Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 22 May 2018
The World for People who Think

Eye 1

COINTELPRO still alive: Black activist speaks out after being jailed by FBI for his anti-police posts on Facebook

Rakem Balogun
© Allison V Smith for the Guardian
Rakem Balogun on being secretly watched by the FBI: ‘It’s tyranny at its finest.’
Rakem Balogun thought he was dreaming when armed agents in tactical gear stormed his apartment. Startled awake by a large crash and officers screaming commands, he soon realized his nightmare was real, and he and his 15-year-old son were forced outside of their Dallas home, wearing only underwear.

Handcuffed and shaking in the cold wind, Balogun thought a misunderstanding must have led the FBI to his door on 12 December 2017. The father of three said he was shocked to later learn that agents investigating "domestic terrorism" had been monitoring him for years and were arresting him that day in part because of his Facebook posts criticizing police.

"It's tyranny at its finest," said Balogun, 34. "I have not been doing anything illegal for them to have surveillance on me. I have not hurt anyone or threatened anyone."

Eye 2

Oligarchal goals for Iran and Syria: Regime change in one means regime change in both

Iran syria flags
Probably the weirdest, dumbest, most annoying thing about writing on US foreign policy right now is the fact that regime change in Iran and regime change in Syria have been falsely spun into the illusion of two separate issues along partisan lines. People who are more aligned with America's Democratic Party are a lot more opposed to the overthrow of the Iranian government and a lot more sympathetic to the idea of getting rid of Assad, and with those who are more aligned with the Republican party it's the exact opposite.

Partisan politics turn people into such drooling idiots. Democratic Party-aligned Americans oppose Trump's withdrawal from the Iran deal because it was Obama's baby, while Republican-aligned Americans support it for the exact same reason. This is a deliberate provocation designed to enable crushing economic sanctions, which the US-centralized war machine always uses as a prelude to war, to weaken and destabilize the nation. Plan A will be for imperial intelligence agencies to stage a coup or fund a violent uprising in order to either throw Iran into impotent chaos or replace its government with a puppet regime (either one satisfies Plan A). Plan B will be something more direct.

Comment: Ms. Johnstone expands on the concept of 'the blob of empire'. It's as succinct as one can get to explaining the actions of the Empire of Chaos:
I find this notion of "the blob" very useful for understanding world events and predicting how they will unfold. If the world were being consumed by an organism like in the 1958 movie The Blob, growing larger and stronger every time it eats someone, it would make sense for it to focus on consuming weaker prey first before turning its gaze onto bigger game. This is why the US-centralized empire is seen aggressively targeting weaker noncompliant governments like Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Syria while being far less directly confrontational with more powerful rivals like Russia and China. The idea is to absorb smaller rivals into the blob, strengthening the US-centralized empire and weakening its rivals, before the final boss fight against China.

The problem with this, of course, is that it's being piloted by oligarchs who are so depraved and sociopathic that they think it's normal to do things like call for the US to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran. Wars are being started and new cold war escalations inflamed between nuclear superpowers under the instruction of deeply evil, profoundly unwise people for whom the possibility of world war and nuclear holocaust is nothing more than a possible outcome in a mildly interesting game. They are gambling with all of our lives in order to secure global dominance for no other reason than their own moronic egotism.



Bad Guys

Merkel: Europe can no longer rely on US to protect it, needs to "take destiny in own hands"

Emmanuel Macron y Angela Merkel,Federalismo,EE.UU. de Europa
© EFE
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Europe can no longer count on the United States to protect it, urging the continent to "take destiny into its own hands."

"It is no longer such that the United States simply protects us, but Europe must take its destiny in its own hands. That's the task of the future," she said during a speech honoring French President Emmanuel Macron, according to Agence France-Presse.

Her sharp comments came days after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, angering European allies who are parties to the 2015 pact.

Macron echoed Merkel, saying European nations should not allow "other major powers, including allies" to "put themselves in a situation to decide our diplomacy [and] security for us."

Merkel, Macron and other European leaders visited the White House over the past few weeks to try to persuade Trump to remain in the agreement, to no avail.

Merkel and Macron released a joint statement with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday saying they will remain in the agreement aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Comment: For decades, European nations have been in precisely this situation: having their diplomacy and security decided for them. The have been vassals, quislings, slaves. All it took was for Trump to make it obvious, and now Merkel has responded. Hint for the Chancellor and the rest of Europe: you have a big neighbor to your east that wants to get along, and who will be a much better partner than Uncle Sam.


Magnify

Remembering The Russia's V-Day Story (or the History of World War II not often heard in the West)

Russian V-Day Story
© Unknown
Every May 9th the Russian Federation celebrates its most important national holiday, Victory Day, den' pobedy. During the early hours of that day in 1945 Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, commander of the 1st Belorussian Front, which had stormed Berlin, received the German unconditional surrender. The Great Patriotic War had gone on for 1418 days of unimaginable violence, brutality and destruction. From Stalingrad and the northern Caucasus and from the northwestern outskirts of Moscow to the western frontiers of the Soviet Union to Sevastopol in the south and Leningrad and the borders with Finland, in the north, the country had been laid waste. An estimated 17 million civilians, men, women and children, had perished, although no one will ever know the exact figure. Villages and towns were destroyed; families were wiped out without anyone to remember them or mourn their deaths.

Evil Rays

New book 'Russian Roullette' proves to be shameless CIA anti-Russia propaganda that rests on lies

Russian Roulette
Michael Isikoff and David Corn lie so many times in their new book, so that the motive would be puzzling, except that it's really not, because they lie in accord with the U.S. Government's own demonstrable lies, which happen also to be basic to today's CIA - so, Isikoff-Corn's propagandistic agenda, at least, is clear and consistent - they lie for a clearly identifiable propagandistic purpose, the U.S. Government's purpose, as will be documented here.

Their book is titled RUSSIAN ROULETTE: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. It was published on March 13th, and already (as of this writing) has 541 customer reviews at Amazon, with the average customer-review rating being 4.8 out of 5 stars - almost as favorable as can possibly be. This book will be reviewed here. There is lots of precedent for the CIA controlling the press in America, starting with the establishment of the CIA's operation Mockingbird in 1948, which continues to this day. One illustrative example (Udo Ulfkotte) of the CIA's control over the media will be briefly cited, before getting to the main topic, the Isikoff-Corn book.

Udo Ulfkotte was a prominent German journalist who reported, and finally became an editor, for the Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, during the 17 years from 1986 through 2003, and who then seems to have become increasingly alienated from the journalistic profession, and consumed by moral pangs about his having been secretly a German propaganda-agent of the U.S. CIA, as he subsequently reported in his confessional book, which is banned in the U.S., and which was titled Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News. (Russian TV interviewed him about it in English.) The Isikoff-Corn book might as well have been written for the CIA, like Ulfkotte used to do, but at least Isikoff-Corn have done it (if they did - there could be other reasons why they lie consistently in accord with the U.S. Government's lies) for their own nation's 'intelligence' service, and they seem (unlike Ulfkotte) to be quite shameless in the lies that they indubitably tell.

Георгиевская ленточка

Glory to the Heroes: Hundreds of Thousands March Through Moscow in Memory of 'Immortal Regiment'

immortal regiment moscow
© Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya
Hundreds of thousands of Muscovites are taking part in the so-called 'Immortal Regiment' march, carrying photographs of their relatives in memory of those who took part in the Great Patriotic War (a term used in Russia and other former Soviet republics to describe hostilities on the eastern fronts of World War II in 1941-1945).

The organizers of the march called on everyone who wants to pay tribute to their relatives perished during the years of the war, to take to the streets across Russia in a symbolic action.

As the head of the vast column reached Red Square, it was joined by President Putin, who held a photograph of his late father, who fought in WWII.

"I think that my father, like millions of ordinary soldiers, and he was an ordinary soldier, has all the right to walk through this [Red] square," President Putin told the journalists.


Comment: It was such a smashing idea by the Russians to start this tradition.

'Immortal Regiment' marches now take place globally.

27 million died at the hands of the Nazis in Russia/USSR.

That's 4.5 'holocausts', by the way.


Russian Flag

Russian Military Shows Off New Weapons at 2018 Victory Day Parade in Moscow

military parade moscow 2018
© Sputnik / Alexey Druzhinin
May 9, 2018. The Russian President is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin before the beginning of a military parade in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 at Red Square in Moscow
A massive military parade was held in Moscow to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) against Nazi Germany in the European theater of World War II; Russia showcased many of its advanced, recently-developed weapons and displayed the might of its armed forces to the world.


Comment: Here's the whole event:




Георгиевская ленточка

WWII Immortal Regiment Commemorative marches held in several major US cities

immortal regiment marches usa
© Amanda Jane Getty
The Immortal Regiment Commemorative marches, marking the 73th anniversary of the end of the World War II, began in the United States.

The first marches of people holding the portraits of their relatives who had fought in the war were held on Saturday on the East Coast.

The marches will be held in more than 20 US cities this year. The largest event is in New York, where it has now been held for four years in a row.

Over 1,000 people came to the Hudson River with portraits of their relatives.

"More people are coming every year. Last year, we had up to 1,500 people. We are counting people by the amount of signs with photos that we help to print, and white balloons. Last year, we prepared 1,500 white balloons and gave them all away. This year, we took 2,000 [balloons] and prepared 400 more new signs," Igor Kochan, a representative of the organization "Russian Youth in America" told Sputnik.


Compass

Trump Did NOT Convince Kim to Ditch His Nukes. China Did

Kim Jong-un & Xi Jinping
© Ju Peng / Global Look Press
Beijing, 7 May 2018: Kim Jong-un & Xi Jinping meet for the second time in two months (...and no, they are not sitting on their interpreters!)
Donald Trump thinks his "maximum pressure" campaign persuaded North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. But it's a bunch of baloney. The reason Kim Jong-un is planning to denuclearize is because China adamantly opposes nuclear weapons on the peninsula. That's the whole deal in a nutshell. China, who is North Korea's biggest trading partner, gave Kim an ultimatum: Ditch the nukes or face long-term economic strangulation. Kim very wisely chose the former option, which is to say, he backed down.

The situation in North Korea is really quite bleak. Consider, for example, this recent piece in a United Nations periodical titled "The 5 most under-reported humanitarian crises that are happening right now". Heading the list is this blurb on North Korea:
"....what has been drastically underreported in the last year is that unprecedented number of people who are going hungry. The UN estimates that 70 percent of the population, or 18 million people, are food-insecure and reliant on government aid. To make things worse, last year North Korea experienced its worst drought in 16 years, exacerbating an already dire food shortage. With tight control of its borders keeping out aid organizations and journalists, it's almost impossible to capture how many are actually receiving the urgent food aid they need." (U.N. Dispatch)

Star of David

Keep your friends close: Netanyahu guest of honour at Russia's Victory Day Celebration

putin netanyahu
© AFP Photo/Sputnik/Alexey Nikolsky
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) greets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of their meeting in Sochi on August 23, 2017.
The Russian government has confirmed that Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel has been invited to attend Russia's forthcoming 9th May Victory Day Celebration as the guest of honour. He will also hold high level talks with the Russian government and with President Putin.

The Kremlin's website has published a statement to that effect:
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu will make a working visit to Moscow on May 9. He has been invited to attend a military parade marking the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

Mr Netanyahu will also hold talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Comment: The author doesn't grasp the depth of Lieberman's disingenuousness: Israel doesn't need to 'join the sanctions' because its agents set that trap for others to fall into!