Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 30 Aug 2016
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters
Map

Vader

The why of Washington's addiction to unending war

© Flickr/DVIDSHUB
An Afghan National Army soldier sights in a SPG9 anti-tank weapon during weapons training at the Kabul Military Training Center.
The last two administrations have followed a bipartisan policy of constant war. Unfortunately, the consequences have been ugly: every intervention has laid the groundwork for more conflict.

Yet the architects of this failure claim that all would be well if only Washington had acted more often and more decisively. In their view, the problem is not that America goes to war, but that it doesn't go to war nearly enough.

This approach is based on the belief that Washington is capable of solving every international problem. If only unnamed bright people implemented theoretically brilliant strategies backed by unidentified resolute citizens, terrorism would be suppressed, ISIS would be defeated, Russia would be compliant, Iraq would be successful, Syria would be peaceful, Libya would be united and China would be respectful.

Alas, our experience suggests that such people and policies don't exist. Otherwise, why would recent military operations have turned out so badly? If the right conditions for success weren't present in the last fifteen years, why should we expect them to occur in the next fifteen?

The biggest problem is the belief in immaculate intervention. More troops should have stayed longer, more bombs should have been dropped, and more no-fly zones should have been established. Advocates rarely bother to explain the practical requirements and consequences of those policies.

Comment: Alas, the neocon 'reality creators' are unable to be cured of their delusions, no matter how many inconvenient facts are placed before them. Unfortunately the rest of the world is suffering the consequences.


Chess

Russian Senator: Expect attacks on State Duma elections from hostile nations to "discredit our country"

© Maksim Blinov / Sputnik
The chairman of Russia's Upper House Committee for International Relations has said he expects certain hostile foreign nations to launch another campaign aimed at blackening Russia's reputation in the period around September's parliamentary elections.

"Elections are due in three weeks and I have absolutely no doubt that ill-wishers across our borders will use the election campaign and the elections themselves as yet another excuse to discredit our country and present it as an outcast nation," senator Konsantin Kosachev said at the 'In Unity with Russia' international forum, currently taking place in Moscow.

Kosachev also said he was certain that the State Duma elections scheduled for September 18 will be honest and free, and called the criticism levelled at the Russian political system by some in the West "inadequate and having nothing in common with the real situation in the country."

"We see that the course aimed at the so-called international isolation of Russia declared by the West has totally failed. This course is currently supported by a group of strong but not very numerous nations, and at the level of common people we definitely will not find any confrontation even in the Western countries," he said.

Arrow Down

Race to the bottom: MSNBC tries to highlight Clinton accusing Trump of racism, plays fried chicken ad instead

© MSNBC
MSNBC host Alex Witt wanted to play a clip of Hillary Clinton accusing Donald Trump of being a racist, but instead aired a Kentucky Fried Chicken ad. Witt was talking to Cornell Williams Brooks of the NAACP on Saturday when he teed up a portion of Clinton's speech.

"As you know, Hillary Clinton says that Trump's campaign is appealing to a fringe in the Republican Party that is racist. I want to listen to part of her speech with you and get your reaction. So here it is," Witt said.

Inexplicably, the KFC ad aired with the MSNBC graphics still on the screen. "I am the extra crispy colonel," Colonel Sanders actor George Hamilton said in the ad.

"Absolutely not what we were going to play," Witt said as they moved on.


Green Light

Darayya comes under government control by Syrian army; militants and civilians evacuate - UPDATE

© AFP
Syrian government troops stand guard as a bus carrying evacuees drives by from Darayya, outside Damascus.
Syrian forces have established full control over Darayya, a besieged suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus, after militants and civilians were evacuated under a deal with the government. "The Syrian army completely controls Darayya. ... There isn't a single armed man there," a military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Saturday.

"The Darayya file is now closed after the evacuation of all the civilians, armed men and their families under the agreement" reached on Thursday between the government and the militants, Syrian state television said. The television broadcast footage of army vehicles combing the streets of the town, which has been under siege since November 2012.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the second and final convoy of militants and civilians left Darayya on Saturday. The total number of evacuees is not yet clear.

Syria's official news agency, SANA, reported on Saturday that 4,000 civilians were to be directed to reception centers and at least 700 rebels escorted to the militant-held city of Idlib in northwest Syria. The arrivals were the first since the evacuation of the town just outside Damascus began on Friday under an agreement between the government and the militants.

Comment: The Russian Defense Ministry reported that a total of 120 militants and 230 family members have voluntarily left Darayya and will begin their relocation in temporary housing in the Keisua settlement in the Damascus province.

Update: According to yesterday's Russian Defense Ministry bulletin: "Within the last 2 days, over 1,800 people have been evacuated from the Darayya inhabited area (Damascus province) - those are civilians, militants who laid down their arms and members of their families."


Laptop

Social media companies undercutting Trump by censoring posts and banning users

Most of us are well aware by now that the mainstream media is in the bag for Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but this recent development may make things even worse.

Tech companies such as Apple, Twitter, Google and Instagram are actively working against GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The items you probably use every day — phones, computers, tablets etc., are being used to prop up Clinton, and those that know how dangerous a Clinton presidency would be and care about fair play should know about it.

The Observer reported that Apple blatantly discriminated against a pro-Trump podcast called MAGA. According to an Apple representative, the show was labeled "explicit" simply because it was pro-Trump.

Just for a point of reference, Apple has podcasts that discuss Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler — but those aren't labeled "explicit," according to the Observer. Upon contacting another representative at apple, they were assured that the podcast would be relabeled "clean."

Breitbart reported that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed that: "The chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, set up a company to run the digital component of Hillary Clinton's campaign," a claim that has been widely reported and researched extensively by Breitbart.

Comment: From Breitbart May 2016:
"Facebook has issued libertarian Canadian commentator Lauren Southern with a 30-day suspension after she criticised the social network for banning the administrator of a right-wing Facebook page.

Only a few days after the widely publicised meeting of "top conservatives" with Mark Zuckerberg to address censorship of conservative media on Facebook, it seems the site is up to its old tricks of silencing conservatives and right-wingers.

The admin of Disdain for Plebs, a pro-Trump, alt-right Facebook page, was banned for arguing that Trump was not anti-Muslim, but anti-ISIS, and that his proposed ban on Muslims was not due to innate racism, but because "Homeland Security cannot differentiate which Muslim is radical wanting to cause harm and which is a harmless refugee."

Facebook moderators, however, apparently considered this to be wrongthink. The post was subsequently removed, [...] and the account suspended.

The admin, who wishes to remain anonymous, said exclusively to Breitbart News that "being banned for stating unfortunate facts is typical of social media these days. Conservatives understand they are forced to stay quiet on controversial topics that need to be addressed, or else be completely exiled from the public eye. Years of hard work and determination can be, and has been, eradicated from people, under the moderation of politically correct censorship masquerading as manners."
The article goes on to detail Ms. Southern's subsequent postings and eventual re-instatement to Facebook.


Treasure Chest

Is Putin really the richest man on earth? Not even close - 6-figure net worth

© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev
The Russian dab. Vladimir Putin is saluted during an awarding ceremony for Russia’s Olympians in Moscow’s Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. VTB Bank’s CEO says Putin is not as rich as the world thinks.
Some will get a kick out of this. You know who you are.

Vladimir Putin is destined to live a modest life. He's not the richest man in the world. He doesn't own stakes in Gazprom and Rosneft and Bashneft. He doesn't have a Maybach Exelero parked in the garage in his dacha. He doesn't own all of Moscow and St. Petersburg and Siberia. All the gas in the Kara Sea does not belong to him. Not even 1% of it. He might look like the coolest James Bond villain in modern politics, but he's really a puppy-dog loving guy with a six figure, maybe a low seven figure net worth.

"You will not find Putin's wealth," said VTB Bank's charasmatic CEO Andrey Kostin in an interview with The Financial Times. "He has no car, no money. Do you think when he retires you'll find him in Monaco on a 200-meter yacht? People who are trying to find Putin's accounts can spend their whole life searching and they will never find anything," Kostin told the FT.

No Entry

French interior minister: National burkini ban would be unconstitutional - Sarkozy says he'll do it as president

© Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Sarkozy likes his French woman the 'traditional' way - wearing what men tell them to wear.
The French government cannot implement a nationwide anti-Muslim swimsuit ban, as such a law would be "unconstitutional and ineffective," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

A law restricting the traditional Muslim full-body beachwear would be "likely to create antagonism and irreparable tensions" in French society, the official told La Croix newspaper on Sunday.

"France more than ever needs peaceful relations with Muslims," he said. However, "tolerance" is needed on both sides, he added, saying that "Muslims must continue to engage with us on gender equality."


Comment: Wow, a rational Frenchman!


While the socialist government minister has been opposing the burkini ban, other political figures in France have expressed their support towards the Muslim swimwear restrictions.

The former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has promised this week he would impose a nationwide ban on burkinis if re-elected to the presidency.

Comment: Sarkozy responded to Cazeneuve with this: "Well, then we change the constitution [to allow a burkini ban]. We've changed it 30-odd times, it's not a problem." Well, you can't argue with that. This whole burkini business is just another indication of how far France has fallen into hysteria:


Rocket

US drone shooed away from Iranian airspace with warning

Iran's Air Defense identified a US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) east of the county and forced it to avoid the Iranian airspace after issuing a warning. The American spy drone was flown from a base in Afghanistan's Qandahar and is thought to have been programmed to intrude into Iran's airspace.

The pilotless aircraft was flying as near as 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from the Iranian airspace, but changed its path after receiving a timely warning from the Iranian forces. It came after Nazir, an advanced Iranian radar used for detecting small targets at long distances, became operational in a desert in the country.

According to Air Defense Commander Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, no stealth aircraft will intrude into Iran's airspace with the coming into service of Nazir. The homegrown radar is particularly employed to detect targets with pretty small cross-section areas, American jet Lockheed U-2, and drones like General Atomics MQ-1 Predator and Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, he added.

Known as a suitable option against the anti-radiation missiles, Nazir is capable of detecting targets in ranges of 800 kilometers and at 100,000-feet altitudes.

Snakes in Suits

Blaming Russia: FBI says foreign hackers penetrated state election systems

The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.

The FBI warning, contained in a "flash" alert from the FBI's Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.


Comment: The "cyberintrusions" are a common occurrence. Blaming it on "Russian state-sponsored" hackers sounds ludicrous. What reasons would Russia have to obstruct the US elections? The US should be more concerned with their own politicians' voting manipulations. Sanders supporters' class action lawsuit against Debbie Wasserman Schultz for rigging DNC vote allowed to continue


Those concerns prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to convene a conference call with state election officials on Aug. 15, in which he offered his department's help to make state voting systems more secure, including providing federal cyber security experts to scan for vulnerabilities, according to a "readout" of the call released by the department.

Comment: The FBI should pay more attention the US' own voting problems:


Vader

Syrian disaster: Convicting Obama

Russia and Vladimir Putin did not start Arab Spring. Russia and Vladimir Putin did not start the Syria carnage we see today. The United States of America, Britain, the NATO pact, the Saudis and Qatar, and Israel were in the driver's seat in all this. What's amazing for many onlookers is how undisputedly exact these facts are, and how obtuse and unaffected people are in knowing. That the UN and other international oversight has not acted appropriately. This is the biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust.

I awoke this morning to an RT story about a Syrian parent being forced to watch his son being beheaded in front of his eyes. A man named Yassar was the subject, a father who has now lost 3 of 4 sons in America's proxy war for Syria. Yes, the Syria carnage is all about the overthrow of Israel's closest and most hated enemy. This chaotic region's reconstruct is all about US strategic reach and global resources remaining. That's it, and everyone who knows anything knows I speak the truth. You don't have to scan WikiLeaks Hillary Clinton cables to find out the United States planned and orchestrated the overthrow of Assad, but you can.

The Arab Spring, and especially Syria, will go down in the annual of human endeavor as a footnote to how war and carnage feed capitalism and the power hungry elites. Within this footnote future historians will not discover a WikiLeaks or Edward Snowden revelation on Putin not Russia, for there is no such revelation to be had. All anyone on the side of US hegemony has to show, are rumors and concocted reviling against the charismatic pragmatist, the former KGB man who tried to transform Russia. You can read in the notorious Panama Papers who somebody who knows Putin "may" have stashed some money in Panama. The multitude of western billionaires editorialize Vladimir Putin as the world's most vile criminal. But not one shred of proof emerges the man did anything wrong. He "probably" had this secret agent killed, he "may have" ordered an airplane shot down, Putin has been "likely" to invade some borderland 100 times, but Nada, Nyet, Nimic, Nothing of the sort took place. Don't take my word, research to find the proof. Proof Russia did anything wrong simply does not exist. How amazing is that?