09/17/14

Permalink Obama uses Ebola crisis to “surge” 3,000 troops into West Africa

Bill Van Auken ["Never letting a good crisis go to waste:"] The Obama administration and the Pentagon have announced the “surge” of 3,000 US troops into West Africa, ostensibly in response to the escalating spread of the Ebola virus in the region. The militarized response to the deadly epidemic has underscored Washington’s increasingly heavy reliance on its residual military superiority in what has become a second “scramble for Africa,” pitting the US against China in a struggle for control of the continent’s markets and resources.


Permalink Forty five million in poverty in the US

Andre Damon Forty-five million people are living in poverty in the United States, according to figures released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. The 2013 Income and Poverty in the United States report found that the number of people in poverty remained at a record high last year, while the income of a typical household remained stagnant. According to the Census figures, the median household income in the US has fallen 8 percent since 2007. The continuing prevalence of mass poverty and the stagnation of the incomes of working people are an expression of the fact that the so-called economic “recovery” touted by the Obama administration is a recovery only for the financial elite: corporate profits hit a record in the year covered by the report, while stock values increased by a third that year, fueled by the Federal Reserve’s money printing operations. The White House praised the report, saying that it showed that “key indicators of poverty and family income improved.” In reality, the report is yet another confirmation of the fact that there has been no real improvement in the living conditions of working people.


Permalink Lavrov: NATO actually pushes Kiev to forcible scenario

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave an interview to Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily’s multilingual news and information resource Russia Beyond The Headlines for the Spanish El País daily. Today Ukraine faces the choice - to go on the path of peace and constructive dialogue in the society or slide into authoritarianism and nationalist radical dictatorship,” Lavrov said, noting that “This is up to Kiev and Ukrainian society to decide.” Moscow is convinced that a real chance appeared to stop a fratricidal war in Ukraine. “For this along with keeping the ceasefire in force it is needed to begin a substantial, open and inclusive dialogue involving representatives of all regions and all political forces as quickly as possible. It's necessary to discuss the scope of issues concerning constitutional system, the future of the country in general where all nationalities, minorities and regions where human rights would be fully observed in all their variety would live comfortably and safely,” the minister noted.

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Lavrov Bashes NATO Over its ‘Destructive Role’ in Ukrainian Crisis


Permalink EU Officials Admit Buying Oil From ISIS

We recently explained how ISIS remains so well funded but what was unclear was who exactly what purchasing their 'recently-provisioned' oil reserves? The assumption being some desperate third-world nation or some scheming offshore hedge-fund arbitrageur; however, as Sott.net reports, a senior European Union official has revealed that some EU member states have purchased oil from ISIL Takfiri militants despite their rhetoric against the group. The official declined to disclose any names but Turkey remains a front-runner (having already shunned President Obama) and potentially France (after their recent anti-Petrodollar comments).


Permalink US will have ‘many more’ 9/11s if it fails to act against Islamic State – House Rep

If the US fails to attack Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria, the country could face the prospect of “many” terrorist attacks similar to September 11, a top-ranking Democrat says. It comes as the House debates arming Syrian rebels to fight IS. Speaking during a floor debate at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Eliot Engel [Jewish](D-N.Y.) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee expressed his support for President puppet Barack Obama’s plan to combat IS (previously known as ISIS/ISIL) and said that failure to authorize the plan would lead to devastating consequences for the US. “I understand that my colleagues are war weary. I’m war weary. I understand the American people are war weary,” Engel said, as quoted by The Hill. “But I think doing nothing would invite something very similar that happened to my city, New York City, on that fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001.” [The Jews did 9/11.] “If we do nothing, ISIS (IS) will plot and plan and we’ll have many more 9/11s in the United States, in Europe, in the Middle East,” he claimed threatened. [Israel and Saudi Arabia created IS.]


Permalink Review of 1961 Yale experiments leads researchers to revise motive for evil

Review of famous Yale experiments of 1961 leads to new understanding of what allows seemingly normal people to carry out atrocities. The question of what prompts ordinary people to commit acts of evil has been debated by philosophers, moralists, historians and scientists for centuries. One idea that carries much weight is that almost anyone is capable of carrying out atrocities if ordered to do so. Commanded by an authoritarian figure, and wishing to conform, we could bulldoze homes, burn books, separate parents from children or even slaughter them, and our much-prized conscience would not as much as flicker. Called the "banality of evil", the theory has been proffered as an explanation for why ordinary, educated Germans took part in the Jewish genocide of the second world war. Now psychologists, having reviewed an opinion-shaping experiment carried out more than 50 years ago, are calling for a rethink. "The more we read and the more data we collect, the less evidence we find to support the 'banality of evil' idea, the notion that participants are simply 'thoughtless' or 'mindless' zombies who don't know what they're doing and just go along for the sake of it," said Alex Haslam, a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. "Our sense is that some form of identification, and hence choice, generally underpins all tyrannical behaviour."


09/16/14

Permalink Canada-based think tank documents 26 violations after Hamas-Israel ceasefire

On 26 August a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2150 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 73 Israelis (mostly soldiers). Since then Hamas has not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or done anything to break the terms of the ceasefire. Israel has done the following:


Permalink And then they came for The Holocene...

And then they came for The Holocene: New paper suggests “removing the Holocene Epoch from the geologic timescale”. Is there any limit to the extremes some climate propagandists will go?The Climategate team removed the warm 1940’s “blip”, erased the Medieval Warm Period, Hid the Decline, and tortured temperature & sea level data until it confessed, but a paper published Monday in Earth’s Future could take the cake by suggesting removal of “the Holocene Epoch from the geologic timescale” and replacing it with the fictitious, scary-sounding “geologic” timescale “The Anthropocene.” [...] There is no valid reason whatsoever to remove the Holocene Epoch “blip” from the geological timescale, despite how convenient it would be for the climate propagandists.


Permalink CrossTalk: The Bear & The Dragon (ft. Pepe Escobar)

The bear and the dragon: Russia and China are moving closer together as Moscow becomes more and more disenchanted with the West. Can these two countries successfully challenge western hegemony? Can the bear and dragon reshape the world? CrossTalking with Martin Hennecke and Pepe Escobar.


Permalink Obama threatens to oust Assad if US planes downed in Syrian airspace

US President Barack Obama has threatened to wipe out Syria’s air defense system and topple the Syrian government if President Bashar al-Assad ordered his forces to shoot American planes entering Syrian airspace. He made the remarks during a meeting in the White House before his speech about Washington’s strategy about the ISIL terrorist group, The New York Times reported on Sunday. Obama ordered the US military on Wednesday to expand its bombing campaign against ISIL terrorists and launch airstrikes in Syria. “If he [Assad] dared to do that, Mr. Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defense system, which he noted would be easier than striking ISIS (or ISIL) because its locations are better known,” the newspaper said.

Reuters: US to Assad: Beware of Interfering With US Air Power in Syria
PressTV: Iran: US to regret military action in Syria: IRGC chief
SANA: Lavrov: Russia will provide aid to Syria and Iraq to combat terrorism


Permalink US launches first ‘offensive’ airstrike on ISIS near Baghdad

The United States launched at least one airstrike against Islamic State militants near Baghdad on Monday, marking the expansion of the US military campaign against the extremist group. The airstrike was reportedly requested by Iraqi forces under attack. According to US officials cited by the Associated Press, the airstrike was authorized after Iraqi security forces requested air power support as they engaged Islamic State (IS) fighters south of Baghdad. An unnamed defense official, meanwhile, told NBC News that the most recent air attack near Baghdad was an “offensive” strike, and there was no suggestion that militants were making headway towards the country’s capital. US Central Command confirmed the air strike and affirmed that it was part of a new phase in the battle against IS. Previous airstrikes in Iraq were characterized by the US as “defensive” in nature, as they were used to protect American diplomatic sites as well as crucial Iraqi facilities like the Mosul Dam.

New Phase of ISIS War With Strikes Near Baghdad
IRAQ: THE REAL STRATEGY IS ABOUT TO SUCCEED [June 19, 2014]
“Going After” the Islamic State. Guess Who is Behind the Caliphate Project?
The CIA Engaged In Covert Terrorism to Give Government Plausible Deniability


Permalink A Simple Primer On "War Propaganda" From An Unexpected Source

"The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out."

Mind Control and The ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Meme. Echoes of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley


Permalink US envoy to Ukraine caught posting fake images on Twitter

US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has been caught posting "unverified images" on his Twitter feed Monday, as he was showing off the ongoing US-Kiev military exercises in Ukraine. Ambassador Pyatt first uploaded a picture of US and Ukrainian troops, which he said was taken in the morning at the military exercises in western Ukraine. Internet users quickly pointed out that the photo had already been published as early as July 31. The ambassador then posted a picture of a German tank allegedly taking part in the drills. His tweet said that the Leopard 2 tank is taking part in Rapid Trident exercises near Lvov. However, Twitter users found out that the posted image was actually taken from a YouTube video uploaded nearly one year ago – in October 2013. UK journalist and RT contributor Graham Phillips called Pyatt out on Twitter, calling the ambassador a “liar” for posting old photographs.


Permalink Glenn Greenwald claims New Zealand planned to spy on its citizens

New Zealand was preparing to conduct mass domestic surveillance last year, a US investigative journalist said yesterday, five days before the country goes to the polls, provoking immediate denials from Prime Minister John Key. Glenn Greenwald's accusations were based on evidence disclosed by former US National Security Authority (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden that Key's centre-right government planned to exploit amended spying laws to sharply widen domestic spying. Greenwald said the NSA documents showed New Zealand's electronic spy agency took the first steps towards the surveillance in a project dubbed "Speargun", by tapping into an undersea telecoms cable into the country, while waiting for the legal authority to do so. "Phase one entailed accessing that cable, tapping into it, and then phase two would entail metadata probes," Greenwald said on Radio New Zealand National.
Key said Greenwald, who was brought to New Zealand by millionaire internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, was being used to try to influence voters ahead of the election. In media interviews, Key has repeatedly dismissed Greenwald as "Dotcom's little henchman". Greenwald told 3 News: "I've done reporting of surveillance all over the world and a lot of governments haven't liked what I've said, but I've never seen a head of government lose their dignity and get down in the mud and start chucking names to discredit the journalist in order to discredit the journalism." Dotcom, who is fighting extradition to the US, on charges of internet piracy, copyright breaches, and money laundering, has paid for Greenwald's trip to New Zealand.

RT.com: Snowden: If you live in New Zealand, you’re being watched


Permalink Ukraine, EU to sign association agreement

Ukraine is set to approve an association agreement with the European Union, while Kiev plans to offer limited self-rule to parts of the country’s volatile eastern regions. Lawmakers in the Ukrainian and European parliaments are due to sign the 1,200-page political and economic association agreement during a live video conference later on Tuesday. President Petro Poroshenko has said the pact would enter into force as of November 1; however, the two sides will delay the application of the trade rules until 2016.

The Australian: EU, Ukraine, Russia reach deal on EU-Ukraine association agreement [September 13, 2014]
EU Propaganda: Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area
Chris Marsden Ukraine’s EU Association Agreement a prelude to further bloodshed [28 June 2014]
Pål Steigan Går det mot deling av Ukraina?


09/15/14

Permalink FBI's facial recognition program hits 'full operational capability'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Next Generation Identification System, a biometric database reliant on tens of millions of facial-recognition records, is now fully operational, the agency announced Monday. The NGI system, after three years of development, is billed by the FBI as a new breakthrough for criminal identification and data-sharing between law enforcement agencies. "This effort is a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler," the FBI said in a statement. Additionally, the Interstate Photo System (IPS) facial recognition service “will provide the nation’s law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities.” But Americans not suspected of any criminal activity could easily be swept up into the NGI, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), in any number of ways. An individual who goes through a fingerprint background check for an employment opportunity, for instance, could soon be required to submit a picture of herself as well.


Permalink The Smoking Guns of the 2001 Anthrax Attacks

Professor Graeme MacQueen has written a must-read book on the anthrax attacks on America: The 2001 Anthrax Deception. Even those of us who have paid close attention to – and written broadly on – the 2001 anthrax attacks will learn stunning new information. For example, we learned the following eye-opening facts from the book:

◾ There was a set of 3 letters sent around the same time as the initial anthrax mailings, which attempted to frame the Russians for the anthrax attacks, and which warned of further attacks. These letters could not have been sent by Dr. Bruce Ivins (the scientist the FBI blamed for the attacks), nor could they have been “copycat” letters
◾ Less than 3 months before the anthrax attack, the government carried out a simulated exercise called “Dark Winter”, where: a lethal germ had been aerosolized then released; anonymous letters threatened anthrax attacks; Iraq and Al Qaeda are blamed for the attacks; and preparations are made for the drastic reduction of civil liberties in the United States, including martial Law [...]
◾ There is reason to suspect that the same people who carried out 9/11 also carried out the anthrax attacks

Justin Raimondo The Patsy
xymphora "Who Was Behind the Anthrax Attacks?" (Back to the Camel Club)


Permalink US Will Use “ISIS Airstrikes” in Syria as Aircover for Rebels, Hit Syrian Military Targets

Patrick Henningsen Obama’s public agenda is the one you can see on the table, one where the US officials promise to “degrade and destroy ISIS”. Sounds great. Who can disagree with that? Then there’s the hidden agenda, somewhere under the table, and not really up for rational debate. That’s probably because it’s highly illegal and has something to do with what started the ISIS crisis to begin with. This is how Obama plans to sneak back in and re-ignite with last year’s failed bombing campaign that never was in Syria. He explains, “I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria.” Put aside for a minute that any US airstrikes conducted inside Syria without consultation from the Syrian government would be classed by international law and perhaps even by the UN as an act of war against Syria. Why are US politicians, bureaucrats and paid media pundits all guarding their Syrian option so closely? I thought this was an ISIS crisis, not a Bashar al Assad crisis? The central flaw in all of this is that Washington has no real policy on Syria other than hyperbole. Any policies it does have are centered around clandestine and illegal operations there. US officials will spout now and again how, “we do not recognize Syria as a sovereign state”, even though the US has no legal basis on which to maintain such a position. They simply announce in 2011 that, “Assad must go”, ala regime change per usual. Here’s the real kicker: Even today, as the FSA/Moderate Rebels being backed by the US – they are also working together in joint operations with ISIS. [...] Obama wants to fund and arm rebels working with ISIS(L) in Syria. His plan will give aid and comfort to ISIS. On this basis alone, the Obama ‘strategy’ should be disqualified and the president should be dragged in front of a hearing to explain himself.

Robert Fisk Bingo! Here’s another force of evil to be ‘vanquished’
Peter Symonds Obama’s “coalition of the willing” against Syria, Iran
PressTV: US should work with Iran and Syria to slay ISIL monster: Michael Maloof
The Guardian: Isis: leaders gather in Paris as UK edges towards military action
The Telegraph: Demands for immediate military action against Isil as another volunteer is threatened


Permalink CrossTalk: Sanctions in action

When the blame game turns into sanctions wars. With no the political crisis in Ukraine far from over, the West and Russia trade sanctions against the other. Which side is more vulnerable? Which side can endure the most pain? CrossTalking with Liam Halligan, Art Franczek and Mitch Feierstein.


Permalink Shelling kills 10 people in Ukraine

At least 10 people have been killed during fresh clashes in war-torn eastern Ukraine over the last 48-hours. According to Donetsk city officials, four people were killed on Monday when a car repair shop was hit by an artillery shell and six civilians were killed in separate shelling incidents on Sunday. The officials also said that 15 people were wounded by artillery shell shrapnel. According to reports, the northern districts of Donetsk have been under artillery fire since Sunday which has severely damaged residential and administrative buildings. The recent shelling marked the bloodiest day since a ceasefire agreement was reached between Kiev and the pro-Russians on September 5, after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hammered out a compromise deal aimed at ending the heavy fighting.


Permalink US Congress to vote to fund Syrian “rebels”

Patrick Martin White House officials have insisted that no new resolution is required to authorize air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq or Syria, claiming that two previous congressional resolutions, passed in 2001 to authorize military action against Al Qaeda and in 2002 to authorize the invasion of Iraq, still hold sway. This argument is remarkable from a legal standpoint, since the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is limited to groups that carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2002 AUMF targets the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein. ISIS was not formed until 2012, and even its predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, was established only in 2004, after the US invasion and occupation of Iraq provoked widespread opposition in Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority. In order to invoke the authority of the 2002 resolution backing the attack on Iraq, Obama would have to declare his own war against ISIS, in alliance with a US puppet regime in Baghdad, to be the continuation of Bush’s war against Iraq, which formally ended with the final US withdrawal at the end of 2011. Any congressional resolution to authorize funding the Syrian opposition—let alone a broader resolution on US military operations against ISIS—would provide a legislative fig leaf for a direct attack by the US military on the government of Assad in Syria, which is the real goal of the Obama administration’s latest intervention in the region.


Permalink Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute

Daniele Watts, an African-American actress who has starred in Hollywood films such as Django Unchained, has claimed she was "handcuffed and detained" by Los Angeles police officers after being mistaken for a prostitute. Two police officers approached Watts and her white husband Brian James Lucas when they were seen showing affection in public, the actress said in a Facebook post. She claims she refused to produce her photo ID when asked by police, and was then handcuffed and held in a police car as the officers tried to figure out who she was. She reportedly cut her wrist as she was handled roughly by the LAPD officers. Watts also posted pictures to Facebook, in which she is handcuffed and crying. She was released shortly afterwards.

John W. Whitehead The Cost of Challenging the American Police State


Permalink Video: Iron Wall

In 1923 Vladimir Jabotinsky, leading intellectual of the Zionist movement and father of the right wing of that movement, wrote:

“Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an The Iron Wall , which the native population cannot breach.”

First published in Russian under the title O Zheleznoi Stene in Rassvyet, 4 November 1923. From that day these words became the official and unspoken policy of the Zionist movement and later the state of Israel. Settlements were used from the beginning to create a Zionist foothold in Palestine. The Iron Wall documentary exposes this phenomenon and follows the timeline, size, population of the settlements, and its impact on the peace process. This film also touches on the latest project to make the settlements a permanent fact on the ground; the wall that Israel is building in the West Bank and its impact on the Palestinian people. Settlements and related infrastructures are impacting every aspect of life for all Palestinians from land confiscation, theft of natural resources, confiscation of the basic human rights, creation of an apartheid-like system, to the devastating impact in regards to the future of the region and the prospect of the peace process. Palestinians and Israelis began the peace process based on a very simple principle: land for peace. Settlements destroy that principle and create a land with no peace.


09/13/14

Permalink US moves to dismiss lawsuit against anti-Iran group

The US Justice Department has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit against an anti-Iran group on grounds that the case could reveal national secrets. Lawyers for the government moved Friday to invoke a powerful national security law to intervene in the private lawsuit by a Greek businessman against United Against A Nuclear Iran (UANI), arguing the proceedings could “cause harm to national security.” Victor Restis, Greek businessman and ship owner, sued the New York-based UANI for defamation last year after the non-profit group accused him of violating sanctions on Iran by exporting oil from the country.


Permalink White House: ‘We Are at War With ISIS’

Congressional Hawks Push for Ground Operations. Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry loudly objected to the characterization of the new US war on ISIS as a “war,” insisting it isn’t technically a war. The argument appears to have been totally pointless, as the White House confirmed that, indeed, “we are at war with ISIS.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it was important to draw a distinction between the new war in Iraq and the old Iraq War, even though they both are taking place in Iraq and both involved fighting against the exact same faction, albeit this time after al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) changed its name to ISIS and split with al-Qaeda. He sought instead to draw a parallel between the new war and “success stories” in Yemen and Somalia, two much smaller air wars the US are involved in, and neither of which seems remotely successful.

PressTV: US airstrikes in Syria 'act of war': Former CIA analyst || “The United States is not at war with Syria [and] to attack Syrian territory as they’re planning on doing is an act of war and in fact to do it in this fashion is a war crime,” Giraldi told Press TV on Saturday.


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