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Wed, 22 Aug 2018
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Propaganda

Western media narrative wants us to believe that jihadist-controlled Idlib is a peaceful enclave under assault by Assad

Nusra Front flag
© Khalil Ashawi / Reuters
Protesters carry Nusra Front flags during an anti-government protest in the town of Marat Numan in Idlib province, Syria, March 11, 2016.
Western media reports denouncing the Syrian Army's offensive to retake Idlib conveniently fail to mention that the area is controlled by warring jihadist groups that were designated as terrorists by the US State Department.

Idlib province - located in northwest Syria - is the last major jihadist stronghold in the country, but you would never know it if you got your news exclusively from CNN.


As RT's Ilya Petrenko explains, some Western media reports have attempted to portray Idlib as a peaceful enclave under assault by the Syrian Army - while omitting the fact that the region is ruled by extremist groups such as Tahrir al-Sham (better known as Al-Nusra, or Al-Qaeda in Syria), Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, and Nour al-Din al-Zenki. These groups have been accused of, among other crimes, beheading children, abductions, torture, and attacks on journalists and aid workers. Jayash al-Islam even once paraded caged hostages through neighborhoods that it once controlled - in hopes of using the civilians as human shields.


Briefcase

Jury finds Manafort guilty on 8 counts, mistrial declared in 10

Paul Manfort
© Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Paul Manafort
The Virginia jury deliberating the 18 federal charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort could only reach consensus on 8 counts, finding him guilty. The judge has declared a mistrial on the 10 remaining counts.

Manafort was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.

The veteran political operative was charged with a laundry list offenses related to his income from lobbying for the government of Ukraine prior to 2014. If convicted on all counts, he would have faced over 300 years in prison.

None of the charges are in any way connected to President Donald Trump's campaign, which Manafort managed between March and August 2016, or allegations of "Russian collusion" that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was tasked with investigating.

No sentencing date has been set. Judge TS Ellis III has given prosecutors until August 29 to decide whether to refile charges on the 10 counts that the jury could not agree on.

Comment: See also: Jury has still not reached Manafort verdict in first Russigate showtrial


USA

New book describes how Democrats are planning to steal midterm elections

Democrats election fraud
Eric Eggers, author of the new book titled "Fraud: How the Left Plans to Steal the Next Election," says when Democrats say there is no election fraud, it is a huge lie. Eggers explains, "I think it's certainly increasingly difficult for Democrats to make the claim there is no evidence of voter fraud. In this book, we had 40 pages of footnotes . . . so, there is quite a bit of evidence. As recent events have shown, it doesn't take voter fraud on massive or national level for it to truly impact elections. . . . In the 2016 election, we found 2,100 incidents of double voting in the state of Florida alone."

Comment: See also:


MIB

Does ISIS still pose a major threat to the world?

ISIS threat
Back in the days of Trump's election campaign the US president to be made a pledge to his supporters in Connecticut back in 2016, promising that under his command the Pentagon will beat ISIS down into the ground "very, very quickly." Back then there was a lot of skeptical voices noting that Trump couldn't possibly be up to the task.

However, since then ground realities in Syria and Iraq have changed drastically. ISIS lost control of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq in July of 2017. Three months later, it had to surrender its formal capital-the Syrian city of Raqqa. Many fighters would then retreat to Deir ez-Zor in the country's east that was next to suffer a crushing defeat.

Just recently, it's been announced by the vice president of the United States, Michael Pence that the so-called Islamic State has ceased to exist, adding that in Iraq and Syria, where ISIS at one point in time used to control half of these countries' respective territories, with all of the former strongholds of radical Islamists have now been reclaimed.

Comment: Add to this the drone technology ISIS is now known to be using in Syria (thanks to the US) and it seems pretty clear that they will continue to be used as the proxy force of chaos that they always were until they have outlived their purpose.


Attention

Tommy Robinson legal defense, protest campaign and prison release financed and arranged by Daniel Pipes' ultra-Zionist organization

Daniel pipes tommy robinson

Daniel Pipes (left), and Tommy Robinson... wearing a Mossad t-shirt?
He does seem to have a lot of friends. Some in high places; lots of them in not very high places at all. Later today, lots of them will be out in the street again, apparently embracing their role as 'useful idiots' in a scripted pantomime.

This is really an add-on to the much larger piece I published here about Far-Right agent-provocateur and Zionist operative Andrew McMaster, Paul Harris, Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, 'Tommy Robinson': whose arrest for contempt of court sparked protests and a great deal of outrage in recent months - based on a carefully contrived narrative that actually doesn't really work.

While some people took offense or exception to my pointing out the bloody obvious (that 'Robinson' is a 'race war' psy-op agent working for one or more agencies), the latest information regarding Mr 'Robinson's' situation would seem to put the matter to rest.

Specifically, it appears that Robinson's legal expenses are being picked up by a Zionist/Neo-Con think-tank (The 'Middle East Forum').

Comment: When 'Tommy' was subsequently released from prison on August 1st, Pipes' MEF issued another press release:
The full resources of the Middle East Forum were activated to free Mr. Robinson. We:
  1. Conferred with his legal team and made funding available to them;
  2. Funded, organized and staffed the large "Free Tommy" London rallies on June 9 and July 14 (see The Times, The Guardian, and the Independent);
  3. Funded travel by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to London to address the rally; and
  4. Urged Sam Brownback, the State Department's ambassador for International Religious Freedom, to raise the issue with the UK's ambassador.
Just how much funding, organizing and 'bringing pressure to bear' for the 'new right', 'alt-right', or whatever it's called, is coming from certain interests vested in getting the world to hate Islam and Muslims as much as they do?


Bizarro Earth

Anti-Russian war-hawk John Bolton the latest witch of Russiagate

Putin Bolton
More than eighteen months into Russiagate and with little evidence of 'collusion' between Donald Trump and Russia coming to light, Democrats seem to be scrambling for wins - and no one appears to be off-limits.

The latest target is none other than Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton, who until this point has been widely regarded in liberal and media circles as the most enthusiastic Russia hawk in the administration. Indeed, Bolton has been described as "a life-long Russia hawk" by the Financial Times, a "fierce Russia hawk" by Bloomberg and "one of the Kremlin's harshest critics" by Voice of America.

But it appears that, when it comes to his Russia-hating credentials, Bolton does not have an entirely clean record. It turns out that, in 2013, Bolton appeared by video-link at a conference organized by a Russian gun rights activist at the request of the former National Rifle Association President David Keene.

Arrow Down

Britain's new foreign minister shows himself to be an obedient US subject, urges EU to increase sanctions against Russia

Jeremy Hunt

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt attends a press conference with his Latvian counterpart after their meeting in Riga on August 15.
Britain's new foreign minister in his first major address has urged the European Union to increase sanctions against Russia, saying the bloc should stand "shoulder to shoulder" with the United States, which hit Moscow with new economic sanctions this month.

In a speech at the U.S. Peace Institute in Washington on August 21, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that, after Russia's alleged poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England this year with a chemical nerve agent, the EU should apply more pressure to try to force Russia to honor international rules.

Responding to Hunt's speech, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Britain of trying to impose its policy toward Russia on the EU and the United States.

Chess

The shape of Trump to come

Trumpwind
© Freedom Phoenix
The Portent in Chief
I thought I'd make list of things we can expect to emanate from the White House over the coming year or so. I'm sure you will agree, wherever you stand on the political roller coaster, that there's little chance things are going to be boring going forward. Here goes:

Trump will end the 'monopolies' of Facebook, Google, Twitter et al. The intelligence community will hate this, but they already hate him anyway, so why bother? And besides, it's the only thing to do that makes any sense. The AT&T model might be useful, essentially creating Baby Bells, though the international reach of the companies may add a layer or two of complications.

But you simply can't have a few roomfuls of boys and girls ban and shadowban people with impunity from networks that span the globe and reach half of the world's population on the basis of opaque 'Terms and Conditions' that in effect trump the US constitution the way they are used and interpreted. Whether they are private companies or not will make no difference in the end.

Comment: Interesting times ahead, no matter how the various controversies unfold. The president, it seems, has many upcoming opportunities to pull the rug out from under the feet of his adversaries. Will he?


Question

Has North Korea been fulfilling its Singapore Summit commitments?

TrumpKim
© Reuters
A handshake on the deal.
Against the background of a number of high-profile statements by the Western press that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is secretly developing a nuclear missile program, thereby violating the Singapore Declaration and deceiving the world community at large and Donald Trump personally, the author would like to present a detailed answer to the matter in question.

As you may recall, the joint statement of the leaders of the United States and North Korea consisted of four main parts. The first two were full of noble intentions: the parties "undertake to establish new relations" and "will join efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula". In the third, North Korea confirmed the Panmunjom Declaration of April 27, 2018 and agreed to "work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," without, however, any deadlines, clarifications, and further explanations. Only the last paragraph contained some specifics: "The United States and North Korea undertake to return the remains of missing prisoners of war, including the immediate return of already identified persons".

Since the Korean war, about 8 thousand American soldiers have been considered missing. According to the Pentagon, the remains of about 5,600 U.S. soldiers are still located on North Korean territory. In the period from 1990 to 2005, the DPRK returned the remains of over six hundred American soldiers to the U.S.

Comment: Has the US increased the parameters of the commitments? Or is this just another example of brazen rhetoric to bolster the belligerent stance of certain advisors in Trump's administration? Some have no sense as to when to leave something, in positive development, just be.


Cross

Pope Francis promises zero tolerance for pedophile priests after revelations of the Pennsylvania Grand jury report

Pope Francis
© Max Rossi/Reuters
Pope Francis
"I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons," read a letter from the Pope released on Monday.
The Pontiff then promised to treat future cases with "zero tolerance."

After a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report laid bare decades of sexual abuse, involving at least 1,000 victims and 300 "predator priests," the Pope had been under fire for remaining silent, until today, when he called cases of sex abuse by his own organization "atrocities."

The report makes for sobering reading. In it are "credible allegations" that priests repeatedly and sadistically abused at least 1,000 boys and girls in six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses. Allegations from the other two dioceses, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, were subjects of an earlier report.

The jury claims that due to lost records and victims who were afraid to come forward, the real number of victims stretched into the thousands.
"Some were teens; many were pre-pubescent," the report states. "Some were manipulated with alcohol and pornography. Some were made to masturbate their assailants, or were groped by them. Some were raped orally, some vaginally, some anally. But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all."'
In one incidence, a priest in the Diocese of Erie who had confessed to raping at least 15 boys was commended by his bishop as a "person of candor and sincerity." When the priest was finally removed from his position, the bishop instructed his parish not to say why. Some of his victims were as young as seven years old.

Comment: Surely he was not the last to know. Surely there is some overarching judiciary body somewhere to advocate for children and prosecute priestly perpetrators beyond defrocking, even to the ranks of the Vatican!