Saturday, December 3, 2016

Don’t Purchase From amazon.com

Don’t Purchase From amazon.com
Don’t Purchase From amazon.com
Think about whether you want to support Amazon whose CEO Bezos has turned his trophy newspaper, the Washington Post, into a McCarthyite smear sheet of truthtellers.
Why make a multi-billonaire who is an enemy of truth even richer?



  • DECEMBER 2, 2016
  • Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
  • by PAM MARTENS - RUSS MARTENS
  • Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0
  • Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0
  • Craig Timberg, a Washington Post reporter with an interesting history (which we’ll get to shortly), doubled down last night with a new article suggesting that Congressional legislation may be coming to further crack down on independent journalists not properly adhering to the dogma of Washington. Timberg has become the deserving piñata of writers like Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Max Blumenthal of AlterNet, Robert Parry at Consortium News and numerous other writers at alternative media.
  • Timberg and the Washington Post, which is owned by the billionaire CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, are being stridently called out as McCarthyites for an article published on Thanksgiving Day that cited unnamed “experts” at a shadowy group called PropOrNot to smear 200 alternative media sites as tools of Russia. The blacklist included some of the most informed and courageous voices on the Internet like Naked CapitalismTruthoutCounterPunch, and Truthdig, where the brilliant Chris Hedges, part of a New York Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002, regularly asks the uncomfortable questions — like this one:
  • “When we look back on this sad, pathetic period in American history we will ask the questions all who have slid into despotism ask. Why were we asleep? How did we allow this to happen? Why didn’t we see it coming? Why didn’t we resist?”
  • Theories abound as to why Timberg would write such a shoddily sourced article and smear some of the best writing and thinking on the Internet. One line of thought is that corporate media is struggling to survive financially and needs to take out its competition. Others see something far more nefarious. Max Blumenthal sums it up this way at AlterNet:
  • “Fake news and Russian propaganda have become the great post-election moral panic, a creeping Sharia-style conspiracy theory for shell-shocked liberals. Hoping to punish the dark foreign forces they blame for rigging the election, many of these insiders have latched onto a McCarthyite campaign that calls for government investigations of a wide array of alternative media outlets.”
  • The Black Agenda Report’s Executive Editor, Glen Ford, builds on Blumenthal’s theory, writing:
  • “Had Clinton won the election, she would have begun a campaign of repression against the Left along the same national security lines as the Washington Post article, with that paper probably leading the propaganda charge.
  • “The Obama administration and Post owner Bezos are quite tight, politically. Back in 2013, when Obama was still trying to reach a ‘grand bargain’ with the Republicans in Congress, he proposed lower corporate tax rates as a way to spur economic growth, and showcased the Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as a model — despite the deplorable working conditions, low pay (less than $12 an hour, to start) and heavy use of part-time and contract workers at the plant. His White House economist, Gene Sperling, told the press, ‘We should be looking for other avenues of progress, other grand bargains that can be for middle class job growth.’ Bezos closed the deal on the Washington Post the same year. His paper is clearly the go-to media for the Democrats’ brand of fascism, which is crazily cloaked as an anti-fascist crusade.”
  • The Black Agenda Report was also listed on the 200-website blacklist as a tool of Russia.
  • The Thanksgiving Day article by Timberg currently has 14,800 reader comments, many heaping ridicule on Timberg and the Post. A comment from “dmarney” illustrates the intellectual savvy of the Post’s readership:
  • dmarney 11/29/2016 6:42 PM EST
  • “A fake news story about fake news sourced to fake researchers writing in a now-fake news organization that once brought down a sitting US president with investigative journalism back in the day when cynics still ran the place.
  • “You can’t make this stuff up.”
  • Another commenter with the name, Room V, writes:
  • “Now WaPo reduces itself to being merely a McCarthyite rag. The black list produced by the shadowy group Propornot and shamelessly promoted by this former newspaper includes online publications such as truthout, truthdig, and consortiumnews, each of which practices journalism to a degree no longer seen at this location. People should turn their backs on the preachers of the New McCarthyism.”
  • Many of the articles trashing Timberg refer to him as a “technology reporter” for the Post because that’s currently the description under his articles. His background is far more complicated. For starters, his agent, Gillian MacKenzie, states on her web site that she “was a five year term member of The Council of Foreign Relations.” The Co-Chair of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) is Robert Rubin, the Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton who played a major role in the deregulation of Wall Street and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which set in motion the historic financial collapse in 2008. CFR’s Corporate Program includes approximately 200 multi-national corporations.
  • Timberg’s official bio shows that his earlier tenure at the Washington Post included a stint as Bureau Chief in Johannesburg where he covered political crises in Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. He later became Deputy Editor for National Security and finally moved to his current post as Technology Correspondent. But when we say “technology,” we’re not talking about laptops. In this 2013 C-Span video, Timberg talks about facial recognition technology being used by law enforcement for surveillance. In this 2014 C-Span video, Timberg interviews Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, on the revelations of the NSA’s mass surveillance program. The interview is conducted at the right-wing Cato Institute – a nonprofit that was secretly under the partial ownership of the Koch Brothers for decades.
  • Timberg’s father, the late Robert Timberg, had been a political writer at the Baltimore Sun and author of two books on the Vietnam War. The earlier work, The Nightingale’s Song, traced the lives of five of Timberg’s fellow Naval Academy graduates: Senator John McCain; Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North; Navy Secretary and Senator Jim Webb; and National Security Advisers John Poindexter and Robert McFarlane. (North, Poindexter and McFarlane were central figures in the Iran-Contra scandal.)
  • We have our own theory about these McCarthyite attacks coming on the heels of the discrediting of the Democratic National Committee as a propaganda outlet for continuity government in Washington and a saboteur of Senator Bernie Sanders’ genuinely populist campaign for President. Many of the web sites that made it onto the blacklist were those that carried in-depth reports on the WikiLeaks’ emails that opened a heretofore closed window on the Wall Street corruption inside the Democratic Party.
  • When Wall Street On Parade broke the bombshell story from the WikiLeaks emails showing that an executive from the collapsing, corrupt and massively bailed out Wall Street mega bank, Citigroup, was making key hiring decisions for President Obama’s first term, we expected to see the story quickly move to the front page of the Washington Post. Instead, it has yet to see the light of day there. The same is true for the New York Times. Both the Post and Times editorial boards endorsed the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, for President. An article documenting with actual emails how Wall Street continued to control the reins of power in Washington, even during an epic economic crash it had created, was apparently censored by both papers.
  • WikiLeaks, which made these emails available in the public interest, was included on the 200-website blacklist. The Washington Post and New York Times, which withheld this blockbuster story from their readers in an outrageous form of censorship, did not make the cut as a propaganda tool.
  • This article originally appeared on Wall Street on Parade

Is the US Government Behind the Fake News Media Attacks on President-elect Trump?

Is the US Government Behind the Fake News Media Attacks on President-elect Trump?
Is the US Government Behind the Fake News Media Attacks on President-elect Trump?
Paul Craig Roberts
Eric Zuesse has brought to our attention that US intelligence officials have placed a story in Buzzfeed, “a Democratic party mouthpiece,” that the Russian government used fake news to get Donald Trump elected president. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/12/63755.html 
According to Buzzfeed:
“US intelligence officials believe Russia helped disseminate fake and propagandized news as part of a broader effort to influence and undermine the presidential election, two US intelligence sources told BuzzFeed News.
‘They’re doing this continuously, that’s a known fact,’ one US intelligence official said, requesting anonymity to discuss the sensitive national security issue.
‘This is beyond propaganda, that’s my understanding,’ the second US intelligence official said. The official said they believed those efforts likely included the dissemination of completely fake news stories. …
One intelligence official said, ‘In the context, did Russia attempt to influence the US elections; the aperture is as wide as it can possibly be.’” ‘The real unanswered question is, why did they do it?’ the second US intelligence official said. ‘Is it because they love Donald Trump? Because they hated Hillary Clinton? Or just because they like undermining Western democracies?’”
Who are these US intelligence officials who are portraying the president-elect of the United States to be a “Putin stooge, a tool of Russia”? Once in office, Trump must investigate these hostile elements in US intelligence who are working to discredit the US president and the American people who voted him into office.
As one reader pointed out, those who debunk “conspiracy theories,” that is, explanations that they do not like, now have a conspiracy theory of their own: Vladimir Putin used independent American websites to elect Trump with fake news. Only voters living in a few large coastal cities were immune to the fake news.
In other words, the presstitute media has lost control over Americans’ minds to Putin.
With an opponent this powerful, neoconservatives better think a dozen times before fomenting any more tension with the Kremlin.
Open the link above to Zeusse’s column and look at the cover of Time magazine. This cover delegitimizes the presidential election. Which US intelligence agency planted this cover on Time? President Trump must have the Secret Service investigate this attack from inside the US government on the US President. Congress, both House and Senate, should immediately summon Time magazine to hearings under oath. This interference by US intelligence in American political life is illegal. Those responsible must be discovered, indicted, convicted, and sentenced. Otherwise fake news will displace facts as Americans are wrapped in a Matrix inside a Matrix.
Three hundred and ninety opponents of the US Constitution, who sit in the US House of Representatives, just passed a bill that voids the First Amendment to the US Constitution. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-02/house-quietly-passes-bill-targeting-russian-propaganda-websites
If this bill becomes law, it can be used to discredit and destroy truthtellers as agents of foreign intelligence. In other words, the message is: if you dispute our lies you are a foreign agent and subject to arrest or elimination.
This is the state of democracy in America today. More than any other country, the United States needs to be liberated. Can Trump do it?

US House of Representatives Passes Law Against Telling the Truth in America — Paul Craig Roberts

US House of Representatives Passes Law Against Telling the Truth in America — Paul Craig Roberts


US House of Representatives Passes Law Against Telling the Truth in America



Paul Craig Roberts

The US House of Representatives is so threatened by truth that “our” representatives have passed a law against telling the truth. As all truth in America is told by “Russian agents” spreading “false news,” the truth is no longer to be allowed.

Read very carefully the ZeroHedge report below:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-02/house-quietly-passes-bill-targeting-russian-propaganda-websites

House Quietly Passes Bill Targeting "Russian Propaganda" Websites
Tyler Durden's picture
Dec 2, 2016 6:30 PM
On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against "Russian propaganda fake news", with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed "H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017", sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on "offenders."
A quick skim of the bill reveals "Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries",  whose Section 501 calls for the government to "counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”
The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:
  • Establishment or funding of a front group.
  • Covert broadcasting.
  • Media manipulation.
  • Disinformation and forgeries.
  • Funding agents of influence.
  • Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
  • Assassinations.
  • Terrorist acts.
As Activist Post correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media's proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.
Curiously, the bill which was passed on November 30, was introduced on November 22, two days before the Washington Post published its Nov. 24 article citing "experts" who claim Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump get elected.
As we reported last week, in an article that has been widely blasted, the WaPo wrote that "two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem."
The newspaper cited PropOrNot, an anonymous website that posted a hit list of alternative media websites, including Zero Hedge, Drudge Report, Activist Post, Blacklisted News, the Ron Paul Report, and many others. Glenn Greenwald penned an appropriate response two days later in "Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group."
PropOrNot has pushed a conspiratorial thesis, without any actual proof, that the listed websites have been either used directly or covertly by the Russians to spread propaganda.
While the bill passed the House with a sweeping majority, it is unknown if and when the bill will work its way through the Senate and be passed into law, although one would think that it has far higher chances of passing under president Obama than the President-Elect. It is also unclear if it will be used to shut down websites anonymously characterized as "useful idiots" or subversive elements used in disseminating supposed Russian propaganda.
Those interested can read the full "H.R. 6393: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017" at the following location" bill that may soon proclaim much of the internet to be criminal "Russian propaganda" at the following link.

Friday, December 2, 2016

McCarthyism Is Breaking Out All Over — Paul Craig Roberts

McCarthyism Is Breaking Out All Over — Paul Craig Roberts


McCarthyism Is Breaking Out All Over
Paul Craig Roberts
Seasoned journalist, White House official, and historian Pat Buchanan has responded to the Washington Post’s fake news about the independent journalists on the 200 List being Russian agents by reminding us that the US government has always been a major disseminator of fake news.http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2016/12/01/fake-news-war-party-lies/

PCR Interviewed on RT about Fake News

PCR Interviewed on RT about Fake News
PCR Interviewed on RT about Fake News


‘Putin awaits my application for citizenship,’ says ‘Russian agent’ Paul Craig Roberts

Published time: 30 Nov, 2016 13:47Edited time: 30 Nov, 2016 21:45
The American economist Paul Craig Roberts, who served under US President Ronald Reagan, explained the absurdity of independent news sources being labeled as Russian propaganda, in an interview with RT.
In the aftermath of the US presidential election, the internet has been abuzz with talk about “fake news” outlets which allegedly helped manipulate public opinion towards Donald Trump’s victory. In an article in the Washington Post, reporter Craig Timberg said there was a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign” aimed at “undermining faith in American democracy.” 
As one of the sources for the story, Timberg cited a report by the group PropOrNot, which on its website provides a list of 200 sites it claims “reliably echo Russian propaganda.” Among the listed outlets, that bizarrely includes sites such as Films for Action which are highly critical of Russia, is the website of American economist Paul Craig Roberts.
In response, Roberts, who served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under Ronald Reagan, published an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for Russian citizenship now that the Washington Post “has blown my cover and exposed me as a Russian agent,” a request that Kremlin spokesman Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said would be considered if Roberts files all the necessary documents. 
RT got in touch with Roberts to find out why he was being branded a source of Russian propaganda.
RT:Did you get a direct answer from the Kremlin?
Craig Roberts: Well, I did. I heard from an editor of Pravda and the producer of a Russian television station in Moscow that Putin had answered through his official spokesperson that he awaits my application for citizenship. So I asked, “Is this a joke?” and they said “No,” so I think it’s very clever of President Putin to respond in this way, because it does help to show how ridiculous the Washington Post is. 
RT:  You’ve come on RT before, is that why you’re on this Russian propaganda list?
R: [It’s because] I don’t demonize Russia. I don’t demonize Putin. I’m not a warmonger. I respect the truth, and I realize that in a world of thermonuclear weapons it’s a very serious mistake for Washington to increase tensions between nuclear powers. In all my life, American presidents worked to defuse those tensions, and I helped President Reagan defuse tensions with the Soviet Union and work out the end of the Cold War with Gorbachev. So when I see the Obama regime, certainly it would have happened with Hillary, increasing tensions.
RT:Why is this happening?
R: I think because the neoconservatives, they have this ideology of American world hegemony, and Russia’s in the way, as is China, as is Iran. Any country with an independent foreign policy is in Washington’s way. And so, Washington is committed to this sort of endless war. We’ve been at war in the Middle East for 15 years… why? What’s achieved?
RT:Fake news undermines our faith in journalism. What do you think that’s about?
R: Well, what it is, is the United States does not have an objective media. The media was concentrated in a few hands during the Clinton regime, and it serves as a propaganda ministry for the oligarchy and the special interests. So, in the United States, the only media is the internet. So, the 200 sites on the list are sites where people get objective reporting, they get objective news, they get objective analysis. And this is a threat to the “presstitutes,” to the official media. So, they comprised a list in an attempt to discredit us as Russian agents. That was the purpose of the list. But it backfired because I made a joke about it.
The list provides Americans, Europeans, anyone, with objective sources of information they can turn to. So, it backfired on the people doing this.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Trump’s Appointments — Paul Craig Roberts

 Trump’s Appointments — Paul Craig Roberts

Trump’s Appointments
Paul Craig Roberts
What do they mean?
Before I give an explanation, let’s be sure we all know what an explanation is. An explanation is not a justification. The collapse of education in the US is so severe that many Americans, especially younger ones, cannot tell the difference between an explanation and a defense, justification, or apology for what they regard as a guilty person or party. If an explanation is not damning or sufficiently damning of what they want damned, the explanation is interpreted as an excuse for the object of their scorn. In America, reason and objective analysis have taken a backseat to emotion.
We do not know what the appointments mean except, as Trump discovered once he confronted the task of forming a government, that there is no one but insiders to appoint. For the most part that is correct. Outsiders are a poor match for insiders who tend to eat them alive. Ronald Reagan’s California crew were a poor match for George H.W. Bush’s insiders. The Reagan part of the government had a hell of a time delivering results that Reagan wanted.
Another limit on a president’s ability to form a government is Senate confirmation of presidential appointees. Whereas Congress is in Republican hands, Congress remains in the hands of special interests who will protect their agendas from hostile potential appointees. Therefore, although Trump does not face partisan opposition from Congress, he faces the power of special interests that fund congressional political campaigns.
When the White House announced my appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Republican Senator Bob Dole put a hold on my appointment. Why? Dole had presidential ambitions, and he saw the rising star of Republican Representative Jack Kemp as a potential obstacle. As I had written the Kemp-Roth bill that had become Reagan’s economic policy, Dole regarded me in the Treasury as a one-up for Kemp. So, you see, all sorts of motives can plague a president’s ability to form a government.
With Trump under heavy attack prior to his inaugeration, he cannot afford drawn out confirmation fights and defeats.
Does Trump’s choice of Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary mean that Goldman Sachs will again be in charge of US economic policy? Possibly, but we do not know. We will have to wait and see. Mnuchin left Goldman Sachs 14 years ago. He has been making movies in Hollywood and started his own investment firm. Many people have worked for Goldman Sachs and the New York Banks who have become devastating critics of the banks. Read Nomi Prins’ books and visit Pam Martens website, Wall Street on Parade ( http://wallstreetonparade.com ). My sometimes coauthor Dave Kranzler is a former Wall Streeter.
Commentators are jumping to conclusions based on appointees past associations. Mnuchin was an early Trump supporter and chairman of Trump’s finance campaign. He has Wall Street and investment experience. He should be an easy confirmation. For a president-elect under attack this is important.
Will Mnuchin suppprt Trump’s goal of bringing middle class jobs back to America? Is Trump himself sincere? We do not know.
What we do know is that Trump attacked the fake “free trade” agreements that have stripped America of middle class jobs just as did Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot. We know that the Clintons made their fortune as agents of the One Percent, the only ones who have profited from the offshoring of American jobs. Trump’s fortune is not based on jobs offshoring.
Not every billionaire is an oligarch. Trump’s relation to the financial sector is one as a debtor. No doubt Trump and the banks have had unsatisfactory relationships. And Trump says he is a person who enjoys revenge.
What about the hot-headed generals announced as National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense? Both seem to be death on Iran, which is stupid and unfortunate. However, keep in mind that Gen. Flynn is the one who blew the whistle on the Obama regime for rejecting the advice of the DIA and sending ISIS to overthrow Assad. Flynn said that ISIS was a “willful decision” of the Obama administration, not some unexpected event.
And keep in mind that Gen. Mattis is the one who told Trump that torture does not work, which caused Trump to back off his endorsement of torture.
So both of these generals, as bad as they may be, are an improvement on what came before. Both have shown independence from the neoconservative line that supports ISIS and torture.
Keep in mind also that there are two kinds of insiders. Some represent the agendas of special interests; others go with the flow because they enjoy participating in the affairs of the nation. Those who don’t go with the flow are eliminated from participating.
Goldman Sachs is a good place to get rich. That Mnuchin left 14 years ago could mean that he was not a good match for Goldman Sachs, that they did not like him or he did not like them. That Flynn and Mattis have taken independent positions on ISIS and torture suggests that they are mavericks. All three of these appointees seem to be strong and confident individuals who know the terrain, which is the kind of people a president needs if he is to accomplish anything.
The problem with beating up on an administration before it exists and has a record is that the result can be that the administration becomes deaf to all criticism. It is much better to give the new president a chance and to hold his feet to the fire on the main issues.
Trump alone among all the presidential candidates said that he saw no point in fomenting conflict with Russia. Trump alone questioned NATO’s confinued existance 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Trump alone said that he would work to bring middle class jobs back to America.
And Trump said that he would enforce immigration laws. Is this racism or is this a defense of citizenship? How is the US a country if there is no difference between illegal aliens and citizens?
Commentators of all stripes are making a mistake to damn in advance the only government that campaigned on peace with Russia, restoring middle class jobs, and respect for the country’s borders. We should seize on these promises and hold the Trump administration to them. We should also work to make Trump aware of the serious adverse consequences of environmental degradation.
Who is blowing these opportunities? Trump? Mnuchin? Flynn? Mattis?
Or us?
The more Trump is criticized, the easier it is for the neoconservatives to offer their support and enter the administration. To date he has not appointed one, but you can bet your life that Israel is lobbying hard for the neocons. The neocons still reign in the media, the think tanks, university departments of foreign affairs, and the foreign policy community. They are an ever present danger.
Trump’s personality means that he is likely to see more reward in being the president who reverses American decline than in using the presidency to augument his personal fortune. Therefore, there is some hope for change occuring from the top rather than originating in the streets of bloody revolution. By the time Americans reach the revolutionary stage of awareness the police state is likely to be too strong for them.
So let’s give the Trump administration a chance. We can turn on him after he sells us out.

Guest Column William Blum The Anti-Empire Report #147

Guest Column William Blum The Anti-Empire Report
Guest Column William Blum The Anti-Empire Report
America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy
The Anti-Empire Report #147
By William Blum – Published November 30th, 2016
Send comments, typos found, money, love notes, hate mail, death threats, letter bombs, and anthrax to bblum6@aol.com

What can go wrong?
That he may not be “qualified” is unimportant.
That he’s never held a government or elected position is unimportant.
That on a personal level he may be a shmuck is unimportant.
What counts to me mainly at this early stage is that he – as opposed to dear Hillary – is unlikely to start a war against Russia. His questioning of the absolute sacredness of NATO, calling it “obsolete”, and his meeting with Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an outspoken critic of US regime-change policy, specifically Syria, are encouraging signs.
Even more so is his appointment of General Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser. Flynn dined last year in Moscow with Vladimir Putin at a gala celebrating RT (Russia Today), the Russian state’s English-language, leftist-leaning TV channel. Flynn now carries the stigma in the American media as an individual who does not see Russia or Putin as the devil. It is truly remarkable how nonchalantly American journalists can look upon the possibility of a war with Russia, even a nuclear war.
(I can now expect a barrage of emails from my excessively politically-correct readers about Flynn’s alleged anti-Islam side. But that, even if true, is irrelevant to this discussion of avoiding a war with Russia.)
I think American influence under Trump could also inspire a solution to the bloody Russia-Ukraine crisis, which is the result of the US overthrow of the democratically-elected Ukrainian government in 2014 to further advance the US/NATO surrounding of Russia; after which he could end the US-imposed sanctions against Russia, which hardly anyone in Europe benefits from or wants; and then – finally! – an end to the embargo against Cuba. What a day for celebration that will be! Too bad that Fidel won’t be around to enjoy it.
We may have other days of celebration if Trump pardons or in some other manner frees Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and/or Edward Snowden. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton would do this, but I think there’s at least a chance with the Donald. And those three heroes may now enjoy feeling at least a modicum of hope. Picture a meeting of them all together on some future marvelous day with you watching it on a video.
Trump will also probably not hold back on military actions against radical Islam because of any fear of being called anti-Islam. He’s repulsed enough by ISIS to want to destroy them, something that can’t always be said about Mr. Obama.
International trade deals, written by corporate lawyers for the benefit of their bosses, with little concern about the rest of us, may have rougher sailing in the Trump White House than is usually the case with such deals.
The mainstream critics of Trump foreign policy should be embarrassed, even humbled, by what they supported in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Instead, what bothers them about the president-elect is his lack of desire to make the rest of the world in America’s image. He appears rather to be more concerned with the world not making America in its image.
In the latest chapter of Alice in Trumpland he now says that he does not plan to prosecute Hillary Clinton, that he has an “open mind” about a climate-change accord from which he had vowed to withdraw the United States, and that he’s no longer certain that torturing terrorism suspects is a good idea. So whatever fears you may have about certain of his expressed weird policies … just wait … they may fall by the wayside just as easily; although I still think that on a personal level he’s a [two-syllable word: first syllable is a synonym for a donkey; second syllable means “an opening”]
Trump’s apparently deep-seated need for approval may continue to succumb poorly to widespread criticism and protests. Poor little Donald … so powerful … yet so vulnerable.
The Trump dilemma, as well as the whole Hillary Clinton mess, could have probably been avoided if Bernie Sanders had been nominated. That large historical “if” is almost on a par with the Democrats choosing Harry Truman to replace Henry Wallace in 1944 as the ailing Roosevelt’s vice-president. Truman brought us a charming little thing called the Cold War, which in turn gave us McCarthyism. But Wallace, like Sanders, was just a little too damn leftist for the refined Democratic Party bosses.
State-owned media: The good, the bad, and the ugly
On November 16, at a State Department press briefing, department spokesperson John Kirby was having one of his frequent adversarial dialogues with Gayane Chichakyan, a reporter for RT (Russia Today); this time concerning US charges of Russia bombing hospitals in Syria and blocking the UN from delivering aid to the trapped population. When Chichakyan asked for some detail about these charges, Kirby replied: “Why don’t you ask your defense ministry?”
GK: Do you – can you give any specific information on when Russia or the Syrian Government blocked the UN from delivering aid? Just any specific information.
KIRBY: There hasn’t been any aid delivered in the last month.
GK: And you believe it was blocked exclusively by Russia and the Syrian Government?
KIRBY: There’s no question in our mind that the obstruction is coming from the regime and from Russia. No question at all.
MATTHEW LEE (Associated Press): Let me –- hold on, just let me say: Please be careful about saying “your defense minister” and things like that. I mean, she’s a journalist just like the rest of us are, so it’s -– she’s asking pointed questions, but they’re not –
KIRBY: From a state-owned -– from a state-owned –
LEE: But they’re not –
KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet, Matt.
LEE: But they’re not –
KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet that’s not independent.
LEE: The questions that she’s asking are not out of line.
KIRBY: I didn’t say the questions were out of line.
……
KIRBY: I’m sorry, but I’m not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets.
One has to wonder if State Department spokesperson Kirby knows that in 2011 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking about RT, declared: “The Russians have opened an English-language network. I’ve seen it in a few countries, and it is quite instructive.”
I also wonder how Mr. Kirby deals with reporters from the BBC, a STATE-OWNED television and radio entity in the UK, broadcasting in the US and all around the world.
Or the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation, described by Wikipedia as follows: “The corporation provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as overseas … and is well regarded for quality and reliability as well as for offering educational and cultural programming that the commercial sector would be unlikely to supply on its own.”
There’s also Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Radio Liberty (Central/Eastern Europe), and Radio Marti (Cuba); all (US) state-owned, none “independent”, but all deemed worthy enough by the United States to feed to the world.
And let’s not forget what Americans have at home: PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and NPR (National Public Radio), which would have a near-impossible time surviving without large federal government grants. How independent does this leave them? Has either broadcaster ever unequivocally opposed a modern American war? There’s good reason NPR has long been known as National Pentagon Radio. But it’s part of American media’s ideology to pretend that it doesn’t have any ideology.
As to the non-state American media … There are about 1400 daily newspapers in the United States. Can you name a single paper, or a single TV network, that was unequivocally opposed to the American wars carried out against Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam while they were happening, or shortly thereafter? Or even opposed to any two of these seven wars? How about one? In 1968, six years into the Vietnam war, the Boston Globe (February 18, 1968) surveyed the editorial positions of 39 leading US papers concerning the war and found that “none advocated a pull-out”. Has the phrase “invasion of Vietnam” ever appeared in the US mainstream media?
In 2003, leading cable station MSNBC took the much-admired Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq. Mr. Kirby would undoubtedly call MSNBC “independent”.
If the American mainstream media were officially state-controlled, would they look or sound significantly different when it comes to US foreign policy?
Soviet observation: “The only difference between your propaganda and our propaganda is that you believe yours.”
On November 25, the Washington Post ran an article entitled: “Research ties ‘fake news’ to Russia.” It’s all about how sources in Russia are flooding American media and the Internet with phoney stories designed as “part of a broadly effective strategy of sowing distrust in U.S. democracy and its leaders”.
“The sophistication of the Russian tactics,” the article says, “may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on ‘fake news’.”
The Post states that the Russian tactics included “penetrating the computers of election officials in several states and releasing troves of hacked emails that embarrassed Clinton in the final months of her campaign.” (Heretofore this had been credited to Wikileaks.)
The story is simply bursting with anti-Russian references:
  • An online magazine header – “Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.”
  • “the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.”
  • “more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season.”
  • “stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.”
  • “The Russian campaign during this election season … worked by harnessing the online world’s fascination with ‘buzzy’ content that is surprising and emotionally potent, and tracks with popular conspiracy theories about how secret forces dictate world events.”
  • “Russian-backed phony news to outcompete traditional news organizations for audience”
  • “They use our technologies and values against us to sow doubt. It’s starting to undermine our democratic system.”
  • “Russian propaganda operations also worked to promote the ‘Brexit’ departure of Britain from the European Union.”
  • “Some of these stories originated with RT and Sputnik, state-funded Russian information services that mimic the style and tone of independent news organizations yet sometimes include false and misleading stories in their reports.”
  • “a variety of other false stories — fake reports of a coup launched at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and stories about how the United States was going to conduct a military attack and blame it on Russia”
A former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, is quoted saying he was “struck by the overt support that Sputnik expressed for Trump during the campaign, even using the #CrookedHillary hashtag pushed by the candidate.” McFaul said Russian propaganda typically is aimed at weakening opponents and critics. “They don’t try to win the argument. It’s to make everything seem relative. It’s kind of an appeal to cynicism.” [Cynicism? Heavens! What will those Moscow fascists/communists think of next?]
The Post did, however, include the following: “RT disputed the findings of the researchers in an e-mail on Friday, saying it played no role in producing or amplifying any fake news stories related to the U.S. election.” RT was quoted: “It is the height of irony that an article about ‘fake news’ is built on false, unsubstantiated claims. RT adamantly rejects any and all claims and insinuations that the network has originated even a single ‘fake story’ related to the US election.”
It must be noted that the Washington Post article fails to provide a single example showing how the actual facts of a specific news event were rewritten or distorted by a Russian agency to produce a news event with a contrary political message. What then lies behind such blatant anti-Russian propaganda? In the new Cold War such a question requires no answer. The new Cold War by definition exists to discredit Russia simply because it stands in the way of American world domination. In the new Cold War the political spectrum in the mainstream media runs the gamut from A to B.
Cuba, Fidel, Socialism … Hasta la victoria siempre!
The most frequent comment I’ve read in the mainstream media concerning Fidel Castro’s death is that he was a “dictator”; almost every heading bore that word. Since the 1959 revolution, the American mainstream media has routinely referred to Cuba as a dictatorship. But just what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship?
No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is (see the preceding essays), if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?
Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries. The Cuban president is chosen by the parliament, The National Assembly of People’s Power. Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since all candidates run as individuals. Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have private corporations to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; which is why it’s not the case.
Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. Did we need the latest example of this travesty of democracy to convince us to finally get rid of it? If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?
Is Cuba a dictatorship because it arrests dissidents? Many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement of five years ago more than 7,000 people were arrested, many beaten by police and mistreated while in custody. And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer; virtually without exception, Cuban dissidents have been financed by and aided in other ways by the United States.
Would Washington ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense.

putin

VLADIMIR SOLOVYOV WORLD ORDER

PRESIDENT

lie we live

pt

xmas





“Glory to God in the highest,

and on Earth

Peace, Good Will toward men.”

This Christmas, Give Peace