Monday, March 28, 2016

Recent issues

Michael Krieger at LibertyBlitzkrieg
Clinton Emails Reveal Google’s Role in Attempting to Oust Syria’s Assad

Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, will head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Carter unveiled the new Defense Innovation Advisory Board with Schmidt during the annual RSA cyber security conference in San Francisco, saying it would give the Pentagon access to “the brightest technical minds focused on innovation.”

– From the Reuters article: Former Google CEO Schmidt to Head New Pentagon Innovation Board

It’s been observed for quite some time that Google isn’t just a private corporate behemoth, but that its executives are often times more intricately involved in U.S. foreign policy than most people would find appropriate.

It’d be one thing if this support was for....

....It should be noted that precisely at this time, the West, the Gulf states and Turkey, according to the DIA’s internal intelligence reports, were supporting AQI and other Islamist factions in Syria to “isolate” the Assad regime. By Flynn’s account, despite his warnings to the White House that an ISIS attack on Iraq was imminent, and could lead to the destabilization of the region, senior Obama officials deliberately continued the covert support to these factions.

“It was well known at the time that ISIS were beginning serious plans to attack Iraq. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey played a key role in supporting ISIS at this time, but the UAE played a bigger role in financial support than the others, which is not widely recognized.”
Springmann says that during his tenure at the US embassy in Jeddah, he was repeatedly asked by his superiors to grant illegal visas to Islamist militants transiting through Jeddah from various Muslim countries. He eventually learned that the visa bureau was heavily penetrated by CIA officers, who used their diplomatic status as cover for all manner of classified operations....

Palmyra freed from evil forces and their faciliators by the Syrian army backed by Russian air power. 

Patrick J Buchanan at AmericanConservative
The Rule-or-Ruin Republicans

“Things reveal themselves passing away,” wrote W. B. Yeats.

Whatever one may think of Donald Trump, his campaign has done us a service—exposing the underbelly of a decaying establishment whose repudiation by America’s silent majority is long overdue.

According to the New York Times, super PACs of Trump’s GOP rivals, including PACs of candidates who have dropped out, are raising and spending millions to destroy the probable nominee. Goals of the anti-Trump conspirators: Manipulate the rules and steal the nomination at Cleveland. Failing that, pull out all the stops and torpedo any Trump-led ticket in the fall. Then blame Trump and his followers for the defeat, pick up the pieces, and posture as saviors of the party they betrayed.

This is vindictiveness of a high order. It brings to mind the fable of the “The Dog in the Manger,” the tale of the snarling cur that, out of pure malice, kept the hungry oxen from the straw they needed to eat.

Last week came reports on another closed conclave of the “Never Trump” cabal at the Army and Navy Club in D.C. Apparently, William Kristol circulated a memo detailing how to rob Trump of the nomination, even if he finishes first in states, votes, and delegates.

Should Trump win on the first ballot, Kristol’s fallback position is to create a third party and recruit a conservative to run as its nominee. Purpose: Have this rump party siphon off enough conservative votes to sink Trump and give the presidency to Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose policies are more congenial to the neocons and Kristol’s Weekly Standard.

Among the candidates Kristol is reportedly proposing are ex-Governor Rick Perry of Texas and former Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, both respected conservatives.

Kristol contends a third-party ....

Brit analyst calls Saudi Arabia the "Saudi cult" of illiterates installed there by his government the UK. So true!

Putin's speech from TheSaker blog
Very important speech of Vladimir Putin

At a meeting in the Kremlin’s St George Hall, Vladimir Putin presented state decorations to service personnel and defence industry specialists who distinguished themselves in the performance of special missions in the Syrian Arab Republic. More than 700 officers and men of the Aerospace Forces, the Ground Forces and the Navy attended the ceremony, along with representatives of the military-industrial complex.

[Note from the Saker: emphasis added by me, the Saker]

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, friends,

I would like to welcome you – all the service personnel who took part in the operation in Syria.

All of you – pilots, sailors, service personnel of control bodies, of special purpose units, intelligence, communication and procurement, military advisers – acted consistently and with precision.

Words of special gratitude go to the female service personnel. You serve alongside men, with persistence and dignity. Your choice in life brings you our deep respect.

Thank you all for your dedication to our Fatherland.

Russia is proud of you, of its soldiers and officers who protect the interests of their homeland with a great degree professionalism and courage.

Comrade officers,

You remember what the situation was like in September of 2015. Back then, a significant part of the country was seized by terrorist groups, and the situation was getting worse.

In full compliance with international law, at the request of the legitimate government and the country’s president, we made a decision to launch ....

From BBC
Brussels attacks: Belgium releases terror murder suspect

A man known as Faycal C, the only person arrested and charged with involvement in the Brussels attacks, has been released for lack of evidence.

Belgian media said the man had been suspected of being the mystery third man in CCTV footage of the bombers.

But a judge found there was no evidence to justify holding him, the prosecutor's office said.

Last Tuesday's attacks on the airport and the city's metro system killed 35 people and injured more than 300....

From CNN
In Pakistan, Taliban's Easter bombing targets, kills scores of Christians


On Easter Sunday, a crisp spring day, some of the city's Christian population mingled with their Muslim neighbors, celebrating in a neighborhood park -- taking their kids on rides or pushing them on swings. Then, the sound of tragedy. ...

Ben Norton at Salon
“Israel is occupation-addicted”: 

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy blasts U.S. support for “apartheid” & rise of fascism
The renowned Israeli journalist joined a host of experts at the 2016 Israel's Influence conference in D.C.
“Israel is occupation-addicted,” said renowned Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, a columnist for the leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“The drug addict who is your friend, if you give him money, he will really care about you. But are you really caring about him?” asked Levy, who called Israel’s almost 50-year-old illegal military occupation of Palestinian land “criminal,” “brutal” and “rotten.”

He was speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. for the annual Israel’s Influence conference. The event, held on March 18, explored the close relationship between the American and Israeli governments, and the impact it has on the rest of the Middle East.

The U.S. gives more than $3.1 billion in unconditional military aid to the Israeli government every year. Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. aid (Egypt comes in second, with $1.5 billion annually). And yet, in protest of the U.S.’s nuclear deal with Iran, the Israeli government is pushing for even more, up to $4.5 billion in tax dollars per year.

“Every single thing the Israelis do today is with the total approval and total financing of the United States,” Levy explained.

He criticized U.S. politicians, and particularly lawmakers, for their ignorance of basic facts about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“Most American legislators know nothing, and what they know is a product of” propaganda, Levy said.

He proposed giving U.S. politicians a tour of the occupied Palestinian territories. Levy suggested that anyone who doubts that Israel oppresses the indigenous Arab population should spend “just a few hours in Hebron,” a Palestinian city (known in Arabic as al-Khalil) in the occupied West Bank.

“I’ve never met an honest human being who went to Hebron and didn’t come back shocked,” he added.....

Daniel McAdams at RonPaulInstitute discusses several topics with Dr Ron Paul (vid at link)
What does today's bombing in Brussels have to do with ISIS in Iraq?
Both feed the usual calls for military escalation in response to a problem created by military escalation in the first place. If ISIS is in Iraq as a result of the ill-fated 2003 US military action in Iraq, how can more military action in Iraq solve the problem? Likewise, if Europe's slavish adherence to the Washington-led interventionist foreign policy line has resulted in blowback attacks, how does signing on to more of what the Beltway neocons have to offer going to remedy the problem? Perhaps, strangely enough, we can learn from what President Reagan did in a similar situation...

Video at link.  Really worth a watch.  Unbelievable story about how in one of the richest countries in the world, this sorry state of affairs prevails while the MSM turns a blind eye and the real work to expose the dirt is left to small alternative media outfits who depend on donations to keep going.From DemocracyNow:

"Here's to Flint":   Broadcast Premiere of ACLU Documentary on the Fight for Democracy & Clean Water
As voters head to the polls in four states today, with Michigan seen as the top prize, the ongoing Flint water crisis has become a major campaign issue for Democrats. The crisis began when an unelected emergency manager appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder switched the source of Flint’s water to the corrosive Flint River in an apparent bid to save money. Today, in a Democracy Now! exclusive, we broadcast the ACLU of Michigan documentary "Here’s to Flint," produced by Michigan Journalist of the Year Curt Guyette and filmmaker Kate Levy. The film tells the inside story of how local residents, journalists and scientists organized to uncover the water contamination crisis that has sparked congressional hearings, the resignations of public officials and a national debate about the impacts of austerity and infrastructure decline in the United States.

Shobhan Saxena at TheRealNewsNetwork
A Coup is in the Air:

The Plot to Unsettle Rousseff, Lula and Brazil
Neoliberal parties, the corporate media, a conservative judiciary, oil lobbyists, the white elite and right-wing groups, with generous help from outside, have ganged up to derail the country’s government. And it’s all being made to look like a popular uprising against a corrupt regime
 In November 2009, The Economist put Brazil on its cover. Brazil Takes Off, read the headline, emblazoned on a photo of Rio’s iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer rising above blue waters like an inter-stellar rocket. Predicting that “Brazil is likely to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, overtaking Britain and France,” the magazine said that South America’s largest economy should “pick up more speed over the next few years as big new deep-sea oilfields come on stream, and as Asian countries still hunger for food and minerals from Brazil’s vast and bountiful land.”

In 2009, even as the world was reeling from a catastrophic financial crisis, The Economist saw Brazil as the great hope of global capitalism.

Back then, the British magazine was not the only one in love with Brazil. Under Lula da Silva’s leadership, the country was witnessing unprecedented prosperity and social change. Lula’s personal rise from shoe-shine boy and motor mechanic to the presidency of the biggest Latin American country was the stuff of legends. He was the subject of several books and a Brazilian box-office hit. At the G-20 summit in London in April 2009, US president Barrack Obama called him the “most popular politician on earth.” And with two of the biggest sporting spectacles – the FIFA World Cup (2014) and the Olympics (2016) – scheduled to happen in the country, Brazil, perennially branded the “country of the future,” finally appeared to be arriving on the global stage.

Seven years later, Brazil is looking like a completely different country. Lula, who retired in 2010 with an 80% approval rating, was detained this month for questioning in a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal that has seen ....

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