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After US Bombs Syrian Government for Third Time in 8 Months, Media Ask Few Questions

By Ben Norton | FAIR | June 2, 2017

The United States has bombed Syrian government–allied forces three times in just eight months. Major media outlets have overwhelmingly failed to ask critical questions about these incidents, preferring instead to echo the Pentagon.

For years, media have consistently downplayed the extent of US military intervention in Syria, and repeatedly propagated the long-debunked myth that Washington never pursued regime change there in the first place. The distorted reporting on these US attacks reflects this longer trend.

On May 18, the US military launched an air raid against forces allied with the Syrian government, killing several soldiers. The Trump administration claimed Syrian- and Iranian-backed militias had entered a 55-kilometer (34-mile) “deconfliction zone” around a base in southern Syria, near the borders of Iraq and Jordan, where the US trains opposition fighters.

Yet US officials also later admitted that they do not themselves recognize the legitimacy of these de-escalation zones—even while using them to justify carrying out such attacks.

No major media outlets questioned the government narrative, or the notion that the Syrian-allied forces were a “threat.” (For context, 34 miles is the distance between Aleppo and Idlib, considered two separate theaters in the Syrian civil war. It is also roughly the distance between Baghdad and Fallujah, or between Washington, DC, and Baltimore.)

In its report on the attack, Reuters‘ cartoonish headline (5/18/17) was “US Strikes Syria Militia Threatening US-Backed Forces: Officials.” The article uncritically repeated that an unnamed pro-government militia “posed a threat to US and US-backed Syrian fighters in the country’s south.”

Reuters added that, when those “threatening” government-allied forces were hit, they were allegedly still a distant 27 kilometers (17 miles) from the US-led coalition’s al-Tanf base.

USA Today (5/18/17) simply noted that the “forces came within a 34-mile defensive zone around the al-Tanf base,” and unskeptically claimed the US airstrike “targeted pro-regime forces who were threatening a coalition base.”

Fox News (5/18/17)  triumphantly declared, “US Airstrikes Pound Pro-Assad Forces in Syria.” Obediently echoing the US government, Fox claimed the Syrian forces “were near the Jordanian border and deemed a threat to coalition partners on the ground.”

The New York Times‘ report was similarly deferential (5/18/17), echoing Pentagon officials who insisted the pro-government convoy “ignored warnings.”

Unquestioned Double Standards

Later follow-up statements added a wrinkle to the US government narrative the media had parroted.

In peace talks in early May, Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to create four deconfliction zones in Syria. This deal was supposed to apply to the US as well, but the Trump administration has refused to recognize the legitimacy of these de-escalation zones—even while using them to justify attacks on Syrian government-allied forces.

The US military official who is leading the air war against ISIS, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, insisted at a May 24 press conference (The Hill, 5/24/17), “We don’t recognize any specific zone in itself that we preclude ourselves from operating in.”

Harrigian stressed that the US carries out whatever air strikes it wants in Syria. “We do not have specific zones that we are deconflicting with them,” the general said. “When we’ve talked to the Russians, we do not talk about those deescalation zones.”

Yet media reports still went along with the narrative that US forces were “threatened” by Syrian government-allied forces miles away in a zone that the US does not even accept as legitimate.

An anonymous CENTCOM official quoted two weeks after the attack by Military Times (5/30/17) complained, “These patrols and the continued armed and hostile presence of pro-regime forces inside the deconfliction zone are unacceptable and threatening to coalition forces.”

Meanwhile, Syrian rebels applauded the US attack and called for more strikes against the government.

‘First Time’ for a Third Time

Immediately after the May 18 airstrike, media portrayed the attack as something completely new. The Associated Press published a newswire headlined “US Airstrike Hits Pro-Syria Government Forces for First Time,” which was reprinted by the  Washington Post and Yahoo NewsForeign Policy (5/18/17) similarly claimed “US Bombs Syrian Regime Forces for First Time.”

In reality, this was the third time in eight months that the US bombed Syrian government and allied forces. Some of these reports, strangely, even acknowledged the Trump administration’s April strike on a Syrian airfield, but acted as though this somehow did not constitute an attack.

In September 17, 2016, the Syrian military was leading a fight against the genocidal extremist group ISIS near the airport of Deir al-Zor, in eastern Syria. Suddenly, the US launched an hour of sustained airstrikes on the Syrian military, killing 106 soldiers in the attack, according to the Syrian government.

The US insisted the air raid was an accident and that it had meant to target ISIS militants. This has been called into question, however. A senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army said the US-led coalition had sent drones above the Syrian troops’ positions before the attack, so it knew where they were situated. The officer also recalled that the majority of the US airstrikes were not targeted at the frontline, where the Syrian soldiers were fighting ISIS.

Ultimately, it was the self-declared Islamic State that benefited from the US attack. The extremist group seized important areas around the Deir al-Zor airport. The US air raid also led to a breakdown in the ceasefire in Syria that had been agreed to just six days before.

Since President Donald Trump entered office, the US has launched two more intentional attacks on pro-government forces. In April, the US launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria’s Shayrat airbase, in an attack that the Pentagon said destroyed 20 percent of Syria’s war planes. Trump claimed the strike was done in retaliation for a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, a village in the Al Qaeda–dominated province of Idlib, although this accusation has been called into question by some arms experts.

This incident, the US’s first officially intentional attack on the Syrian government, also in effect aided ISIS, which launched an offensive near the city of Homs immediately afterward.

Unasked Questions

Many questions remain unanswered. Why can the US use deconfliction zones it does not even itself recognize to justify attacking Syrian government-allied forces? Do the US and UK have the right to tell Syria where its forces can go in its own country? How is 34, or 17, miles “close”? How can the US attack Syrian government forces without benefiting ISIS, a group that routinely threatens Western civilians?

A strong independent media should be asking these important questions. Instead, news outlets are effectively recycling government press releases.

For their part, Syria and Russia were furious after the May 18 strike. “This brazen attack by the so-called international coalition exposes the falseness of its claims to be fighting terrorism,” declared a Syrian military official on state media. The Syrian government said “a number of people” were killed, and equipment including a tank and a bulldozer were struck.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called the attack “a breach of Syrian sovereignty,” and Russia’s deputy foreign minister said it was “completely unacceptable.”

Yet the apparent presupposition shared and spread by corporate media is that Syria now belongs to the US, and the US can do whatever it wants in the country without anyone questioning it—especially not media outlets, which have been bending over backward to defend US actions.

Escalating US Military Intervention

The May 18 US air raid at the town of al-Tanf is only the latest in a string of attacks that have steadily been growing under Trump. The US has not officially declared war in Syria, although for more than 1,000 days it has waged thousands of airstrikes in the country, most of which have targeted ISIS.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in the US  air campaign, which began in September 2014.

Even the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights—which is frequently cited by media as an impartial observer, even though it until recently had the Syrian opposition flag openly at the top of its website and consists essentially of one man in England—has acknowledged the massive civilian casualties.

In the month from mid-April to mid-May alone, at least 225 civilians were killed in US-led air strikes in Syria, including 44 children and 36 women, according to the Observatory. From February to March, another 220 civilians were killed.

The bombing campaign against ISIS has killed many civilians in Iraq as well as Syria. FAIR has previously detailed how media outlets have whitewashed and downplayed US complicity in the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Mosul, Iraq.

Media should be asking critical questions about US military intervention in Syria and beyond. Instead, they are downplaying US involvement and relaying Pentagon press releases.

June 4, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

At Reuters, ‘Not Refuting’ Is the Same as ‘Seeing’

By Jim Naureckas | FAIR | April 26, 2017

Top U.S. general in Afghanistan sees Russia sending weapons to Taliban

US general in Afghanistan does not say what Reuters headline says he said

“Top US General in Afghanistan Sees Russia Sending Weapons to Taliban” was Reuters’ headline over a April 25 story.

Well, that sounds like news! Tell me more, Reuters’ Idrees Ali:

The head of US and international forces in Afghanistan said on Monday he was “not refuting” reports that Russia was providing support, including weapons, to the Taliban…

Asked about reports that Russia was providing a range of help, including weapons, to the Taliban, who control large areas of Afghanistan, [Gen. John] Nicholson replied: “Oh no, I am not refuting that.”

“I am not refuting that”? How does that translate into “General… Sees Russia Sending Weapons to Taliban”? If NASA tells Reuters that they can’t refute speculation that there might be life on Mars, will Reuters run a story headlined “NASA Sees Life on Mars”? That would be a scoop!

Ali writes that Nicholson’s no-comment comments “are among the strongest suggestions yet that Moscow is providing arms to the Taliban.” Maybe next time Reuters could wait for a somewhat stronger suggestion—involving actual evidence, perhaps—before running a story that could inflame the new Cold War.

April 28, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Claims Russia’s Strategic Studies Institute Meddled in US Elections ‘Baseless’

Sputnik – 20.04.2017

MOSCOW – Accusations against the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) of election interference in the United States are unfounded, Russian Senator Oleg Morozov told Sputnik on Thursday.

“This is an attempt to give away normal analytical work as subversive activity. An absolutely worthless story in terms of logic that has no basis in reality,” Morozov said.

Morozov went on to point out that dozens of similar think tanks operate in Europe and the United States and analyze the political situation, which, according to the senator, is not considered to be interference in the election process.

His comments came a day after the Reuters news service cited three current and four former US officials alleging that RISS circulated two “confidential documents” ahead of the November 2016 vote. The June and October documents were described as a “plan to swing” the US presidential election. US intelligence officials were said to have acquired the RISS-drafted documents.

According to the media outlet, the first document allegedly recommended that the Kremlin initiate a propaganda campaign on social media, and that Russia’s state-run media persuade US citizens to vote for a candidate less critical to Russia than former US President Barack Obama.

The second document reportedly said that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had greater chances to win the election. As such, the paper allegedly called on the Kremlin to change the course of the campaign and intensify the information flow to undermine the US electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s image and reputation, the media outlet reported citing US officials.

According to the publication, the Obama administration’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the election process and accusations of cyber attacks against Clinton’s campaign staff were mainly based on these documents.

On March 20, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey confirmed that the institution was conducting a probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied Washington’s accusations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted any allegations about Russia’s alleged involvement in US election process and said that Russia did not cooperate with US President Donald Trump’s staff during the election campaign.

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Russia & Egypt refute reports of Russian troop deployment on Libyan border

RT | March 14, 2017

Both Russia and Egypt have denied reports alleging that Russian special forces have been deployed at an airbase near the Libyan border to support a military commander loyal to Libya’s eastern government.

“There are no Russian special forces in Sidi Barrani,” the Russian Defense Ministry’s official spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said on Tuesday.

“Some Western media have been disturbing the public with such reports, citing anonymous sources for several years now… And ever more foolish and indecent with regard to American intelligence are the words of the ‘source’ quoted by Reuters, who said that ‘intelligence activity of the United States into the [actions] of the Russian military are complicated because of the involvement of contractors and agents in civilian clothes,’” Konashenkov added.

Citing US, Egyptian, and “diplomatic“ sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters had reported earlier that Russian special operations forces and drones were allegedly deployed at Sidi Barrani base, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the border between Egypt and Libya. The unnamed Egyptian security sources said the unit consisted of 22 members, but would not discuss their supposed mission, the agency stated, while suggesting that Russia had also flown six military units to Egypt’s Marsa Matrouh base in early February, which proceeded to Libya some 10 days later.

The chair of Russia’s Federal Defense and Security Committee, Victor Ozerov, branded the report a “hoax,” insisting that no deployment of special forces to Egypt or Libya had ever been brought before the Russian Parliament.

“Nobody addressed the Federation Council on the question of sending the Russian Armed Forces to either Egypt or Libya.

“The president of the Russian Federation has the right to use Russian armed forces abroad only with the consent of the Federation Council; this is a constitutional norm. No such request was submitted to the Federation Council [therefore] there is no legal reason to say that [Russian] servicemen could be in Egypt,” Ozerov told RIA Novosti news agency. The reports are “yet another anti-Russian attack,” Ozerov said, adding that “Russia has proved that it strictly adheres to international norms on the use of armed forces abroad.”

Egypt also dismissed the Reuters report.

“There is no foreign soldier from any foreign country on Egyptian soil. This is a matter of sovereignty,” Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said, as cited by Reuters.

The refuted allegations contend that Russian special forces have been deployed to support Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) that is loyal to Libya’s eastern government. The 73-year-old general had been an ally of Libyan strong-man Muammar Gaddafi, but joined the Western-backed uprising against the country’s long-time leader in 2011, which led to the Gaddafi’s death and a civil war that’s still raging.

After years of turmoil and fighting, with various factions vying for power, two rival governments emerged in Libya: the Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress. With the UN’s help, in 2015, the two agreed to set up a Government of National Accord (GNA) that would form a Presidency Council. However, the Tobruk-based parliament supported by Haftar has refused to cooperate with the unity government, which it accuses of aligning with some of the country’s Islamist-leaning forces. Haftar’s forces have been fighting an alliance of Islamist militants and former rebels in Benghazi for two years now. The general maintains close relationships with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Russia. Haftar was in Russia twice last year, asking for military aid.

Last week, another Reuters report alleged that a force of several dozen armed private Russian security contractors had been operating in a part of Libya under Haftar’s control until February. The contractors were allegedly there to help mine sweep Benghazi, the head of the firm that allegedly hired them said, according to Reuters. However, the commander of Benina air base near Benghazi, Mohamed Manfour, said that the LNA had not received any military assistance from the Russian government or Russian military contractors, while denying that there were any Russian forces or bases in eastern Libya.

Russia has stressed that it “continues meticulously working with both power centers in Libya,” with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that only the Libyan people can decide their country’s future.

“It’s clear that the country’s future must be determined by Libyans. We believe that attempts to impose a ready-made solution on them are counterproductive,” Lavrov said in a February interview with Russia’s Izvestiya newspaper.

Russia’s foreign minister also pledged to help unify Libya and foster dialogue at a recent meeting with Fayez Seraj, the leader of Libya’s UN-backed government.

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Myths, fakes & NATO’s easy ride with mainstream media

RT | February 15, 2017

NATO’s latest attack on freedom of thought was unquestioningly embraced by mainstream media – in unwitting service of “fake news.”

During the 2016 US Presidential election, the term “fake news” escaped the media bubble to become the buzzword of the year. Intended as the “proper” media’s expository and damning attack on dodgy sources that attract attention with shocking yet untrue headlines, it quickly morphed into a shorthand for anything and everything that went against the establishment’s narrow range of approved narratives. Clinton – good, Russia – evil, that sort of thing.

The media that cried “fake news”

Missing the irony entirely, the mainstream press then got terribly aggrieved when the “fake news” label was thrown right back at them by none other than President Trump for that exact same reason.

Who could have ever imagined that when a term built entirely around the concept of empirical, intellectual rigor repeatedly lent itself to a politicized narrative agenda unsupported by facts, it would lose all credibility, and eventually – all meaning?

However, as we know, the establishment takes a while to catch up to the real world. Last weekend, NATO’s old hawks, apparently left unawares that labeling dissent as “disinformation” doesn’t automatically make it so, decided to summarily write off all objections to its policies, actions and talking points with one foolproof refutation: any criticism of NATO is a fake because NATO says it is.

Myth-building alliance

The military club’s latest PR wheeze is a lengthy web page listing what it calls “the facts” of NATO-Russia relations.

In reality, these are NATO’s value-based interpretations of its own agenda – in other words, the alliance’s opinion of itself. But this framework of NATO’s opinion being equated to fact by default delegitimizes any point of view to the contrary, any dissent, disagreement or objection.

In this particular instance, the primary focus of such objectionable objections is Russia. Most of the 32 listed “myths” have something to do with NATO being perceived as a threat (to Russia, but not only) and having committed some kinds of bad acts (many of which had nothing to do with Russia). Russia is, nevertheless, blamed for generating and promoting all of those “myths.”

NATO’s basic counterargument amounts to “Russians are wrong to think and feel how they do.” Or, more specifically, “Russians are not allowed to think or say NATO is a threat to them despite our military creep eastwards and deployment of soldiers on their borders and missiles in their near abroad.”

The listicle regurgitates other familiar talking points, such as “NATO membership is not imposed on countries. Each sovereign country has the right to choose for itself whether it joins any treaty or alliance” – in the same week that a Gallup poll showed how more people in Ukraine and Moldova regard the group as a threat rather than as protection.

These are two countries that NATO has courted for many years. In the Gallup survey, we also see that 64 percent of Serbians believe NATO is a threat and only 6 percent believe it offers protection.

But in its PR push, NATO rejects the notion that its “enlargement in the Balkans is destabilizing” and goes off on a tangent about how “countries in the region have played a significant role in NATO’s operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, providing training to the Afghan forces.”

NATO & friends

Over the past weekend many editors took part in enthusiastically promoting this black vs. white, ‘myth vs. facts’ story put out by NATO. Dozens of journalists took the Organization’s proclamations as inarguable truth largely without caveats, due diligence or any critical analysis

The team at Reuters particularly outdid itself by ramping up the rhetoric with colorful comments from NATO’s spokesperson and de rigueur invocation of RT and Sputnik. It also failed to provide any balancing perspective, apparently because “The Kremlin, the Russian government, RT, Sputnik, and Life could not immediately be reached for comment.”

Immediately. On 32 “myth charges” at once. On a Saturday night. Oh how much time and scrutiny were afforded for the evaluation of 32 complex geopolitical issues by a news platform of enormous capacity…

Speaking of myths, RT’s Press Office did not receive any queries from Reuters on the matter.

Then again, Reuters doesn’t seem to be generous with the ‘right of reply.’

On fire

Reuters’ commitment to the criticism of the Russian media leans heavily on baseless allegations that RT has spread “false stories,” yet the only references are a single example of a report from July 2016 “about a fire raging at a NATO base in Izmir, claiming it was a deliberate sabotage after the failed coup in Turkey.”

But the author fails to mention that (a) there was an evidence of a large-scale fire in the area, with evidence presented not just across social media (with photos and videos) but many news media outlets, including CNN Turk; (b) this was a fast-breaking, developing story and (c) RT immediately included a comment from the NATO spokesperson as soon as it was supplied.

Indeed, the second sentence of the article reads “NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu has denied the reports of a fire “in or near” territories hosting NATO facilities in Turkey, adding that its HQ “is fully operational,” and prominently displayed a tweet from Lungescu.

This hardly seems like an inspired “fake news”-promoting effort.

Truth in the news

And this brings us back to the whole “fake news” thing. Surely, this zero-sum coverage of NATO’s role in Europe, which ignores or dismisses the worries of millions of the continent’s citizens and several governments is worthy of being at the very least examined as misleading?

The same rigorous test should be applied to the mainstream media’s tendency to act as an unquestioning promotional vehicle for US/Alliance’s military interests, accepting NATO statements at face value. Especially when such claims play like an echo of those about “Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction” and “Aleppo’s last hospital,” which seemed to vanish and reappear practically every week last year.

With every news cycle, it becomes increasingly evident the mainstream media seems to believe “fake news” is totally terrible, unless it is about Russia when it becomes totally acceptable. And that every claim needs to be rigorously fact-checked unless it is made by the “good guys,” like NATO. And the good guys, in turn, are free to slap a “fake news” label on any actor or argument they don’t like. But really, mostly, Russia.

This is exactly how we have arrived at a point where supposedly respectable outlets have created a world where Vladimir Putin has managed to become the richest man in the world (Washington Post ), who controls Donald Trump (Huffington Post ) and masterminded his election victory (Vanity Fair ) despite battling Aspergers (USA Today ), and cancer (The Week ), and also traveling through time.

At this rate, if the term “fake news” loses all meaning in the next few months, if not weeks, the mainstream media will have no one but itself to blame.

February 15, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

NATO accuses Russia of fake news, while hysterically warning of WWIII

By Finian Cunningham | RT | February 14, 2017

News media organizations in NATO member countries have no qualms about repeating unfounded, reckless claims of an imminent invasion of Europe by the Russian military, even threatening to ignite World War Three.

Yet when it comes to Russian media presenting valid alternative perspectives on a range of international issues, the Western alliance chokes up with accusations of Russian “fake news.”

“NATO says it sees a sharp rise in fake Russian news since the seizure of Crimea,” reported Reuters recently, ignorant of the fact that its own headline was itself purveying fake news.

Such ignorance is rampant among Western media and symptomatic of massive group-think demonizing Russia.

For a start, Russia did not seize Crimea, as is routinely stated in Western media as if fact. The people of the Crimean Peninsula voted in a legally constituted referendum in March 2014 to join Russia’s jurisdiction. But Reuters in the above headline uses the words “seizure of Crimea” without any qualification as if the historic referendum to join Russia was airbrushed out of history.

This is just one example of the daily distortion about Russian relations that is perpetrated in the Western media. If any side is guilty of peddling fake news, it is the Western news media of the NATO military alliance. And on an industrial scale.

For instance, earlier this month, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour conducted an interview with Marine Le Pen, the French leader of the Front National. Amanpour was aghast when Le Pen expressed the view that Russia did not annex Crimea and that the Maidan protests in Kiev in February 2014 were a coup d’état against an elected government. Amanpour’s shocked demeanor was understandable because she has on countless occasions asserted the opposite, as well as claiming Russia has “invaded Ukraine.” In each case, it can be argued the CNN celebrity journalist is wrong in her assertions about Russia-Ukraine relations, which means that she and her cable news employer are guilty of habitually churning out fake news.

Another instance of casual fake news presented as professional journalism was the BBC program GMT presented by Stephen Sackur on 3 February. Sackur, like Amanpour, is another celebrity journalist with preening self-importance. His program was reporting on the surge in violence in eastern Ukraine. Specifically, the report aired by the BBC implicated pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk region for shelling the town of Avdeevka. The insinuation was that Russia was stoking the violence. But only days before, the BBC broadcast video footage showing tanks belonging to the Kiev regime’s military taking up positions near homes in Avdeevka – in violation of the Minsk ceasefire.

Furthermore, the BBC’s Sackur then ran an interview with Kiev’s former prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in which he was permitted to spout claims purporting as facts without ever being challenged. Those claims included: “Russian aggression in Ukraine” and “Russia shot down the Malaysian MH17 civilian airliner in July 2014 over eastern Ukraine.”

Again, the point here is just how casually, and routinely Western mainstream media commit acts of fake news, which are presented as if fact by their “star journalists.”

Whatever Russian news media are accused of regarding fake news it is incomparable to the massive, systematic scale of fabrications and distortions churned out by the news media in NATO member countries.

NATO claims that it has listed over 30 “myths” the Russian news media have published. Unhelpfully, the NATO list does not provide links to original Russian news articles where the alleged myths are said to have been published. But a cursory reading of the list quickly shows that the so-called myths are nothing more “offensive” than Russian counter-arguments or what may be deemed as counter-perspective. Is NATO saying that to have a different point of view is somehow illegitimate?

For example, NATO counts Russian “fake news” to include claims that:

NATO tried to “drag” Ukraine into its membership;

NATO provoked the Maidan protests;

NATO is trying to encircle Russia;

NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure;

NATO’s operation in Libya was illegitimate;

These points and more besides are not falsifications or baseless propaganda. They are serious contentions that can be substantiated with documented facts and legal argument as well as maps of proliferating NATO military bases on Russia’s borders.

Indeed, such perspectives completely confound the stereotype views that are promulgated on a daily basis by the Western media. But that in no way qualifies the contrarian Russian view as “fake.” Moreover, one can say that such views presented by Russian media are vital to proper public interest and understanding.

It is an astounding reflection of Western hubris and indoctrination that NATO members’ news media have published the following news stories which are patently false or turn reality on its head.

For instance, Russian and Syrian forces were allegedly committing wholesale slaughter of civilians in the city of Aleppo. For weeks the Western news media were screaming about the alleged massacre, only for the Syrian city to be eventually liberated from Western-backed illegally armed militants, including proscribed terrorist groups. No such civilian massacre occurred, and Western media have not bothered since to visit Aleppo to report on the return to normal civilian life thanks to the liberation by Russian and Syrian forces.

Another instance of rampant fake news carried in Western media is that Russian hackers subverted the US presidential election to get Donald Trump into the White House. No proof of these tendentious claims has ever been presented.

Yet the same claims are now being aired over alleged Russian interference in European elections – even though German state intelligence recently reported there was no evidence of interference.

Let’s put the issue into perspective. Over the past year, British news media have published story after story claiming Russia was about to invade Europe and start World War III.

The Daily Express ran three such stories in June, July, and September.

It wasn’t just throw away tabloids that indulged in such reckless scaremongering. The supposedly more serious Independent ran at least two stories in May and September citing top military officials claiming that nuclear war could break out in 48 hours with Russia because of the latter’s “secret” invasion plans.

In November, the Guardian and other British news outlets, including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, BBC, and Sky, echoed the view of MI5 chief Sir Ian Parker that “Russia is a growing threat to the UK.”

If British media reports were to be believed, then Europe and the whole northern hemisphere should have gone up in nuclear smoke several months ago.

Dealing in false news by NATO members’ media, as exemplified above, is not just wildly erroneous and unethical. It is illustrative of an orchestrated propaganda campaign to demonize Russia and recklessly create an atmosphere for global war.

In this context, to accuse Russian news media of “fake news” is a flagrant inversion of reality.

That NATO chiefs, Western governments, and the dutiful news media can get away with making such accusations is a disturbing sign of collective indoctrination. The irony of Western self-declared “free and independent” politicians and media behaving like an army of robots marching to war while accusing Russia of fake news is too much for words.

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

RT debunks charges of ‘fake news’ on French election

RT | February 13, 2017

Western media accuses RT of ‘spreading fake news’ citing an Emmanuel Macron story RT never published.

The accusations against RT were leveled by Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! party, in an interview with the France 2 TV channel.

RT responded to the allegations that it had targeted French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron with “fake news” in a statement:

“RT adamantly rejects any and all claims that it has any part in spreading fake news in general and in relation to Mr. Macron and the upcoming French election in particular. Furthermore, we are appalled that such baseless accusations are taking place on a quotidian basis. Indeed, it seems that it has become acceptable to level such serious charges at RT without presenting any evidence to substantiate them, as well as to apply this ‘fake news’ label to any reporting that one might simply find unfavorable. It is both ironic and deeply disappointing that, in the noble fight against fake news, journalistic standards are so casually sacrificed when the conversation concerns RT.”

International news media outlets picked up the Ferrand interview, apparently without checking the facts.

Many outlets relied on Monday’s Reuters report, which claimed that RT ran comments by French National Assembly member Nicolas Dhuicq about Macron being an agent of ‘the big American banking system.’

The Reuters claim was entirely false as RT has never published such a report.

Reuters did not provide any other examples of RT’s supposed role in the “fake news” attack on Macron in its lengthy article on the subject.

Furthermore, the agency did not contact RT’s press office for comment to give the network the right of reply. Neither did almost all the outlets who reprinted the false claims.

Reuters amended their report and removed mention of RT from the discussion of Dhuicq’s comments only after RT representatives reached out to the news service. The Reuters website eventually added the RT statement to their report.

However, Reuters has not provided any indication that the original report was amended in any way, that it included uncorroborated statements about RT and, that the network was denied the right to reply to these allegations prior to the article’s publication.

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Moscow expects Reuters to clarify its complaints concerning working conditions in Russia

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Russian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
TASS – February 3, 2017

MOSCOW – Russia’s Foreign Ministry expects the Reuters news agency to clarify its complaints regarding the working conditions of its journalists in the country, the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.

“We have seen Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler’s message to staff, which concerns covering the new US president’s activities,” Zakharova noted. “Although we do not usually comment on editorial directives, we could not but take notice of one paragraph,” she went on to say. “The implication is that Reuters considers Russia to be one of the countries where the agency has to ‘encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats’ to its journalists.”

“We don’t divide journalists into good and bad, we don’t refuse to issue visas, we don’t deprive them of visas or accreditation only because we don’t like their style or find them to be biased,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman stressed. “I expect Reuters to clarify the matter.”

At the same time, she said that Russia’s Foreign Ministry would have not commented on this message if it had not been made public through the Reuters website and had not mentioned the agency’s work in Russia. The diplomat was confident that Reuters had deliberately posted the message “thus turning it into some kind of a manifesto.”

According to Zakharova, when the Russian Foreign Ministry contacted Reuters, the agency declined to comment. She also pointed out that the Reuters correspondents accredited in Russia took part in closed weekly briefings at the Foreign Ministry as well as in other media events, however, they had not voiced their concerns even once.

Photo © Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

February 3, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Western media propaganda threatens peace and prolongs the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine

By Roger Annis | New Cold War | Sept 2, 2016

Western media is becoming unhinged as its anti-Russia propaganda struggles to keep a hold on its consumers. Two recent examples provide evidence.

Pro-peace conspiracy emanating from Moscow

On August 28, the New York Times published an article by its Moscow bureau chief about the troubling news (from the Times‘ viewpoint) that the people of Sweden are not happy with their government’s wish to join up with the NATO military alliance.

The ruling elites in Sweden and Finland have been quietly pushing for NATO membership for years. In May, the Swedish government pushed through the Riksdag a proposal for a ‘cooperation agreement’ with NATO, allowing it freer access to Swedish territory for transit and training. Finland already has such an agreement in place. In July, government leaders of the two countries proudly joined the NATO summit dinner in Warsaw.

But as a Reuters report at the time of the Warsaw summit explained, “An SvD/SIFO opinion poll showed 49 per cent of Swedes opposed joining NATO, with 33 in favor. Most Finns are against entering, and a government report said in April any such move would trigger a crisis with Russia.”

A Swedish news outlet reported on the same poll results:

In the survey of 1000 Swedes carried out by pollsters SIFO for newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in June, 49 per cent said they did not want Sweden to join NATO, 33 per cent said yes, and 18 said they were undecided.

The results suggest public opinion has changed since the last SIFO survey on the topic in September of 2015. In that poll, 41 per cent said they were in favour of Sweden seeking NATO membership, 39 per cent said they were against, and 20 per cent were undecided.

At the time, the 2015 figures appeared to demonstrate a significant shift in public opinion in the traditionally non-aligned Nordic country, but SIFO’s most-recent round of results indicates that shift was short-lived.

The Times article by Neil MacFarquharaug began, “With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The source of the “confusion”? The Times headline reads, ‘A powerful Russian weapon: The spread of false stories’. The article says there is “a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The Times writer declares a case of Russian dezinformatsiya in action. So powerful is the dezinformatsiya that it can seemingly bamboozle two of the wealthiest and most-educated populations in the world and make them act against their best interests, or at least the best advice of the New York Times, that being to join NATO.

As to the exact source of the public tripwire that Swedish government leaders have encountered, the dezinformatsiya conspiracy fades into the mists of the northern boreal forest. The Times explains, “As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts, and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect…”

Could public attitudes in Finland and Sweden towards NATO have anything to do with the historic ambivalence of Swedes and Finns to imperialist war alliances and their preference for peace over war? Apparently, the New York Times can’t climb out of its Russia conspiracy rut long enough to investigate.

According to the Global Peace Index as well as the  Global Peace Index (produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace), Finland and Sweden score in the top 15 countries of the world in various measures of being peaceful, non-violent places to live. Could it be that the people in Sweden and Finland would like to keep things that way?

Meanwhile, here is the New York Times article’s own dezinformatsiya, in the form of a long list of alleged Russian propaganda initiatives that prove what a dastardly enemy it is:

  • “Disinformation most famously succeeded in early 2014 with the initial obfuscation about deploying Russian forces to seize Crimea.”
  • “… the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the [Malaysian Airlines Flight 17] plane with a missile supplied by Russia.”
  • “… the Kremlin’s English-language news outlets heavily favored the campaign for [Britain] to leave the European Union, despite their claims of objectivity.”
  • “Moscow’s targeting of the West with disinformation dates to a Cold War program the Soviets called ‘active measures’.”
  • “[The Russian state-owned television channel] RT often seems obsessed with the United States, portraying life there as hellish.”
  • “The weaponization of information is not some project devised by a Kremlin policy expert but is an integral part of Russian military doctrine…”

Reuters can’t write a truthful article

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency published a report, also on August 28, purporting to look at the prospects for peace in Ukraine. The article is headlined, ‘Germany, Poland and France call for more efforts to end Ukraine crisis‘. Only ten brief paragraphs long, hardly a one in the article is untouched by distortions aimed at casting the best possible light on the right-wing, ultranationalist government in Kyiv and its civil war in the east of the country. Let’s read the ten paragraphs from start to finish:

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland agreed on Sunday there should be greater international efforts to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters.

He said there had not been sufficient progress in implementing the Minsk ceasefire agreement. “Western officials were talking with Russia and Ukraine to encourage them to implement measures already agreed in the Minsk process, including communal elections,” he said.

“Fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Western news-speak for “We don’t’ wish to name the protagonist in the conflict in eastern Ukraine because it happens to be our friend and ally. And what’s more, we are hoping that you don’t notice that it is the army of Ukraine that has invaded and occupied parts of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, not the other way around.”

Reuters cites Germany’s foreign minister in saying “Russia and Ukraine” should implement the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement (signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarus capital of Minsk). But Minsk-2 is an agreement to end a conflict between two parties in Ukraine–the governing regime in Kyiv, and the people’s republics in Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk). The agreement spells out the precise measures to be taken on both sides, including a cessation of military hostilities, comprehensive prisoner exchanges, recognition by Kyiv of autonomy for Donetsk and Lugansk, to be followed by the holding of elections there, and so on. What does all this have to do with Russia, apart from the obvious facilitation role which Russia (and other regional powers) could fulfill? Is Russia supposed to take over Ukraine so that Minsk-2 may be implemented? How well would that go over in Berlin and Washington?

Why not “Germany and Ukraine” or “France and Ukraine” to be encouraged to implement Minsk? After all, Germany and France are among the four members of the ‘Normandy Four’ group constituted to facilitate a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine and under whose facilitation Minsk-2 was arrived at in the first place.

“We have to work for a de-escalation of the situation,” [Steinmeier] told reporters after a meeting with his counterparts aimed at reinvigorating the Weimar Triangle [Germany-France-Poland] trilateral group.

Steinmeier said the group also wanted to reassure Europeans about the continued importance and relevance of the European Union after the June 23 vote by Britain to exit the bloc.

“The Weimar Triangle can plan an important role … It is a format where we can discuss progress or the lack of progress on issues such as the Normandy format aimed at ending the Ukraine conflict,” Steinmeier said.

The Normandy group comprises Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

So what, exactly, have Germany and France been doing to “de-escalate” the conflict in Ukraine? Have they called on Ukraine to pull its heavy weaponry out of the ceasefire zone and cease its criminal, daily shelling of towns and cities in Donbass, in total violation of Minsk-2? No. Have they called out Ukraine for refusing to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk republics and thereby blocking the holding of elections as required by Minsk-2? No. How about Ukraine’s failure to conduct prisoner exchanges; have Germany and France scolded Ukraine for that? No. So why is Reuters misleading its readers about Germany and France’s failure to work to “de-escalate” the conflict?

The misleading is even worse, because not only have Germany and France failed to aid in de-escalating the conflict, they are constantly adding fuel to the fire. Recently, they led the European Union in extending EU economic sanctions against Russia, including Crimea. They are silent about the provocative action of the United States, Britain and Canada in providing military training and equipping of the Ukrainian army and paramilitary irregulars, which is then applied to the illegal and criminal war against the citizens of Donbass.

Germany and France are members of the NATO alliance whose lead member, the United States, recently constructed provocative and dangerous missile bases in Romania and Poland. These bases have been built as the U.S. undertakes a massive, trillion dollars-plus upgrade of its nuclear weapons. This includes designing new delivery systems that undo the current status quo of nuclear stand-off and greatly increase the possibility of accidental unleashing of nuclear weapons.

Why can’t Reuters provide its readers with important background information of the conflict in Ukraine instead of printing bland phrases that convey exactly the opposite impression of what is really taking place?

The leaders of Russia, Germany and France have agreed to meet to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Sept. 4-5 in China on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the Kremlin said last week.

A recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, and fresh tension in Crimea have raised concern that a fragile ceasefire agreed in Minsk in February 2015 could collapse.

“Recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Reuters-speak for that which not must be spoken: in recent months, Ukraine has greatly increased its criminal shelling of the people of Donbass. What’s more, Ukraine conducts an ongoing military occupation of Donetsk and Lugansk territory and it calls the self-defense forces of Donbass “terrorists”, thus showing it has absolutely no intention of reaching a political settlement.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said last week he did not rule out introducing martial law and a new wave of military mobilization if the separatist conflict worsened.

“Separatist conflict” is Kyiv-speak/Reuters-speak for obscuring and confusing the source of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which is the refusal of Kyiv to grant the slightest decentralization of power in the highly-centralized Ukrainian constitutional setup whereby regions of Donbass could achieve a desired autonomy.

Of course, as a result of Ukraine’s prolonged and cruel war against the people of Donbass, it is highly likely that if given the chance, they would vote to secede from Ukraine to either join Russia or constitute their own independent republics. But that hardly makes them criminals or “terrorists”. As a matter of fact, that would be an entirely lawful act, consistent with international law, such as it is, and consistent with recent political experience in such countries as Canada (Quebec) and the United Kingdom (Scotland).

Propaganda disguised as news or policy is the modus operandi of Western media outlets in reporting on Ukraine. It’s a major contributor to making the conflict there so intractable because it lessens the pressure that would otherwise operate on the ultra-nationalist regime in Kyiv that it cease its civil war course.

Postscript:

On September 1, the Globe and Mail national daily in Canada published  a propaganda opinion piece by Aurel Braun, a professor of international relations and political science at the University of Toronto and a centre associate of the Davis Center, Harvard University. The commentary is titled ‘The West can’t let Putin decide Ukraine’s future‘ and the text begins:

Last week’s celebrations of 25 years of independence in Ukraine were bittersweet. Domestic problems aside, fighting escalated in eastern Ukraine with Moscow-controlled separatist rebels, Crimea remained firmly in Russia’s grip as the Kremlin increased its military presence there, Russian forces massed on Ukraine’s border and the Putin government provocatively accusing the Kiev government of seeking to invade Crimea. A worried President Petro Poroshenko warned just days before that he could not exclude the possibility of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There are two things of note in the commentary. One, the author says Ukraine would be “impossible to govern” if it were to adopt a federal system, ie a devolution of powers from Ukraine’s extremely centralized governing system to its 25 oblasts (regions). This will come as news to the people of many (most?) countries of the world that have a form of federal division of powers, including Canada, The United States… and Russia!

Two, the author describes present-day Ukraine as suffering “decades of failure to institute fundamental economic reforms, it needs to address endemic and damaging corruption, and Ukrainian political parties must learn the art of political compromise and be vigilant against various forms of extremism.” So how can these apparently intractable problems be cured? Why, ‘blame Russia!’

With such uninformed but university-level discourse, it is no wonder that most of the comments by readers posted to the Globe article absolutely mock its ludicrous assertions (and thereby mock the Globe editors for choosing to publish it). Here are a few examples of the withering comments directed at the editors of the Globe:

* Russia is this and Russia is that… The author of this piece of shameless propaganda thinks that we all have a very short memory span and cannot think by ourselves…

* Yet another wretched screed in the endless stream of Russia-baiting, Putin-bashing media commentaries in western media. Cannot the Globe and Mail find some knowledgeable persons from time to time to write something more or less objective and sensible about these and other troublesome international issues?…

* Ridiculous article and the University of Toronto should be ashamed that they have hired someone who is more of a government propagandist than a ‘student’ of foreign events…

* Is this guy really a professor? …

* … The author would do well to stop citing people who’ve lied through their teeth since the [2014] coup – the criminal act which sparked the avoidable crisis. We should all stop listening to people like [Aurel] Braun, who are well-known for doing the same.

* Ah yes, Aurel Braun, the man who destroyed Rights & Democracy (and whose actions possibly contributed to the death of its former director) in order to protect Israeli policy from criticism, is well-known for his anti-Russian bias and willingness to lie to enable conflict…

Final word in yet another chapter of Globe and Mail pro-Kyiv propaganda to another Globe commenter: “… If Western people and governments truly want to see the Ukrainian people begin to prosper, they will stop using that country as a chess piece in the Big Game. Work to ease tensions with Russia in this area, not exacerbate them.”

Roger Annis is a retired aerospace worker in Vancouver BC. He is an editor of the website The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond. He can be reached at rogerannis@hotmail.com.

 

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Medvedev never said: Reuters misquotes Russian PM on ‘new world war’

RT | February 12, 2016

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev © Ekaterina Shtukina/

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev © Ekaterina Shtukina/

A Reuters article quoted Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as “raising the specter of a world war” in an interview to a German newspaper. The problem is – he didn’t say any such words.

The leading world news agency reported on an interview that Medvedev gave Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper on the eve of talks on Syria in Munich.

“All sides must be compelled to sit at the negotiating table, instead of unleashing a new world war,” the agency quoted the head of the Russian government as saying.

The report referred to a German translation of his words, which is incorrect and implies that Russia is warning that a full-scale war between leading world powers may be ignited from the Syrian conflict.

The quote comes from the portion of the interview in which Medvedev argued against starting a foreign ground intervention against Syria, saying it would only prolong the armed conflict for years or decades to come.

Medvedev’s actual words, according to the Russian transcript on PM’s website were:

“What is necessary is to use strong measures, including those taken by Russia, by the Americans and even under certain provisions those that the Turks are trying to take, to sit at the negotiating table, instead of unleashing yet another war on Earth. We know all too well the scenarios leading to that.”

The misquotation incident is the second in February involving a senior world official and the Syrian conflict. Earlier, The Financial Times claimed that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon blamed Russia for the collapse of the Syrian peace talks.

In a letter to the FT viewed by RT, Ban’s office said that the quotes of the secretary general used in the article were “technically correct” but taken out of context and “framed in a way that attributes to him direct language that is incorrect.” In particular, author Sam Jones made it appear that Ban Ki-moon had singled out Russia and the Syrian government in describing the difficulties that the peace process is facing, which he didn’t do.

The office requested that a correction be published to accurately reflect what the Secretary-General actually said.

February 12, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Good News, World! You Can Stop Worrying About the South China Sea!

By Peter Lee | China Matters | January 23, 2016

There has been a concerted campaign to depict the South China Sea as an indispensable artery for commercial shipping and, therefore, a justifiable object of US attention and meddling.

This flagship of this effort is invoking the “$5 trillion dollars” worth of goods that pass through the SCS each year. Reuters, in particular, is addicted to this formula.

Here’s seven Reuters news stories within the last month containing the $5 trillion figure:

China Says South China Seas militarization depends on threat

China seeks investment for disputed islands, to launch flights

China defends South China Sea reef landings after Vietnam complaint

Philippines files protest against Chin’s test flights in disputed sea

China again lands planes on disputed island in South China Sea: Xinhua

Filipino protestors land on disputed islands in South China Sea

South China Sea tensions surge as China lands plane on artificial island

What interests me is that these seven articles reflect the work of six reporters and seven editors (seven to six! Glad to see Reuters has a handle on the key ratios!) in five bureaus and they all include the same stock phrase. How’s that work? Does headquarters issue a ukaz that all articles about the South China Sea must include the magic $5 trillion phrase? Does the copyediting program flag every reference to the South China Sea omitting the figure? Or did the reportorial hive mind linking Beijing, Manila, Hanoi, Hong Kong, and Sydney spontaneously and unanimously decided that “$5 trillion” is an indispensable accessory for South China Sea reporting?

I guess it’s understandable. A more accurate characterization of the South China Sea as “a useful but not indispensable waterway for world shipping whose commercial importance, when properly exaggerated, provides a pretext for the United States to meddle in Southeast Asian affairs at the PRC’s expense” is excessively verbose and fails to convey a sense of urgency.

The kicker, of course, is that the lion’s share of the $5 trillion is China trade, and most of the balance passes through the South China Sea by choice and not by necessity. … Full article

January 24, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Last chance! [And this time they really, really, mean it]

ClimateChangePredictions | October 30, 2015

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is having its 21st meeting in Paris towards the end of 2015. (Hence COP21 or conference of parties)

We’ve been told this is the ‘last effective opportunity’ to keep global warming to ‘a limit safe for humanity.’

However we are reassured by the fact there have been previous last chances, and this website predicts that COP21 will not be the last ‘last chance.’

Previous ‘Last Chance’ UN climate summit deadlines: 

Last chance! – Bonn, 2001 – A Global Warming Treaty’s Last Chance. That teetering edifice that is the Kyoto Protocol gets some emergency repair work this week as delegates from 180 countries gather in Bonn to work out problems that threaten to scuttle the deal altogether. – Time Magazine, 16 Jul 2001

Last chance! – Montreal, 2005 – In an open letter to delegates at the Montreal environmental summit, beginning today, campaigner Mark Lynas explains why action on climate change can no longer be stalled. “I’m scared. For 15 years I’ve watched international progress on climate change get slower and slower, even while the pace of global warming seems to get ever more rapid. With time running out for the global climate, your meeting in Montreal represents a last chance for action.” – The Independent, 28 Nov 2005

Last chance! – Bali, 2007 – World leaders will converge on Bali today for the start of negotiations which experts say could be the last chance to save the Earth from catastrophic climate change. Bali could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming, said Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth. – The New Zealand Herald, 3 Dec 2007

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2007: Philip Clapp, head of the Washington-based National Environment Trust, says: “Fifteen years of international negotiations have not yet produced a comprehensive agreement that will get developed countries to begin serious reductions.”He adds: “The framework for such an agreement must come out of the Bali meeting. The scientists are telling us that this is the world’s last shot at avoiding the worst consequences of global warming.” – The Independent, 2 Dec 2007

Last chance! – Poznan, Poland, 2008 – The world will “suicide” if it cannot strike a strong climate pact soon, Australian environmental scientist Tim Flannery has warned. Professor Flannery, who is attending a UN climate summit in Poland, expressed dismay at the slow progress. “Resistance is a suicidal tactic,” the former Australian of the year, scientist and author told reporters in Poland. “This round of negotiations is likely to be our last chance as a species to deal with the problem.” The Age, 9 Dec 2008

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2008: Humanity is approaching the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change, according to WWF’s analysis of the latest climate science.The warning comes during UN climate talks in Poznan, Poland.“Governments in Poznan must agree to peak and decline global emissions well before 2020 to give people reasonable hope that global warming can still be kept within limits that prevent the worst,” said Kim Carstensen, leader of WWF’s global climate initiative. – WWF, “Poznan provides last chance to curb climate change” 5 Dec 2008

Last chance! – Copenhagen, 2009 – The world faces a final opportunity to agree an adequate global response to climate change at a U.N.-led meeting in Copenhagen in December, the European Union’s environment chief said on Friday. It is now 12 years since Kyoto was created. This makes Copenhagen the world’s last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return, European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told a climate conference in Budapest on Friday. – Reuters, Feb 27 2009

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2009: Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, has warned of “catastrophic consequences” unless a new international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions is reached.Climate change is “simply the greatest collective challenge we face as a human family”, Mr Ban said in a speech on Monday in Seoul. He urged international leaders to reach a deal to limit their countries’ carbon emissions at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December. – The Telegraph, 10 Aug 2009

2009: “No one said the road to Copenhagen would be easy. But the agreement we all hope to reach in Copenhagen next year represents the last chance to bring climate change under control before it is too late. There is progress, but we need to step up the pace. With resolve, cooperation and imagination, we can conclude an agreement at the end of next year, delivering the ambitious global action that is needed.”
Speech by Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner responsible for environment at a Climate Change Conference, 31 October 2008, Prague

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2009: The Copenhagen summit is the world’s last chance to save the planet from “catastrophic” global warming, according to a major study led by Lord Stern of Brentford, the country’s leading authority on climate change.Without an international agreement to limit global warming, temperatures are likely to rise by 9F (5C) by the end of the century – triggering mass migration, warfare and world hunger, according to the report. – The Telegraph, 2 Dec 2009

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Last chance! – Cancun, 2010 – A sense of foreboding is one of the few points of general agreement among the 15,000 participants congregating for the next two weeks on this long thin strip of land, marooned between a wide lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. Jairem Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, sees it as the “last chance” for climate change talks to succeed; Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate chief, believes a disappointing outcome would “put the whole process in danger”. – The Telegraph (UK), 29 Nov 2010

Last chance! – Durban, 2011 – Rev. Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit, who leads the World Council of Churches, says the upcoming climate conference in South Africa is mankind’s ‘last opportunity’ to address climate change. This week the World Council of Churches general secretary, Reverend Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, called the United Nations UNFCCC COP 17 meeting a “last opportunity for the international community to be responsible in addressing climate change”, and called on the meeting to “act now for climate justice.” – Spero News, 27 Nov 2011

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2011: Durban climate change meeting is “the last chance”. Attended by over 200 countries, this week’s major UN conference has been described by many experts as humanity’s last chance to avert the disastrous effects of climate change.Together with around 20 000 delegates from nearly 200 countries, Ferrial Adam, the climate change and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa, will be attending the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which gets under way in Durban in the next two weeks, towards negotiating a new climate regime. – UCANews, 28 Nov 2011

Last chance! – Doha, 2012 – Tomorrow: the earth’s last chance with climate change? Tomorrow, the whole world talks about irreversible global warming as this year’s international climate change summit begins. Participating are 195 countries (almost all of the United Nations). There are two concurrent meetings: the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol; and the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. They will take place from Monday, November 26, 2012 to Friday, December 7, 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. – The Examiner, 25 Nov 2012

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Last chance! – Warsaw, 2013 – Is the Warsaw Climate Change Conference a last-chance summit? The Warsaw Climate Change Conference opened on Monday 11th November. After the 2012 failure of Doha, this summit could represent a turning point in the fight against global warming. “Global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak this decade, and get to zero net emissions by the second half of this century,” announced Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC in a press release dated 8th November. “We have the money and technology, the knowledge and the new economic models to get the job done in time,” she confirmed before describing the next two years as “a critical period to act faster on climate.” – Sustainable Mobility, 14 Nov 2013

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Last chance! – Lima, 2014 – Last chance: Change needed for climate negotiations in Lima 2014. WWF issued the following statement today from Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative, as the UN climate talks drew to a conclusion: “A repeat performance next year would be disastrous, not just for the progress of these negotiations, but more importantly for vulnerable communities everywhere and the natural world on which we all depend…By the time we get to next year’s meeting in Lima, we urgently need to have political will, real commitments, and a clear path to a comprehensive and fair agreement in Paris 2015, where a new global agreement on climate change has to be signed.” – WWF Global, 23 Nov 2013

Last chance! – Paris, 2015: Scientists are calling on world leaders to sign up to an eight-point plan of action at landmark talks in Paris. The key element is the goal to limit global warming to below 2C by moving to zero carbon emissions by 2050. The UN meeting in December is “the last chance” to avert dangerous climate change, according to the Earth League. – BBC News 22 Apr 2015

November 7, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment