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Sun, 27 May 2018
The World for People who Think


Abby Martin's interview, critical of Israel, blocked by YouTube in 28 countries

youtube purge
An episode of Abby Martin's Empire Files, featuring journalist Max Blumenthal and spotlighting rising militarism in Israel, has been blocked by YouTube in 28 countries, including Israel and the UK, for violating "local laws."

"Just notified by YouTube that Abby Martin's interview with Max Blumenthal has been blocked from being viewed in 28 countries (including Israel) to 'comply with local laws.' Actions disabled & warnings for viewers elsewhere," the program's official Twitter account related on Thursday.

Entitled "Jewish-American on Israel's Fascism: 'No Hope For Change From Within'," the episode featured a discussion between Martin and journalist Max Blumenthal about the increasingly militaristic, racist attitude of Israel towards Palestinians.
"YouTube has claimed that it removed my interview on Israel-Palestine with Abby Martin to comply with laws in 28 countries. However, nothing I did or said in the discussion was even remotely illegal, even in countries with the strictest hate crime laws," Blumenthal told RT in an email. "My comments were based entirely on my extensive journalistic experience in the region and my analysis was clinical in nature. At no point did I denigrate anyone based on their faith or ethnicity."

Comment: It's a control war against any message, report, criticism of Israel that it deems unfavorable, be it true or not, regardless the context. It applies to any and all commentary right down to censoring the individual. Can we please get alarmed about this? Impression management is going viral and mutating. Think gender labels, pronoun confusion, vegan warriors... Do we understand the depth and breadth of this process and the outcome?

Eye 2

The (mostly unrecognized) US occupation and plunder of Syria

US military syria

An American military convoy consisting of several armored vehicles reportedly entered Syria from the Iraqi border on April 29, 2017
The United States has invaded Syria with a significant military force, is occupying nearly one-third of its territory, has announced plans for an indefinite occupation, and is plundering the country's petroleum resources. Washington has no authorization under international or even US law to invade and occupy Syria, much less attack Syrian forces, which it has done repeatedly. Nor has it a legal warrant to create new administrative and governance structures in the country to replace the Syrian government, a project it is undertaking through a parallel invasion of US diplomatic personnel. These actions-criminal, plunderous, and an assault on democracy at an international level-amount to a retrograde project of recolonization by an empire bent on extending its supremacy to all the Arab and Muslim worlds, including the few remaining outposts of resistance to foreign tyranny. Moreover, US actions represent an escalation of Washington's long war on Syria, previously carried out through proxies, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, into a full-scale conventional war with direct US military involvement. Yet, despite the enormity of the project, and the escalation of the war, the US occupation of Syria has largely flown under the radar of public awareness.

Atop multiple indignities and affronts to liberty and democracy visited upon the Arab world by the West, including the plunder of Palestine by European settlers and the political oppression of Arabs by a retinue of military dictators, monarchs, emirs and sultans who rule largely at the pleasure of Washington and on its behalf, now arrives the latest US transgression on the ideals of sovereignty, independence, and the equality of nations: marauders in Washington have pilfered part of the territory of one of the last bastions of Arab independence-Syria. Indeed, Washington now controls "about one-third of the country including most of its oil wealth", [1] has no intention of returning it to its rightful owners, has planned for an indefinite military occupation of eastern Syria, and is creating a new Israel, which is to say, an new imperialist outpost in the middle of the Arab world, to be governed by Kurdish proxies backed by US firepower. [2] The crime has been carried out openly, and yet has hardly been noticed or remarked upon.

Here are the facts:


FBI cover-up suggests anti-Trump motive behind Las Vegas massacre

paddock vegas
It has been more than six months since the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history killed 59 and injured 851, when Stephen Paddock allegedly opened fire on a crowded country music festival in Las Vegas, yet the American public has few answers as to a motive for the massacre or whether others were involved in the planning or operationalizing of the attack.

It is important to point out that TFTP is not attempting to paint this shooting in any political light. We are merely reporting on alternative information for the sole purpose of seeking truth. Moreover, TFTP is not attempting to stereotype any group by reporting this information. This information is being presented from a politically neutral position.

Since the attack on Oct. 1, 2017, there has been a consistent lack of transparency that has raised questions as to whether some type of cover-up was ongoing. Legitimate inquiry into the attacks has reportedly been shut down at the highest levels, and high-ranking FBI officials in Washington are involved in a cover-up.

The FBI's "official" narrative goes something like this: Paddock was a mysterious lone wolf gunman. He was a mystery man and habitual gambler who snapped, bought guns, and shot up a music festival - and no one knows why.

This massive cover-up involves the FBI attempting to hide the fact that they have evidence that the election of President Trump was a catalyst for the radicalization of Paddock - and that other persons of interest could potentially be involved in the massacre.

Comment: See also:

Star of David

Al Jazeera undercover investigation: 4-part series on how the Israel Lobby in Britain influences politics and universities

israel lobby uk
  • Israeli diplomat boasts of role in establishing pro-Israel groups
  • Investigation reveals Israel offers financial, strategic support to UK lobby
  • Students targeted to boost support for Israel amid BDS movement
  • Groups attempting to oust NUS leader Malia Bouattia
  • 'Pluralist' Fabian Society think-tank analysts sent on paid trips to Israel
Israel is influencing student, activist and parliamentary groups in the UK, offering financial and strategic assistance in order to gather support among young organisers and shape British politics, Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit reveals.

For six months, undercover reporter Robin (an alias) infiltrated pro-Israeli groups working to counter the powerful and growing movement against the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

He uncovered a close link between Shai Masot, whose business card described him as a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, and a network of politicians, activists and analysts in Britain who are sympathetic to Israel.


Israel kills Palestinians and the Western liberal sham of 'humanitarian intervention' is laid bare

Israeli troops
© Majdi Mohammed/AP
Israeli troops fire teargas at protesters during a clashes following a protest to mark the Land Day, in the village of Qusra, near the West Bank City of Nablus, Friday, March 30, 2018.
"If the concept of intervention is driven by universal human rights, why is it - from the people who identify themselves as liberal interventionists - why do we never hear a peep, a word, about intervening to protect the Palestinians?"

That was the question I put to the French philosopher, author, and champion of liberal (or humanitarian) interventionism, Bernard-Henri Lévy, on my Al Jazeera English interview show "Head to Head" in 2013.

The usually silver-tongued Levy struggled to answer the question. The situation in Palestine is "not the same" as in Syria and "you have not all the good on one side and all the bad on the other side," said Levy, who once remarked in reference to the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF, that he had "never seen such a democratic army, which asks itself so many moral questions."

I couldn't help but be reminded of my exchange with the man known as "BHL" this past weekend, as I watched horrific images of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border being shot in the back by the "democratic army" of Israel. How many "moral questions" did those Israeli snipers ask themselves, I wondered, before they gunned down Gazan refugees for daring to demand a return to their homes inside the Green Line?


All Russiagate roads lead to London: Evidence emerges of Joseph Mifsud's links to UK intelligence

Joseph Mifsud
Over the last few months, Professor Joseph Mifsud has become a feather in the cap for those pushing the Trump-Russia narrative. He is characterized as a "Russian" intelligence asset in mainstream press, despite his declarations to the contrary. However, evidence has surfaced that suggests Mifsud was anything but a Russian spy, and may have actually worked for British intelligence. This new evidence culminates in the ground-breaking conclusion that the UK and its intelligence apparatus may be responsible for the invention of key pillars of the Trump-Russia scandal. If true, this would essentially turn the entire RussiaGate debacle on its head.

Comment: See also:

Russian Flag

Russophobia in the New Cold War: Interview with Stephen Cohen

cold war propaganda russia
© Republic Pictures
Several factors make this US-Russian Cold War more dangerous than its predecessor. Is "Russo-madness" one of them?

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.)

Cohen has previously explained why the new Cold War is potentially even more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor, citing factors such as the political epicenter's now being on Russia's borders, lack of a mutual code of conduct, and the unprecedented demonization of the Kremlin leader. He had not much considered the role of Russophobia because he thought it had not been a large causal factor, unlike anti-Communism, in the preceding one, recalling an episode in his own family and, more importantly, the words of George Kennan, the architect of containment, in 1951, about the Russian people: "Give them time; let them be Russians; let them work out their internal problems in their own manner... towards dignity and enlightenment in government."

Comment: We've read Mettan's book; it's excellent.

The short answer is that russophobia isn't so much a phenomenon about Russia as it is one about the West and its founding myths.


Knobs, knockers and Russian 'secret spycraft manuals'

Gary Aitkenhead Porton down skripal
© Daily Mail
Gary Aitkenhead, Porton Down's chief executive
What is left of the government's definitive identification of Russia as the culprit in the Salisbury attack? It is a simple truth that Russia is not the only state that could have made the nerve agent: dozens of them could. It could also have been made by many non-state actors.

Motorola sales agent Gary Aitkenhead - inexplicably since January, Chief Executive of Porton Down chemical weapons establishment - said in his Sky interview that "probably" only a state actor could create the nerve agent. That is to admit the possibility that a non state actor could. David Collum, Professor of Organo-Chemistry at Cornell University, infinitely more qualified than a Motorola salesman, has stated that his senior students could do it. Professor Collum tweeted me this morning.

The key point in his tweet is, of course "if asked". The state and corporate media has not asked Prof. Collum nor any of the Professors of Organic Chemistry in the UK. There simply is no basic investigative journalism happening around this case.


Brits preventing Yulia Skripal from calling relatives, flout international law by preventing Russian embassy from seeing her

Public Telephones
The British public telephone is two years short of a century old. The Salisbury Hospital has dismantled the outdoor models because it is now possible for patients to receive and make telephone calls from their bedside. The hospital has contracted with a company called Hospedia to provide patients with personal access to telephones (television, internet, games too). The patients must pay.

The business of overcharging them for incoming and outgoing calls was such a corrupt scandal, Hospedia's predecessor company went bankrupt. The Royal Bank of Scotland took over the assets, and then went even more corruptly bankrupt itself. So the bank sold the hospital telephone business to Marlin Equity Partners. That company presently controls most British hospital patient telephones; it is an American group specializing in investment in signal and cyber operations of every sort. It is based in Los Angeles and London.

Comment: For the British authorities, it seems to be a full-time job knitting together 'official' narratives in the Skripals' case. Simple phone calls would only complicate matters.

Alarm Clock

Russia 'novichok' hysteria shows politicians and media haven't learned the lessons of Iraq

Theresa May charicature
The current state of anti-Russia hysteria is reminiscent of earlier dark chapters of American history, including the rush to war in Iraq of the early 2000s and McCarthyism of the 1950s.

If there's one thing to be gleaned from the current atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria in the West, it's that the US-led sustained propaganda campaign is starting to pay dividends. It's not only the hopeless political classes and media miscreants who believe that Russia is hacking, meddling and poisoning our progressive democratic utopia - with many pinning their political careers to this by now that's it's too late for them to turn back.

As it was with Iraq in 2003, these dubious public figures require a degree of public support for their policies, and unfortunately many people do believe in the grand Russian conspiracy, having been sufficiently brow-beaten into submission by around-the-clock fear mongering and official fake news disseminated by government and the mainstream media.