Gold Seal

Defending Ukraine from Russian imperialism?

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How the Russian Bear Emerged From Hibernation.

In Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy, the philosopher delivered his summarization of the writings of Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas thusly, "Before he begins to philosophize, he already knows the truth; it is declared in the Catholic faith. If he can find apparently rational arguments for some parts of the faith, so much the better; if he cannot, he need only fall back on revelation. The finding of arguments for a conclusion given in advance is not philosophy, but special pleading."

American foreign policy is determined in much the same fashion. Valuable objects are desired. Noble justifications are manufactured. Trusting populations are deceived. War is made. Empires do their special pleading on a global scale. For instance, the U.S. and its allies know precisely how they want to portray the Ukrainian conflict to their deluded Western populations. They need only apply the false flags and fashion the nefarious motives - like so many brush strokes - to the canvas of geopolitics.

Both the government and their corporate media vassals know their conclusions in advance. They are simple: Russia is the aggressor; America is the defender of freedom; and NATO is gallant security force that must counter Moscow's bellicosity. As the chief pleader in the construction of this fable, the Obama administration has compiled a litany of lies about the conflict that it disseminates almost daily to its press flacks.

Comment: This article is very sobering on where this world is headed and it doesn't look good. Washington is hell bent on war.


Gift 3

IMF carve-up of Ukraine: Putin may have 'taken' Crimea, but Western corporations took everything else

© Presidential Press and Information Office
Putin at the press conference following the Russian-Hungarian talks.
As the conflict in Ukraine persists and as peace talks between Putin and western European leaders (Merkel and Hollande) continue, it is important to look at the economic actors/interests that benefit from conflict and regime change in the Ukraine and how this compares to situations like Syria, Libya and Iraq. There are under-reported angles and interests to these conflicts that we hear little about in western mainstream media and that many do not look for because they are too caught up in political or human dramas. For instance, mainstream media spend so much time demonizing a single enemy, be it Putin in the Ukraine situation, Assad in Syria, Gaddafi in Libya or Saddam Hussein in Iraq, etc., that they do not also critically explore how external actors may exploit or bolster such conflicts and situations in order to secure politic-economic motives such as access to oil, making way for destructively conditional IMF loans, or quashing domestic policies that undermine foreign imperial and economic interests.

In western media, a dangerously false binary exists; wherein opposition to western imperial and corporate agendas for a particular region equals support for "evil men" like Putin or Gaddafi, for instance. This is part of what I call distraction politics or conflation politics, where opposition to neoliberal and imperial policies—such as IMF loans with austerity conditions that devastate and impoverish a nation, its people and its agriculture—is conflated with support for certain tyrants (as defined by the west).

Comment: Western propaganda is so backwards that it's brain damaging. For accurate information about what happened in Ukraine - and why - check out:


Megaphone

General Wesley Clark: Our friends and allies created ISIS

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Not that it was really a conspiracy 'theory' but with General Wesley Clark (ret.) now openly admitting "ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies... to fight to the death against Hezbollah" it appears the 'angel investors' cat is out of the bag. Adding that "they recruited the zealots and religious fundamentalists" Clark says 'we' create "Frankenstein." He is careful not to name names, but we ask (rhetorically of course), which of our (oil-bearing) allies has the biggest bone to pick with Hezbollah (apart from Israel of course)?

Clark on creating Frankenstein...


Snakes in Suits

The U.S plans for destabilization of Russia and how Russia can counteract

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Translated by DzhMM, Mikhael, Gideon (thanks guys!!!!)

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In the course of life today, we've grown accustomed to using terms whose meaning we might not fully understand. We throw them around casually, not realizing that they lose their meaning and sometimes even come around to stand for their exact opposite. This is precisely why the sense has arisen today in society that there is a need to determine in a clear and understandable manner exactly what is happening on the global chessboard in front of all of our eyes - the Big Story, written online.

Even those people the very furthest from politics are feeling the need for understanding and explaining to themselves the reasons for the things they encounter even just moving through their own lives. Why have prices in stores started to go up? What's the reason for the fact that, quietly and nearly unnoticed, belief in a brighter tomorrow is slipping? When and why did talk about a possible war stop being speculative and distant? These and dozens of other questions have driven millions of yesterday-apolitical citizens to seek answers. They feel the need to find those answers and to construct a new worldview in which what-comes-tomorrow is not simply a lottery ticket, but a predictable and logical continuation of today. Predictable and, hopefully, not frightening.

This atmosphere, unfortunately, is a breeding grounds for attempts to brainwash our citizens and to stuff their heads with ideas which will be devastating to them personally. But this devastation will come hidden within banal attempts stubbornly do good. So let's try to dissect the methods and means of manipulating the people's conscience which we have already started to encounter. And, which will grow in direct proportion to the problems being encountered by our geopolitical opponents.

Magic Hat

Minsk, Merkel and the American Way: Der Spiegel says Putin has won

A mammoth Der Spiegel article points to Russian-German understanding for a broad settlement of the Ukrainian conflict
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Merkel is now billing herself a 'realist'
Yesterday Russia Insider published a lengthy account from the German magazine Der Spiegel of the Minsk negotiations.

This article is a good example of the sort of press Merkel gets in Germany. It portrays her as the heroine of the hour, battling to save peace from the sinister designs of others. The article lavishes praise on her in a way that readers outside Germany might find unsettling. Contrary to what many in the West think, the Russian media never writes about Putin in this way.

The very favourable publicity Merkel gets in Germany is coordinated by her own office. Articles like the one in Der Spiegel are written in close communication with her office. This means that though the article gives a rather one-sided account of the Minsk negotiations, it is nonetheless packed with information if one knows how to read it properly. In the case of this particular piece, we can be certain that Merkel's office was involved since the article actually names it as a source.

The first thing we learn from the text is that what triggered the Minsk process is the disintegration of the Ukrainian economy and especially of the Ukrainian military.

USA

Fifty shades of filth: The glorification and acceptance of pornography reveals society's moral bankruptcy

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© YouTube
[Editor's note: All redactions are sott.net redactions for offensive language]

Fifty Shades of Grey, the book and the movie, is a celebration of the sadism that dominates nearly every aspect of American culture and lies at the core of pornography and global capitalism. It glorifies our dehumanization of women. It champions a world devoid of compassion, empathy and love. It eroticizes hypermasculine power that carries out the abuse, degradation, humiliation and torture of women whose personalities have been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service of male lust. The film, like American Sniper, unquestioningly accepts a predatory world where the weak and the vulnerable are objects to exploit while the powerful are narcissistic and violent demigods. It blesses this capitalist hell as natural and good.

"Pornography," Robert Jensen writes, "is what the end of the world looks like."

We are blinded by self-destructive fantasy. An array of amusements and spectacles, including TV "reality" shows, huge sporting events, social media, porn (which earns at least twice what Hollywood movies generate), alluring luxury products, drugs, alcohol and magic Jesus, offers enticing exit doors from reality. We yearn to be rich, powerful and celebrities. And those we must trample to build our pathetic little empires are seen as deserving their fate. That nearly all of us will never attain these ambitions is emblematic of our collective self-delusion and the effectiveness of a culture awash in manipulation and lies.

Comment: If looked at from a broader view, the glorification and widespread availability of pornography is intentional. It's been made that way in order to create the culture that we currently have. It is done to strip away our humanity and turn us into unthinking, unfeeling robots who have lost all connection to what makes us inherently human. The same people who tout the USA as "the greatest country in the world" also have created the conditions which allowed pornography to flourish, which in turn has created a society where, more than any other time, women are victims of domestic abuse, rape, and sodomy. Even by viewing pornography, one is contributing to that world. Make a stand, refuse to participate and help end the social decline into barbarism.


USA

Leader of Islamic State is fictional character whose voice is played by an actor, says U.S. military

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Comment: Although this article appeared in 2007, it is quite apt today as the Islamic State is being touted as the next big terrorist organization that requires U.S. intervention all around the world to combat.


For more than a year, the leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi named Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi.

As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, an organization publicly backed by Al Qaeda, Baghdadi issued a steady stream of incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by Iraqi officials that he had been killed in May, Baghdadi appeared to have persevered unscathed.

On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi's ability to escape attack: He never existed.

Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.

Comment: Fascinating, isn't it?

It's as if they had a plot line involving an 'Islamic State led by al-Baghdadi' waiting in the wings, but decided against using it at the time.

7 years later, an 'Islamic State led by al-Baghdadi' is justifying US intervention from Morocco to Pakistan.

Is this one equally fictional?

There are real people doing really horrible things in Muslim countries - most of them from Europe and Saudi Arabia - but the idea that they're part of some 'cohesive enemy threatening Western civilization' is clearly fictional.

Remember what former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said before his untimely death: 'al Qaeda' was a database of Western intelligence informants...


Eye 1

Ron Paul: 'Get NATO, foreign countries out of Ukraine to end civil war'


Screenshot from Ruptly video
The best thing for Ukraine is to force NATO, the US, and regional players out of the country, former US congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul said. Without foreign meddling in the civil war, Kiev will focus on the nation's economic collapse.

"Get the foreigners out of there [Ukraine], get the Europeans out, the US out, get NATO out, and get the Russians out," Paul said at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington on Friday. "There will be less of a civil war going on there because they will have to worry about their debt. This is an economic matter too. You have to realize that the country is totally bankrupt."


"I'm not pro-Putin, I'm not pro-Russia, but I'm pro-facts," Paul stressed when defending his stance. "Crimea is not exactly a foreign country, according to the Russians. But I'm neutral on that," the former presidential candidate stated.

Paul - a 79-year-old retired doctor who spent nearly three decades in the US Congress representing the state of Texas - reiterated his previous statements, noting that what happened in Ukraine last year was a "coup" that was planned by "NATO, EU" and western Ukrainians. "One thing for sure that we do know, is we [US] had the conversations between our State Department and our ambassador before the coup - who will we put in place. And they planned part of the coup."

Light Saber

Israeli air force pilot turned activist: I was "part of a terror organization"

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© Ryan Rodrick Beiler
Yonatan Shapira: defines conscience and bravery in speaking out against Israeli terror.
Yonatan Shapira was born on an Israeli military base the year before his father flew fighter jets in the October War of 1973. Thirty years later, twelve of them spent as an air force pilot himself, Shapira rejected the military. In 2003, he wrote a letter, pledging not to fly over the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Shapira is among the few Israelis to have declared support for the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. He has also been attacked by the Israeli military for attempting to sail towards and break the siege of Gaza.

He recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada contributor Ryan Rodrick Beiler.

Ryan Rodrick Beiler: What was it like growing up in a military family?

Yonatan Shapira: The education I got was very much about peace, equality, freedom and a lot of socialist values — caring about the other, caring about the poor — but at the same time with a big wall of negligence of Palestine. The same time I was in class learning these beautiful values, the Israeli army was engaged in occupation, land grabs, settlements, massacres, deportation of Palestinian activists.

But I didn't know these things. I truly believed that I should defend my country. I wanted to be like my father. I wanted to be a pilot in the air force and it was my dream come true when I was accepted. I became a helicopter pilot and flew rescue missions and commando transport.

RRB: When did you begin to question the military's actions?

YS: I realized something was rotten when the Israeli government started what was called the "assassination policy" in 2001-2003. Palestinian resistance failed to bring liberation and more extreme attitudes took place, such as suicide bombings and other [forms of] armed struggle. The government thought to assassinate everyone that has to do with armed resistance.

Comment: It is the brave acts, as those like Yonatan Shapira's, that reflect the voices of conscience in this world, and help make it permissible for others to speak and act on what is in their hearts.


Windsock

NATO: Atlantic bridge is falling down... we can only hope

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Washington created something called NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 to weld Western Europe firmly to the future foreign policies of Washington, however destructive that might prove to the genuine interests of Germany, France, Italy and the other nations of Europe. In 1986 the twelve nations of the then-European Economic Community modified the 1957 Treaty of Rome and signed the Single European Act. That mandated the creation of a single EEC market by end of 1992, and set forth rules for European Political Cooperation, the forerunner of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Then on November 9, 1989, an event of historic dimension intervened to disrupt the EEC strategy for a single market. Gorbachev's USSR surrendered the German Democratic Republic to the West. The Cold War was de facto over. Germany would be reunited. The West had apparently won. Most Europeans were jubilant. Many believed the decades of living on the brink of possible nuclear war were over. The emerging Europe seemed proud, confident of the future. NATO was an entity created by Washington, in the words of its first General Secretary, Lord Ismay, to "keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."

European Defense Pillar or US NATO?

The Maastricht Treaty, a document with fatal flaws, was introduced at a meeting of the EEC in December 1991. A shocked Helmut Kohl was told by France's Mitterrand and Britain's Margaret Thatcher that Germany must agree to creation of a single currency to control the Bundesbank. That became today's Euro and an independent supranational European Central Bank. It was blackmail as precondition for their accepting German unification. The Germans swallowed hard and signed.

What was little discussed at the time was that the Maastricht Treaty also included a section mandating establishment for the first time of a Common Foreign and Security Policy. The twelve nations signed the treaty and intense discussions were underway of establishing a European defense pillar independent of NATO. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the raison d'être for NATO was gone. The Warsaw Pact had dissolved. Washington had assured Gorbachev that NATO would never extend to the east.

Comment: It took a little time, but now that the leaders of Germany and France have finally realized that many more lives hang in the balance than just those of the Eastern Ukrainians, they have set a new dynamic in motion. Will there be more blackmail, false flags and wholesale carnage inflicted as punishment and pretext for further lies and countermoves? We'll likely see very soon. But the answer is, very probably, yes. NATO has, under the cover of formerly being a counter force to the former U.S.S.R. - morphed into something else entirely, and has wreaked catastrophic damage on the peoples of Europe and Asia. But barring some cosmic intervention likened to putting a mad dog down, NATO, and the forces behind it, will persist. The only question that now remains is, what is the rest of the world willing to do about it?

See also: NATO and Nazism: Global hegemony in the guise of "collective defense"