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Mr. Potato

Russia's message to the US: Fix your own problem, like Ferguson

© AP Photo/ Charlie Riedel
The events in Ferguson, Missouri, should sober the US government or race-related conflicts may become more frequent, Russian Foreign Ministry Human Rights Commissioner Konstantin Dolgov said in an interview with Rossiya 24 news channel.

"We think US authorities should pay closer attention to burning internal problems, including those related to ethnicity and race that still exist in the United States. Try to solve them via legal constitutional practices rather than unjustified and inadequate violence," Dolgov said.

"What is happening in Missouri right now should have a sobering effect on US society and authorities. They are systematic problems. They are by no means limited to one particular city or state," the commissioner added.

Dolgov pointed out the regularity of such confrontations and warned of a possible increase in the frequency of the conflicts. At the same time, US authorities are failing to create a dialogue with US citizens, as they rely too heavily on the use of brutal force, according to Dolgov.
Vader

Ukraine war crimes: Illegal use of white phosphorous fire bombs against Donetsk civilians

A report on August 15th from Russian Television alleged that the Ukrainian government that the U.S. installed in February of this year was resorting to internationally banned white phosphorous firebombs in order to help destroy the million people who lived in the now Ukrainian separatist capital of Donetsk. It lands super-hot and starts fires and burns to death almost anyone it touches.
white phosphorus attack donansk

Ukraine’s Army Fires Phosphorus Bombs at Donetsk – People’s Republic
The Ukrainian separatists are the residents in Ukraine's southeast, where Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian President, was elected overwhelmingly by the votes of the people in this region in 2010. They reject the government that Obama installed, and are therefore seeking independence from it. They reject that government not so much because Obama is forcing it on them, as because that government is trying to exterminate them.

Here is the original televised news report on the alleged August 14th firebombing of the Leninsky District in Donetsk:

And here is a raw video of this August 14th firebombing, taken from the distance:

A separate local Donetsk video of it is here:

That video opens with this picture, but doesn't say whether the fire shown in it resulted from the apparent firebombing:

And here is alleged to be a picture of the resulting burnt rubble.
white phosphorus attack donansk
© RIA Novosti / Maks Vetrov
A house burnt during artillery bombardment in Donetsk.
Since this type of thing has been going on for months, there has been a mass-evacuation of the area by the families, leaving only their fathers who are the resistance fighters, and when an OSCE official from the western "democracies" came to visit the former residents, at refugee camps in Russia, these refugees were asking why only Russia is offering them any help.

Meanwhile, Russia opens more refugee camps, and the West blocks Russia from sending aid into the Ukrainian cities that are being bombed: food, water, and medicines.
War Whore

Pentagon spokesman fires back at criticism of 'Police Militarization' program

military equipment police
© Associated Press
The Pentagon on Tuesday mounted a vigorous defense of the surplus military equipment transfer program that has drawn criticism following the police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Defense Department's chief spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters during a briefing that the 1033 program was not "some program run amok," despite images of heavily armored officers in Ferguson that have fed concerns about the "militarization" of local law enforcement.

Congress created the program in 1990 to allow police departments to apply for free transfers of excess military equipment as local authorities sought to beef up security to combat drug gangs. Transfers have increased as the Pentagon wound down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While a House proposal seeks to boost accountability and limit the kind of equipment that the military can give to local law enforcement, Kirby said there were already safeguards in place and that the Pentagon had the authority to stop future transfers to police departments.

Read more here.


Comment: It's perfect. The CIA creates a drug business selling mostly to poor minority groups to fund its black ops. The local cops can't keep up (after all, the CIA is funding it), so here comes the Pentagon with used weapons they want to get rid of so they can buy shiny, new, more destructive toys. Local cop shops are happy and so is the arms industry. Not mentioned, but no less significant is the bundle Israel is making off US police departments, by running training sessions with the IDF in "crowd control" and other urban military techniques. Is it any wonder that it's hard to tell the difference between images of Ferguson and images of Gaza?

Eye 2

Obama heads back on vacation after taking strange trip back to DC for 48 hours

President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha's Vineyard Tuesday evening after spending less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place.

Obama's two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.

Administration officials have insisted for weeks that the president just wanted to return to the White House for a series of meetings, but the explanation was met with a healthy dose of skepticism, because Obama rarely interrupts his vacations.

Judicial Watch estimates the extra trip cost $1.1 million. Only daughter Malia accompanied Obama back to Washington.

Speculation for why Obama returned focused around the possibility of a secret foreign leader meeting or the rollout of a new administration initiative on immigration or corporate taxes.

But no such explanation materialized.
War Whore

British extremists among the most vicious in Islamic State ranks sez jihadism expert

© AFP Photo / HO
An image grab uploaded on June 19, 2014 by Al-Hayat Media Centre shows Abu Muthanna al-Yemeni (C), believed to be Nasser Muthana, a 20-year-old man from Cardiff, Wales, speaking in an online video titled "There is no life without Jihad" from an undisclosed location
British extremists are among the "most vicious and vociferous fighters" in the Islamic State ranks, a jihadism expert says. This comes as a brutal video emerged in which an IS fighter with a British accent beheads a US journalist.

Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King's College London, said in an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today program that British fighters had been operating as suicide bombers and executioners.

"Foreign fighters going out to Syria are not going out there to be backseat riders. They are going out to be full participants in the war, to be at the forefront of the conflict," he said.

Maher said he and his colleagues are going through databases of fighters in Syria, trying to identify the executioner, who he believes is British.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron canceled his vacation and returned to Downing Street on Wednesday in light of the video and reports that the IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighter in the video could be a British national.

"He will meet with the foreign secretary and senior officials from the Home Office, Foreign Office and the agencies to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by ISIL terrorists," a spokesperson said.
If true, the murder of James Foley is shocking and depraved. I will today chair meetings on the situation in Iraq/Syria.

- David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 20, 2014
Over the weekend, the PM wrote in the Sunday Times that if the UK did not act to "stem the onslaught of this exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement, it will only grow stronger until it can target us on the streets of Britain." He added that, "We already know that it has the murderous intent."
Eye 2

Islamic State claims it executed photojournalist James Foley in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq


The Islamic State released a video claiming it executed Foley.
The Islamic State militant group claimed Tuesday to have beheaded an American photojournalist in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

A video posted on YouTube, later removed, purported to show the execution of James Foley after he recited a statement in which he called the U.S. government "my real killers." A second prisoner, said to be Steven Joel Sotloff, like Foley an American journalist who disappeared while covering Syria's civil war, then appears in the video.

The masked executioner, speaking in English with what sounds like a British accent, identifies Sotloff and says that "the life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision."

American intelligence officials believe the video is authentic but are continuing to evaluate it, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday morning.

In a statement Tuesday, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said of the video: "If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available."
Quenelle

Switzerland refuses to sidestep Russian food ban for EU

© Reuters
Switzerland has said it will not re-export European agricultural products to Russia that now can't get access to the country's market.

"We have had requests from European countries, including the producers of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat, but we didn't give permission to have their products imported to Switzerland and then exported to Russia," as ITAR-TASS quotes Jurg Jordi, a spokesman at the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture.

Swiss legislation requires certifying food exports for hygiene, which it can't do if the products are processed outside its borders, Jordi told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The newspaper writes that Moscow's embargo on imports of some food products from the EU, introduced early August, did not affect Switzerland as it did not apply wide sanctions against Russia.

"As such the Russian ban on EU cheese imports hasn't had much of an effect on us yet," the WSJ quotes Daniel Daetwyler, the Chief Executive of InterCheese.

Comment: See: European food producers trying to get around Russian food embargo by going through Switzerland

Eye 2

Foreign Secretary: ISIS militants behind James Foley execution video represent 'direct threat' to UK security

© AFP Photo / HO
Islamic State militants, who released a video allegedly showing the beheading of a US journalist, 'represent a direct threat' to UK security said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. David Cameron has cut short his holiday to respond to the incident.

American photojournalist James Wright Foley went missing almost two years ago while covering the conflict in Syria as a freelance photographer. The militants proclaimed the violent act as "a message to America" for its decision to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Iraq.

In the grisly film, Foley appears kneeling beside a masked man who speaks with a British accent. Foley read a letter which blames the US government for "hammering the final nail into his coffin" before his beheading with a short blade.

A linguistics expert, Dr Claire Hardaker, who has studied the audio from the short film, told LBC Radio listeners she believes the killer is from London.

The Islamist group also threatened to kill another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff of World Affairs and Time, stating his life "depends on Obama's next decision." Sotloff has been missing since mid-2013, and his Twitter account indicates his last known location was Libya.
Attention

Supremacy: A social order of division, control and enslavement

Hierarchies
© iStock
Hierarchies are built and maintained with consistent and predictable attitudes and behaviors. The rules and roles might appear ridiculous, but are nonetheless pervasive and rigidly followed. Everyone in a hierarchy lives by the dictated higher or lower roles.
"It seemed like Mrs. Elliott was taking our best friends away from us."

These are the words of a third-grader from Riceville, Iowa. Her schoolteacher, Jane Elliott, had just put her class through an exercise that showcased the viciousness and injustice of white supremacy in the late 1960s.

Jane Elliott has since replicated this exercise countless times, but her original lesson remains a groundbreaking insight into the mechanisms of supremacy as depicted in the documentary A Class Divided. By labeling the blue-eyed students in her class smarter and better, and giving them more privileges than the brown-eyed students, Jane Elliott instantly creates division and hostility between the two groups.

She constantly reinforces the superiority of her blue-eyed students who suddenly feel more confident and perform better at tasks than their now demoralized and dejected brown-eyed classmates. This division creates conflict between the students, which greatly upsets them and even leads to physical fights.

Jane Elliott is stunned by the results of her exercise, saying: "I watched what had been marvelous, cooperative, wonderful, thoughtful children turn into nasty, vicious, discriminating little third-graders in a space of fifteen minutes."

Jane Elliott's exercise clearly illustrates how simple it is to ignite conflict between people once a group of individuals is elevated above another. It also demonstrates how supremacy creates powerlessness in the "inferior" group and that the loss of personal power eventually leads to hostility and violence.

This is the system we live under today - a hierarchy that ranks people based on their "worth" and socio-economic status.
Bad Guys

Iran's gas deal with Europe is a knife to the back of Putin

On Thursday, Ukraine's parliament passed a law that will allow foreign investors to lease up to 49 percent of Ukraine's transit pipelines and underground gas storage facilities. The bill, which had failed to pass just weeks earlier, was approved by the slimmest of margins, 2 votes, suggesting that there might have been some arm twisting or bribery behind the scenes. The new law is a victory for the Obama administration and western elites who want to control the flow of gas from Russia to the EU, set prices, and make sure that transactions continue to be denominated in dollars. Here's a little more background from an article in Reuters:
"Ukraine's parliament approved a law on Thursday to allow gas transit facilities to be leased on a joint venture basis with participation from firms in the European Union or United States....The government has said the joint venture will bring in investment and remove the need for the South Stream pipeline, which Russia's Gazprom is building to take gas to southeastern Europe across the Black Sea, avoiding Ukraine.

If South Stream is built, it threatens to deprive Ukraine's badly strained budget of the transit fees that it currently receives from Russia for gas heading towards Europe.

The EU imports 30 percent of its natural gas needs from Russia, and about half of that comes via Ukraine, with some already having been diverted through the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea." ("Ukrainian parliament backs bill to open gas pipelines to EU, U.S. firms", The Star)
You can see that the bloody, fratricidal conflict in Ukraine has nothing to do with democracy, sovereignty or even "evil" Putin. It's all about gas and pipelines. It's all part of Washington's grand plan to put a wedge between Russia and the EU, control the flow of vital resources, and establish NATO bases on Russia's western flank. The fact that the article mentions South Stream is particularly revealing. The Obama administration is doing everything in its power to sabotage South Stream so that Russia will be unable to bypass troublemaking Ukraine and sell its gas directly to countries across Europe. (Here's a map of South Stream.)
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