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Tue, 21 Aug 2018
The World for People who Think

Pirates

Nicaragua's bloody unrest has US fingerprints all over it

Protest Nicaragua
© Oswaldo Rivas / Reuters
Protest against Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega's government in Managua, Nicaragua May 30, 2018
The student-led anti-government movement in Nicaragua is unlike other recent attacks on the Latin American socialist bloc; it emanates mainly from the left of the political spectrum. But that doesn't mean the US isn't behind it.

The so-called marea rosa, or 'pink tide', of allied leftist governments which held sway across Latin America in previous years is being rolled back. Brazil's Dilma Rousseff was removed from power in a right-wing coup, co-conspirators of which have now managed to imprison the current presidential frontrunner, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Ecuador's Lenin Moreno has stabbed his former leader Rafael Correa in the back by barring him from seeking re-election, while seemingly purging his cabinet of remaining Correa loyalists and beginning the process of allowing the US military back into the country. Alongside other democratic and not-so-democratic removals of leftist governments from power, NATO has nabbed itself a foothold in the region, now that Colombia has joined the obsolete yet aggressively expanding Cold War alliance, in a thinly veiled threat to neighboring Venezuela.

And now it's Nicaragua's turn under the boot. Again.

Handcuffs

Technically, he broke the law, but is Tommy Robinson really in prison because he drew attention to 'grooming gangs'?

The latest controversy is maddening for many reasons
tommy robinson

Tommy Robinson 'the journalist'. Well, activist. Citizen journalist?

Tommy Robinson is a British political activist and "citizen journalist" who came to prominence in Britain almost a decade ago when he founded the English Defence League. The EDL was a street-protest movement in Britain whose aims could probably best be summarized as "anti-Islamization." It emerged in the town of Luton after a group of local Islamists barracked the homecoming parade of a local regiment returning from service in Afghanistan.

From their earliest protests the EDL's members sought to highlight issues including sharia law, Islam's attitudes toward minorities, and the phenomenon that would become euphemistically known as "grooming gangs." In reality these protests often descended into hooliganism and low-level violence (naturally helped along by self-described "anti-fascists"). The authorities did everything they could to stop the EDL, and the media did everything possible to demonize them. In a foretaste of things to come, very few people made any effort to understand them. And nobody paid any price for (indeed many people benefited from) claiming that the EDL was simply a fascist organization and that anybody who even tried to understand them must be a fascist too. The usual prohibition against sweeping generalizations doesn't seem to apply if the generalization tilts in that direction.

Heart - Black

Celebrity atheist Sam Harris shills for Israel - and he's wrong on every point

sam harris jerusalem
© Telegraph
Harris illustrates his audio file with this picture of a Hamas M75 rocket that hit Jerusalem in July 2014
WARNING: War, Death, Sam Harris
WARNING: LONG
(0:0) Sam Harris: The question I have now received in many forms goes something like this: "Why is it that you never criticize Israel? Why is it that you never criticize Judaism? Why is it that you always take the side of the Israelis over the Palestinians?" Now, this is an incredibly boring and depressing question, for a variety of reasons.
This is not an auspicious start. Harris begins by framing the (alleged) question he receives "in many forms" in the most severe characterization possible: "never." Doubtless, people have asked Harris variations of that question, but by framing it in terms of "Why is it that you never criticize Israel" Harris deals from the bottom of the deck a bit - he's making it easier for himself. He can just say, "Well, OK, here's some criticism? Are we done?"

Following that, we have what is - unfortunately - a very typical Sam Harris ploy: deriding a straw-man version of a prospective opponent's argument. I had a philosophy professor in college who did this incessantly, and it was infuriating: "surely nobody in their right mind would accept this argument." Basically, putting a rhetorical thumb on the scales against anyone who'd argue the opposite position. Harris uses these rhetorical flourishes often; no doubt he's trying to help feed the stereotype of atheist thinkers as smug and arrogant.

Take 2

Brussels-Rome war: EU holds back Italy's anti-euro tide for now

salvini juncker
By pushing a presidential veto of Rome's proposed new government, Brussels may have secured the euro's status in Italy, for now. However, it may prove to be only a stay of execution.

As I write, a constitutional crisis has erupted in Italy after its President - who normally fulfils only a ceremonial role - refused to allow the prospective new coalition government to appoint Paolo Savona as finance minister.

Superficially, this is a ridiculous decision: Savona is a distinguished 81-year-old economist who has worked at Italy's Central Bank and Treasury, created the first model of the Italian economy, and - among numerous other honors - was a minister in a previous Italian government in 1993-94. Was his age the problem?

No, President Sergio Mattarella's problem with Savona is that he is a critic of the euro. And Mattarella's obstructionism is a problem for the prospective coalition government of the self-described anti-establishment Five Star Movement (founded by the satirist and activist Beppe Grillo) and the originally secessionist, but now federalist, Lega Nord (Northern League) - because about the only thing they have in common is opposition to the euro and the austerity policies that have come with it following the 2008 crisis.

Eagle

FBI and CIA re-booted the Cold War in order to cover their own election meddling

fbi cia
On December 29, 2016, the Obama Administration - with three weeks remaining in its term - issued harsh sanctions against Russia over supposed election interference. Two compounds in the United States were closed and 35 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the country.

Russia responded by calling the actions "Cold War déjà vu."

In the two years that have elapsed since, it has been learned that the "intelligence" that formed the basis for the sanctions was beyond dubious.

A single unverified "dossier" compiled by an ex-British spy with no discernable connections to Russia was shopped to FISA judges and the media as something real.

The dossier was opposition research by the Hillary Clinton campaign, a fact that was not disclosed and actively hidden by off-the-book transactions through the law firm Perkins Coie.

Comment: What's remarkable at this point is how easily the 'Russian collusion' narrative is not only crumbling around their feet, but upon further investigation and rigorous questioning, reveals just how criminally elements of the US intelligence community have behaved; not Trump.

Watch Deep State mouthpiece and hack author of Russian Roullete Michael Isikoff try to talk his way out of the damning facts he unwittingly presents in his own book about ex-CIA chief John Brennan!




Horse

Facebook Announces Partnership With Atlantic Council to 'Protect Democracy'

NATO Facebook
Facebook has engaged a think tank funded by weapons manufacturers, branches of the US military and Middle-Eastern monarchies to safeguard the democratic process. It's akin to hiring arsonists to run the fire brigade.

If Facebook truly wanted to "protect democracy and elections worldwide," it would build a broad coalition of experts and activists from a wide and disparate range of the countries it serves. Instead, the American social media giant has outsourced the task to NATO's propaganda wing.

For the uninitiated, the Atlantic Council serves as the American-led alliance's chief advocacy group. And its methods are rather simple: it grants stipends and faux academic titles to various activists that align with NATO's agenda. Thus, lobbyists become "fellows" and "experts," while the enterprise constructs a neutral sheen, which is rarely (if ever) challenged by Western media outlets - often reliant on its employees for easy comment and free op-eds.

While that has always been ethically questionable, Facebook's latest move, given its effective monopoly position, is far more sinister. Because it is now tied to a "think tank" which has proposed terrorist attacks in Russia and has demanded Russian-funded news outlets be forced to register as "foreign agents" in the United States.

Make no mistake: this is a dream scenario for NATO and those who depend on it for their livelihoods and status. Because the Atlantic Council is now perfectly positioned to be the tail wagging the Facebook dog in the information space.

Star of David

What really happened last week in Golan: New rules of engagement established in Israel-Syria-Iran conflict

Izraelski tenk na okupiranoj Golanskoj visoravni
© Amir Cohen / Reuters
The exchange of missiles last week on the Syrian-Israeli border was anything but normal.

This firefight established new rules of engagement in the Levant, and made the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights an "operational theater" in the Syrian conflict overnight.

The mainstream media's version of events began with Israel retaliating against Iranian missile strikes, and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) destroying Iran's military capabilities inside Syria. But that information is questionable: it comes almost exclusively from Israelis who rarely miss an opportunity to beat the "Iranian threat" war drum.

In the lead-up to the May 10 skirmish - just after the Trump administration exited the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement - Israeli officials began warning of an impending Iranian attack from inside Syria. Then, within hours of the ensuing firefight, an Israeli army spokesman announced that the elite "Quds Force" of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had fired 20 missiles into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, after which Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman boasted that "we hit nearly all Iranian infrastructures in Syria."

IDF spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manilas described Israel's actions as "one of the greatest operations of the Israel Air Force in the past decade." But as the dust settled, an altogether different version of events began to take shape.

Comment: See also:


Sherlock

Death of Technician Linked to Andrew Breitbart Autopsy Remains Unexplained

Michael Cormier

Michael Cormier, left, LA Coroner's autopsy technician
A right-wing media star drops dead... a coroner's technician dies weeks later

In the early afternoon of April 18, 2012, Michael Cormier, an autopsy technician at the Los Angeles coroner's office, drove himself to Kaiser Permanente Hospital complaining of heart and stomach pain and diarrhea. The doctors suspected a heart issue or an ulcer and recommended he follow up with his regular physician. Two days later, Cormier asked his wife to call 911. An ambulance took him Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where he died several hours later from massive organ failure.

While he was at Providence St. Joseph, an unidentified family member called and recommended that the hospital check Cormier for poison. A screen test found a significant amount of arsenic in Cormier's system, and the hospital contacted the Los Angeles Police Department. In the early stages of the investigation into Cormier's death, the police wouldn't rule out an accident, suicide, or something more nefarious, and the coroner deferred the cause of death pending further toxicology results.

In all, it was not a remarkable set of circumstances, but Cormier's death made national news when numerous right-wing blogs linked it to the death of Andrew Breitbart, the conservative media juggernaut and Tea Party hero who had died on March 1 at the age of 43.


Comment: That's March 1st, 2012, 6 weeks before Cormier's death. In fact, Cormier died on April 20, the same day as the release of Breibart's (official) autopsy.


Comment: A 'head-scratcher' indeed. Someone skilled like him would know far better chemical means of 'leaving this world'.

There have been no media updates about Cormier's case since the above Daily Beast report, so we presume that his death remains unsolved.

Breitbart's death, of course, was officially solved: congestive heart failure ('of natural causes'). And maybe there was no 'unofficial', second, private autopsy.

That doesn't mean, however, that Breitbart simply 'dropped dead'. If it was feasible to 'heart attack' someone - at-a-distance - in the 1970s, it's been perfected today.

'Conspiracy theory debunkers' held up Breitbart's threat at that time to publish videos of Obama hugging 'social justice terrorists' during his younger days as a possible motive for any would-be Deep State spooks to 'beam' Breitbart. But at least one of those videos was published after Breitbart's death, and it wasn't all that 'explosive'.

More interesting were Breitbart's prescient rants about the Podesta brothers, whose role as 'dark arts puppet masters' has since been exposed via the stream of leaks in the run-up to the 2016 US election.


SOTT Logo Media

RT documentary 'Coups R US' examines rationale and impact of US 'humanitarian' interventions and regime changes

coups r us
In the new RT documentary Coups R US, prominent American journalist Stephen Kinzer examines the rationale and impact of Washington's interventions, from complacent colonialism in Hawaii to regime change in Libya.

"There are three stages. In the first one, the government that we don't like shows bad faith by bothering an American company. Then we convince ourselves that this country is our geo-political enemy. And we sell the intervention as humanitarian intervention," says Kinzer, who currently lectures at Brown University, in his introduction.

"We only do it to help them. We don't do anything for ourselves; in fact we sacrifice ourselves for the good of others," he adds sarcastically.


Star of David

US slaps Palestine in the face by celebrating embassy move to Jerusalem on anniversary of Nakba - while Israel mass murders protesters

gaza great march protest
© Mohammed Salem / Reuters
How obscenely ironic. Embassies traditionally symbolize diplomacy and peace. The opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem was occasioned by a grotesque baptism of murder of Palestinians, heralding wider war in the Middle East.

Not only that, but on the very anniversary of one of the most shameful episodes of ethnic cleansing and dispossession over the past century - the 1948 Nakba or Catastrophe for Palestinians - the US government is brazenly siding with the heirs of that historic violence, the Israeli state.

Trump's wholesale abandonment of any shame in endorsing Israeli violations against Arab historic rights is an incitement to regional conflagration.

It's hard to express the horror. Israeli snipers shooting unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, while some 100 kilometers away in Jerusalem, US dignitaries and evangelical pastors were blessing the opening of Washington's new embassy as 'God's work'.

US President Donald Trump's policy in the Middle East, if you could call it "policy", has descended into absolute lunacy. No wonder, most European states stayed away from the US reception for unveiling its new diplomatic center.