Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 25 May 2018
The World for People who Think


Flashback 2005: Watch CNN's Christiane Amanpour Tell Syria's Assad 'US is Coming For You'

cnn interview assad

CNN's Christiane Amanpour 'interviews' Bashar al-Assad in 2005
In late 2005 CNN's Christiane Amanpour interviewed Syrian president Bashar al-Assad ahead of the publication of a UN report on an investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minster of Lebanon, on Valentine's Day that year. Syria's leader was at the time effectively tried and condemned in a trial-by-media as having ordered Hariri's assassination, though there is to this day no conclusive evidence proving either Syrian or Lebanese government links with the massive bomb attack in Beirut that killed Hariri and 22 other people. In fact, the evidence strongly points to an Israeli hand in the murder.

Given that Hariri's death triggered a popular uprising known as the 'Cedar Revolution', which overthrew the pro-Syrian government in Beirut and led to Syrian troops being forced out of Lebanon after decades of peacekeeping since the Lebanese civil war, it's difficult to see what possible motivation the Syrian government may have had for assassinating Hariri - though one can certainly see how certain other countries in the region may have benefited.

Having grilled Assad on his alleged involvement in that macabre deed, Amanpour went on to tell her interviewee, to his face, that the US government was 'actively seeking' to depose him by force:
"Mr President, the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States. They are actively looking for a new Syrian leader. They are granting visas and visits to Syrian opposition politicians. They are talking about isolating you diplomatically and perhaps a coup d'état or your regime crumbling."


The Two Tweets That Destroyed Democracy: House Report on 'Russian Meddling' Is Laughable

rt logos
© Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Though the House Intelligence Committee report exonerated President Donald Trump of 'collusion' with Russia, it still accused Moscow, and RT specifically, of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

The report released on Friday says the committee "found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government," but it accepted the US intelligence community's claims from the January 2017 report that said Russia used 'active measures' to meddle in the elections.

How did that happen? That's classified. Much of Chapter two, suggestively titled 'Russia attacks the United States,'was entirely redacted at the request of the US intelligence community, according to Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas). The few tidbits that the public was allowed to see defined spear phishing and credential harvesting and admitted that "attribution is a bear."

The report then goes full tinfoil hat, claiming that WikiLeaks is a Russian intelligence outlet and accusing RT of serving some dark agenda of the Kremlin. According to the US spy community, RT produces content which appeals to "skeptics of both the mainstream media and the establishment." Points for honesty on that, Langley, that is literally what "Question More" means.

SOTT Logo Radio

Behind the Headlines: Western Order Break-Up? New Middle East? New Korea?

Macron Trump hold hands
© REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
Last week French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel visited Trump. In contrast to Macron and Trump's 3 day 'love in', Merkel spent a mere 3 hours with the POTUS, but both European leaders had the same agenda: preventing Trump from starting a 'trade war' with the EU and backing out of the 'Iran deal'. Why does Trump think the 'Iran deal' is "bad" anyway?

Reading between the lines of comments by both Macron and Merkel, it is clear that Trump's protectionist and isolationist bent is deeply concerning to the stewards of the 'Western order' on both sides of the Atlantic. After all, who will 'contain' Russia and Iran and protect Israel and Saudi Arabia? For 70 years the Europeans have merely played the role of NATO cheerleaders for US imperialist wars under the NATO flag. Are they really expected to go it alone now?

In another blow to the Western world order, there were extraordinary scenes in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Korea this week as the leaders of the two Koreas met for the first time in 11 years and agreed in principle to formally end the Korean War, with Chairman Kim Jong-un becoming the first North Korean leader to cross the border into the South since the Korean peninsula was partitioned in 1945.

A little over a year ago, the situation in Korea looked far from peaceful as North Korea and the US began a war of words (and a display of missile capability) that apparently portended imminent global nuclear Armageddon. What changed? Or what were people missing? And if it's possible for this conflict to be resolved amicably, could peace break out in other hotspots like the Middle East?

Tune in this week from 12-1:30pm EDT / 6-7:30pm CET this Sunday April 29.

Running Time: 01:48:01

Download: OGG, MP3

Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Evil Rays

Syria - A Case Study in Western Propaganda

Cover of The Economist, August 31st, 2013

Cover of The Economist, August 31st, 2013
Dear diary, many of my colleagues are unhappy about the recent events in Syria. They are unhappy that Assad is still in power. However, I see the metaphorical glass as being half full. In a recent poll, 58% of Americans support the bombing of Syria and 19% have "no opinion." This is wonderful news, since it shows how the vast majority of people are easily manipulated and are simply apathetic. In a democracy, the most important but least understood tool is propaganda. Let me share with you the fundamentals of a successful propaganda campaign.


Joe Quinn on PressTV: Merkel Washington Visit Underscores US-EU 'Parting of Ways'

Merkel Trump Washington
Joe Quinn spoke with PressTV today about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Washington, DC. Distinctly low-key compared with French president Emmanuel Macron's 3-day love-fest with US president Donald Trump, the US-German summit merely underscored the isolationist approach Trump has taken with respect to its 'closest partners'.

The US government imposed import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in March, but it provided a temporary exemption until May 1 for the EU. Judging by both Merkel and Trump's statements to the media following their meeting, Trump is probably not going to make the exemption permanent. In short, 'Europe must pay!

Coupled with the EU leaders' failure to turn Trump back from reneging on the JCPOA Iran deal, this week's meeting with the leaders of Europe's two biggest countries serves to underscore a 'parting of ways' within the Atlantic alliance.


Despite all Efforts by Warmongers in Washington, Peace has Broken out on the Korean Peninsula

kim jong un moon jae in cross border
The leaders of North and South Korea stunned the world on Friday by declaring a new age of peace between their long-divided states. But to credit Washington for this remarkable turnaround would be sending a dangerous message.

To say that the situation on the Korean peninsula has been moving ahead at breakneck, roller-coaster speed would be a great understatement. Just a few months ago, the world held its breath as Pyongyang slammed yet another round of US-backed sanctions as an "act of war." In the background of the breakdown was Donald Trump, armed with an insurmountable ego and a very active Twitter account, helping to drive up tensions to the boiling point.

This week, the mood could not have been any more different had white doves and rainbow-colored unicorns descended upon the Korean peninsula from the heavens and broke out in song and dance.

Few could have imagined the historic event that was playing out before them: Kim Jong-un strolled hand-in-hand with South Korean President Moon Jae-in across the forbidden Militarized Zone, thus becoming the first North Korean leader in 65 years to enter South Korean territory. But that was just the beginning of April's shower of political surprises. Kim and Moon went on to commit themselves to eliminating nuclear weapons on the peninsula, and pledging to sign a formal peace treaty later this year.

Better Earth

After 65 years, Korean Leaders Agree to End War in Historic Peace Summit

korea peace summit
© Reuters TV
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in raise their hands in unity after signing agreements during the inter-Korean summit at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018
After a day of upbeat optics and good vibes, the Koreas agreed to cooperate and reduce tension, but details on denuclearization must await the North Korea-US summit in May or June

After a day-long summit, leaders of the two Koreas hugged one another, opening "a new era of peace". They pledged that there would be no further conflict on the peninsula and vowed to upgrade relations in multiple spheres.

But while they agreed on "total denuclearization," no details of steps to achieve this were included, suggesting the issue has been deferred to the upcoming North Korea-US summit, expected in May or June.

After a day of talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and their entourages at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, the two sides released the "Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula."

Comment: South Korea's Foreign Minister told CNN's Christiane Amanpour something that likely made her throw up a bit in her mouth... that Donald Trump deserves a lot of credit for making this historic meeting happen...

Trump in turn gave a shout out to Xi Jinping, who was no doubt also instrumental:

In summary, the two Koreas have agreed to:
  • completely denuclearize Korean peninsula
  • hold multi-party talks involving the US and China
  • have high-level military talks in May
  • have Moon visit North Korea in the autumn
  • establish a 'firm peace regime'
  • Kim said he hopes two Koreas will reunite

SOTT Logo Radio

The Health & Wellness Show: Extreme Biohacking, Transhumanism and the Singularity

© unknown
Who doesn't love a good biohack? Seeking longevity, convenience, uber-intelligence, super human strength and optimal functioning is something that health conscious people science nerds have in common. But what happens when it's taken too far? When does dreaming of immortality, human-machine interfaces and implants, consciousness uploading and artificial intelligence cross the line from geeky speculation into being anti-life and anti-human? In a free will universe personal experimentation is a valid choice but there is the very real fear that a large portion of humanity will be dragged, kicking and screaming, into a world where technology and materialism rules.

Join us for this episode of The Health and Wellness show where we'll discuss the sometimes strange world of obsessive biohackers, the always creepy transhumanist agenda and whether or not The Singularity will come to fruition.

Running Time: 01:16:13

Download: OGG, MP3

Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Black Cat

A Question for Mrs May: Did Britain Really Drop Bombs on a Chemical Weapons Facility?

bombed out building
© Hassan Ammar/Agence France-Presse
A Syrian soldier films the damage to the Syrian Scientific Research Centre which was attacked by US., British and French military strikes in Barzeh, near Damascus, Syria.
On April 14th, shortly after the United Kingdom, United States and France bombed the sovereign country of Syria, on the basis of unproven allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Douma on 7th April, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May made the following comment in her official statement:
"Together we have hit a specific and limited set of targets. They were a chemical weapons storage and production facility, a key chemical weapons research centre and a military bunker involved in chemical weapons attacks. Hitting these targets with the force that we have deployed will significantly degrade the Syrian Regime's ability to research, develop and deploy chemical weapons" [my emphasis].
It seemed to me when I heard these words - and the passage of time has not altered this impression - that Mrs May was admitting to one of two actions, either of which ought to see her removed from office.

Comment: The same questions needs to be asked of Presidents Trump and Macron.

Star of David

March of Return: Israel's Officially Sanctioned Use of Deadly Force Against Palestinians Delivers Deadly Blow to Its Credibility

protest gaza snipers
© Reuters
Massacre in Gaza
In early 2018 a Palestinian by the name of Ahmad Abu Artema reportedly posted on his Facebook page his personal vision for thousands of Palestinians to march in honor of the 42nd anniversary of Land Day, which commemorates the first time a mass movement of Palestinians protested peacefully for their right to return to their ancestral homes. The original march was shrouded in violence, but Artema had a vision of a different way that Gazans could air their legitimate grievances, and many Gaza shared it.

Artema's vision was simple: that Israelis and Palestinians could live together, as one people. Artema stated:
"If you want my personal opinion, I don't believe in liberation [of land in Israel]. I believe in ending the apartheid system in Israel like the end of the apartheid system in South Africa, and we live all in one democratic state," Artema said in an interview in Gaza City. "I want to live with Israelis."
As the Facebook post went viral and organizers began to work towards making it a reality, a decision was made to decrease tensions by camping out hundreds of meters from the Israeli border, celebrating, marching, and 'creating a new culture'.

Artema's noble ideals however were not viewed as such by the Israeli government and military. Since March 20th, nearly 3,000 Palestinians have been injured and - at the time of writing - 39 have been killed as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) turned Palestinians peaceful protests into a bloody shooting gallery. Let's not kid ourselves - the 'March of Return' has been yet another macabre step in the slow eradication of Palestine and its people. Perhaps what differentiates it from others before it is that the world is watching as the IDF picks off protesters (and members of the media) in broad daylight. On this occasion, there were no 'military targets' that later 'turned out to be schools, or farms, or factories'. The Israeli authorities have provided little justification for their use of deadly force against transparently civilian targets.