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Attention

Ukraine's top general admits: "No Russian troops are fighting against us"

Ukraine's top general is contradicting allegations by the Obama Administration and by his own Ukrainian Government, by saying that no Russian troops are fighting against the Ukrainian Government's forces in the formerly Ukrainian, but now separatist, area, where the Ukrainian civil war is being waged.

Here is a screen-print of a google-chrome auto-translation of that statement:

Comment: Muzhenko also stated that the Ukrainian army had everything it needed to "rout" the NAF. Really, Muzh? Facts on the ground are saying otherwise:



Cheese

French government 'invites you to be wary of those who do not eat baguettes'


A French government infographic titled: "jihadist radicalisation: the first signs that could alert you."
A French government infographic designed to help fight jihadist ideology gets widely shared online - but with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

On Wednesday the French government launched a website to counter terrorism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Its message of national unity, aimed at young people who could be radicalised as well as the general public, quickly made a splash on the internet. The site was liked 17,000 times on Facebook; its official Twitter hashtag (#StopDJihadisme) was used 12,000 times; and a slick video meant to counter jihadist recruiters got over half a million hits.

But it didn't take long for sarcasm to emerge. And it was the government's infographic about radicalisation that seemed to catch the internet's attention most of all. It spells out eight "tell-tale signs" of radicalization for people to watch out for in others, such as withdrawing from friends and family, quitting sporting activity, terminating old friendships and changing the way you dress. "In fact, the campaign to #StopDjihadism isn't about identifying potential jihadists, it's about describing unemployed people," was one of the most widely retweeted quips.

The most cutting remarks were about the warning that those who change their eating habits - indicated in the infographic by a cross over a baguette-shaped object - are likely to become extremists. "The government invites you to be wary of those who do not eat baguettes," said one user, in a theme that was echoed by many others.
Light Saber

Zakharchenko: "Ukraine understands only the language of force"

Zakharchenko
© REUTERS/ Sergei Karpukhin
Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" Alexander Zakharchenko attends a news conference in Donetsk August 11, 2014.
"Ukraine understands only the language of force"--Zakharchenko interview given shortly after the destruction of a streetcar in Donetsk and his denunciation of the ceasefire.

Q: Aleksandr Vladimirovich, the meeting with the mother, it seems you are still under the influence of that meeting.

Zakharchenko: Yes, of course, it influenced me greatly. It's not the first nor the last time, and it's very difficult to talk to people like that. You know, they start to understand where they are once they arrive. I want them to come here as parents. One mother took her son back and told her relatives this is something like a radio station, Ukraine will be able to learn the truth through him, because when I talk to them I understand that Ukrainian media is not showing what is happening here, they show only what is convenient for them to show. Victorious "cyborgs", armed only with one grenade held in their teeth are defending the airport for 241 days, which we practically did not attack. But once we started our attack, it turned out that the victorious cyborgs could not stand against us for even two days, but only because we were wrong in our estimate of the number of units defending the airport.

Comment: When was the last time you saw Poroshenko on the front?



Sheeple

Poland to begin civilian military training as government continues anti-Russian propaganda

© Reuters/Kacper Pempel
Poland plans to allow civilians to sign up for military training. With anti-Russian hysteria spreading like wildfire, Warsaw has rushed to step up its defense systems amid fears over the ongoing military conflict in neighboring eastern Ukraine.

"All citizens interested in taking part in military exercises will be able to sign up starting March 1" at regional recruitment centers, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told reporters on Thursday.

Although Poland, Central Europe's largest country, ended conscription in 2008, Siemoniak said that some 38,000 reservists would be called up to take part in exercises in 2016, compared to the 12,000 this year. The ministry also plans to involve paramilitary groups in its new defense policy, AFP reported.

Since the crisis broke out in eastern Ukraine, Poland, a NATO member state, has been busy revamping its armed forces. Warsaw plans to spend 33 billion euros ($37 billion) over a decade on the overhaul.

"The chances of a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian crisis are increasingly slim. Russia's obvious goal is to block Ukraine's path toward Europe," Siemoniak said, adding that Russia's use of "military means" poses "a long-term threat to Europe."

© Reuters/Kacper Pempel
Members of Poland's special commando unit Lubliniec disembark from a Mi-17 helicopter during the "Noble Sword-14" NATO international tactical exercise at the land forces training centre in Oleszno, near Drawsko Pomorskie, northwest Poland September 9, 2014
Bad Guys

Kiev junta detains two Russian journalists

© Photos from VK and Facebook
Life News journalists Elizaveta Khramtsova and Natalia Kalysheva
Two Russian journalists working for Life News TV channel have been detained in Kiev by Ukraine's Security Service, which says the crew will be expelled from the country and denied entry for five years.

The news of the journalists' detention was first tweeted by Director General of NewsMedia group Aram Gabrelyanov.

"Life News journalists have been detained in Kiev by SBU [Ukraine's Security Service]," he posted. "They've been taken away in an unknown direction. They claim they are investigating some subway bomb planting."

The detention was later confirmed by the SBU's senior adviser, Markian Lubkovsky. "I'd like to confirm that SBU in Kiev detained two citizens of the Russian Federation, Life News journalists," he wrote on Facebook, adding that the journalists will "in the near future be expelled" from Ukraine and denied entry for five years.

"These Russian citizens' activity has nothing in common with journalism and can be described as harmful to Ukraine's security and national interests," Lubkovsky's post reads.


Comment: Yes, since Ukraine's "national interests" are to intimidate and suppress any factual reporting by outside parties, it's not surprising to see Ukraine arrest these two journalists and, if they are lucky, kicked out of the country.

Chess

Look to the East: Russia considering economic bailout of Greece

© RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Belousov
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov
Greece hasn't outright asked Russia for a loan, but Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moscow wouldn't rule it out. His statement comes days after Greece openly opposed further economic sanctions against Russia.

"Well, we can imagine any situation, so if such [a] petition is submitted to the Russian government, we will definitely consider it, but we will take into account all the factors of our bilateral relationships between Russia and Greece, so that is all I can say. If it is submitted we will consider it," Siluanov told CNBC in an interview in Moscow on Thursday.

The new left-wing Syriza government in Greece won a majority at last Sunday's election on the promise to renegotiate the country's €317 billion debt and end austerity.

Greece needs to negotiate with EU policymakers by February 28 in order to receive the next tranche of bailout funds. If Athens doesn't get the money it will have difficulty servicing its debt. Two bailouts were paid in 2010 and 2014 totaling €240 billion.

Light Saber

Palestine's recourse to the ICC

Impunity for Israeli war crimes encourages more gross violations of international law. Palestine's application to the International Criminal Court is a welcome step toward accountability.
© Sergey Ponomarev/NY Times
The bodies of members of the Abu Jamei family killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014.
Where, in this post 9/11 world, are war criminals to be held accountable?

Not in the United States, where a Senate report on CIA torture has failed to indict the initiators and implementers, despite "harsh interrogation" techniques that included sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, rectal feeding (rape) and waterboarding, and where the painful force-feeding of hunger strikers at the Guantánamo prison continues unabated.

Not in Israel, where its indiscriminate attacks on UN schools, public buildings and private residences in Gaza last July killed more than 1,500 civilians (including 500 children), and where the country's leaders have justified such carnage as an appropriate response to Hamas rockets that killed five Israeli civilians (including one child).

So it's not surprising that both the United States and Israel have condemned Palestine's decision to join the International Criminal Court (as the 123rd member) and deplore the recent decision of the ICC prosecutor to investigate possible war crimes by both Israel and Palestinian members of Hamas.

According to The New York Times of January 17, the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called the action of the court's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, "inflammatory" and said he would oppose Israeli cooperation with the inquiry and would call for disbandment of the court. The US State Department weighed in on the side of Israel, arguing that since the Palestinians do not have their own state they were ineligible to join the court.

Recognizing Palestine as a state, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on November 29, 2012, to accord Palestine "non-member observer status in the UN." Only the United States and eight other governments voted against it. As a UN observer state, Palestine signed the Rome Statute on January 1, 2015, a day after a UN resolution mandating Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank failed to pass at the Security Council. As a result, Palestine will formally become a member of the ICC on April 1, 2015.

Comment: International human rights organizations and your average human beings have been accusing Israel of war crimes for quite some time. We're not holding our breath, but we hope Israel is held accountable for indiscriminate killing innocent women, children and civilians in their violent occupation of Palestine.

And fortunately, more and more countries are ceasing to care what the hypocrites Israel and U.S. think and have recognized Palestine's right to exist.

See also:
A Sovereign Palestinian State?

Bad Guys

At least 12 civilians dead after shelling of humanitarian aid center, bus stop in Donetsk

© RIA Novosti/Sergey Averin
At least 12 civilians have been killed in a rocket attack in Donetsk, RIA Novosti reported, citing Donetsk People's Republic officials. Ukraine's military has blamed the separatists for the attack, calling it an attempt to undermine Minsk peace talks.

Two civilians were killed at a trolleybus stop, and five others died while waiting in a line for humanitarian aid. Five more people died in the Azotnoye district of the city.


The Donetsk People's Republic Defense Ministry claims the attack was carried out from nearby residential area which is according to them "a neutral zone located to the north of Donetsk Airport." The spokesman says "the Ukrainian forces approach, attack and then step back to their positions."

The humanitarian headquarters has stopped aid distribution across Donetsk in order to keep locals and volunteers safe.

On January 24, a residential area in the port city of Mariupol came under fire, killing 30 people and injuring 100.

On January 22, 15 people were killed when shells hit a trolleybus stop in Donetsk.

On Monday, Kiev announced a state of emergency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and put other Ukrainian regions on high alert.

On Friday, talks between the contact group's members on the Ukrainian conflict should have taken place in Minsk, but were canceled due to the absence of the Kiev representative, Lugansk and Donetsk representatives told RIA Novosti.

"Unfortunately, the Ukrainian side didn't join. Ukraine is still avoiding dialogue," Lugansk's Vladislav Deinego said.

Comment: It looks as though the Ukrainian authorities are intentionally bombing the areas (again) that would provide humanitarian relief to the Ukrainians - something only monsters would do.

See: Western propaganda exposed as Russian convoy 'invades' Ukraine with humanitarian aid

Video

The dark marriage of the CIA and Hollywood

© 21st Century Wire
One of the more fanciful, or thought to be fanciful, topics I've been covering for a good while now is the subject of the relationship of the CIA to Hollywood.

Recent blockbusters like Zero Dark Thirty and American Sniper focus on the military and intelligence agencies in supposed "based on true events" scenarios, but is more at work here? The film industry has always loved tales of espionage, but in reality, the creation and manufacturing of a completely alternate reality and history is far more extensive than most would assume.

While many films have nobly challenged assumptions about war in figures like Kubrick or Stone, for the most part, film has functioned as one of the most powerful forms of propaganda in the western establishment's arsenal.

Watching some old G.I. Joe cartoon episodes for an upcoming analysis, I was not surprised to find Harvard psychological consultants as part of the production of the show, as reaching the youth with propaganda is central to creating cubicle dwelling automatons later in life. Likewise, researching this as a thesis topic was also instrumental in making these connections, as was the mass of information in Peter Levenda's Sinister Forces trilogy. More recently, a plethora of news articles have surfaced that highlight this deep relationship, as this rabbit hole never ends. The coalescing of intelligence agencies, secret societies and Hollywood in reality is more sensational than any incestuous cult a pulp crime fiction writer could dream up.

Author John Rizzo has recently published a book titled, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA, which is an amazing admission of this scandalous affair between intelligence and the film industry. The L.A. Times comments:
"The CIA has long had a special relationship with the entertainment industry, devoting considerable attention to fostering relationships with Hollywood movers and shakers - studio executives, producers, directors, big-name actors," John Rizzo, the former acting CIA general counsel, wrote in his new book, Company Man: Thirty Years of Crisis and Controversy in the CIA...
The CIA also recruits actors to give more visibility to propaganda projects abroad, such as a documentary secretly produced by the agency, Rizzo said. And the agency sometimes takes advantage of the door-opening cachet that movie stars and other American celebrities enjoy. A star who met a world leader, for example, might be asked for details about that meeting.

Comment: This is just the tip of the iceberg. See:

Black Cat

Orwell lives - U.S. "fighting" terror group with fictional leaders

ISIS map

Threats from a fictional terrorist group
US claims to be waging war against "Islamic State" whose various "al-Baghdadi" leaders do not exist.

In 2007, the New York Times revealed that long-vilified "Islamic State" leader Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi did not exist, and that the creation of this fictional character was a ruse to obfuscate the role of foreigners in the creation and perpetuation of "Al Qaeda in Iraq."

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.In an article titled, "Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says," the NYT reports.

The NYT would also reveal the purpose of the deception:
The ruse, Bergner said, was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization.
The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.
The admission by US military leaders, reported in the NYT, reveals that the so-called "Islamic State" was nothing more than an appendage of Al Qaeda - with Al Qaeda itself directly armed, funded, and backed by stalwart US allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Despite the NYT and the Pentagon's admissions, the entire ruse has continued, on an exponential scale.
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