The U.S. government is creating a new $160 million bureaucracy to shut down information that doesn’t conform to U.S. propaganda narratives, building on the strategy that sold the bloody Syrian “regime change” war, writes Rick Sterling.
By Rick Sterling
The U.S. establishment is not content simply to have domination over the media narratives on critical foreign policy issues, such as Syria, Ukraine and Russia. It wants total domination. Thus we now have the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act” that President Obama signed into law on Dec. 23 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, setting aside $160 million to combat any “propaganda” that challenges Official Washington’s version of reality.
The new law mandates the U.S. Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and other federal agencies to create a Global Engagement Center “to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.” The law directs the Center to be formed in 180 days and to share expertise among agencies and to “coordinate with allied nations.”
The legislation was initiated in March 2016, as the demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia was already underway and was enacted amid the allegations of “Russian hacking” around the U.S. presidential election and the mainstream media’s furor over supposedly “fake news.” Defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for the bill: “It’s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy, and innocent lives.”
The new law is remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least because it merges a new McCarthyism about purported dissemination of Russian “propaganda” on the Internet with a new Orwellianism by creating a kind of Ministry of Truth – or Global Engagement Center – to protect the American people from “foreign propaganda and disinformation.”
As part of the effort to detect and defeat these unwanted narratives, the law authorizes the Center to: “Facilitate the use of a wide range of technologies and techniques by sharing expertise among Federal departments and agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.” (This section is an apparent reference to proposals that Google, Facebook and other technology companies find ways to block or brand certain Internet sites as purveyors of “Russian propaganda” or “fake news.”)
Justifying this new bureaucracy, the bill’s sponsors argued that the existing agencies for “strategic communications” and “public diplomacy” were not enough, that the information threat required “a whole-of-government approach leveraging all elements of national power.”
The law also is rife with irony since the U.S. government and related agencies are among the world’s biggest purveyors of propaganda and disinformation – or what you might call evidence-free claims, such as the recent accusations of Russia hacking into Democratic emails to “influence” the U.S. election.
Despite these accusations — leaked by the Obama administration and embraced as true by the mainstream U.S. news media — there is little or no public evidence to support the charges. There is also a contradictory analysis by veteran U.S. intelligence professionals as well as statements by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and an associate, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, that the Russians were not the source of the leaks. Yet, the mainstream U.S. media has virtually ignored this counter-evidence, appearing eager to collaborate with the new “Global Engagement Center” even before it is officially formed.
Of course, there is a long history of U.S. disinformation and propaganda. Former CIA agents Philip Agee and John Stockwell documented how it was done decades ago, secretly planting “black propaganda” and covertly funding media outlets to influence events around the world, with much of the fake news blowing back into the American media.
In more recent decades, the U.S. government has adopted an Internet-era version of that formula with an emphasis on having the State Department or the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy supply, train and pay “activists” and “citizen journalists” to create and distribute propaganda and false stories via “social media” and via contacts with the mainstream media. The U.S. government’s strategy also seeks to undermine and discredit journalists who challenge this orthodoxy. The new legislation escalates this information war by tossing another $160 million into the pot.
Propaganda and Disinformation on Syria
Syria is a good case study in the modern application of information warfare. In her memoir Hard Choices, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote that the U.S. provided “support for (Syrian) civilian opposition groups, including satellite-linked computers, telephones, cameras, and training for more than a thousand activists, students and independent journalists.”
Indeed, a huge amount of money has gone to “activists” and “civil society” groups in Syria and other countries that have been targeted for “regime change.” A lot of the money also goes to parent organizations that are based in the United States and Europe, so these efforts do not only support on-the-ground efforts to undermine the targeted countries, but perhaps even more importantly, the money influences and manipulates public opinion in the West.
In North America, representatives from the Syrian “Local Coordination Committees” (LCC) were frequent guests on popular media programs such as “DemocracyNow.” The message was clear: there is a “revolution” in Syria against a “brutal regime” personified in Bashar al-Assad. It was not mentioned that the “Local Coordination Committees” have been primarily funded by the West, specifically the Office for Syrian Opposition Support, which was founded by the U.S. State Department and the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
More recently, news and analysis about Syria has been conveyed through the filter of the White Helmets, also known as Syrian Civil Defense. In the Western news media, the White Helmets are described as neutral, non-partisan, civilian volunteers courageously carrying out rescue work in the war zone. In fact, the group is none of the above. It was initiated by the U.S. and U.K. using a British military contractor and Brooklyn-based marketing company.
While they may have performed some genuine rescue operations, the White Helmets are primarily a media organization with a political goal: to promote NATO intervention in Syria. (The manipulation of public opinion using the White Helmets and promoted by the New York Times and Avaaz petition for a “No Fly Zone” in Syria is documented here.)
The White Helmets hoax continues to be widely believed and receives uncritical promotion though it has increasingly been exposed at alternative media outlets as the creation of a “shady PR firm.” During critical times in the conflict in Aleppo, White Helmet individuals have been used as the source for important news stories despite a track record of deception.
Recent Propaganda: Blatant Lies?
As the armed groups in east Aleppo recently lost ground and then collapsed, Western governments and allied media went into a frenzy of accusations against Syria and Russia based on reports from sources connected with the armed opposition. CNN host Wolf Blitzer described Aleppo as “falling” in a “slaughter of these women and children” while CNN host Jake Tapper referred to “genocide by another name.”
The Daily Beast published the claims of the Aleppo Siege Media Center under the title “Doomsday is held in Aleppo” and amid accusations that the Syrian army was executing civilians, burning them alive and “20 women committed suicide in order not to be raped.” These sensational claims were widely broadcast without verification. However, this “news” on CNN and throughout Western media came from highly biased sources and many of the claims – lacking anything approaching independent corroboration – could be accurately described as propaganda and disinformation.
Ironically, some of the supposedly “Russian propaganda” sites, such as RT, have provided first-hand on-the-ground reporting from the war zones with verifiable information that contradicts the Western narrative and thus has received almost no attention in the U.S. news media. For instance, some of these non-Western outlets have shown videos of popular celebrations over the “liberation of Aleppo.”
There has been further corroboration of these realities from peace activists, such as Jan Oberg of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research who published a photo essay of his eyewitness observations in Aleppo including the happiness of civilians from east Aleppo reaching the government-controlled areas of west Aleppo, finally freed from areas that had been controlled by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and its jihadist allies in Ahrar al-Sham.
Dr. Nabil Antaki, a medical doctor from Aleppo, described the liberation of Aleppo in an interview titled “Aleppo is Celebrating, Free from Terrorists, the Western Media Misinformed.” The first Christmas celebrations in Aleppo in four years are shown here, replete with marching band members in Santa Claus outfits. Journalist Vanessa Beeley has published testimonies of civilians from east Aleppo. The happiness of civilians at their liberation is clear.
Whether or not you wish to accept these depictions of the reality in Aleppo, at a minimum, they reflect another side of the story that you have been denied while being persistently force-fed the version favored by the U.S. State Department. The goal of the new Global Engagement Center to counter “foreign propaganda” is to ensure that you never get to hear this alternative narrative to the Western propaganda line.
Even much earlier, contrary to the Western mythology of rebel “liberated zones,” there was strong evidence that the armed groups were never popular in Aleppo. American journalist James Foley described the situation in 2012 like this:
“Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups. The rebels in Aleppo are predominantly from the countryside, further alienating them from the urban crowd that once lived here peacefully, in relative economic comfort and with little interference from the authoritarian government of President Bashar al-Assad.”
On Nov. 22, 2012, Foley was kidnapped in northwestern Syria and held by Islamic State terrorists before his beheading in August 2014.
The Overall Narrative on Syria
Analysis of the Syrian conflict boils down to two competing narratives. One narrative is that the conflict is a fight for freedom and democracy against a brutal regime, a storyline promoted in the West and the Gulf states, which have been fueling the conflict from the start. This narrative is also favored by some self-styled “anti-imperialists” who want a “Syrian revolution.”
The other narrative is that the conflict is essentially a war of aggression against a sovereign state, with the aggressors including NATO countries, Gulf monarchies, Israel and Jordan. Domination of the Western media by these powerful interests is so thorough that one almost never gets access to this second narrative, which is essentially banned from not only the mainstream but also much of the liberal and progressive media.
For example, listeners and viewers of the generally progressive TV and radio program “DemocracyNow” have rarely if ever heard the second narrative described in any detail. Instead, the program frequently broadcasts the statements of Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and others associated with the U.S. position. Rarely do you hear the viewpoint of the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, the Syrian Foreign Minister or analysts inside Syria and around the world who have written about and follow events there closely.
“DemocracyNow” also has done repeated interviews with proponents of the “Syrian revolution” while ignoring analysts who call the conflict a war of aggression sponsored by the West and the Gulf monarchies. This blackout of the second narrative continues despite the fact that many prominent international figures see it as such. For example, the former Foreign Minister of Nicaragua and former President of the UN General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto, has said, “What the U.S. government is doing in Syria is tantamount to a war of aggression, which, according to the Nuremberg Tribunal, is the worst possible crime a State can commit against another State.”
In many areas of politics, “DemocracyNow” is excellent and challenges mainstream media. However in this area, coverage of the Syrian conflict, the broadcast is biased, one-sided and echoes the news and analysis of mainstream Western corporate media, showing the extent of control over foreign policy news that already exists in the United States and Europe.
Suppressing and Censoring Challenges
Despite the widespread censorship of alternative analyses on Syria and other foreign hotspots that already exists in the West, the U.S. government’s new “Global Engagement Center” will seek to ensure that the censorship is even more complete with its goal to “counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation.” We can expect even more aggressive and better-financed assaults on the few voices daring to challenge the West’s “group thinks” – smear campaigns that are already quite extensive.
In an article titled “Controlling the Narrative on Syria”, Louis Allday describes the criticisms and attacks on journalists Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal for straying from the “approved” Western narrative on Syria. Some of the bullying and abuse has come from precisely those people, such as Robin Yassin-Kassab, who have been frequent guests in liberal Western media.
Reporters who have returned from Syria with accounts that challenge the propaganda themes that have permeated the Western media also have come under attack. For instance, Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett recently returned to North America after being in Syria and Aleppo, conveying a very different image and critical of the West’s biased media coverage. Bartlett appeared at a United Nations press conference and then did numerous interviews across the country during a speaking tour. During the course of her talks and presentation, Bartlett criticized the White Helmets and questioned whether it was true that Al Quds Hospital in opposition-held East Aleppo was attacked and destroyed as claimed.
Bartlett’s recounting of this information made her a target of Snopes, which has been a mostly useful website exposing urban legends and false rumors but has come under criticism itself for some internal challenges and has been inconsistent in its investigations. In one report entitled “White Helmet Hearsay,” Snopes’ writer Bethania Palmer says claims the White Helmets are “linked to terrorists” is “unproven,” but she overlooks numerous videos, photos, and other reports showing White Helmet members celebrating a Nusra/Al Qaeda battle victory, picking up the bodies of civilians executed by a Nusra executioner, and having a member who alternatively appears as a rebel/terrorist fighter with a weapon and later wearing a White Helmet uniform. The “fact check” barely scrapes the surface of public evidence.
The same writer did another shallow “investigation” titled “victim blaming” regarding Bartlett’s critique of White Helmet videos and what happened at the Al Quds Hospital in Aleppo. Bartlett suggests that some White Helmet videos may be fabricated and may feature the same child at different times, i.e., photographs that appear to show the same girl being rescued by White Helmet workers at different places and times. While it is uncertain whether this is the same girl, the similarity is clear.
The Snopes writer goes on to criticize Bartlett for her comments about the reported bombing of Al Quds Hospital in east Aleppo in April 2016. A statement at the website of Doctors Without Borders says the building was “destroyed and reduced to rubble,” but this was clearly false since photos show the building with unclear damage. Five months later, the September 2016 report by Doctors Without Borders says the top two floors of the building were destroyed and the ground floor Emergency Room damaged yet they re-opened in two weeks.
The many inconsistencies and contradictions in the statements of Doctors Without Borders resulted in an open letter to them. In their last report, Doctors Without Borders (known by its French initials, MSF) acknowledges that “MSF staff did not directly witness the attack and has not visited Al Quds Hospital since 2014.”
Bartlett referenced satellite images taken before and after the reported attack on the hospital. The images do not show severe damage and it is unclear whether or not there is any damage to the roof, the basis for Bartlett’s statement. In the past week, independent journalists have visited the scene of Al Quds Hospital and report that that the top floors of the building are still there and damage is unclear.
The Snopes’ investigation criticizing Bartlett was superficial and ignored the broader issues of accuracy and integrity in the Western media’s depiction of the Syrian conflict. Instead the article appeared to be an effort to discredit the eyewitness observations and analysis of a journalist who dared challenge the mainstream narrative.
U.S. propaganda and disinformation on Syria has been extremely effective in misleading much of the American population. Thus, most Americans are unaware how many billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on yet another “regime change” project. The propaganda campaign – having learned from the successful demonizations of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and other targeted leaders – has been so masterful regarding Syria that many liberal and progressive news outlets were pulled in. It has been left to RT and some Internet outlets to challenge the U.S. government and the mainstream media.
But the U.S. government’s near total control of the message doesn’t appear to be enough. Apparently even a few voices of dissent are a few voices too many.
The enactment of HR5181, “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation,” suggests that the ruling powers seek to escalate suppression of news and analyses that run counter to the official narrative. Backed by a new infusion of $160 million, the plan is to further squelch skeptical voices with operation for “countering” and “refuting” what the U.S. government deems to be propaganda and disinformation.
As part of the $160 million package, funds can be used to hire or reward “civil society groups, media content providers, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions.”
Among the tasks that these private entities can be hired to perform is to identify and investigate both print and online sources of news that are deemed to be distributing “disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.”
In other words, we are about to see an escalation of the information war.
Rick Sterling is an independent investigative journalist. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached at [email protected]
here’s an upcoming talk about the Alternative information and speaking truth to the 3rd rail of all time – the Israel Lobby
Snap the trance! SNAP! SNAP!
‘The Successful 2nd American Revolution and Seismic Transformations of Jewish Power in the US and Israel’
WHEN: Sunday Jan 15 2017, 2:00 – 3:15 pm
WHERE: Otay Branch San Diego Public Library,
3003 Coronado Ave, San Diego, Ca 92154
WHO: Dr Lance Dale
The Successful 2nd American Revolution
-The Successful 2nd American Revolution Playbook
‘Obama as a Transformational American President regarding Jewish Power in US and Israel’. A ‘Club of 2’
‘Red Lines on Bibi’ – UN SCR 2334 and American Recognition of Palestine. Legacy as ‘man who lost Israel’
‘Bibi, Trump, and the onrushing ‘Palestine Annexation Law-Woodchipper’.
‘Checkmated and desperate Knesset’s passage of the Palestine Annexation Law’ into the Ch 6/possible Chapter 7 teeth of UN Sec Co Resolution 2334
Transitioning to ‘1P1V1S One State’, ‘1P1V1S One State replacing Apartheid-One State’, Marwan Barghouti. 10 million Palestinians and 6 million Jews – do the math
The Cost of Netanyahu’s continued pursuit of passing the Palestine Annexation Law – triggered/greenlighted Chapter 7 upgrade to UN SCR 2334, and some Israeli summary removal as head of state apparently ‘on the table’, calls for it from Israel x 5, triggered ICC hot in flagrante delicto cases
‘One Big Bag’ – the entirety of the Kahanists swept up together – the Apartheid and the Kahanist Neocons, etc, ‘Bibi and Trump as Israel and the Israel Lobby’
American Recognition of Palestine – shifts in American media coverage
Diskin/CIS needs Chapter 7 upgrade of UN SCR 2334 to dismantle Apartheid
I donate to alternative media every month. It is nowhere close to $180 million, but if 10 million citizens of ordinary means would do the same then our donations would swamp that figure. 10 million people is only one in every four California citizens and California is a prosperous and very progressive state.
There were 21 women who committed suicide to not be rapped by Assad ??Not 20, 21 !! This amount nearly to a “holocaust” denial ?? 21 Women you deniers ??
Trust me ?? I am a “respected” western media analyst,ex pert on Assad, Syria, Russia, Putin, North Korea & all axis of the Evil Empire ?? would I & CNNNBCABCFOX lie to you ??
PS Especially now we’ll soon have a New World Leader, the sheep could chant
“Pro Fits Good, E Thics Bad.”
Surveillance is Privacy.
Eva Bartlett’s a godsend. Her copious work always has that ring of truth to it. She’s doling out fact after fact every time she sets foot over there, often putting her own life at risk amid massive violence. It’s much thanks that we owe a hardworking journalist and truth finder like Ms. Bartlett. It’s unfortunate that most of the Western press is wilfully falling down on the job. Snopes’ laughable little smear on Bartlett’s incredible work is pathetic. Stick to urban legends.
Just a sample from Eva’s website:
And for a relatively uninterrupted airing of Eva’s views listen to this podcast from 12-20-16:
There’s a business opportunity lurking in the “fake news” department. Alternative media already does a pretty good job of aggregating alternative news. What will be coming next, I predict, is an alternative news search engine to slip into the new niche market to be created by Google and Yahoo changing their page ranking algorithms to push alternative news down in search results. Complete with advertising on the search results page. To put the frosting on the irony cake, perhaps the search engine’s databases and servers could be located in Russia to partially protect them from U.S. Empire meddling?
What will Google and Yahoo do once they realize that their collaboration with the plutocrats is costing them valuable search results advertising market share, add a new “fake-news” search operator so people can search only Fake News sites? I doubt it.
The free and open source software to do this has been available for years. Check out Apache Lucene and the “related projects” links on the lower right side of the Lucene home page. https://lucene.apache.org/
Is your web site not showing high enough in the Google and Yahoo search results? Just fill out the web form to register your site with the Real News search engine, coming to a computer screen near you very soon.
I believe the war criminals past and present are terrified that the sleeping masses might finally wake up. Therefore, they are attempting to shut down alternative voices, and continuing their propaganda via their corporate hand maidens.
“There is overwhelming evidence that wars on a number of countries were planned. Yet, this evidence is censored and covered up by many of the so-called “searchers for truth,” in the “investigative media.” The TV “news” parrots propaganda daily and the “newspapers” do likewise…”
[read more at link below]
Jan 1, 2017 2017: TRUTH RISING — Melissa & Aaron Dykes
Aaron and Melissa Dykes are truth researchers, truth journalists and truth filmmakers. Their excellent website Truthstreammedia com and You Tube channel by the same name are two must visit destination for anyone who wants to be informed about the REAL issues we face. Truthstreammedia is the antithesis to the “fake news” you’ll get from CNN and mainstream media outlets.
I just ran into a little essay which suggests to me that The War Against Alternative Information is actually one of many campaigns in a much larger conflict. Regarding the link, the author is somebody I’ve never heard of, and I hope and pray he doesn’t turn out to be a neo-nazi or some similar kind of nut.
I don’t follow Roman Catholic affairs, but last I heard the current Pope hadn’t moved into the Vatican. It’s my opinion that’s the only reason the man is still alive. Still an opinion, but his hyper-caution is something other people ought to imitate.
Then there’s this.
The great noise machine never sleeps.
“Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!” Nathan Meyer Rothschild
June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?
A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?
What a great essay. Thank you to the writer. So many links to explore. I agree wholeheartedly in the analysis. I wrote a very simple essay for my own website which comes to the same conclusions. I include a list of headlines from main stream media regarding the “Russian hacking” and then the headlines from independent media. It was quite stark. Someone is lying.
Keep up the great work Consortium news!
I agree Elizabeth we do need Independent Media. I wish our news was more International Independent, and I think that maybe coming. I see people posting comments on this site from International Countries, so it’s already happening. I read some foreign sites myself, but I hope that if allowed to continue that this average person may be able to interact with other peoples of the world, and make some sense of all of this. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but a person can dream can’t they?
This 2017 New Years Americans are permitted to blame Vladimir Putin for they’re getting obnoxiously drunk while bringing in the New Year with a couple a bottles of Stolichnaya….this maybe void in Vermont, considering.
This Russian hacking scare is scaring some Americans for real, and that ain’t good, because with the hysteria comes the loss of more freedoms. Each episode of terror or security related troubled matters comes America’s way, means the end of a Right. Our grandchildren of this new century will assume there always was a Homeland Security, because it’s always been there as long as they can remember. The most pathetic part of all of this is that it all began to be set in motion over Hillary’s loss. I’ll end it here, but your essay was spot on and intelligent on top of that.
Obama did promise hope and change, but it is highly unlikely anyone outside the neocon and proto-fascist cabals hoped for this change setting up a Ministry of Truth. What a legacy!!!
This says it all:
The illusions of “freedom” hates us for our First Amendment. Isn’t this the true premise behind our
bought-and-paid-for government’smultinational oligarchs’ enactment of all these new Patriot Acts (NDAAs and other laws)?
For over a year and a half prior to the election several liberal websites started mimicking the msm with their Trump bashing. To me, all these bashings were backhanded endorsements for Clinton. I swear, most, if not all, of the liberal topics, talking points and phrases were exactly identical to the msm’s. As apparent as it was this election, this showed that the bluedogs in-charge had been influencing the liberals for quite some time. This is probably why the duopoly issue wasn’t strongly addressed back when Nader spoiled Gore’s chances in 2000 (hold on, hold on, I have a legitimate excuse: a foundation paid me to say that).
Democracy Later is more dangerous than the other big propaganda organs.
While the latter ones require very little scrutiny by the observant to recognize as the warmongers that they are…
…the former (democracy now[sic] ) tries to lure the the careful reader and critic into its well crafted trap of deception – to gather your trust where it matters the least, and couches it’s warmongering where it matters the most, most recently in regards to Syria.
‘Democracy Later’…I like that.
Look at DN’s funding structure…it’s not hard to figure out.
Kent – The link to a supposed ‘flow chart’ looks suspicious, since there’s no links/attributions to sources, and the ‘newsofinteterest’ website (apparently inactive for ~5 yrs?) didn’t appear to be particularly credible in my experience (ie; links to 911 truthers, Laetrile cancer proponents, etc). And to regard Noam Chomsky’s political views as somehow significantly influenced by corporate money/government coercion (as the diagram does at the bottom) is laughable — the guy has been a strong, vocal, prolific critic of US imperialism, condemning it since the c1960. Decades ago he stopped paying a portion of his taxes as a protest against military spending, and subsequently has had his wages garnished by the government. While I don’t necessarily agree with all of Chomsky’s prescriptions of what to do (e.g.; his judgement that it was best to vote for HC), his descriptions of what HAS happened have been accurate, nuanced, and documented.
Chomsky’s excellent, no doubt. The only minor quibble I have with Noam is that he often downplays the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington and throughout the United States. Other than this issue, he’s typically spot-on, though I too didn’t think voting for Killary was a good move, I went with Stein.
It is indeed the tail wagging the dog when it comes to U.S. war making in the Middle East. Most often the Zionist Power Configuration in America wins the day over market-driven empire builders (Big Oil) who would prefer stable and lucrative oil markets in the Middle East, not obliterated and failed states, which is what the ZPC prefers.
Having said the above, I’ve been reading Chomsky ever since about 1993 when I first got my hands on his magnificent book “Chronicles of Dissent;” I always try and peruse his essays and articles every chance I get.
I think Chomsky “downplays” the power of the Israeli lobby because he thinks U.S. politicians should put on their big boy pants. He always says that “what we say goes,” and that Israel can essentially only do what “we” allow.
Chomsky’s excellent, no doubt. The only minor quibble I have with Noam is that he often downplays the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington and throughout the United States.
It is indeed the tail wagging the dog when it comes to U.S. war making in the Middle East. Most often the Zionist Power Configuration in America wins the day over market-driven empire builders (Big Oil) who would prefer stable and lucrative oil markets in the Middle East, not obliterated and failed states, which is what the ZPC prefers.
Having said the above, I’ve been reading Chomsky ever since about 1993 when I first got my hands on his magnificent book “Chronicles of Dissent;” I always try and peruse his essays and articles every chance I get.
Eddie, Yes, it’s an old inactive website…but the info is still accurate re: DN funding.
Here’s a a more up-to-date link:
And, yes, skepticism is ALWAYS warranted.
Sorry, but I don’t follow your reasoning on Chomsky. Historically, he was an important voice. Not so much in the last 15 years or so when he has been shown to be (IMHO) intellectually lazy and (again, IMHO) far short of his historical legacy (witness, ‘vote for HRC’, etc).
What I find scary is how much the dominance of the propaganda discourse has increased. Before the Iraq war, there was widespread dissent, and in most of Europe, support for the war was a minority position. But in the case of Libya and, even more Syria, dissent is tolerated less and almost all media strictly follow the official propaganda line. I find this even more striking because, after all, this is a position that should be rather hard to sell to the public. One should think that it should not be so easy to spread the idea that mostly jihadist militias that were (and mostly still are) allied with Al Qaeda are the good guys that should be supported with money and arms. That even such a difficult position could reach such a dominant position in the Western media discourse shows how effective the propaganda is. I am beginning to think that if the line that Sweden is the biggest threat to world peace was spread, people would sign petitions on change.org for finally occupying Sweden, and there would be talking points about the inaction of the US president because Sweden still has not been occupied by US troops although everyone recognizes that it is an enormous threat to humanity. I am probably exaggerating a bit, but if the relevant interest groups are successful in making many people believe that anyone who does not support jihadist allies of Al Qaeda who behead “traitors” and bombing anti-air defences all over the country is heartless towards Syrians, there are probably many other things that seem absurd and extreme now that could be promoted in a way that soon anyone who does not agree with it is depicted as a bad person.
I find the role of Snopes particularly worrying. Of course, I cannot judge whether everything Eva Bartlett says is true. But her reports are detailed and connected to evidence, while the Snopes texts that dismiss her are written in a sloppy and superficial way. This would not be a problem if Snopes was just one more website where a point of view is expressed (accidentally or not so accidentally one that is very close to the position of the US government). But since it is planned that Snopes should be one of the arbiters with a higher authority that should decide what is true and what is not, this is worrysome. It is not too hard to predict that Snopes would hardly ever flag articles from the Washington Post or the New York Times that are close to the US government as “disputed” even if they are speculative and based on flimsy evidence, but other texts contradicting them will probably regularly be flagged as “disputed”. The only question is whether this will be effective or if people will just ignore the “disputed” flags if they are biased in a way that is too obvious (which also means that the flags would be ineffective against real fake news) and, if Facebook starts hiding such “disputed” stories, just move over to other networks.
Regarding Sweden and propaganda: Wag the Dog. 1997 movie. All said then. Sadly, still more true than ever.
these are just semi clever diversions leading the average away from the Prime Agenda…..Lol…..ask Merkel…she knows……
It is funny and indeed troubling that the US is busy copycatting the practices of the recent foe that went down exactly because these practices were grossly inefficient. I of course mean the Cold War 1.0 and the former Soviet Union. I remember listening to Voice of America in my youth in search for truth. I never imagined that only a few years later during my lifetime Americans will be looking for truth in Russian news outlets and the US will create “the Global Engagement Center – to protect the American people from “foreign propaganda and disinformation.” In fact, resorting to such practices is a huge sign of weakness and decline. It is a pity really that the US are getting that weak that fast. I am not really pro-American but I still remember things that America used to champion around the world (yes, the Freedom of Speech too!), and we all still need these things as much as ever. Too bad they are under threat in the US themselves now. Hopefully Trump will indeed be able to make America great again and stop all this nonsense.
What is most sad is that many American rally for this “the Global Engagement Center”. See Bill Cash here.
I see it the same way you do, sinc eI was also born in the USSR.
Oleg read this link I’m providing, and see if you feel as does the Russian who wrote this magnificent article….
Great link, Joe. Thank you for sharing.
From Joe’s link:
Referring to the Ukrainian coup:
“It was a shock stronger than Kosovo. For me and for many thousands of middle-aged Russians, who came into the world with the American dream in our heads, the myth of the “civilized world” collapsed completely. The horror is deafening. There is no more “civilized world”.”
It’s disappointing to see that Russians are disappointed in us.
Sorry for late reply, I was away with no Internet, the Orthodox Christmas holiday here is AFTER the New year. Yes I know this piece and I read the guy, Sokolov-Mitrich, from time to time, he is good, and yes, approximately my generation. However, this is still a piece of journalism, and as such it is exaggerated. We were not really pro-American or pro-Western, but we did believe that the world has turned a new page and the humanity will finally unite under common set of values and we will all be able to devote ourselves to peaceful development, flights to Mars instead of nuclear buildup, etc etc etc. A kind of Fukuyama thing but built on universal human values rather than the Western ones alone. We were ready to start building a new future with you. But – we saw from you the same old, the same old. So, unfortunately, the humanity missed its chance. We did what we could, sorry.
By the way, the translation there is incorrect in some subtle but important ways. For instance, the translation says,
“Twenty years ago, we were not defeated. We surrendered. We did not lose militarily, but culturally.”
It should read:
“Twenty years ago, we were not defeated. We were taken over, not militarily, but culturally.”
The US did have a lot if soft power then. Not anymore, although there is indeed some hope with the election of Trump. We have the same reservations about Trump as everyone. But his election shows that there is another America beyond Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama. And this demonstration is much more powerful because he did win the general election, not just got himself some niche following like many other great people. That’s why many in Russia are quite enthusiastic about him. But we were positive about Mr. Obama 8 years ago too… But something changed. I was in Canada in December and quite a bit of people were saying to me that they did like Putin )) Some were Americans too.
Seriously? Defending Mideast dictatorships because things were orderly?
I am dismayed at the prospect of more propaganda coming from the government. However, a more pertinent and enlightening critique of this development would be to inform readers of the history of our government’s use of propaganda, and how this new funding, etc., impacts what the government is already doing. That is wholly missing from this article. Instead there is an inexplicable defense of authoritarian regimes, in particular going on for paragraph after paragraph about Syria.
And what was your point? Are you actually just debating recent U.S. focus on regime change, a la Bush? I don’t agree with that, but I wouldn’t defend Assad or Putin, nor dismiss their use of propaganda.
Who claims that everything was alright in the dictatureships like Iraq and Libya? It is just very likely that there would have been much less violence and suffering if these governments had not been toppled by force. Claiming that there were allegedly good intentions certainly does not justify the suffering and violence that was caused by these interventions.
Likewise, of course, those who arm and finance jihadist militias in Syria can claim that their goal is improving the human rights situation. But is there any credibility of the claim that human rights will improve when the Syrian government is toppled and Islamist extremist groups like the Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda), Al Zenki and Ashrar Al Sham take power in the parts of Syria that are not already under the control of Daesh? Or should we believe some fairytales like that, after taking power in Syria, Wahhabi militias would step aside and hand over power to some liberal pro-democratic intellectual who had been in exile? The point is that it is certainly not good enough to point out human rights violations of the Assad government to justify policies that would, if they were successful, probably bring to power forces that have even less respect for human rights.
Furthermore, if the fact that the government of a country can be called a dictatureship should be a sufficient reason for overthrowing it (whichever forces come to power afterwards), what should be the criteria? After all, dictatureships are not really rare in many parts of the world, especially the Middle East. Why has the US turned on one secular dictatureship after the other, but never attacked theocratic Sunni regimes like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have an abysmal human rights record? Obviously, the criteria are not based on whether a government is an autocracy or how much it violates human rights, but something else (probably some geostrategic interests).
I think the main points of criticism of the idea that the fact that a government is autocratic gives an outside country like the US the right to topple it are:
1. “Humanitarian” justifications of interventions are worthless when they are likely to lead to more violence and suffering than if the intervention had not been made.
2. Toppling a dictator in a country without a long democratic tradition is not likely to lead to a functioning democracy afterwards. In Western countries, democracy has also taken a long time to develop, it can hardly be brought about by some bombs. In many cases, toppling a dictator either leads to long-term armed fights between competing groups and/or a new dictatureship sooner or later.
3. When we look at autocracies that were toppled and others that were not toppled by the US, it is hardly plausible that the criterion was how autocratic the government was, how much it violated human rights or how low the standard of living was. Since the “humanitarian” arguments are not the real criteria for the decision about which autocracy should be attacked (otherwise, it would be hard to explain why, for instance, Saudi Arabia has not been attacked), it would make more sense to discuss the real reasons for the attacks, whatever they are, than the justifications that are brought forward when the decision to topple a country has been taken.
4. If the idea of the illegality of wars of aggression in international law (except extraordinary circumstances authorized by the UN Security Council) is given up, this could lead to dangerous wars in many regions. Which countries should have the right to attack countries that are determined to be autocracies by the attacker? Would the US tolerate it if India or Russia decided to topple pro-Western autocracies that violate himan rights (e.g. Saudi Arabia)?
Yes, the same US propaganda reasoning applied to the US oligarchy, which is a set of autocrats, would require that the US use subversion and military force to remove the Republicans, Democrats, warmongers, AIPAC, imperialist financiers etc.. Starting with drone attacks on mass media, party operatives, bank HQ etc. Then some “shock and awe” and an invasion to subdue its military forces, greeted by the people of the US dancing in the streets. Then denial of employment to all who worked for the US regime, followed by founding a true democracy where money does not buy mass media or elections.
Something tells me that the dark state will not reach that conclusion. So I guess that democracy was never the objective of regime change by the US.
Judging by your name, you have Czech origin. Why are you supporting democracy all over the world from the U.S.? Shouldn’ t you be saving the Czech Reublic from bad Zeman? There’s no communism there anymore
One of the problems with regime change whether practices by an outside agency such as the United States and Iraq, Libya, etc. or through an internal revolution is the risk of the cure being worse than the disease.
And in the case of Syria, there is nothing that needs “curing” from the outside. If the Syrians are allowed their home and their peace, they will settle things for themselves.
The War Against Alternative Information
In a war there are two sides – the aggressors and their targets.
There are two sides to the targets – those who surrender and collaborate and those who resist to defend their homeland.
Pick a side.
I just gotta say something about that “love fest for Trump” comment. Here’s how I see it. Trump says stuff, and it may not be true. But he really believes it. Hillary tells lies, but she knows she’s lying. She tells them anyway, and insists they’re true. I don’t have anything but hope. Deep down, I’m relatively optimistic. Hillary’s lies could start WWIII. Trump’s blustering probably wont. If there’s even a shred of a chance he’ll listen to reason, he has the coglioni to make some needed changes. Hillary was the puppet. Trump, admittedly, is a bull in a china shop, but with him, I think we still have a future. And, it could be a very bright one if he plays his cards right. It’s that simple.
Make Love, Not War, that’s Trump’s creed
$$ Power is the seed of the trump Empire.
Expect turmoil and economic bombs bursting in air
I know a truck driver…real good guy, optimistic, somewhat mirthful..whenever he prepares to express something that you can tell has some importance or particular meaning for him, he will start with “I just gotta say something about”. Then, after he boils something down to a few wonderfully encapsulating sentences, he will finish with “it’s that simple”. And it is.
So I am struck by the reminder of my friend, but also by what you say and how you say it. I think I understand the meaning of optimism in a different light now.
It is quite possible that MSM is sometimes accurate in its reporting, and objective in its analysis. But it has been shown too often to be purveyors of pure propaganda, ignorant of facts that counter such propaganda and cheerleaders for US/NATO aggression, that it has lost all credibility, and so we must question virtually everything it says regarding world affairs. The actions of lawmakers regarding “fake news”, and the Obama, Clinton, DMC “we woz robbed” by Putin storyline, is kindergarden stuff, farcical and petulant, and should be treated as such by objective journalists.
Will Trump be any better? I believe there is reason to expect he and his administration to be even worse, but I wait in hope that I am wrong. The world’s only “superpower” has become the world’s leading laughing stock. Are there any grown-ups in US/NATO politics?
It would be very interesting to learn more about some of the main mechanisms through which current day US propaganda is scheduled to lead, with nothing bleeding – or even interesting – at mainstream media outlets. Are those decisions coming from the executive editors or from the media owners? I’m not going to hold my breath for the media to report on itself in that capacity, but perhaps some investigative journalists on those staffs will put their anonymously sourced mouths where their sourced mouths usually go and act as informants to allow independent reporters to get the scoop on how this works. Who at NYT, WaPo, CNN, etc. decided to make no true evidence, probably a false story, missing the big picture, no-harm Russian hacking a main story almost every day, giving support fir bloviating idiots in US Congress to declare that Russia must be punished for the things they have previously declared “every nation does”.
The enormity of our government’s hypocrisy in all of this defies a sane person’s ability to comprehend the current stance we are now placing before the rest of the world. The long list of our spying, regime changes, executions, unwarranted secret operations, destruction of national economies, and the myriad of ongoing other secrecies is a measure of our hubris in thinking that the rest of the world is our oyster. Despite all of our own sins, we dare to accuse other leaders of invading our empirical rights!!!
“Defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for the bill: “It’s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy, and innocent lives.””
“Facilitate the use of a wide range of technologies and techniques by sharing expertise among Federal departments and agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.”
“…the U.S. government’s new “Global Engagement Center” will seek to ensure that the censorship is even more complete with its goal to “counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation.””
So…Hillary supports the bill, but people still think she’s a progressive, let alone a Democrat? This should solidify the concept that both parties are beholden to a deeper agenda which has decidedly fascist overtones. When they implement those “best practices”, I wonder where book-burning and smashing printing presses will shake out in that “wide range of techniques”. I can already imagine where they’ll go to get that “external expertise”. Probably the same place where they’re currently getting “expert training” for our police forces.
These developments contain hallmarks of an empire in decline, clutching at any figment of its imagination to control the narrative and retain its legitimacy. But on the bright side, I’m curious to know how far $160 million could really go to prop up failing entities like the NYT, WaPo, CNN and MSNBC. Wolf Blitzer, Christianne Amanpour, Jill Dogherty, Rachel Maddow, Jake Tapper, Michael Smerconish, Anderson Cooper, Fareed Zakaria, Ben Wedeman, John King, Gloria Borger and Dana Bash are just a few of the faces that can make me instantly change the channel. I used to think Phyllis Bennis, Amy Goodman and Paul Jay were on the level, but they too frequently pull their punches when the truth REALLY needs to be told. Fox news is just totally hopeless. Most of these people are shameless liars, and I don’t think I’m the only person who notices. They have “phony” written all over their faces. In the end, free market economics may go a long way to hamper any benefit a mere $160 million transfusion can pump into the dying corpse of mainstream media. And, if they try to shut down Black Agenda Report, I wonder whose side the ACLU will pick? Lots of Ph.D theses and Supreme Court cases are on the horizon from this one! It’s still pretty hard to sell a horse with a wooden leg…even with skillful marketing.
In the meantime though, the U.S. Government’s “Goebbels Engagement Center” is definitely a scary thought. Giddayup, Nellybell, here comes the lynch mob!
So we have our own Pravda now. Way to go obama. I voted for him twice and this is how he leaves us? Not the ending I envisaged.
I voted for Obama twice as well. I believe in both those cases, he was the lesser of two evils. McCain knows of no problem that sufficient bombing can’t fix, and Romney thought the entire American public should become vulture capitalists like himself. Who knows what kind of pressure Obama was under from the deep state. They may well have taken him to the woodshed and told him what he needed to do if he loved living, and loved his wife and daughters.
Michael, Skip, don’t beat yourself so up to bad, it wasn’t as though our choices of candidates are ever that good. I blame that on a money driven media system, and a public controlled by a constant narravative void of any critical thinking. This past years election was nothing but immature on zingers and never about having an intelligent debate. So, don’t be to hard on yourself, you and I never stood a chance with what we had, or rather didn’t have to work with. Our candidate never runs nor do they win. Have a great New Years, I mean that.
The lies about Syria and support for terrorist became so surreal that I also put together a Terrorist Award compendium for 2016
The 2016 1st Annual Western Backed Terrorist Awards – All Categories Compendium
Complete list of the 2016 awards for western backed war crimes and support for terrorists, terrorist acts and terrorist support states. Allah Akbar to all these award winners!
depth of depraved indifference revealed in the below regarding the US hired interrogator of the captured Saddam.
the segment ought to inform you of critical justice. And Truth.
Ten years ago this week, on December 30, 2006, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed. Hussein was toppled soon after the U.S. invasion began in 2003. U.S. President George W. Bush launched the invasion on the false premise that Hussein had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction and had ties to al-Qaeda. The invasion destabilized Iraq and the region, leaving over a million people dead. And the fighting continues in Iraq and Syria. A stunning new book about the Iraq War has just come out from a perspective we have not yet heard from. It is written by John Nixon, the CIA analyst who interrogated Saddam Hussein after his capture 13 years ago. Nixon reveals that much of what the CIA believed they knew about Saddam Hussein at the time of the invasion was wrong. During his interrogation, Hussein revealed that by 2003 he had largely turned over power to his aides so he could concentrate on writing a novel. There was no program of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was also deeply critical of al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups inspired by Wahhabism. During the interrogation, Hussein also had a warning for the United States about Iraq. He said, “You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq. You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”
We speak to former CIA analyst John Nixon, author of the new book, “Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein.”
Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein Hardcover
– December 27, 2016
by John Nixon (Author)
#1 Best Seller in Middle Eastern Politics
Regarding all the major propaganda narrative relating to the Syrian War, I put together a massive compendium of photos, videos and linked evidence related to the White Helmets and other ruses. Links here:
Extensive links to important JPR posts exposing the White Helmet terrorists….
Please bookmark and save this large amount of info related to the US/UK backed White Helmets as it is extensive proof that the officials of the aforementioned countries are supporting a fake group that is directly linked to terrorism. The White Helmets killed the real Syrian Civil Defense in east Aleppo, Syria in 2013. The videos and research throughout these posts, which is primarily conducted by UK investigative reporting outfit 21st Century Wire and Venessa Beeley, exposes one of the greatest war lies over told, a massive propaganda effort meant to deceive and coerce the populations of western countries into believing that al-Qaeda linked terrorists are civil humanitarians that save little children.
Thank you Liam, wonderful…
John McCain has long been recognized as a warmonger eager to attack foreign nations. Many Americans will be surprised to learn he is now waging war on the American people. Many other Americans won’t have a clue of what this bill means – or even of its existence.
Dec 27, 2016 “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” Signed Into Law! (NDAA 2017)
It is true there is breaking news today but you certainly won’t hear it from the mainstream media. While everyone was enjoying the holidays president Obama signed the NDAA for fiscal year 2017 into law which includes the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” and in this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth shows how this new law is tantamount to “The Records Department of the Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell’s book 1984.
This article does well to point out the impending doom of our intellectual discourse regarding the nature of the U.S. gov’t and its relationship with the citizenry. Already the citizens of the U.S. are more commonly referred to as consumers, thus it follows that the more equal of the equal should control what the consumers are fed.
The dystopian nature of free market globalized capitalism is now finding, or is near to, the apex of what capitalism unfettered can accomplish. Resulting in the frantic “marketing” that this form of capitalism relies on to “sell” itself as the only way to survive this ugly planet. War is the product, propaganda is the marketing, we fools, consumers, are forced to buy the product from afar and those who receive the product pay a price that no human ought to bear.
Since we must recognize the complete corruption of such a condition, those that wish to continue to profit from this are forced to act in ways which protect this profit. If this includes an Orwellian Ministry of Truth, as the CFPDA intends, then that’s the remedy that is needed because profit, you know, money, power, ad nauseum. That’s it. If there were some greater underpinning to the destruction of whole societies and nations and regions that made some sense in the fabric of improving the well being of the planet’s humans, perhaps we could accede to the years of long sacrifice and struggle. But no, this is only about wealth and the accumulation of power that this now provides in our modern world.
The narratives which counter the prevailing religion in the West, the religion of Capitalism unfettered and rapacious, are not given voice. Many don’t even understand that there a different ways of organizing a society or a nation that serves the need and well being of its citizens.
This bullshit machine being funded by “our own” government is ensuring just that, that people are not even provided an opportunity to discuss an alternative to the present state of things. Try not to buy the products that this machine produces, as even if we dream of something else, this too is contrary to the designs of the machine. Next is the Ministry of Thought, or perhaps it was first. And the Ministry of Truth is just now only the second to appear manifest.
The Police State requires each person to believe their lies. Paraphrasing a comment attributed to a former CIA operative: “When the only narrative available is ours, we will have done our job”. The problem for the Police State is even if there is only one person left to speak truth to their lies. that truth will need to be snuffed out. It will take a lot more than $160,000,000.
Just a note for DN lovers.
Since before 2008 the Pacifica Fundation running DN was taken over by Goldman Sachs.
Many local stations rebelled and were cut off from money, forcing them into turmoil and like KPFA and KPFK throwed the management off, cut the fat and went fully listener funded.
All that while GS bought Amy Goodman a new TV studio with audience who after the show for $2000 had a chance to go to dinner with Amy.
All in the midst of 2008 ensuing collapse.
When DN subsequently ignored Puerto Rico general strike and a quarter million street demonstration
I stopped watching and listening DN on radio after 15 years.
I guess they are not doing better now.
I’m well aware of the propaganda from our government but if you believe it will be better under Trump, you are living in a fairy tale. As Bernie said, he’s a pathological liar. Whatever benefits Trump determines what he will say. Look under the covers and you find Steve Bannon who runs the trump campaign. If you think the propaganda is bad now, wait until he’s in control.
Trump isn’t the answer and we need his tax returns. I can see him creating an alliance with Putin and undermining Western Europe.
I’m well aware of the propaganda from our government but if you believe it will be better under Trump, you are living in a fairy tale.
Bill Cash: I’m with you on this point, but your reasoning above in other posts was very sloppy making facts out of speculation. Speculation, even if it is plausible, does not qualify as fact. I also agree with other commentators suggesting Trump will probably make Obama look good despite negative opinions of Obama.
How would creating an alliance with Putin undermine western Europe? You are right that I don’t know much about you, but I am with Bill Bodden that you are guilty of shoddy reasoning. As for Global warming, I am sure that it is a serious problem. But Hillary’s foreign policy would have had me concerned about nuclear winter. And Hillary is a pathological liar who thinks only of herself and talks out both sides of her mouth. And she is a slave to the deep state and wall street. I think you are dead right about Trump’s character, but I think you may be underestimating much of the horrors of the Clintons. How about foreign alliances via the Clinton Foundation- it’s pay to play scenario, and the possible impacts on foreign policy? Look at the utter mayhem in the Middle East and the refugee crisis in Europe. Hillary would have promised us more of the same as president.
I was a Bernie supporter as well, but he lost me when he gave up the fight.
Skip–Bernie didn’t give up the fight. He did what he had promised to do and supported the nominee. In other words, he kept his word, even tho it clearly cost him. You abandoned him when the fight became tough, when it wasn’t so glamorous, when it shifted over to the hard slog of grassroots organizing and door to door work for some school board member–you know, the kind of work Stokley Charmicheal did for years to help build the Panthers. Don’t blame Bernie for your lacking of true heart. It’s you.
When Bernie discovered proof thru wikileaks that the DNC was actively working against him, he should have fought for the nomination at the convention, instead of caving to all the corruption (super delegates, etc etc.) If he had failed there, he could have topped the green party ticket with Jill Stein to run as VP. Then he would have succeeded in blowing up the entirely corrupt two party system, if nothing else. He would have had the 15% to make the national debates. He may have even won. Where was the slog of grassroots organizing after he quit the fight? It’s come to naught. I had the true heart to stay with him if he hadn’t caved. Bernie even supported some faux democrats against genuine
progressive greens in down ballot races. This is not a game, it’s real life. It is time for people to stand strong for the issues they care about.
I agree Skip. Bernie was the man of the hour. He had the perfect tool to smash the two-party/Wall Street/deep state Establishment: millions of independent citizen donors. Then he threw it all away to actively campaign for the queen of chaos and the Establishment War Party. I was so disgusted and mad that I went Green and never looked back. I now donate 10$ a month, every month, to the Greens hoping to see recreated the Tool that Bernie threw away (and still trying to lasso to the D-side of the Establishment War Party): millions of independent citizens donating 10$ or 20$ a month to the Green Party to build up a war chest to challenge both wings of the Establishment War Party.
Certainly Trump should not be trusted, among the two very bad (in my view) candidates, I considered Trump the greated evil for domestic US policy, but probably the lesser evil in foreign policy compared to Hillary Clinton’s more aggressive neocon policies.
In what ways should a good collaboration of Trump and Putin undermine Western Europe? According to surveys (e.g. http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/06/13/europeans-see-isis-climate-change-as-most-serious-threats/epw-russia-china-u-s-threats-web-version/), apart from Poland, relatively few Europeans see Russia as a big threat, and in many countries, US power and influence is actually seen as a similar or even bigger threat than Russia.
I think the demonization of Russia and the presentation of the Russian government as a big threat also has to do with the goal of keeping a strong US influence in Western Europe – and for supporting the influence of US-linked European interest groups. But I doubt that this is going to work. It might work on the US public, but apart from Poland and the Baltic states, demonizing Russia is much more difficult in Europe, and the percentage of people who know more about the conflicts in which Russia is involved than the simplified depictions that are popular in the US is probably much bigger.
In support Bill, see:
You do realise who owns that news paper you are quoting
It’s owned by the ledbedev family who are oligarchs in the fine tradition. Stole money ran to the west claiming persecution by Putin.
It’s an anti Putin paper. They are purely online now as the print version of the paper ceased to make a profit.
The only writers worth reading are Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn
Thank you for this excellent analysis. Particularly disturbing to me is the success of the propaganda in places I wouldn’t expect it, as with Democracy Now, and my neighbors, who seem decent, intelligent people, but entirely done in by the false impressions. I have the feeling the critical views expressed here and in this excellent Consortium site, plus similar sites, represent a small minority of the American public? Or is an awakening in progress causing this newest repressive move, a growing skepticism threatening “national security”? I did read a comment somewhere that fifty percent of the American public is not taken in by the current Russia blaming, but I don’t know if this is true.
How about Rolling Stone’s October article praising Hillary Clinton as a champion of feminism? I just cancelled my subscription to the New Yorker because the quality of its great cartoons no longer outweighs the ugly rightward shift in its editorial policy.
We seem to be witnessing the completion of the project begun a century ago this year, in 1917, with the establishment of the Committee on Public Information. Also known as the Creel Commission, it was the government agency tasked with convincing the American people that it was a good idea to support one faction in Europe’s Great War and to take arms against the other. As laughably naive as that propaganda effort seems now, it was the beginning of the end of independent journalism, which in truth had always been on shaky ground in this country. The Founders were among the most cynical of men. It’s not hard to picture them laughing in their sleeves over the farcical First Amendment for well they knew from colonial experience that the “freedom” to publish belongs only to those who can afford the price of a printing press, ink, and paper, and who, most importantly, curry favor from government and business. It remains to be seen what effect the internet will have – and how easily it can be silenced
Most likely you are correct to think this is a reaction to a growing awakening. Donald Trump was not wrong in his analysis of the media and also in his campaign speeches. Whether he meant it when he said he objected or what he would rather see replace it are not known. But what is known is that his description of the main stream media and its role in dis-serving Americans clearly resonated.
After WWII, there was also a clear blossoming of communism as a possible alternative to capitalism or even fascism which had destroyed Europe and Japan. The reaction of the government was to unleash the hounds and hunt down any commie pinkos. We next went off on a 70 plus year mission to wipe out communism all over the Planet forming the Military Industrial Complex in the process.
No doubt there are now generations of defense corporations and wealthy arms sellers and investors around the World who are terrified of peace with Russia. Therefore, they are terrified of Donald Trump and they are even terrified by this website.
Check out this take down of WaPo’s support of the pusillanimous neocons at “PropOrNot” which includes Consortium News on the Russian Propaganda list they publish called “The List”. Apparently the folks at WaPo think these folks are “experts” in identifying fake news.
This is a great example of exactly what is wrong with laws that would pretend to defend the truth. They end up depriving you of it.
The amazing thing is that these folks just popped up overnight claiming to be fully supported by tons of officials and groups in Washington who it turns out never even knew of the shadow group before WaPo published the article sing their praises and calling them experts.
Wow! That was fast! A fake news site supported by the main stream media which is a shadow group portrayed as ‘the grownups’ in the room who can identify which news is fake and which is not, yet they are so cowardly, they will not even state their names. They remain anonymous. Way to go WaPo. Main stream media BS like this is the reason we are all here. Do not fret Mr. Parry, there’s a whole nation backing you up!
If you want fake news just turn on the T.V.
Read how Mr. Parry is identified as a Russian Propagandist according to the anonymous “experts” over at PropOrNot here:
I was watching the news. It is all about the Russians. The Expulsions, the sanctions, the democrats and the republicans are united against their common enemy the Russians. More sanctions are on the way. If a family member recently passed away you can be assured the Russians murdered them! Why don’t they just declare war with Russia and get all the niceties over and done so we can get right down to the war?
Nowhere in this uni-polar single topic narrative of how Russia and Russia alone rigged the election is there a mention of any possible other source of influence on the election. What about the glacially paced multi year investigation into Benghazi? What about Comey’s October Surprise with Anthony Wiener’s Laptop? What about any other foreign power? What about voter ID laws? What about gerrymandering? What about black box voting? What about Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC and dark money in politics?
These are just some of the things that have dominated all the previous narratives before now on how elections might be rigged minus the foreign hacks by the Russians which was never a concern. Now, all those things are forgotten. Never happened, not a problem. All washed away in an instant with an entirely new theory out of a clear blue sky. The one single question posed by the politicians and the media might just as well be why are we not loading weapons on boats and planes, dropping them off all along Russia’s borders and reinstating the draft right now?
There is a word for this. This is Propaganda. The law is a perversion of its alleged purpose of defense of the truth by claiming it will weed out lies. It actually seeks to preserve complete control of the narrative a.k.a., propaganda by shutting out anyone else with a different opinion. They need to go after foreign sources because obviously, there is no need for worry or concern that our domestic media might actually do its job. It is clearly already deep inside the belly of the beast.
Mr. Obama has 20 days left and they cannot possibly go by fast enough as he salts the political landscape in order to tie the incoming administrations hands.
This has to be one of the scariest and damnable things Obama signed into law. Hopefully, it will shortly be rescinded but it seems even the republicans like Mitch McConnell are all on board with preserving the military industrial complex at all costs. War is their stock and trade and there are trillions of dollars at stake here. The Defense Industry needs enemies not friends.
What we are seeing is the Neo-Con Cabal wringing their hands with anxiety that the next war with Russia might be on hold and doing everything they can to make that happen. This is what Eisenhower warned us about. But it is an old problem.
Here are some quotes:
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.
Abraham Lincoln – In a letter written to William Elkin less than five months before he was assassinated.
The money power preys on the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.
A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world – no longer a Government of free opinion no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men….
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
Woodrow Wilson – In The New Freedom (1913)
The fact is that there is a serious danger of this country becoming a pluto-democracy; that is, a sham republic with the real government in the hands of a small clique of enormously wealth men, who speak through their money, and whose influence, even today, radiates to every corner of the United States.
William McAdoo – President Wilson’s national campaign vice-chairman, wrote in Crowded Years (1974)
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms
The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank…sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.
Prof. Carroll Quigley in Tragedy and Hope
In a small Swiss city sits an international organization so obscure and secretive….Control of the institution, the Bank for International Settlements, lies with some of the world’s most powerful and least visible men: the heads of 32 central banks, officials able to shift billions of dollars and alter the course of economies at the stroke of a pen.
Keith Bradsher of the New York Times, August 5, 1995
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is eager to enter into close relationship with the Bank for International Settlements….The conclusion is impossible to escape that the State and Treasury Departments are willing to pool the banking system of Europe and America, setting up a world financial power independent of and above the Government of the United States….The United States under present conditions will be transformed from the most active of manufacturing nations into a consuming and importing nation with a balance of trade against it.
Rep. Louis McFadden – Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency quoted in the New York Times (June 1930)
CitizenOne – great post!
Funny how they never mention the plans for competing pipelines, re: Syria.
Kent – re competing pipelines. I used to think that was the main reason for the war in Syria. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote an article entitled “Syria: Another Pipeline War”. I’m sure the pipeline from Qatar up through Syria is part of the reason, but another poster commented that he didn’t buy this, mainly because the pipeline could have gone up through Iraq and then across Turkey. I looked at a map and, yes, he was correct. It would cost more money, but could easily have been done. No, he contended that there was a much greater reason for the war: Israel.
I’m leaving you something to read see link below, where the author talks about an energy alliance between Turkey, Israel, and Russia is being discussed between these three countries. The U.S. is not included in these discussions.
Personally I have thought for quite awhile now that this Middle East American NATO driven war has been more about destabilizing Israel’s neighbors (Yinon Plan, Clean Break), as opposed to routing energy pipelines.
Excellent info there,Joe. Demonstrating once again that Putin is a far better, more creative, and less deluded strategic thinker than our best and brightest. I suspect that Turkey’s turn toward a Russian alliance on the energy front is sparked the CIA’s (failed) Gulenist coup attempt last summer.
And of course Israel is always Israel.
The recent bizarre assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey by the ‘security’ guy yelling ‘this is for Aleppo’ was also a tell regarding the US’s support, arming, and funding of the proxy mercenaries Daesh/Isis/al Nusra/al Quaeda.
Losing’s a bitch, especially when it requires treason and you STILL lose. The Masters of the Universe take a hit and I actually see a small glimmer of hope in that.
Yes the deception and intrigue makes one get dizzy trying to figure out who is really behind all of it. The U.S. needs a new strategy, but it fails to acknowledge it, and with that nothing will change for the good.
BWE- True enough about the alternate route, through the new and improved ‘Kurdistan’ but that would have still left the Syrian/Russian legal alliance in place as a competitor for EU business.
I also think that since Syria was ‘on the list’ from the get/go, our ‘thinkers’ in the MI$S complex Mafia weren’t creative enough to pivot and adapt. Plus, it would have still left competition noted above.
“the Ministry of Truth!” Yes indeed, Mr. Sterling, that’s what we’re seeing here. The stench of hypocrisy wafting from the East is overwhelming, isn’t it? To boot Obama signed this bit of government overreach on my birthday claiming this legislation is to protect “national security interests” and “to protect the American people from ‘foreign propaganda’ and disinformation.” Most U.S. citizens know that politicians tell whoppers on the campaign trail. Remember in 2008 when heroic Hillary told about arriving in Bosnia “under a hail of bullets”? That never happened!
No surprise she supports the bill. “Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for the bill: “It’s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy, and innocent lives.” Let’s understand what the lady means by “our democracy.” She refers to the democracy of the few, the political elites in cahoots with Wall Street who meet behind a curtain to decide U.S. policy. Anyway, as long as we look to “leaders” we’ll continue to live in a hierarchy based in money and power–and that is not a democracy! Innocent lives? No, this bill protects the guilty from public scrutiny.
O yea! the irony is palpable. One section of the bill stipulates that information “experts” appointed by the government will train prospective journalists. Gee, you mean we don’t already have that with ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC? The term “The Fourth Estate” for a free and open press dates back to Edmond Burke in 1875. Of course all along those in power have worked overtime to propagate our own citizens, but the idea of government-trained journalists is a slap in the face to “freedom of the press.” All of us who post our fact-based opinions qualify as press. From now on, however, a journalist must have a stamp of approval from the government!
On another not-so “fake news” site I found an article by a retired professor well versed in computer language. Dr. Spring challenges the Russian hacking story, but I don’t know enough to understand it all Some of you might.
Was Claim by Department of Homeland Security and FBI About Russian Hacking Fake News? by David Spring
“One section of the bill stipulates that information “experts” appointed by the government will train prospective journalists.”
Maybe Palin’s ‘FEMA Camps’ could be used for this purpose.
You can read chapter 6 of Mein Kampf to learn the power and techniques of war propaganda. I started watching the propaganda in 1989 when George Bush Sr. invaded panama to capture his buddy Noriega. There was a story about how the U.S. military had found womens panties and cocaine in Noriegas hideout. After he was captured and reporters asked for proof of this, the U.S. military said they could not find the underwear in question and the cocaine turned out to be baking soda. Of course it was all fabrication.
During the leadup to the bombing of Iraq in 1991, the story was that the Iraqi soldiers had gone in a hospital and thrown babies out of their incubators “onto the cold hard floor”. Of course, this was a total lie also. Even our president kept repeating it, so he was either stupid or lying. Guess which.
But these are the stories to incite the murderous rage of a people, and prevent people from questioning the attack. When you hear of the smear – someone hiding in a “spider-hole”, or someone caught trying to sneak away wearing women’s clothing, then you know it is part of the smear campaign and a total lie. It is just a smear, which psychologically makes you not protest the attack, because, well, it could be true, and who wants to stand up in public to protect a sex pervert or a coward.
But the real power of propaganda is in controlling the narrative. Here is the true narrative of our murderous rampage in the middle east.
The wars of the U.S. are the empires fighting over control of territory, with all of the benefits and privileges thereof – take the resources, collect taxes, and control terms of commerce and trade to benefit yourself. Big wars begin when empires fall. This also happens when an elephant falls in the jungle. The lions, hyenas, vultures, etc. all try to grab a piece. Governments do this too, as do crime syndicates and mobsters. Mobsters are always trying to muscle in on the territory of other gangs, and police know that when a powerful mobster falls, there will be wars between the gangs fighting for turf and control of territory and markets.
The U.S. began the destruction of Iraq with the murderous bombing of that country as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. This attack was planned and prepared for during the Regan military buildup of the 1980s. The U.S. knew the soviet union was going to fall, and they prepared for it. It was decided to “pivot” from the U.S. military defeat in southeast asia to begin an invasion of southwest asia. Zbigniew Brezinsky was the architect of the plan to destablize Afghanistan. The U.S. military would not have done that without a follow up plan, and it takes years to plan and prepare an armada for an invasion. In the time since, we have basically invaded and militarily conquered the middle east, africa, southwestern asia and parts of the old soviet union in eastern europe. It is a war between empires (very large business syndicates). All the day-to-day happenings are trivial irrelavancies in terms of reasons for U.S. foreign policy and military actions. Our future foreign policy to again invade asia was decided before 1980. Think of the president as the CEO, and the board of directors tells him what to do. The board of directors has not changed.
stan – very good post!
Amnesty International lent its name to the incubator baby propaganda, playing an important role in helping Bush Sr. get Senate approval for the 1991 Gulf War. Amnesty International along with Human Rights Watch also played an important role in legitimizing the 1999 Kosovo war by timely, uncritical, and grossly irresponsible parroting of claims about killings at the village of Racak.
I hate to say: ‘well said’, generally, because it implies that I am in a position to give you a grade, like a teacher would.
But here I must say “well said” to your post !
Alt-Info vs. this Letter to America.
wherefore does your sincerity
sincerity in heart is truth.
The cartoon that should result from this action would be to show Obama and every member of Congress who voted for this insanity taking a giant steaming dump on the First Amendment. We have arrived at the Fourth Reich.
Will they just block the alternative news, or criminalize those who try and post it?
I suspect “best practices” will include more than simply blocking the alternative information sites like this and Naked Capitalism and the others on the BS PROPORNOT list. Expect other schemes to be tried, each one with effectively unlimited funding.
They’re going to do what the murderous twit George “dumbya” Bush spoke of:
“See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
I and many others voted for Obama in 2008 because of our utter disgust with the Texas Torturer. The master psychologists who selected Obama knew that would happen, and his fancy talking along with his black skin caused some people I KNEW were racists to vote for him too – just to prove to themselves they weren’t. ( a task eased by the alternative of McCain and Palin)
Obama has his fingerprints all over the endless crap discussed in this splendid essay, and the sooner people recognize he is a Bush-Level President the better.
Here is a good introduction to that theme.
My main complaint about the essay at the link is that at the end of it author Eric Zuesse was still in a “defense” mode for the disaster which has been the Obama years.
Now we will really get a “taste” of fake news…
You don’t watch Democracy Now much. I’ve seen all points of view presented there. Perhaps you should examine with a more open mind.
I never supported getting involved in Syria but there was a lot of pressure to do so. It was a big mistake. The history I know says that climate change had much to do with what happened there. A severe drought made conditions untenable for the farmers and they started to revolt. Assad handled what was happening very badly. It was a terrible situation. Assad wan’t going to help them but he generally had the support of the rest of the people. Getting involved there was stupid. There was no way for intervention to be successful unless it was humanitarian like helping them to help the farmers Of course intervention is seldom humanitarian and when it is, it’s seen as weak an ineffective by the powerful forces that oppose it.
There’s a real love fest for Trump on this site and I believe you are all going to be bitterly disappointed in the end. Putin obviously has something on Trump and you should be shouting for his tax returns so we can understand that relationship. We know he’s received a lot of money from Russia.
Everyone, including you discount David Corn’s research about that relationship. No one wants to hear it.
Bill Cash- “We know he’s [Trump} received a lot of money from Russia.”
There is possibly a malicious insinuation here. Was that to support Trump’s political campaign, or was that from business deals – which Trump has in any number of countries?
Bill Cash- “Everyone, including you discount David Corn’s research about that relationship [Trump/Russia].”
Include me in your “everyone”. If you mean Corn’s article in Mother Jones, it is not “research” but forwarded innuendos.
As to whether anyone will be “bitterly disappointed” with Trump, that is beside the point – many of us are deeply concerned with other possible aspects of the coming administration. I am just glad to see Trump or any prominent US political commentator buck the knee-jerk attempt to blame Russia for our own troubles. Jerks like that can be hazardous to our health and possibly our continued existence.
You think climate change is a problem? Trump thinks it’s a hoax. Will climate change provoke many Syria’s around the world?
Is Trump building a government of, by and for the very rich?
Putin obviously has something on Trump which all of you are ignoring. Now Trump is saying he knows more about hacking than everyone else. There’s too much in that relationship to be ignored but you are ignoring it and it will come back to bite us.
Trump wants to dismantle the epa, medicare and social security. That should really help the country.
Enjoy Trump while you can. Keep protecting him.
What proof do you have that Putin has “something” on Trump? It could be that Trump sees opportunities for business with Russia if there are improved relations. Russia has a lot of natural resources waiting to be exploited. The military/security/industrial complex is at odds with that idea because they need their boogeyman.
And why does it always have to be one or the other between Hillary and the Donald? I think they both suck. My only hope is that he disrupts the power of the deep state warmongers and cleans house at the CIA. And even there, it is only a hope. I am not blindly optimistic.
I doubt there are many of us here at Consortium news that are enjoying or protecting Trump, but Hillary would have been a disaster as well. Bill Cash is blind not to see that. There was no lesser of two evils in this election, just two different evils.
Get Trump to release his tax returns. Why is he afraid to do that? There is something there h doesn’t want us to see.
We know he’s received a lot of money from Russia, That’s well documented and Putin doesn’t allow that without strings. We know he’s had dealings with both the mafia and the Russian mob.
You should be screaming for his tax returns but instead you assume his innocence.
You know nothing about me. I do believe Hillary would be better because she believes in global warming but I was a Bernie supporter.
If you know anything about Trump, you know he only acts to help himself, for his own enrichment. If you don’t know that, I can’t talk to you. You’d have to give me examples of him ever thinking outside himself. There has to be something in the Putin relationship that’s good for Trump.
Get his tax returns!!!!!
Donald Trump clean out the CIA? You are unbelievably delusional. Besides, it’s clear it’s the FBI that needs cleaning first. I cannot believe how many right-wing idiots think this guy is some kind of reformer. All he is is a shill for Ryan and McConnell. All Donald wants is some kickbacks, kudos and power simulations, and he could care less about anything else.
Heh, I’m Russian from Russia. 1. Russia is not building any ministry of truth, many western channels like France 24, BBC, EuroNews and Fox News are part of standard cable TV package here (at least in Moscow and other major cities). 2. Not sure what image you have of our president, but blackmailing leaders of other states is America’s thing, that’s not what Russians do (we send tanks, threaten or negotiate) – you should stop thinking the whole world acts the same way America does. 3. I doubt Trump got money from Russia, at least not more than Clinton got from Saudi Arabia and others, including Ukraine (the latter donated about US$30 million, the former could have donated up to US$500 million // could you name the amount given by Russia to Trump, which you speak about?). Anyway, is it really okay that future American president are for sale internationally, regardless if it’s Trump or Clinton? 4. I doubt Russians hacked you since there’s still no single proof (What CIA says and “everyone knows” is not a proof. If you like this type of justice, I suggest you abolish your whole legal system and replace it with Lynch courts). 5. Lastly, you suggest that the U.S. s almost uninvolve din Syria. Is it really so? Who are you supplying weapons to then? Turkish president (Turkey is still NATO member, ally of the U.S.) said he has proof U.S. is supporting terrorists, mainly ISIL and Al Quaida. Al Quaida were the guys who organized 9/11. I hope you’re proud to be American and of Obama and Clinton.
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Blah x3: that was beautiful. It makes me so sick to my stomach that these things can be said about my country and that I know they are true. For years I blamed the FBI. Or Nixon. Or Ronnie, or Col. North and Iran Countra, or the Rethugs. Or the CIA. Or DIck and Bush. But when Hillary tried to force herself down our throats in a kind of female felacio (sorry, don’t know how to spell that) and Thomas Frank went after Slick Willy with a cleaver and Matt Taibbi exposed Obama’s financial machinations and Little Debbie Shitz kneecapped the progressives, I finally saw what the world has been seeing for decades. I love my country, and all I was taught she stood for, and I know you love your country and her amazing history. I don’t like Trump, but if he’s the poison it takes to heal my country so we can get along with yours, here’s to poison. Dos vee donya. ( terrible speller. Sorry)
I agree with a lot of what you say about the USA and Syria. The USA decided it couldn’t do another Iraq war, and there wasn’t any public support for it anyways, so this is what we got. For the idiots on the right-wing to forget this is par for their patented stupidity.
THat said, RT, the russian tv service, cannot stop falling over itself in a Donald Trump lovefest. They act like he’s a reformer that stopped the neocons under Hillary etc etc. This is such a load of nonsense. Beyond that, RT spends exactly ZERO time investigating Russia itself. RT might as well be Pravda, the only reason it has any credibility is that the US media is so full of it as well. Just don’t tell me Russia doesn’t have a ministry of propoganda – that is laughable. Russia is essentially a giant mafia run by an ex intelligence officer turned egomaniac. You aren’t in much of a position to lecture anyone on anything, although I don’t think you are expansionist. I just think you protect your own interests, and in the Middle East, those interests aren’t any more corrupt that Western interests. In fact, the interests of Saudi Arabia in particular are so rotten, anything is better.
I do not believe the propaganda out of Washington that would have me think the Russian people are the enemy of the Americans. The US has meddled in the affairs of other countries for years creating havoc and enemies. Unfortunately, we the people have little sway over the McCains and like fools in Washington. We owe Snowden a medal for courage. Assange is the victim of phony charges probably at the US’s request. I am sickened by the moral decay that accelerated under Obama’s watch…deviancy is the new norm. Please know Washington is truly not representative of middle America. Putin made the right call in Syria, we should have helped.
Trump and climate change = Trump an ignoramus.
Hillary and Obama on climate change equaled lots of grand speech-making, no effective actions.
I don’t see a significant difference here. And at least in theory, ignorance can be corrected more easily than cynical indifference chasing the easy money..
Trump building a government of, by and for the very rich? That’s right.
Hillary and the TPP meant government would be handed to corporations.
Trump wants to dismantle the epa, medicare and social security. Probably.
Obama was itching for 8 years to strike a Grand Bargain with the Republicans to dismantle Social Security. If I was to waste time looking at Hillary and Social Security, I’d expect to find weasel lawyer talk giving her the same leeway.
Putin obviously had something on Trump. Is this in the same class of “reality” as the Russians obviously stealing the 2016 election and preparing to destroy the electrical systems in Vermont?
David Corn: I looked at his archives at Mother Jones. He was always frothing at the mouth against whoever it was who was in the lead in the Republican primary. Mention of Hillary was always a side factor except in one piece which had this title.
You Go to War With the Hillary Clinton You Have
I examined the piece, and found it summarizes as ‘the woman isn’t worth a crap, but she’s all we’ve got.’ Corn was a little more explicit about Hillary’s faults in 2008. From one of his pieces then:
I, too, have huffed about Obama’s staffing decisions. It remains a mystery to me why Obama would want to bring into his Big Tent the Clinton circus, which frequently features excessive spin, backstabbing, leaking and messy melodrama. Sen. Clinton is a smart woman who has stature and globetrotting experience. But as health-care czar in her husband’s administration, she set back that cause, which is near and dear to the hearts of progressives, by nearly two decades.
That’s right – Hillary wasn’t worth a crap back in 2008 either, only back then Corn was a bit more truthful. I’ve seen that with others – in their 2008 blog posts they were doing to Hillary what they’re doing to Trump now – making an all-out assault. How those people convinced themselves that 2008 totally evil Hillary was transformed into 2016 Saint Hillary still confounds me.
Trump, if he proves as bad on climate change as feared, can be reversed. If the harpy had gotten in, she would have said the right words on climate change, but put policies via the “trade pacts” under extra-legal corrupt corporate arbitration courts who would have been able to sideline the rule of law in this area and would have established an irreversible corporate regime on climate change. Since courts long ago ceased to hold to rule of law standards basing their decisions on extra-legal state secrets and anti-free-speech considerations, and since such extra-legal “trade pacts” have not even been questioned in US courts, the reality is that this would have meant the end of serious climate change work. This seems to me to be much more concerning than Trump’s rhetoric on climate change issues, since, whatever the talk, the factual result of the policy would have been far more odious.
Trump is just the other wing on the same vulture. The Clintonians cry copious crocodile tears over the environment but don’t do much about it.
Climate change is not science. Science uses the scientific method. Climate change uses the “consensus” that “the science is settled” of a bunch of academics who collect government grants that require them to come to the correct conclusion.
Any “study” funded by Big Government is propaganda.
Get out of here, right-winger. The only ones who are wrong are the climate-change sceptics.
“We know he’s [Clinton} received a lot of money from Russia.”
“There’s a real love fest for Trump on this site”
Me thinks you infer what we do not imply!
I watched Democracy Now for over a decade–until recently. I tried to tolerate its bias on Syria and wrote to the site several times to no avail. Coverage of Syria was consistently a fairy tale of Assad the evil Hitler versus the good rebels–essentially a Washington Post view. This program has declined. I’m sorry to say it. It is now so unreliable I can no longer watch it. I believe the writer here is accurate and fair on this evaluation.
That’s what happens when a site has “Democracy” in its name. The term no longer has any coherent meaning.
I agree, the role Democracy Now played in paving the way for the destruction of Libya and now Syria is shameful. Given how divided the left is on Syria, the least DN could and should have done is have weekly debates between top advocates of the different narratives to expose their listeners to both sides. Instead they gave constant repetition of the official propaganda line with only very rarely a little of the other side.
On U.S., Russia and Ukraine it has been more like DN has been MIA.
I think it is entirely appropriate for Rick Sterling to challenge DN in this excellent article.
There’s a real love fest for Trump on this site and I believe you are all going to be bitterly disappointed in the end.
I read Consortium News practically every day, but somehow I missed the “love fest” comments. Can you share an example or two. There were several articles clearly exposing Hillary Clinton’s defects, but it would take lots of stretching of points to interpret them as pro-Trump. I and others have made comments along the lines of “when it comes to Clinton and Trump there is no lesser evil.” I don’t recall anyone challenging comments like that.
Similarly, I and others have made the point that we might escape Hillary Clinton’s frying pan but we will land in Donald Trump’s fire. Or, another version, we might have dodged Hillary Clinton’s bullet but Donald Trump will be the price we will have to pay.
Putin obviously has something on Trump …
In this bizarre era of world politics that may or may not be true. It is, however, unlikely to be obvious either way to many visitors to this site. Can you share what causes you to believe it is obvious?
Clintons involvement with the Lolita Exrpress and revelations of her involvement with pedophilia was most influencing as to her character, and the raid on her home by the NYPD and documents of pictures of pedophilia and satanic cult rituals is true. The “fake news” that is controlled by Zionists was very invested in Clinton since she was alright with the atrocities in Gaza and the foreign aid packages to Israel, $5 billion this year but I understand was nearly double that in other programs, and $34B promised over the next ten years that would have escalated into double that if Clinton won. Doubt Trump will be so careless with our money and believe he has human values that would not support the crimes against humanity in Gaza, arresting children, etc.
Putin would be a good ally for Trump in that he has gotten his country on the gold standard. And kicked the Rothchlds out of Russia. He was to rid the world of Zionism and the Rothchilds, and oh what a wonderful world that would be. So the alliance with Putin may indeed give Trump the incentive and idea how we can stabilize our dollar since no one wants to take it and is one of our biggest problems right now.
No one here even speaks of Pizza Gate and how many in the Whitehouse are involved. Obama wrote checks totaling $63 for hot dogs parties, which is code for young boys. Geeze, we need to get all the associate to this practice and protect our children and not hush this up, but blow it up. Two NYPD officers were murdered over what they found in Clintons quarters and it was said that numerous people include Price Edward in England is being sued over his pedophilia. Are you all out of touch? Do you care about the children of the world being used by sick twisted minds. Can you open your mind to what has been done with those children, many of whom are dead. For God’s sake, get someone who is not bought by either party. Trump owes no one in either party any favors and knows how to size a person up and isn’t afraid to fire them and hopefully will see that they get prosecuted. Trey Gomey should be our next Attorney General. Trump may make some back picks but he can always find them another position where they can do no harm, or go to jail.
I read that Trumps car had a flat tire along the highway and that some Hispanics stopped and took over the changing of the tire which Trump was apparently struggling with. The refused any payment from him. The next day he paid off the mortgage of their house. So get real and stop the hyper intellectualizing.
Make that $63 K of money for Hot Dogs. Didn’t have time to edit that. But most important. Even Biden like children and saw video where he told 13 yr old during photo ops that she made him “horny”. Pedophiles in the system and is a huge problem that has to be addressed. We owe it to these children.
Strange that the article was about editing the information that will be allowed for the public to read and most of these posts do not even address that. Where will you get the truth? Only on propaganda news? That is a serious issue and in fact I learned about this article on Facebook, where there is an abundance of information that most people are not privy to. Check out the Gaza sites, and the history of Zionism, history of Russia when Zionists controlled the government, my heavens this clap trap talk is not even about the rights of people to hear the truth. They will make the decisions on what the truth is and like the Assange assignation will try to get a drone out to shut up those who are desperate to tell people the truth. We are now in a state as cold war Russia. No news. Repression. Read upon 800 concentration camps in America that are all staffed and funded by Obama, with train rails to the turnstile entrance. Cars with shackles for wrist and ankles. Who do you think will be going there? Why are they being funded now? Ever read an article about it to examine it or hear the government openly talk about them. Homeless carts sitting lined up on the sidewalk with no people around. They never leave their carts. Talk is they have been taken to those camps and can negotiate being released if they accept to be chipped. What is HAARP used for? It is being used, and can cause earthquakes, and tsunamis. Have you explored HAARP? Hear the government or news discuss why they exist, as there are more than one. Earthquakes in Oklahoma being caused they believe by fraking. Sorry, it is pouring out of me. Your high brow chats miss the reality of what is happening to our dollar and the vulnerable.
Severe drought and sanctions that go back to the Bush Administration certainly created some economic hardships. But the conflict in Syria is hardly the outgrowth of a farmers’ revolt. The people of Syria are generally educated and politically astute. Naturally occurring political activity not unlike what we sometimes see here in the States (with “movements” such as Occupy) did not have an insurrectionist flavor and few Syrian citizens had armed revolt in mind. Many were simply keen for Assad to step up the pace of the political reform he was a part of. The armed “revolt” that you somehow think Assad handled badly was managed by foreign provocateurs. Assad and the Syrian Arab Army and the Russian Air Force have been protecting the citizens of Syria from vile terrorist mercenaries.
In support of some your comments Bill Cash, see – Putin’s friendly response to the expulsion of his US diplomats – shown on the British Independent newspaper site. In it they state:
“The President-elect’s nomination of Rex Tillerson, chief of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State, will if confirmed mean that Putin has someone whom he knows well, and has personally awarded the Russian Order of Friendship, in charge of US foreign policy. As for his own business interests, he signed an agreement last summer (just one, it should be said, of several attempts to do so) to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.”
Also interesting to read is Mondoweiss: “Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu”
Happy New year everybody and lets hope we don’t get Trumped !
The web address for the first article above is :
I’m with you Bill Cash
I find this idea that better relationships between the US and Russia would be bad for Central and Western Europe very strange. Of course, there are a few neocon hawks in Europe, as well, but mostly, Europeans are very sceptical about strongly anti-Russian US policies in recent years (in many European countries US power and influence is seen as a similar or bigger threat than Russia, see http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/06/13/europeans-see-isis-climate-change-as-most-serious-threats/epw-russia-china-u-s-threats-web-version/). US pressure was needed for the EU to pass sanctions against Russia (of course, Poland and Angela Merkel were in favor, but since there is little popular support for these sanctions outside Poland and the Baltic states, that would hardly have sufficed without US pressure). In Europe, the simplified, dumbed-down presentations of conflicts like the one in Ukraine that are meant to use such complex situations for a one-sided demonization of Russia are less widely accepted. I think there are far more Europeans who saw the constant US pressure for worsening relationships with Russia as a significant threat than people who think that a rapprochement of the US and Russia would be dangerous.
Of course, there are a few very vocal European journalists who belong to “Atlantic” neocon associations who will scream when someone threatens to ease tensions with Russia, but they only represent a very small part of Europeans.
I credit Robert Kennedy Jr.’s analysis of the causes of the conflict in Syria. Very complex and a fascinating narrative, going back decades. The current war is not caused by drought. It’s about oil pipelines. See:
I agree with Bill Cash. I believe we all watch news that agrees with our preconceived prejudices. It is time that we checked out our beliefs and became more investigative of the whole picture. Facts can be checked out. Democracy Now does a great job.
Here comes the Ministry of truth.
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
Big Brother is watching us.
The information war against reputable independent investigative journalism has been in full swing for years. $160 million is just the latest shake of piddle.
In addition to the army of paid journalists in mainstream media, “pro-democracy” and “human rights” NGOs, and assorted limited hangouts we are all too familiar with, there is the new Propaganda 3.0 species of “open source intelligence” scammers, bogus “independent researchers”, and corporate-funded fake “citizen investigative journalists” like Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat, all busily churning out fake news.
Uncritical journalists have ignored the deeper layer of deception underlying the Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio.
Some “useful idiots” have gone so far as to actively promote the illusion that Bellingcat and other PropOrNot “Related Projects” are “professional” information sources.
In reality, Google-funded Bellingcat is directly allied with the Washington Post and New York Times, the two principal mainstream media organs for “regime change” propaganda, via the Google’s new Ministry of Truth: The First Draft Coalition “partner network”.
Note that it was the Washington Post that catapulted PropOrNot to prominence.
True independent investigative journalism is the declared enemy of Google’s new Minitrue.
In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Propaganda 3.0 coalition has already demonstrated its ability to “work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process” of Western propaganda narratives.
The devil’s hands are very busy.
Tom Anderson: THE DIRTY WAR ON SYRIA
(Global Research, 2016)
(Available at Amazon and probably elsewhere.)
This well documented book explores the arguments presented in
Rick Sterling’s excellent article above in detail. The book is in defense
of Syria.It includes many references (in English), most available on line.
NOTE: See requests elsewhere in the Defense Appropriation Act of 2017.
As always, an APPROPRIATION of amounts is required.
A basic issue can be raised involving any commitment of the
next President of the United States to policies of this
Administration and Congress. It is well-known that Donald
Trump has not previously shared many of the views on which this
legislation is based.
Senator John McCain, primary sponsor, D-Ariz, does share
these views. It needs reminding that that being said, much
of this GOP interest was under the assumption that
Hillary Clinton’s election was a foregone conclusion.
Though Senator McCain is the sole sponsor of the entire
bill in his role as Chairman of the Armed Services
Committee of the Senate, many Democrats joined in the
many amendments. were co-sponsored by Democratic
Regarding Syria, many of the issues are dealt with
in Tom Anderson’s book noted above.
—-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
and Dopey Donald will do NOTHING to change ANY OF THIS…..so yeah, got rid of Hillary, and replaced her
with something EVEN WORSE. Remember, good old Republicans are the ones who started all this deep state
garbage under Nixon and Reagan and Bush and Cheney. You clowns seem to have forgotten that.
That some of us disagree with the “even worse” part, as has been explained in detail, seems to be something you just don’t seem to understand.
a lot of Soros schills on this thread :)
What does that mean?
You right-winges are like dopey parrots, “squawk Soros, Squawk”, “Squawk Obamas’ a socialist, squawk”
That you think this site represents the “right wing” is fascinatingly clueless and bizarre.
That is it exactly. The yankee regime has gone over into fascist control of the narrative. Erstwhile “leftists” like Amy Goodman have jumped the shark and joined the imperialist propaganda push. Even the ACLU is sponsoring islamofascists like Khisr Khan, who is an apologist for el qaeda spouting that the Iraq war, a war crime by any objective definition, was ‘in defense of constitutional values. Since courts no longer hold the regime accountable, the fact this is blatantly unconstitutional and contrary to the rule of law does not seem to mean much. Hopefully, the new administration, despite the reputation of its leadership, will be less autocratic in practice. As far as I’m concerned, they all have jumped the shark and the last shreds of legitimacy have disappeared. The entire existing regime and its acolytes are war criminals and traitors to the rule of law.