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Sun, 07 Feb 2016
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USA

An exasperated John Kerry: 'What do you want me to do, go to war with the Russians?!'

"Russian and Syrian forces intensified their campaign on rebel-held areas around Aleppo that are still home to around 350,000 people and aid workers have said the city - Syria's largest before the war - could soon fall."
Can you spot what's wrong with that quote, from a Reuters piece out today? Here's the problem: "could soon fall" implies that Aleppo is on the verge of succumbing to enemy forces. It's not. It's already in enemy hands and has been for quite some time. What Reuters should have said is this: "...could soon be liberated."

While we'll be the first to admit that Bashar al-Assad isn't exactly the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft, you can bet most Syrians wish this war had never started and if you were to ask those stranded in Aleppo what their quality of life is like now, versus what it was like in 2009, we're fairly certain you'll discover that residents aren't particularly enamored with life under the mishmash of rebels that now control the city.

Propaganda

Western media tears for Daesh as Syrian-Russian alliance frees besieged towns, cuts off Turkish terrorist supply routes

© SANA
A man waves a Syrian national flag as residents of Nubul and al-Zahraa, along with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, celebrate after the siege of their towns was broken, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on February 4, 2016.
The Syrian Arab Army, with Russian air support, recently broke the 'rebel' siege on some towns in northern Aleppo province in Syria, thus cutting the terrorists' supply lines to Turkey. The U.S. was hoping that a ceasefire would protect their terrorist assets from this very scenario. No such luck. Just like it was in Ukraine before both Minsk agreements, the West only wants peace when its hired killers (and rapists and torturers) risk getting their asses handed to them on a platter by the populations they've been savaging.

The Western media response has been predictably shrill, and completely at odds with the reality of the situation. Here are some of the more odious examples. Get your sick bags ready!

First up is the Guardian's Natalie Nougayrède. One cannot help but be moved at her heartfelt sympathy for head-chopping jihadists...

Snakes in Suits

Madeleine Albright says: 'There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other'

© AP
In its endorsement of Hillary, the New York Times editorial board did such a sloppy job I can't help but think it may have done permanent damage to its brand. Upon reading it, my initial conclusion was that the editorial board was either suffering from Stockholm syndrome or merely concerned about losing advertising revenues should they endorse Sanders. Then I thought some more and I realized my initial conclusions were wrong. Something else is going on here, something far more subtle, subconscious and illuminating. The New York Times is defending the establishment candidate simply because the New York Times is the establishment.

One of the biggest trends of the post financial crisis period has been a plunge in the American public's perception of the country's powerful institutions. The establishment often admits this reality with a mixture of bewilderment and erroneous conclusions, ultimately settling on the idea people are upset because "Washington can't get anything done." However, nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to corruption and serving big monied interests, both Congress and the President are very, very good at getting things done. Yes it's true Congress doesn't get anything done on behalf of the people, but this is no accident. The government doesn't work for the people.

With its dishonest and shifty endorsement of Hillary Clinton, I believe the New York Times has finally come out of the closet as an unabashed gatekeeper of the status quo. I suppose this makes sense since the paper has become the ultimate status quo journalistic publication. The sad truth is the publication has been living on borrowed time and a borrowed reputation for a long time. Long on prestige, it remains very short on substance when it comes to fighting difficult battles in the public interest. Content with its position of power and influence within the current paradigm, the paper doesn't want to rock the boat. What the New York Times is actually telling its readers with the Hillary Clinton endorsement is that it likes things just the way they are, and will fight hard to keep them that way. It is as much a part of the American establishment as any government institution.
- From the article: A Detailed Look at The New York Times' Embarrassing, Deceitful and Illogical Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

2 + 2 = 4

Russia isn't 'collapsing' - The country that demolished the Nazis can handle low oil prices

Russia's collapsing — again.

Yes, the west's most omnipotent wordsmiths are already brimming with excitement about the completely real, 100%-for-sure collapse of Russia. Did we mention that this time Russia is really going to collapse? The 10,000 previous times that Foreign Policy Experts have written about Russia collapsing was just fluff.

But now it's finally happening. Try to imagine Alexander J. Motyl's face were when he wrote this:
Russian President Vladimir Putin used to seem invincible. Today, he and his regime look enervated, confused, and desperate. Increasingly, both Russian and Western commentators suggest that Russia may be on the verge of deep instability, possibly even collapse.
Let's very quickly summarize why Motyl is so sure that Russia is "on the verge of collapse", and then dig a bit deeper to find out what kind of medication he's on.

Star of David

Egypt floods Gaza tunnels on Tel Aviv's request

© Reuters
A Palestinian climbs upward in a pier of one of the tunnels dug between the besieged Gaza Strip and the Egyptian border town of Rafah.
An Israeli minister says Egyptian authorities have flooded the underground tunnels connecting the besieged Gaza Strip to the North African country at the request of the Tel Aviv regime. Speaking at a seminar in Beersheba on Saturday, Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli minister of energy and water resources, said Cairo pumped water into the tunnels at the order of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported. He added that "security coordination" between Cairo and Tel Aviv is at its best.

Gaza tunnels serve as the only lifeline for Palestinians to bring basic commodities like construction materials, food, and fuel into the besieged coastal enclave. Israeli and the Egyptian army forces have launched a campaign to destroy the tunnels.

Dozens of people, mostly Palestinians, have lost their lives during the destruction process, which has intensified since Egypt's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was toppled in a July 2013 military coup led by Sisi.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty. The Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.

Comment: The number of tunnels available to Palestinians has been reduced from about 250 to a handful. Besides the loss of supply lifelines, loss of life with each tunnel flood and overflows into residential areas, the salinity of seeping seawater also destroys life-sustaining Palestinian agricultural land and pure water aquifers. Flooding offers many means to an end for the Israelis in pursuit of the ongoing destruction of the Palestinians.


Star of David

Zionazism on the march: IDF chief demands popular Israeli bloggers submit posts to military censor

© Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
Israel's new chief military censor has demanded that popular bloggers writing on security-related issues submit their posts to her before publication. Failure to do so will be considered a crime. Critics say the move is Orwellian.

The expansion of the IDF's censorship scope was first revealed by one of the bloggers targeted, Yossi Gurvitz. He runs a Facebook page called "George's Friends" - a title alluding to writer George Orwell - which has over 10,000 subscribers.

This week he tweeted that the IDF's former spokesperson, who was appointed chief censor less than a year ago, has ordered that he submit his posts for pre-publication review.

Bad Guys

Pentagon hypes bogus 'Russian threat' while the U.S. threatens the entire planet

© www.truth-out.org
The film about nuclear war with Russia recently shown on the BBC, which is considered to be a serious and not an entertainment channel, suggests that such a war is no longer unthinkable but a real possibility. What was even more frightening was that the people in the film who made a fateful decision to start an Armageddon were not actors, but high level albeit retired politicians.

The film was timed to the release of the latest Pentagon analysis where Russia topped the list of threats to U.S. national security, followed by China, North Korea, Iran and finally, terrorism. The Zika virus was not mentioned - Ebola was not in the past - but from the tone, even if NASA were to warn that a huge asteroid was approaching Earth, it would not replace Russia as a major threat.

Ash Carter's statement no doubt brought considerable relief to ISIS, Al-Qaida, Al-Nusra, Boko Haram, and dozens of their affiliates around the world (according to the UN, there are at least 34 such groups), who can celebrate the fact that contrary to WWII, when Americans and Russians fought together to defeat the Nazis, this time for Washington, Moscow is a greater evil and therefore one cannot expect an East-West alliance against terror.

Comment: Don't expect the US elections to change anything - the lunatics have obviously overrun that asylum.

Further reading:


Black Magic

Monsanto supplied the white phosphorus used in the Gaza massacre

Monsanto has earned the dubious reputation of being one of the most hated companies in the world. Its grand proclamations of working to feed the world and help the environment have been exposed for a sham.

Their genetically modified (GM) crops have not increased yields, despite claims to the contrary. What they have done is: 1) encouraged monoculture, industrialized farming, 2) smothered out the sustainable, non-GM farmer, 3) waylaid beneficial insect populations and aquatic habitats with Bt toxins, 4) caused the emergence of several superweeds, 5) increased the use of chemical herbicides, notably Roundup, and 6) undertaken a giant human heath experiment with GM foods.

Amassing wealth is Monsanto's single goal, and it does this through government force, primarily by securing patents on life. Monsanto has also managed to infiltrate government agencies with its own former employees so the power of centralized government can be used to further dominate the market. The recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership is exhibit A of this global cronyism.

Comment: It can be argued that everything in which Monsanto is involved serves the interests of death and destruction.

Monsanto found to have supplied Israel with white phosphorous during '08-'09 Gaza War


Cut

Austerity hurts, time to trade in our billionaires for something less expensive?

In its 2015 report the World Economic Forum, aka the globe-grabbing business elite, pronounced from its opulent mountain fastness in Davos that, "Inequality is one of the key challenges of our time." Paying $25,000 to attend this billionaires' bash, and that's after shelling out the compulsory $52,000 WEF membership fee, the said elite isn't pronouncing on inequality out of any empathy for the poor and oppressed. This becomes perfectly clear on page 38 of the Global Risks Report 2016 where the reader is informed that inequality has consequences:
"The result is a stripped-down global system in which the liberal ideals of freedom, democracy, justice and equality are no longer put forward as a paradigm to which all should aspire. A new entente emerges on respect for differences of political and economic approach, though this means accepting a degree of entrenched global inequality and disintegration, and a parcelling up of the global commons. Where they can, people and companies move to places that suit their objectives best."
The WEF's response to inequality is called the "imperative resilience", a sneaky way of saying caulk our own lifeboat and let the rest sink. Needless to say, the uncaulked lifeboats of refugees won't let them "move to places that suit their objectives best". Referring to agriculture, the report says (p. 59), "System resilience requires new rules to militate against export controls", meaning that the Davos deciders can snatch whatever food they want from the mouths of infants in poor, rural parts of the world. They're also keen to "increase the resilience of balance sheets to climate shocks" (p. 61). It's all about their own resilience to the climate shocks they themselves produce. Apart from being something we should no longer aspire to, the word justice, which decent people tend to associate with the injustice of the inequalities that grievously harm the majority of people, appears only once more in the report (p. 46), carefully tucked into inverted commas and referring to a "climate justice" movement. Undismayed by this, the mainstream press fawningly presents this nod to inequality as a good thing. Didn't those journalists read the report? It's the exact opposite. They're talking about getting the rest of us to accept "a degree of entrenched global inequality and disintegration" while they are busy "parcelling up of [gobbling up] the global commons", increasing their fortunes, and stopping the angry dispossessed from getting out of hand. And they're pretty blatant about it.

Dollar

Six OPEC members plus Russia now open to emergency meeting

Oil prices have whipsawed back and forth over the past two weeks, largely due to the rise and fall of expectations that OPEC might call an emergency meeting.

Comments from several Russian oil executives and government officials sent oil prices surging at the end of January. Then prices retraced their gains when officials from OPEC dismissed the stories as just rumors. Nothing had changed, OPEC officials argued, even though some people in Russia were hinting at a meeting.