Washington’s Iron Curtain

Diana Johnstone

Tightening the U.S. Grip on Western Europe — Washington’s Iron Curtain in Ukraine

NATO leaders are currently acting out a deliberate charade in Europe, designed to reconstruct an Iron Curtain between Russia and the West.

With astonishing unanimity, NATO leaders feign surprise at events they planned months in advance. Events that they deliberately triggered are being misrepresented as sudden, astonishing, unjustified “Russian aggression”. The United States and the European Union undertook an aggressive provocation in Ukraine that they knew would force Russia to react defensively, one way or another.

They could not be sure exactly how Russian president Vladimir Putin would react when he saw that the United States was manipulating political conflict in Ukraine to install a pro-Western government intent on joining NATO. This was not a mere matter of a “sphere of influence” in Russia’s “near abroad”, but a matter of life and death to the Russian Navy, as well as a grave national security threat on Russia’s border.

A trap was thereby set for Putin. He was damned if he did, and damned if he didn’t. He could under-react, and betray Russia’s basic national interests, allowing NATO to advance its hostile forces to an ideal attack position.


Ukraine and Yugoslavia: Imposing NATO on the Reluctant

Diana Johnstone

I sometimes get the feeling that somewhere across that huge puddle, in America, people sit in a lab and conduct experiments, as if with rats, without actually understanding the consequences of what they are doing.” – Vladimir Putin

Five years ago, I wrote a paper for a Belgrade conference commemorating the tenth anniversary of the start of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. In that paper I stressed that the disintegration of Yugoslavia had been used as an experimental laboratory to perfect various techniques that would subsequently be used in so-called “color revolutions” or other “regime change” operations directed against leaders considered undesirable by the United States government.

At that time, I specifically pointed to the similarities between the Krajina region of former Yugoslavia and Ukraine. Here is what I wrote at the time:

Where did the wars of Yugoslav disintegration break out most violently? In a region called the Krajina. Krajina means borderland. So does Ukraine – it is a variant of the same Slavic root. Both Krajina and Ukraine are borderlands between Catholic Christians in the West and Orthodox Christians in the East.


The Bête Noire of the French Establishment

Diana Johnstone

The Move to Muzzle Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala

French mainstream media and politicians are starting off the New Year with a shared resolution for 2014: permanently muzzle a Franco-African comedian who is getting to be too popular among young people.

In between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, no less than the President of the Republic, François Hollande, while visiting Saudi Arabia on (very big) business, said his government must find a way to ban performances by the comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, as called for by French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls.

The leader of the conservative opposition party, UMP, Jean-François Copé, immediately chimed in with his “total support” for silencing the unmanageable entertainer.

In the unanimous media chorus, the weekly Nouvel Observateur editorialized that Dieudonné is “already dead”, washed up, finished. Editors publicly disputed whether it was a better tactic to try to jail him for “incitement to racial hatred”, close his shows on grounds of a potential “threat to public order”, or put pressure on municipalities by threatening cultural subsidies with cuts if they allow him to perform.

The goal of national police boss Manuel Valls is clear, but the powers that be are groping for the method. The dismissive cliché heard repeatedly is that “nobody laughs at Dieudonné any more”.

In reality, the opposite is true. And that is the problem. On his recent tour of French cities, videos show large, packed theaters roaring with laughter at their favorite humorist. He has popularized a simple gesture, which he calls the “quenelle”. It is being imitated by young people all over France. It simply and obviously means, we are fed up.


The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian

Jonathan Cook

A Thought Police for the Internet Age

There could be no better proof of the revolution – care of the internet – occurring in the accessibility of information and informed commentary than the reaction of our mainstream, corporate media.

For the first time, Western publics – or at least those who can afford a computer – have a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our democracies. Data our leaders once kept tightly under wraps can now be easily searched for, as can the analyses of those not paid to turn a blind eye to the constant and compelling evidence of Western hypocrisy. Wikileaks, in particular, has rapidly eroded the traditional hierarchical systems of information dissemination.

The media – at least the supposedly leftwing component of it – should be cheering on this revolution, if not directly enabling it. And yet, mostly they are trying to co-opt, tame or subvert it. Indeed, progressive broadcasters and writers increasingly use their platforms in the mainstream to discredit and ridicule the harbingers of the new age.


Besieging and Terror Bombing Sirte

Stephen Lendman

In his latest article, Paul Craig Roberts calls America

"utterly corrupt" and "certainly no 'light unto the world.' "

In her latest article, Diana Johnstone said

"Western 'democracy' is in danger of being gradually reduced to a mere ideological excuse to attack, ravage and pillage other people's countries."

It's official policy, in fact, because the business of America is war, permanent war against humanity by military, financial, political and other means.

As a result, terrorizing and destroying the Libya that was continues, focused heavily on what's called Gaddafi loyalists' last stronghold. No matter the death, destruction and human misery already caused. Or that Tripoli residents are now terrorized by a continuing bloodbath. Anyone believed to be pro-Gaddafi is under threat of death. No matter also that Sirte, a city of 100,000, is being terror bombed relentlessly, perhaps intending to turn it to rubble. It wouldn't be the first time Washington and its Western allies did it. More on that below.


Cheerleading for War

Stephen Lendman

When America goes to war, managed news goes with it spreading rumors, half-truths, misinformation, and willful deception about targeted nations, regimes and leaders, whether despots or democrats. Whoever first said it, the first casualty of war is truth, and then some as John Pilger once observed saying:

"Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and willful misreporting) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries...."

As a result, managed news jeopardizes free and open societies by substituting fiction for facts, carefully filtered reports for truth, and cheerleading propaganda for real journalism. As a result, wars of aggression are called liberating ones. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good, and patriotism means going along with lawless governments, reigning death and destruction on defenseless nations for imperial, not noble, reasons.

Media support backs them, notably in America where dominant electronic and print reporting marches in lockstep with government policy, right or wrong.

As a result, dominant information sources (the major media) are in crisis as leading media scholar/critic/activist Robert McChesney once observed, saying:

"Going to war is arguably the single most important decision any society can make. The track record of the US news media in the twentieth century is that they often went along with fraudulent efforts to get the nation into one war or another" from WW I to today. Each time with no exceptions, "administration(s) in power believed that (truth wouldn't enlist) support (for) war. So they lied. The Pentagon Papers (exposed it about Southeast Asia) in shocking detail."

Post-9/11 through Obama's war on Libya, "the very debate over whether to go to war" is absent. Obama decides. The media salute, and public opinion is manipulated to say amen. Never discussed are justifiable reasons, choosing diplomacy over militarism, America acting as judge, jury and executioner, and cui bono fruits of war. Without them, they'd be none. Said another way, absent the power and profit benefits, who'd wage them, especially capitalist America, generously enriching war profiteers that fund politicians for bottom line friendly policies.

As a result, government is unaccountable to the electorate. Democracy is the best money can buy, and wars are always imperial, not liberating ones, especially the ones America wages.

Today, round the clock media coverage supports them. Long before television, media critic AJ Liebling said, "People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news." Today it's mostly TV, the dominant managed news source, supporting power, not truth, functioning as a propaganda system for elitist interests, especially on matters of war and peace.


Unverified Misreporting on Libya

Stephen Lendman

America's media, Britain's state-controlled BBC, other Western sources, and Al Jazeera are spreading unverified or false reports on Libya's uprising.

On February 25, writer Madhi Darius Nazemroaya, a Middle East/Central Asian specialist, based on reliable in-country contacts, headlined an important article,

"Libya: Is Washington Pushing for Civil War to Justify a US-NATO Military Intervention?"

Access it through this link.

For greater readership, this article covers key information in it. Its entirety explains much about what's ongoing - what major media accounts misreport or suppress, especially television reaching large audiences, presenting distorted managed news. It shouldn't surprise. Representing powerful interests, carefully filtered sanitized reporting substitutes for the real kind.

Gaddafi indisputably is despotic, governing by "fear and cronyism," treating Libya as his "private estate," and spawning "an entire hierarchy of corrupt officials," disdainful of popular interests.

Nonetheless, something is "(r)otten in the so-called 'Jamahiriya' (state of the masses) of Libya." Popular anger is justified and real. At issue is whether it's spontaneous or externally generated, and, if so, by whom and for what reasons.

Western powers, especially America, gladly support despots. They only fall into disfavor by forgetting who's boss. Mubarak forgot. So did Gaddafi, long targeted for removal despite rapprochement with America and Western nations. As a result, in-country reports lack credibility without verifiable proof. Much of it is lacking.

At issue is removing an outlier while keeping his regime intact, one friendly to Washington and Western interests. Acquiescence assures support for the world's most ruthless tyrants. Straying gets them in trouble. Gaddafi strayed, leaving him vulnerable for removal.


The Rise and Rise of Super Fascism

Ghali Hassan
Axis of Logic

Mention fascism and most peoples’ minds turn to Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Japanese Fascism, Papadopoulos’ Greece and South Africa’s Apartheid regime. However, most people are blissfully unaware of a rising form of fascism, more virulent than all past fascist regimes combined. Its aim is to subjugate the entire planet and its resources to U.S. corporate interests.

It is true that German Fascism was evil; but it is also true that its evilness has been exploited, even exaggerated, by one powerful Zionist entity and its supporters to justify the persecution and dispossession of the Palestinian people. German Fascism has diversified and mutated into super fascism supported by regimes claiming to be “liberal democracies”.

The word Fascism originated from the Latin ‘Fasces’, means a bundle of sticks tied together to represent the ruling élite. At the heart of fascist ideology are corporatism, militarism, nationalism, racism and total control of citizens. Fascism is “a political system or regime with a tendency toward or actual exercise of Fascism” [Webster’s Dictionary]. Unfortunately, many opportunists and apologists for Israel-U.S. crimes use the word fascism as a name-calling, carelessly throwing it around to demonise others in order to mislead the public.

In his 2003 essay Fascism Anyone?, the British writer Laurence W. Britt identifies fourteen characteristics of fascism common to past fascist regimes. Are they common and shared by regimes today? The purpose of this essay is to seriously inform people of the growing danger of fascism today, using the fourteen characteristics as a matchup.


The True Richard Holbrooke Legacy

Stephen Lendman

Dead on December 13 at age 69 after two aorta tear surgeries failed to save him, Western media headlines hailed the man London Guardian writers Ed Pilkington and Adam Gabbat called a "giant of US foreign policy," saying his loss leaves "a substantial hole to fill."

On December 13, New York Times writer Robert McFadden headlined, "Strong American Voice in Diplomacy and Crisis," saying:

"Mr. Holbrooke was hospitalized on (December 10) after becoming ill. (After two major surgeries, he) remained in very critical condition until his death....A brilliant, sometimes abrasive infighter, he used a formidable arsenal of facts, bluffs, whispers, implied threats and, when necessary, pyrotechnic fits of anger to press his positions." For good reason, he was nicknamed "The Bulldozer."

Former CIA officer, turned activist and political critic, Ray McGovern, called him a favorite Democrat party "go-to diplomat for particularly messy conflicts," like the 1990s Balkans wars and current Afghanistan/Pakistan (Af-Pak) ones "where a strong moral compass was viewed as something of a disqualifier." (He) was counted on to bulldoze through and over any ethical qualms to achieve what Washington wanted." He obliged.

Obama called him "a true giant of American foreign policy," pursuing a belligerent imperial agenda he didn't mention. Nor did major media reports, presenting their customary sanitized versions of current issues, history, and notable public figures like Holbrooke, misportrayed as heroes.


The United States takes the matter of three-headed babies very seriously

William Blum


Fatima Ahmed was born in Fallujah with deformities
that include two heads (The WE!)

When did it begin, all this "We take your [call/problem/question] very seriously"? With answering-machine hell? As you wait endlessly, the company or government agency assures you that they take seriously whatever reason you're calling. What a kind and thoughtful world we live in.

The BBC reported last month that doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the United States during its fierce onslaughts of 2004 and subsequently, which left much of the city in ruins. "It was like an earthquake," a local engineer who was running for a national assembly seat told the Washington Post in 2005. "After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was Fallujah." Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.

The BBC correspondent also saw children in the city who were suffering from paralysis or brain damage, and a photograph of one baby who was born with three heads. He added that he heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children. One doctor in the city had compared data about birth defects from before 2003 — when she saw about one case every two months — with the situation now, when she saw cases every day. "I've seen footage of babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead," she said.

A spokesman for the US military, Michael Kilpatrick, said it always took public health concerns "very seriously", but that "No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues." [1]


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