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Tue, 25 Jul 2017
The World for People who Think


Oliver Stone's film about Putin must mean the filmmaker has a weak spot for dictators, right?

In Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, Susanna Martin was executed for being a witch. The evidence against her was compelling and irrefutable. In capital cases like this, testimony by at least two eyewitnesses was required to convict. One man testified that in 1660 he had seen Ms. Martin bewitch a horse. Another testified that she had broken uninvited into his dreams 20 years later. The judges ruled that this constituted two eyewitnesses to the same crime because witchcraft was a "habitual" crime. She was hanged on July 19.

By similar logic and equally "solid" evidence, Joel Sucher, in a piece titled "Has Oliver Stone Ever Met a Dictator He Doesn't Admire?" published in the Observer in January accuses Oliver of despotophilia, which Joel too identifies as a "habitual" crime. Joel thinks he knows Oliver. He made a highly laudatory documentary about Oliver in the early 1990s when, he recalls, "Oliver was an aw' shucks, pot-smoking, break your balls, tweak your chain, say outrageous things" kind of guy. But he and Oliver have had little if any relationship since.

I, myself, have been close friends with Oliver for more than 20 years. Oliver and I co-authored The Untold History of the United States documentary film series and New York Times bestselling book between 2008 and 2013 and have been writing articles together and doing screenings and lectures around the world for the past four years. In his article, Joel describes me as a "friend and a legit American University historian, an anti-nuclear activist." Joel has been trying to reach Oliver through me for years, but Oliver spurned all his requests, telling me he didn't "trust" Joel.

Comment: Listen to the SOTT interview with Peter Kuznick: Behind the Headlines: Untold History of the U.S. - Interview with Peter Kuznick


What It Means To Be A Good American

© Jörn Schubert | CC BY 2.0
The Pink Revolution of 2017, better known as Russiagate, is now more or less a fait accompli. Whether the corporatist ruling classes and their servants in Congress formally impeach him or force him to resign in disgrace, Donald J. Trump is being regime-changed, or at the very least effectively neutralized until he can be replaced with a grown-up, i.e., someone who will serve their interests without getting the masses all riled up about "taking the government back from the elites," putting "America first," and, well, just generally making an ass of himself.

At this point, not even a war will save him. Even if he could somehow manage to convince the boys in the Pentagon to back an invasion of Iran, or Syria, or wherever, the corporate-owned press would crucify him, and you can't arbitrarily invade other countries without the support of the corporate media. No, the simple fact is, the Corporatocracy has decided to make an example of Trump, to remind folks who is really running things, and what happens when you attempt to defy them, and there's nothing Trump can do about it, other than rant and rave on Twitter.


Meet the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Britain's loyal fundamentalists in Ireland

© Toby Melville / Reuters
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) holds the key to Theresa May remaining in Downing Street but what do we know about this Protestant party drawn from the pro-union side of Northern Ireland's deeply sectarian political spectrum?

As Britons scramble to learn about the party that will prop up May's mandate to execute Brexit, a swathe of the online conversation has focused on the party's past comments on homophobia, Islam and creationism.

The DUP was at the center of a bloody sectarian divide during Northern Ireland's Troubles - a conflict involving rival paramilitary groups and the British Army which claimed more than 3,000 lives over 30 years.

Comment: This alliance - and possibly the Union itself with it - has nowhere to go but down.

The media tried to smear Corbyn by calling him an "IRA terrorism supporter". It didn't work, and now the Tories are planning on forming a government with Loyalist terrorism supporters. Here's the former leader of the 'democratic' unionist party:

Peter Robinson, terrorist turned democrat, ca. 1980


The 'Humanitarian' Destruction of Libya: Gaddafi, NATO, and the War on Africa

This article is part of a three-part series called "The 'humanitarian' destruction of Libya" that analyses the 2011 war in Libya and the motives behind it. The first article contrasts the invented war crime allegations against the Libyan government to the very real underreported war crimes by the insurgents; the second exposes a history of deceptive terrorist attacks on European soil wrongly attributed to Gaddafi and the role of NATO in the war; and the third discusses Gaddafi's plan at creating a pan-African currency as one of the central motives lurking behind the mainstream explanation of the intervention as a just one that sought to "protect civilians" from a ruthless dictator.

Part 1: Real and invented war crimes

On 21 February 2011, a week into the Libyan uprising, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR), two main sources for the claim that Gaddafi was killing his own people, called for the immediate suspension of Libya from the UN Human Rights Council and urged the UN Security Council to "review the situation and consider its referral to the ICC [International Criminal Court]." According to the two NGOs, "the crackdown has killed at least 300 to 400 people since February 15" and "the Libyan regime is apparently using mercenaries from Chad, Niger [and] Zimbabwe."[1] Later that day, UN Watch, a pro-Israel NGO, initiated a letter signed by 70 other NGOs in collaboration with the LLHR and the National Endowment for Democracy, infamous for its involvement in manipulating elections and instigating "color revolutions" around the world, in which it too echoed the need to suspend Libya from the Human Rights Council, in addition to urging the Security Council to invoke the "responsibility to protect" principle to protect the Libyan people.[2] On 25 February, the Human Rights Council followed the recommendation, thereby preventing the Libyan government from countering the undocumented allegations, let alone demanding that proof be submitted. Three weeks later, the Security Council adopted resolutions 1970 and 1973, authorizing a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation. Although article 2 of resolution 1973 stressed the need to use diplomacy to find a peaceful solution,[3] the bombing began two days later.


NBC Butchered Putin's Thoughtful Replies to Megyn Kelly: Here's the Video of What They Censored

Dear NBC News Team,

Congratulations! You have graduated from fake news to falsified news, arriving at a journalistic level that is identical to that in the Soviet Union in its heyday.

A couple of days ago, the political talk show moderated by Vladimir Soloviev on state television channel Rossiya 1 broadcast two versions of a segment from Megyn Kelly's interview with Vladimir Putin last Friday in the St Petersburg on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum. One was the complete, uncut version that was aired on RT. The other was the cut-to-shreds version that you put on air for the American audience. (Watch here, beginning 4 minutes into the program.)

Comment: And here is the full transcript: On the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum: NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly interviews Vladimir Putin

Star of David

50 years of illegal occupation: Norman Finkelstein explodes the myths about Israel's illegal 1967 war (VIDEO)

In the first of an extended three-part interview on the 50th anniversary of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war, author and scholar Norman Finkelstein debunks the enduring myths surrounding that historic confrontation — myths that have sustained​ the ensuing Israeli ​occupation of Palestinian lands​.

Norman G. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He currently teaches at Sakarya University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Turkey. Finkelstein is the author of ten books that have been translated into 50 foreign editions.


Silencing Truth: British Home Secretary Rudd Censors Indie Candidate for Questioning Arms Sales to Terror-Sponsor Saudis

© Stefan Rousseau / AFP
In this hustings clip, independent candidate for Hastings and Rye Nicholas Wilson is linking the Manchester bombing to Tory support for arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Home Secretary Amber Rudd can be clearly seen writing a note, passing it to the chairman and speaking to him. He then immediately intervenes to stop Wilson speaking and takes the microphone from him.

I don't have the name of the chairman who looks like a corrupt, overfed, complacent, Tory, Church of England vicar straight out of Trollope. But as soon as I get his name, I will publish it.


What is happening to the understanding of democracy in this country? I just got a call saying the Residents' Committee of the apartment block where I live were instructing me to remove the SNP poster from my balcony (It is a small A3 poster). My reply was extremely rude, I am afraid, and I have now put up a second poster.

Comment: The UK has a vibrant democracy. Free speech is alive and well. The UK has no dealings with terrorists or their sponsors. They have no idea why anyone would want to attack them. And if you don't agree, Home Secretary Rudd will maneuver to shut you the hell up. Unbelievable.


Manchester Attack Briefing: Blurring the lines between 'blowback' and complicity

(This briefing will be updated as more evidence emerges. Sources are overwhelmingly from mainstream media, except where clearly stated).

A PDF version of this briefing is available here


The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments. The British state therefore has a serious case to answer. We focus primarily here on UK policies towards Libya but also touch on some of those related to Iraq and Syria.

Comment: See also: Terror in Britain: What did Prime Minister May know?

Eiffel Tower

'Like some brain-eating virus': Macron's deceitful propaganda against Russian media is the real fake news

Two peas in a pod: Just as Theresa May won't debate her main political opponent in the upcoming UK election out of fear that she may be asked questions that challenge and thus expose her ethereal worldview, French prez Macron won't let any real journalists near him because he is ensconced in The Big Lie and intends to keep himself, and his country, in it - 'till death do us part'
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday delivered the world of journalism a severe blow when he repeated an alarming explanation as to why RT reporters were banned from his campaign headquarters during his electoral showdown against Marine Le Pen in April.

When questioned about the incident by RT France head Xenia Fedorova, Macron, with President Vladimir Putin at his side in the sumptuous Palace of Versailles, uttered an explanation so dripping in irony that even the Mona Lisa was reported to have cracked a toothy smile.

"They didn't act like the media, like journalists. They behaved like deceitful propaganda," Macron told the conference. "I have always had an exemplary relationship with foreign journalists, but they have to be real journalists."

Comment: Another way of looking at this is that they've never before 'had to' turn to face that thing called reality... until they came up against the rise of Russia, China and others. Rather than accept that their centuries-old reality-creating worldview has run its course, Western elites just continue to do what they've always done, 'creating reality' as they go along (a.k.a. 'making shit up'), completely oblivious to the fact that most people in the world, Westerners included, don't believe their lies. And yes, as the author suggests, the likely end result of this extreme disconnect between elites and masses is tragedy for everyone.


Duterte: The 'US, EU meddle in other countries and kill people under guise of human rights concerns'

© Inquirer Global Nation
"Do not corrupt them with drugs. Do not destroy their minds."
"There's not even a whimper" when powerful nations bomb civilians or "invent" WMDs to invade other countries, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte told RT, arguing that the West pretends to care about human rights only when it suits its agenda.

The Philippines leader sat down to speak with RT's Maria Finoshina ahead of his five-day visit to Moscow that is kicking off on Monday.

Maria Finoshina: Mr. President, it has been almost a year since your inauguration. Have you faced anything that you were not expecting when you took office?

Rodrigo Duterte: I did expect almost everything that came my way. I've been a politician for almost 40 years - excluding the term now. So I would say that on the national front I was kept informed all the time by the news and, of course, by sources in government. But I never realized the magnitude of the contamination of the Filipinos in so far as drugs are concerned.

When I became president and everything was available to me for information, I was almost appalled. I didn't know that we have reached millions of contaminated. So, when I was mayor, I said, do not destroy my city. And do not destroy the young people of Davao City, because they are our assets. We are not rich. Most of us are poor. And we depend on our sons and daughters to feed us when we get old. We do not have any housing here for - few and between. And we need our children to buy the medicines, pay the hospitals, pay for our burial.

Do not corrupt them with drugs. Do not destroy their minds. And I said, "because I will kill you." I was very clear with that. Do not destroy my country. Do not destroy our young people, because if you do that, I will kill you. And when I became president, I said, "Do not destroy the Filipino youth. I'm the president, I'm supposed to take care of them." There are so many criminals walking around. They stopped it when I said that. When I was mayor, I told them: "I'm not a policeman but I build the city as mayor." As president now, I am not a wholesale violator of human rights. I'm not the police - I just give orders. But I build the country.

Comment: President Duterte: A rare combo of insightfulness and common sense.