Once a Shining Example in the Middle East, Turkey is No Longer Secular
Following the Turkish government’s decision to sentence two journalists for publishing images of the Prophet Muhammad, Kemal Okuyan speaks with Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear to consider the question of whether Turkey is still a secular state.
"They are being accused of insulting the holy beliefs of Turkish people," Okuyan, a journalist with SoL newspaper, tells Loud & Clear, referring to two reporters with Cumhuriyet, who illustrated articles with satirical images of the Prophet Mohammed from controversial French humor magazine Charlie Hebdo.
"The images were not insulting anything, but it was against terror…there was nothing related to it insulting religion or what they call in Turkish courts 'insulting the holy beliefs of people.'"
Charging journalists with crimes of insulting religions is shift away from the secular government in place prior to the administration of current President Erdogan.
"Turkey is normally a secular country. For 15 years the [Justice Development Party] AKP government systematically changed the political system in Turkey," Okuyan says....
Corey Schink at SOTT net
Silencing Libya: NATO returns to the scene of the crime
NATO displayed its truly destructive and sadistic nature when it obliterated Libya 5 years ago. Those who expose what happened, and what is still occurring there, are 'soft-killed'.
What began in 2011 with a violent assault against Libyans ended in a NATO-requested and UN-approved 'no-fly zone' that resulted in a massacre of unprecedented proportions. Nicholas Kristol at the New York Times had the audacity to claim that Libyans were running around shouting, as bombs fell on their heads, "Thank you, America!" The murder and mayhem was necessary, we were told, to 'protect civilians' from their leader. A glorious and benevolent act of kindness, the 'humanitarian intervention' would usher in a new 'civilized' regime and 'up-lift' ordinary Libyans.
In reality, an entire population was killed, maimed and terrorized while NATO and its 'rebels' displayed apparent enjoyment at tearing the country apart.
When NATO left and the bulk of 'Islamist' mercenaries were moved on to Syria, Libya was left mired in civil war hell. At which point the West changed its narrative - no longer was the intervention a 'triumph of Western values'; now it was 'a regrettable mistake'. The utility of this change in narrative lies in the fact that they're now saying they'll have to go back and 'fix the mess' (that they made). It's like the psychopath returning to the scene of its crime.
But they have no intention of 'fixing' anything - rather, they want to make sure the victim has no chance of recovering and telling her side of the story. ....
On the Zika virus, Prof Francis Doyle makes us a little wiser. Always try to remember this: Today's conspiracy sounding statements become tomorrow's facts. Many of us don't want to believe that our own fellow beings can be so maliciously devious and grotesquely murderous.... and that's because we ourselves would never ever think of killing other human beings. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be, being psychopaths, don't think or act like us . Power corrupts, etc.etc.
Ron Paul at InstituteForPeaceAndProsperity
Drafting Women Means Equality in Slavery
Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register with Selective Service. This means that if Congress ever brings back the draft, women will be forcibly sent to war.
The amendment is a response to the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to serve in combat. Supporters of drafting women point out that the ban on women in combat was the reason the Supreme Court upheld a male-only draft. Therefore, they argue, it is only logical to now force women to register for Selective Service. Besides, supporters of extending the draft point out, not all draftees are sent into combat.
Most of those who opposed drafting women did so because they disagreed with women being eligible for combat positions, not because they opposed the military draft. Few, if any, in Congress are questioning the morality, constitutionality, and necessity of Selective Service registration. Thus, this debate is just another example of how few of our so-called “representatives” actually care about our liberty.
Some proponents of a military draft justify it as “payback” for the freedom the government provides its citizens. ....
.... Changing the people’s attitude toward the warfare state and its propaganda organs is the only way to return to a foreign policy of peace and commerce with all. ...
Do you sometimes get the feeling that the "Anglo" powers are protesting far too much and almost always, very unreasonably over anything to do with Russia? Do you sometimes get a feeling that the "Anglo" powers AND Russia belong to the same club and are just putting up a show of pretending to be enemies to hoodwink us the sheeple?
Anything is possible!
Edward Snowden at the Intercept
Inside the Assassination Complex
Whistleblowing Is Not Just Leaking — It’s an Act of Political Resistance
"I’ve been waiting 40 years for someone like you.” Those were the first words Daniel Ellsberg spoke to me when we met last year. Dan and I felt an immediate kinship; we both knew what it meant to risk so much — and to be irrevocably changed — by revealing secret truths.
One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency, who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: What begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice.
But unlike Dan Ellsberg, I didn’t have to wait 40 years to witness other citizens breaking that silence with documents. Ellsberg gave the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971; Chelsea Manning provided the Iraq and Afghan War logs and the Cablegate materials to WikiLeaks in 2010. I came forward in 2013. Now here we are in 2016, and another person of courage and conscience has made available the set of extraordinary documents that are published in The Assassination Complex, the new book out today by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept. (The documents were originally published last October 15 in The Drone Papers.)
We are witnessing a compression of the working period in which bad policy shelters in the shadows, the time frame in which unconstitutional activities can continue before they are exposed by acts of conscience. And this temporal compression has a significance beyond the ......
It's gonna be a fun US Election. A Conman vs A Conwoman ... unless Bernie Sanders, the naive nice guy, against all odds, somehow wins the Democratic nomination.
Whoever gets to the WH, I for one, am looking at it as another nail being hammered into the Empire's coffin because none of the three, including the nice guy, have the ability to turn back tides, leave alone the tidal waves heading towards the USA.
Patrick Henningsen at GlobalResearch
Aleppo Ceasefire: ‘US Ploy to Buy Time for Terrorist Reinforcements’
t’s now clearer than ever: The US are leading a dirty war, under the table, in Syria. This is the true backdrop of the stage play in Geneva, where US diplomats are providing cover and buying time for CIA and Pentagon covert operations on the ground in Syria.
What the US State Department said yesterday is very telling, and should be a clear guide to anyone about what Washington DC’s actual agenda is in Syria:
“We look to Russia… to press for the Assad regime’s compliance with this effort, and the United States will do its part with the opposition,” Wednesday’s statement said. Russia and Iran are the primary backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while the United States heads a group of regional and European countries supporting the opposition to his rule.”
Given the fact that the CIA (and the British) have both been working with these very forces – providing logistical support, weapons, and special forces training, and that it was also revealed yesterday that the ....
Jason Ditz at AntiWar
ISIS Kills US Navy SEAL, Overruns Northern Iraq Town
Defense Secretary Confirms Soldier Killed in 'Direct Combat'
ISIS forces attacked and overran the northern Iraqi town of Tel Asqof, near the major ISIS city of Mosul, with a number of suicide vehicle bombers forcing their way in through Kurdish forces, and fighting heavily. Among the slain in what officials are confirming is “direct combat” was a US Navy SEAL, Charles Keating IV.
This is the third US soldier killed in fighting on the ground in Iraq since the latest war began in 2014, despite repeated assurances from the Obama Administration that there would be “no boots on the ground” in Iraq whatsoever.
Despite those repeated pledges, some 5,000 US troops are presently in Iraq, and a growing number of them are on the front lines. They may not officially be labeled “combat troops,” but the reality of their situation is unmistakable, and Pentagon officials have repeatedly confirmed that many are in fact routinely engaging in combat....
Harleen Gambhir at UnderstandingWar
ISIS’s Campaign in Libya:
Key Takeaway: ISIS is executing a sophisticated, multi-front campaign against Libya’s oil facilities, demonstrating the organization’s growing capability abroad. President Obama reportedly ruled out significant military intervention against the group as of February 18. The administration opted to continue intermittent strikes against ISIS leaders in Libya instead, such as the strike on an ISIS leader in western Libya on February 19. This surgical approach is unlikely to defeat the group, which maintains more than 5,000 fighters and is reinforced by leadership sent from Iraq and Syria. Libyan ground forces are also unlikely to expel ISIS from its areas of control. ISIS’s safe haven in Libya will allow it to survive even if it is defeated in Iraq and Syria. ISIS will use its Libyan base to exacerbate regional disorder and likely to attack Europe.
ISIS has executed an aggressive campaign to take over territory in the midst of Libya’s post-revolution civil war. ISIS deployed a contingent of 300 Libyan ISIS militants from eastern Syria to spearhead the creation of a new ISIS affiliate in Libya in mid-2014 as part of a larger strategy to seize terrain and exacerbate disorder outside of Iraq and Syria. ISIS established this affiliate in Sirte, on the central Libyan coast, in early 2015 and has since advanced outward from the city, capturing population centers and establishing checkpoints to its east, west, and south. ISIS has exploited the seams between the participants in Libya’s civil war and established itself amidst the conflict’s frontlines, taking over territory when no local forces are positioned to defend it. This approach mirrors ISIS’s military expansion and development of safe havens in Syria and Yemen, demonstrating the threat posed by the regional adoption of ISIS’s way of war....
Hypocritical Brazil Fraud Probe Targets Rousseff, Ignores Temer
President Dilma Rousseff and her allies continue to face disproportionate scrutiny over alleged fraud compared to her corrupt rivals.
As the Brazilian Senate continues to consider whether to give the green light to the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff, public prosecutors have turned up the heat on the ruling Workers’ Party and requested an investigation into the head of state and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva while the heavyweights behind the destitution proceducre remain untouched despite being embroiled major corruption scandals...
Strange isn't it that the Empire goes to the other side of the world pretending to fight their jihadi creations there while jihadis are at the doorstep in Mexico? Do you think the Empire is well aware of what's happening in their own backyard and letting it fester for some perverse reason?
Cartels Help Terrorists in Mexico Get to U.S
to Explore Targets; ISIS Militant Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir Among Them
Mexican drug traffickers help Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the United States to explore targets for future attacks, according to information forwarded to Judicial Watch by a high-ranking Homeland Security official in a border state. Among the jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and has lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to information provided by JW’s government source.
Now Khabir trains thousands of men—mostly Syrians and Yemenis—to fight in an ISIS base situated in the Mexico-U.S. border region near Ciudad Juárez, the intelligence gathered by JW’s source reveals. Staking out U.S. targets is not difficult and Khabir actually brags in an Italian newspaper article published last week that the border region is so open that he “could get in with a handful of men, and kill thousands of people in Texas or in Arizona in the space of a few hours.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Claudia Ruiz, Mexico’s top diplomat, says in the article that she doesn’t understand why the Obama administration and the U.S. media are “culpably neglecting this phenomenon,” adding that “this new wave of fundamentalism could have nasty surprises in store for the United States.”
This disturbing development appears on the Open Source Enterprise, the government database that collects and analyzes valuable material from worldwide print, broadcast and online media sources for the U.S. intelligence community. Only registered federal, state and local government employees can view information and analysis in the vast database and unauthorized access can lead to criminal charges. Updated data gathered on Khabir reveals he’s 52 years old and was ordered to leave Kuwait about a decade ago over his extremist positions. Khabir is currently on ISIS’s (also known as ISIL) payroll and operates a cell in an area of Mexico known as Anapra, according to the recently obtained information. ....
Rebecca Gordon at TomDispatch
Exhibit One in Any Future American War Crimes Trial
...These acts, in other words, are considered beyond the pale when Donald Trump suggests them, but here’s the strangeness of it all: what The Donald is only mouthing off about, a perfectly real American president (and vice president and secretary of defense, and so on) actually did. Among other things, under the euphemistic term “enhanced interrogation techniques,” they ordered the CIA to use classic torture practices including waterboarding (which, in blunter times, had been known as “the water torture”). They also let the U.S. military loose to torture and abuse prisoners in their custody. They green-lighted the CIA to kidnap terror suspects (who sometimes turned out to be perfectly innocent people) off the streets of cities around the world, as well as from the backlands of the planet, and transported them to the prisons of some of the worst torture regimes or to secret detention centers (“black sites”) the CIA was allowed to set up in compliant countries. In other words, a perfectly real administration ordered and oversaw perfectly real crimes. (Its top officials even reportedly had torture techniques demonstrated to them in the White House.)
At the time, the CIA fulfilled its orders to a T and without complaint. A lone CIA officer spoke out publicly in opposition to such a program and was jailed for disclosing classified information to a journalist. (He would be the only CIA official to go to jail for the Agency’s acts of torture.) ....
Go to the 17:15 mark in the vid below to listen to Father John Dear talking about Father Dan Berrigan, fervent antiwar activist who passed away last week. Chances are he will probably be canonized a few years from because his legacy should not be forgotten.
Joe Lauria at ConsortiumNews
If Russia Had ‘Freed’ Canada
As the United States plans to move thousands of NATO troops to Russia’s borders and continues to bolster a fiercely anti-Russian regime in neighboring Ukraine, the official line in Washington and its subservient corporate media is that beneficent America is simply seeking to curtail Moscow’s “aggression.” But the U.S. government and media might look at things quite differently if the shoe were on the other foot.
What, for instance, would the U.S. reaction be if Russia instead had supported the violent overthrow of, say, Canada’s government and assisted the new Ottawa regime’s “anti-terrorist operations” against a few rebellious “pro-American” provinces, including one that voted 96 percent in a referendum to reject the new Russian-backed authorities and attach itself to the U.S.?
If the U.S. government tried to help these embattled “pro-American” Canadians – and protect the breakaway province against the Russian-installed regime – would Washington see itself as the “aggressor” or as simply helping people resist anti-democratic repression? Would it view Russian troop movements to the U.S. border as a way to stop an American “invasion” or rather an act of “aggression” and provocation by Russia against the United States?
The Ukraine Reality
Before playing out this hypothetical scenario, let’s look at the actual scene in Ukraine today as opposed to ....
Paul Craig Roberts at his blog
A Dire Future
Do you remember all the hopes Americans had for Obama when we elected him to his first term? Painful memories. He betrayed the voters on every one of his promises. There was no change, except for the worst as Obama went on to become one of the most vicious war criminals in world history. Despite his horrific record, we re-elected him, only to have US economic policy turn against the people in order to bail out at our expense the mega-banks and the One Percent.
Now Obama is coercing Asia and Europe to turn the governments of their countries over to rapacious American corporations empowered by TPP and TTIP to subordinate all interests to their profits.....