Puppet Masters
Map


Megaphone

Pope calls for end to war, condemns waste exacerbating hunger

© REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Pope Francis waves as he arrives to deliver the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) benediction at the end of the Easter Mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 20, 2014.
Pope Francis, in his Easter address before a huge crowd, on Sunday denounced the "immense wastefulness" in the world while many go hungry and called for an end to conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Africa.

"We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent," he said in his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message.

Francis, marking the second Easter season of his pontificate, celebrated a Mass to an overflowing crowd of at least 150,000 in St. Peter's Square and beyond.

The crowd stretched back along all of Via della Conciliazione, the boulevard between the Vatican and the Tiber River.

Speaking under a sunny sky after a midnight rainstorm soaked the tens of thousands of flowers that bedecked the square, Francis weaved his message around the suffering of people across the globe.
Bad Guys

Ukraine shootout threatens to bury Geneva peace deal - CIA probably responsible

Kiev ridicules claims by Russians that violence at Slavyansk checkpoint was caused by far-right Ukrainian nationalists

slavyansk cars
© Maysun/Corbis
The wreckage of the vehicles after a midnight shootout at a Slavyansk checkpoint.
An international agreement to defuse the crisis in Ukraine was all but shredded on Sunday after a shootout in the separatist town of Slavyansk.

Three days after the Geneva deal brought modest hopes for a resolution to the gravest east-west stand-off since the end of the cold war, the midnight incident at a checkpoint - in which reports said as many as five people were killed - unleashed a torrent of accusations and counter-accusations that bodes ill for international peacemakers.

Russia claimed that far-right Ukrainian nationalists opened fire at the checkpoint just outside the town, seized by an armed pro-Russian militia two weeks ago. The foreign ministry in Moscow accused Kiev of failing to disarm "extremists and terrorists" and blamed the clash on the Right Sector, a nationalist Ukrainian group that has supported the pro-Western interim government in Ukraine.

The new self-proclaimed mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, said Russian troops were urgently needed to protect the civilian population. He threatened to "personally shoot" Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov if he could.

The authorities in Kiev described the incident in the early hours of Sunday as a "crude provocation", made for Russian TV. They said some of the details of the shootout were so implausible as to be ridiculous.


Comment: What a bunch of hot air! Liars are quick to dismiss and ridicule the truth, but they always forget one thing: evidence to back up their 'version' of events.

Pocket Knife

Bizarre French court ruling bans village from using their name

© MarkMatters.com
The Mayor of Laguiole has appealed directly to French President François Hollande after a court ruled that the village's name was the property of a knife manufacturer.

Vincent Alazard's plea comes after the Court of Appeal ruled that the village's name cannot be attached to any product other than those under the Laguiole brand, several of which are made in China.

It is the latest twist in a long-running legal battle which has reportedly so far cost residents €100,000.

Despite the mounting legal costs the Aveyron village is considering a further legal appeal. Its 1,300 inhabitants are also said to be planning a march on the Élysée Palace.
Powertool

French cancel auction of Nazi property after Jewish protest: political pressure, insulting emails

© AP Photo/Vermot de Pas Auction House
This image provided Monday April, 14, 2014 by French auction House Vermot de Pas shows Nazi leader Hermann Goering's passport. The auction house is abandoning plans to sell dozens of items from Nazi Germany including a small wooden box bearing three swastikas that was once owned by Adolf Hitler. The Vermot de Pas house says about 40 items including passports of Nazi leader Hermann Goering, silverware and a German aviator's watch will not be sold as planned on April 26.
A planned auction in Paris of personal items belonging to Adolf Hitler and Herman Göring has been cancelled.

The Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (CVV) said that the sale at Drouot on April 26 would not go ahead following protests from Jewish organisations. It said that the auction house had decided to cancel the sale.

The Vermot de Pas auction house, which had organised the sale said that it had faced "political pressure" including "insulting emails and phone calls".

The 40 items intended for sale included a monogrammed towel belonging to Adolf Hitler, a wooden chest emblazoned with swastikas, Herman Göring's passport and a 17th-century manuscript presented to Göring in 1935.
Books

Aleksandr Dugin: Letter to the American People on Ukraine

In this difficult hour of serious trouble on our Western borders, I would like to address the American people in order to help you understand better the positions of our Russian patriots, which are shared by the majority of our society.

Difference between the two meanings of being American (in the Russian view)

1. We distinguish between two different things: the American people and the American political elite. We sincerely love the first and we profoundly hate the second.

2. The American people has its own traditions, habits, values, ideals, options and beliefs that are their own. These grant to everybody the right to be different, to choose freely, to be what one wants to be and can be or become. It is wonderful feature. It gives strength and pride, self-esteem and assurance. We Russians admire that.

3. But the American political elite, above all on an international level, are and act quite contrary to these values. They insist on conformity and regard the American way of life as something universal and obligatory. They deny other people the right to difference, they impose on everybody the standards of so called "democracy", "liberalism", "human rights" and so on that have in many cases nothing to do with the set of values shared by the non-Western or simply not North-American society. It is an obvious contradiction with inner ideals and standards of America. Nationally the right to difference is assured, internationally it is denied. So we think that something is wrong with the American political elite and their double standards. Where habits became the norms and contradictions are taken for logic. We cannot understand it, nor can we accept it: it seems that the American political elite is not American at all.

4. So here is the contradiction: the American people are essentially good, but the American elite is essentially bad. What we feel regarding the American elite should not be applied to the American people and vise versa.

5. Because of this paradox it is not so easy for a Russian to express correctly his attitude towards the USA. We can say we love it, we can say we hate it - because both are true. But it is not easy to always express this distinction clearly. It creates many misunderstandings. But if you want to know what Russians really think about the USA you should always keep in mind this remark. It is easy to manipulate this semantic duality and interpret anti-Americanism of Russians in an improper sense. But with these clarifications in mind, all that you hear from us will be much better understood.
Bulb

The Controversy of Zion - Interview With Gilad Atzmon

Last Sunday SOTT Talk Radio talked with world-renowned Jazz musician, essayist and author, Gilad Atzmon. Touring the world with the Orient House Ensemble he founded in London in 2000, Atzmon is an outspoken critic of Israel's policies, not least towards the Palestinians and neighbouring countries.

Born in Israel and grandson to an early Zionist 'freedom fighter', to say that Atzmon's insights about Israel and 'The Jewish Question' have raised a few hackles would be an understatement! Despite receiving support from such high-profile public figures as U.S. academic John Mearsheimer and U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, Atzmon's book The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics has been roundly condemned in Western media.

Accused of being 'anti-semitic' and a 'self-hating Jew', Atzmon counters his critics by continuing to shed light on the strong taboo against questioning Israel or the involvement of high-profile Jewish figures in global 'big power games'.

In this interview Gilad reveals some fascinating information about Jewish political ideology. Don't miss it!

Bad Guys

Russophobia, obsession of the UK elite

© Reuters / Paul Hackett
The gap between the views of the elites and the people in the UK is wider than at any time in the last 100 years.

I mentioned it in an RT OpEdge in September, and now the democratic deficit has once again been highlighted by the relentless attacks on Russia and President Putin from members of our political and media elite. We've seen article after article and heard speech after speech attacking Russia and its president for what has happened in Crimea, and regular attempts to scare the public about the Russian 'threat'.

We've had articles claiming that Putin wants to 'regain Finland', and a warning that he could play the 'Crimean card' in the Baltic states. Yet, despite the torrent of crude anti-Russian propaganda we have been subjected to, which has surpassed anything we had in the coldest part of the 'Cold War' in the 1980s, there's plenty of evidence that this elite Russophobia is not shared by the general public.
Cowboy Hat

Harper: America's useful idiot

harper obama
© unknown
Stephen Harper's acutely embarrassing behaviour regarding the crisis in Ukraine -- demonizing Vladimir Putin and upping the rhetoric -- must be welcomed in the U.S. which created the crisis in the first place and apparently believes it still has something to gain by isolating Russia. But it is not clear that Harper even realizes -- or cares -- what the larger game is.

And that game may include a Russia-driven shift in global currency allegiance that could devastate the economies of the U.S. and Canada.

The generals surrounding him in the ridiculous war-room setting where he announced Canada was sending six fighter jets to bolster NATO's military build-up in eastern Europe looked very uncomfortable. Who likes being used as a prop for a faltering politician? The setting was a bad case of over-acting -- as if we were joining the Allies in another world war rather than engaging in what one expert called "incremental posturing."

Is Harper just a useful idiot to the U.S. -- ranting and raving about Russian expansionism and imperialism so that the U.S. position looks more reasonable by comparison?
Stock Down

Collapse of the Empire: Washington has lost friends and influence in the BRICS

When Barack Obama took office, he pledged a new overture to the world's emerging powers. Today each of the Brics - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - is at loggerheads with America, or worse. Last month four of the five abstained in a UN vote condemning the fifth's annexation of Crimea. Next month India is likely to elect as its new leader Narendra Modi, who says he has "no interest in visiting America other than to attend the UN in New York". As the world's largest democracy, and America's most natural ally among the emerging powers, India's is a troubling weathervane. How on earth did Mr Obama lose the Brics?

Some of it was unavoidable. Early in his first term Mr Obama called for a "reset" of US relations with Russia. His overture was warmly received by Dmitry Medvedev, then Russia's president, who was considerably less anti-western than his predecessor, Vladimir Putin. Unfortunately for Mr Obama, Ukraine, Pussy Riot and many others, Mr Putin repossessed the presidency. The US president can hardly be blamed for that. Things have gone downhill since then.


Comment: Downhill for Washington, that is.

Light Saber

Secrecy breaking down? Guantánamo judge to CIA: Disclose 'black site' details to USS Cole defense lawyers

Accused USS Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al Nashiri


Accused USS Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi, shown at left in a photo before his capture by the CIA in 2002 and by sketch artist Janet Hamlin during a 2011 arraignment at Guántanamo.
The military judge in the USS Cole bombing case has ordered the CIA to give defense lawyers details - names, dates and places - of its secret overseas detention and interrogation of the man accused of planning the bombing, two people who have read the still-secret order said Thursday.

Army Col. James L. Pohl issued the five-page order Monday. It was sealed as document 120C on the war court website Thursday morning and, according to those who have read it, orders the agency to provide a chronology of the overseas odyssey of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 49, from his capture in Dubai in 2002 to his arrival at Guantánamo four years later.

The order sets the stage for a showdown between the CIA and a military judge, if the agency refuses to turn over the information to the prosecution for the defense teams. The order comes while the CIA fights a bitter, public battle with the Senate on its black site torture investigation.

The judge's order instructs prosecutors to provide nine categories of closely guarded classified CIA information to the lawyers - including the names of agents, interrogators and medical personnel who worked at the so-called black sites. The order covers "locations, personnel and communications," interrogation notes and cables between the black sites and headquarters that sought and approved so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, the two sources said.

It does not, however, order the government to turn over Office of Legal Counsel memos that both blessed and defined the so-called Torture Program that sent CIA captives to secret interrogations across the world after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks - out of reach of International Committee of the Red Cross delegates.
Top