Sunday, July 24, 2016

Some views, opinions and news from the Alternative Media ... week ending Sunday July 24

The Saker at his blog  (lots of informative links at the blog)
Major developments in Syria and Turkey
This article has been written for the Unz Review:
This week has been marked by two major events: the USA and Russia agreed to a common plan for military coordination in Syria and the failed coup in Turkey has been followed by a massive purge of the Turkish elites.

The Russians had really no option but to accept to work with the USA in Syria. They way in which they did it was very elegant, however: Lavrov and Kerry have agreed to a joint long-term ceasefire whose exact terms are to remain secret, which indicates to me that the Russians forced the US into concessions which the latter don’t want to be made public. How do we know that it was Russian who forced concessions on the USA and not the other way around? Simple – there was no US “leak” to the media and the Russian bombers have resumed their operation with a new intensity. Besides, it is pretty obvious that in Syria at least Moscow holds all the cards now and Kerry has therefore no means to put pressure on Russia even if he wanted to.
But the main development for Syria is still the coup in Turkey.

What happened in Turkey is huge. So big, in fact, that I even suspect that the numerous rumors about an Erdogan-orchestrated false flag could have been started by the US propaganda machine (since ....

Alice Salles at AntiMedia
Here’s the Presidential Candidate the Troops Are Supporting in 2016

Popular online military personality, Doctrine Man, conducted a poll among troops to determine which presidential candidate they support most — and the results are nothing short of remarkable.

Instead of pledging allegiance to the candidate with the most experience sending troops to war, Doctrine Man’s poll showed that Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate — whose “skeptic” foreign policy outlook makes him favor nonintervention over other more popular approaches — is the number one candidate of the active soldier.
The survey, which was not a scientific poll and lacked a margin of error, found Johnson had 38.7 percent of the votes while the Republican nominee Donald Trump earned 30.9 percent. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton got 14.1 percent, The Hill summarized.

According to The Hill, this poll is important because “it provides a snapshot of the preferences of about 3,500 active duty, reservists, retired and former members of the military and their family members, 95.7 percent of which were registered voters.”........

Eric Zuesse at StrategicCulture
9/11: Bush's Guilt, and the 28 Pages

On Friday July15th, as the national news media were either on vacation or preparing for the opening of the Trump National Convention on Monday the 18th, the long-awaited release of the ‘missing’ 28 pages from the US Senate’s 9/11 report.....

... What these 28 long-suppressed pages revealed was well summarized by one succinct reader who wrote: «The Inquiry discloses that there is a very direct chain of evidence about financing and logistics… [that] goes from the Saudi Royal family (Amb. Bandar's wife and Bandar's checking account) and Saudi consulate employees (al Thumiari) to the agent handlers (Basnan and al Bayoumi) to some of the 9/11 hijackers (Khalid al-Mihdhar, Nawaf al-Hazmi)». In other words, Prince Bandar bin-Sultan al-Saud, known in Washington as «Bandar Bush» (for his closeness to the Bush family), and who served at that time as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, paid tens of thousands of dollars to Saudi Arabia’s «handlers» who were directing two of the hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. Also, one of Bandar’s subordinates at the Embassy, named al-Thumiari, was likewise paying the person who was paying and managing those two jihadists.

The report said: «FBI files suggest that al-Bayoumi provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000… According to an October 14, 2002 FBI document, al-Bayoumi has ‘extensive ties to the Saudi Government’… According to the FBI, al-Bayoumi was in frequent contact with the Emir at the Ministry of Defense, responsible for air traffic control… Al-Bayoumi was receiving money from the Saudi Ministry of Defense… Al-Bayoumi was known to have access to large amounts of money from Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that he did not appear to hold a job… Al-Bayoumi’s pay increased during the time that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar were in the United States».

Also, an FBI agent testified on 9 October 2002 regarding al-Bayoumi, and said Bayoumi: «acted like a Saudi intelligence officer, in my opinion. And if he was involved with the hijackers, which it looks like he was, if he signed leases, if he provided some sort of financing… then I would say that there’s a clear possibility that there might be a connection between Saudi intelligence and UBL [Usama bin Laden]»....

Simon Henderson at ForeignPolicy
What We Know About Saudi Arabia’s Role in 9/11

The Saudi government still says it had no connection to the hijackers. Newly released classified information proves otherwise.

Sometimes, reality is so absurd that it outstrips anything conspiracy theorists could come up with. More than 13 years after the congressional investigation published its report into the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks, the much-discussed “28 pages” on Saudi involvement in the terrorist assault, which had been held back as too sensitive to publish, have been released. As it turns out, there are 29 pages, not 28, numbered 415 through 443 in the congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. And deletions on the pages — sometimes words, often whole lines — add up to the equivalent of a total of three pages. So we still are not being given the full story.

It is instantly apparent that the widely held belief for why the pages were not initially released — to prevent embarrassing the Saudi royal family — is true.

The pages are devastating:
Page 415: “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support and assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government.… [A]t least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”........

Jason Ditz at AntiWar
Boeing: If We Can’t Have Iran, Nobody Should

Boeing Officials Fear Rival Airbus Could Have Market to Themselves
An effort by Congressional hawks to derail a massive contract between Boeing and Iran Air to supply them with a large number of civilian airliners has fueled considerable consternation within the well-connected US aviation company, with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg quoted as warning that if Boeing could not have the Iran Air contract “nobody should.”
That’s a concern for Boeing because they only got half of the Iran Air contract, with European rival Airbus securing a roughly equal contract shortly before theirs was announced. Though the Congressional effort aims to derail the European company’s sales too, they might not be able to prevent all commercial airliners getting to Iran.

And that’s where Boeing is really freaking out, as they compete intensely with Airbus. Boeing spokesman Tim Neale insisted Congress was wrong to try to block the deal, noting that the P5+1 agreement was supposed to allow civilian airplane sales....

From LaRouchePac
Their Day Has Come,— And Gone!

That is the meaning of the two releases this month, the one of Britain's long-delayed Chilcot report into Tony Blair's criminal responsibility for the illegal Iraq war, and the other of the long-suppressed 28 pages of the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, documenting the Saudi hand behind that butchery. It means that time is up at last for those blood-drooling dinosaurs Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Barack Obama, after fifteen years of wars based on lies. They have destroyed the Middle East, drowned Europe in desperate refugees, and caused blood to be spilled on the streets across Europe and the U.S.,— all based on lies.

And don't believe that Tony Blair was merely the "poodle" of the non-functional George W. Bush.  In fact, he instigated Bush on behalf of the British Queen who was really giving the orders. For example, the documentation Chilcot released included a note from Blair to Bush on Sept. 12, 2001, urging him to act immediately on "weapons of mass destruction." Although he did not yet single out Iraq in particular, Blair wrote,
"Some of this will require action that some will balk at.  But we are better to act now and explain and justify our actions than let the day be put off until some further, perhaps even worse catastrophe occurs.  And I believe this is a real possibility." [emphasis in original]

Their fifteen years of wars based on lies, their fifteen years of terrorism, have been a Dark Age of civilization.  It is time to discard all of this; it is time to institute a human direction of human affairs, even if there are only a few people who actually know what it is to be human, and actually conceive themselves as human beings rather than as smart talking animals........

From AntiMedia ... source: MintPress
...Ironically, it was the U.S. mission 
to obliterate the Taliban in the “War on Terror” that turned Afghanistan into a “narco state.”

Prior to the War in Afghanistan, the Taliban actually offered subsidies to farmers to grow food crops not drugs.

In the summer of 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar announced a total ban on the cultivation of opium poppy, the plant from which heroin is made. Those caught planting poppies in Taliban-controlled parts of the country were beaten and marched through villages with motor oil on their faces.

The only opium harvest the following spring was in the northeast, in an area controlled by the Taliban’s rivals, the Northern Alliance. That year, as Matthieu Aikins reported for Rolling Stone in 2012, “Opium production fell from an estimated 3,276 tons in 2000 to 185 tons in 2001.”

But then 9/11 hit and the Bush administration pushed into Afghanistan once again, carrying the banner of the “War on Terror.”

“When the Taliban fled or went into hiding, the farmers lost their financial support to grow food, and returned to growing heroin, a crop that thrives in regions of Afghanistan,” as Dr. Steven Kassels noted in a 2015 piece for Social Justice Solutions.

Seeking a “light footprint” in Afghanistan, the U.S. and our allies teamed up with what Aikins describes as “anti-Taliban warlords.” Aikins reported: “Within six months of the U.S. invasion, the warlords we backed were running the opium trade, and the spring of 2002 saw a bumper harvest of 3,400 tons.”

That’s right: The War in Afghanistan saw the country’s practically dead opium industry expanded dramatically. By 2014, Afghanistan was producing twice as much opium as it did in 2000. By 2015, Afghanistan was the source of 90 percent of the world’s opium poppy....

Since 2001, the U.S. has poured billions into counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan. How could this industry flourish right under the nose of the U.S. and our allies? Well, quite simply, because we let it: Aikins alleges that the DEA, FBI, the Justice Department and the Treasury ALL knew about their corrupt allies in the country, but did nothing to pursue them because it would have derailed the troop surge.

Trita Parsi at ConsortiumNews
Israel’s Wolf-Crying about Iran’s Bomb

A year has passed since diplomats from Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany) defied conventional wisdom and struck a deal aimed at both preventing Iran from getting the bomb and preventing it from getting bombed.

At the time, the deal’s detractors were apoplectic; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “historic mistake” that would pave the way for Iran to obtain a bomb. But the world has not come to an end. Iran is not the hegemon of the Middle East, Israel can still be found on the map, and Washington and Tehran still define each other as enemies. These days, voices such as Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League, criticize the deal for having changed too little.

But a closer examination shows that it has had a profound impact on the region’s geopolitical dynamics. Only four years ago, the Iranian nuclear program was consistently referred to as the United States’ number one national security threat. Senior U.S. officials put the risk of an Israeli attack on Iran at 50–50, a confrontation that the United States would quickly get dragged into. A war that was even more destabilizing than the Iraq invasion was not just a possibility; it seemed likely.

Today, however, the talk of war is gone. Even the hawkish government of Netanyahu has gone silent on the matter. Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, a hawk in his own right, announced a few weeks ago that “at this point, and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat facing Israel. Thus it is fitting that the leadership of the country stop scaring the citizenry and stop giving them the feeling that we are standing before a second Holocaust.”

Moreover, members of the U.S. Congress who have recently visited Israel have also noted that Israelis are no longer shifting every conversation to a discussion about the Iranian nuclear threat.

“I can’t count how many times I, and many members of Congress, were urgently and passionately informed that negotiation with the Iranian menace was wishful thinking and the height of folly,” Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, wrote after a recent visit to Israel. “And now? Nothing.”........

From description to vid: Michael Hudson says that the US-led confrontational approach of NATO with Russia is driving European countries to consider disbanding or leaving the military alliance due to increased security risks

Gearóid Ó Colmáin at his blog
French Government orders destruction of CCTV videos in Nice Attacks

A report in 21st of July edition of Le Figaro newspaper states that France’s anti-terrorist executive ( sous-direction anti-terroriste- SDAT) has ordered Nice’s urban surveillance authorities to destroy all CCTV footage of the Nice Attacks on Bastille Day that rocked the city on the 14th of July 2016.

Although SDAT have cited articles 53 and L706-24 of the prosecution procedure and article R642-1 of the penal code, authorities in Nice interviewed by Le Figaro say that it is the first time they have ever been asked to destroy evidence at a crime scene – something they point out is illegal.

The explanation given by the French Ministry of Justice is that they don’t want ‘uncontrolled’ and ‘non-authorised (non maîtrisée) diffusion of the images of the terrorist attacks. The Judicial Police have noted that 140 videos of the attacks in their possession show ‘important pieces of the inquiry’ (éléments d’enquête intéressants). The French government claims it wants to prevent ISIS from gaining access to videos of the attacks for the purposes of propaganda. They also claim that the destruction of evidence is intended to protect the families of the victims. The comments section of the Le Figaro article is replete with outrage and disgust by the fact that the French government, instead of preserving evidence for the purposes of a thorough, independent investigation, is in fact behaving rather more like the chief suspect in the attack – ordering the destruction of vital evidence.

There is something rotten in France’s Judicial Police. Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks on the 7th of January 2015, the judicial police behaved suspiciously before and as they did after the ‘suicide’ of Limoge’s deputy Police Commissioner Helric Fredou. Fredou was found dead shortly after the arrival of the French Judicial Police to his office in Limoges shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. His family were not allowed see his body for 24 hours after his death; they suspect foul play. The Judicial Police claimed he had shot himself in the head, though his mother said she did not see evidence of this. The police commissioner was said to be suffering from depression, a claim denied by the family doctor. Fredou was found dead in his office before the publication of a report on the relationship between Jeanette Bougrab, a former press secretary of Nicolas Sarkozy, and one of the deceased in the attack, Stéphane Charbonnier....

From AlMasdarNews
French Air Force avenges Nice massacre, kills 100+ civilians (Pictures)

Not a week after the horrendous attack that occurred in the French city of Nice, the French Air Force, a member of the anti-ISIS coalition, escalated its bombing of ISIS-held territory.

The retaliatory bombing campaign resulted in a high civilian casualty count in the densely populated Manbij. Lower estimates put the civilian victim numbers at a 100+ while higher estimates provided by local sources put the number at 300, most of whom were women and children.

While civilian losses are not foreign to urban wars, the French Air Force is not foreign to attacks seemingly vengeful in nature. Following the horrific ISIS-claimed attacks in Paris, the French Air Force bombed a school in Iraq’s Nineveh massacring 36 children, local sources said.....

Michal Kozak at FinancialObserver
Colonial trading stations instead of factories in Ukraine

The western companies that come to Ukraine concentrate mainly on exploitation of the country’s raw materials and not on innovation.

The Ukrainian government is counting on millions of dollars of Western FDI which is supposed to put the ruined economy back on its feet. However, the companies that will come will concentrate mainly on exploitation of the country’s raw materials and not on innovation. According to a study of the European Business Association (EBA), Ukraine’s Investment Attractiveness Index reached 2.56 points in 2015 on a scale from 1 to 5. That’s slightly better than the previous year – the level of general dissatisfaction of investors was 8 per cent lower than in 2014. 16 per cent of companies indicated a slight simplification of customs procedures, 11 per cent stated that doing trade had become simpler but the basic problems that continue to be is the pressure of tax authorities and the pervasive corruption.
Russia at the top

The Ukrainian ministry of economy informed that in 2015 between USD2.5-3bn of FDI flowed into Ukraine. Despite the ongoing war and unstable political situation, appetites in 2015 are greater – Kiev is counting on USD5bn. According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the total foreign direct investment calculated from the beginning of Ukrainian independence in 1991 to the end of 2015 reached USD43bn and is not growing in relation to previous years.

Paradoxically – despite the pro-western economic and political course declared by the ruling group........

From MoonOfAlabama
U.S. Considers "Pause" In Supplies For Group Beheading Sick Child

Yesterday some ten year old kid in Syria was beheaded by U.S. supported "moderate rebels".

The "rebels" alleged that the boy was a fighter for a Palestinian group on the Syrian government side. But the boy looks very small and weak, has infusion tubes in his arm and no military attributes like a uniform or weapons.

There is now additional information about the case:

    8:08 AM - 20 Jul 2016 Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlrai
    #Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa, was at Hospital, beheaded by Mateen al-Nahlawee coz his father is a militant.
    #Palestinian Abdullah Issa was suffering from lack of oxygen n the bloodstream causes thalassemias and needed blood transfusion every month+

    He was not fighting among Al-Quds pro-gov group but his father. He was a patient at the Hospital in #Aleppo when beheaded by pro-#US Zinki.

The five "individuals" who killed the child are members of the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, a group supported by the CIA as well as with Saudi money and weapons. The group issued a statement on the case. It called it "an act of an individual" and blamed the "international community" for its problems. While only one person does the cutting the video shows that the five "individuals" are clearly acting as a group, cheering Takbeer and Allahu Akbar during and after the beheading.

Despite the publicly available video and the statement by the Zinki group leaders admitting the case, the U.S. State Department had only a very subdued response to it:.....

From Katehon
Who is behind the US Hybrid war in Armenia?

In Armenia, the confrontation continues between the security forces and nationalists who seized the police station in Yerevan's Erebuni district. The deputy head of police, Major-General Vardan Yeghiazaryan and Deputy Colonel Valery Osipyan, Chief of Yerevan Police, are being held as hostages. Intelligence agencies are in talks with the attackers. However, the possibility of storming of the building has also not been excluded.

The attackers are obviously counting on the support of the crowd. During the storming of the police station, they killed one police officer and can now hope to get away with it only if they can rekindle a revolutionary conflagration. Perhaps the attack was intended for this. Supporters of the militants have tried to organize a breakthrough crowd to connect with the bandits and initiate a "revolution." The main demand of the militants and their supporters is the removal from power of the incumbent president, Serge Sargsyan, and the release of their leader Jirayr Sefilian, and a number of other prisoners. Otherwise, they promise to start an armed uprising throughout the country. "We have captured a major police base in Yerevan and control the block of Erebuni", they claimed in their statement.

Armenian special services have not yet resolved to storm the occupied station, not just because of the good ....

Daniel Lazare at ConsortiumNews 
What Really Happened in Syria

Exclusive: The U.S. government blames the Syrian civil war almost entirely on Bashar al-Assad – and some progressives have bought into that propaganda narrative – but there is another side of the story, as Daniel Lazare describes.
How did Syria get so ugly so fast? This is a question that could just as well be asked of Libya, Egypt or Yemen, all of which saw stirring democratic revolts during the so-called Arab Spring only to descend into religious bigotry, civil war or military dictatorship.

But it is especially urgent with regard to Syria, a great bleeding wound on the edge of Europe that, over the last five years, has seen as many as 470,000 deaths, generated some 4.8 million refugees, and sent out waves of terrorism that are destabilizing politics from Eastern Europe to the U.S. Not since Yugoslavia has a country collapsed more completely or calamitously.
his should make Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leia Al-Shami’s Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War the book of the hour. Published by London’s Pluto Press, long associated with the International Socialist Tendency, it seemingly analyzes the Syrian disaster from  a critical-left perspective, in other words one that isn’t afraid to tell the left when it goes wrong but otherwise reflects a progressive and democratic point of view.

Considering that the leftwing website Counterpunch hailed it as nothing less than the second coming of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, this is a book that many readers have been waiting for.

But they’ll have to wait some more. Burning Country is a disaster – defensive, contradictory, all too eager to blame others rather than asking how the revolution itself may have gone awry. Considering how it downplays...

From Doctors Without Borders /MSF
TRAPPED IN TRANSIT Refugees, migrants and asylum seekers locked up in Libya
Since Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) launched search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean Sea last year, its teams have rescued more than 25,000 people from boats in distress. Regardless of their country of origin or their reasons for trying to reach European shores, almost everyone rescued from this stretch of water passed through Libya.

Hundreds of interviews with people rescued at sea by MSF during 2015 and 2016 have exposed the alarming level of violence and exploitation to which refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are subjected in Libya. Many of those we have rescued report having directly experienced violence in the country, while almost all report witnessing extreme violence against refugees and migrants, including beatings, sexual violence and murder.

Libya remains fragmented by conflicts and the effects of the civil war. While government departments are trying hard to restore some sense of normality and increase public services, daily life for many Libyans is still a struggle, and the country does not have the capacity to support tens of thousands of foreigners, migrants and refugees. While fighting between rival armed groups continues, the situation for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees remains as precarious and dangerous as ever.

.... A young Somali man, who had lived for some years in Yemen, told MSF soon after his rescue in May 2016: “I felt like a precious commodity as I was sold by someone in Sudan to a Libyan for US$2,000. Sudanese and Libyan traffickers work together – it is like a business. Once sold, they kept me and many others in a kind of detention place. I worked on farms in the day and returned to detention at night. Quite a lot of people died inside that detention place because they were sick and were not given treatment. Once I had worked enough I was released from that place and could take the boat journey.”

Lami, aged 26, from Senegal was living in a half-constructed house with 30 other people. “They obliged us to work and we didn’t get any money. They used us as slaves. It was there that they beat me with an iron stick. I lost a lot of blood, I couldn’t even walk. There was a guy there (…) he was really sick and his condition was getting worse every day. He died in front of my eyes; we had to bury him there. In Libya, if you don’t have money to pay back the people that assault you, then they beat you. I prefer to die at sea.” ...

....Hope,* aged 20, a singer from Nigeria, was befriended in Nigeria by a woman who invited her to Lagos but, when she got there, “she sold me to another lady and they took me to a brothel in Libya. Men would come and pay to have sex with the women. I refused to have sex with the men and they locked me away and beat me over and over.”

Natasha, aged 23, from Cameroon, who was rescued at sea along with her four-month-old baby, Divine, told us: “When we arrived in Tripoli, they kidnapped us. They brought us to a house where hundreds of people were held in captivity. I stayed there for five months. I was so afraid to die there, I was so afraid they would rape me in the same way they did other women.” ....

From  ... source: Katehon
Alexander Dugin speaks on the coup-d-etat in Turkey
.......Thus, two forces formed in Turkey: one of them was made up of conditional Kemalists, patriots who wanted to immediately restore relations with Russia and then pushed Erdogan to apologize, and the the Gulen sect and other purely pro-American structures who, on the contrary, did everything they could to prevent this.

When Melih Gokcek and I parted ways two hours before the coup, he said: "We underestimated the power of the parallel state that the Americans and Gulen's supporters established inside Turkey. This was our mistake. But now we are going to fix it, the first step being new rapprochement with Moscow."

When I was waiting for my flight to Moscow at the Ankara airport, I heard shots and explosions. The airport was shut down by soldiers and flights were canceled. The news spread that a coup was underway. People said that the military had rebelled against Erdogan. But it was immediately clear for me that the American agents in the mid-range, but influential positions of the army, i.e., Fethullah Gulen's network, had opted for extreme measures. This was the last chance to kick out Erdogan, who, supported by the Kemalists, decided to break with Washington and turn to Eurasian politics, to Moscow. Many Turkish politicians then told me that Turkey was seriously considering exiting NATO and striving for a rapprochement with Moscow on security issues, so the American agents had only one way out: a coup. This is what the pro-American forces attempted to accomplish. ....

From YemenWarCrimes
25th Jan 2016, judge's house hit by Saudi led coalition airstrike killing family of 8 in Sanaa, Yemen

On 25th January 2016 at 3am, Judge Yahia Robaid and 8 members of his family were killed, including 4 children and 3 women, and 2 others including 1 woman was injured. Judge Rubaid was a judge on a case against Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, for treason in absentia. On the same night, the headquaters for 'Evidence of Criminal Research' building was also targeted by 2 airstrikes. As stated in the Foreign Policy publication "there was no legally valid basis for bombing his home, as he and his family were civilians and under international law should not have been deliberately targeted"....

James Perloff at his blog
Are the Rothschild Elite Banking on the Weather?

Weather modification is widely discussed in alternative media. Even mainstream media acknowledge that we’ve been seeding clouds to make it rain since the end of World War II, and that during the Vietnam War, the U.S. military seeded clouds to extend the monsoon season. In his 1970 book Between Two Ages, Zbigniew Brzezinski quoted geophysicist Gordon J. F. MacDonald on the use of weaponized weather:

    Techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storms, thereby weakening a nation’s capacity and forcing it to accept the demands of the competitor.1

Such possibilities were aggressively advanced in the Air Force’s 1996 research paper Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025.

It is generally understood that weather control today represents a component of the population control program of the Illuminati, other elements including GMOs, chemtrails, vaccines, abortion, and of course the old stand-by of war. The Zionist PTB know that if they level a town with a bomb, people will ask “Who dropped the bomb?” But if they level it with a HAARP-energized, directed tornado, people will call it “Mother Nature” or “an act of God.”

It is not the purpose of this post to elaborate on the population-reduction facet of weather control, or the technologies involved, which are discussed abundantly at sites such as Geoengineering Watch. Rather, I wish to address other motives associated with it that garner less attention......

From description to vid: Since early 2015 Yemen has been gripped by civil war, with forces backed by a Saudi coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Since the start of the conflict, Britain has sold nearly £3bn worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, a dictatorship accused of war crimes and human rights breaches by several NGOs. I went to speak to Yemenis whose lives have been destroyed by the conflict and asks Sir Alan Duncan, governmental special envoy to Yemen, if the British people should be questioning their links to the Saudi regime more.

Bill Van Auken at WorldSocialistWeb
The Turkish coup, US militarism and the collapse of democracy

....US imperialism has no intention of brooking such a strategic realignment in the region. Resort to an attempted military coup was no doubt a criminally reckless policy. If it had succeeded, the likely result would have been a civil war and a death toll that would have made the bloody US-backed coup in Egypt pale by comparison.

US imperialism has already wrecked Iraq, Libya and Syria, killing and maiming millions in pursuit of its geo-strategic interests, so why not Turkey as well?

The tensions with Turkey have emerged in the context of a global eruption of American militarism. The coup took place barely one week after a NATO summit in Warsaw outlined plans to execute a massive escalation of military deployments on Russia’s western border and preparations for a direct, i.e., nuclear, confrontation with Moscow.

In Asia, US imperialism has made it clear it intends to use a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration against Chinese claims in the South China Sea as the pretext for a major military escalation against Beijing.

To that end, the Obama administration dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to Australia to deliver bellicose speeches threatening China with US military might and, more pointedly, to instruct the Australians that, whether they liked it or not, they would be dragged into the US war preparations. “It’s never a good bet to bet against the United States,” he threatened.

The US is moving toward a military confrontation on a scale not seen since the end of the Second World War. It is determined to crush all obstacles in the path of its war plans. Great shocks are coming in the wake of the American November elections, if not even before.....

From Ontario Ombudsman
Ombudsman urges province to ensure police are trained in de-escalation
Leadership long overdue in teaching alternatives to lethal force

Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today called on the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to save lives by requiring police across the province to use de-escalation techniques in conflict situations before resorting to lethal force...
It is time for officials to “review the human costs of their legacy of inaction, and to finally make this issue a priority,” the Ombudsman notes in A Matter of Life and Death, his office’s latest systemic investigation report. He recommends the Ministry “use its legal and moral authority to take the lead” on this issue – and that it act “to require all officers to use de-escalation techniques in all situations of conflict before considering force options, wherever tactical and safety considerations permit.”...

Alexander Mercouris at TheDuran
The campaign to ban Russian athletes is an unethical and grossly political affair

When the doping scandal involving Russian athletes first broke I wrote a piece for Sputnik in which I said that an across the board ban on Russian athletes would be contrary to the principles of the Olympic movement and would be openly and grossly discriminatory. 
Reversing the standard of proof and barring athletes against whom there is no evidence simply because they happen to be Russians would be so obviously wrong and unjust that it would inevitably raise questions about the motives of those behind it.  These were the words I used:

    “The Russian authorities are challenging some of the allegations — as it is their right to do — but look to be genuinely offering cooperation to help solve the problem. For example, they have offered to appoint a foreign specialist to head their laboratory. The right thing to do is not to impose a blanket ban but to work with the Russian authorities so that the problem can be solved. That may involve bringing criminal charges and imposing individual bans on specific persons, barring them from involvement in international sports training and competition.

    If that does not happen and a blanket ban on Russian athletes is imposed instead, then it seems to me that the world’s sporting bodies will not only have retreated from their ideals but will open themselves up to questions about what their real motives are.”

Since I wrote those words it has unfortunately become all too clear that the concerns I expressed in the final paragraph were only too justified.

The Russians do not deny that there has been a doping problem in Russian sport and seem to have made a genuine effort to respond to the concerns of the international sporting bodies.  Though it is barely reported in the West, since January samples of all Russian track and field athletes are sent to Britain for testing.  Russian athletes now engaging in doping would presumably have to fool or gain the cooperation of the British authorities in order to do it.  Neither seems very likely.  The Russians have also banned the individuals they allege were involved in doping from further involvement in sport, and have brought criminal charges against some of them.

Notwithstanding these steps, since January there has been an escalating campaign to discredit Russian sports and to have Russian athletes banned from the Olympic Games, which are ....

Justin Gardner at FreeThoughtProject
While Americans Focused on the RNC, the US was Provoking War with China

This week we were treated to the first circus sideshow being put on by the political establishment. Among the petty issues that captured the mainstream media’s attention were Melania Trump’s partially plagiarized speech, and the refusal of Ted Cruz to endorse Donald Trump.

Never mind important issues such as the Republican Party platform, which reaffirms the stupefying idea of “American exceptionalism.” It’s also a pledge to advance global military hegemony, a wholesale denial of environmental degradation and an unflinching display of homophobia.

The Democratic Party platform will be an equally resounding endorsement of big government, put in different terms but ultimately supporting the same welfare-warfare state. Never before has the absurdity of the U.S. two-party dictatorship been so apparent.

As the masses sit captivated by professional liars parading about on stage, spellbound by clichés and the so-called “summer of rage,” important events are playing out around the world which threaten the already tenuous peace between world superpowers.

Dennis Blair, a former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific told a Congressional panel on July 13 that the U.S. should be prepared to use military force to oppose Chinese aggression in the South China Sea....

Ron Paul at RonPaulInstitute
The Path to Fed-Exit

I recently proposed that the liberty movement capitalize on Brexit with “Fed-exit”: a campaign to “secede" from the Federal Reserve. Fed-exit could be accomplished with a few simple policy changes.

Passing Audit the Fed is a good first step toward Fed-exit. Contrary to the Federal Reserve’s propaganda, auditing the Fed will not reduce the Federal Reserve’s mythical “independence.” It will simply allow Congress and the people to learn the full truth about the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy.

However, the desperation with which the Fed fights the audit bill suggests it believes increased transparency will boost support for Fed-exit. Considering what we discovered from the limited audit of the Fed’s activities during the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed’s fears may be justified. That audit revealed that between 2007 and 2008 the Federal Reserve loaned over $16 trillion — more than four times the annual budget of the United States — to foreign central banks and politically-influential private companies! Imagine what would be revealed by a full audit that includes looking at the Fed’s recent explosion of money creation via “quantitative easing.”

Once Congress and the public know the full truth about the Fed’s operations, we can begin working on ending, or at least reining in, the Fed. A good next step would be to explicitly forbid the Fed from making “loans” to private businesses or foreign governments. Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, which the Fed claims gives it the authority to provide "emergency assistance” to private companies, must be repealed.....

Jessica McBridge at Heavy
Ali David Sonboly: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Ali David Sonboly, the 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman with dual nationality who committed the Munich, Germany shooting spree, was a “depressed” and “deranged” teen, who complained of bullying, was influenced by right-wing Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik, and read about school shootings, according to UK Telegraph and UK Daily Mail, citing police.
The shooting spree – which started at a Munich mall before spreading to a nearby McDonald’s – left at least 10 people dead (including the shooter) and more injured. CNN said Munich police initially believed there were three gunmen and that the shooting spree was a terrorist attack....

From WarNewsToday blog
Update for Saturday, July 23, 2016

This is breaking news as I write at 9:30 ET, so we have to piece together the story from fragmentary accounts, but the death toll now stands at 61, with hundreds injured, in a bomb attack on a peaceful demonstration by members of the Hazara minority. The Taliban have disavowed the attack, and IS has claimed responsibility. The Hazara, who are Shiite muslims, were demanding that a proposed power line be routed through their territory, which centers on Bamiyan.

I'm sure we'll be seeing candlelight vigils in every U.S. city.

In Iraq meanwhile, bombs targeting civilians fleeing Shirqat kill 13 and injure 9. The grip of IS on the town has been weakening, giving civilians the opportunity to flee.....

Jasmine Siu at SouthChinaMorningPost
Guilty: Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong and associates could face jail
over protest that sparked 79-day Occupy turmoil
Ruling marks first court convictions for Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow
Three prominent student leaders who spearheaded the 2014 Oc­cupy movement were convicted on Thursday over the storming of government headquarters – an ­incident that led to the blocking of key roads for 79 days.

Former Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung was found guilty at Eastern Court of unlawful assembly along with former Federation of Students secretary general Alex Chow Yong-kang, 25. Demosisto chairman Nathan Law Kwun-chung, 23, was convicted of inciting others to join an unlawful assembly.

Wong beat the incitement charge, and all three were released on bail. Their case marked the first criminal convictions of the student leaders who played a pivotal role in the civil disobedience movement for greater democracy after Beijing set a framework for political reform that was seen as too restrictive....

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