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Professional Scam Artists – part 47

“UK Media, MPs Unveil Latest Assange Deception” by Jonathan Cook (Dissident Voice)

An excerpt from the above linked-article follows:

n my last blog post, I warned that the media and political class would continue with their long-running deceptions about Julian Assange now that he has been dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy. They have wasted no time in proving me right.

The first thrust in their campaign of deceit was set out on the Guardian’s front page today.

There should have been wall-to-wall outrage from public figures in the UK at the United States creating a new crime of “doing journalism” and a new means of arrest for those committing this “crime” overseas, what I have termed “media rendition”…

Now we can see how the media is going to collude in a narrative crafted by the political class to legitimise what the Trump administration is doing.

Rather than focus on the gross violation of Assange’s fundamental human rights, the wider assault on press freedoms and the attack on Americans’ First Amendment Rights, UK politicians are “debating” whether the US extradition claim on Assange should take priority over earlier Swedish extradition proceedings for a sexual assault investigation that were publicly dropped back in 2017.

In other words, the public conversation in the UK, sympathetically reported by the Guardian, supposedly Britain’s only major liberal news outlet, is going to be about who has first dibs on Assange.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“A Reckoning for Al Sharpton and the Black Misleadership Class” by Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

With support for “socialism” rising, the political fate of Al Sharpton and the rest of the Democratic party’s Black corporate minions is in doubt — and they know it…

Big Capital’s darker denizens made their voices heard at Al Sharpton’s annual National Action Network showcase, last week, blasting “democratic” socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her role in chasing Amazon away from New York City. “The people campaigning against the Amazon campus are financially illiterate,” said Tracy Maitland, CEO of Advent Capital Management, which handles $9 billion in other people’s money. Maitland claimed that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s offer to set up a corporate headquarters in Queens in return for $3 billion in tax breaks and other subsidies was a good trade for 25,000 new jobs, and that activists misinformed the public. “This was a disgrace,” exclaimed the irate Black money manipulator. “I partially blame AOC for the loss of Amazon. She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. That’s scary. We have to make sure she’s better educated or vote her out of office.”

Joining the chorus of capitalist indignation was Bill Thompson, a perennial Black mouthpiece for Wall Street and current chairman of the City University system.

That is what I call the rightwing ratchet. Alexandria is, as far as I’m concerned, rightwing. Anyone who praises warmongering, white supremacist, fascist John McCain is rightwing; not Conservative, but rightwing. What rightists do is pick the least rightwing member of their class – and those targets may or may not understand what is happening and may or may not take it personally – and then lambast them publicly for being ‘socialist’. That has the effect of squeezing socialist thinking out of observers (and targets). When that target moves on (happily or otherwise), the fascists move on to the next least rightwing member of their rightwing camp and repeat the ratchet.

“Sky’s Adam Boulton finally called out a notorious wolf in sheep’s clothing. And it was amazing.” by James Wright (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Sky‘s Adam Boulton finally called out the notorious Taxpayers’ Alliance on 9 April for hiding its funding. And, because mainstream broadcasters have long featured representatives from the secretive thinktank without question, it was amazing to see.

Boulton was speaking with Taxpayers’ Alliance campaign manager Chloe Westley, who previously worked as a communications officer for a Conservative minister…

Following online pressure, Boulton asked Westley who funds the organisation. And she replied:

We have thousands of individual donors who like what we do and who support us.

So Boulton changed the question:

What percentage of the funds do individual donors make up?”

To which Westley said:

I’m not going to give you a list of names and addresses so they can be doxxed online.

But Boulton pressed on:

Where is the bulk of the money coming from? It’s not individual donors is it?”

And Westley again failed to respond.

“Julian Assange Arrested – Murdering Human Rights, Freedom of Speech – Murdering Freedom” by Peter Koenig (Information Clearinghouse)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

April 16, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – Indignation has no limits! Arresting Julian Assange is murdering the truth, murdering human rights – and eliminating freedom of speech, let alone freedom of the media, although the latter has been compromised and became a farce since quite a while. What happened on 11 April and in preparation of 11 April – the storming by UK police of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London – to drag Julian Assange from his “room”, rather a cell – within the Embassy – was the pinnacle of abuse and of atrocity on humanity. Julian Assange has been basically for almost 7 years under house arrest in the Ecuadorian Embassy, especially during the last two years, after Lenin Moreno, the new right-wing, Washington shoe-in, became Ecuador’s new President, another Latin American neoliberal leader.

Lenin Moreno in 2012

“How Ecuador’s President Gave Up Assange” by Denis Rogatyuk (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Since at least December 2018, Moreno has been working towards expelling the Wikileaks publisher from the embassy. The Ecuadorian president’s behavior represents a stunning reversal of the policies of his predecessor, Rafael Correa, the defiantly progressive leader who authorized Assange’s asylum back in 2012, and who now lives in exile.

While Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Jose Valencia blamed his government’s expulsion of Assange on the Australian journalist’s “rudeness,” the sellout is clearly a byproduct of Moreno’s right-leaning agenda.

Political instability has swept across Ecuador since revelations of widespread corruption in Moreno’s inner circle emerged. The scandal coincided with Moreno’s turn towards neoliberal economic reforms, from implementing a massive IMF loan package to the gradual and total embrace and support for U.S. foreign policy in the region. In his bid to satisfy Washington and deflect from his own problems, Moreno was all too eager to sacrifice Assange…

WikiLeaks’s decision to re-publish the details of Moreno’s use of off-shore bank accounts in Panama, titled “INA Papers” after the name of the shell corporation at the center of the scandal (INA Investment Corporation) appear to be the main cause for the president’s decision to expel Assange from the embassy…

The INA Papers scandal has cast a long shadow on Moreno’s regime and shattered its pledge to fight against institutional corruption. The scandal reveals that a close associate of Moreno, Xavier Macias, lobbied for the contract of the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric power plant (valued at $2.8 billion) as well as the ZAMORA 3000 MW plant to be awarded Sinohydro, a Chinese state-owned construction company.

The financial trail from the Chinese corporation passed through bank accounts in Panama belonging to INA Investment Corporation — a shell company originally founded in Belize, a notable tax haven, by Edwin Moreno Garcés, the brother of the current president. The most crucial pieces of evidence indicate that the INA Investment funds were used to purchase a large apartment in Alicante, Spain, and a number of luxury items for Moreno and his family in Geneva, during his time as a special envoy on disability rights for the United Nations.

Thanathorn Jungrungreangkit

“West Finds New Anti-China Puppet in Wake of Thai Elections” by Tony Cartalucci (New Eastern Outlook)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Western political meddling abroad faced another serious setback – this time in the Southeast Asian country of Thailand.

With a population of 70 million people, the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia, and transforming into a key regional partner for Beijing and its One Belt, One Road initiative, the US and its partners sought to propel opposition parties into power during recent elections held in March.

However, the military-linked Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) won the popular vote, delivering US-backed opposition parties their first serious defeat at the polls since rising to power in 2001.

The US-backed Thai opposition is led by fugitive billionaire, ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted from power in 2006 after a series of corruption scandals, human rights abuses, and attempts to illegally consolidate power…

While Pheu Thai and other parties are openly run by Shinawatra as proxies, the latter – Future Forward – has attempted to claim it is not a nominee party.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The party – headed by billionaire Thanathorn Jungrungreangkit (normally referred to as Thanathorn) – not only promotes an identical agenda of removing Thailand’s military from politics – thus paving Shinawatra’s return to power – it literally established its party headquarters next door to Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party. It includes various pro-Shinawatra politicians in its party, and was promoted by Shinawatra’s Thai Raska Chart (TRC) party as a nominee after TRC’s disbanding ahead of elections.

I have no use for militaries. However, a military that hasn’t been corrpupted by foreign powers – the standard method of regime change by the United States involves corrupting and then enlisting the target nation’s police and military, which any country whose ruling class is loyal to its own citizenry (as in ‘all’ of the citizenry), would take steps to prevent – is obviously to be preferred over a military that’s loyal to foreign imperial powers.

“Speak up for Grassy Narrows” by Mark Calzavara (The Council of Canadians)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Last week, I gave $125 to the Liberal Party of Canada. That was the price of joining their exclusive “Laurier Club,” which gave me access to a swanky high-end donor event featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a luxurious Toronto hotel.

Dressed in my Sunday best and accompanied by Lana, a fellow Grassy Narrows supporter, I ate canapés amongst a few hundred Liberal donors, and waited for the Prime Minister. When he appeared, I started broadcasting live video to the Council of Canadians’ Facebook page from my smartphone as Lana slipped under the velvet ropes in front of the stage. She unfurled a banner and reminded him that people were suffering from mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows…

I was surprised by the Prime Minister’s reaction. We expected, and we were prepared, for him to engage us as he has engaged other protesters in so many similar circumstances. His dismissive and sarcastic response “Thank you for your donation” made headlines internationally.

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Lawlessness / Ruined – part 43

“US Military Attack on Venezuela Mulled by Top Trump Advisors and Latin American Officials at Private DC Meeting” by Max Blumenthal (The Grayzone)

An excerpt from the above linked-article follows:

The Washington, DC-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a private roundtable on April 10 called “Assessing the Use of Military Force in Venezuela.” A list of attendees was provided to The Grayzone and two participants confirmed the meeting took place. They refused to offer any further detail, however.

Among the roughly 40 figures invited to the off-the-record event to discuss potential US military action against Caracas were some of the most influential advisors on President Donald Trump’s Venezuela policy…

Senior officials from the Colombian and Brazilian embassies like Colombian General Juan Pablo Amaya, as well as top DC representatives from Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido’s shadow government, also participated in the meeting.

On January 23, following backroom maneuvers, the United States openly initiated a coup attempt against Venezuela’s elected government by recognizing National Assembly president Juan Guaido as the country’s “interim president.”

Since then, Venezuela has endured a series of provocations and the steady escalation of punishing economic sanctions. President Nicolas Maduro has accused the US of attacks on the Simon Bolivar hydroelectric plant at the Guri dam, which have led to country-wide blackouts openly celebrated by top Trump officials…

The CSIS meeting on “Assessing the Use of Military Force in Venezuela” suggests that the Trump administration is exploring military options more seriously than before, possibly out of frustration with the fact that every other weapon in its arsenal has failed to bring down Maduro.

On April 10, I obtained a check-in list containing the names of those invited to the meeting. It was apparently incorrectly dated as April 20, but had taken place earlier that day, at 3 PM.

I confirmed that the meeting had taken place with Sarah Baumunk, a research associate at CSIS’s Americas Program who was listed as a participant.

“We talked about military… uh… military options in Venezuela. That was earlier this week though,” Baumunk told me, when The Grayzone asked her about the meeting that was wrongly listed for April 20.

When The Grayzone asked if the event took place on April 10, Baumunk appeared to grow nervous. “I’m sorry, why are you asking these questions? Can I help you?” she replied…

The CSIS check-in list not only confirms that the Trump administration and its outside advisors are mulling options for a military assault on Venezuela; it also outlines the cast of characters involved in crafting the regime change operation against the country.

Few of these figures are well known by the public, yet many have played an influential role in US plans to destabilize Venezuela.

“VIDEO: How the Pentagon and CIA Push Venezuela Regime-Change Propaganda in Video Games” by Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton (The Grayzone)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

We often think of video games as fiction, but the US government has weaponized them to advance its agenda around the globe.

Nowhere is this more clear than in Venezuela, where the US military has laundered regime change propaganda through some of the world’s most popular first-person shooter games…

Venezuelan citizen journalists Orlenys Ortiz and Sancocho Power have drawn attention to the similarity between the plot of a 2013 first person shooter game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and alleged acts of US sabotage against the country this March.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is set in a dystopian future after the Middle East is nuked. A Venezuelan general comes into power, establishing a socialist style federation that spreads across Latin America like a disease, uniting all oil producing nations and expelling US citizens.

You as the player are part of an elite force of US commandos that invades the country, murders the socialist leader, and destroys his federation.

The US Special Operations forces open their assault by launching a rocket at a dam that looks strikingly similar to Venezuela’s Guri dam, an act of deliberate terror that floods the streets of Caracas.

The city is recreated in vivid detail, down to the Chavista graffiti that colors city walls.

The mission ends with the execution-style killing of Venezuela’s leader, who is shot in the back in slow motion by America’s finest. In case you weren’t sure about his commitment to socialism, he’s wearing a red beret – just like Hugo Chavez.

During a follow-up mission, the player returns to Caracas, breaks into a power plant, and inserts a computer virus into the electricity grid, plunging the city into darkness…

Call of Duty: Ghosts is not the only game that gives gamers the opportunity to simulate the destruction of Venezuela.

In a more crudely designed 2008 first person shooter, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, a populist billionaire named Ramon Solano takes over Venezuela in a coup and pledges to restore the country’s oil profits to its people.

Gamers get to play the part of Mattias Nilson, a Swedish sociopath who’s willing to kill anyone if the price is right. Under contract from a multi-national oil company, Nilson tears Venezuela apart and ultimately winds up blowing Solano’s brains out inside his palace – which looks suspiciously like the 4F compound where Hugo Chavez worked when he was president.

Like so many first person shooting games, The Call of Duty and Mercenaries 2 were developed with substantial input from America’s military-intelligence apparatus.

“New York Times laments stalled Venezuelan coup” by Bill Van Auken (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It is now over two-and-a-half months since Juan Guaidó, a barely known figure in the right-wing, US-funded Voluntad Popular party, proclaimed himself the “interim president” of Venezuela and was immediately recognized by Washington as the “legitimate” head of the country’s government.

A month later, Washington, working with the right-wing government of Colombia and the US-backed right-wing Venezuelan opposition, attempted to stage a cynical provocation, sending trucks, supposedly loaded with US-supplied aid, in an attempt to crash the Venezuelan-Colombian border. Guaidó and his backers had cast the stunt as the end of the government of President Nicolas Maduro, predicting that Venezuelan security forces would disintegrate in the face of a handful of rations offered by the USAID.

Nothing of the kind transpired, and in the intervening weeks the ability of Guaidó and his US handlers to mount anti-regime demonstrations has visibly waned, while there has been no discernable crack in the country’s armed forces.

The New York Times, which has served as a propaganda mouthpiece for the US-orchestrated regime change operation from its outset, published a perplexed editorial Thursday titled “As the crisis in Venezuela grows, the options narrow.” The newspaper’s editorial board offered a lament over the failure of the CIA and its Venezuelan assets to swiftly topple the Venezuelan government.

“Libya on the brink of all-out civil war” by Bill Van Auken (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

As troops and tanks of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) of “Field Marshal” Khalifa Haftar advance on the capital of Tripoli, the internal conflicts that have been ripping the North African country apart are dramatically intensifying…

Casualties in the latest fighting reportedly include nearly 50 dead and over 80 wounded, while thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes. If Haftar’s forces enter the city, there is danger of a bloodbath and massive destruction, as disparate militia groups have vowed to resist Tripoli’s takeover.

Humanitarian aid groups have warned of the threat to civilian lives and called particular attention to the fate of thousands of refugees being held against their will under appalling conditions in detention camps run by the militias that back Sarraj’s regime. The Libyan Coast Guard is lavishly funded and advised by the European imperialist powers, who utilize it in their efforts to halt the flow of refugees to Europe. It turns migrants over to the militias, which subject them to torture, rape, abuse and summary execution, while attempting to extract ransoms from their relatives.

Haftar has enjoyed open support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, while France has provided covert backing, including military advisers. Italy and Qatar have backed the Tripoli-based regime.

While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement declaring that “we oppose the military offensive of Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital,” Washington has established the closest alliance with the general’s principal backers in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The latter’s dictator, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is to receive a red-carpet welcome at the White House today.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council, following a closed-door meeting, issued a statement to the press calling for Haftar’s LNA to “halt its military activity” near Tripoli. When Britain proposed a formal resolution along these lines, however, Russia opposed it, no doubt fearing that it could become the pretext for a fresh Western intervention in Libya.

The British draft included a passage calling “for those who undermine Libya’s peace and security to be held to account.”

What hypocrisy! There was no such call when the UK joined with France and the United States to overthrow the country’s government and inflict death upon its population and destruction upon its infrastructure. No one, from Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron on down, was ever held accountable for a criminal war of aggression that turned the country into a living hell.

“The dictatorial impulse behind Trump’s political purge” by Patrick Martin (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The series of firings of top US security officials over the past few days has brought to the surface a profound crisis within the Trump administration and the national-security state as a whole.

On Friday, Trump withdrew the nomination of Ronald Vitiello, acting head of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, to become the permanent director, telling reporters, “We want to go in a tougher direction.” On Sunday, he fired Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, reportedly because she objected to resuming the policy of forcible separation of parents and children for refugees seeking asylum. On Monday, he fired Randolph Alles, the director of the Secret Service, which supplies the president’s personal bodyguard. Like ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Secret Service is a unit of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the second largest US government department, created as an all-encompassing domestic police agency in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Trump’s principal adviser on immigration issues, the fascistic Stephen Miller, was reportedly the driving force in the purge of DHS officials. Miller previously spearheaded the “Muslim ban” against visitors and refugees from mainly Muslim countries and has developed close relations with the most vicious right-wing elements in American political life. The firing of Nielsen came after demands for such action were voiced by the fascist Daily Stormer publication, by Breitbart News, and by leaders of the Border Patrol union.

“WikiLeaks exposes spying operation against Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy” by Oscar Grenfell (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

At a press conference in London yesterday, WikiLeaks detailed a vast and illegal surveillance operation against its founder, Julian Assange, inside Ecuador’s British embassy, where he was granted asylum in 2012.

The material presented by the publisher’s editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, demonstrated that every aspect of the WikiLeaks founder’s life over more than a year, including medical consultations and private legal meetings, had been spied upon by Ecuadorian officials inside the embassy…

Opening the press conference, Hrafnsson said that the surveillance “entails a total violation” of Assange’s privacy. It covered “everything on the life of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy,” and demonstrated that since Moreno came to power in 2017, the WikiLeaks founder had been living in a “Truman Show like situation.”

He explained that WikiLeaks became aware of the extent of the spying “several weeks ago,” when it learnt that a group of individuals in Spain was “passing around” material gathered within the embassy. Hrafnsson corresponded with the group and met with them in Spain “around 10 days ago.”

The individuals, who allegedly include a Spanish national previously implicated in extortion, demanded that WikiLeaks provide three million euros for hundreds of thousands of documents, audio recordings, videos and photos taken in the embassy. They showed Hrafnsson samples of the material, which he recorded with a hidden camera and showed at the press conference.

The group is being pursued by an investigative magistrate in Madrid, after WikiLeaks assisted Spanish police carry out a sting operation. It is not known how they came into possession of the material.

From Mint Press:
Julian Assange gives the thumbs up as he is whisked away in a police van en route to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Henry Nicholls | Reuters

“Assange Arrest: The Turning Point is Here — Don’t Let Them Win” by Whitney Webb (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

LONDON (Opinion) — This morning, the London-based branch of Empire made good on its threat and boldly moved to begin dismantling the vestiges of democracy and press freedom that still remain, vestiges that have allowed people throughout the Western world to pretend that their government and politicians still respect their rights and the rule of law.

Julian Assange, the man who has helped expose a litany of crimes and the in-your-face corruption of the world’s most powerful people and governments, was pulled from the embassy of the country where he not only holds citizenship but had been granted asylum. The dangerous precedents Assange’s arrest has set — not just for journalism, but also for national sovereignty and international law — are staggering.

With Assange now in U.K. custody, his fate will mirror our own, as Assange’s fate and that of journalists around the world, as well as the public itself, are increasingly intertwined. After all, those who are after Assange and seek to rob him of his freedom — the U.S. Empire, the “deep state,” the shadow government, the global elite, etc. — are after our freedom as well.

If we remain silent as they jail, extradite, torture or even kill this man, we may expect a similar fate for ourselves. It will not come tomorrow. It will not come next week. It could be years away. But make no mistake, the global empire, whose core is the U.S. government, will now be empowered to charge and imprison anyone it deems a threat to its operations.

Those operations, including those that Assange helped to expose, often involve the mass murder of innocent civilians — untold numbers of children among them — in order to loot the resources of other sovereign nations. They also often involve the installation of puppet governments by either covert (e.g., election “meddling”) or overt (e.g., regime-change wars) means.

Those responsible for the most egregious violations of international law, for war crimes, for the slaughter of innocent life, are not imprisoned, degraded or tortured — they are rewarded and promoted.

“Requiem for the Fourth Estate” by Ray McGovern (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

With the Fourth Estate now on life support, there is a high premium on the fledgling Fifth Estate, which uses the ether and is not susceptible of government or corporation control. Small wonder that governments with lots to hide feel very threatened.

It has been said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” WikiLeaks is helping make that possible by publishing documents that do not lie.

Last spring, when we chose WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for this award, Julian said he would accept only “on behalf or our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.”

We do not know if Pvt. Bradley Manning gave WikiLeaks the gun-barrel video of July 12, 2007 called “Collateral Murder.” Whoever did provide that graphic footage, showing the brutality of the celebrated “surge” in Iraq, was certainly far more a patriot than the “mainstream” journalist embedded in that same Army unit. He suppressed what happened in Baghdad that day, dismissed it as simply “one bad day in a surge that was filled with such days,” and then had the temerity to lavish praise on the unit in a book he called “The Good Soldiers.”

Julian is right to emphasize that the world is deeply indebted to patriotic truth-tellers like the sources who provided the gun-barrel footage and the many documents on Afghanistan and Iraq to WikiLeaks. We hope to have a chance to honor them in person in the future.

“Julian Assange’s Nightmarish Future” by Elizabeth Vos (Consortium News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

While Julian Assange waits for what comes next — sentencing on skipping bail in England and a U.S. extradition request — he is being held in a maximum-security prison in London that has been called the “UK’s Guantanamo Bay” and has been used to detain alleged terrorists, sometimes indefinitely.

The reputation of HM Prison Belmarsh raises natural concerns about the wellbeing of the WikiLeaks publisher there.

“While many prisoners at Belmarsh say it’s difficult to see a doctor or a nurse, these services are available at the facility,” reports Bloomberg News, regarding the possibility of Assange receiving overdue medical attention.

Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh had been used to detain high-profile national security prisoners indefinitely without charge under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001, passed six weeks after 9/11, until the House of Lords ruled it violated the British Human Rights Act.

Assange was found guilty on Thursday of skipping bail. On May 2 he is scheduled to participate in a court hearing via video link on the U.S. extradition request.

Assange’s name now tops the alphabetical roster of notables who have done time at Belmarsh or who are still there. The list includes notorious gangsters, serial killers and drug traffickers. Ronnie Biggs of the 1963 Great Train Robbery was imprisoned there. Others are subjects of high-profile scandal, such as Richard Tomlinson, imprisoned for six months in 1997 after he gave a synopsis of a proposed book detailing his career with MI6 to an Australian publisher. Andy Coulson, a former press secretary to Prime Minister David Cameron, was imprisoned for a few months for the phone hacking scandal that engulfed News of the World while he was editor there…

There is legitimate concern about how Assange will fare inside Belmarsh. A 2018 survey by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons found that “91 percent of men said they had problems when they arrived at Belmarsh, which was higher than at other local prisons and more than at our last inspection,” Business Insider reported.

In 2009, the same prison authority had found “extremely high” amount of force used to control inmates at the prison.

Detainees were “unable to see the intelligence evidence against them and are confined to their cells for up to 22 hours a day. Their solicitors say they have been ‘entombed in concrete,’ BBC reported in 2004.

related: “Assange’s Arrest Affirms US/UK Speech, Media, and Academic Freedoms Are Null and Void” by Stephen Lendman (StephenLendman)


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Professional Scam Artists – part 46

Craig Murray

“Chelsea and Julian are in Jail. History Trembles.” by Craig Murray (Craig Murray)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Tonight both Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are in jail, both over offences related to the publication of materials specifying US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and both charged with nothing else at all. No matter what bullshit political and MSM liars try to feed you, that is the simple truth. Manning and Assange are true heroes of our time, and are suffering for it…

District Judge Michael Snow is a disgrace to the bench who deserves to be infamous well beyond his death. He displayed the most plain and open prejudice against Assange in the 15 minutes it took for him to hear the case and declare Assange guilty, in a fashion which makes the dictators’ courts I had witnessed, in Babangida’s Nigeria or Karimov’s Uzbekistan, look fair and reasonable, in comparison to the gross charade of justice conducted by Michael Snow.

One key fact gave away Snow’s enormous prejudice. Julian Assange said nothing during the whole brief proceedings, other than to say “Not guilty” twice, and to ask a one sentence question about why the charges were changed midway through this sham “trial”. Yet Judge Michael Snow condemned Assange as “narcissistic”. There was nothing that happened in Snow’s brief court hearing that could conceivably have given rise to that opinion. It was plainly something he brought with him into the courtroom, and had read or heard in the mainstream media or picked up in his club. It was in short the very definition of prejudice, and “Judge” Michael Snow and his summary judgement is a total disgrace.

I have real issues with someone who wants us to believe that George Soros is a nice guy, but other than that I usually agree with Craig Murray’s take on events. I certainly find him informative.

Former Ambassador John Bolton waits backstage before speaking at the Conservative Principles Conference hosted by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, Saturday, March 26, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

“John Bolton Took Money From Banks Tied To Cartels, Terrorists, Iran” by William Craddick (Disobedient Media)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On June 12, 2018 The Washington Post ran an overlooked story where they disclosed that National Security Advisor John Bolton had accepted money from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to return for his participation in speeches and panel discussions. These three entities have been linked to various kinds of corruption including sanctions evasion for Iran, money laundering on behalf of drug cartels, provision of banking services to backers of Islamic terror organizations and controversial donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The financial ties between Bolton and these institutions highlight serious ethical concerns about his suitability for the position of National Security Advisor.

Barack Obama

“Trying To Change The System From Within Is Like Trying To Dry Your Hair With Rain” by Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

At a recent appearance at an Obama Foundation Town Hall in Berlin, former US president Barack Obama expressed concerns that American progressives are too fixated on purity and too unwilling to work within the existing system to solve problems.

“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States – maybe it’s true here as well – is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be,’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad,’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues. And when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens,” Obama said.

Yes, the warmongering oligarch crony is deeply worried that people who aren’t warmongering oligarch cronies are too mean to warmongering oligarch cronies. As the Democratic Party presidential primary heats up we are hearing more and more people voicing deep, solemn concerns that the party’s progressive base doesn’t always obey the dictates of its leadership, and is in fact sometimes quite rude about it. Even Bernie Sanders has issued a stern, much-publicized warning to his followers that he condemns “bullying and harassment of any kind and in any space” toward supporters of his right-wing opponents.

Eduardo Elsztain, president of Grupo IRSA and Banco Hipotecario. Santiago Filipuzzi | La Nacion

““The Owner”: The Rise of Eduardo Elsztain and the Coming End of Argentina’s Democracy” by Whitney Webb (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – It seemed like a longshot, but anything was possible in the mind of an ambitious, 30-year-old Eduardo Elsztain. Elsztain, then living in New York, had landed a meeting with the wealthy Hungarian-American financier George Soros, a meeting that the bulk of media reports covering Elsztain’s rise to prominence claim was arranged purely by chance. Though Elsztain was inexperienced and unknown at the time, Soros saw something he liked in the ambitious Argentine, so much so that he gave him $10 million without a second thought.

According to Elsztain’s recollection, “We talked for an hour or so, and then he asked how much money I thought I could handle. I told him I could manage $10 million.” Soros, as Elsztain remembers it, simply said “Okay, no problem.” Soros later explained his seemingly impulsive investment by saying that Elsztain “knew when to sell and when to buy.”

Soros’ investment not only changed Elsztain’s fate, but Argentina’s. With that $10 million in newly secured funding, Elsztain and his close associate Marcelo Mindlin transformed Elsztain’s grandfather’s company Inversiones y Representaciones S.A. (“Investments and Brokerage, Inc.”, better known by its Spanish acronym IRSA) into Argentina’s largest business empire. Indeed, through IRSA, Elsztain has become not only the country’s largest landowner and real estate developer, but also the dominant force in the country’s massive beef and agriculture industry, its gold mining industry, and its banking system. As a result, he has been dubbed by the Argentine press as simply “The Landowner.”

In recent years, Elsztain’s business empire has extended far beyond South America and into Israel, where he owns the majority stake in one of Israel’s largest conglomerates, IDB, as well as important stakes in several other notable Israeli companies. Israeli media frequently refers to Elsztain as “South America’s richest Jew.” These business interests have made him one of the most powerful oligarchs in both Argentina and the Zionist state.

Yet — mu[c]h like British billionaire Joe Lewis, whose activities in Argentina are described in detail in Part I of this series — a litany of crimes, schemes and conspiracies lie beneath Elsztain’s sprawling business empire and his carefully crafted image of a “self-made man” devoted to Jewish charity and religious causes…

In summary, through political connections, corruption and white-collar crime, this network of billionaires — the most visible of whom is Eduardo Elsztain — has essentially taken control of not only the bulk of Argentina’s resources — its electricity, its land, its agriculture, its water, its financial system — but also its voting system.

“What’s Behind Jeremy Hunt’s Choice of Amal Clooney as UK ‘Media Freedom’ Ambassador?” by Nina Cross (21st Century Wire)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

As Julian Assange faces likely imminent expulsion from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the appointment of Amal Clooney as the country’s new ‘Media Freedom Ambassador’. The timing cannot be ignored. Within hours of the WikiLeaks warning over Twitter of Assange’s likely expulsion and possible subsequent arrest, the British government, with the support of the corporate media, is attempting to dazzle the public with a star-studded campaign celebrating ‘freedom of the press.’

The coinciding of the two events may or may not be a twist of fate, but by occurring at the same time they reveal a degree of fakeness in Hunt’s concern for media freedom. Amid a media symphony, he announced an attention-grabbing campaign, while staying completely silent on his government’s treatment of WikiLeaks founder Assange which is by now widely recognised as a direct attack on press freedom…

The face fronting Hunt’s campaign is none other than celebrity lawyer and transatlantic socialite, Amal Clooney.

Certainly, Clooney is a useful face to front this UK government public relations initiative, given her background as a human rights lawyer, and married to Hollywood actor George Clooney, and no doubt she is likely to know a bit about PR from her husband’s promotion of the White Helmets. Although described by the US and UK governments as heroes pulling civilians from buildings bombed by the Syrian government and its allies, the White Helmets have been exposed as a propaganda vehicle for violent Islamist extremists, sponsored by NATO and Gulf States, to violently overthrow the Syrian government in a regime change operation. Having Amal Clooney front a campaign to inspire a media that ‘provides one of the strongest defences against corruption and arbitrary state power’ is laced with irony as she is linked to one of the biggest wartime deceptions in modern history: the White Helmets.

From FAIR:
New York Times depiction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surveying the Golan Heights with US Sen. Lindsey Graham (second from left) and Ambassador David Friedman (right). (Photo: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters.)

“Highlighting Israel’s Claims of Conquest, NYT Creates Confusion on Status of Occupied Territory” by Joshua Cho (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

When the New York Times (3/26/19) reported on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fait accompli pronouncement that nation-states can now seize territories acquired in defensive wars—after President Donald Trump announced via tweet that the United States asserts Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights—it seriously misled readers on the status of Israel’s illegal settlements on the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

While the Washington Post’s report (3/26/19) on Netanyahu’s pronouncement made it clear that UN Security Council Resolution 497 in 1981 condemned Israel’s formal takeover of the Golan Heights as “null and void and without international legal effect,” the Times report, by David Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner, obscures the illegality of Israeli settlements by attempting to make “practical and legal distinctions” between the settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

Chelsea Manning

“Amnesty International still doesn’t recognise Chelsea Manning as a Prisoner of Conscience” by Joe Emersberger (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Canary asked AI if it would now designate Manning as a POC. It replied on 3 April:

The excessive sentencing and cruel treatment of Chelsea Manning served as a stark reminder of the lengths that those in power will go to in order to keep others from speaking out. She must not be subjected to any further vindictive treatment by being detained any longer than is necessary, being held in solitary confinement or denied the support and treatment she needs.

The Canary asked what AI means by saying that Manning should not be held “any longer than is necessary” but has not yet received a reply. Regardless, it’s clear that AI still refuses to declare Manning a POC and is only concerned that she may be detained in an “excessive” or “cruel” manner.

Filmmaker and journalist John Pilger said AI’s reply to The Canary was “shocking”. Pilger noted:

Amnesty doesn’t disapprove of her being imprisoned. That makes a mockery of what Amnesty says it stands for.

Manning not POC material but Lopez is?

While Amnesty still refuses to declare Manning a POC, it has declared Venezuelan politician Leopoldo Lopez one. In April of 2002, Lopez participated in a military coup that led to the short-lived dictatorship of Pedro Carmona – “President Carmona” as Lopez called him before the coup ended.

It seems AI’s double standards clearly align with US foreign policy.

Oyub Titiyev

“Western “Rights Advocates” Rush to Chechen “Activist’s” Aid” by Ulson Gunnar (New Eastern Outlook)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director Kenneth Roth recently decried legal proceedings against the alleged “leading human rights defender in Chechnya,” Oyub Titiyev.

But as with much of what HRW decries, Titiyev has less to do with actually defending human rights, and more to do with ongoing US-subversion in Russia’s southern Chechen Republic.

Roth, in a social media post, would claim:

The Russian government’s “case” against the leading human rights defender in Chechnya, Oyub Titiyev, is farcical–as many holes as Swiss cheese–but authorities have still locked him up for 14 months and are threatening a four-year sentence.

The article Roth’s post would include, leads to an opinion piece in The Moscow Times (written by fellow HRW regional director, Rachel Denber) who insists Titiyev is innocent of drug charges based entirely on Titiyev and his lawyer’s own claims.

Whether Titiyev is guilty or not is for Russia’s courts to decide. However, the entire process of mobilizing supposed human rights advocacy organizations like HRW to rush to Titiyev’s aid illustrates how “rights advocacy” is transparently used to advance politically-motivated agendas, not to actually advance human rights…

Russia’s Chechen Republic had previously seen two wars as armed separatists attempted to carve out an independent region from Russian territory. From 1994-1996 and again from 1999-2009 militants waged both open war and an armed insurgency against Russian forces until eventually Moscow prevailed.

Today, attempts to rekindle divisions, upheaval and even violence have been the primary goal of both US-funded and directed “rights advocates” like HRW and US-backed militants, though admittedly Russia now has the upper hand.

Candace Owen

“Candace Owens calls out lying Democrat narrative machine [Video]” by Seraphim Hanisch (The Duran)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A well known conservative commentator, Candace Owens got a clip played of her own statement about nationalism by Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA), which she supports. She made a statement about how the perception of “nationalist” leaders is commonly held to be people like Adolf Hitler, but that this in fact is not true. Here is the exact text of what she said:

I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word “nationalism”. I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want. … Whenever we say “nationalism”, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler. You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted—he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. That’s not, to me, that’s not nationalism.

Where the Democrats went with this was astounding in its reach into both fiction and insanity. The allegation did not address in any regard what Ms. Owens actually said, but rather, the “concern” over her saying the name “Adolf Hitler” and also that “if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great… fine.”

Here’s the video. Are those people disgusting or what? :

“Why aren’t Boeing executives being prosecuted for the 737 Max 8 crashes?” by Bryan Dyne (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It is nearly a month since the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which slammed into the ground only six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa airport, killing all 157 people on board. That disaster came less than five months after the fatal crash of Lion Air Flight 610 only 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta airport, killing all 189 passengers and crew members.

Both crashes involved the same airplane, the Boeing 737 Max 8, and both followed wild up-and-down oscillations which the pilots were unable to control.

In the weeks since these disasters, there have been no calls within the media or political establishment for Boeing executives to be criminally prosecuted for what were evidently entirely avoidable tragedies that killed a total of 346 people. This speaks to the corrupt relationship between the US government and the aerospace giant—the biggest US exporter and second-largest defense contractor—as well as the company’s critical role in the stock market surge and the ever-expanding fortunes of major Wall Street investors.

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Rogue Journalist And Monkey Business

Source: Assange Has Been Arrested For US Extradition. The Time To Act Is Now. – Caitlin Johnstone

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested and taken into custody by the London’s Metropolitan police, just as WikiLeaks warned days ago was about to happen.

My online (attached to the above linked-to article) comment, in response to another commenter who suggested we propose Julian Assange for the Nobel Peace Prize, follows:

*Mysteriously, This – what follows – was removed. It can’t possibly be the case that it was off topic, inappropriate or problematic in any way. I can’t imagine that Caitlin would have a problem with my response to Jesse, above.

“A “Radical Idea” Reversed: Author Says Nobel Committee Has Betrayed Founder’s Anti-Military Intent” by Fredrik Heffermehl :

“The Nobel Peace Prize for War” by Michael Parenti :

“Nobel Hypocrisy” by Stephen Lendman :

Nobel Hypocrisy


Your conclusions leave much to be desired.

Either Caitlin has issues or else gatekeepers are free to mess up her website. She warns off those who would use her platform to spread lies, so presumably she keeps an eye on that in the comments where she comments from time to time. I’m nobody special, so I don’t necessarily expect her to notice me and notice therefore when my comments disappear – unless she personally disappears them. Then again, Now that this comment has disappeared twice (while a third, different, comment was accepted on another article by Caitlin the next day), I think that it’s more likely that she had an issue with my response to another poster (named Jesse) who suggested we propose the (tainted) Nobel Prize for Julian Assange. If so, then she has issues. People who visit the site and see only a preponderance of comments in favor of proposing the tainted Nobel Peace Prize won’t learn – progress – anything from this site (where the one post with links to actual information about the Nobel Peace Prize was removed).

Strangely, The first comment about the Nobel Peace Prize was removed and then briefly appeared again, right after I put in my second comment and hit send. And very briefly they both showed. Then, shortly after that, they both disappeared. That was nasty. And you’d think that Caitlin would do something about the awful performance of her website – if she is truly very, very appreciative of all the support she gets. We don’t enjoy having no ability to make paragraphs.

In the screen shot below, the red arrow indicates where my post was, twice, before it was removed.

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The Avalanche – Snapshot 33 – April 11, ’19

Carol M. Highsmith • Public domain

“The Case Against the CIA’s Censors” by Melvin Goodman (CounterPunch)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

I have joined in a lawsuit with four former federal employees to end the government’s censorship of our writings on national security issues. The current publications review system of our military and intelligence agencies is dysfunctional, inhibiting our ability to participate in national security debates. The government has a legitimate interest in protecting bona fide secrets, but the review system is opaque, exceeding legitimate national security boundaries and compromising free speech.

Dareen Tatour (center) in Berlin. (Photo: Abu Salameh/courtesy of the author)

“Dareen Tatour: I was booked to read poems alongside Rasmea Odeh in Berlin, then Israel intervened” by Dareen Tatour (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

My trip to Germany was not easy. Last month I was invited to speak at an event, “Palestinian Women in the Liberation Struggle,” alongside Rasmea Odeh, a 71-year-old Palestinian activist who was stripped of her U.S. citizenship after she was convicted of immigration fraud in 2014 for failing to report a conviction in her naturalization paperwork a decade earlier. The panel was organized to coincide with International Women’s Day by Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Hirak, a Palestinian youth organization in Germany.

Rasmea spent ten years in prison in Israel. When she was a 21-year-old college student she was arrested on terrorism charges in 1969 in a sweep of more than 500 people, including her two sisters, one of whom is paralyzed, and her father. She confessed but says the confession was made under duress. She alleges she was tortured with electrical shocks, raped and further sexually assaulted during interrogation, which lasted 45 days. Her father recounted one horrific scene in 1979 to the Sunday Times. At one point interrogators brought him into a room with Rasmea, who was handcuffed and naked, and threatened to force him to rape her. When he refused the interrogators sexually assaulted her with a stick in front of him.

After she confessed she recanted, yet she was convicted in 1970 for planning bombings that killed 2 and injured 9 and for membership in a banned organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or the PFLP. She was given two life sentences in a Israeli military court, a system with a 99.7 percent conviction rate that Human Rights Watch said lacks due process and violates international law. In 1980 after she was released in a prisoner exchange she gave testimony about her alleged torture to the United Nations and Amnesty International.

But I never got to speak with Rasmea at the event, because German police prohibited her from speaking and revoked her visa after complaints from Israeli officials.

From Mint Press News:
This composite image shows the cover of Max Blumenthal’s new book, The Management of Savagery, left, and an Associated Press photo of the late Senator John McCain posing with Mouaz Moustafa in Syria in the early days of the Syrian war.

“The Syrian American Council’s Pressure Campaign to Censor One of Its Major Critics” by Alexander Rubenstein (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Syrian American Council and a collection of pro-war lobbyists have led an intimidation campaign aimed at bullying a major Washington-based bookstore, Politics and Prose, into canceling award-winning journalist and author Max Blumenthal’s launch event for his new book The Management of Savagery.

And it appears to have worked. Politics and Prose announced that it would “postpone” the event, citing “concerns” over the event’s “format, substance, … [and] security” in a tweet. In a testament to the ferocity of the harassment campaign against the small chain, the company has pinned the statement to the top of its Twitter page so that anyone visiting it sees immediately that they caved.

Politics and Prose is the go-to space for D.C. book events. If you are on a book tour and coming to Washington, chances are that Politics and Prose will be hosting your event.

“Banned by Amazon and Purged by the Neocons” by Ron Unz (The Greanville Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Over the last decade, Amazon has gained a near-total monopoly over Internet book sales, and late last month, we saw the dangerous consequences of such intellectual control as the company suddenly banned dozens of books, many of them of excellent scholarly quality…

This small webzine was founded with a mission of providing “interesting, important, and controversial perspectives largely excluded from the American mainstream media.” Therefore, it seems natural to extend this policy to cover books, and I have now added a new Bookstore Section, allowing interested readers to browse and order those texts that Amazon has banned, in most cases directly from the websites of the particular publisher…

A half-century ago in a totally different America, publishers sometimes trumpeted the fact that their books had been “Banned in Boston,” which vastly increased their sales in many other parts of the country. Since past sales of the banned books had hardly been great, it seems not impossible that the notoriety associated with their removal might actually boost their visibility and purchase sufficiently to render the policy counter-productive.

After all, Amazon eagerly sells many millions of books these days, including Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto, and how-to manuals for producing homemade explosives to be used in domestic terrorist attacks. Yet the hundred-odd books now provided in my new system are apparently believed to contain ideas so horrifically dangerous that Amazon has chosen to violate its longstanding policy of intellectual freedom and ban them. Perhaps you should consider purchasing a couple of them and deciding for yourself.

To be clear, Ron Unz’s website hasn’t been censored (yet). He just happens to have devoted a section on it to the many books banned by Amazon. The Unz Review is not alt/progressive, but it’s not awful either. As always, If you visit Ron’s website, be sure to read with filters/guides, like the guidance offered in the Post’s presentation of Ron’s article about Amazon, which is presented in the image that I placed on top of this entry. And there’s a lengthy response to a reader/commenter by the Post’s moderator Addison dePitt that more fully explains TGP’s approach.

“Battlefield Libya: Fruits of US-NATO Regime Change” by Tony Cartalucci (Land Destroyer Report)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Forces under the control of Khalifa Haftar – a former Libyan general under the government of Muammar Qaddafi – turned opposition during the 2011 US-led NATO intervention – turned “opposition” again against the UN-backed “Government of National Accord” (GNA) seated in Tripoli – have most recently reached Tripoli’s airport.

The confusing chaos that has continually engulfed Libya since 2011 should come as no surprise. It is the predictable outcome that follows any US-led political or military intervention. Other examples showcasing US-led regime change “success” include Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine.

And just like in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine – the Western corporate media has regularly omitted mention of Libya from headlines specifically to mask the very predictable consequences of US-led regime change as additional interventions against nations like Venezuela, Syria, and Iran are engineered and pursued…

NATO’s Secretary General proclaims NATO’s mission as one to “prevent conflict and preserve peace,” yet it paradoxically and very intentionally engineered the war in Libya, overthrew the government in Tripoli, and triggered regional chaos that not only plagues North Africa to this day – but also inundated Europe with refugees fleeing the conflict.

Europe is one of the few places NATO could conceivably claim any mandate to protect or operate in – yet its own wars of aggression abroad directly compromised European safety and security.

The media blackout that has shrouded the true impact of NATO’s intervention in Libya for the past 8 years helps enable the US and its NATO partners to perpetrate additional proxy wars and political interventions elsewhere.

As the US openly pursues aggressive regime change in Venezuela and meddles in the internal politics of nations across Southeast Asia, the “fruits” of US intervention in places like Libya should always be kept in mind.

Stephen Gowans (Baraka Books)

“So, you think Washington’s long war on Syria is almost over. Think again.” by Stephen Gowans (what’s left)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

If you think Washington’s long war on Syria has been largely defeated by the combined opposition of Syria, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, think again.

While attention turns to another US regime change campaign, this one in Venezuela, the long war on Syria grinds on.

“The United States still has cards to play in Syria,” concludes two analysts linked to the US foreign policy establishment. “If it plays them well, the U.S. intervention in Syria may yet become an enduring American success.”

Indeed, the US intervention in Syria has already been a success in at least one respect.

“Syria is currently in a state of de-facto partition,” observe Merve Tahiroglu and Andrew Gabel, research analysts at the billionaire-backed Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think-tank that is interlocked with the US government…

These are the other respects in which the US intervention has scored successes. It has greatly weakened Syria, a pole of opposition to US hegemony in the Middle East. And it has drawn Russia and Iran into a conflict that strains their treasuries.

No less part of the US war on Syria is Washington’s recent declaration of two-thirds of the Syrian Golan as part of Israel, an event greeted with yawns by much of the world, including the anti-war Left.

Golan, a New York Times reporter once observed, is the forgotten occupied territory. By contrast, northeastern Syria may become the occupation that will never be forgotten for the simple reason that it was never noticed.

As to Washington’s long war on Syria, it was largely unnoticed until 2011, and appears to be returning to an unnoticed-in-the-West phase, partly because it depends in large measure on economic weapons (which have far less sway over the attentions of anti-war activists than does kinetic warfare, even though economic ‘atom bombs’ can be equally, if not more, devastating) and partly because it relies on diplomatic measures, like recognizing Israel’s annexation of Syrian territory. Also, the US and other Western forces in Syria are mainly special operations forces that operate under the radar.

Another factor explaining the near invisibility of the US war on Syria is that it is hardly talked about anymore in the Western mass media. As we allow the White House-driven media agenda to divert our attention to other matters, the real business of extending the reach of the international dictatorship of the United States goes on unobserved.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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