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Thu, 11 Feb 2016
The World for People who Think


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...

Jet5

Monolithic and Ruthless Conspiracy: The West's Obliteration of Yemen by Covert Means

© Unknown
In August, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, declared after visiting the country: "Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years."
Saudi Arabia's unilateral blockade of Yemen since late March 2015 has caused a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions in the Arabian peninsula. It is extremely difficult for journalists, aid workers and diplomats to access the country, but from the little information that does leak out, it is clear the situation there is dire. From a population of 25 million - about the same as Syria's pre-2011 - at least 16 million Yemenis are without clean water, there is a critical shortage of medicine, and 6.5 million civilians are at risk of starvation, including 1.7 million children presently at risk of malnutrition. Peter Maurer, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said after visiting the country last August: "Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years."

Widespread aerial bombardment by air forces of the Saudi and Gulf states - with significant direct and indirect military assistance from the US and UK - has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. During a press briefing early this year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that "the number of civilian casualties recorded between 26 March and 31 December, 2015 [is] 8,119 people, including 2,795 killed and 5,324 wounded." However, Dr. Judith Brown, who worked in Yemen for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, points out that the death toll resulting from this military intervention is probably much higher than reported.

Propaganda

UK rag The Telegraph: 'US intelligence to conduct EU-wide investigation into Russian spies infiltrating European organizations'

© JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty
American Intelligence chief James Clapper: 'Am I not awesome? Look at how exceptional I am!'
The recent Telegraph exclusive publishing specious claims by 'anonymous US sources' that Russia is covertly 'undermining EU unity', specifically by conducting "Kremlin influence operations" and infiltrating political parties, is the latest in a long line of hysterical nonsense from the self-styled 'exceptional' rulers of the world. Can you believe the gall of these idiots? Their lies are so obvious, you can only shake your head at how desperate they have become.

By the time we came of age, the paranoid insanity of the "Red Menace" had long become something to look back and cringe at. 'Russian spies dividing Europe' was the hallmark of a Cold War in which every subversive (and often violent) act of US foreign policy was justified because 'the Russians are doing it'. The US has been, and is, infiltrating various European political parties - and even Russian ones - via its Orwellian "Non-Governmental Organizations", spreading US influence and buying politicians who will be subservient to the Empire. And that's just the 'soft power' stuff. There's also a sordid history of overthrowing governments, rigging elections, bribing (and even assassinating) leaders - and it's an unbroken chain right up to the 2014 overthrow of the Yanukovich government in Kiev. So it is rather galling to see the US State Department accusing others of doing something for which it is infamous.

The Telegraph article is itself an example of the Western elites doing what they accuse the Russians of doing. Not only are these Anglo-American hypocrites spreading false information, in the process they are projecting what they are doing onto the Russians, whose 'crime' is to take an independent stance on certain global issues. Others have already ripped the claims to shreds, so we just want to draw your attention to a couple of points.

Here we have a British 'newspaper of repute' (one that is notorious for operating as an arm of British intelligence) announcing that American intelligence will conduct a "major investigation" - led by US Director of National Intelligence James "not willfully" Clapper - into the Kremlin's 'infiltration' and alleged secret funding of European political parties over the last decade. Additionally, The Telegraph informs us, Washington is "becoming concerned about" Moscow's alleged efforts to undermine NATO, block US missile defense and undo the Western sanctions imposed on Russia after it rescued Crimea from Ukraine's deadly embrace with Western 'civilization'.

Pirates

New Daesh propaganda video shows Paris attackers, continues to facilitate U.S. foreign policy

This weekend, Daesh's propaganda outlet, SITE Intel Group, err, I mean Alhayat Media Center, released a video containing footage of several of the accused perpetrators of the Paris terror attacks and purporting to identify several others. It's typical Daesh propaganda: slick production value, stylized murder and gore, violent slogans and calls for jihad. On the one hand, I don't recommend watching it. Like most of their videos, it includes explicit close-ups of brutal murders: beheadings, gunshot wounds to the head. On the other hand, if you can somehow block out those parts, it's a fascinating example of riffing on and appropriating Western 'pop' culture for its own purposes. Whoever is making these videos knows what they're doing.

The video begins with a screen capture of what is supposed to be an encrypted email listing the sites of the Paris attacks and the name of the operation: "KILL THEM WHEREVER YOU FIND THEM". As Ed Snowden pointed out on his Twitter, however, it's an obvious fake, created for the video.


Hearts

For all the children who drowned and keep drowning in the Aegean Sea

Well, it didn't take long for our prediction to come true. We warned back in September 2015 that sympathy for the Syrian/Arab/Muslim refugees would be transformed into hate to fuel geopolitical motives. Just four months separates the 'refugee rape epidemic' that, apparently, spontaneously broke out across Europe on New Year's Eve, from the date when 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach. Like the 'horde' of Syrians fleeing their NATO-torn country, Aylan's family tried crossing the Aegean Sea in a rubber dinghy, in dire weather conditions. Aylan, his 5-year-old brother Galib, and their mother Rehana, drowned.

Just to remind you of the chronology of events here. A photo-journalist happened to be at the beach Aylan washed up on; Western journalists suddenly noticed refugees were dying in droves; and the public expressed outrage for the 'collateral damage' pouring out of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. Whether or not Aylan's fate was deliberately used as political capital, public sympathy flowed for those fleeing the shadow of imminent and violent death. So many other events have transpired since that dark day in September. These days, you can barely register sadness for the loss of innocent lives before fresh atrocities make new headlines.

Death toll

But children drowning in the Aegean soon became yesterday's news, to be replaced more recently by growing public anger at and hatred towards those same people. Does anyone feel like they're being manipulated?

Over at the Greek edition of SOTT.net, however, we didn't forget because we couldn't. Reports of new drownings came in almost daily. We kept track of them as best we could. Since Aylan's death, more than 180 child refugees are known to have drowned in the Aegean Sea. In most cases of mass drownings, a majority of the fatalities are children who don't know how to swim, and who are too small for their life-saving vests. For some of the refugees, even the parents, it was their first, and last, time seeing open waters. This list (with links to Greek reports) is long, unfortunately:

Binoculars

New Year's in Cologne: Sexual crime and the radicalizing of European society

By now we've all heard what happened in Cologne, Germany, on New Year's Eve. A group of 1000 refugees allegedly caused mayhem in the city's main square, drinking heavily, launching firecrackers into the crowd, robbing people, and sexually assaulting over 100 women. According to Cologne police, over 200 cases of sexual assault have been registered. A climate of fear is the result, along with a backlash against authorities, from local police to Germany's leadership. It's "sexual terrorism" at its worst, proof that Germany's experiment in multiculturalism, and their open-arms policy to refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, have been utter failures. The coverage and reactions are unequivocal.

But is this narrative justified? Hardly. We don't even have a clear idea of exactly what happened in Cologne that night. The fact that all media outlets are in agreement - in a country where the media is controlled by the CIA - indicates the 'operational' and contrived nature of the coverage, and perhaps even the event itself.

So far, available video from the scene shows a large crowd of young people (mostly men) on the square, some obviously drinking, and several of them launching firecrackers into the sky and some into the crowd. Basically, a large group, or several smaller groups, of teens and twenty-somethings acting like teens and twenty-somethings do in most of the Western world: irresponsibly and "just having a bit of fun". What the videos don't show, but what certainly also occurred, was a series of sexual assaults on women in the area by an unknown number of these young men. Victims report being forced through groups of young men - of Middle Eastern or North African appearance - where they were repeatedly groped at, some robbed, and at least one or two reportedly raped.

Comment:



Tornado2

SOTT Earth Changes Summary - December 2015: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

© Sott.net
A year of astonishing weather events and devastating natural disasters came to a dramatic end last month, ruining Christmas celebrations for many. Unusual atmospheric conditions and a severely looping northern jet stream brought record warmth to the Arctic and Western Europe, where back-to-back storms pummeled the UK, Ireland and Norway with record-breaking rainfall and hurricane-force winds. A similar situation developed on the opposite side of the globe, where, for the second year running, the most intense North Pacific storm ever recorded slammed into Alaska and brought intense flooding to the US Northwest.

December 2015 was a 'tale of two USAs', with the western half generally experiencing record cold, record snowfall, and ice storms, while the eastern states experienced record warmth, fatal tornado outbreaks and record flooding. Incredibly, it was warmer on Christmas Day in Boston and New York City than it was on July 4th. Severe flooding affected all continents, with over 100,000 people displaced in the capital of Congo, Kinshasa; another 160,000 displaced in central Latin America; and 300 killed by 'the worst flooding in over a century' in southern India.

There were also multiple volcanic eruptions last month, spectacular meteor fireball sightings, gaping sinkholes swallowing homes, and localized storms of such intensity that falling hail turned streets into rivers of ice in northern Argentina, while tornadoes touched down in New Zealand. The animal kingdom is also feeling the effects of global upheaval: mass fish kills continue apace; enormous whales continue washing up on sea shores; and, for the second time in 5 months, a giant squid was filmed coming up to the surface... Does something stir in the deep?

These were the signs of the times in December 2015.


Heart - Black

Wannabe Sultan Erdoğan and the Dark Side of the Late Ottoman Empire

© Adem Altan/Reuters
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan walks down the stairs in between soldiers, wearing traditional army uniforms from the Ottoman Empire.
I was surprised to learn that many Turkish people on social media have been supporting Turkey's President Erdoğan's actions and stance, whether it concerned the unlawful downing of a Russian jet, its cruel treatment of Kurdish civilians living in Turkey, or its oil dealings with terrorists. Some of them even go as far as rooting for a come-back of the Ottoman Empire. But how many of them know about the real recent history of the Late Ottoman Empire, and the many innocent people who died during that time?
"[Professor of Modern History] Christian Gerlach ... claims that societies like the ones in the Late Ottoman Empire or in Nazi Germany are characterized by mass violence against numerous political, religious or ethnic groups instead of only one."
- Dominik J. Schaller and Jürgen Zimmerer
As the quote above suggests, the Young Turk era (1906-1918) of the late Ottoman Empire bore a lot of similarities to Hitler's Germany. In Late Ottoman Genocides, historians Schaller and Zimmerer write: "A new generation of historians working on World War II and the German war of extermination in Eastern Europe have ... shown that the Nazis' "struggle for Lebensraum" was not only directed against the Jews - though they held an out-standing position as ultimate arch enemies in Hitler's ideology - but also affected Poles, Russians, Roma and several other groups." In similar fashion, the Late Ottoman Empire, in its desire to create a homogenous empire consisting of only Turks, set out to exterminate different non-Turkish groups: Assyrians, Armenians, Greeks, and Kurds, among others.

The Young Turks leaders' systematic policy of violent 'turkification' first targeted the Greeks: "More than 100,000 Ottoman Greeks were expelled from the Aegean and Thrace to create living space for Muslim refugees who had themselves been brutally driven away from Crete and the Balkans. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks were deported from the coastal regions to the interior due to alleged strategic reasons during the war. Finally the anti-Greek campaign of the Young Turks found its continuation in [Turkey's first President] Mustafa Kemal's expulsion of the Ottoman Greeks. The burning of Smyrna [known today as İzmir, Turkey] and the slaughter of its Christian inhabitants in 1922 marked the symbolic end of Greek presence in Turkey." The massacres and forced deportations had cost the lives of up to one million Greeks.

Approximately 300,000 Assyrians residing in the Ottoman Empire were murdered; their villages were burned, and churches were destroyed. The number of Armenians who were targeted by the Young Turks' policy in 1915 however exceeded that of the others, with up to 1.5 million Armenians meeting their death by either being burned alive - sometimes in groups of only women and children - or dying from starvation and fatigue on the death marches leading to the Syrian desert. While some Kurds joined Ottoman soldiers in murdering, raping and looting Armenians, some Kurdish groups such as the Alevis from Dersim [today Tunceli Provence, Turkey] gave refuge to Armenians. As a result, they too were not exempted from the Young Turks' brutality. During World War I, up to 700,000 Kurds - including the perpetrators - were forcibly removed with approximately half of the displaced perishing.

Cow

'Liberal' British Newspaper The Guardian Exposes Itself (again) as Propaganda Wing of Fascist British Government

A headline, from today, on the British Guardian newspaper's web site:
Murder in Istanbul: Kremlin's hand suspected in shooting of Chechen
'Oh, those terrible Russians and that ruthless Putin are up to their old extrajudicial murder tricks again! Will they never learn about real democracy! At least we, the great Western public (and therefore representatives of the 'global community'), are holding them to account as best we can by imposing 'sanctions' and hysterically demonizing them every time they fly a plane near Scotland.'

The above reflects, more or less, the thoughts that would have rattled around the, largely empty, vessel that is the cranium of the average Western citizen, as he or she read the above Guardian headline. And what else can we expect when such pernicious propaganda is catapulted at them on a daily basis?

Look at that headline again: "Murder". Well, right there you have the judgement... MURDER! And who did? The KREMLIN! Who else! And the victim? A CHECHEN! Oh dear Lord! Those poor chech-y people who have, for decades, if I vaguely remember, been trying to tear themselves away from the greedy grasp of the new Russian/Soviet Empire! There's no need to read any further, we have all the information we need!

Light Saber

My distant cousin Serpico: the man who took a bullet to expose police corruption


Photo by Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News
While growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, just a short train ride away from New York City, I always heard tales of my distant cousin, Frank Serpico "the Cop", from my father, my aunt, and my grandmother. From what I understood, he is my grandmother's third cousin, and all I knew as a kid was that he stood up to corruption among police and got shot in the face for it.


Poster for "Serpico" (1973) starring Al Pacino
As a kid I didn't quite understand his importance yet, but when I grew up and started questioning the world around me, particularly my religious upbringing and then the government, I began to see all of the evil and corruption at the heart of society - I soon realized what a great man Frank truly is. I eventually became more interested in Frank after seeing the movie "Serpico" (1973) starring Al Pacino (based on a biography also titled Serpico written by Peter Maas) and it dawned on me how questioning authority and exposing corruption might just run in my blood. Although semi-famous, I found that hardly anyone of my generation knew who he was, let alone what he did and how important it is. I've never actually met Frank, although I would certainly like to - so if you're reading this, Serpico, don't hesitate to reach out!

With the increasing militarization of police departments, rampant police brutality across the country, the sparking of the Black Lives Matter movement, and roughly 1000 people killed by police officers in 2015 alone (well over 1000 according to killedbypolice.net), we are dealing with something serious in this country. I feel now is more important than ever for more people (particularly those of my generation) to be aware of who Frank Serpico is, what he did at great risk to his own life, and why it's important. We must all speak out about militarization of police, police brutality, and other instances of corruption in law enforcement, and it is especially important for the few remaining good cops, those who truly want to change the oppressive atmosphere within the police force that Serpico endured, to also speak out.