Press review: Damascus to deal death blow to al-Nusra and CEFC set to seal Rosneft deal – By TASS

January 19, 13:00 UTC+3

Top stories in the Russian press on Friday

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

 

Izvestia: Syria’s Idlib offensive to deal final blow to al-Nusra terrorists

The Syrian army is gearing up for a large-scale offensive in Idlib, with the goal of encircling and wiping out Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist group, outlawed in Russia), three sources in the country’s army told Izvestia on Friday. The ruling Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party also confirmed the plans to the paper.

The Syrian government forces have surrounded a large group of militants to the southeast of Idlib and seek to create a foothold for an offensive against al-Nusra’s major stronghold, Syrian army sources said. Terrorists from the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) will be also surrounded and as these two groups fight each other, the mop-up operation is expected to be a success soon, one of the sources said.

A Syrian MP from the ruling Ba’ath Party, Jamal Rabia, told the paper that during the operation, control over the strategic Abu al-Duhur airport will be established. It will be used for a speedy and uninterrupted supply for the forces.

 

“Syria’s generals with the help of Russian instructors have mastered the tactics of creating “pockets” and are successfully implementing it,” First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s (upper house) Defense and Security Committee Frantz Klintsevich said.

“I’m sure that in the near future if Syrian forces continue their offensive at the same pace, the territories held by militants will be liberated.”

 

Izvestia: Russia no longer implicated for alleged role in Montenegro coup attempt

Russian officials, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, are not mentioned anymore in the legal proceedings in connection with the 2016 coup d’etat attempt in Montenegro, leader of the Montenegrin opposition and one of key suspects Milan Knezhevich told Izvestia.

“Now the accusations are only against two “Russian nationalists,” who had been earlier called special agents,” said Knezhevich, who heads the Democratic Front that unites the country’s key opposition forces. “This is a drastic change in the situation. Apparently, the prosecutor has realized that this staged case won’t be a success if it is linked to Russia.”

The politician said Montenegro’s major goal is to end the trial before the presidential election set for March 2018. “The court should announce the sentence before the election to fully discredit the opposition in the eyes of Montenegrins. If they continue searching for a ‘Russian’ trace, the process may be delayed. Moreover, the prosecutors have not offered any hard evidence so far,” he noted.

Montenegro also understands that if Russian state structures are mentioned in the verdict, this will inevitably result in economic losses for Podgorica. Montenegro could lose Russian investments, energy projects and tourists, Pyotr Iskenderov, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Izvestia. “This fact plays an important role when financial support from the United States and the European Union is not expected. At present, Washington is not even planning to help its traditional allies, let alone Montenegro,” he stressed.

 

Vedomosti: China’s CEFC waiting to seal Rosneft stake purchase

The deal on selling 14.16% shares of Russian oil and gas major Rosneft to CEFC China Energy may be sealed next week, two sources close to the negotiations told Vedomosti. Another source familiar with one of shareholders said the deal may be closed “in two weeks at maximum.” The document, which the sides plan to sign at a ceremony, has been already drafted, he said.

Upon closing the deal, CEFC will become the third largest shareholder of the Russian oil company, the paper writes. Other Rosneft shareholders are the state’s Rosneftegaz with 50% plus 1 share and Britain’s BP with 19.75% of shares. Qatar’s QIA and Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company, have 5.3% of Rosneft’s shares. QIA and Glencore have not commented on whether their representatives will withdraw from the board of directors.

Initially, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin expected to close the deal by the end of 2017, however, the reasons for the hold-up are unknown, the paper writes. “Most likely, the delay is because of the Chinese side,” Raiffeisenbank analyst Andrey Polischuk said. CEFC reported that it had secured the approval of China’s National Development and Reform Commission in September. However, since then China has stepped up its foreign currency control, Vedomosti says.

 

Kommersant: Donbass reintegration law shows Kiev snubs EU, wagers on US

On Thursday, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a law on Donbass’ reintegration that lays the groundwork for relations with the breakaway republics and is aimed at launching a mechanism for their return to Ukraine. Although President Pyotr Poroshenko had initially worked to turn the document into a tool for fulfilling the Minsk deal, the law confirms Kiev’s refusal to honor the deal reached with the mediation of Russia, France and Germany, the paper says.

The introduction of the “Russian aggression” notion is aimed at outlining Ukraine’s new approach to the negotiations, Director of the Kiev-based Institute of Global Strategies Vadim Karasev told Kommersant. Kiev’s major goal is after signing the Minsk accords three years ago, to acknowledge that the Donbass war is a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which will now have to come to terms. Earlier, Kiev held talks with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, while Moscow was not considered as a party to the conflict.

“Following the adoption of the law three scenarios are possible: freezing the conflict, unfreezing it or a Russian-Ukrainian settlement on a bilateral basis,” Karasev stated.

According to the expert, Kiev’s withdrawal from the Minsk deal comes as a result of its plans to turn its back on the EU and shift towards the United States. “Ukraine believes that the mediation of Germany and France has failed, given that Berlin and Paris have been unable to ensure the Minsk deal’s implementation. That’s why today Kiev is placing its strategic stake on Washington, expecting that only US strategic pressure on Moscow will be rather tough and effective,” the expert said.

 

Kommersant: Israeli weapons eclipse Russian arms on Indian market

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is wrapping up his six-day visit to India on Friday, the first one for the Jewish state’s head for over the past 15 years. Kommersant writes that the trip has shown that military-technical cooperation is of major importance for both countries. The parties agreed to resume talks on signing a $500 mln contract to supply India with Spike anti-tank missiles. Closer ties between the two countries come amid the new “honeymoon” in US-Israeli relations and also India turning into Washington’s key partner in Asia.

India is wagering on attracting investments and cutting-edge foreign technology while Israel, which used to have rather strained bilateral relations for years, has become one of its priority partners.

Until recently, Moscow and New Delhi had been developing military and technical cooperation: for five years India had remained among top buyers of Russian weapons. However, in 2017 the situation changed, the sides did not sign any contract.

“Israel is filling a number of niches on India’s weapons market that Russia cannot occupy due to technological restrictions. The United States cannot do this either due to red tape and its intention to link weapons supplies to general political issues,” Vasily Kashin, senior research fellow at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Kommersant. Israel’s Spike missiles, equipped with imaging infrared seekers, don’t have full counterparts in Russia. Besides, Israel outpaces Russia in drones and is a major supplier of these technologies to India, he said. Even if Russia has similar weapons, in some cases India still gives priority to cooperation with Israel due to its intention to diversify sources of supplies.

 

TASS is not responsible for the material quoted in the press review

 
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Russian Evening News Exposes Monsanto’s Evil Methods (Video) – By Leo Standish ( Russia Insider )

Russian Evening News Exposes Monsanto’s Evil Methods (Video)

“The Kiev government also plans to sell 10.5 million hectares of land to foreign companies, which is 1/9 of Europe’s arable land. It is possible that a lion’s share will go to Monsanto.”

MORE: Business

The EU has just extended a contract with Monsanto for five more years despite the history of problems caused by their pesticides. This decision was carried out against the will of the people . 

In the following clip (with text below) Russia’s top news anchor tears into both Monsanto and the corrupt politicians who collaboratively awarded them major agricultural contracts impacting the majority of Europe. The correspondent then shows us the tragic human cost of Monsanto’s deadly products.


Transcript:

Anchor:

It’s a colossal corruption scandal, which the European Union prefers be hushed up. Probably, for corruption reasons as well.

On Monday, an EU ad hoc appeal committee voted to extend the license allowing farmers to use a fertilizer called glyphosate. The current license expires on December 15.

Glyphosate is a common defoliant to eliminate weeds. It’s produced by the giant transnational corporation Monsanto. Monsanto has a bad reputation. It was this company that produced the military defoliant chemical Agent Orange, used by the Americans during the Vietnam War to find Vietcong guerrillas hiding in the jungle.

It was this company that produced the currently prohibited agricultural poison DDT. Some want glyphosate to be banned, too, since it is practically not excreted from the human body, but is accumulated, and, according to a timid assessment by the World Health Organization, is “a possible carcinogen,” that is, causes cancer.

The forces of glyphosate’s supporters and opponents, however, are not equal. In Europe alone, Monsanto spends about 1.5 billion euros a year on its lobbying projects. This is an open figure. Certainly, there is also a classified one.

In the US, the list of official lobbyists of the powerful company includes prominent senators and statespeople. Even Hillary Clinton doesn’t hide that she is connected with Monsanto and promotes the corporation’s interests.

Bill Gates invested tens of millions of dollars in Monsanto. He’s notorious for his obsession with reducing the world’s population. Take, for instance, his project to use ultrasound to stop the production of sperm in male testicles.

However, let’s return to the vote in the European Commission to extend the license for glyphosate on the continent. According to the rules, a decision is passed if at least 16 EU countries with a total population of 65% of the entire EU population – the so-called demographic majority- votes for it.

Let’s count. 18 countries voted “for”. Here everything is okay. Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the UK. Portugal abstained. But, according to the rules, abstainers are coupled with those who are “for”.

So, the total population of these 19 countries is just slightly more than 65% of the total population of the European Union. To be more precise, it’s 65.71%. Everything seems transparent. But there’s one little thing. No demographic majority would have been achieved without Germany. Germany was represented by a man with a very honest face, the Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt.

But until recently Germany has always been against glyphosate. And this is how Schmidt should vote. But Schmidt voted for glyphosate. Has Germany changed its stance at the last second? No. It’s simply because Schmidt personally decided so.

Chancellor Merkel was quietly enraged by this. The vote was not in accordance with the instructions of the federal government, and such behavior on the part of Minister Schmidt does not comply with the norms.

Chancellor Merkel:

“That’s all, she scolded him. Now journalists in Berlin are talking about Schmidt’s dismissal, but they are journalists. No one is really going to dismiss Schmidt.”

Resignation is impossible now, as all ministers are currently acting, and there is no new government coalition in Germany so far. A scandal has already broken out, and then there’s some Schmidt on top of it. But this is how things are done in Europe.

OK, he did so, and Europe will be etched for another five years. OK, they hushed it up for clarity. Anastasia Popova is reporting from Europe about how things are done over there.

Correspondent:

Theo, 10, is fond of reading books about knights, where good conquers evil.

For him, the same battle was a two-year debate to ban glyphosate in Europe, a poison for plants, which made him disabled while he was still in the womb.

Sabine Grattalou, Theo’s mother:

“When I used this product in the stables, I was 3 weeks pregnant. It was the very beginning of pregnancy, I did not know about it yet. But embryos’ organs are being formed during this period, esophagus and trachea.”

Correspondent:

They were told that glyphosate is safe and fully dissolves in the soil. These commercials were broadcast on all French TV channels. It predetermined the choice of the parents. When the boy was born, he could not speak at all before the age of 3. To date, he has undergone 52 operations. But the doctors could restore neither his health nor his voice.

Theo Grattalou:

“Do not believe the commercials because Monsanto has made a false video claiming that it is a bio-product, that it decomposes, that it is safe for human health. At first, I was surprised at the vote, and then I became angry. Especially, because of Germany. The Minister of Agriculture made a personal decision which concerns the entire country.”

Correspondent:

Christian Schmidt surprised everyone when he broke ranks with Angela Merkel and the federal government, saying “yes” to the license. His vote allowed it to clear the threshold of 65%.

He faces early retirement at home for his actions. The chancellor herself criticizes him publicly, but there is an interesting nuance. Last year, the German enterprise Bayer decided to buy Monsanto for $66 billion.

Marie-Monique Robin, journalist:

“Their goal is to control the world’s entire food chain from the farmer’s field to the consumer’s table. Should this deal be approved by the EU, we’ll get an industrial monster, they will control everything: seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, but also all medicines that will treat people, sick from these chemicals.”

Correspondent:

The journalist says that the US is experiencing a surge in intestinal diseases, autism, diabetes, and cancer. The molecules of glyphosate are the reason for it.

A similar situation exists in Argentina and Sri Lanka.

Film frames:

“In Denmark, pigs that ate soy with the weedkiller became infertile or they had miscarriages. Piglets were born with deformities. This piglet was born yesterday, with deformities. He has exencephaly. There’s no upper part. There’s no skull, the brain is exposed. Fortunately, he was born dead. With the increased level of glyphosate, there have been more piglets like this.”

Correspondent:

Two French farmers filed a lawsuit against Monsanto. One of them has already won the trial. Both have cancer, caused by glyphosate fumes.

It’s a rather minor trouble for a company whose profits last year amounted to $ 13.5 billion. A suspended license in the EU would be far more painful. However, Monsanto not only invests in paid research, but also lashes out on the lobby.

In Brussels alone, they spend about half a million euros per year on this. Despite the petition and the appeals of the European Parliament, 8 countries voted to allow glyphosate, one country abstained, only 9 voted against it, including France.

Macron promises to find alternatives to Roundup within 3 years, but, economically, the French farmers are not ready yet to give it up right away.

Henri Jasse, farmer:

“We mainly use this product after harvesting to cleanse the land. Sometimes before sowing, when we prepare the ground and burn the weeds. We spray it, and in 5-6 days we can sow.”

Correspondent:

It’s cheap and quick, which is often the determining factor for farmers. Not everybody can afford another way of farming by alternating crops and growing bio.

Henri Jasse, farmer:

“If you use a lot of Roundup and glyphosate, it’ll affect the plants. It won’t remain in the soil, but it will backfire on us through the food we eat. But people still keep using it. It’s just practical. It’s like McDonald’s, we know that it’s harmful, but we still go there.”

Correspondent:

Founded more than a hundred years ago in the USA, Monsanto produced Agent Orange which Americans used in the Vietnam War to burn all the plants, which resulted in 3 million people affected by dioxin and crippled children. Monsanto developed DDT, dubbed chemical AIDS. It’s genetically modified seeds that change the biochemistry of the body. They are still banned in the EU, but it is already possible to buy GMOs for animal feed. It is produced in North, South America, Asia, and Africa. There are Monsanto offices in 66 countries around the world.

A whole plant for the production of GMO seeds has been built in Pochuyki, Ukraine.

A Ukrainian farmer:

“It’s not very good for me, soon I’ll have to sell my house and flee. The youth voted for this plant to produce seeds and poisons, maybe they were bribed?”

Correspondent:

The Kiev government also plans to sell 10.5 million hectares of land to foreign companies, which is 1/9 of Europe’s arable land. It is possible that a lion’s share will go to Monsanto. It already chose 10 fields for genetic testing on plants. It’s planning to seize control of the whole market. Ukraine ranks third in the world for the export of corn, and fifth for the export of wheat. The association agreement with the EU will allow it to eventually introduce these products to the European market.

   


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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________
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/

Praise the Lord! Freedom House Says Trump “Abdicating” US Role as Worldwide Democracy Promoter – By Harrison Koehli (Sott.net )

Trump thumbup

© CNN

The orange-faced duck-haired God-Emperor of the United States doesn’t get much good press. In fact, even his good press tends to be bad press, except when it’s coming from places like Breitbart and Fox. But sometimes even the most ’eminent’ and ‘respectable’ sources can’t help but pay Trump an unintentional compliment. The neocon-infested, U.S.-government-backed NGO Freedom House released a report today with attention-grabbing conclusions that would make Chicken Little die in a fit of acrobatic hysterics.

According to Freedom House, democracy is “under assault and retreating” around the world. The U.S. is “abdicating” its “traditional role” of acting as galactic champion of “democratic ideals”. The Demon-Spawn Nations of Russia and China are “increasing repression” and exporting their “malign influence” abroad. Indeed, this is democracy’s “most serious crisis in decades”; basic democratic tenets are “under siege” across the world, according to Freedom House President, Michael Abramowitz. The gates of hell have been opened, Satan has appeared, and he looks a lot like Xi, Putin and Trump.

The great bastion of CIA-sourced freedom and democracy, RFE/RL, reports:

“A major development of 2017 was the retreat of the United States as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy,” the report says. Freedom House … says it has “tracked a slow decline in political rights and civil liberties in the United States for the past seven years.” But it says that “the decline accelerated in 2017, owing to evidence of Russian interferences in the 2016 elections, violations of basic ethical standards” by President Donald Trump’s administration, and “a reduction in government transparency.”

The report says that “the press and the judiciary have remained resilient in the face of unprecedented attacks from President Trump.” But it warns that those institutions ultimately could be weakened by Trump’s attacks, “with serious implications for the health of U.S. democracy and America’s place in the world.”

Abramowitz said, “the core institutions of American democracy are being battered by an administration that has treated the country’s traditional checks and balances with disdain.”

I can’t say they’re entirely wrong. But I harbor a strong suspicion that if Hillary Clinton were president, they would’ve gone lightly on their criticism of U.S. democracy. The fact is, the U.S. abandoned its so-called democratic ideals many years ago, more than the “7 years” cited in the report at least. Judge Napolitano, on his last episode of “Freedom Watch” on Fox Business, wasn’t far off the mark:

That was back at the beginning of 2012, six years ago, presumably only one year after American political and civil liberties started to decline. Does anyone else find it fairly remarkable how a nation can go from “champion and exemplar of democracy” to total shit-show in just one year…? But Freedom House doesn’t want you to focus on Obama (or Bush and Clinton, for that matter). No, the decline took a marked turn only last year, apparently. Considering the things Napolitano said in 2012, which only scratched the surface of how far America has fallen, you’d think things must have gotten pretty bad, like Gestapo-death-camp-babies-in-incubators bad. What horrors has Trump wrought on the American body politic? His administration is unethical, lacks transparency, and… Russia!

Give me a break! Two of those items are standard operating procedure, and have been for generations. And the third is a delusional fantasy dreamed up by mentally-deranged losers. Actually, the very fact that that third item made the list makes me question the first two. Given that there is absolutely no freaking evidence of Russian meddling, the bar can’t have been too high for ethics and transparency violations. But coming back to the report, let’s take a look at what else Russia and its evil Commie neighbor have been up to:

Meanwhile, Freedom House says, “autocratic regimes” in Russia and China have “taken advantage of the retreat of leading democracies” and are “acting beyond their borders to squelch open debate, pursue dissidents, and compromise rules-based institutions.”

Abramowitz says the Trump administration’s “sharp break from the political consensus of the last 70 years” has cast aside democracy as the “animating force behind American foreign policy.”

He said Trump’s “hastening withdrawal” from the historical U.S. commitment to supporting democracies abroad has made “the challenge posed by authoritarian regimes all the more powerful and threatening.”

The report says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has “demonstrated the increasing sophistication and reach of modern authoritarian regimes” by “organizing disinformation campaigns during elections in European democracies” and cultivating ties with “xenophobic political parties across the continent,” threatening its closest neighbors, and serving as “an alternative source of military aid for Middle Eastern dictatorships.”

“The central goal of these efforts was to disrupt democratic states and fracture the institutions that bind them together.”

So much stupid, it hurts. Russia and China are only “autocratic” because they’re not American-backed autocracies. The U.S. loves them some dictators, as long as they’re “our” dictators. And compared to some of American’s finest democratic exports, Russia and China are veritable democratic utopias. The U.S. has the longest and most successful record of “squelching open debate”, “pursuing dissidents” and “compromising rules-based institutions” in countries all over the world. Russia and China haven’t taken advantage of “democratic retreat”; they’ve taken advantage of the fact that the U.S. is in the process of losing pretty much every vestige of international credibility. Every country with the privilege of having been gifted with American freedom and democracy over the past 17 years is a shithole, bombed out, sucked dry, drenched in blood, and overrun with sadistic death squads.

It can be frustrating to read such Freedom House drivel, until you realize that what they mean by democracy isn’t what people like you and me think of as democracy. The “political consensus” of the last 70 years is simply this: “The U.S. on top, and f*** the rest of you.” Democratically-elected leader the U.S. doesn’t like? Kill him. The threat of some resource-rich country going Commie? Arm some death squads and kill them. Some country standing up for its own sovereignty and rejecting U.S. demands? Say they’ve got WMDs, load up the bombers, and kill them. Or just sanction them and (hopefully) watch them die a slow death.

Russia and China’s stand for national sovereignty (which is what Freedom House et al are really moaning about) has been promoting open debate and empowering dissidents globally by providing an outlet for those alternative voices that Western media ignores and censors. All the while, Russia and China have been desperately lobbying for a real rules-based system, otherwise known as international law. The only reason Russia is charged with “election-meddling” is because ordinary people are sick and tired of the “political consensus” status quo. Because that status quo will not give airtime to their opinions – and Russian media does to some degree – it must be Russia’s fault that they feel the way they do. But it’s not. It’s the fault of the Western establishment for screwing things up so badly that their own people are sick of it.

For 70 years, the U.S. has exported its own brand of “malign influence” throughout the world. Its “animating force” has been the barrel of a gun, or a sharp blade held to the throat. But nations like Russia and China, who know a thing or two about the reality of this kind of freedom and democracy (just look at Russia during the 90s), have gotten smart. They are indeed demonstrating “increasing sophistication and reach”, simply by telling the truth. Russia hasn’t meddled in European elections. They have not “cultivated ties with xenophobes” or threatened their neighbors. That’s the U.S.’s M.O., as well as their allies’. Just look at Ukraine, a country overrun with neo-Nazis who torture and kill people for “sympathizing” with Russia.

Against the threat of real Soviet-like totalitarianism (which threatens the U.S. itself more so than it does Russia), the best solution is not traditional U.S. meddling and military invasion; it is what Trump proposed in his presidential inauguration speech:

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.

And if the U.S. can’t live up to its own example, it certainly has no business messing with other countries’ business. Full stop. If Russia and China want to expand their influence by making win-win deals with other nations, that is infinitely better than zero-sum American democracy. Meanwhile, even though Trump has the right idea, the “freedom bombers” still refuse to give up their claim to world democracy-domination. See Joe Quinn’s Obnoxious, Arrogant, Imperial America in Syria. These people are really determined to watch the world burn.

Still, according to Freedom House, Trump’s administration had made a “sharp break” from this “political consensus” of cluster-bombing nations into a state of terminal freedom and democracy, preventing said nations’ own democratic will from taking shape, and ensuring any so-called democracy takes the form of U.S. vassalage. And that is the highest of compliments. Freedom House can feel free to cry itself to sleep. If Trump were actually able to put an end to the U.S.’s self-defined role as democracy-promoter world wide, the world could breathe a sigh of relief.

Harrison Koehli

Harrison Koehli co-hosts SOTT Radio Network’s Truth Perspective and Behind the Headlines, and is an editor for Red Pill Press. He has been interviewed on several North American radio shows about his writings on the study of ponerology. In addition to music and books, Harrison enjoys tobacco and bacon (often at the same time) and dislikes cell phones, vegetables, and fascists.

See Also:

Germany’s Yuan Move ‘One More Step in Its Geopolitical Divorce From Washington’ © REUTERS/ Michael Kappele ‘ – By Sputnik

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets U.S. President Donald Trump on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017
r/POOL

Opinion

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Journalist and financial observer Ivan Danilov outlines why Berlin’s recent decision on the currency front has to be viewed in the broader context of a slowly but steady reformatting of the global financial system.

On Monday, Bloomberg confirmed that the Bundesbank plans to add the Chinese yuan to its currency reserves.

Commenting on the decision in a piece for RIA Novosti, Danilov noted that Berlin’s move, set against the background of a Yuan riding high against the dollar in currency markets, is obviously politically charged, “especially when one considers that the entire Western world is now waiting with a sinking feeling for a diplomatic showdown between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel during the World Economic Forum” in Switzerland later this month.

In fact, the observer suggested, the actions of the Bundesbank, which follow up on the repatriation of at least part of Germany’s gold reserves from the US, “indicate that Europe is ready to show in practice its ability to do without Washington’s  ‘valuable guidance’ and ‘patronage’.”

While the German Central Bank is formally independent, its political ties with the Merkel government aren’t really a secret to anyone, according to Danilov. The yuan decision is particularly intriguing given the fact that the Bundesbank usually refrains from announcing its intention to make currency purchases ahead of time.What’s more, the journalist wrote, recent developments on the other side of the world indicate that “Berlin’s actions on the currency front need to be analyzed in the context of the broader trend of a slow reformatting of the global monetary system.”

“Two weeks ago,” he recalled, “US and Japanese media carried out an informational attack against the yuan, releasing a series of analytical materials claiming that all attempts by China to internationalize its currency had failed, even after the IMF had added the yuan to its basket of currencies.” On January 7, for example, Bloomberg reported that “Beijing’s Yuan Ambitions Look Dashed,” following up an earlier Nikkei article headlined “Internationalization of Yuan Loses Momentum.”

The goal of this campaign was obvious, Danilov stressed, with the basic message by US and Japanese financial pundits being that the yuan had failed, both at the IMF and in its petro-yuan efforts, and that essentially, ‘the petrodollar is here to stay forever.’

But with its Monday decision, “the German Central Bank quite unceremoniously spoiled the party,” the journalist added. While the bank initially did not specify the amounts or timeframes for its yuan purchases, Bundesbank board member Joachim Wuermeling soon offered more details about the move, telling Reuters that “the decision to accept the yuan is part of a long-term strategy of diversification and reflects the increased role of the Chinese currency in the global financial system.”Washington cannot but be upset with this line of reasoning, according to Danilov, since ‘long-term diversification’ inevitably means a weakening role of the dollar and the subsequent decline in demand, particularly if other countries follow Germany’s lead.

“This is especially important in light of America’s huge budget deficits, which will grow by at least another trillion dollars due to Donald Trump’s recent tax reform. After all, the convenient printing press used to plug gaps in the US budget is possible only thanks to the enormous demand for dollars outside the US. If such demand ceases to exist, or is greatly reduced, the country will either have to learn to live within its means (something they have long-since forgotten how to do), or take Zimbabwe’s hyperinflationary route.”

In that sense, policymakers in Washington can view the Bundesbank’s decision in one of only two ways, according to Danilov: as a threat to the US’s financial stability, or an unfriendly gesture on Berlin’s part.

“It’s absolutely obvious that no actions by the Bundesbank, or the European Central Bank, which also recently reported the purchase of yuan, will on their own lead to serious problems for the dollar system,” the expert stressed. “But neither is this necessary. No one is eager to repeat the experiment of Muamar Gaddafi, who tried in one stroke to pull the whole of Africa out of the dollar system and create a Pan African currency based on gold and oil.”

“Moreover, the dollar system cannot be destroyed in one blow without catastrophic consequences for the global financial mechanism. Therefore, those seeking to liquidate it have obviously switched over to the tactics of what can conditionally be called ‘death by a thousand cuts’ – i.e., dismantling the system with the help of hundreds of small steps, each time slightly reducing demand for and area of use for the US currency.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Larvov during a visit with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2008
© Sputnik/ Michael Klimentyev
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Larvov during a visit with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2008

And until that happens, countries will continue to use the dollar system, and even try to take advantage of it. For example, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the recently created China-led development bank expected to be a future competitor to the World Bank, recently announced plans to release dollar bonds to finance projects in Asia and the BRICS countries.

According to Danilov, this step and others like it serve to indicate “that China considers it important to use the existing world financial system until the point where the alternative structure becomes fully operational.”

From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African republic President jacob Zuma, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Michel Temer seen at the BRICS leaders' meeting with BRICS Business Council members, September 4, 2017
© Sputnik/ Grigoriy Sisoev
From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African republic President jacob Zuma, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Michel Temer seen at the BRICS leaders’ meeting with BRICS Business Council members, September 4, 2017

As for Russia, it too benefits from Berlin’s ‘yuan demarche,’ the observer argued, since it weakens the ‘collective West’s’ hostile political campaign against Moscow, while facilitating Russian economic interests.

Specifically, Wuermeling’s statement that the Bundesbank is also “looking to invest in other currencies as well” is significant, Danilov stressed. “It would be worthwhile for Moscow to set for itself the task of making sure that in 10-15 years’ time, the Bundesbank will want to replenish its coffers with a Russian petro-ruble, as well,” the journalist concluded.

The book that turned America’s Evangelicals Zionist: The Scofield Bible ‘ By Maidhc Ó Cathail ‘ Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

scofield bible

“For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.”

-The New Scofield Study Bible

Since it was first published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans. When John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said that “50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel,” it was the Scofield Bible that he was talking about.

Although the Scofield Reference Bible contains the text of the King James Authorized Version, it is not the traditional Protestant bible but Cyrus I. Scofield’s annotated commentary that is problematic. More than any other factor, it is Scofield’s notes that have induced generations of American evangelicals to believe that God demands their uncritical support for the modern State of Israel.

Blessing Israel, Cursing Its Critics

Central to Christian Zionist belief is Scofield’s commentary (italicized below) on Genesis 12:3: “‘I will bless them that bless thee.’ In fulfillment closely related to the next clause, ‘And curse him that curseth thee.’ Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew – well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle.”

Drawing on Scofield’s rather tendentious interpretation, Hagee claims, “The man or nation that lifts a voice or hand against Israel invites the wrath of God.”

But as Stephen Sizer points out in his definitive critique, Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? (available from AET’s Middle East Books and More): “The promise, when referring to Abraham’s descendants, speaks of God blessing them, not of entire nations ‘blessing’ the Hebrew nation, still less the contemporary and secular State of Israel.”

Notwithstanding this more orthodox reading, The New Scofield Study Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1984, intensified Scofield’s interpretation by adding, “For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.”

“Sustained by a dubious exegesis of selective biblical texts,” Sizer concludes, “Christian Zionism’s particular reading of history and contemporary events…sets Israel and the Jewish people apart from other peoples in the Middle East…it justifies the endemic racism intrinsic to Zionism, exacerbates tensions between Jews and Palestinians and undermines attempts to find a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, all because ‘the Bible tells them so.'”

The Incredible Scofield

In his 2008 book, The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State, Jonathan R. Adelman describes the crucial support Israel receives from Christian fundamentalists as “totally fortuitous.” That assertion is belied, however, by the incredible career of the man who wrote “the Bible of Fundamentalism.”

Two years after Scofield’s reported conversion to Christianity in 1879, the Atchison Patriot was less than impressed. Describing the former Atchison resident as the “late lawyer, politician and shyster generally,” the article went on to recount a few of Scofield’s “many malicious acts.” These included a series of forgeries in St. Louis, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail.

Being a “born again” preacher did not preclude Scofield from becoming a member of an exclusive New York men’s club in 1901, either. In his devastating biography, The Incredible Scofield and His Book, Joseph M. Canfield suggests, “The admission of Scofield to the Lotus Club, which could not have been sought by Scofield, strengthens the suspicion that has cropped up before, that someone was directing the career of C.I. Scofield.”

That someone, Canfield suspects, was associated with one of the club’s committee members, the Wall Street lawyer Samuel Untermeyer. As Canfield intimates, Scofield’s theology was “most helpful in getting Fundamentalist Christians to back the international interest in one of Untermeyer’s pet projects – the Zionist Movement.”

Others have been even more explicit about the nature of Scofield’s service to the Zionist agenda. In “Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem,” Prof. David W. Lutz writes, “Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas City lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter’s career, including travel in Europe.”

On one of these European trips, Oxford University Press publisher Henry Frowde “expressed immediate interest” in Scofield’s project. According to a biography of Frowde, although the OUP publisher was “[n]ot demonstrative in his religious views, all his Christian life he was associated with brethren known as ‘Exclusive.'” The “Exclusive Brethren” refers to the group of Christian evangelicals that, in an 1848 split in the Plymouth Brethren, followed John Nelson Darby, the Anglo-Irish missionary generally considered to have been the most influential figure in the development of Christian Zionism, and a major influence on Scofield.

Scofield’s Legacy

Had the Scofield Bible never been published, American presidents influenced by Christian Zionism such as Truman, Johnson, Reagan and George W. Bush might have been less sympathetic to Israeli demands, and consequently more attentive to U.S. interests. Moreover, the American people could have been spared the pseudo-Christian rants of John Hagee, Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell, not to mention the lucrative End Times Rapture “prophecy” peddled by Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

But it is the people of the Middle East who have been most affected by an expansionist Israel emboldened by the unswerving allegiance of Christian Zionists led to believe that Scofield’s words are God’s will. Not least among the many victims of the Scofield Bible are 5 million Palestinian refugees whose right to return is fervently opposed by America’s Zionized Christians. Thanks to their indoctrination by Scofield’s unholy book, they believe that Palestine belongs not to the Palestinians – many of whom are fellow Christians – but exclusively to “God’s chosen people.”

Maidhc Ó Cathail writes extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

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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.

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