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US Mercenaries, Iraqi Highways and the Mystery of the Never-Ending ISIS Hordes

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 22.10.2017

While the US and European media provided little explanation as to how militants from the self-titled Islamic State (IS) managed to appear, expand and then fight for years against the combined military power of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia, it was abundantly clear to many analysts that the IS organization was not only receiving state sponsorship, but it was receiving reinforcements, weapons and supplies from far beyond Syria’s and Iraq’s borders.

Maps of the conflict stretching over the last several years show clear corridors used to reinforce IS positions, leading primarily from Turkey’s southern border and to a lesser extent, from Jordan’s borders.

However, another possible vector may be desert highways in Iraq’s western Anbar province where US military contractors are allegedly to “provide security” as well as build gas stations and rest areas. These highways contributed to the current conflict and still serve as a hotbed for state sponsored terrorism. Whether these US-controlled and improved highways pose a significant threat for a reorganized effort by the US and its regional allies to divide and destroy Iraq and Syria seems all but inevitable.

US Mercenaries “Guarding” Iraqi Highways 

Al Monitor in an April 2017 article titled, “How Iraq is planning to secure key border road,” would claim:

 Due to the imminent threats to the road, which is one of Iraq’s vital economic lines as it connects Basra in the south to Jordan in the west, Iraq commissioned an American company to secure and rebuild the road. The contract also included reconstructing bridges, 36 of which are destroyed.

The article would elaborate, stating:

A security source from the Iraqi intelligence service told Al-Monitor, “The American company will only secure the two roads reaching Terbil from Basra and Baghdad and will build gas stations and rest areas, in addition to building bridges and cordoning off the roads with barbed wires, as per distances that would be determined later.”

Al Monitor would claim that Iraq’s popular mobilization units found themselves unable to oppose the move made by the central government in Baghdad. It would also note that Iraq’s Hezbollah Brigades claimed, in opposition to the plan, that:

The road connecting Iraq and Jordan is a strategic gateway allowing the US and forces seeking to control it to tighten their grip on Anbar and the potential Sunni region as per a US-Gulf plan.

One could imagine future potential scenarios including these rebuilt roads, complete with gas stations and rest areas, leading from Jordan and Saudi Arabia and providing an efficient route for future wars waged either directly or by proxy against Iraq. The infiltration of fighters and supplies, for example, would be greatly expedited should the US and its partners decide to shift their efforts along this new axis.

Beyond this more obvious threat comes the fact that US-Jordanian-Saudi influence would be greatly enhanced with stronger logistical lines leading into Iraq’s western regions.

How the US Might Use its New Highways  

The Islamic State’s de facto invasion of Syria and Iraq was a more massive and dramatic replay of an earlier surge of foreign militants into the region, following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

It would be America’s own Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point United States Military Academy in two reports published in 2007 and 2008 (.pdf) respectively that would describe in detail the networks some of Washington’s closest regional allies used to flood post-war Iraq with foreign fighters.

While these fighters indeed attacked US soldiers, what they also did was disrupt a relatively unified resistance movement before plunging Sunni and Shia’a militias into a deadly and costly “civil war.”

Fighters, weapons and cash infiltrated into Iraq from a network that fed fighters from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region first into Turkey, through Syria via the help of many of the senior leadership of anti-government militant groups now fighting  Damascus, and then into Iraq primarily where IS has been based and where the remnants of its militancy remains.

During the more recent conflict, these same networks were utilized successfully until Russia’s intervention in 2015 when these terrorist “ratlines” came under fire by Russian warplanes. The cause and effect of attacking these terrorist ratlines was visible on conflict maps, causing an almost immediate shrinking of IS-occupied territory and a corresponding atrophy of IS fighting capacity.

The Jordanian-Iraqi and Saudi-Iraqi border crossings and the highways running through them represent an alternative means to reorient Washington’s proxy conflict either now or in the near future.

US Already Planning to Weaponize the Project 

Raising further alarm bells should be the New York Times’ May 2017 article, “U.S. Sees a Vital Iraqi Toll Road, but Iran Sees a Threat,” which helps frame the very sort of conflict US policymakers are seeking with this move and the reaction it has already provoked among America’s primary targets in the region, particularly Iran.
The article would claim:

 As part of an American effort to promote economic development in Iraq and secure influence in the country after the fight against the Islamic State subsides, the American government has helped broker a deal between Iraq and Olive Group, a private security company, to establish and secure the country’s first toll highway.

This being Iraq, though, the project has quickly been caught up in geopolitics, sectarianism and tensions between the United States and Iran, which seems determined to sabotage the highway project as an unacceptable projection of American influence right on its doorstep.

The New York Times also helps prepare a narrative so that any attack on American contractors along the highway could easily be blamed on militias linked to Iran, or even on Iran itself. The article states:

Already, Iraqi militia leaders linked to Iran, whose statements are seen as reflective of the views of Tehran, have pledged to resume attacks against American forces if the Trump administration decides to leave troops behind to train the Iraqi military and mount counterterrorism missions, as appears likely. And the militia leaders have specifically singled out the highway project for criticism.

The New York Times ultimately admits that the US is attempting to control the highway specifically to continue its increasingly dangerous proxy war against Tehran. The article also admits that the highways will be entirely controlled by US contractors, including the collection of tolls of which only a portion would be handed over to the Iraqi government. The article also claims other highways, including one leading directly from Saudi Arabia, are being considered.

In essence, these would be terrorist ratlines directly controlled by the United States, leading directly out of the very epicenter of state sponsored terrorism in the region, Saudi Arabia, other Persian Gulf states and to a lesser but still significant extent, Jordan.

They would be terrorist ratlines difficult for Iraq’s central government or its allies to attack without providing a much welcomed pretext for Washington to directly retaliate against the faction of its choosing.

While the New York Times and US politicians and businessmen involved in the highway deal attempt to portray it as a means of providing peace, stability and economic prosperity for Iraq, a quick audit of US policy in the Middle East should ground those lofty promises in a much more frightening reality.

The scope of this project is nothing short of both a US occupation and a US-administered “safe zone” in which militant groups backed by the US and its regional partners can safely be harbored, and from which they can strike out against Iraq and its neighbors with the full protection of US military force.

Some US policymakers may feel that their failing proxy war against Syria involved a cart-before-the-horse policy in which the creation of US-administered and protected safe zones turned out to be more difficult to implement than initially anticipated, and that in the future, such zones should be created before another round of proxy-hostilities.

No matter what, the US presence and the more-than-certain intentions that underpin it will ensure not peace, stability or prosperity, but another decade of division and strife both in Iraq and beyond. Confounding this project, and those like it, and replacing them with actual projects to fulfill the promises of progress the US is merely hiding behind, will be key to truly moving Iraq and the region forward.

October 22, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , , | 2 Comments

No, The US Didn’t ‘Stand By’ Indonesian Genocide—It Actively Participated

Jim Naureckas | FAIR | October 18, 2017

NYT: U.S. Stood by as Indonesia Killed a Half-Million People, Papers Show

New York Times headline, 10/18/17.

There’s a story in the New York Times today (1/18/17) headlined:

US Stood By as Indonesia Killed a Half-Million People, Papers Show

“Standing by,” however, is not what the United States did during the Indonesian genocide of 1965–66; rather, it actively supported the massacres, which were applauded at the time by the New York Times.

Indonesia in 1965 was run by President Sukarno, an anti-colonial nationalist who had irritated Washington with friendly ties to the Indonesian Communist Party, known as the PKI. When an abortive coup attempt was dubiously blamed on the PKI, this was seen by both the Indonesian military and the US as an opportunity.

“Events of the past few days have put PKI and pro-Communist elements very much on defensive and they may embolden army at long last to act effectively against Communists,” the US embassy in Jakarta told the State Department in a now-declassified telegram (10/5/65). While advising the US to “avoid overt involvement as power struggle unfolds,” US Ambassador Marshall Green urged the government to

covertly, however, indicate clearly to key people in army such as Nasution and Suharto our desire to be of assistance where we can, while at same time conveying to them our assumption that we should avoid appearance of involvement or interference in any way.

Notably, the embassy identified propaganda as a key role for the US to play:

Spread the story of PKI‘s guilt, treachery and brutality (this priority effort is perhaps most needed immediate assistance we can give army if we can find way to do it without identifying it as solely or largely US effort).

The Indonesian military used the coup attempt to justify an ongoing series of massacres, targeting not only PKI members but also the ethnic Chinese community that was their primary base. As the scope of the bloodbath became clear, the US cheered on the killing, with Ambassador Green (10/20/65) writing that the Indonesian army had been “working hard at destroying PKI and I, for one, have increasing respect for its determination and organization in carrying out this crucial assignment.”

Washington Post: 50 years ago today, American diplomats endorsed mass killings in Indonesia

A WaPo headline (12/2/15) frames US involvement as more active.

The Washington Post (12/2/15), marking the 50th anniversary of the genocide, ran a piece by historian Kai Thaler that summarized the active role the US played in supporting the mass killing:

[Secretary of State Dean] Rusk affirmed US support for the “elimination of the PKI.” US officials also provided detailed lists of thousands of PKI members for the military and anti-communist civilians, with American officials reportedly checking off who had been killed or arrested.

Amid reports of massacres throughout the country, in late October, Rusk and U.S. national security officials made plans to unconditionally provide weapons and communications equipment to the Indonesian military, while new US aid was organized in December for the civilian anti-communist coalition and the military. By February 1966, Green stated approvingly that “the Communists…have been decimated by wholesale massacre.”

Compare that to the New York Times‘ account, by Southeast Asia bureau chief Hannah Beech, which puts the US in an altogether more passive light:

It was an anti-Communist blood bath of at least half a million Indonesians. And American officials watched it happen without raising any public objections, at times even applauding the forces behind the killing, according to newly declassified State Department files that show diplomats meticulously documenting the purge in 1965–66….

When a group of hard-line generals blamed Communist Party operatives for a failed coup attempt in 1965, with China accused as a mastermind, Washington did little to challenge that narrative.

The United States government largely stayed silent as the death toll mounted at the hands of the Indonesian Army, paramilitaries and religious mobs.

It was not that “Washington did little to challenge that narrative” being used to justify hundreds of thousands of murders; rather, spreading that narrative was seen by the US ambassador as “perhaps most needed immediate assistance we can give army.”

The New York Times (7/12/90) went out of its way to cast doubt on evidence of US participation in the mass murders.

This is not the first time that the New York Times has downplayed US culpability in the Indonesian bloodbath. When Kathy Kadane of States News Service (Washington Post, 5/21/90) broke the story that the US embassy had provided lists of PKI members to the Indonesian military at the height of the murders, the Times‘ Michael Wines (7/12/90) wrote an unusual attempt to discredit the story:

A dispute has developed over a report that 25 years ago, United States officials supplied up to 5,000 names of Indonesian Communists to the Indonesian Army…. The dispute has focused on whether the decision to turn over the names was that of an individual American Embassy officer, or was coordinated with the Central Intelligence Agency and approved by senior embassy officers.

NYT: US Heartened by Red Setback in Indonesia Coup

The NYT’ most cheerleading coverage
came from future editor Max Frankel (e.g., 10/11/65).

As FAIR noted at the time (Extra!, 7–8/90), the Times‘ reluctance to admit that the US had actively participated in the Indonesian genocide may have been related to its enthusiasm for the genocide as it was happening:

While some of its coverage did invoke the horror of the massive killing (as early as 1/16/66), in general the Times’ commentary and analysis viewed the destruction of the Communist party quite favorably. “A Gleam of Light in Asia” was the headline of a James Reston column (6/19/66). “Almost everyone is pleased by the changes now being wrought,” C.L. Sulzberger commented (4/8/66). The Times itself editorialized (4/5/66) that the Indonesian military was “rightly playing its part with utmost caution.”

But perhaps the most enthusiastic of all the Times’ writers was Max Frankel, then Washington correspondent, now executive editor. “US Is Heartened by Red Setback in Indonesia Coup,” one Frankel dispatch was tagged (10/11/65). “The Johnson administration believes that a dramatic new opportunity has developed both for anti-Communist Indonesians and for United States policies” in Indonesia, Frankel wrote. “Officials… believe the army will cripple and perhaps destroy the Communists as a significant political force.”

After the scale of the massacre began to be apparent, Frankel was even more enthusiastic. Under the headline “Elated US Officials Looking to New Aid to Jakarta’s Economy” (3/13/66), Frankel reported that

the Johnson administration found it difficult today to hide its delight with the news from Indonesia…. After a long period of patient diplomacy designed to help the army triumph over the Communists, and months of prudent silence… officials were elated to find their expectations being realized.

Frankel went on to describe the leader of the massacre, Gen. Suharto, as “an efficient and effective military commander.”

To acknowledge that the US has looked upon mass murder as a positive project worth supporting is risky when the Times itself saw that same mass murder as worthy of support.

It’s not that the Times‘ piece today is wholly uncritical; it even admits, in a backhanded fashion, that the US did more than “stand by” during the massacres:

In 2015, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico reintroduced a resolution in the Senate calling for Indonesia to face up to its traumatic history. He also held the United States to account for its “military and financial support” there, which included providing lists of possible leftist sympathizers to the Indonesian government and, as one cable released Tuesday showed, pushing to bury foreign news coverage of the killings.

But this information, appearing two-thirds of the way through the article, does not overcome the message in the headline and much of the text that the US sinned by omission, not commission. Framing Washington as a passive onlooker rather than active participant not only lessens the government’s (and the New York Times‘) culpability; it also tells readers that if the US is to be faulted, it’s to be blamed for not doing enough. That’s a handy attitude to cultivate for the next time you want to sell a “humanitarian” war.


You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com

October 22, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Kirkuk bell also tolls for US strategy in Syria

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | October 22, 2017

The rout of the Kurds in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk this week constitutes a major setback for the overall American strategies toward Iraq and Syria. The prospect of an unceremonious US retreat from Syria haunts the Trump administration in immediate terms, and it is all the more galling because Tehran is calibrating it.

Clearly, Iran has pushed the envelope, furious over US President Donald Trump’s provocative threats of sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Tehran had warned that US position in the entire Middle East will become increasingly untenable if Trump moved against the IRGC. The capture of Kirkuk by the Baghdad government was a de facto military operation by the Shi’ite militia known as the Hashd al-Shaabi, which was trained and equipped by the IRGC. The western reports suggest that the charismatic commander of the IRGC’s secretive Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani personally masterminded the military operation – and even prepared the political ground for it.

The US had tried to prevail upon the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi not to move against the Kurds who were its allies. Kirkuk is estimated to hold at least 8000 million barrels of subterranean oil. The oil revenue is critical for the survival of any independent Kurdish state. Evidently, Abadi didn’t listen due to the emergent threat posed by the Kurds’ recent independence referendum. Equally, Iran wanted to finish off the spectre of an independent Kurdistan in the region spearheaded by Massoud Barzani (who enjoys the backing of US and Israel.)

Indeed, the defeat in Kirkuk destroys the Iraqi Kurds’ dream of an independent state and derails the longstanding US-Israeli project to create a base with strategic location. Equally, the liberation of Kirkuk, which is populated by the Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen by the Iran-supported Shi’te militia highlights the strategic convergence between Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara in preventing the creation of an independent Kurdistan in the region.

However, the defeat of Barzani in Kirkuk has far wider ramifications – for Iraq as well as the Syrian conflict, apart from the US’ influence in the Middle East as a whole. At its most obvious level, Iran is thwarting the US plans to balkanize Iraq. Iraq’s unity is no longer under serious threat. Control of the vast oil reserves in Kirkuk will also bolster the Iraqi economy. Baghdad can be expected to reassert its authority over the country. The federal government has taken over the border crossings with Turkey and Syria.

The US attempt in the coming period will be to woo Abadi and encourage him to whittle down Iran’s influence in Iraq. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Riyadh on Saturday on a hastily arranged trip with the hope of getting Saudi King Salman to take a hand in persuading Abadi to keep Tehran’s influence on Iraq at bay and to mediate between Abadi and Barzani. The US and Saudi Arabia’s best hope lies in creating differences between Baghdad and Tehran by leveraging Abadi. But the chances of such a ploy working seem remote.

The fact that the US watched the defeat of the Kurds in Kirkuk passively tarnishes the overall American image, especially among Syrian Kurds. This casts shadows on the Syrian situation. The US has been routing the military supplies for Syrian Kurds in Raqqa via Erbil, Massoud’s stronghold (in the face of Turkey’s virulent opposition.) This supply route is no longer under Barzani’s control and the disruption will affect the US’ operations in Raqqa. The US-led Syrian Kurdish militia claims to have liberated Raqqa, but a real consolidation needs the decimation of the residual ISIS fighters present in the region and it may take months.

More importantly, a ‘trust deficit’ between Syrian Kurds and Washington at this juncture will be calamitous. Raqqa is Arab territory and the Kurdish militia’s supply lines are already overstretched. The disruption in American supplies means that it may now be a mater of time before Syrian Kurds seek some modus vivendi with the Syrian regime. If American military supplies dry up, Syrian Kurds will also come under pressure from Turkey in the swathe of northern Syria bordering Turkey, which form their traditional homelands. Turkey never liked a Kurdish entity taking shape across their border.

Interestingly, the commander of the Syrian Kurdish militia Sipan Hamo visited Moscow last weekend. The Russians indeed find themselves in an enviable position to drive a hard bargain over the Kurds’ sorrows. Russia is in a unique position to mediate between Syrian Kurds on one side and Ankara and Damascus on the other. But then, what is it that the Kurds can offer Russia in return? Last Thursday, Rosneft signed a big oil deal with Barzani’s government in northern Iraq. To be sure, the old Kurdish saying has some merit – ‘The Kurds have no friends but the mountains.’ (Guardian )

The main impact of last week’s dramatic events is that the US now has no conceivable reason to continue with a military intervention in eastern Syria. The likelihood is that Syrian Kurds will sooner or later hand over Raqqa also to the government forces. Clearly, the Syrian regime’s march to victory is from now onward relentless and irreversible. That is to say, the best-laid plans of the US and its regional allies to balkanize Syria have also gone awry.

Maybe, there will be a federal system in future Iraq and Syria. But last week’s events have ensured that the two countries’ territorial unity and integrity will no longer be under serious threat. Of course, that has also been at the core of the Iranian strategy.

October 22, 2017 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trump’s new Iran strategy ‘has no support in US’: Ex-congressional staffer

Press TV – October 22, 2017

US President Donald Trump’s new strategy on Iran has “no support inside the United States” other than by pro-war neoconservatives and the Israel lobby, says an American analyst.

“President Trump’s position on canceling the Iran deal, at least on the United States’ side, has no support in the United States either by the public, obviously by the Democratic Party; even it lacks support by members of the Republican Party,” Rodney Martin, radio host and former congressional staffer, said on Saturday.

“It only has support by the rabid pro-war neocons and by the rabid Zionist pro-Israel lobby and of course by Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu in Tel Aviv,” he added.

Trump announced last week that he would not continue certifying the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US president has come under widespread criticism at home and abroad, with America’s European allies reaffirming their commitment to the nuclear accord.

The majority of Americans also believe Trump should not pull the US out of the international agreement, according to a new poll.

Overall, two in three Americans oppose withdrawing from the JCPOA, a CNN poll has found. Eight in 10 Democrats and two in three Independents have the same opinion. Even in Trump’s own party, Republicans are evenly split, with 48 percent desiring to remain and 47 percent to withdraw.

Martin pointed to the Israeli influence over Trump’s decision regarding the Iran deal.

“We all know that Netanyahu took the atrocious step by coming to the United States and lobbying the US Congress against the deal,” he pointed out.

The analyst said Trump is “throwing Netanyahu a bone” by refusing to certify the JCPOA in order to compensate for his failure to deliver on his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.

Trump is “every bit as controlled by the Israeli lobby” as his predecessors, Martin said, adding, “so it doesn’t matter what the public and the experts believe, President Trump is going to do what this very small, dangerous cabal tells him to do.”

October 22, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

US Gets Increasingly Isolated Internationally

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 22.10.2017

Economic sanctions are an instrument of coercion used to make one state comply with another’s wishes. The United States is by far the largest implementer of economic sanctions in the world. It is virtually the only country that imposes unilateral sanctions, certainly the only one that does so with any regularity. The US has imposed more sanctions than the other countries/entities put together. Washington sees restrictions as a low-cost method to accomplish foreign policy goals, despite the fact that the measures affect common people. The policy damages international relations and backfires exacting a high price in terms of lost jobs and trade opportunities.

The US sanctions policy came under sharp criticism in the United Nations. Addressing the UN General Assembly on October 18, United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy said “Damaging a country’s economy with sanctions usually leads to violations of the rights of ordinary people. Sanctions are disruptive for any State, and can have a particularly devastating impact on the citizens of developing countries when they impair the economy.” He expressed concern about sanctions which had an impact outside the territory being targeted. “It is well established that sanctions which apply to parties outside of the dispute are illegal, but sanctions which lead to human rights violations also create an obligation on the imposing state to take measures to repair the harm they have caused,” the expert noted.

Reporting on his visit to Russia in April, Jazairy said sanctions had not achieved the desired effect but had damaged others. “It appears that sanctions have not changed Russia’s position, but instead have caused economic losses for agricultural producers in both the EU and Russia,” he noted, adding “Serious, credible dialogue and negotiations are needed to resolve political issues, without creating additional harm for farmers.”

Jazairy urged the UN member states to adopt a Declaration on Unilateral Coercive Measures and the Rule of Law, which would set out shared principles on the use of sanctions and international law, renewing the call for a registry of sanctions, to bring greater transparency to the practice. “A registry would allow States, civil society and any other interested parties to know at all times what sanctions are in place, helping companies to conduct their businesses, and ensuring the sanctions meet human rights standards,” he said.

In his report (A/HRC/33/48) issued in September, the rapporteur urged the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly, through a solemn Declaration, to reaffirm “the right of victims to an effective remedy, including appropriate and effective financial compensation, in all situations where their human rights are affected by unilateral coercive measures.” The report also highlighted the importance of setting up a consolidated central register within the UN system of all the international sanctions in force, adding that these findings should be made public. This mechanism, which would enhance transparency and accountability, could draw on the model of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms set up in 1991.

A new research by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) suggests the EU’s economic sanctions against Russia introduced three years ago have cost European countries billions of euros. The survey, which was conducted at the request of the European Parliament, and published on October 6, showed that the EU has lost €30bn due to sanctions.

Unilateral sanctions are increasingly ineffective in a more globalized economy. The United States has imposed many different sanctions against Russia but there are many more nations ready to boost economic cooperation with Moscow. The US has got a reputation for imposing economic sanctions liberally making other nations reluctant to do business with it. European leaders and much of the rest of the world view economic sanctions as counterproductive and generally favor them only in extraordinary circumstances, such as war. In July, France’s foreign ministry said new US penalties against Iran and Russia appeared at odds with international law due to their extra-territorial reach.

From a legal point of view, only the UN Security Council has the right to impose sanctions against a state. Unilateral coercive measures violate the spirit and letter of the UN Charter, in particular its preamble and Articles 1 and 2. The organization rests on the principle of equality of all its member states. A state can resort to sanctions for self-defense purposes but Russia did not attack the United States. Thus, the United States is destroying the integrity of international organizations and agreements to which it is a party.

For instance, the policy of sanctions runs counter to the WTO fundamental principle of trade free of discrimination, which envisages respect for market principles and honest competition. Parties should maintain government restraints on the movement of goods at a minimum, and if changed, the restraints should be reduced, not increased. The conditions of trade, including the level of tariffs and other, must be discussed and agreed on within a multilateral framework.

In theory, a state complaint procedure of the UN Human Rights committee could be launched according to Article 41 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – that way the UN would have to deal with the matter. The US has recently announced its intent to drop out from the United Nations Human Rights Council. This month it left UNESCO. No surprise as the idea to leave the United Nations has been floating in the US for some time. In January, 2017, Alabama congressman Mike Rogers sponsored the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017, referred to the House, which calls to leave the United Nations. Utah state representative Don Bush, has claimed that many programs by the supranational entity have violated the US Constitution, such as the implementation of the International Court of Justice and the Law of the Sea Treaty, both of which the United States does not currently endorse. Much has been said in the United States about Russia’s international isolation. In practice, the United States, not Russia, is getting increasingly isolated internationally.

October 22, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes, Economics | , , | 2 Comments

Medicaid Is A Scam

“Estate Recovery” in Massachusetts

By Richard Hugus | Aletho News | October 22, 2017

Medicaid is the supposed health care coverage in the United States for people under age 65. Medicare is for people 65 and over. “MassHealth” is the Massachusetts version of Medicaid. The current MassHealth application requires applicants to agree by signature to the following clauses. They should be read carefully:

“9. To the extent permitted by law, MassHealth may place a lien against any real estate owned by eligible persons or in which eligible persons have a legal interest. If MassHealth puts a lien against such property and it is sold, money from the sale of that 
property may be used to repay MassHealth for medical services provided.

10. To the extent permitted by law, and unless exceptions apply, for any eligible person 55 years of age or older, or any eligible person for whom MassHealth helps pay for care in a nursing home, MassHealth will seek money from the eligible person’s estate after death.”

People getting MassHealth assume they are getting health insurance. In fact, if they are over 55, they are only getting a loan for health coverage which they must pay back from their estate (their home, their savings, their personal property) after they die. The process by which the state recovers the cost of your health care coverage is is called “estate recovery.” The low income people whom MassHealth is supposed to serve may thus be unable to leave the one thing they might have — their family home — to their children.

MassHealth does not tell you exactly what health coverage they will be charging your estate for after you die — one must assume it is any and all health care provided. Nor are you told about monthly “capitation charges” (charges per head – a nice way of thinking about the public) just for being enrolled. This charge for a typical enrollee comes to almost $500 per month. If you wish to find out what your debt is while you are still living, and request a statement, MassHealth will not make it easy for you to get it and the statement will be no more than a spreadsheet copied out of their database, with no explanation of charges. The MassHealth Estate Recovery Unit says that, by law, it is not able to process MassHealth claims until the MassHealth recipient is dead and his estate enters probate. After death, of course, the recipient is no longer able to speak for him or herself or question any charges. MassHealth is basically giving low income people a collateralized loan and withholding both the total amount of the loan and a full explanation of the conditions of the loan so that the enrollee can never know what his debt is. Nor is it possible to clear your debt while living, as there is no process for that.

Those who are able to afford partial payments for their coverage are not subjected to estate recovery. In effect this is a penalty for being poor.

For people between the ages of 55 and 64, MassHealth, and the Affordable Care Act which it operates under, is a program designed to benefit the insurance industry rather than the low income people it is supposed to serve. According to one physician, “Medicaid, supposed to be a program to help the poor, has become a cash cow for multibillion-dollar, managed-care companies, who milk federal and state taxpayers.”

People who wish to leave something to their children after they die, and not saddle them with a debt for their health care costs, would be better off not enrolling in MassHealth and instead paying their medical costs out of pocket.

If someone gets a loan from a legitimate lending institution, things would be quite different. For example:

• In a legitimate loan agreement you would be entitled to a regular statement of costs incurred. MassHealth does not provide this. The enrollee is not even told that MassHealth will be charging nearly $500 per month for coverage, with no health care actually being provided. No accounting of any kind is provided.

• In a legitimate loan agreement you would expect to have a signed contract specifying your obligations and the obligations of the loan provider. People signing the MassHealth application agreement are, with just one sentence, giving up their rights to the family home and all their possessions. The agreement states: “To the extent permitted by law, for any eligible person age 55 or older . . . MassHealth will seek money after the eligible person’s estate after death.” What is “the extent permitted by law”? The terms are so vague as to be deceptive. By signing the MassHealth application, you are agreeing to a loan whose final cost will only be arrived at after you’re gone.

• In a legitimate loan agreement you would have the right of informed consent. The MassHealth application does not provide this. You don’t even know what you’re agreeing to.

• In a legitimate loan agreement you would be able to review cost statements and contest charges that you never agreed to, or charges for services that you perhaps never received. Under MassHealth, you would be unable to contest any charges not only because you were never informed of charges as they were being incurred, but also because no claim would be made until you were dead. MassHealth does not allow questioning of costs while you are alive, and after you are dead it’s obviously too late.

• In a legitimate loan agreement you would be able to pay off the loan and get a receipt in return saying the debt was paid. If you offer to pay MassHealth to be free of your debt, MassHealth will tell you that you can make a voluntary payment but you will not be given a receipt saying that all debts are paid. Your debt to the state is only settled when the state conducts an estate recovery claim against you and that claim is only issued during the probate process after you die. This bureaucratic rule violates what one might call a basic human right to pay off and be free of a debt. In a legitimate loan, the lender would certainly make it possible for a loan to be paid off ahead of schedule (i.e., before you die). By this rule MassHealth puts people in the absurd position of not being able to pay a debt even if they want to.

The terms by which MassHealth offers health coverage to low income people would, in any other context, be called fraudulent. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has no business purveying health care by such deceptive means. To add insult to injury if, after finding out about this scam, you decide to end your “coverage,” the Commonwealth will slap you with a “health care penalty” on your state tax returns for your failure to have health insurance. This amounts to coercion into an unfair agreement.

Some might think it is irresponsible not to have health insurance. Actually, it is irresponsible for the state of Massachusetts, or any state offering a similar Medicaid program, to be offering open-ended loans disguised as health insurance.

A valuable article on estate recovery under the national Affordable Care Act is at:

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/02/08/obamacare-final-payment-raiding-assets-low-income-poor-americans/

October 22, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 4 Comments

International Community Starts Call for US to Ban All Nuclear Explosions

Sputnik – 21.10.2017

For over 20 years, the US has been signatory but not party to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a 1996 UN ban on all nuclear explosions, for any purpose. With nuclear weapons back in the international spotlight, nonproliferation advocates have called on the US Senate to at last ratify the treaty.

Six of the nine nuclear states have not passed the CTBT: China, India, Israel (although Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons), North Korea, Pakistan and the United States. France, Russia and the United Kingdom are the only nuclear states to have signed and ratified the treaty — but the treaty can only go into effect when all 44 Annex 2 countries, nations that had or were researching nuclear power, ratify the treaty. In addition to the six nuclear state holdouts, Egypt and Iran are also Annex 2 states that have not ratified. The other 36 have done so.

Hans Blix, who once headed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), expressed skepticism that the US would ever pass the treaty, because Washington wished to keep “freedom of action for the United States.” He pushed for the US Senate to ratify the treaty, as it was signed by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Bans of nuclear tests “should be the least difficult of all arms control issues,” Blix said to the press on Wednesday.

​On Sputnik Radio’s Loud and Clear, hosts Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek spoke to two prominent figures in the nonproliferation movement: Greg Mello, the executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear disarmament advocacy organization; and Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste watchdog with anti-nuclear power and nuclear weapon organization Beyond Nuclear.

Kamps chastised former US President Barack Obama and the Democrat-dominated Congress of 2009-2010 for not ratifying the treaty. “It’s not so easy to ratify a treaty,” said Mello. “You need two thirds, in other words, you need 67 [US Senate votes]. Complicating it is that there are some Democrats that are part of the ‘war party.’ Whenever an arms control treaty comes into the Senate, there the war party — in both political parties — wants to attach conditions: benefits to the arms contractors and to the nuclear weapons labs. They demand a very high ransom for ratifying any treaty, and so the ransom required for the CTBT signing was the resuscitation of the nuclear weapons establishment after its bad years after the end of the Cold War.”

Mello also discussed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) signed by the two largest nuclear powers, Russia and the US, in 2010. The treaty was meant to limit nuclear missiles, bombers and launchers. To pass it through the US Senate, Mello said, “the ransom required was basically the modernization and renewal of every single warhead and every single delivery system in the US stockpile, along with the factories.”

“So in other words, the Republicans, which held New START hostage, got everything they possibly could have gotten. To get that thing ratified, the cost ended up being so high that it can completely obviate the original purpose of the treaty, which was thought to be a step by some toward nuclear disarmament. But if you’re adding nuclear armament to get the treaty signed, then you can end up going one step forward, two steps back.”

“There’s a war party,” Kamps agreed. “It has its clutches in the United States Senate and it certainly has its clutches in the Pentagon. There are elements of our government, elements of our military that really like to have that option of nuclear weapons.”

They like it enough, Kamps goes on to say, to openly lie to the American people. “You know, from the early 60s until the early 90s, it turns out — we just found out from the National Security Archives a few years ago — that a lot of those underground [nuclear] tests leaked into the environment. Something like a third of the tests in the United States, a third of the tests in the Soviet Union, a third of the tests perhaps even in a place like China, were leaking through cracks and fissures — and sometimes even intentional venting of the radioactive contamination.”

“All the countries helped the others keep it secret for fear that their domestic populations would then start asking questions about their own nuclear weapons testing. The CIA, for example, helped to keep the Soviet and Russian underground test leaks quiet so that Americans would not ask any questions here about our own.”

Although the heyday of nuclear testing has ended, Mello claims that the tests continue in the form of subcritical tests. These are tests that use a very small amount of fissile material, such as uranium or plutonium, that cannot sustain a chain reaction. These “nuclear tests which don’t involve the significant fission yield are nonetheless nuclear tests just the same,” said Mello, “and they’re taking place in Nevada and also Novaya Zemlya [in Russia] and in the laboratories. With combining the data from these [subcritical] tests with computer models and very fast computers that are available to both countries, fast enough in Russia and plenty fast here, too, it is possible to get a lot of data and do a lot of nuclear weapon design.”

In other words, the superpowers stopped test-detonating monstrous bombs because advances in computer technology meant they no longer needed to. The US and Russia can keep their arsenals cutting-edge without exploding megaton-yield devices as they once did.

Kamps adds that there is a “trillion dollar nuclear modernization plan, under first Obama and now under Trump. They’re dabbling with new designs: new military applications, new military uses. It’s very dangerous, very problematic… we’re really in a race against time to try to abolish these weapons before they abolish us.”

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The War on Terror: The Plot to Rule the Middle East – A Book Review

Christopher Bollyn, 2017, 146 pages.

Review by David Brooks | American Herald Tribune | October 18, 2017

Christopher Bollyn is that rarest of mediaticians, a real-live investigative journalist, formerly of the American Free Press, now altogether free, as befits a researcher-writer of irreducible integrity. For the last decade and a half, Bollyn has made September 11th and its murderous military aftermath his own special beat, going where few 9/11 analysts have dared to venture.

Bollyn’s great contention, expounded in scores of articles and two previous books (Solving 9/11: The Deception that Changed the World ), is that it was not Bin Laden and Al Qaeda who carried out the world’s greatest terror attack, but none other than Ben Netanyahu and El Mossad, so as to foment an endless war against Israel’s perceived enemies in the Middle East.

Even more than David Ray Griffin, the widely acknowledged dean of 9/11 studies, Bollyn deserves a Pulitzer Prize, for not only naming the unnamable, but for substantiating his charge in definitive, documented detail. Mazel tov to anyone who would lightly dismiss his case.

As for those who would single-handedly rebut Bollyn’s thesis with the knee-jerk cry of “anti-Semitism,” let them be forewarned that Bollyn gets serious back-up in a scathing introduction by Dr. Alan Sabrosky, a retired senior administrator at the U.S. Army War College (West Point), who went on record long ago that 9/11 was a Mossad operation. Sabrosky is Jewish himself.

That someone of Sabrosky’s stature and heritage has not yet been invited on network television to deliver his bombshell accusation is just one more proof of the media-wide clampdown on 9/11 truth. While Bollyn may be snubbed by the MSM merely for being a self-published non-entity, the only way for Zionist propagandists to deal with Sabrosky is to pretend that he doesn’t exist. Thus far it has worked.

It’s interesting to note that Sabrosky’s greatest scorn is not for the Israeli terrorist perpetrators, but for homegrown Israeli fifth-columnists, “the mostly Jewish Neo-conservatives, many of whom [are] dual Israeli citizens and all more or less openly professing “dual loyalty” to Israel and the United States – a form of political bigamy that is every bit as dishonest as marital bigamy, and which only thinly disguises the controlling allegiance all hold to Israel, their oaths notwithstanding.”

Bollyn expands on this point for the length of his book, claiming that the War on Terror has been a greater curse on the world than 9/11 itself, costing trillions of American dollars and millions of Muslim lives, with no end in sight. More damning is that all this was foreseen. What has come to pass is indeed the very fulfillment of an objective set out decades ago:

As I explain in my Solving 9/11 books, the false-flag terror of 9/11 was an Israeli idea from the beginning, first articulated by a former head of the Mossad in the 1970’s. At the same time that [Mossad chief] Isser Harel was predicting how Arab terrorists would attack the tallest towers in New York City, Benjamin Netanyahu was holding an international conference of Western leaders in Jerusalem (1979) to promote a global war against terrorism. Both concepts are products of Israeli strategic planners.

What a perp-line Bollyn brings before his readers, digging up well-hidden background information on every possible suspect, Israeli and American, in this criminal cause. A veritable A-list of dual nationals could be compiled just from the officials of recent presidential administrations. Each could be subpoenaed before a real 9/11 commission, rather than evade mention, as was ensured by dual national, Philip Zelikow, in the official whitewash “report.”

Questioning could start with Netanyahu’s long-time friend, Larry Silverstein, who obtained the World Trade Center just weeks beforehand, arranged for dubious, new security, and doubled the insurance. “Lucky Larry” is best known for being the fortuitous owner of WTC 7, which wasn’t hit by a plane, but still managed to collapse neatly in 6.5 seconds later that afternoon. That this staggering fact is still largely unknown sixteen years later speaks more cogently than any of Bollyn’s arguments to a deliberate media and government cover-up.

In some of his research, Bollyn acquits himself like archival historian, tracing certain 9/11 “strategic planners” back to “a small group of veteran Zionist criminals who have employed terrorism as a tool since the 1940s.” Talk about chickens coming home to roost! One of the shadier Zionist operatives is Netanyahu’s own father, Benzion, an American academic who co-hosted that fateful Jerusalem conference with his son, and whose influence upon him may not have stopped with his death at age 102.

Here’s another intriguing item gleaned from Bollyn’s inquiry: For those who remember the film or book, Charlie Wilson’s War, it turns out the celebrated Congressman who enlisted massive funding for anti-Western mujahideen “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan was a Zionist stooge:

Wilson’s Israeli handler was Zvi Rafiah, Mossad station chief in Washington, who had known Wilson since 1973 and who used his congressional office as if it were his own. As George Crile described in his book, Charlie Wilson’s War, “Rafiah had always acted as if he owned Wilson’s office. One of the staffers kept a list of the people he needed to lobby. He would use the phones, give projects to the staff, and call on Charlie to intervene whenever he needed him.”

Imagine gung-ho patriot, Tom Hanks, being played for a schmuck. The unwitting sabotage of more enlightened resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan led to a more deadly subterfuge—the formation of a perfect patsy for the pre-meditated crime of 9/11:

Thousands of non-Afghan fighters joined [the anti-Western militia] Hezb-i-Islami, including thousands of Arabs, known as Afghan Arabs. Osama bin Laden is the most famous of the Afghan Arabs. Having trained a cadre of 4,000 anti-Western Islamic fighters, Israeli military intelligence and C.I.A. had a database of names to populate the Islamic anti-Western antithesis needed for the War on Terror construct. This database was known as Al Qaeda.

It comes as no surprise to learn in the chapter “9/11 and the War in Syria” that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel conjointly support the most savage of the anti-Western militias there. The only purpose of all these parties is to terrorize and destroy the country. This is not foreign policy, but state-sponsored sociopathy.

In the chapter titled “Who Makes the Terrorist Videos?” we learn that the person releasing most ISIS videos, which have duly invoked air strikes on Syria, happens to be an Israeli intelligence agent named Rita Katz, living in Bethesda, Maryland. How much more transparent can the Zionist psy-op known as the “War on Terror” get?

Most memorable image from Bollyn’s book: “The War on Terror and 9/11 are like two sides of a counterfeit coin. If the American public had a good understanding of the false-flag deception of 9/11, then the fraudulent nature of the wars fought in its name would be equally obvious.” Amen.

A brief review cannot do justice to the depth of research contained in Bollyn’s concise ​exposé. It is his attention to detail, instanced above, which undergirds every aspect of his overarching thesis of Zionist complicity, and provides substantive evidence to his book-lengthed “J’accuse!”

Attention must be paid—or else. As Bollyn observes, the magnitude of such a fraud as 9/11 can’t stay hidden forever. Too many people know already. Either the truth of 9/11 will prevail, or its perpetrators, who have nothing to lose, may arrange something far worse.

Bollyn is fully apprised of the danger in the combustible combination of the current leaders of Israel and the United States. It could be déjà vu over again: “Ronald Reagan and Menachem Begin led to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon led to 9/11 and the War on Terror in 2001.” Foreboding abounds when President Trump calls Prime Minister Netanyahu a close, personal friend. Will the talented Mr. Netanyahu and the Artful Dealer of America arrange a mutually acceptable war? We may soon have our answer.

While it strains credulity to the breaking point, Bollyn’s most daringly original suggestion is that 9/11 and its propaganda-induced “War on Terror” can be traced in part to a consanguineous conspiracy—a family plot, if you will—conceived and crafted over many years by Netanyahu & Son, and abetted by select American traitors when all the pieces were at last in place. Should their guilt ever become known, the name “Netanyahu” will live in infamy. Move over, Macbeth!

It seems only fitting, then, to let 9/11 mastermind, Benjamin Netanyahu, have the penultimate word in this review. One can almost picture him winking to his future accomplices when he proclaimed decades earlier: “It is perfectly possible to determine who the terrorists are and who stands behind them. If governments have failed to do this, it is more often not for lack of knowledge, but for lack of courage and moral clarity.” (Terrorism: How the West Can Win, 1986)

If Netanyahu soon gets his way—and unleashes yet another false-flagged, media-hyped, Israeli-concocted “war on terror”—it will not be for lack of courage and moral clarity by people such as Christopher Bollyn. May the Lord preserve him and all other truth-tellers.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

US Admitting Syrian Militants Use Chemical Weapons ‘Welcome’ Overdue Corrective

Sputnik – October 21, 2017

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, the US State Department issued a Syria Travel Warning, where it wrote that the Islamic State (commonly referred to as ISIL/ISIS or Daesh in Arabic) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists, linked to Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group use “suicide bombers, kidnapping, small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons” in Syria.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that it was the first time the United States admitted the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Syria.

“The new Travel Advisory is a welcome corrective,” historian and Middle East analyst Helena Cobban, a leading expert on Syria told Sputnik.

The terms used in the advisory abandoned monolithic official US insistence for more than four years that all chemical attacks in Syria had to be blamed on the legitimate government of President Bashar Assad, Cobban pointed out.

The US insistence on scapegoating the Assad government for all uses of chemical attacks despite serious evidence suggesting otherwise had strongly conditioned the US public to approve continued military action against the Damascus government, Cobban recalled.

“This has become the deeply ingrained ‘conventional wisdom’ in the public discourse here in the US, although experts in telemetry and chemical warfare have challenged this view at many points,” she said.

Cobban also observed that the new Travel Advisory nowhere explicitly accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons but it did finally identify by name al-Sham and Daesh terrorist groups.

“It is notable that ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and other violent extremist groups’ are the only actors singled out in this Travel Advisory as using chemical weapons,” she said.

The US government was now officially obligated to report its knowledge and evidence for the use of chemical weapons by the Islamist groups to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is based in The Hague, capital of The Netherlands, Cobban added.

The Travel Advisory appeared to have been aimed overwhelmingly at US citizens who might seek to travel to the opposition-held part of Syria, Cobban remarked.

The advisory “makes no mention of the threats that residents of or visitors to government-held areas continue to face from Daesh and from the until-recently-US-backed opposition forces,” she said.

The US government still needed to acknowledge more loudly and clearly that Islamist rebels had been using these weapons and to identify them specifically and publicly by name, Cobban insisted.

US KNEW ALL ALONG

The US government was finally started to acknowledge that groups it had supported had employed chemical weapons in Syria where the Trump and Obama administrations had sought to blame the Damascus government for such attacks, University of Illinois Professor of Law Francis Boyle told Sputnik.

These policies were part of a wider US strategy to topple the Damascus government that was clearly illegal under international law, Boyle pointed out.

The United States had backed the Syrian terror groups “as part of an illegal attempt to overthrow the Syrian government in violation of the United Nations Charter and the rulings of the World Court in the Case of Nicaragua versus United States of America (1984-1986),” he said.

US policymakers could have had no doubt that the terror groups they were financing, helping to organize and arming had been using chemical weapons, Boyle observed.

“Of course the United States government knows full well that some of its surrogate terrorist organizations in Syria have used chemical weapons,” he said.

Over the past four years, successive US administrations had deliberately and cynically blamed Damascus for chemical attacks that they knew their own allies had carried out, Boyle stated.

“Both the Obama administration and now the Trump administration have maliciously exploited their surrogates’ uses of chemical weapons as pretexts and propaganda to justify direct US military intervention into Syria,” he said.

Boyle also warned that even after the admission buried deep in this week’s Travel Advisory, the US government could again in the future blame the Syrian government for chemical attacks that it knew had been carried out in reality by its own allies.

“It very well could happen again. Caveat emptor!” he said.

Al-Nusra Front controls Syria’s Idlib Governorate through the umbrella terrorist group al-Sham and is still thought to be a front for al-Qaeda.

SEE ALSO:

OPCW Says Found Evidence of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria’s Hama in March

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

The war on RT: A childish crusade pushing a dangerous agenda

A new George Soros funded report calls guests on RT, ranging from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders, “useful idiots”.

By Adam Garrie Adam Garrie | The Duran | October 21, 2017

A so-called NGO known as the European Values Think-Tank, has published a “report” blasting regular guests on RT as “useful idiots” who are helping “an instrument of hostile foreign influence”. The group, whose largest source of funding is George Soros, claims that RT’s goals include “undermining public confidence in the viability of liberal democracy”. Other epithets thrown at RT include calling the broadcaster, “a second-rate news network with an abysmal reputation and dubious audience numbers”, “the Russian propaganda machine” and a “disinformation tool”.

While European Values presents itself as an NGO, sources of funding for the group include the governments of the United States, United Kingdom and European Union. These state-funding sources mean that the Think-Thank is not an NGO (non governmental organisation), but rather, a body which has established financial ties to powerful governments, in addition to receiving most of its funds from George Soros and his Open Society body.

The report concludes with a list of the “useful idiots” in question, mainly drawn from US and European politicians and well known activists who have appeared on RT. The list is a not only incomplete but has some blindly inaccuracies. For example RT’s show “Politicking with Larry King”, a show hosted by the world famous former CNN host, is erroneously referred to as “Politicking with Larry David”. Larry David is of course a comedian known for his work with Jerry Seinfeld. Also, the list describes former British Member of Parliament George Galloway as the “former” host of Sputnik: Orbiting the World, even though Galloway continues to host his RT show.

The list of “useful idiots”, in spite of its incomplete nature, is still highly diverse. The list includes figures such as: Donald Trump(current US President), Ralph Nader (American consumer rights advocate and former left-wing Presidential candidate), Nigel Farage (member of EU Parliament and Brexit campaigner), Bill Richardson (former New Mexico governor and former Ambassador to the United Nations), Dr. Ron Paul (former US presidential candidate and libertarian author/thinker/host) Jill Stein (former left-wing US presidential candidate), Bernie Sanders (US senator, former US presidential candidate), Wesley Clark (former US general and one time Democratic presidential condenser), Sean Spicer (former White House Press Secretary), Hans Blix (former UN chief weapons inspector and former Swedish Foreign Minister), Keith Vaz (British politician and immigrants rights campaigner), Ann Widdecombe (British politician and social conservative activist), Gary Johnson (former US Presidential candidate for the Libertarian party), Pat Buchanan (former White House aid in the administrations and Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, former US presidential candidate), Robert Reich (former Clinton administration Labor Secretary, liberal activist), Lincoln Chafee (former US Senator and Rhode Island governor, known for leaving the Republican party and becoming a Democratic as his values become more liberal), Ken Livingstone (former left wing mayor of London), Jeremy Corbyn (current leader of the UK opposition Labour Party), YanisVaroufakis (former Greek finance minister), Marine Le Pen (former French presidential candidate), Romano Prodi (centrist/neo-liberal former Italian Prime Minister and former EU Commission President), Jessee Ventura (former governed of the US state of Minnesota) David Davis (Britain’s lead Brexit negotiator), Michael Flynn (highly decorated US General, former National Security Advisor)…

The list above is just a partial list taken from the anti-RT dossier produced by “European Values”. As is plainly evident, the list features well known names from the left, centre and right of US and European politics. It would be logically impossible for figures who have campaigned against one another and who hold a plethora of competing ideologies and political positions, to all be working uniformly in the name of a single agenda of any kind, “Russian” nor otherwise. The fact that not a single person on this list is Russian, is a further sign of the report’s flawed nature.

Furthermore, by calling such prominent figures “useful idiots” of the “Kremlin”, the report’s authors could possibly open itself to libel charges from the individuals who have been publicly disparaged in a grotesquely inaccurate manner.

The nature of the report which appears hastily compiled, with a mountain of factual inaccuracies and wild claims presented without evidence and without actually visiting any RT facilities or speaking with any RT employees or guests, is shambolic.

But more to the point, the report is deeply childish. In an age of the internet and satellite television, the average news consumer has more options than at any time in human history. It is possible to read media from Russia, the US, Japan, China, Australia, Nigeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Qatar, Lithuania, Germany, France, Mexico, Poland, Chile and Canada… all while riding the bus.

If anything, the vast availability of a diverse amount of information, should de-mystify the fact-finding process and indeed for most people, this is what has happened.

The basic fact that all media outlets have an editorial line seems to be lost on the “report’s” authors and furthermore, they don’t quite seem to understand how RT contacts their gusts.

As someone who is a frequent guest on RT, I will explain the process. A producer from RT and occasionally an RT host will contact me either via email, social media messages, SMS or with a phone call. They’ll ask if I am available to comment on a given topic and a certain time. Once this is agreed upon and I arrive at the studio, I sit and wait to be called into the studio where I’m fitted with earpiece and mic and go on air. At no time has anyone at RT told me what the nature of my responses should be, no one has told me to omit stating certain beliefs that I am known to hold and at no time have I been given a list of questions prior to being interviewed by an RT employee.

Other individuals I have spoken to have told me, without prompting, that their experiences are exactly the same. Furthermore, speaking for myself, if anyone from any media outlet told me what to say or how to say it, not only would I not play along, but I would raise the issue angrily on social media at once and happily criticise such an organisation on any other media network that would hear me out. This is because, I take pride in my statements and anyone trying to tell me how to rephrase my views would in my mind, be insulting me in the gravest manner possible.

But while the nature, context and style of the Soros funded “report” is childish, the logical conclusion of the report is dangerous. The report is encouraging censorship of RT and ostensibly of the guests listed as “useful idiots”. Furthermore, the report is attempting to destroy the personal and professional credibility of RT guests in a manner that is at the very least, totally unethical.

This sort of censorship through character assassination and degradation, is dangerous. The authors and sponsors of the European Values Think-Tank ought to take a lesson from Russian media which is incredibly diverse in both the large private sector as well as the public sector. The radio station Echo of Moscow and the multi-lingual Moscow Times newspaper and website, are as liberal and critical of the Russian status quo as anything in Europe, sometimes more so.

These outlets (just to name two prominent ones) are allowed to operate freely and both have their audience who are not bullied by the Russian government into viewing alternative sources. If someone wants to listen to Echo of Moscow and only Echo of Moscow, no one in Russia is going to care. If only this open attitude was espoused by the authors from the European Values Think-Tank, then they would be showing signs of maturity that they clearly do not possess at this point in time.

As for my personal opinion, I believe RT is a good source of information and objectively, I have never seen a report on RT that is factually false, although I often disagree with various guests on RT. Of course, I agree with others. This is par for the course with any media outlet. If someone doesn’t want to watch RT, the good news is that no one is forcing you to do so.

But please, do not try to tell others not to watch RT, do not bully people into rejecting request for interviews from RT and above all, do not slander people on a personal level, just because you disagree with their opinions.

It’s hard to believe that such a thing needs to be said in the 21st century, but the regression of liberalism from a movement about ideas (whether one agrees with them or otherwise) into a movement about cutting off the ideas of others, is fundamentally an attempt to return to a dark age.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

Netanyahu lobbies world powers to support Iraqi Kurds’ secession bid

Press TV – October 20, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying world powers to support the independence of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region from the rest of the Iraqi territory, as Kurdish Peshmerga forces are losing ground to Iraqi army forces in the country’s oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk.

Israeli officials, requesting anonymity, said Netanyahu raised the Kurdish plans for independence with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, and with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

The 67-year-old Chairman of the Likud party also made a reference to the issue in his contacts with French authorities.

An Israeli official, who declined to be named, stated that the Tel Aviv regime has security interests in Kurdistan.

“This (territory) is a foothold. It’s a strategic place. It would be best if someone gave them weaponry, and whatever else, which we cannot give, obviously,” the official said without providing further detail.

Israel has maintained military, intelligence and business ties with Iraqi Kurds since 1960s.

“The issue at present is … to prevent an attack on the Kurds, extermination of the Kurds and any harm to them, their autonomy and region, something that Turkey and Iran and … other powers in Iraq and part of the Iraqi government want,” Israeli Intelligence Minister, Israel Katz, alleged in an interview with Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM on Friday.

“The prime minister is certainly engaging the United States, Russia, Germany and France to stop the Kurds from being harmed,” Katz said.

On Friday, Iraqi government forces wrested control of a strategic sub-district of Kirkuk province following clashes with Peshmerga forces.

“Iraqi Federal Police and Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces, along with fighters from Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the name Hashd al-Sha’abi, have secured Kirkuk’s northern Altun Kupri sub-district,” the Iraqi Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Iraqi Army Captain Jabbar Hasan said Iraqi federal forces had given Peshmerga forces 24 hours to vacate their strongholds in Altunkopru, and withdraw to areas controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Peshmerga forces, however, had rejected the ultimatum, Hasan said.

The referendum on secession of the Kurdistan region was held on September 25 despite strong opposition from the central government in Baghdad, the international community, and Iraq’s neighboring countries, especially Turkey and Iran.

Following the vote, Baghdad imposed a ban on direct international flights to the Kurdish region and called for a halt to its independent crude oil sales.

On October 12, an Iraqi government spokesman said Baghdad had set a series of conditions that the KRG needed to meet before any talks on the resolution of the referendum crisis could start.

“The KRG must first commit to Iraq’s unity. The local authorities in the [Kurdistan] region… must accept the sovereign authority of the federal government on… oil exports, [as well as] security and border protection, including land and air entry points,” the unnamed Iraqi official added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has already demanded the annulment of the referendum.

During a recent press conference in Paris, Abadi said his government did not seek confrontation with Iraqi Kurds, but reiterated Baghdad’s position that the vote was illegal and that problems should be solved within the framework of Iraq’s constitution.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

US State Dept cautions Iraqi govt against troop advances in Kurdish territory

RT | October 20, 2017

The US State Department is advising Iraq’s federal authority to limit its military activity in the country’s Kurdish northern region, as it also calls for “all parties to cease all violence” in the wake of violence in the town of Altun Kupri.

On Friday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert urged the Baghdad government to only make troop movements that were “coordinated with the Kurdistan Regional Government.”

This marks the most specific statement out of the State Department on the situation since Iraq regained control over the provincial capital Kirkuk on Monday, following a popular vote of 92 percent in favor of an independent Kurdistan late last month. Previously, the State Department has stuck to general calls for calm on all sides.

Nauert’s statement also declared that the disputed Kurdish areas remained disputed, despite Iraqi authorities crossing into the region.

“The reassertion of federal authority over disputed areas in no way changes their status – they remain disputed until their status is resolved in accordance with the Iraqi constitution,” the statement read.

According to security sources cited by Reuters, Iraqi troops gained control of the last district in Kirkuk on Friday, taking the oil-producing province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters after three hours of hostilities.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called the September 25 vote for Kurdish independence illegitimate, and said US policy rejects such unilateral moves.

This week, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters lost large swathes of territory held since 2014 or later, which had been gained during years of war against Islamic State fighters.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | 1 Comment