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Fri, 29 Jul 2016
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Chris Hedges: The new European fascists

© Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Government leaders in Poland are promoting a neofascist ideology.
Jaroslaw Kurski and Piotr Stasinski embody the hope that once was Poland. They struggled against the Communist regime for years in the underground press and as Solidarity members. They built Gazeta Wyborcza, now one of the most influential newspapers in the country, after the 1989 fall of communism. They helped usher in a period of democracy and open debate, one that included cultural space for historians such as Jan Gross, a Polish-born American who courageously confronted the taboo topic of Polish complicity in the Nazi extermination of nearly all of Poland's 3 million Jews.

And then neoliberalism, imposed by global capitalism and international banks, began to spread its poison. Legions of unemployed or underemployed were cast adrift. Two million Poles, many of them young people desperate for jobs, have left to work abroad. Governmental austerity programs devastated cultural institutions, including public schools, the arts and public broadcasting. And finally, following a familiar death spiral, the October 2015 elections brought to power the nationalists and demagogues of the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS). There is no left-wing party represented in the parliament.

Not much of Poland's promise remains. PiS is rapidly rolling back constitutional rights. It blocks state media coverage of the fading political opposition, especially the Committee for the Defense of Democracy (KOD), which has held a series of protest demonstrations. PiS shamelessly uses the airwaves and the schools for rabid nationalist propaganda. The public broadcasting system—in which the party purged more than 100 staff members—twisted President Barack Obama's recent criticism of the Polish government's assault on the judiciary into praise for Polish democracy. And the ruling party has forced state institutions to cancel subscriptions to Gazeta Wyborcza and pressured distributors throughout the country not to display or sell copies of the newspaper.

Bulb

Belarus signs new military doctrine identifying color revolutions and NATO as main threats to country

© Sputnik/ Alexei Danichev
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a new, updated edition of the country's military doctrine, following deliberations in the country's parliament. Significantly, while the doctrine does not directly identify the countries which serve as a threat to Belarus, it is hinted in no uncertain terms that NATO is the most likely threat.

According to paragraph 11.3 of the new doctrine, direct military threats to the country include "the expansion (or creation) of military-political alliances in the European region in which the Republic of Belarus is not included," and/or an attempt by such alliances to carry out "global functions."

Paragraph 11.4, meanwhile, alludes to the threat posed by "the strengthening of the offensive capabilities of states (or coalitions of states), including the unilateral establishment of strategic missile defense systems, precision-guided weaponry equipped with non-nuclear warheads for attacks against the military forces and infrastructure of the Republic of Belarus," and other measures "leading to a disruption of the existing balance of forces, as well as the building up of military infrastructure by states bordering Belarus."

Yoda

Poll finds 82% of Russians approve of Putin's job as Russian president

© Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin
A total of 82 percent of Russians approve of the Vladimir Putin's job as the Russian president, a poll conducted by the Moscow-based non-profit Levada Center revealed on Wednesday.

Approval rating of Putin's job as Russian president was 81 percent in June, while in July 2015 it totaled 87 percent.

In addition, 55 percent of Russian nationals approve of the work carried out by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, while 51 percent of Russians said they were satisfied with the work of the government as a whole.

Almost half of Russian citizens (46 percent) believe that the country was moving "in the right direction," while 37 percent expressed the opposite point of view and the rest could not give a definite answer.

The Parliament's work was approved by 42 percent of the respondents.

Thus, July's list of most trusted politicians in Russia was headed by President Putin, with 53 percent of support. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov followed suit, with 24 and 21 percent of public trust respectively, the poll revealed.

The survey was conducted on July 22-25 among 1,600 people aged 18 years and older across 137 settlements in the 48 regions of Russia.

Chess

The grand chessboard in play - Turkey's shift towards Russia

© Katahon
As with so many CIA-backed leaders, tyrants and despots, once your usefulness to Washington and Langley expires or your policies go off script, a coup or regime change magically emerges. With Turkey's Erdogan, we have seen these familiar patterns as NATO and its globalist backers are more and more revealed to be aggressors against Eurasian interests. Indeed, it was Brzezinski himself who wrote in his Grand Chessboard that control of Eurasia is key to control of the globe:
"... But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book." (p. xiv)

"In that context, how America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania (Australia) geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)
And,
"The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (p.125)

Snakes in Suits

USAID 'significant fraud': $239 million in desperately needed Syrian aid frozen

© AFP 2016/ SAFIN HAMED
USAID has frozen some $239 million worth of contracts for providing humanitarian aid to Syria, due to numerous reports of "significant fraud" among contractors.

According to officials from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), some partners, charged with handling contracts, picked their winners based on the size of a bribe, offering little to no inspection of the contents of supplies. This led, in one instance, to the use of salt as the sole element in a shipment of "food ration kits." In another instance, investigators found a warehouse in Syria containing useless frying pans and tiny tarps too small to be used by adults.

According to USAID Inspector General Ann Calvaresi Barr, the agency has received 116 complaints of alleged abuse and has opened 25 investigations.

Comment: And US dares to accuse Assad and Russia of hindering humanitarian aid.


Shoe

Cultural warfare: US attempt to ban Russia from Olympics for 'cheating' is rank hypocrisy

© JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP - Getty Images
Russian long jumper Darya Klishina
Now that some common sense has been restored and the International Olympic Committee has decided against banning the entire Russian team from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, I'd like to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Western elites, via their paid shills in the media and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), attempted to block an entire country from participating in a worldwide, amateur athletic competition because they didn't want Russia to garner any public goodwill through its athletic performances, nor did they want to have to watch Russian athletes stand on the podium, receive their medals, and play the Russian national anthem in celebration of their athletic achievements.

Does that not sound absurd, and incredibly petty to you? It does to me. It comes across as wholly desperate too. It's like the Western elites have realized that Putin has beaten them in the geopolitical field so they have changed course to a different field, one much smaller and less important in the grand scheme of things. They have enlisted their agents in the media to act as judge and jury despite the fact that there is actually no real evidence of "institutionalized doping", a fact that's apparently insignificant to journalists who have apparently long ago abandoned integrity and objectivity.

This is what tool-of-the-elites WADA reported: During the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014, Russian athletes were all working directly with the FSB to pass drug tests. The FSB was apparently passing vials of urine through a hole in the wall to athletes. They also somehow were able to put the urine in sterile containers and add salt in the process. WADA does not actually have any proof of this. They are relying on testimony from Grigory Rodchenkov, a Russian national who defected to the USA after being fired for, you guessed it, doping fraud. Pot, meet kettle.

Snakes in Suits

Will anything change? Pentagon has 'credible information' to probe alleged US strikes on civilians

© Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters
The US military says it has gathered enough material to launch an inquiry into civilian casualties, which included children, allegedly resulting from coalition airstrikes near the town of Manbij in Syria on July 19. Rights groups have slammed the deaths.

"Based on internal and external information that we have - things that we saw during the fight and things we saw in social media," the Pentagon decided that "the information was credible enough to warrant a formal investigation," spokesperson for the coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) Colonel Chris Garver told reporters on Wednesday.

At least 20 civilians, including children, were allegedly killed in a US airstrike last week near the town of Manbij in the Aleppo province, human rights groups said. The US-led coalition has launched dozens of airstrikes near Manbij in past weeks, trying to force IS to leave the city.

Snakes in Suits

Don't mention Gladio: Destroy the terrorist narrative

The alleged "terror attacks" are happening thick and fast in Europe right now. France has suspended its constitution for another several months as a response. Germany is in turmoil and may well follow suit. The media narrative is already set within a clearly defined paradigm that stipulates these attacks are being perpetrated by "radical Islam." The debate centers solely on what this means. Is it "blowback" for the West's policy of perpetual war in the Middle East, as the more liberal/left-inclined tend to say, or is it just Evil Extreme Islamics being Evil, as the more rightist-inclined aver?

There was a debate just like that on RT today. A Northern Irish white gentleman was looking severe and intolerant and claiming ISIS was basically Islam, (because - duh - they're called "Islamic State"!), and an English non-white gentleman was looking embattled and pointing out (justifiably) that most of the ISIS terrorists identified were anything but devout Moslems and anyhow the history of colonial wars perpetrated by many of the countries currently suffering these attacks can't simply be removed from the equation. He had a little pile of paper printed with the names of all the Moslem countries France had attacked in the last century - but neither the Scottish gent nor the RT anchor seemed much interested.

Comment: More on Gladio operations:


Laptop

Leaked Clinton emails reveal continuing efforts to sabotage Venezuela

© AFP 2016/ Presidencia
Despite her public appeals for friendship, a series of leaked emails show that during her time as Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has continued to promote subversion against the Latin American country behind closed doors.

The emails, leaked by WikiLeaks, show that during her tenure as US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton asked the then-assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Arturo Valenzuela, how "to rein in Chavez." Valenzuela alluded to reaching out to other regional partners to help undermine Chavez:

"We need to carefully consider the consequences of publicly confronting him but ought to look at opportunities for others in the region to help."

Comment: Related stories:


Magnify

The outlandish allegations that Trump is Putin's puppet out to destroy Western democracy

© AP Photo/ Gerald Herbert
In an amazing feat of American reality-inversion, this week saw revelations about how the US electoral system is rigged by the rich and powerful. Yet the story is flipped to outlandish allegations that Russia's President Vladimir Putin is a villain out to destroy Western democracy.

US media outlets from the august New York Timesto various others were saturated with claims that Putin is trying to determine the forthcoming American presidential elections by damaging Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton in favor of Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In an article in Slate magazine, we are told: "Putin plan for destroying the West - and it looks a lot like Donald Trump". The billionaire property magnate is now being labelled as "Putin's puppet" and the "Kremlin's candidate".

This is a re-run of American establishment paranoia that dominated the Cold War decades, when any political challenger for high office in the US could be blackballed by mere assertion that he was a fellow-traveller of the Soviet Union. Today, "communism" is replaced with allegations of being friends with Moscow "tyranny".