just like Barack did in Copenhagen. Obama’s late fake out to side with environmentalists was for his legacy and his role in “good-cop, bad-cop”, but now it’s Trump’s turn. With a hundred Washington investigations supposedly going on – what do you want to bet nobody ever goes to jail over RussiaGate, the Podesta mess, the DNC, or any of the revelations we’ve seen?

Now the first straw that broke this hopeful American’s belief in ANYBODY EVER doing right from Washington, it fell the day Trump proclaimed Jerusalem capital of Isreal! Then UN Bimbolina Haley chimed in threatening the world, and Bibi Netanyahu smiled like a well-fed hog. Then I read Veterans Today Senior Editor, Gordon Duff’s scathing piece on Trump. In his most recent “Intel Drop”, Duff reminded me of Trump’s mob connections, and of the lunatic wannabe playboy we knew about decades ago. On reading this I thought; “How could you have forgotten what an asshole this guy always was?” Indeed, how could any of us forget narcissist, arrogant, loose cannot billionaire idiots? But then my childlike vision of new white picket fences for all Americans got even more glum when I read the news the bloodsuckers at BlackRock hit a record $6 trillion assets, helped by the spanking new Trump tax law. How could we be so stupid? Can’t anybody put 2+2 together anymore? The winner in these tax cuts is not middle America folks, it’s the bankers that loan money to the Federal Reserve! Get it? Sure, the middle class family gets a short break, but then when Uncle Trump needs more cash to help Israel kill more Arabs, where does it come from? I’ll let you do the math there, but Blackrock’s boss Larry Fink was the odds-on favorite to be Hillary’s treasury secretary, and now he cleans up… I leave you with a shorter definition for what we are witnessing in Washington, a definition of a Dog and pony show (see also: medicine show):

“A colloquial term that has come to mean a highly promoted, often over-staged performance, presentation, or event designed to sway or convince opinion for political, or less often, commercial ends.”

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2018/01/17/hold-your-applause-for-trump-selling-snake-oil/

‘Made in America’: El Salvador’s mass graves are the worst “shitholes” – By Roberto Lovato (Latino Rebels)

Victims of the El Mozote Massacre

© Magnum Photos/CC
Victims of the El Mozote Massacre

My journalist’s hiking boots still have leftover feces and dirt from the ultimate shitholes of El Salvador: its mass graves. Many of the thousands of graves that my sources there have mapped were dug by U.S.-trained and funded security forces in the 80s. Most of the rest were dug more recently by L.A.based-gangs steadily deported to El Salvador by U.S. immigration authorities since the 90s.

President Trump’s characterization of Africa, Haiti and El Salvador as “shitholes” disturbed me, but I wasn’t sure why. The comments were made during a discussion about the temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran, Haitian and other immigrants Trump had just rescinded. In search for an answer, I went home and pulled out and studied my boots , which were tattered after too many visits to mass graves, mass graves with the remains of Salvadorans-in El Salvador, in Mexico and in the deserts of south Texas. Wearing my hiking boots during visits to numerous sites along this chain of devalued life led me to the conclusion that mass graves were the ultimate shitholes.

What made me most uncomfortable was less about Mr. Trump’s choice of word than how he used it: he mistook the shithole part for the whole country. Trump’s rhetorical fallacy feels like a cover-up, a distraction from the fact that El Salvador’s mass graves contain fingerprints and other evidence that point to the United States as an accomplice to the mass murder and violence that created them. Viewed from this perspective, Trump’s “shithole” comment said in words what all US presidents have said with their policies towards countries like Haiti and El Salvador.

Consider, for example, the Salvadoran case of El Mozote, the site of the massacre of almost a thousand peasants, a crime whose irresolution still haunts many. Some 37 years after the mass massacre, forensic evidence from mass graves proved that 553 of those victims were children, many of them under six years old.

Protest against US involvement in the Salvadoran Civil War in Chicago, Illinois, in March 1989

© Linda Hess Miller/ Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Protest against US involvement in the Salvadoran Civil War in Chicago, Illinois, in March 1989

El Mozote is the best documented of El Salvador’s thousands of mass graves, many of which remain unexcavated. Forensic experts with El Salvador’s Institute for Legal Medicine and the world renown Argentine forensic team told me that their evidence -bones, shoe marks, hair samples, bullet shells- of the mass killing at El Mozote pointed to elite Salvadoran soldiers trained in places like Fort Bragg and Fort Benning, Georgia, formerly known as the notorious “School of the Americas.” Evidence from recent Salvadoran and international court cases corroborates this. The boots, bullets, weapons, helicopters and uniforms used during the massacre were all Made in the U.S.A. And the evidence trail isn’t limited to El Mozote.

A United Nations Truth Commission established by agreement between the Salvadoran government and the FMLN guerrillas at the end of the civil war in 1992 concluded that U.S. trained security forces had perpetrated 85% of the killings of innocents during the war that left over 75,000 dead. Most of the perpetrators remain free. The forensic evidence left by El Salvador’s US-trained and funded military is undeniable at El Mozote, in the murder of El Salvador’s only saint, Monseñor Romero, in the case of the 4 Maryknoll nuns raped and killed in 1980, just as it is in the cases of the tens of thousands of other, lesser-known slaughtered innocents.

The war-era mass graves I visited around an area called Panchimalco are located right next to the more recent mass graves dug by gangs in the area. Like the weapons and training used by the Salvadoran military, the gangs themselves were also born in the United States, specifically Los Angeles’ Pico Union neighborhood. I remember because I was there in the early 90s, when police of the Rampart police division -the site of the worst police scandal in U.S. history- started pushing the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs to escalate the warfare between them. The Rampart division’s well-documented tactics -planting guns for false arrests, taking a young man in gang from one neighborhood into the hostile territory of rival gangs, shooting and even killing gang members and make it seem like rival gangs did it- did much to foment violence among the gangs.

Most damaging for El Salvador and its shitholes was the way LAPD then broke sanctuary laws designed to protect people fleeing extreme violence and other disasters from deportation. In the early 90s, the LAPD and INS began the fatal practice of handing the young gang members over to the then Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for deportation. In the process, these agents of US policy helped create a gang culture in a country with no history of U.S.-style gangs and gang warfare. These gangs have since gone on to fill the mass graves that mark El Salvador as one of the most violent countries on earth.

In immigration terms, the shithole is a distraction. Calling the countries shitholes, but also designating them as counties ready to both receive hundreds of thousands of deportees and lose billions of dollars sent home by them is also a logical -and tragic- fallacy, another policy failure. But if the President is going to use such language, he should back up his words with policy that recognizes U.S. responsibility for the foreign war and immigration policies that create catastrophes. In other words, I would prefer Trump walk the shithole talk-and can give him the hiking boots to do it with.

Comment: See: Senators Cotton and Perdue: “Trump didn’t say shithole”For more on the supposed Trump comment and it’s relevance to the state of world affairs, check out SOTT radio’s: The Truth Perspective: Left by the Wayside on a Right-hand Turn: What Happened to SOTT.net?

See Also:

 

How Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Google silence and crush dissent – By Joanne Nova

Stomped

© Police State USA

Insidious is the word

Even if you don’t use Twitter or Facebook, you need to know this. If you disagree with big-government intrusion and rampant corruption, these dirty tricks are working against you, though you may never have sent one tweet or opened a facebook account. They’re stopping the thousands who agree with you from meeting, organising, helping each other, and generally clawing back power from the deep state. We’ve known about Google bias for years, but there are so many other ways to suppress a good idea. Twitter employee admits they target conservatives, and shadowban them:

Daniel Greenfield:

How do you know you’ve been shadowbanned? You may be tweeting, but you’re no longer being heard. You wonder if maybe people just aren’t interested in what you have to say.

But they might be interested. Twitter just isn’t interested in letting them read your messages.

Shadowbanning is the censorship that social media companies do in the shadows. It’s cowardly and dishonest. And it’s how the big firms get away with covertly censoring conservatives.

“The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content,” Abhinav Vadrevu, a former Twitter employee, explains in Project Veritas’ undercover investigation of the company.

“They just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”

Twitter employees are so closeted (and selected) they have no idea that real people may even be patriots who talk about guns, flags, or the cross. Algorithms pick up these words, and “delete accounts that twitter employees think are bots. ” Some Social Justice Warriors (SJW’s) may never have met an outspoken patriot.

Conservatives Are Being Destroyed by Facebook, Twitter and Google Without Even Realizing It,

By John Hawkins:

Today, as you read this, my website Right Wing News is shutting down operations. It has been around since 2001, but became massive a few years ago because of Facebook. …

In July of 2015, in just a week, the Right Wing News Facebook page reached 133 million people. Because conservatives were sharing content they were interested in, little ol’ Right Wing News … was driving the same amount of web traffic as some of the biggest newspapers in America.

Facebook bleeds groups dry slowly:

..what Facebook giveth, Facebook can take away.

…Facebook systematically, methodically reduced the reach of all its pages with each algorithm change. By then, most of us understood where it was going long-term. If Facebook killed every conservative page overnight, there would be a huge outcry. On the other hand, if Facebook slowly strangled us to death, we’d fade away and would people even notice? …

As someone who has been working for a living in this business since 2005, let me drop a little truth bomb on you. We are now in a very oversaturated, corporation-dominated media environment. If you don’t already have a legacy website that captured traffic years ago and held onto it, huge traffic you can bring in from elsewhere, or millions of dollars to spend, your chances of getting a political website off the ground today are infinitesimal. …

Except Facebook has for all intents and purposes announced that it’s killing off pages. So much for having a conservative voice there.

Youtube is demonetizing conservatives and libertarians:

Dennis Prager’s PragerU is suing YouTube for exactly that reason. Just to give you an example of the sort of content YouTube thinks is over-the-line, here are some of the videos it demonetized: Why America Must Lead, The Ten Commandments: Do Not Murder, Why Did America Fight the Korean War, and The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians.

Of course, YouTube would claim that it’s not censoring the videos because it didn’t take them down. However, people are not going to spend large amounts of time and money putting together high-production-value videos if they’re not going to be allowed to make money on those videos because of their political beliefs. …

These giant monopolies are staffed and owned by people who really do despise you:

Many of these companies effectively became monopolies because they worked hard to serve ALL of their users. Now that they completely dominate their spaces in the marketplace, their liberal political views are impacting their services. As Robert Conquest once said, “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing” and that is a much bigger threat than most conservatives realize. …

We’ve already lost the schools, Hollywood and the mainstream media. What happens when you can’t get out conservative opinion via social media because they block, shadow ban and demonetize everyone who gets any traction? What happens if they put rules in place that essentially make expressing conservative opinions something that gets you kicked off their service? You’re pro-gun? Sorry, not allowed. You don’t like gay marriage? Get out of here. Criticizing Black Lives Matter? Out of bounds! We can hope for the best, but that seems like the future we’re headed toward and it’s one that will leave conservatism weaker than ever.

Fight back, spread the word. First we make sure everyone knows. Then we find alternatives and take back the schools, the movies, and grow the alt-media. Despite all this concerted, organised, dirty-work, Trump still won, over half the population in western nations are skeptical, and the extreme left have parked themselves far out on bizarre, indefensible ideas. Windmills won’t hold back the tide, and almost no one believes they will. The bubble will pop, it’s fragile, which is why the deluded and rent-seeking are working so hard to stop the sensible masses from even talking to each other.

They are ripe for the mocking, and we still have free speech.

h/t David E

Shadowbanned through their own home P.C.,
In ways that the user can’t see,
With communication denied,
To sympathizers worldwide,
On the whim of the Left or Leftie.

-Ruairi

* * *

PS: I’m a slack slack tweeter (four months between messages). I don’t think my tweets are being blocked. If you “follow me” @JoanneNova, can you check now, and find a way to let me know if you can’t see the tweet today in your account? Thanks.

INTO THE BLAST FURNACE: THE WAR AGAINST IDLIB’S TERRORISTS AND THE KURDISH DILEMMA – By Ziad Fadel

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All eyes are on Idlib today and the American fall-back position in the northeast.  The Syrian government’s strategy of making truces with terrorists and offering them safe passage to Idlib where they were heaped up has paid dividends.  What is amazing is that so many of the terrorist commanders could not see this coming.  Today, even with Turkish collusion, terrorist jihadists are bracing for their apocalypse.  As terrorist propagandists describe it, “it’s the most violent air campaign we have ever seen in Syria!”  Gee.  Surprise!  That they could not imagine this happening is a good sign of the enemy’s naivete.  It was obvious to all my readers that this was going to happen.

Turkey is conflicted about this largely Syrian-Russian-Iranian stratagem.  While valuing their relationship with Russia and Iran, the Turks are unwilling to break away from their Assado-phobia.  It might be that they feel a sense of shame for promoting the war so openly, but, now seeing no path out but to cling to the tired mantras that have justified their own involvement in the dissemination of terror throughout the Fertile Crescent, they persist in prolonging the war against Damascus  The Turks and their foreign policy are adrift in a sea of contradictions.

Erdoghan is reportedly enraged by the Zionist moves on Jerusalem inspired by Trump’s lunacy.

Erdoghan is reportedly enraged by the U.S.A.’s unwillingness to extradite Fethullah Gulen to Turkey to face charges of seditiion and treason – not to mention his involvement in an attempt to overthrow the government in Ankara.

Erdoghan is enraged by the U.S.A.’s support for the Kurdish SDF, a group the Turks equate with the PKK with whom they have fought an endless insurgency which aims to establish a Kurdish state in Turkey.  He has punished the U.S. and NATO by purchasing an S-400 anti-aircraft system from Russia.

Erdoghan is enraged by Saudi Arabia’s efforts to chastise Qatar for its cuddling up to Iran.  He has sent troops to Qatar to help defend that nation if KSA decides to repeat another blunder on its own borders.

Erdoghan is enraged by KSA’s and Egypt’s hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group it is said to which Erdoghan either belongs or is supporting wholeheartedly.  He is even more enraged by Egypt’s mistreatment of Hamas officials and troops – Cairo’s efforts to blunt Hamas’s military capabilities – destroying tunnels, seizing weapons and killing fishermen.  Hamas is, of course, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Erdoghan is miffed at everybody.  He’s even enraged by Dr. Assad’s durability.

Erdoghan has also expressed rage at the massive military operation aimed at exterminating the entire structure of Alqaeda in Idlib.  He has railed against the Syrian Air Force’s bombardment of Alqaeda bases, labeling the air attacks as “murder of civilians”.  It has been reported that the Turkish military gave aid to Alqaeda terrorists in their counter-offensive to halt the Syrian Army’s advance on the Abu Dhuhoor Air Base.  That advance has recommenced and the SAA has recaptured all villages lost to the terrorist/Turk counter-attack.

Well, that’s just too bad.  And it makes no sense for him to involve his country in a losing effort to keep the terrorist groups in Idlib on life support while cutting his ties to the Americans and Europeans.  I don’t know what Macron is thinking now, but it must be something along the lines of cursing the world for imposing crackpot Trump and even loonier Erdoghan upon what should have been a more rational world. Erdoghan doesn’t sense it, but, his options lessen with each gambit he makes.  He has now threatened to invade northeastern Syria to tamp down the moves toward solidifying the American plan to establish a state for the Kurds (remember my post on that subject). If he does do that, he will be ordering his forces to fire on a fellow NATO member, the United States, which has over 10,000 troops on the ground helping the Kurds to set up the requirements of statehood.  A mess is in the making.  Whenever the United States develops  very clever plans, you can already figure its going to get mired in a new overseas war.

I have received information that the plan to establish a Kurdish rump state in the northeast was initially suggested by the Zionist entity.  According to my source, Mossad developed the plan on orders from Mileikowski (a/k/a Netanyahu) to give the Americans a fighting chance at blunting the rapid proliferation of Iranian influence in the region.  We now know, that the new Kurdistan in the north and the endless training in the south at Al-Tanf are meant to squeeze any efforts by Iran to project its economic power by extending a natural gas pipeline across Syria to the Mediterranean and its military power by roadways across Iraq and Syria to South Lebanon, Hizbollah’s home territory.

There can be no more screw-brained a plan than this one.  And if the U.S. is counting on Turkey to keep up its end by continually aiding and abetting the terrorists of Hay’`at Ahraar Al-Shaam (read: Alqaeda), it appears that kind of expectation is the stuff of delusion. The Turks are increasingly moving away from NATO and have little respect for the United States, as I wrote earlier.  They have, since 2015, closed their borders to Syrians coming from Idlib.  They have tightened controls over supplies to the Alqaeda terrorists.  The one thing they have not done completely is block smugglers from delivering much-needed material to the thugs who populate Idlib.  This is how the terrorists were able to manufacture the drones that attacked the Russian base at Humaymeem.  The state which gave them the basic design is clearly the Zionist Settler State.

Russia quickly retaliated against the terrorists by striking their factory and killing most of those who were responsible for the manufacture and design of the drones.  The intelligence they received identifying the location of the factory was, reportedly, from Turkey.  And Russian vengeance was most sweet.

Syrian Air Force bombing of Idlib is intensifying exponentially, as the terrorist propagandists admit.  The Syrian Air Force has been 100% revamped and modernized.  The army is much stronger.  Even with the American-made TOW anti-tank system, the terrorists have no chance because Syrian engineers developed the Saraab 1 and 2 which have effectively neutralized the efficacity of the TOWs.  With no new technology to help them, the terrorists are simply flipping their hour glasses until the final moments.

Saudi Arabia has ceased all funding to the Alqaeda led by Muhaysini.  There are no smugglers with briefcases full of money to pay salaries to the terrorists whose families have now become sorrowful characters in a Greek tragedy eerily unfolding every day.  With a Europe unwilling to accept them, the smuggling business is seeing a brisk upturn as families spend every item of jewelry on a passage to Greece and, hopefully, to Europe. I cannot envision a scenario more deprived of hope than what these wretches are facing.  It is only a matter of time.

The Americans have given the PKK MANPADs.  That’s going to make Erdoghan real happy.  There is already talk that the Turkish offensive at Afrin will begin today, Wednesday, January 17, 2018.  I hope the Kurds and the Turks blow each other up.  I pray for a bloody encounter that will teach the Turks about supporting terrorism and the Kurds about overreaching and treason.

In the meantime, another drama is taking place in the Eastern Ghouta.  The Army of Islam is still receiving its salaries from KSA.  But, as I understand it, the Saudis have given the ‘Alloosh brothers a limit.  They have been told to negotiate at Geneva or Sochi or get left out.  Don’t believe the nonsense spewed out by fake-news organizations about how popular the terrorists are in the Ghouta.  They are not popular.  They are only tolerated by a population of drudges. The decision has been made to beat the terrorists into the ground with air power.  Watch carefully the position taken by ‘Alloosh at Sochi – we predict a sudden abandonment of entrenched positions and an acceptance of Dr. Assad’s leadership.  They have no other choice.  And so little time.  ZAF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEWS AND COMMENT:
Petri Krohn shares this with us. The premise is simple, FSA = Alqaeda. Share with friends:

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/foreign-policy/no-fsa-al-qaeda/https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/foreign-policy/no-fsa-al-qaeda/

Chris sends this article explaining why imbecile Trump reneged on his promise to leave Afghanistan when in office.  This article pushes the thesis that the U.S. is terrified of the Chinese-led Belt Road project.  Just as afraid of Iran’s natural gas pipeline.  And you wonder why North Korea will not give up its nuclear arsenal!

https://journal-neo.org/2018/01/12/is-trump-afghan-policy-aimed-at-taliban-or-at-china/

France gives kiss of death to free speech ‘ By Finian Cunningham ‘Sputnik

Emmanual Macron

© Reuters Christian Hartmann/File Photo

This year French President Emmanuel Macron has declared he will crack down on “fake news” with new laws banning publication of “offending” information.

The question is: who decides what “fake news” is? It is the French government. That means any article or viewpoint published across various media platforms is liable to be deleted – if French authorities judge the content to be “fake”.

It’s not hard to imagine how these new laws will be used to target Russian news media in particular. Macron has already made tendentious claims that Russian media outlets, Sputnik and RT, interfered in the French presidential elections last year by allegedly spreading “fake news” about his campaign.

Sputnik and RT both rejected the allegations made by Macron. When Sputnik ran a couple of articles during the French elections they were based on critical comments issued by Macron’s opponents. Nothing more sinister than that.

During an official visit to Paris three weeks after Macron’s election last May, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference that the French leader did not delve into allegations of Russian media interference during their private conversations.

If Macron had a case, why didn’t he raise it during his high-level meeting with Putin? The fact that he didn’t suggests that the French president is grandstanding with baseless claims of “Russian meddling” – in the same way that American and British politicians have been doing over the past year.

Comment: Macron is no statesman, but a placeholder chosen and funded by the banking cabal.

Candidate Macron: An insider disguised as an outsider, wrapped in opportunism

He chose to raise the topic publicly, right in front of Putin at a joint press conference. Putin, of course, behaved like a true leader, saving his comments for a private meeting.

Macron accuses RT and Sputnik of ‘behaving like deceitful propaganda’ right in front of Putin

Macron’s campaign repeatedly accused Russia of interference in the election, claiming that Russian hackers attempted to gain access to its data, and impede the work of its website. A trove of communication purportedly from Macron’s staff was leaked on the internet a day before the run-off election. Moscow has staunchly denied any interference.

Despite an anticipated coolness in relations, the Russian president is one of the first world leaders to travel to Paris since Macron’s convincing election win.

On Monday, the pair spent three hours in what the French leader called a “frank exchange of views,” which Putin said would lead to a “qualitative” improvement in relations between the two countries.

Let’s get back to the issue of forthcoming French media laws and the danger they pose to free speech. So, if the French authorities deem any published content to be “fake”, they are arrogating the power to ban it.

The bitter irony of this development comes on the third anniversary this week of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

Recall that three years ago on January 7, 2015, a pair of Al Qaeda-linked gunmen stormed the offices of the satirical magazine and shot dead 11 people. The atrocity prompted millions of people on to the streets of Paris declaring, “Je Suis Charlie”. It was supposed to be a rally in defiant support of the right to free speech and freedom of expression.

Three years on, Macron’s government is proposing to shut down freedom of expression with its new laws purportedly targeting “fake news” – or any viewpoint designated by French authorities as “not established in facts”. As already noted, Macron has made the provocative assertions that Russian media outlets are purveyors of “fake news” – a claim that he makes without credible evidence or facts.

The danger of this development to free speech is illustrated by a survey published this week which alleges that the French public are susceptible to believing in “conspiracy theories”.

State-owned channel France 24 reported that nearly 80 per cent of French people believe in one or more “conspiracy theories”, according to the cited recent survey.

From the France 24 report:

“The poll by the Ifop Group on behalf of the Fondation Jean Jaures think-tank and the Conspiracy Watch organization found that large sections of French society believed in theories with no grounding in established fact.”

Fair enough, some of the expressed beliefs among the 1,200 people sampled do seem a bit whacky. For example, some 10 per cent of respondents reportedly said they believe that the “Earth is flat”; and another 16 per cent apparently think that the American moon landings were faked.

However, the report carried by France 24, as well as by Agence France-Presse (AFP), goes on to conflate those dubious concepts with other “conspiracy theories” which are in fact, very arguably, valid alternative points of view.

It was reported that “54 per cent of respondents” believe that the American CIA were involved in the assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963; and that “31 per cent agreed” with the viewpoint that Western state secret services have manipulated jihadist terror groups like Islamic State.

Here is how France 24 describes the JFK question: “One of the best-known conspiracy theories – that the CIA was involved in the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963 – was believed by 54 per cent of respondents.”

On the jihadist terror topic, it reports: “Other theories tested in the survey… included that jihadist groups Al Qaeda and the Islamic State were manipulated by Western secret services (31 per cent agreed).”

Note how the established, government-aligned French media are making pejorative judgments about the assassination of JFK and the nature of jihadist terror groups. Any viewpoint that does not conform to the “official” one on either of these topics is denigrated as “a conspiracy theory not based on established fact” – or, in short, “fake news”.

Under President Macron’s new media laws, articles or opinions which contend an alternative version of either the JFK assassination or jihadist terror groups are liable to be banned from public platforms. Moreover, those media outlets that do carry such alternative views could be sanctioned for publishing “fake news”.

We do not have the space here to go into depth on the two subjects cited above. But suffice to say that there is abundant, credible research and literature to support alternative explanations to the “official narratives”.

On the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963, the official story that he was murdered by a lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald has been debunked by several reliable sources. The elaborate nature of the shooting in Dealey Plaza and the subsequent cover-up had to involve a high-level covert state operation, including the CIA. The fatal headshot from the front is paramount proof that Oswald was not the assassin. Former American President Richard Nixon, as well as the late French President Charles De Gaulle, are both on record dismissing the official explanation about JFK’s murder as absurd (see JFK: An American Coup, by John Wilson-Hughes).

As for Al Qaeda and their offshoot jihadist terror groups, it has been scrupulously documented by Peter Dale Scott (The Road to 9/11), Michel Chossudovsky (America’s ‘War on Terrorism’), among other respected authors, that these groups were first created by American and British military intelligence as proxies to fight against Soviet troops in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

More recently, during the war in Syria, there is hard evidence showing that US, British and French intelligence agencies, along with Turkish counterparts and Saudi funding, instrumented Al Qaeda-linked terror proxies to wage a covert war for regime change. This contradicts the official Western government and media claims that Western states are “fighting against terrorism”. The evidence in fact shows Western government agencies colluding with terror groups to advance their geopolitical objectives, such as regime change.

Therefore, it is the official versions on JFK and terror groups that are arguably “fake news”. They are the “conspiracy theories not based on established fact”.

Yet, under Macron’s new laws, French authorities will be able to suppress valid, critical thinking and freedom of expression simply on the basis of assigning the label “fake news”.

This is a grave assault on democratic rights and the power of citizens to hold their governments to account, especially when those governments are up to their necks in criminality.

Comment: Macron is only attempting to complete an agenda that has been at work in France for years.

See Also:

The Responsibility to Protect the World … From the United States – By Ajamu Baraka

Iraqi boys walk on a destroyed street in a neighborhood recently retaken by Iraqi security forces during fighting against Islamic State militants on the western side of in Mosul, Iraq, Monday, April 3, 2017. (AP/Felipe Dana)

The fact that the United States and Europe can wrap themselves in the flag of morality, practice savior politics and get away with it is a testament to the enduring psychopathology of white supremacist ideology.

Opinion — One of the most ingenious propaganda weapons ever developed is that the powerful nations of the West—led by the United States—have a moral responsibility to use military force to protect the rights of people being repressed by their governments. This “responsibility to protect” (R2P) always had a dubious legal standing, but its moral justification also required a psychological and historical disengagement from the bloody reality of the 500-hundred-year history of U.S. and European colonialism, slavery, genocide and torture that created the “West.”

This violent, lawless Pan-European colonial/capitalist project continues today under the hegemony of the U.S. empire. This then begs the questions of who really needs the protection and who protects the peoples of the world from the United States and its allies? The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan “white identity politics.”

Neocons like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl were the driving forces in pushing for the war in Iraq. They understood if they wanted to sell war, “Americans” needed to believe the conflict was about values, not interests. The neocons dusted off and put a new face on that old rationalization for colonialism—the white man’s burden. Interventions were to bring democracy and freedom to those people who were struggling to be just like their more advanced models in the white West. Liberal interventionists further developed those ideas into “humanitarian interventionism” and the “responsibility to protect.”

 

The fact that the United States and Europe can wrap themselves in the flag of morality, practice savior politics and get away with it is a testament to the enduring psychopathology of white supremacist ideology.

The most extreme expressions of this cognitive dissonance occurred during the Obama administration, when the notion of U.S. exceptionalism was used to justify continuing the barbarism of the Bush administration’s so-called War on Terror. With this justification and the outrageous assertion that it was defending democracy, the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination committed crimes against humanity and war crimes that resulted in the deaths of millions, while millions more were displaced and ancient cities, nations and peoples were destroyed.

The result? International Gallup and Pew research polls have consistently shown the peoples of the world consider the United States the greatest threat to world peace on the planet.

 

National Security Strategy Under Trump: More of the Same

President-elect Donald Trump, center, listens to a member of the military in the stands as he watches an Army-Navy NCAA college football game at M&T Bank Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

When the Trump administration released its National Security Strategy, Liberal pundits suggested it was a significantly different than any previous U.S. strategy. But beyond some specific references to putting “America” and its citizens first in relationship to the economy, and the reactionary stances of tightening border security and enforcing strict immigration policies, Trump’s strategy did not stray much from the post-Cold War strategy of the preceding years.

The difference that did exist was more in style than substance. The Trump administration completely dispensed with all pretexts used by previous administrations. Even domestic law, like the War Powers Act that was ignored by the Obama administration continues to be of no concern for the new Trump administration.  Now it is Trump’s “America first” with no concern for international law or accepted standards of behavior.


Read more from CounterPunch


Unchecked by the countervailing power of the Soviet Union, the bi-partisan National Security Strategy produced in the 1990s that committed the U.S. state to pursue policies that would ensure continued U.S. economic, political and military hegemony through the 21st century—the “new American century”—is still the overall strategic objective of this administration.

Even explicitly naming China and Russia as “competition” that threatens to harm the country’s security was not that much of a departure since the centerpiece of U.S policy has been checking any state that challenged U.S. power in any region. The Trump administration named threats to U.S. interests—North Korea in Asia, Russia in Eurasia, Iran in West Asia, with jihadist groups included in case the United States needed a War on Terror (WOT) justification for U.S. interventions anywhere in the world.

While Neocons and liberal interventionists in previous administrations sugarcoated U.S. geo-strategic objectives to mask hegemony, the Trump rhetoric is crude, direct and unambiguously aggressive. Protecting U.S. interests in the 21st century means relying on military aggression, war and subversion.

 

Building the U.S. anti-war movement as the responsibility to protect from Empire

A protest against the US missile strike against Syria during a rally in New York on Friday, April 7, 2017. (AP/Andres Kudacki)

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated the obvious: the United States was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. He also said the public allowing this violence would lead to a kind of national spiritual death that would continue to make the U.S. state a danger to the world.

That spiritual death has not quite happened completely. Yet accepting the “inevitability” of violence and the necessity for waging war is now more deeply ingrained in the collective consciousness of individuals in the United States than it was 50 years ago when King warned of the deep malady of U.S. society. For most of the 21st century, the United States has been at war. Culturally, mass shootings, the wars on drugs and terror, violence and war as entertainment, livestreamed videos of horrendous police-executed murders as well as of a head of state being sodomized with a knife have resulted in what Henry Giroux refers to as a “culture of cruelty.

But the very fact that the authorities need to lie to the people with fairy tales of the responsibility to protect in order to give moral coverage for the waging of war is an acknowledgement that they understand that there is enough humanity left with the public that it would reject U.S. warmongering if it was only seen as advancing narrow national interests.

It is this remaining moral core—and the objective interests of the clear majority of the people to be in opposition to war—that provides the foundation for reviving the modern anti-war movement.

Baltimore was the site of the rebellion in response to Freddie Gray’s murder by the domestic military we refer to as “the police.” There, a couple of hundred activists will convene January 12 to kick off a new campaign to close all U.S. foreign bases. This gathering is the result of a new coalition of forces—both old and new—to revive the U.S. anti-war movement. This conference comes on the heels of another meeting that took place just a few months ago in Washington, D.C., where some of the same forces came together to kick-off a campaign to “divest from the war machine.”

Strategically these efforts are designed to be the first steps toward building the confidence, institutional strength and programmatic focus of a new, reinvigorated, broad-based, anti-war, pro-peace and anti-imperialist movement in the United States We are opposing the warmongering both corporate political parties have normalized.

The difficulties and challenges of this endeavor are not lost on the various organizations, networks and coalitions that are part of these efforts. We all recognize that there are no shortcuts to the delicate reconstructing of our existing forces and the challenge of expanding those forces by bringing in new formations. The ideological and political differences that have surfaced among left and progressive forces around issues of war and imperialism make it more challenging.

But the imperative of expressing solidarity with the victims of U.S. warmongering must take precedence over our differences and should serve as a basis for building political unity.

Solidarity, however, is not enough for those of us in the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP). We recognize its importance as a baseline principle for (re)-building a broad anti-war movement. Our common interests with other oppressed peoples, nations and states that find themselves in the cross-hairs of U.S. imperialism demands we offer more than solidarity—we must stand as allies.

We saw how the anti-war opposition that emerged during the Bush years in opposition to lawless state-sanctioned violence, dissolved during the Obama administration. Liberals and major elements of the “left” objectively aligned themselves with the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination through their silence or outright support in the name of opposing authoritarian regimes.

The consequence of that class collaboration is the spectrum of war has today become a permanent feature of policy discourse. The obscene $80 billion increase in military spending that was supported by both parties and the corporate media reflects that collaboration and the corrosive impact of almost two decades of militarism on the politics and consciousness of the public.

So, for BAP, the historic task is clear.

The people must be separated from the capitalist oligarchy and the nature of the state must be exposed. Our politics must be clear and our rhetoric devoid of liberal ambiguities. We must expose the underlying capitalist-class interests that are masked by appeals to national interests and patriotism. The anti-war movement must advance a clear understanding of the economic and class interests that are at root of imperialist strategies and great power conflicts. We must assert without equivocation the position that we can’t get rid of the scourge of war without getting rid of racism and capitalism and that the people should reject all calls to protect the national interests promoted by the ruling elites.

We must say if the rulers want war, let them fight it themselves!

The anti-war and anti-imperialist position must be seen as the highest expression of internationalism and global solidarity. Activists in the United States must reject all efforts to pink-wash militarism and recognize their moral obligation—as citizens of empire—to oppose all U.S. military interventions. We must take the position that we will no longer allow chicken hawk politicians to send our sons and daughters off to other lands, where they become war criminals fighting other working-class and poor people who only want social justice, national sovereignty and self-determination for themselves.

The permanent war agenda of the capitalist dictatorship must be met with permanent opposition from the working class and all oppressed people. The people must understand the link between the racialized justifications for making war abroad with the intensification of the war being waged against Black and Brown communities in the United States

We say to progressives that you can’t pretend that you believe “Black Lives Matter” in the United States and not be opposed to the assault on the humanity of Palestinians, of Yemenis, of the millions lost in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of the destruction of Libya and of coups in Honduras and destabilization in Venezuela.

Reject the racist 21st century version of the white man’s burden with its absurd notion of humanitarian war and the responsibility to protect and understand that the real threat to world peace is the empire that we are all a part of.

Our task is clear: the anti-war position is not an add-on. It is a fundamental moral and political obligation for the citizens of empire. The world can no longer wait.

Top Photo | Iraqi boys walk on a destroyed street in a neighborhood recently destroyed by US airstrikes which claimed the lives of several civilians in Mosul, Iraq, April 3, 2017. (AP/Felipe Dana)

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine. 

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Israel’s Ongoing Bombing of Syria Threatens Dangerous Escalation – By Darius Shahtahmasebi

Damaged buildings wrecked by an Israeli airstrike are seen in Damascus, Syria, May 5, 2013. (AP/SANA)

The Syrian Army is alleging that Israeli jets struck positions dozens of times within Syria early Tuesday morning in the al-Qutayfa area east of Damascus.

 

According to a statement by Syria’s General Command, the Syrian government’s air defenses not only intercepted all of the missiles Israel fired, but it even managed to counter strike one of the Israeli jets, the Jerusalem Post reports.

While the strike is unconfirmed on the Israeli side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the recent assault during a lunch with NATO ambassadors in Jerusalem, according to the Post.

“We have a long-standing policy to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah from Syrian territory. This policy has not changed. We back it up as necessary with action,” he said.

Israel has hit Syrian territory over 100 times since the conflict began in 2011. It has also openly talked recently about bombing Lebanon. Each of these conflict theaters is aimed at containing Iran’s expanding influence.

All of this begs the question: Why haven’t Iran, Syria, and/or Hezbollah in Lebanon responded directly?

Striking the territory of a sovereign nation is not only an act of war, it is completely illegal without authorization from the U.N. unless it has been done in self-defense.


Related


Is it because Israel reportedly has well over 200 nukes all “pointed at Iran,” and there is little Iran and its allies can do to take on such a threat?

According to the Guardian, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly instructed both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah not to retaliate against Israeli strikes in Syria. The Guardian also notes that Israeli media has claimed Putin even proposed a deal that would prevent foreign powers from using Syria as a base for attacking a neighboring state, a blatant reference to Iran.

While much of Syria’s air defenses are Russian-supplied, the Jerusalem Post notes that the far more advanced Russian S-300 and S-400 have not been used against Israeli jets, but Syrian air defenses have. This includes an incident in March where three anti-aircraft missiles with a 200-kilogram warhead targeted several Israeli jets.

Clearly, Russia has no interest in getting involved in a spat between Israel and Iran. In fact, it can most likely use the impending conflict to further pursue its goals in the Middle East and successfully emerge as the major power broker, wedging the United States out of the area completely. Even now, Russia is continuing its support for the Syrian government to retake the remaining parts of Syria currently up for grabs, particularly in the Idlib province. Much of the media’s attention is focused elsewhere, like the protests in Iran.

Make no mistake, the looming conflict between Iran and Israel via its proxy states could easily break out unless something drastic is done to diffuse it.

On Tuesday, the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, warned of the proliferation of accurate Iranian missiles in the Middle East.

“The Iranians are coasting into the Middle East undisturbed and with very large forces, in a way that virtually creates an air and land corridor that pours fighters into the region in order to actualize the Iranian vision,”Cohen warned at a Finance Ministry event in Jerusalem on Tuesday, adding that “we hear the concerns from Sunni leaders about Iran are growing, just as they are in Israel. We are hearing it from everywhere.”

Speaking to Politico in December, Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer also warned:

“If Iran is not rolled back in Syria, then the chances of military confrontation are growing. I don’t want to tell you by the year or by the month. I’d say even by the week,” he said.

Because the more they push, we have to enforce our redlines, and you always have the prospects of an escalation, even when parties don’t want an escalation. So in taking action to defend ourselves, you don’t know what could happen. But I think it’s higher than people think.”

In the meantime, it is unclear how much Russia might tolerate a blatant attack on Iran if it extends past the disputed border area with Israel. Regardless, Iran and Russia will remain key allies in the years to come until Washington’s influence and control over the Middle East have all but completely eroded.

Top Photo | Damaged buildings wrecked by an Israeli airstrike are seen in Damascus, Syria, May 5, 2013. (AP/SANA)

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

 

Trump’s s***hole comment encapsulates America’s perpetually racist foreign policy – By Danielle Ryan

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance journalist. Having lived and worked in the US, Germany and Russia, she is currently based in Budapest, Hungary. Her work has been featured by Salon, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, Russia Direct, teleSUR, The BRICS Post and others. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleRyanJ, check out her Facebook page, or visit her website: danielle-ryan.com
 
Trump’s s***hole comment encapsulates America’s perpetually racist foreign policy
Critics of US President Donald Trump were quick to point out that his alleged use of the term “s***hole countries” to describe Haiti and some African nations does not reflect what all Americans think of the rest of the world.

And they are correct. There are indeed millions of Americans who feel genuinely disgusted that their president has characterized less fortunate nations in such a way. But Trump’s comment forces those Americans to reckon with an uncomfortable reality: There are also millions of Americans who do share the president’s sentiments. Fox News confirmed as much when, defending Trump, a host on the channel commented that this is just how Americans “talk at the bar”.

The S***hole Principle

But let’s be honest. The “s***hole” comment is actually the least offensive expression of this reality. Because in fact, American foreign policy is built on, well, let’s call it the ‘s***hole principle’: The idea that it’s perfectly reasonable to bomb, loot, destabilize and otherwise destroy any s***hole country that’s inconveniently refusing to bow to American demands — and that the US has the singular right to act in such a manner.

In polite company, this is known as American exceptionalism and the US is referred to as “the indispensable nation”. This ideology, which, by definition, characterizes other countries as “dispensable” is supported by Americans of all political stripes. Trump just doesn’t bother with the niceties or the facade — and the facade is a crucial part of maintaining the widespread acceptability of such an imperialist ideology.

It’s a source of endless fascination and bafflement to many non-Americans that interventionist foreign policy, which reduces other nations to rubble, is repeatedly one of the few sources of bipartisan agreement — while making a racist comment is considered a step too far.

Phony media outrage

If Trump’s critics in the Democratic Party and their supporters across the United States want to get angry about their government’s treatment of less fortunate nations, there’s no shortage of former presidents at which they could direct some of their ire.

But that’s been rather difficult lately, because since Trump’s election, the media has been more than happy to wipe the US foreign policy record clean in favor of a narrative that paints the current White House inhabitant as uniquely evil or abhorrent. This kind of ‘Trumpwashing’ allows Trump’s opponents to live in a fantasy land where America’s leaders were, until January 2017, benign, peace-loving individuals who worked only for the good of humankind.

Speaking of the media, it should be noted that while many high profile figures in its ranks were quick to castigate Trump for his crude comment, their industry has been only too happy to promote the stereotype of African and Middle Eastern countries as wasteland s***holes for decades. As writer Karen Attiah put it in a piece for the Washington Post, Western media has long used column inches to treat black and brown nations like nothing but backward s***holes.

In the midst of the outrage over Trump’s comment, one American journalist piped up to remind everyone that the “true s***hole country” we should all be talking about is actually Russia. Then there’s Josh Barro, the Business Insider editor who once opined on Russia as a “dystopic s***hole since the dawn of history.” Yet Barro has emerged as an oh-so-sincere critic of Trump’s for using the same word to describe other countries.

These examples are further clarification, if any was needed, that in liberal media circles, racism and xenophobia are absolutely fine — that is, if Russians are the target. Recall also, former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper commenting, without any backlash, that Russians are “genetically driven” to be dishonest. There is simply no way Clapper would have gotten away with such a comment had it been about any other nationality.

Rose-tinted glasses

If Americans want to use the s***hole scandal to have a conversation about how their government really treats other nations, they need to move beyond this kind of faux outrage and actually acknowledge a few home truths.

Since Haiti is a hot topic right now, they might start with reading up on how Bill and Hillary Clinton, beloved of the liberal media, played a key role in keeping that country on its knees in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2010.

Pro-intervention conservatives, who find the idea of hosting even small numbers of Middle Eastern or North African refugees unacceptable, could perhaps do some light reading into their government’s role in invading or otherwise destabilizing a long list of countries in that region, too. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen — there’s plenty of recent history to choose from.

In response to Trump’s comment, El Salvador’s government sent the US a formal letter of protest. The country’s foreign ministry wrote that the comments were “detrimental to the dignity of El Salvador and other countries”. Meanwhile, independent journalist Jeremy Scahill tweeted a reminder of the US’s arming, training and financing of murderous paramilitaries in El Salvador in the 1980s.

“The US wanted El Salvador to be a s***hole,” Scahill wrote.

That line cuts to the heart of this issue. Too many of Trump’s critics are wearing rose-tinted glasses about the good ol’days before big bad Trump came along and ruined everything. That’s why they so easily erupt into outrage over the word s***hole but fail to see decades of imperialist and racist foreign policy as problematic.

Yes, Trump made a vulgar comment. But the real difference between him and the presidents who have come before him is that he is willing to rip off the mask of decency and reveal the truly ugly face of American leadership that lies beneath it. If nothing else, the world should thank him for that.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

 
 
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The good news about the Trump Presidency: stupid can be good! – By The Saker

January 11, 2018

The good news about the Trump Presidency: stupid can be good!

[Note: This column was written for the Unz Review]

Just a few days shy of the one year since the inauguration of Donalt Trump as President of the United States I think that it would be reasonable to say that pretty much everybody, besides the Neocons and a few unconditional supporters, is now feeling quite appalled at what the past year brought to the USA and the planet. Those who hated Trump don’t hate him any less, while those who had hopes for Trump, such as myself, now have to accept that these hopes never materialized. I think that if we imagine a Hillary Presidency then the word “evil” would be a good way to describe what such a Presidency would most likely have been like. Likewise, if I had to chose a single word to describe the Trump Presidency, at least so far, I think that this word should be “stupid”. I won’t even bother, as I had initially planned, to list all the stupid things Trump has said and done since his inauguration (those who think otherwise might as well stop reading here). I will say that it gives me no pleasure writing this because I also had hopes that Trump would fulfill at least some of his campaign promises (even though most of my support for him was based on the fact that he was not Hillary who, I still believe, would have brought the USA and Russia to war against each other). Furthermore, each time I recall Trump’s inauguration speech I have this painful sense of a most important and totally missed opportunity: to finally restore the sovereignty of the USA to the the people of the USA and to return to a civilized and rational international policy. Alas, this did not happen and that is a reality we have to accept and deal with.

I also want to clarify that when I say that the Trump Presidency can be best summed up with the word “stupid” I don’t just mean The Donald himself. I mean the entire Administration (I don’t mention Congress, as Congress as been about stupid for as long as I can recall it). If you wonder how I can call an entire administration “stupid” even though it is composed of often brilliant civil servants, lawyers, academic, technical specialists, etc I will simply reply that I don’t judge an administration by the resumes of those working for it, but simply by its output, what it actually does. If what this administration produces is a lot of stupid, then this is a stupid administration.

Stupid can mean a lot of different things. For example, it can mean stupid threats against North Korea. That is a very frightening kind of stupid. But there is also a very good kind of stupid. For example, I think that the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a wonderful kind of stupid which I warmly welcome.

Why?

Because it is the kind of stupid which tremendously weakens the AngloZionist Empire!

Think of the damage this truly stupid move did to not only the US international reputation (which indeed was already pretty close to zero even before this latest move) but also to the US capability to get anything done at all the the Middle-East. The military defeat of the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan and the political defeat of the USA in Syria just needed a little something to truly make the USA irrelevant in the Middle-East and now, thanks to Donald Trump, this has now happened! Furthermore, there was a dirty little secret which everybody new about which has now become a public fact:

USA= ISRAEL & ISRAEL=USA

Again this is all very good. Even better is the fact that the only ones disagreeing with this would be Honduras, Guatemala, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Togo, Nauru and southern Sudan and, of course, Israel.

The US foreign policy has become so outlandishly stupid that even the most subservient US puppet regimes (say, the UK, Norway, ROK or Japan) or are now forced to condemn it, at least publicly. A lot of credit here goes to Nikki Haley who, following this catastrophic vote, decided to make things even worse by blackmailign the UN and all its member states. Finally, President Trump himself sealed it all by giving Nikki Haley’s speech a very public endorsement.

So stupid as this may have been, and stupid it really was, in this instance the results of this stupid were nothing short of a blessing for the Middle-East: even Hamas is now finally talking again with Hezbollah and Iran!

Just as we can sincerely thank President Obama for pushing Russia and China into each other’s arms, we can now all thank Nikki Haley and Trump for uniting the resistance to the state of Israel and the entire AngloZionist Empire. I can just about imagine the jubilation in Tehran when the Iranians heard the good news!

But good stupid does not stop here. The fact that the US elites are all involved in a giant shootout against each other by means of investigations, scandals, accusations, talks of impeachment, etc. is also a blessing because while they are busy fighting each other they are much less capable of focusing on their real opponents and enemies. For months now President Trump has mostly ruled the USA by means of “tweets” which, of course, and by definition, amounts to exactly nothing and there is nothing which could be seriously called a “US foreign policy” (with the exception of the neverending stream of accusations, threats and grandstanding, which don’t qualify). There are real risks and opportunities resulting from this situation

  1. Risks: when nobody is really in charge, each agency does pretty much what it wants. We saw that during the 2ndhalf of the Obama Presidency when State did one thing, the Pentagon another and the CIA yet another. This resulted in outright goofy situation with US allies attacking each other in Syria and Iraq because they all reported to different agencies. The risk here is obvious: for example, when US diplomats made an agreement with Russia in Syria, the Pentagon torpedoed the very next day by attacking Syrian forces. The recent attacks on the Russian Aerospace Forces base in Khmeimim (and the latest drone attack on that same base) would exactly fit that pattern. The Russians have been complaining for months now that the USA are “non-agreement capable” and this can clearly be a problem and a risk.
  2. Opportunities: when nobody is in charge then the AngloZionist Empire cannot really bring its full force against one specific target. This of a car or bus in which all the passengers are fighting each other for the control of the steering wheel. This is bad for them, but good for everybody else as the only place this car or bus is headed for is the ditch. Furthermore, since currently the US is, at various degrees, threatening no less than 9 countries (Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Turkey, Pakistan, China) these threats sound rather hollow. Not only that, but should the USA get seriously involved in any type of conflict with any one of these countries, this would open great opportunities for the others to take action. Considering how the US elites are busy fighting each other there and threatening everybody else there is very little change that the USA could focus enough to seriously threaten any of its opponents. But this goes much further than the countries I mentioned here. There is a French expression which goes “when the cat’s away, the mice will play” and this is what we might see next: more countries following the example of the Philippines, which used to be a subservient US colony and which now is ruled my a man who has no problems publicly insulting the US President, at least when Obama was President (Duterte seems to like Trump more than Obama). There have already been signs that the South Koreans are taking their first timid steps towards telling “no” to Uncle Sam.

I am not trying to paint a rosy picture of the situation which is bad, no doubt about that. Having ignorant fools in charge of nuclear weapons is not good, by definition. But I do want to suggest two things: first, that no matter stupid Trump is, Hillary would have been infinitely worse and, second, that there are also some good aspects to the current vacuum of power in Washington, DC.

If we can agree that anything that weakens the AngloZionist Empire is a good thing (including for the American people!), as is anything which brings its eventual demise closer, then there is a lot to be grateful for the past year. The Empire really began to crumble under George W. Bush (thanks Neocons!), and that process most definitely continued under Obama. However, Donald Trump is the one who truly given this process a tremendous acceleration which has, I think, brought it to a qualitatively new level. The risks ahead are still tremendous, but so far the Empire is losing and the Resistance to it is still winning. And that is a very good thing.

The Saker

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