Sunday, July 31, 2016

News, Views and Opinions from the Alternative Media ... week ending July 31

From SputnikNews
Soros Says Ukraine Could Become Giant Refugee Camp for EU in Turkey's Place

Billionaire George Soros is concerned about the situation in Turkey following Friday's failed coup attempt. Warning that Ankara could soon be moving closer to Moscow, the billionaire suggested that Ukraine may now be the EU's last line of defense against an array of threats.

Interviewed by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Soros, the billionaire philanthropist known in Eastern Europe for financing color revolutions, warned that the present waning of the migration crisis in Europe is temporary, and that the continent cannot hope to preserve the current situation indefinitely.

....Russian commentators didn't know quite what to make of Soros' remarks, except to say that what the billionaire was implying was using Ukraine as a pawn, perhaps all the way up to turning the country into a giant dumping ground for Middle Eastern refugees in Turkey's place. That country presently holds about 2.6 million refugees from Syria.

Svetlana Gomzikova, a columnist for Russia's Svobodnaya Pressa online newspaper, recalled that this wasn't the first time that Ukraine has been presented as Europe's 'last line of defense' from external threats....

Josie Wales
Hillary’s Knight in Shining Armor

Last Friday, Wikileaks released over 19,000 emails from top officials within the Democratic National Committee, including now-former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The leak revealed a mountain of unethical and possible criminal behavior. Emails exposed the committee’s nonchalant racism toward blacks and latinos, employees’ strategies to undermine presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which included guidance from one of Hillary Clinton’s lawyers, and cooperation with multiple major news outlets; one Politico writer even sent stories to the committee for approval before his own editor, to name a few revelations.

The story spread on social media in spite of reported censorship by both Twitter and Facebook. A statement from the Clinton campaign released Saturday expressed complete confidence in the way they had run their campaign. It also seemingly threw Schultz under the bus. Schultz resigned her position on Sunday, only to be immediately hired by Hillary Clinton. In a public statement, Clinton thanked her “longtime friend” for all of her hard work on the committee.....

Jonathan Marshall at ConsortiumNews
Historians still debate whether President John F. Kennedy
 would have withdrawn U.S. troops from Vietnam had he lived to win re-election in 1964. Since President Barack Obama recently announced his intention to keep at least 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of his presidency, the only debate will be over why he never withdrew but chose instead to bequeath an unwinnable war — the longest in U.S. history — to his successor.

The U.S. war in Afghanistan will officially pass the 15-year mark in a few months. But like Vietnam, where the United States began aiding French colonial forces in the late 1940s, Afghanistan has been the target of Washington’s war-making for more than three-and-a-half decades.

On July 3, 1979, President Carter first authorized the secret provision of aid to armed opponents of the leftist regime in Kabul. A senior Pentagon official advocated the aid to “suck the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.”

When Moscow took the bait and sent troops that December to support the Afghan government against a growing rural insurgency, National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski gleefully wrote President Carter, “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.”

Call it blowback, or just an irony of history, but Afghanistan has turned instead into America’s second Vietnam War. The Soviets finally had the good sense to pull out after being bloodied for a decade. The Obama administration envisions staying there indefinitely. ....

From ZeroHedge
We said at the time that we were sure this 
would not be the last time "organized" protesters will suddenly appear en masse to provoke reactions and violently protest Trump's freedom of speech.. and it wasn't. But now, as The Daily Caller reports,
In multiple emails, DNC officials signed off and acknowledged the existence of two anti-Donald Trump protests in South Bend, IN and Billings, MT. The release of nearly 20,000 emails is the first in a WikiLeaks “Hillary Leaks” series.

 On April 29, a DNC press staffer, Rachel Palermo, alerted Eric Walker, deputy communications director, about a Facebook page for an anti-Trump protest on May 2 in South Bend. “Whoo! Thanks to our interns for finding this out.” Walker replies, “I like it, as long as the students feel safe getting involved. I imagine this demo will be nicer than the one in San Fran today.”
That day in San Francisco protesters blocked off roads to an event Donald Trump was hosting. The Republican nominee ended up having to jump down from the highway and sneak around back to enter.
In another other email chain also on April 29, titled “Week-Ahead Notes & Assignments,” former DNC media booker Pablo Manriquez comments “this should be fun” in reference to the May protest.....

Here's a vid from James Corbett that should tell you that if this witch gets to be the prez of the USA, take it for granted that we are heading into a very, very hot WW3.  No two ways about it.

BTW, the doc floating around titled "Clinton Cash" is hugely underwhelming.   After watching it, I came away with the opinion that the doc maker has made the Clintons look NOT as bad and criminal as they really are.
The deceitful man has failed to show how the American Jewish billionaires own the Clintons lock,stock and barrel (and if truth be told, they likewise do probably 90%+ of the politicians from both major parties).  By his failure to omit such blaring truths, he has shown that he is like most others in America ... afraid to tell the truth lest they lose their livelihood and perhaps even their lives.

Darius Shahtahmasebi at AntiMedia
The Turkish mission to weed out every possible element of dissent continues,
with the government of Turkey reportedly dismissing close to 1,700 military personnel and shutting down 131 media outlets throughout the country.

Of the servicemen recently fired in Turkey, 149 were generals and admirals, meaning approximately 40 percent of all of generals and admirals in Turkey’s military are now without jobs.

Apparently, Turkey has not learned from past instances in which regimes fired large numbers of military servicemen; former generals from Saddam Hussein’s army, who were fired by the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority at the time, Paul Bremer, now hold senior positions within ISIS.

To date, over 10,000 soldiers have been detained because of the failed coup attempt, according to Reuters. Eight-thousand are set to face trial.

If Turkey wants an Iraq or Syria-style civil war, they are going about it the right way....

Japanese going crazier than usual

From CatholicHerald
French prosecutors have named Adel Kermiche, 19,
as one of the two attackers who stormed a church and killed Fr Jacques Hamel

A priest has been killed in an Islamist attack on a church near Rouen in northern France.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen released a statement in which he confirmed that Fr Jacques Hamel, 85, died in the attack on the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray by two armed men, who were both later shot dead by police.

They entered the building during Mass, taking the priest and a number of other people, including two nuns, hostage.

French officials have said that one of the attackers suspected of Fr Hamel’s murder was on probation and wearing a surveillance tag at the time of the attack. Prosecutor Francois Molins named Adel Kermiche, 19, as the suspect. He was arrested twice last year trying to reach Syria.

Molins told reporters that Kermiche’s electronic surveillance bracelet was deactivated for a few hours every morning, corresponding with the time of the attack.

He said Kermiche was arrested in Germany in March 2015 trying to join extremists in Syria using his brother’s ID, and then was arrested in Turkey two months later using a cousin’s ID.

Molins also said Kermiche and his fellow attacker had fake explosives when they entered the church and used nuns as human shields. He said they cried “Allahu akbar” during the attack.

Molins added that a minor has been detained in the investigation, who is believed to be a 16-year-old younger brother of someone wanted by police for trying to go to Syria or Iraq in 2015.....

Brently Kopopolous at Sott
Hillary proffered as alternative to Trump, no one cares she's a warmongering psychopath

There's so much happening around the country and around the world that it's almost impossible to keep up. Mass shootings, weird weather, cops on power trips, strange animal behavior and weird phenomena abound. Then there are power plays in the Middle East, including the on-going wars against the Syrian and Palestinian people by rich psychopaths aka the western political and corporate elite. But pay no attention to the man behind the curtain... there's an election happening!

Dominating the headlines in the US, we have had the Republican National Convention which crowned Donald Trump (and yes, his real name is Donald Drumpf) as the Republican candidate for president. ....

From TelsurTv
Clinton Emails Reveal Direct US Sabotage of Venezuela
Clinton Emails Reveal Direct US Sabotage of Venezuela
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton led a team committed to delegitimizing the politics of the late Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution.

While Hillary Clinton publicly welcomed improved relations with Venezuela as secretary of state, she privately ridiculed the country and continued to support destabilization efforts, revealed her emails leaked by WikiLeaks....

From Sott
Dirty dealing: Canada ditches Boeing jets after Lockheed threatens loss of 10,000 jobs

Lockheed Martin pointed an economic weapon of mass disruption at Ottawa and it appears that Justin Trudeau has blinked caving to the defense contractor's threats.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rose to power last fall on a pledge not to purchase the defective F-35, an aircraft that he has said "does not work," is too expensive, and is wholly incompatible with Canada's defense needs pushing his country instead to move towards a deal to acquire Boeing's Super Hornet - a fighter jet with greater air maneuverability allowing it advanced performance in air-to-air combat.

That promise crashed along the shores of political reality this week as Canada reneged from its earlier proposal to acquire Boeing Super Hornet jets on an interim basis to plug the country's air defense capability gap after Lockheed Martin threatened to pull all of its operations out of the country which would result in a massive layoff of some 10,000 employees and potentially bankrupt portions of Canada's defense sector that benefits from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

The Canadian government issued a request for information from aerospace firms about the types of fighter aircraft they could provide this week, marking the pullout from their arrangement with Boeing, with companies expected to provide initial aircraft data by July 29.

The Department of National Defense plans to rewrite its requirements for a new fighter jet, said Harjit Sajjan, the defense minister for the Liberal Party government. However, the existing aircraft requirements left by the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper are designed to favor the F-35 and any attempts to radically alter the criteria will lead to another uproar by Lockheed Martin.....

David Sheen at ElectronicIntifada
Meet the Israeli army’s misogynist chief rabbi

The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime.....

....Comments Karim made in 2003 when he was a civilian resurfaced after his appointment. In a column called “Ask the Rabbi” at, a popular Hebrew-language website catering to religious Jews, Karim responded to a number of anonymous letters inquiring about specificities of Jewish religious law, including a question about rape in times of war.

“Is it allowed nowadays for an IDF [Israeli army] soldier, for example, to rape girls during battle, or is such a thing forbidden?” Karim was asked. He answered: “Even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime … the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge.”....

....Recent high-profile cases reveal the pervasiveness of rape culture in Israel.

In April, an Israeli investigative news program revealed that the late Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi was a serial rapist and sexual predator during his decorated army service, in which he reached the rank of general.

Last week, a currently serving brigadier general who had been slated for promotion was indicted for rape and sexual assault against multiple female soldiers. The following day, his former commander told Israeli army radio that the accused rapist is a “hero” and cited the Torah in defense of his alleged actions.....

Peter Korzun at StrategicCulture
US, France: Gradual Expansion of Military Presence in the Middle East

The US military plans to increase the presence in Yemen. «As we continue on the mission, I think there will be some additional troops that we will ask to bring in», US Army General Joseph Votel, who heads the US Central Command, said in an interview in Baghdad on July 14, without disclosing the number.

According to him, a variety of locations could be suitable for American forces. He did not disclose potential sites.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab states, supported by the US and the UK, has been involved in the Yemeni conflict since March 2015. So far, it has not gained much ground. The Yemeni capital Sana’a is still in the hands of the Houthis group (Ansar Allah – «Supporters of God»).

The fighting has resulted in more than 3,200 civilian deaths, over 60 percent of them from coalition airstrikes, according to the United Nations.

Around 6,000 civilians have been wounded in the conflict. Airstrikes have damaged or destroyed numerous civilian objects including homes, markets, hospitals, and schools, as well as commercial enterprises.

On 30 June an HRW report stated that US-made bombs were being used in attacks indiscriminately targeting civilians and violating the laws of war.

The report photographed «the remnants of an MK-83 air-dropped 1,000-pound bomb made in the US».

On 1 July, the UN announced that Yemen was at the highest level of humanitarian disaster with over 80% of the population needing help.

United Nations agencies agreed to classify Yemen as a level 3 emergency as the UN envoy for Yemen stated that the country is one step away from famine.....

Black American teens' best loved hobby ... killing each other

From RT
40,000 rally to back Erdogan in Cologne, Germany amid counter-protests

 Thousands of people have gathered in the German city of Cologne to hold a demonstration in support of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following a failed coup attempt. However, they were met by several counter-rallies also being held.

Erdogan’s supporters gathered near the banks of the river Rhine in Cologne’s Deutz district. They started arriving early in the morning, even though the demonstration was scheduled to start at 3pm local time (14:00 GMT)....

Linh Dinh at IntrepidReport
...Homeland Terror

....Periodically, terror plots must be orchestrated by the FBI to keep domestic fear from flagging, however. Flags at half mast stiffen limp fighting spirit.

Though Washington makes a show of denying it, the War on Terror is understood by the media—drugged as a war against Muslims, Israel’s eternal enemy.

As this open-ended assault on Muslims generated millions of Muslim refugees, Benjamin Netanyahu declared in March of 2016, “A strong Israel prevents the passage of masses of refugees to Europe. The world would be different if we were not here.”

Bibi got the second part right. Israel is the prime reason why there are so many Muslim refugees, and this world would be much more peaceful if his terror state disappeared. As long as Israel exists, there will be Muslims massacred or fleeing in terror from their wrecked homes.

Neoconservatism birthed the War on Terror. Founded by Zionists, this movement’s main aim is to conserve Israel, even if they have to wreck the entire Middle East, disfigure Europe and ruin the United States. Jacob Heilbrunn explains in They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons:....

Patrick Cockburn at CounterPunch
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser

The failed military coup is a disaster for Turkey, but its success would have been a far greater calamity. If the plotters had killed or captured President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then other parts of the armed forces might have joined them, but a civil war would have been inevitable as the security forces split and Erdogan’s supporters fought back.

The disaster is that it will now be much more difficult for Turks to resist Erdogan establishing a monopoly of power. By resisting the coup as the leader of a democratically-elected government, he has enhanced his legitimacy. Moreover, all opposition to his rule can be labelled as support for terrorism and punished as such.

“Human rights and democracy will be weaker and they were already in a bad way before the coup,” says a critic of Erdogan, who does not want his name published, adding that it is difficult for him to criticise Erdogan today while he is under threat from military conspirators. He has no doubt that the attempted putsch was carried out by the followers of Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in the US since 1999. Leaving aside the confessions of the plotters, which may have been forced, only the Gulenists had a network of adherents capable of staging an uprising in so many units of the security forces.
“Fethullah did not help us, he killed us,” says the Turkish commentator bitterly. “He left us totally in the hands of Erdogan.”
He says that the Gulenists operate in two different ways: they have a moderate public face with schools, universities, media and business associations, but they also have always had a secret organisation devoted to taking positions of power within the military, police....

Murtaza Hussain at TheIntercept
U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning tried to kill herself
on July 5 in her cell at Fort Leavenworth military prison. Now, military officials are considering filing charges in connection to the suicide attempt that could make the terms of her imprisonment much more punitive — including indefinite solitary confinement — while possibly denying her any chance of receiving parole.

According to a charge sheet posted by the American Civil Liberties Union, Manning was informed by military officials on Thursday that she is under investigation for “resisting the force cell move team,” “prohibited property,” and “conduct which threatens.” In the weeks following her suicide attempt, she has been active on social media, thanking her followers for their moral support.

Manning’s treatment in prison since her 2010 arrest has repeatedly generated outrage among civil liberties advocates. The punitive tactics that have been employed against her include stripping her naked in her cell on a nightly basis, extended solitary confinement, and denial of medical necessities like eyeglasses. In 2011, then-State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley publicly described Manning’s treatment in prison as “ridiculous, counterproductive, and stupid.”

Following a 14-month investigation into Manning’s treatment by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, the U.N. accused the U.S. government of holding Manning in conditions that constituted “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” particularly with regard to the extended use of pretrial solitary confinement. The harsh measures the military has employed during Manning’s detention have led to suspicions that the government is attempting make an example of her over her whistleblowing activities.....

Syria Denounces Attempt to Re-Brand Al-Nusrah and the Targeting of Civilians

In a letter to the Security Council, the Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned the targeting of non-combatant and innocent civilians and infrastructure by the US-led coalition under the guise of combating ISIS and other terrorist groups. US air strikes in Syria are carried out without a mandate from the UN and in violation of international law. Syria also denounces the re-branding of the Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat al-Nusrah in the attempt to circumvent the Council’s resolution that outlaws the organization.

The Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry styled a letter to the UN Security Council (UNSC), calling for an end to what it describes as atrocities committed against civilians, and for bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The Ministry also commented on the Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat al-Nusrah’s attempt to re-brand itself as Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham and described it as a desperate attempt to erase its notorious track record.

The sudden re-branding of Jabhat al-Nusrah comes as the United States and Russia have come close to a consensus about insurgencies that haven’t severed links to the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh), and al-Nusrah and the coordination of air strikes against ISIS and al-Nusrah.....

Mac Slavo at SHTFplan
Outbreak: Russian Bio Warfare Troops Rushed To Arctic: “Dangerous Infection”
The Russian military has reportedly sent biological warfare teams to the Russian arctic in northern Siberia after at least 40 people and 1,200 reindeer died as the result of a violent and rapid spread of what is believed to be Bacillus Anthracis, more commonly known as Anthrax.

Russian officials said the infection may have started after a contaminated corpse was exposed following a warm summer in the Arctic which saw temperatures rise as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit...

...Officials  noted that they are not certain Anthrax is the sole cause and another biological agent may be to blame. Because of the remote location of the outbreak the situation has been, for the most part, contained according to Russian officials...

Manisha Krishnan at VICE
Canada Has a Race Problem and We Refuse to Talk About It

The Ottawa Police Association is denying Abdirahman Abdi's death at the hands of several officers Sunday had anything to do with race.

Abdi died after, according to witness accounts, cops pepper sprayed him, hit him with batons, and punched him in the head and neck. Afterward, he lay facedown on pavement handcuffed and bleeding for several minutes until paramedics arrived on scene and administered CPR.

"To suggest that race was an issue in this, it's inappropriate. The officers were called to the scene. The officers had to attend. Race, in this case, is a fact, just like your age, your gender, your height. It doesn't have anything to do with our ... decision-making. Our decision-making is based on our training, and our training has nothing to do with race," Matt Skof, president of the Ottawa Police Association told the CBC Monday, adding it's "unfortunate" that racially charged "rhetoric" from the US is making its way across the border.

That conversation, he said, is "not one that's applicable here."

Where have we heard this before?.....

Finian Cunningham at StrategicCulture
Trump and the End of NATO?

 If Donald Trump is elected US president it will spell the end of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. At least, that’s how a phalanx of US foreign policy pundits and establishment figures see it. Trump once again caused uproar recently with comments that were viewed as undermining a «cornerstone» of US foreign policy since the Second World War.

Ahead of accepting official nomination as the Republican party presidential candidate, the billionaire property magnate told the New York Times in an interview that, if elected, he would not automatically deploy American military forces to defend another member of NATO if it were attacked.

As the NYT noted Trump’s conditionality regarding NATO was the first time any senior American politician has uttered such a radical change in policy. It overturns «American cornerstone policy of the past 70 years».

Trump was asked whether he would defend Eastern European countries if they were attacked by Russia.

(Hypothetical, propagandistic nonsense, but let’s bear with the argument for the underlying logic that it exposes.)

Trump did not give the customary automatic, unconditional «yes» response. Rather, he said he would have to first review whether these countries had fulfilled their «obligations to us». If they had, then, he said, US forces would defend. If they hadn’t lived up to past financial commitments to NATO, then the inference was that a would-be President Trump would not order troops to defend.

The reaction to Trump’s comments was explosive. NATO’s civilian chief, Jens Stoltenberg, was evidently perplexed by Trump’s equivocal attitude. «Solidarity among allies is a key value for NATO», said the former Norwegian prime minister. «This is good for European security and good for US security. We defend one another».

Stoltenberg was just one of the many pro-NATO figures on both sides of the Atlantic who stampeded to slam Trump for his comments.....

Glenn Greenwald at TheIntercept
As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid 
While Netanyahu Demands Even More

For all the chatter about animosity between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Washington Post reports that “a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.” The U.S. already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel – more than any other country by far – but the new agreement Obama is set to sign “significantly raises” that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.

In response to this massive windfall, Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more. For some time, “Netanyahu was holding out for as much at $5 billion a year.” Also, Israel has been opposed to efforts to direct more of that aid to U.S. military contractors rather than Israeli ones (so this “aid” package is as much a transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to weapons manufacturers in both countries as it is to Israel itself). Moreover, “Israelis are also said to be displeased with a U.S. position that whatever amount of money they agree on will be final and that Israel will not go to Congress requesting more money.”

Usually, when someone hands you billions of dollars in aid, you’re not in much of a position to demand more. But the rules for Israel when it comes to U.S. policy, as is so often the case, are simply different.....

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