Sunday, September 11, 2016

News, views and opinions from the Alternative Media ... week ending September 11

9/11 Conspiracy Theory .... a short fable

James Bradley at ConsortiumNews
North Korea’s Understandable Fears

North Korea carried out its fifth nuclear test on Friday, drawing condemnation from President Obama and a charge from the Pentagon that the test was a “serious provocation.” Ho-hum, here we go again.

Every year, America pays its vassal-state South Korea huge sums of U.S. taxpayer money to mount 300,000-man-strong military “games” that threaten North Korea. North Koreans view images that never seem to make it to U.S. kitchen tables: hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. armaments swarming in from the sea, hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops – their turrets and rifles pointed north – and nuclear-capable U.S. warplanes screaming overhead.

But when a young dictator straight out of central casting responds to U.S. threats with an underground test on North Korea’s founding day, it’s the number-one story on the front page of the New York Times.....
Let’s connect some dots. Washington and their note takers in the American press constantly tell us that crazies in Pyongyang and Tehran are nuclear threats. The misplaced, but easily sold, fears of the “North Korean missile threat” and the “Iran missile threat” allows the Pentagon to install “defensive” missile systems in South Korea and Eastern Europe which actually amount to offensive systems targeting Beijing and Moscow (by making first strikes against China and Russia more feasible).....

From ZeroHedge
US-Trained Special Ops Fighter Is The Islamic State's New Top Commander In Iraq

Just days after the news hit that ISIS' main propaganda officer, Mohammad al-Adnani, one of the Islamic State's most prominent leaders, the second in command of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as well as the unofficial spokesman of the terrorist organization, was killed (with a scandal promptly erupting between the US and Russia over who had taken him out), the power vacuum that formed at the top of the Islamic State has been promptly filled, after former Tajik Special Forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov became the top ISIS battlefield commander in Iraq, after defecting last year and swearing jihad against the West....

....What makes the ascent of Khalimov particularly embarrassing for the US is that The former paramilitary unit commander of the Tajikistan armed forces received his battlefield training from American advisors and even came to the United States on several occasions to receive special counterterrorism training through the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program. ....

Wayne Madsen at StrategicCulture
Obama-Duterte Blow Up: What the Corporate Media Doesn’t Get

The explanation by the Western corporate media, which caters to a very basic secondary school level of education, about the reasons behind the recent war of words between U.S. President Barack Obama and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, had little to do with the leader of the Philippines calling Obama a «Putang ina» or «son of a whore» in Tagalog. The breakdown in relations between the Philippines, a former and much-abused American colony, and the United States is based on renewed Philippines nationalism, a disgust by Duterte for the selective human rights agenda of the Obama administration, and the Philippines leader’s antipathy for those schooled in Muslim beliefs in neighboring Indonesia.

Duterte knows full well that Obama prayed in a mosque and recited from the Koran in his early childhood years at a quasi-Islamic state school in Jakarta. And for Duterte, a former mayor of Davao City in Mindanao, -- a southern Philippines island plagued by Saudi-financed Abu Sayyaf Group Wahhabist terrorism nurtured from radicalized mosques across the Sulu Sea in Indonesia -- Obama’s upbringing in Southeast Asia is very germane.

Duterte’s reference to Obama’s mother was not uttered in a vacuum of history. Duterte fully understands Stanley Ann Dunham Obama-Soetoro’s role in the aftermath of the 1965 bloody Muslim- and Central Intelligence Agency-backed coup that toppled Indonesia’s secular president, Sukarno. The coup, in which Obama’s Indonesian stepfather, Lieutenant Colonel Lolo Soetoro, participated as a brutal thug out to identify and execute as many Communists and ethnic Chinese Indonesians as possible, was staffed out of the U.S. embassy in Jakarta.

In 1967, Obama’s mother took young Barack Obama to join her war criminal husband in Jakarta. After her arrival in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, Obama’s mother worked for the CIA-linked U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) fanning out across central Javanese villages with orders to collect as many names of Communists as possible......

....Instead, Duterte is a fiery pragmatist who is on guard against Obama and the neoconservative war hawks and Wahhabi and Salafist accommodators who dominate America’s CIA and State Department. Duterte and his supporters know fully well that the bloody CIA purge of PKI members and sympathizers, along with ethnic Chinese, in Indonesia would not have been possible without the support of Indonesia’s Sunni Muslim hierarchy – a group in which Obama’s mother and stepfather were in total lockstep.....

Joon Ian Wong at Quartz
Norway is furious with Facebook and its algorithms for “censoring” an iconic war photo
A ruckus has erupted in Norway over Facebook’s repeated removal of an iconic 1972 war photograph of a naked young girl fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam. Facebook has also suspended users who uploaded it. Things have come to a head today after Norway’s largest newspaper devoted its front page to an open letter to Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

The letter, written by Aftenposten’s editor-in-chief, Espen Egil Hansen, accuses Zuckerberg of “abusing” his role as “the world’s most powerful editor.” Hansen wrote: “The media have a responsibility to consider publication in every single case. This may be a heavy responsibility … This right and duty, which all editors in the world have, should not be undermined by algorithms encoded in your office in California.”

Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg, also posted the iconic photo to her Facebook page today (Sept. 9) to protest “censorship” by the social network. “I say yes to a healthy, open and free debate on the internet,” she wrote in Norwegian. “But I say no to this form of censorship.” Her photo was later removed by Facebook, according to a subsequent post by Solberg. She posted a version of the photo with nudity blacked out. “What Facebook does by removing images of this kind, good as the intentions may be, is to edit our common history,” she wrote.....

From Off-Guardian
why we’re covering 9/11 fifteen years on

....We aren’t interested in simply erecting new certitudes to replace the used ones. We aren’t claiming “Bush did it” or “Israel did it” or “the Saudis did it”, or indeed “Bin Laden did it.” We want to take a long and dispassionate look at the evidence for what actually happened that day, and give space, as our remit dictates, to those opinions and facts that tend to be silenced in the mainstream.

On 9/11 three steel-framed high-rise buildings collapsed completely at near free-fall speed allegedly due to fires – which, if true, makes them the only steel-framed high-rises in construction history to have ever done this. Rationally and objectively, this is something worth examining, as unique events always are. Did the government-appointed enquiry by the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) do a thorough job in explaining why this unique event occurred? Or did it do what government-appointed enquiries usually do and fudge? Do we have answers or evasions?

For some reason these questions are routinely avoided, even by those who are willing to ask similar questions about WMDs or Syrian chemical weapons or Chilcot. The fear of the label “conspiracy theorist” deters too many of us – which of course is just what it was intended to do.....

The real danger for Russia

Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews
UN Team Heard Claims of ‘Staged’ Chemical Attacks

United Nations investigators encountered evidence that alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian military were staged by jihadist rebels and their supporters, but still decided to blame the government for two incidents in which chlorine was allegedly dispersed via improvised explosives dropped by helicopters.

In both cases, the Syrian government denied that it had any aircraft in the areas at the times of the purported attacks, but the U.N. team rejected that explanation with the curious argument that Syria failed to provide flight records to corroborate the absence of any flights. Yet, if there had been no flights, there would be no flight records.

The U.N. team also dismissed out of hand the possibility that jihadist rebels who had overrun some air bases and thus had operational helicopters at their disposal might have used them as part of a staged event designed to incriminate the Damascus regime and thus justify U.S. or other outside military intervention.

Another problem with the U.N. team’s findings is that the home-made chlorine bombs had minimal military value, inflicting relatively few casualties and only a handful of deaths.

Why the Syrian government, which was under intense international pressure regarding alleged chemical weapons use and was in the process of surrendering its stockpile of such weapons, would have jerry-rigged a handful of homemade bombs and dropped them for no discernible military effect makes little sense.

However, since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been thoroughly demonized over his harsh reaction to an uprising that began in 2011, pretty much any accusation against him – no matter how unlikely or implausible – is widely accepted in the mainstream Western media and political circles. In other words, the U.N. team was under pressure to reach a guilty verdict.....

Craig Murray at his blog
Thought is Dangerous to the USA

I have been refused entry clearance to the USA to chair the presentation of the Sam Adams Award to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou and to speak at the World Beyond War conference in Washington DC. Like millions of British passport holders I have frequently visited the USA before and never been refused entry clearance under the visa waiver programme.....

....It is worth noting that despite the highly critical things I have published about Putin, about civil liberties in Russia and the annexation of the Crimea, I have never been refused entry to Russia. The only two countries that have ever refused me entry clearance are Uzbekistan and the USA. What does that tell you?....

Corey Schink at SottNet
The Easters: A case study in psychopathy and ponerization

....On April 6th, 1986, a series of bombs were detonated in a Berlin dance hall. The result was the deaths of US marines and the opportunity Reagan had been waiting for to strike Gaddafi. About a week later the US Air Force, having to bypass France due to pressure from French politicians, rained missiles down on Gaddafi's house, murdering his adopted Palestinian child. There was no evidence that Libya was involved in the terrorist attack, let alone justification for murdering an innocent child in response. As was revealed decades later, the allegation against Libya over the Berlin bombing was false, another staged event to provide justification for murder in broad daylight.

Gaddafi survived that attempt, but the US was always going to try again. In 1988 there were the Lockerbie bombings, and once again Gaddafi was fingered as the man responsible for the attacks, despite massive evidence to the contrary:

    British MP: Lockerbie 'evidence' against Libyans was planted by CIA
    Leaked documents: Lockerbie evidence 'was tampered with, destroyed and overlooked'
    BBC probe casts doubt on Lockerbie evidence

Fortunately for Gaddafi, Francis A. Boyle smelled a rat. A prominent international lawyer, Boyle effectively issued the international equivalent of a restraining order against the US. The night before US jets were poised to strike the country the motions were filed, and the US backed down. Clearly the international community had not yet lost its collective mind, and such a legal injunction was capable of working. As the decades went by it was clear that individuals within the US were ready to make sure such restraint would not work again.

By 2011, not only had Gaddafi survived repeated Western assaults, he had overseen a massive increase in the living standards and social rights of the Libyan population, including free health care, education, and women's rights that included free childcare and payment for raising children. Gaddafi wanted to emancipate Africa from Western corporate and imperial interests. Libya, the most prosperous African democracy, was a beacon of freedom in an increasingly dark world. Something had to be done to crush him and the Libyan people. ....

Andrei Akulov at StrategicCulture
US Faces Major Setback As Europeans Revolt Against TTIP

France wants to halt thorny EU-US trade talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as President Francois Hollande underlined there would be no deal until after President Barack Obama leaves office in January. Matthias Fekl, the French minister for foreign trade, has said his country will call for an end to the deal. France has been sceptical about the TTIP from the start and has threatened to block the deal, arguing the US has offered little in return for concessions made by Europe. All 28 EU member states and the European parliament will have to ratify the TTIP before it comes into force.

The statements came just a couple of days after German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel had said talks for TTIP had de facto failed. Gabriel, who leads Germany’s centre-left Social Democratic party and is vice-chancellor in the coalition government, said Europe mustn’t submit to the American proposals. ....

Prof Michel Choussudovsky at GlobalResearch
US-NATO-Turkey Invasion of Northern Syria: CIA “Failed” Turkey Coup Lays Groundwork for Broader Middle East War?

In mid-July, President Erdogan pointed his finger at the CIA, accusing US intelligence of having supported a failed coup directed against his government. Turkish officials pointed to a deterioration of US-Turkey relations following Washington’s refusal to extradite Fethullah G├╝len, the alleged architect of the failed coup.

Erdogan’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was categorical:

    “If the US does not deliver (Gulen), they will sacrifice relations with Turkey for the sake of a terrorist”

Public opinion was led to believe that relations with the US had not only deteriorated, but that Erdogan had vowed to restore “an axis of friendship” with Moscow, including “cooperation in the defence sector”. This was a hoax....

....The failed coup was indeed supported by the CIA, but the failure was coordinated with President Erdogan. It was an intelligence op which was meant to fail and mislead public opinion.....

Zika virus ... here's an example of how the powers-that-be create a problem to make $s from the solution.  EVIL INCARNATE !!

Aram Mirzael at TheSaker
The latest development in northern Syria

...It is worthy of notice that just before the Turkish incursion, the Kurdish YPG and their police forces “Asayish” were attacking the Syrian government forces in the city of Al-Hasakah, and despite numerous attempts at a ceasefire by the Syrian government, the Kurdish forces refused and declared their intention to fully claim Al-Hasakah for themselves. This could also explain why Syria and Iran have been neglecting the fact that Turkish forces are attacking the YPG/SDF as well. Indeed both Syria and its allies have previously tried to cooperate with the SDF or at least remain neutral towards them, yet recent events have shown that they answer to Washington rather than taking an independent stance towards the conflict. This was very much clear when the SDF spokesman Talal Silo said in an interview that “in Syria, the Americans forbid us from talking to Russia”. [4]...

From ZeroHedge
40,000 Students In Limbo, 8,000 Employees Fired As ITT Suddenly Shuts Down

The long-running tragic saga of ITT Education Services, which was established nearly 50 ago and operates the ITT Technical Institutes for-profit college chain, finally came to a end this morning with both a bang and a whimper, when it announced that it is shutting down effective immediately, leaving the fate of 40,000 students currently enrolled in limbo, and some 8,000 workers without a job.

The company said the closure is due to an investigation and sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education.

"It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service," the company stated Tuesday. "Effective today, the company has eliminated the positions of the overwhelming majority of our more than 8,000 employees."

As previously reported,  ITT Tech stopped enrolling new students on August 29, just a few days after it was cut off from a significant amount of federal funding by the government. ITT's collapse was catalyzed when the Department of Education effectively killed the company two weeks ago, when it told the company on August 25 that it couldn’t enroll new students who use federal financial aid. The school accused federal officials of forcing the closure and denying it due process. The company has been the subject of state and federal probes for various reasons, including its recruitment tactics, lending practices and job placement figures.

Among the measures imposed, ITT was been ordered to pay $152 million to the department within 30 days to cover student refunds and other liabilities in case the company closes. The chain, based in Indiana, is still paying another $44 million demanded by the department in June for the same reason.....

From RT
Times reporter abducted and shot in Syria says his kidnapper now US-backed rebel

A Times reporter who was kidnapped and twice shot in the leg in Syria claims to have recognized his abductor on a recent Facebook video, which shows him in the ranks of a US-backed “moderate” opposition rebel group.

Journalist Anthony Loyd was captured on his way from Syria to Turkey along with his colleague, photographer Jack Hill, not far from the Syrian town of Tal Rafat in 2014, a week after they had started covering the situation in Aleppo.
It was with some surprise watching a video of a victorious band of western-backed rebels that I noticed the face of America’s newest ally in the war against ISIS in Syria,” Loyd wrote in Britain’s Times newspaper on Saturday.

The Facebook video of a victory celebration by a CIA-vetted rebel group in the border town of al-Rai supposedly showed Hakim Abu Jamal, also known as Hakim Anza, or Abdel Hakim al-Yaseen....

Daisy Luther at her blog
Louisiana Officials Demand That Self-Reliant Locals Stop Surviving the Flood Without Permission

Around the world, governments have recently been issuing an unsettling call for their citizens to become more self-reliant. Just this week, the governments of both Germany and Czechoslovakia warned that people should be  “be prepared for the worst case possible scenario.”

But here in the United States, just the opposite is happening. Our government seems to have an unquenchable thirst for cracking down on those who take responsibility for themselves. There is an abundance of evidence of this in Louisiana.

The southern state has been hit with the worst flooding in over 500 years.

While the final numbers won’t be known for some time, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office has estimated 60,646 houses were damaged and 30,000 people rescued; other people escaped on their own. FEMA says 109,398 people or households have applied for housing help, and 25,000 National Flood Insurance Program claims have been filed. The American Red Cross called it the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey in 2012.

This massive disaster was all but ignored by the mainstream media, since it didn’t fit the current agenda of divisiveness and racial tension. So what did the folks in Louisiana do?....

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