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Anti-Assad propaganda falls apart at the seams amid massive popular support among Syrians

© SANA / Reuters
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad
The Western media narrative about brutal "dictator" Bashar al-Assad is falling apart at the seams, Australian academic Tim Anderson underscores, adding that the leader still enjoys high public support in Syria. There is a huge gap between the Western ugly "caricature" of the Syrian President and the real political figure of Bashar al-Assad, Syria's popular secular leader, Tim Anderson, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney, notes.
"When I met President Assad, with a group of Australians, his manner was entirely consistent with the pre-2011 image of the mild-mannered eye doctor. He expressed deep concern with the impact on children of witnessing terrorist atrocities while fanatics shout 'God is Great.' The man is certainly no brute, in the manner of Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush," Anderson underscored in his article for Global Research.
If Bashar al-Assad were indeed a brutal tyrant, he and his army would have been abandoned by Syrians and defeated long ago. According to Western media reports, President Assad, the head of an 'Alawi regime,' has launched repeated bombings of civilian areas, gassed children and cracked down on the freedom-loving "moderate" opposition.
"Central to the Bashar myth are two closely related stories: that of the 'moderate rebel' and the story that conjures 'Assad loyalists' or 'regime forces' in place of a large, dedicated national army, with broad popular support," Anderson elaborated.

Dollars

Bill Gates, hypocritical fossil fuel investor, wants us all to pay carbon taxes

Put aside whether or not you believe in man-made global warming for a second, and ask yourself, even as he calls once again for carbon taxes, whether or not Bill Gates actually believes in man-made global warming.

It's that time of year again, you see. Billionaire Bill Gates is once more calling for carbon taxes as the only way to stop the dreaded climate change.

Via the Daily Caller:

Comment: Man-made global warming is a complete and utter fraud and carbon credit schemes are a slap in the face for anyone with working brain cells.


Chess

Western propaganda machine uses children's book-style cartoons to promulgate lies about Syria

© Unknown
"Wars are complex. They come out of nowhere and all of a sudden, people you've never heard of are killing each other on the evening news."
So begins this rather patronising piece on Upworthy that attempts to explain in a digestible format what is happening in Syria. Entitled 'Trying to follow what is going on in Syria and why? This comic will get you there in 5 minutes', the article presents a neat, but ultimately misleading and reductive narrative, which argues that drought caused by climate change is primarily responsible for the war in Syria. Somewhat regrettably, it has been shared widely over the internet since it was published last week. Presumably it is being read (and shared) by people who are confused by events in Syria and want to find an easy framework with which to understand them.

Even for a piece that is explicitly intended for the layman, it is highly simplistic, misleadingly so. There is no doubt that the major drought witnessed in Syria between 2006 and 2011 had a catastrophic environmental and societal impact on the country, but it is not the over-arching cause of the war. The article is also littered with inaccuracies and has many glaring omissions, including the central role of foreign powers in the war, notably the US. For instance, there is no mention of the US' long-standing effort (in co-ordination with Saudi Arabia) to encourage Islamic fundamentalism and sectarianism in Syria in order to weaken the Syrian Government at any cost (as revealed by WikiLeaks) and no mention of the CIA's enormous Syria operation that has cost at least $1bn and trained and armed nearly 10,000 fighters sent to fight in Syria since the war began. But it is something else in the piece that - due to personal experience - I found especially problematic. The piece claims that in response to the drought crisis, "Bashar Al Assad's Government offered little help" (the word Government is omitted in the article itself, this appears to be an editorial oversight).

Comment: Of course the media's references to Assad and Syria obscure the reality that the Syrian government is more complex than just the one person: that's the entire point. The entire goal of the west's references to Syria and Assad are to demonize him and drum up support for their proxy army to overthrow him as a leader and replace him with a puppet leader. They've played this formula many times before, but it looks like this time, they didn't anticipate Putin.


Chess

Surprising Turkish election result: Did Turks just vote to become an Islamic State?

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The most pivotal election in modern Turkish history was held on Sunday November 1st, and it has transformed Turkey from being the least religiously dominated of all Islamic-majority nations, as Turkey had been ever since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had established Turkey's independence as a secular nation in 1922, to being now not only Islamic but Sunni Islamic, which means that it will be firmly allied with the Sunni Arabic oil-and-gas aristocracies, especially the Saud clan that owns Saudi Arabia, and the Thani clan that owns Qater. Both clans run Islamic states; the Thanis finance the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood, and the Sauds finance the jihadist Al Qaeda; both the Thanis and the Sauds finance ISIS and are helping ISIS to self-fund by assisting ISIS to sell on the black market the oil being pumped in ISIS's captured territories.

Approximately 90% of Turks are Sunni, but Ataturk had established Turkey as entirely secular; so, this huge Sunni Turkish majority was politically neutered from 1922 until the conservative Sunni President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became elected Prime Minister in 2003. It could happen only because Ataturk hadn't really understood how to separate church and state, in any enduring way. As Alex Tate of Georgetown University has noted, the system in education in Turkey is that "religion classes are mandatory in schools and teach the tenets of Sunni Islam. The Ministry of Religious Affairs, a branch of the central government that is at least officially autonomous, oversees religious education as well as all of the mosques and imams in the country." In other words: Sunni propaganda is taught to Turkish children, even to non-Sunni children. This has continued to be the case even after Ataturk. Therefore, at the psychological level, Turkey has actually remained a Sunni Islamic state, even though at the political level, it hasn't been Islamic at all (after 1922). The nearly a century of generations of Sunni-propagandized Turks, even after 1922, have produced the cultural foundation on which Erdoğan has been skillfully building, to re-establish the Sunni Turkish Islamic state.

Erdoğan had actually entered politics during a time when the institutionally secular Turkish military was becoming increasingly worried about growing public demands for Turkey to return to religion-based rule. (After all of that pro-Sunni propaganda in Turkey, it's not hard to see why this sentiment was rising.)

Target

Even the UN gets it: Ban Ki-moon condemns US position on Syria, endorses Putin

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Even Ban Ki-moon - usually solidly in US' pocket - thinks Washington's insistence that Assad 'must go' before a solution can be sought is mad

In an interview with Spanish newspapers that was published October 31st, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemned U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be removed from office, and Moon said: "The future of Assad must be determined by the Syrian people."

Here is the entire quotation:
"The future of President Assad must be decided by the Syrian people. Now, I do not want to interfere in the process of Vienna, but I think it is totally unfair and unreasonable that the fate of a person [diplomatese here for: U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that Assad be removed from the Presidency of Syria] to paralyze all this political negotiation.

This is not acceptable. It's not fair. The Syrian government insists that Assad should be part of the transition. Many Western countries oppose the Syrian government's position. Meanwhile, we lost years.

250,000 people have been killed. There are 13 million refugees or internally displaced. Over 50% of hospitals, schools and infrastructure has been destroyed in Syria.

You must not lose more time. This crisis goes beyond Syria, beyond the region. It affects Europe. It is a global crisis."
The U.N. Secretary General is here implicitly blaming all of this — lots of blood and misery — on U.S. President Obama, and on the "many Western countries" who ally with him and have joined with him in demanding regime-change in Syria.

Snakes in Suits

US media actively trying to use crashed flight A321 to make Putin look bad

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© Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
An Egyptian man puts flowers near debris at the crash site of a Russian airliner in al-Hasanah area at El Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015.
The Western press is looking for the worst possible scenario for the Russians: something negative, someone to blame, or something to put Putin in a bad light, says Daniel Patrick Welch, writer and political analyst.

RT: The CIA says they don't have any evidence the plane was downed by terrorists yet. Are they suggesting they're expecting some? What do you make of the wording of the phrase?

Daniel Patrick Welch: The first thing is that the kind of point of coverage of Russia in the West and specifically in the US is to find something negative or something blaming, or something to cast Putin and Russia in a bad light. It is just like the DNA of how the Western press works. So whether or not they are expecting this or not, they are looking for the worst possible scenario for the Russians and it is kind of mean-spirited.

Eye 2

US stonewalling investigation into bombing of hospital in Afghanistan

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© mashleymorgan / Flickr
"Even war has rules," said Doctors Without Borders head Dr. Joanne Liu as part of her response to the devastating U.S. bombing of the organization's hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan earlier this October.

After a series of different explanations and excuses — four separate accounts of the incident over the first four days, by The Guardian's count — the United States still hasn't provided a concrete explanation as to why and how the hospital was targeted, killing 22 doctors and patients. The attack was the worst on any Doctors Without Borders hospital in its 44 years of operating.

But it wasn't all that different from other recent U.S. attacks on civilian infrastructure. Since as far back as 1991, the U.S. has been "accidentally" blowing up medical and humanitarian facilities in a range of places, resulting in high civilian casualties and other "collateral damage."

To name but a few, in 1991 the U.S. targeted an air raid shelter in Baghdad, killing 408 Iraqi civilians. (A U.S. general claimed the shelter was "an active command-and-control center.") In 1998 the Clinton administration attacked the Al Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, which the U.S. claimed was associated with the bin Laden network and was "involved in the production of materials for chemical weapons." As a result, according to The Intercept, "tens of thousands of people have suffered and died" from "treatable diseases" in the country since then. In 2001, the U.S. attacked the complex that housed the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul — not once but twice, destroying storage warehouses that held food and supplies for refugees.

The incident in Kunduz, unfortunately, just adds to the list.

Comment: How can the US government justify bombing an independent hospital that treats victims of war on all sides? They can't, so instead they will stonewall. There is no good reason for the US to refuse an independent investigation, other than it will reveal that they knowingly bombed innocent people, in a hospital no less. The only description one can give to such behavior is evil.


War Whore

Vienna talks: Politics is just another form of war against Syria

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Russia's military intervention in Syria is proving a decisive turning point in stabilising the government of Bashar al-Assad, while racking up serious defeats against the sundry extremist mercenary groups. That is the assessment of US top military officer General Joseph F Dunford. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee this week: «The balance of forces right now are in Assad's advantage».

As the Los Angeles Times noted, Dunford's assessment «appeared to contradict upbeat assessments by the White House last month that indicated Assad's government had suffered a series of military losses and was losing control».

Meanwhile, in a hasty diplomatic foray, US Secretary of State John Kerry managed to get Washington's regional allies to attend talks in Paris and Vienna to discuss a political solution to the four-year-old Syrian conflict. Among the attendees were Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates. At Russia's insistence over Saudi objections, Iran was invited to the high-level discussions - the first time that Tehran has been admitted to the table.

An Associated Press report carried by the Huffington Post gave Kerry's shuttle diplomacy a positive spin, saying: «...all previous international mediation efforts have done nothing to stop the fighting, and Kerry is trying to unite all sides with influence in the Arab country around a common vision of a peaceful, secular and pluralistic Syria governed with the consent of its people».

Chess

Senate holds hearing on GMO labeling - Only hears Big Agriculture's side of the debate

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© antimedia.org
Several speakers at a recent Senate hearing on labeling foods that contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are connected to or have shown support for the Big Agriculture industry.

The hearing, titled Agriculture Biotechnology: A Look at Federal Regulation and Stakeholder Perspectives, comes in response to a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July. That bill would create a federal voluntary standard for GMO labeling and block mandatory labeling efforts by states. Known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act to supporters and the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act by critics, the law would effectively nullify GMO labeling measures like the bill recently passed in Vermont. The Vermont law is scheduled to go into effect July 2016. Maine and Connecticut have also passed laws requiring labeling, but those measures will not go into effect until bordering states also pass legislation.

Comment: Showdown in the U.S. Senate: Battle lines drawn as legislative fight over GMO labeling looms


Red Flag

Germany at edge of anarchy and civil war due to migrant crisis

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© Michaela Rehle / Reuters
Migrants wait on the bridge at the Austrian-German border between Braunau and Simbach at lake Inn near Passau, Germany, October 27, 2015
Germany now is somewhere at the edge of anarchy and sliding towards civil war, or to become a "banana republic without any government," says Hansjoerg Mueller of the Alternative for Germany party.

Bavarian official Peter Dreier called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tell her personally that if Germany welcomes a million refugees, his town of Landshut will only take in around 1,800. Any extra will be put on buses and sent to her Chancellery in Berlin.

RT: He says he's going to send them to Berlin, but does he have the power?

Hansjoerg Mueller: The person who wants to send them to Berlin is Mr. Dreier. He is the district head of Landshut, a town close to Munich. Usually he does not have the power, but we are not living in usual times. What we are now looking at is more and more Germany sliding towards anarchy. In this situation I think less and less is determined by law, more and more is determined by who acts. And the person who acts in fact has the power. So if he sends ... refugees to Berlin, he sends them!

Comment: Since the migrant crisis is a Western-engineered event, it's certainly possible that destabilizing Germany is one of its main purposes. If that's the case, things look to be going according to plan.