Sunday, November 6, 2016

News, views and opinions from the Alternative Media ... week ending November 6

Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews
NYT Admits Key Al Qaeda Role in Aleppo

As much as The New York Times and the mainstream U.S. media have become propaganda outlets on most foreign policy issues, like the one-sided coverage of the bloody Syrian war, sometimes the truth seeps through in on-the-ground reporting by correspondents, even ones who usually are pushing the “propo.”

Such was the case with Anne Barnard’s new reporting from inside west Aleppo, the major portion of the city which is in government hands and copes with regular terror rocket and mortar attacks from rebel-held east Aleppo where Al Qaeda militants and U.S.-armed-and-funded “moderate” rebels fight side-by-side.

Almost in passing, Barnard’s article on Sunday acknowledged the rarely admitted reality of the Al Qaeda/”moderate” rebel collaboration, which puts the United States into a de facto alliance with Al Qaeda terrorists and their jihadist allies, fighting under banners such as Nusra Front (recently renamed Syria Conquest Front) and Ahrar al-Sham.

Barnard also finally puts the blame for preventing civilians in east Aleppo from escaping the fighting on a rebel policy of keeping them in harm’s way rather than letting them transit through “humanitarian corridors” to safety. Some of her earlier pro-rebel accounts suggested that it wasn’t clear who was stopping movement of civilians through those corridors....

David Coldewey at TechCrunch
Turkey blocks social media sites again 
to stall protests — here’s how to access them
Turkey has once again blocked access to social media in an apparent effort to keep a lid on protests; many in the capital and elsewhere are demonstrating following the arrest of a number of opposition leaders.
Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube are reportedly blocked or at least being throttled to the point of inaccessibility, reported Turkey Blocks. The outage started late last night and seems to be ongoing. The government also blocked internet access entirely for several days in some locations earlier this week.....

From EuroNews
Turkey rocked by protests after high profile arrests

Police have fired tear gas to disperse crowds of demonstrators in Istanbul.

Many are angry about the arrests overnight of several pro-Kurdish politicians.

Fighting broke out between police and protesters in a number of cities.

Officials say 10 protesters were detained in Ankara, five in Antalya and seven in Istanbul.

Steven Sahiounie at GlobalResearch
Erdogan's al-Qaeda mercenary army of uyyghur Chinese jihadist..

...Pres. Erdogan’s mercenary Army are all Chinese citizens of the far Western region in China, and home of the Uygur people, and are Sunni Muslims.  The Uygur people are an ethnic group of Muslims living near the far west frontier of China and they speak the ancient Turkic language, which is the root of the modern Turkish language now spoken in Turkey.  Their province is Xinjiang, and their capital city is Urumqi.
For many years, Pres. Erdogan has supported the Uygur’s claims of oppression by the Chinese government.  Pres. Erdogan has made speeches in which he compared the Uygur people to the ancestors of the people of Turkey.  Pres. Erdogan feels there is a close historical and ethnical tie between modern Turkey and the Uygur people.  In a speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that “Eastern Turkestan is not only the home of the Turkic peoples, but it is also the cradle of Turkic history, civilization, and culture. The martyrs of Eastern Turkestan are our own martyrs.”  His designation of Eastern Turkestan is actually the Chinese province of Xinjiang, the home of the Uygur people.

Pres. Erdogan used his own mercenary Army of Chinese citizens: the Uygurs.   He had allowed them Turkish passports, which they used to pass legally through Central Asia to arrive in Turkey.  The immigration officials at the airport in Turkey recognized these special passports, and would confiscate them, but allow the Chinese to pass through legally and enter Turkey.  Pres. Erdogan had arranged for them to be transported from the airport in Turkey into Syria through the large and porous border area North of Idlib, which was once a mid-size town in North West Syria.....

Joseph Thomas at NewAtlas
What the Philippines Says Vs. What it Does 

....President Duterte's rhetoric is meant to stir up public support more than actually signal his nation's real intentions. Other nations throughout Asia are also pursuing a "pivot" away from the United States and its attempts to reassert itself in Asia Pacific. However, they are doing it quietly, incrementally and are attempting to make whatever concessions they must with Washington to stave off large-scale, concerted attempts to destabilise or even overturn political order in each respective nation.

The Philippines has a long journey ahead of itself in establishing a more independent and self-sustaining nation state. It faces not only countervailing forces it must navigate amid Beijing and Washington's ongoing jockeying for regional power and influence, but also internal challenges to overcome.....


What you're not being told

Gary Younge at InformationClearingHouse
Note to America: Don’t Be So Sure You’ve Put Trump Behind You

I’ve been living in Britain for the last year and have returned to the United States to cover the election from a small town in Indiana—with the experience of Brexit on my mind.

On June 24, a significant proportion of the British electorate woke up and thought they were living in a different country. Britain narrowly voted to leave the European Union. It felt like the politics of fear, isolation, and xenophobia had delivered an utterly devastating and enduring blow to the body politic. There are many lessons from that night, and indeed we in Britain are only just beginning to learn them. But as it relates to the American elections, I want to dwell on just three.

The fact that the messenger is deranged doesn’t mean the message itself contains no significant truths.

First, don’t let the polls guide your strategic decisions about voting. If you want Hillary Clinton to win, vote for her. If you favor Jill Stein, vote for her. Don’t cast your vote thinking you’re compensating for a result that has not been declared but that you think you’ve factored in. You don’t know....

From Telsur
John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman,

is a little known figure outside Washington but an immensely influential person.

In the latest episode of The Empire Files, journalist Abby Martin examines the leaked emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and the man himself, whom Martin calls “one of the most powerful people in Washington.”

“Understanding who John Podesta is, and his political rise, sheds light on who really pulls the levers in our society,” says Martin.

Together with his brother Tony, Martin calls John Podesta one of the “most influential corporate lobbyists in the world.”

Podesta is a little known figure, despite his connections to the White House, which includes work for both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. It is likely your average person in the U.S. only heard of Podesta as a result of the release of his email by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.....

Jason Ditz at Antiwar
UN Slams Aleppo Rebels Amid Accused Poison Gas Attacks

Rebels Continue Offensive Against Western Aleppo
A coalition of rebels including al-Qaeda’s-Nusra Front and the Free Syrian Army are continuing their offensive against the government-held western half of Aleppo. The UN harshly criticized them for their use of “indiscriminate” weapons, warning it could amount to war crimes.
Perhaps the biggest issue, though as-yet-unproven, is reports that the rebels have begun to use chlorine-filled shells in their attacks. Syrian media reported 35 civilians were suffering from effects of the toxic gas, though the rebels denied using them....

The Saker at his blog
The Russian media just loves the campaign to demonize Putin

Last May I wrote an article entitled Counter-propaganda, Russian style in which I explained that far from banning or censoring the western anti-Putin/anti-Russia campaign, the Russia media reported about it in meticulous detail.  Half a year later, not only is this still true, but the level of coverage has now sharply increased.  Check out this screenshot from the latest (and most watched) weekly news show:

Remember that roughly 80% plus of the audience watching this are strong supporters of President Putin.  You can imagine what they think when they see these reports. The fully understand that the West hates Putin so much precisely because Putin is one of them, a real Russian who cares for the interests of the Russian people.  So when the West demonizes Putin, it is really all the Russian people who are demonized and their conclusion is simple: the West does not hate Putin, the West hates *us*.  As for “Blame it on Putin” – it has now become a real joke.

One of the main effects of this kind of demonization is that the Russian public fully understands that there is no way back.  In practical terms, most Russians believe that even if Russia pulled out of Syria, stopped supporting the Donbass or even decided to hand Crimea to the Ukies, the West would still continue to demonize Russia and try to subdue her.  Furthermore, the Russians remember that the only time....

Patrick Cockburn at UNZ
This Is What Will Happen to Mosul After Isis Is Pushed Out

I visited Mosul on the day it fell to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and a small detachment of US Special Forces on 11 April 2003. As we drove into the city, we passed lines of pick-up trucks piled high with loot returning to the Kurdish-controlled enclave in northern Iraq. US soldiers at a checkpoint, over which waved the Stars and Stripes, were shooting at a man in the distance who kept bobbing up from behind a wall and waving the Iraqi flag.

If there had ever been any sympathy between liberators and liberated in Mosul, it was disappearing fast. Inside the city, every government building, including the university, was being systematically looted by Kurds and Arabs alike. I saw one man who had stolen an enormous and very ugly red and gold sofa from the governor’s office dragging it slowly down the street. He would push one end of the sofa a few feet forward and then go to the other end and repeat the same process. The mosques were soon calling on the Sunni Arab majority to build barricades to defend their neighbourhoods from marauders.

We parked our vehicle near a medieval quarter of ancient stone buildings while we went to see a Christian ecclesiastic. When we got back, we found that our driver was very frightened and wanted to get out of Mosul as fast as possible. He explained that soon after we left a crowd had gathered, recognised our number plates as Kurdish and debated lynching him and setting fire to his car before being restrained by a local religious leader moments before they took action.

The oil city of Kirkuk was captured at about the same time by the Peshmerga, despite having promised the Americans and Turks that they would do no such thing. Again, .....

Vijay Prashad at Alternet
Why the U.S. and Western Countries Could Be Bluffing 
About Military Intervention in Syria
Five years ago, a high-octane media campaign pushed for war on Libya. Voices in the Gulf Arab press, in particular, cried out for blood. Al-Arabiya, the media conglomerate owned by the Saudi kingdom, led the way. It suggested that genocide was on the horizon in Libya’s eastern cities. The forces of Muammar Qaddafi, it said, had moved swiftly against the rebellion. Qaddafi’s legions would not only crush the rebellion, it suggested, but it would kill a great number of civilians.

The Western press echoed al-Arabiya, with far less understanding of the dynamics that involved Qaddafi and the Gulf Arab sheikhs. After all, in 2009, at the Arab League summit in Doha (Qatar), Qaddafi looked directly at the King of Saudi Arabia and said, “You are propelled by fibs towards the grave. You were made by the British and protected by the United States.” King Abdullah, furious, said to Qaddafi, “the grave is before you.” Personal animosity from the Gulf Arab emirs should not be underestimated. Only someone with little understanding of the Arabic media would have given al-Arabiya any credibility.

It was shocking then to have the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon say that he was getting his information on Libya through “press reports.” What press was the UN secretariat reading? Was it the Arabic language press, with al-Arabiya in the lead, or was it reading the Western press, which was largely mimicking the coverage in the Gulf Arab media?...

From Telsur
The Venezuela Recall Referendum story

The Venezuelan opposition has effectively called for a coup after President Nicolas Maduro announced the recall referendum would be put on hold until allegations of fraud could be investigated.

The mainstream media have jumped on the news, declaring Maduro's decision to delay the referendum "evidence" that he is a "dictator." But what is really happening in Venezuela? What does the recall referendum mean and how will it affect the people?

From ZeroHedge
Wikileaks Exposes Collusion Between Clinton Campaign, State Department, And
New York Times
And the hits just keep on coming.

At the same time as the latest Wikileaks email dump revealed an email sent from the gmail account of DOJ assistant attorney general, Peter Kadzik, to the gmail account of John Podesta, warning him of a FOIA case that would make it "a while before the State Department posts the [Hillary] emails", an off-the-record communication which the DOJ apparently had no complaints about, we learned of another coordinated, collusive event, this time involving not the Department of Justice, but the Secretary of State, the New York Times, and the Clinton campaign.

In an email dated March 1, 2015, just one day before the NYT's story revealing that Hillary Clinton had a personal email server, a State Department official, Lauren Hickey, coordinated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign staffers Heather Samuelson as well as Philippe Reines and Nick Merrill, on a statement given to The New York Times regarding how to frame its landmark story.

In the email also sent from the gmail account of State Department press aide Lauren Hickey (, the government employee told Clinton aides that then-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had “just cleared” a statement to a New York Times reporter. Hickey attached the statement, which appeared to include a change made at the behest of the Clinton aides.

“Yes on your point re records - done below,” she wrote although it is unclear what change the Clinton campaign had requested.

    Hi guys - Jen just cleared. She made the highlighted change -- just rephrased a line about NARA updates state is undertaking. Yes on your point re records - done below. And yes will let you know -- should be in the new few minutes.

The statement describes the State Department’s efforts to respond to document requests from the House Benghazi Committee, which uncovered the existence of Clinton's server.

     “From the moment that the Select Committee was created, the State Department has been proactively and consistently engaged in responding to the Committee’s many requests in a timely manner, providing more than 40,000 pages of documents, scheduling more than 20 transcribed interviews and participating in several briefings and each of the Committee’s hearings.

One day after the exchange, the New York Times published its "groundbreaking", if preapproved report revealing Clinton's server to the public. A short time later, Hillary Clinton would announce her candidacy for president.

In a briefing Wednesday afternoon, ......

On the killing of a fish-seller in Morocco

Stephen Lendman at GlobalResearch
ICC to Investigate US War Crimes in Afghanistan? Hold the Cheers

.....On October 7, 2001, US-led NATO forces attacked Afghanistan without just cause – less than four weeks post-9/11, naked aggression planned months before that fateful day.

Appalling war crimes followed, continuing daily. All post-WW II US wars were and continue being waged illegally against nonbelligerent countries reflecting over 70 years of unaccountability.

No US government or military official ever faced charges for Nuremberg-level high crimes. It’s irrelevant what Bensouda does or doesn’t do.

The 2002 American Service Members’ Protection Act (ASPA, aka The Hague Invasion Act) “protect(s) United States military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the United States government against criminal prosecution by an international court to which the United States is not party.”

It authorizes the president to use “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any US or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court.”

It prohibits the extradition of anyone from America to the ICC. In a November 2000 open letter, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Zbigniew Brzezinki, former CIA director Richard Helms and other US signatories said Washington must put “our nation’s military personnel safely beyond the reach of an unaccountable international prosecutor operating under procedures inconsistent with our Constitution.”

Kissinger’s high crimes are well-documented.Brzezinski got Jimmy Carter to sign a secret directive, authorizing aid for Mujahadeen fighters combating the pro-Soviet Russia government in Kabul, aiming to induce Moscow’s military intervention which followed, what Brzezinski called “the Afghan trap.”.....

Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews
Phony ‘Corruption’ Excuse for Ukraine Coup

If Ukraine becomes a flashpoint for World War III with Russia, the American people might rue the day that their government pressed for the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s allegedly corrupt (though elected) president in favor of a coup regime led by Ukrainian lawmakers who now report amassing, on average, more than $1 million each, much of it as cash.

The New York Times, which served as virtually a press agent for the coup in February 2014, took note of this apparent corruption among the U.S.-favored post-coup officials, albeit deep inside a story that itself was deep inside the newspaper (page A8). The lead angle was a bemused observation that Ukraine’s officialdom lacked faith in the country’s own banks (thus explaining why so much cash).

Yet, Ukraine is a country beset by widespread poverty, made worse by the post-coup neoliberal “reforms” slashing pensions, making old people work longer and reducing heating subsidies for common citizens. The average Ukrainian salary is only $214 a month.

So, an inquiring mind might wonder how – in the face of all that hardship – the post-coup officials did so well for themselves, but Times’ correspondent Andrew E. Kramer treads lightly on the possibility that these officials were at least as corrupt, if not more so, than the elected government that the U.S. helped overthrow. Elected President Viktor Yanukovych had been excoriated for a lavish lifestyle because he had a sauna in his residence....

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