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Son of Honduran Human Rights and Resistance Activist Murdered

Fernando Aleman Banegas was assassinated in La Ceiba in the early hours of Monday morning.

teleSUR | November 2, 2016

In post-coup Honduras, a coup which Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supported, the corpses continue to pile up.

Human rights organizations are raising alarm after yet another assassination in Honduras, this time of the son of a prominent resistance activist, human rights defender, and aspiring progressive candidate for local political office with the left-wing Libre party.

Fernando Aleman Banegas was shot dead in the early hours of Monday morning when we was getting into his car after leaving a club in the northern port city of La Ceiba, according to local reports. The gunmen reportedly fled the scene on a motorcycle.

Aleman will be buried in the nearby city of Tocoa, which borders the Aguan Valley agricultural region, home to a brutally repressive land conflict between campesino communities and large private landowners.

Aleman’s mother, Elsy Banegas, has accompanied the campesinos struggle for years as the President of the Coordinator of Popular Organizations of the Aguan, known as COPA, a human rights group focused on labor and campesino issues in the region. Banegas is also an aspiring mayoral candidate for Tocoa with the Libre party, founded as an offshoot of the popular resistance movement in the wake of the 2009 U.S.-backed coup, in order push for a constituent assembly to rewrite the Honduran constitution at the ballot box, to complement their street resistance.

According to the Honduran human rights organization COFADEH, Banegas’ candidacy “threatens the interests of transnational mining companies and large landowners in the region.” The prominent activist has long been a vocal critic of systematic grave human rights abuses, impunity and the consequences of militarization in the region, particularly since the coup.

Banegas’ organization COPA reported after the murder that the social leader has “on many occasions received death threats for acting against mining companies, privatization and against the violation of human rights.”

Aleman’s assassination came hours before Libre kicked off its internal elections process to select the party’s new leadership leading up to the 2017 general election. Despite the shadow of violence, participation in the process surpassed the party’s own goals, according to Libre leader and ousted President Manuel Zelaya, with at least 239,000 people casting votes when estimates expected participation of 150,000 in the country of about 8 million.

Human rights organizations have called for a thorough and impartial investigation into Aleman’s murder.

The killing comes just two weeks after two Aguan campesino activists were murdered. Jose Angel Flores, president of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan, one of the most prominent land rights organizations on the forefront of the Honduran resistance movement, and his fellow activists Silmer Dionisio George were both gunned down on Oct. 17. Since 2010, the bloody land conflict in the Aguan has claimed the lives of nearly 150 campesinos, according to human rights groups.

The wave of assassinations also comes months after the high-profile killing of internationally-renowned Indigenous activist Berta Caceres in March. Caceres’ case has come to epitomize the grave human rights situation in Honduras and systemic impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of political violence.

Human rights organizations have stressed that the United States — which under the leadership of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped secure the 2009 coup — is complicit in the ongoing crisis in Honduras and must cut all aid funding to the Honduran government and military.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Israel acts to blunt criticism of the occupation as its grip tightens

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By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | November 1, 2016

Israel has just emerged from its three-week high holidays, a period that in recent years has been marked by extremist religious Jews making provocative visits to Al Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.

Many go to pray, in violation of Israel’s international obligations. Most of them belong to groups that seek to replace the mosque with a Jewish temple. They now enjoy increasing parliamentary support, some of it from within prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party.

A rash of such visits last autumn outraged Palestinians and triggered a wave of so-called lone-wolf attacks on Israelis. The attacks have recently abated.

Taking advantage of the renewed quiet, Israel allowed a record number of ultra-nationalists to visit the mosque, figures released last week showed. Parties of Israeli soldiers are also entering the site.

The police, whose recently appointed commander is himself from the extremist settler community, have recommended that restrictions be ended on visits by Jewish legislators who demand Israel’s sovereignty over the mosque.

For Palestinians, Israel’s treatment of this supremely important Islamic holy site symbolises their powerlessness, oppression and routine humiliation. Conversely, a sense of impunity has left Israel greedy for even more control over the Palestinians.

The gaping power imbalance was movingly detailed last month at a special hearing of the UN security council. Hagai El-Ad, head of B’tselem, which monitors the occupation, termed Israel’s abuses as “invisible, bureaucratic, daily violence” against Palestinians exercised from “cradle to grave”.

He appealed to the international community to end its five decades of inaction. “We need your help. … The occupation must end. The UN Security Council must act. And the time is now,” he said.

Israeli politicians were incensed. Mr El-Ad had broken one of Israel’s cardinal rules: you do not wash the country’s dirty linen abroad. Most Israelis consider the occupation and Palestinian suffering as an internal matter, to be decided by them alone.

Mr Netanyahu accused B’tselem’s director of conspiring with outsiders to subject Israel to “international coercion”.

With the US limply defending Mr El-Ad’s freedom of speech, Mr Netanyahu found a proxy to relaunch the attack. David Bitan, chair of his party, demanded that Mr El-Ad be stripped of his citizenship and proposed legislation to ban calls in global forums for sanctions against Israel. Unsurprisingly, Mr El-Ad has faced a flood of death threats.

Meanwhile, another UN forum has been considering Israel’s occupation. Its educational, scientific and cultural body, Unesco, passed a resolution last month condemning Israel’s systematic violations of Palestinian holy sites, especially Al Aqsa.

Again, Israelis were enraged at this brief disturbance of their well-oiled machinery of oppression. The abuses documented by Unesco were overshadowed by Israeli protests that its own narrative was not the focus.

While Israel exercises ever more physical power over Palestinians, its moral credit is running out with foreign audiences, who have come to understand that the occupation is neither benign nor temporary. The rise of social media has accelerated that awakening, which in turn has bolstered grassroots reactions such as the boycott (BDS) movement.

Aware of the dangers, Israel has been aggressively targeting all forms of popular activism. Facebook and YouTube are under relentless pressure to censor sites critical of Israel.

Western governments – which joined the chorus of “Je suis Charlie” after ISIL’s lethal attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo magazine last year – have cracked down on the boycott movement. Paradoxically, France has led the way by banning such activism, echoing Israeli claims that it constitutes “incitement”.

And left-wing social movements emerging in Europe face loud accusations that any criticism of Israel is tantamount to an attack on all Jews. Notably, a British parliamentary committee last month characterised as anti-semitic parts of the opposition Labour party under its new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a champion of Palestinian rights.

In these ways, European governments have been trying to hold in check popular anger at a belligerent and unrepentant Israel.

Illustrating that caution, Uneso was forced last week to vote a second time on its resolution, this time removing the word “occupation” and, against normal practice, giving equal status to the occupier’s names for the sites under threat from its occupation.

Even with the resolution neutered, Unesco’s usual consensus could not be reached. The resolution passed by a wafer-thin majority, with European and other governments abstaining.

Israel and its enablers have successfully engineered a hollowing out of official discourse about Israel to blunt even the mildest criticism. Gradually, western powers are adopting Mr Netanyahu’s doubly illogical premises: that criticising the occupation is anti-Israel, and criticising Israel is anti-semitic.

Incrementally, western leaders are conceding that any criticism of Mr Netanyahu’s policies – even as he tries to ensure that the occupation becomes permanent – is off-limits. Mr El-Ad called for courage from the western powers that dominate the security council. But the signs are his words have fallen on deaf ears.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Malaysia buys China warships in ‘landmark’ deal

Press TV – November 2, 2016

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced a deal with China to buy four warships, in a potential shift away from the United States.

Najib, who is on a six-day visit to China, described the deal as “landmark,” because “before this we have not bought such vessels from China,” he wrote in an editorial in the China Daily on Wednesday.

He said that under the terms of the deal, Beijing will build two of the combat vessels in Malaysia and two in China. The ships are known as littoral mission ships, small craft that operate close to the shore.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the agreement would increase mutual trust between the two counties.

Malaysia had so far been acquiring its major military equipment, particularly for the air force, from the United States.

Observers say the deal, a first of its kind, may be the prelude to a new regional norm.

Earlier, the Philippines had announced its “separation” from the US.

“This is the new regional norm. Now China is implementing the power and the US is in retreat,” said Bridget Welsh, a political analyst.

The agreement also comes at a time of tension between Malaysia and the US.

The US Justice Department in July seized more than one billion dollars in assets it said were purchased by Najib’s relatives and associates using money alleged to have been stolen in a scandal that hit Malaysia last year.

Malaysia and China have a dispute of their own as well. Territory in the South China Sea, which is completely claimed by China, is also claimed by Malaysia, and a number of other countries.

In his Wednesday article, however, Najib said the dispute should be resolved through dialog in accordance with rule of law, in another sign of a lean toward China.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

British Media Wet Their Pants With MI5 Russian Scare Story

Director-General of security service MI5, Andrew Parker talking at the first parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) in London.

Director-General of security service MI5, Andrew Parker

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 02.11.2016

The annual festive Halloween holiday is commonly a time for spooky pranks and scare stories. And the British news media delivered – albeit unintentionally it seems. This week several top national newspapers conveyed a stark message from the chief spook at Britain’s secret service, MI5. Andrew Parker, chief of Military Intelligence (Section) 5, warned that Russia was presenting a clear and present danger to the security of the state.

It was The Guardian that first broke the story, with an «exclusive» article on its front page headlined: «MI5 chief warns of growing Russian threat in UK».

With virtually the same headline, the story was replicated in the pages of The Independent, Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, among others.

Russia swiftly scorned the British media coverage as fatuous.

However, this was no Halloween prank being played on the British public for kicks. The issue was presented as serious journalism, reporting on a grave matter of national security. The coincidence of the netherworld festival only lends a certain unintended ironical mirth.

More importantly, though, it is one more example of how Western publics are being conditioned by a relentless mental diet of Russophobia. That a host of British newspapers in unison published without question «talking points» from the head of MI5 alleging a threat to national security from Russia is in itself indicative of a «psychological operation». It reflects the abject standard of supposedly independent media in Britain.

The Guardian billed its «exclusive» by saying it was the «first interview given by a serving spy chief». Andrew Parker has been head of Britain’s state security service for the past nine years. Neither he nor his predecessors have ever given such a full-court press briefing.

MI5 was first established in 1909 and serves as Britain’s premier internal state security agency, dealing with counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism. The organization’s MI6 counterpart deals with foreign military intelligence.

The unprecedented public intervention by MI5 this week is again suggestive of a psychological operation.

Moreover, for anyone with a critical faculty, what is bizarre about the latest claims of a Russian «threat» is that despite the gravity and the factual-sounding wording of the headlines, there is a dearth of substance reported to support said claims.

MI5’s Andrew Parker merely makes vague assertions about Russia «pushing foreign policy in increasingly aggressive ways involving propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks».

These are the same zero-evidence, breathless assertions that are echoed by American security services and media. The Obama administration citing its own intelligence agencies last month accused Russia of state-sponsored cyber-attacks and interference in the US presidential elections.

Moscow has categorically rejected these insinuations as baseless. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov notes that repeated requests for evidence have been ignored by US authorities. While Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has dismissed allegations of political interference as a cynical «distraction» from real internal American problems.

Another indicator of psychological operation is the way that the alleged Russian threats are packaged as «talking points» which are easily disseminated and regurgitated. After a while, the claims become hackneyed and stale from lack of supporting substance.

The alleged threats which MI5’s Andrew Parker treated the British media and public to have less the ring of truth and more the dull thud of tedium. And yet the British media – like a circus dog – jumped on cue this week to the instruction as if it was something novel and exciting.

How many times have we heard from sundry atlanticist, pro-NATO think tanks warning us about Russian «subversion» or «cyber-attacks» or trying to undermine Western democracies? The level of repetition and coordination of talking-points that we hear from the likes of the Atlantic Council, Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Endowment for Democracy, NATO, and so on, are reflective of central authorship in state intelligence emanating from the CIA and MI5 / MI6, which in turn feeds into the foreign policy establishments of nominally democratic governments. In short, the Deep State network that transcends Western electoral politics.

Last month at an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, European Council President Donald Tusk urged the bloc to adopt harsher economic sanctions on Russia, as did the leaders of Germany, Britain and France. Tusk listed a litany of purported Russian malfeasance, including «cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, interference in the EU’s political processes» and «trying to weaken the European Union».

Fortunately, Italy, Austria, Spain, Hungary and a number of other European leaders rejected Tusk’s appeal for tougher sanctions on Russia, saying they were counterproductive.

But the point here is that Tusk, supposedly a guiding political light for the EU, sounds more like a hired-hack for the CIA or M15, as ascertained by the trite talking points that he so readily recites about Russian «threats».

The comparison with the briefing given this week to British media by the head of MI5 tends to prove that there is a sinister group-think shared by certain American and European political leaders with unelected Deep State agencies. This relationship as expressed in formulaic Russophobia raises disturbing questions about the true nature of democracy and democratic accountability in Western states. Are the elected leaders following the people’s will or are they following instructions from shadowy agencies whose whole purpose is driven by geopolitical conflict, in particular conflict with Russia?

This perhaps explains why in the US, the Washington establishment and the military-intelligence apparatus appear to be so hostile to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. For all his flaws, one thing that can be said to Trump’s credit is that he doesn’t trot out the usual canned talking points manufactured by the Deep State towards demonizing Russia. On that score, he is not a hack, whereas Hillary Clinton has repeatedly toed the Russophobia line.

The Western corporate news media are integral to the political establishment. It is therefore not surprising that senior journalists and editors belonging to media outlets are susceptible to manipulation by state intelligence agencies, either wittingly or unwittingly. Former German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte revealed how the CIA infiltrates European journalists to relay the agency’s talking-points to the wider public.

The way that the British media so pliantly provided a platform to the head of M15 this week to disseminate Russophobia is a strong indicator of state-orchestrated propaganda. It speaks of the deplorable lack of independence and genuine public service that the British media conceitedly claim to provide. They are evidently serving as a propaganda device, peddling disinformation whose ultimate logic is to condition the public into accepting hostile policy, and even war with Russia.

That is not journalism. It is flagrant manipulation of public perception on the same level as telling children scary stories about ghouls and ghosts.

But the funny thing is that it is MI5 and all the other spooky agencies of the Western Deep State who are really afraid. What they mean by Russian «propaganda» and «subversion» is that Russian news media are increasingly exposing the systematic deception on numerous world issues that Western media and their intelligence handlers have for too long gotten away with in the pursuit of imperialist interests.

Unable to bear the exposure, Western Deep State creatures are lashing out desperately with scare story upon scare story in order to distract the «children». That’s why Britain’s MI5 came out of its murky swamp of secrecy this week to give a first-ever «exclusive» to the British media. Boo! Boo! Boo! But that power of deception is no longer working.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Admiral Kuznetsov Carrier Group Saved Syria From US Cruise Missile Strikes

Sputnik – 02.11.2016

Moscow’s decision to send a fleet of warships, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, to the eastern Mediterranean may have saved the Syrian military from getting bombed by the US, according to military expert Vladimir Evseev.

Speaking at a press conference at the Rossiya Segodnya news agency press center in Moscow, Evseev, the deputy director of Russia’s CIS Institute, pointed out that Washington had only recently considered the possibility of attacking Syrian government forces, using the pretext of a UN report which alleged that Damascus had used chemical weapons.

“We recently lived through a very important milestone which many people did not even notice,” the analyst suggested. “Why was the question raised of the Syrian Army’s alleged use of chemical weapons? The stage was being set for [US] ship-based cruise missile strikes. According to some reports, such a decision was in play… [Western] public opinion was actively being prepared for it.”

But the entry of a major Russian flotilla, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, into the Mediterranean may been the essential element needed to cool the Pentagon’s appetites, Evseev added.

“The presence of our ships [between Algeria and Italy] excludes the possible deployment of a similar NATO naval group in the area. Factually, our ships have closed Syria off. The Russian ships did not appear where they are by accident, and eliminated the possibility of launching cruise missiles from that direction.”

The analyst also recalled that earlier, S-300 systems “were deployed in Tartus” with similar goals in mind, given that they are “capable of addressing not only air-based threats, but ballistic targets as well.”

Last week, the contents of a leaked report submitted to the UN Security Council blamed the Syrian government for a chemical attack in Idlib in 2015. Damascus vehemently denied the charges, citing the terrorists’ own regular use of poison gas. Moscow, meanwhile, stressed that more serious evidence would need to be presented before such serious accusations could be leveled.

The US and NATO allies, already engaged in a campaign to demonize Syria and Russia over the fight for Aleppo, used the report to pile on to other charges that Damascus and Moscow were responsible for ‘war crimes’ in their operation to liberate Syria from armed militants and jihadists.

Commenting on the military situation in Syria, Evseev suggested that together with the liberation of Aleppo, the Syrian military and their Russian allies must make it a priority to surround Nusra Front terrorists in Idlib. “The terrorists must be destroyed, but most likely a process of squeezing them out will take place,” he admitted.

If forced to leave Idlib, “the only place for them to go will be Turkey. And here, I would recommend that our Western partners, who currently advise us how to fight in Aleppo, take a moment to think about what will happen to the Idlib militants who end up in Turkey,” the expert noted. “From here, it’s likely that they can then be expected to pay a visit to Europe. This is what Western nations should be thinking about, instead of putting a spoke in the wheel and doing everything possible to interfere in the operation to liberate Aleppo and other Syrian territories.”

As far as the situation in the city of Aleppo is concerned, Evseev stressed that “if we continue to wait and prolong humanitarian pauses, there will be no people left in Aleppo. Without air support, losses are too high. It’s necessary to free the city quickly, and to think less about the West thinks about it.”

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Taking a Page from Joe McCarthy

By Robert Parry | Consortium news | November 1, 2016

One trick of the original McCarthyism from the Old Cold War was to take some innocuous or accurate comment from a leader in Moscow — saying something like “poverty is a cruel side of capitalism” or “racism persists in the U.S.” — and to claim that some American reformer who says much the same thing must be a Kremlin tool.

Now, in the New Cold War, we are seeing a similar trend in the way some Democrats and the mainstream U.S. media are citing accurate assessments from Russian President Vladimir Putin and claiming that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is somehow in league with Putin for observing the same realities.

A case in point is Tuesday’s editorial in The Washington Post, entitled “The Putin-Trump worldview” (in print) and “Trump and Putin share a frightening worldview” (online). The editorial quotes Putin as “observing that Mr. Trump ‘represents the interests of the sizable part of American society that is tired of the elites that have been in power for decades now … and does not like to see power handed down by inheritance.’”

The Post’s editorial writers then snidely note that “Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump have an uncanny way of echoing each other’s words.”

But that is a classic example of McCarthyistic sophistry. Just because some demonized figure like Putin says something that is undeniably true and an American sees the same facts doesn’t make that American a “Putin puppet” or a “Moscow stooge” or any of the other ugly names now being hurled at people who won’t join in today’s trendy Russia bashing and guilt by association.

Putin is not wrong that many of Trump’s supporters – along with many Americans who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders – are “tired of the elites” that have behaved arrogantly and stupidly for decades. Many Americans also don’t believe that a family’s name should decide who becomes the leader of the United States, whether that be the Bushes or the Clintons.

Indeed, what Putin is saying amounts to almost a truism, yet here is The Washington Post not only suggesting that because Putin is saying something that it must be false but then smearing Trump (or anyone else) who detects the same reality.

Double Standards

The same Post editorial also goes to great lengths to reject any comparisons between the Russian and Syrian government airstrikes on the Syrian neighborhoods of east Aleppo — to root out Al Qaeda-connected jihadists and their supposedly “moderate” rebel allies — and U.S. and Iraqi government airstrikes on the Iraqi city of Mosul under the control of Al Qaeda’s spinoff group, the Islamic State.

Insisting that the two similar operations are nothing alike, the Post’s editors white-out the central role of Al Qaeda in commanding the rebel forces in east Aleppo. While ignoring Al Qaeda’s dominance of those neighborhoods and its terror rocket attacks on civilian areas of west Aleppo, the Post only says, “the rebel forces in Aleppo include Western-backed secular groups who seek only to overturn the blood-drenched Assad regime.”

Note the Post’s characterization that rebel forces “include Western-backed secular groups” rather than an honest admission that those supposedly “secular groups” have served mostly as cut-outs in diverting sophisticated U.S. military weapons, such as TOW missiles, to the jihadist cause, a reality recognized by U.S. military advisers on the ground. [See Consortiumnews.com’sHow the US Armed-up Syrian Jihadists.“]

Many of these supposedly “secular groups” have openly allied themselves with Al Qaeda’s recently rebranded Nusra Front (now called the Syria Conquest Front). This so-called “marbling” of the “moderates” in with the jihadists was one of the sticking points in the failed limited cease-fire in which the Post’s beloved “secular groups” rebuffed Secretary of State John Kerry’s plea that they separate themselves from Al Qaeda.

An intellectually honest newspaper would have at least admitted some of these inconvenient truths, but that is not the modern-day Washington Post with its own “blood-drenched” editors who played a crucial role in rallying support behind President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq under false pretenses.

The Post and its editors have on their hands the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died as a result of that illegal aggressive war, but those editors have not suffered a whit for their participation in war crimes. Instead, exactly the same senior editorial-page editors – Fred Hiatt and Jackson Diehl – are still there, touted on the newspaper’s masthead, still misleading the Post’s readers.

By contrast, The Wall Street Journal (of all places) did some serious reporting on the key question of “moderate” rebels allied with Al Qaeda. The Journal reported on Sept. 29: “Some of Syria’s largest rebel factions are doubling down on their alliance with an al Qaeda-linked group, despite a U.S. warning to split from the extremists or risk being targeted in airstrikes. The rebel gambit is complicating American counterterrorism efforts in the country at a time the U.S. is contemplating cooperation with Russia to fight extremist groups.”

If even Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal can acknowledge this important context, why can’t The Washington Post ?

Dangerous Terrain

But the whipping up of a New Cold War with Russia and the demonizing of Vladimir Putin extend beyond The Washington Post to virtually the entire U.S. political/media establishment which has plunged into this dangerous terrain without any more serious thought and analysis than preceded the Iraq invasion, except now the target for “regime change” is nuclear-armed Russia and this adventurism risks the extermination of life on the planet.

Despite these grave dangers, the Democrats and the Clinton campaign have settled on a strategy of exploiting the New McCarthyism of the New Cold War to discredit Trump through “guilt by association” to Putin even though the two men have apparently never met.

Mostly this New McCarthyism has been used to divert attention from developments threatening to Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances, such as the release of embarrassing emails among Democratic insiders hacked from the personal account of Clinton adviser John Podesta and, since last Friday, the statement by FBI Director James Comey that he has reopened the investigation into Clinton’s use of an unsecured email server because of emails found on a computer in the home of Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner.

In the first instance, the Clinton campaign sought to redirect attention from the content of the emails, including the text of speeches that Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs and other financial interests, to the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia was probably behind the hack.

‘A Witch Hunt’

In the Comey situation, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has sought to counter Comey’s stunning announcement last Friday by calling on the FBI director to also disclose whatever the FBI may have discovered about links between Trump’s aides and the Kremlin.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Democrats have raised suspicions about Carter Page, an early-on Trump adviser and former Merrill Lynch banker who gave a speech last summer criticizing the United States and other Western nations for a “hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change” in Russia and other parts of the old Soviet Union.

Page termed Reid’s efforts to transform a political disagreement into a criminal case “a witch hunt,” a phrase familiar from Sen. Joe McCarthy’s Red-scare investigations of the late 1940s and early 1950s into the loyalty of Americans.

Another Trump adviser caught up in the Democrats’ attempts to smear the Trump campaign over alleged ties to Moscow is Roger Stone. The Times reported that Democrats have accused Stone “of being a conduit between the Russian hackers and WikiLeaks,” which published Podesta’s hacked emails, because Stone has said he had contacts with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and seemed to anticipate the damaging disclosures, though Stone has denied any prior knowledge.

An irony from this case of “trading places” – with the Democrats now darkly suggesting Republican ties to Moscow rather than the opposite during the McCarthy era – is that Roger Stone was a longtime associate of the late Roy Cohn, who was the controversial counsel on Sen. McCarthy’s Red-hunting investigations.

Stone derided the Democratic attempts to discredit Trump and himself with claims of ties to Moscow as “the new McCarthyism.”

Despite the irony, Stone is not wrong in his assessment. Rarely in American politics since the dark days of Joe McCarthy have so many unsubstantiated accusations of disloyalty been directed at any major political figure as the Democrats have done to Donald Trump.

In the third debate, Clinton even accused Trump of being a Putin “puppet.” If such a remark were made by Joe McCarthy or his Red-baiting ally Richard Nixon, there would have been understandable outrage. But Clinton’s ugly charge passed without controversy.

Though there are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose the eminently unqualified Donald Trump for President, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats risk setting in motion dangerous international forces with their promiscuous Russia-bashing. Recognizing the terrifying potential of nuclear war, a more responsible course would be to tone down the rhetoric and address the legitimate questions raised by the email issues.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment