Sunday, December 11, 2016

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


Marjorie Cohn at ConsortiumNews
The Remarkable Story of Fidel Castro

When Fidel Castro died on Nov. 25 at the age of 90, we lost one of the most remarkable leaders of the Twentieth Century. No other head of state has so steadfastly stood up to the United States and survived.
In 1959, the Cuban Revolution, led by Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara, overthrew the ruthless Fulgencio Batista, who had come to power in a coup d’├ętat. Batista’s government had protected the interests of the wealthy landowners. In order to control the populace, Batista had carried out torture and public executions, killing as many as 20,000 people. During his regime, Batista was supported — financially and militarily — by the United States. Indeed, the U.S. Mafia’s gambling, drug and prostitution operations flourished under Batista’s government.

Led by Castro, the new Cuban government expropriated U.S.-owned property, companies and holdings in Cuba. The United States responded with a punishing economic embargo, which later became a blockade. The CIA attempted unsuccessfully to overthrow the revolution in the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

Since 1959, the U.S. government and the expatriated Cuban-Americans who fled Cuba after the revolution have tried mightily to topple the Castro government, without success. Castro survived more than 630 assassination attempts.

Legacy of Fidel Castro
“What’s amazing here is you’ve got a country that’s suffered an illegal economic blockade by the United States for almost half a century and yet it’s been able to give its people the best standard of health care, brilliant education,” Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London, said in 2006. “To do this in the teeth of an almost economic war is a tribute to Fidel Castro.”....




Brandon Smith at Alt-Market
Understanding Evil: From Globalism To Pizzagate

I have spent the better part of the last 10 years working diligently to investigate and relate information on economics and geopolitical discourse for the liberty movement. However, long before I delved into these subjects my primary interests of study were the human mind and the human “soul” (yes, I’m using a spiritual term).

My fascination with economics and sociopolitical events has always been rooted in the human element. That is to say, while economics is often treated as a mathematical and statistical field, it is also driven by psychology. To know the behavior of man is to know the future of all his endeavors, good or evil.

Evil is what we are specifically here to discuss. I have touched on the issue in various articles in the past including Are Globalists Evil Or Just Misunderstood, but with extreme tensions taking shape this year in light of the U.S. election as well as the exploding online community investigation of “Pizzagate,” I am compelled to examine it once again.

I will not be grappling with this issue from a particularly religious perspective. Evil applies to everyone regardless of their belief system, or even their lack of belief. Evil is secular in its influence.

The first and most important thing to understand is this — evil is NOT simply a social or religious construct, it is an inherent element of the human psyche. Carl Gustav Jung was one of the few psychologists in history to dare write extensively on the issue of evil from a scientific perspective as well as a metaphysical perspective.  I highly recommend a book of his collected works on this subject titled 'Jung On Evil', edited by Murray Stein, for those who are interested in a deeper view....

From Desiforce
Egypt bomb blast kills at least 25 worshippers in Cairo church

A bomb blast killed at least 25 worshippers during Sunday mass inside a Cairo church near the seat of the Coptic pope who heads Egypt’s Christian minority, state media said.

The explosion ripped through the church at around 10:00 am (0800 GMT), Egyptian security officials said.

It was the deadliest suspected attack on the country’s beleaguered Christian minority in recent memory.

The blast in the church adjacent to Saint Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in the Abbasiya neighbourhood shattered its glass windows and left a scene of carnage in the main prayer hall.

State television quoted a security official saying a bomb made of TNT appeared to have been behind the explosion.

“Tell the sheikh, tell the priest, Egyptians’ blood is not cheap,” a crowd outside the church chanted, as ambulances lined up to evacuate the casualties.

The church “is deeply loved by many Coptic faithful in Cairo and it has a regular parish presence,” said Bishop Angaelos, the General Bishop for the Coptic Church in Britain.....




Jason Ditz at antiwar
Bipartisan Bill Would Forbid US Funding ISIS, al-Qaeda Affiliates

Gabbert-Rohrabacher Bill Would Effectively End CIA Program Arming Syrian Rebels
The Stop Arming Terrorists Act (SATA) has been introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI). The bill is a bipartisan effort, co-sponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D – VT), Barbara Lee (D – CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA), and Thomas Massie (R – KY) which would forbid the US government from using taxpayer dollars to arm, fund, or train terrorist organizations.
Rep. Gabbard noted that it has been against the law for years for individual Americans to fund terrorist organizations, but that the US has been routinely doing so for years in Syria, providing arms to many terrorist-linked groups within Syria’s rebellion.

The bill appears aimed primarily at ending the CIA program smuggling arms to Syrian rebels, something President-elect Donald Trump has also expressed support for. The bill singles out ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (the “rebranded” version of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front) and forbids support to them, their allies, or foreign nations who are themselves providing support for the groups....

Weather is not climate


Ron Paul at RonPaulInstitute
Trump’s Promised ‘New Foreign Policy’ Must Abandon Regime Change for Iran

President-elect Donald Trump told a Cincinnati audience this week that he intends to make some big changes in US foreign policy. During his “thank you” tour in the midwest, Trump had this to say:

    We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments. …In our dealings with other countries we will seek shared interests wherever possible...”

If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued by the two previous administrations. Such a foreign policy would go a long way toward making us safer and more prosperous, as we would greatly reduce the possibility of a “blowback” attack from abroad, and we would save untold billions with a foreign policy of restraint.

However as we know with politicians, there is often a huge gap between pronouncements before entering office and actions once in office. Who can forget President George W. Bush’s foreign policy promises as a candidate 16 years ago? As a candidate he said:

    I am not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world saying ‘this is the way it’s got to be.’ … If we’re an arrogant nation they will resent us, if we’re a humble nation but strong they’ll welcome us.

Unfortunately as soon as he took office, George W. Bush pursued a completely different foreign policy, attacking countries like Iraq at the urging of the neocons he placed in positions of power in his White House and State Department...

 
Pizzagate: "BBC Fake News Psyop" Debunked


 

Jonathan Turley at RonPaulInstitute
Washington Post Issues Correction To 'Fake News' Story

The Washington Post has been under fire for its publication of an article entitled, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say.” The article by Craig Timberg relied on a controversial website called PropOrNot, which published what is little more than a black list of website that the authors deemed purveyors of fake news including some of the largest sites on the Internet like Drudge Report. However, the previously unknown group was itself criticized for listing “allies” that proved false. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton ramped up the call for action against “fake news” which she described as an epidemic. Now the Washington Post has published a rather cryptic correction to the fake news story. The controversy is the subject of my latest column in USA Today.

The organization listed a variety of news sites as illegitimate. It included some of the most popular political sites from the left and right Truthout, Zero Hedge, Antiwar.com, and the Ron Paul Institute. It even includes one of the most read sites on the Internet, the Drudge Report. Notably, it also included WikiLeaks, which has been credited with exposing political corruption and unlawful surveillance programs.

The Washington Post is the largest newspaper to buy the clearly biased list as the work of objective “experts” — ignoring that the site relies on anonymity of those contributors. When the Post ran the story, some were eager to push the story as a reason why they lost the election. The former White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted, “Why isn’t this the biggest story in the world right now?” The reason is that it was facially absurd.....

Yemen


Craig Murray at his blog
Julian Assange’s Defence Statement
Julian Assange has published his statement given to the Swedish prosecutor. I give it in full below. I do implore you to read it. This is the first time his defence has been made public, although the media have been delighted to report the leaked allegations against him in detail.
His defence will not be given in the same detail in the media.

It is worth noting that under Swedish law the identity of both the accuser and the accused ought to be protected, but that did not prevent Swedish police and prosecutors leaking details to a complicit media, or the women concerned selling their story to the tabloids.

You really do owe it to yourself, to justice and to personal honesty to read Julian’s side of the story. ....

Corbett Report: Trump Fills The Swamp with Stevn Mnuchin


Saker at his blog
Wesley Clark Jr apologizes to the Lakota nation (UPDATED 2x)

An incredible moment of healing at Standing Rock: Hundreds of veterans ask Native elders for forgiveness.

“We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain… We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.” – Wes Clark, Jr.



More about Wesley Clark Jr and this amazing event here:.........

From RT
RT crew first to reach liberated area of Aleppo’s Old City 
(EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)
Battles continue between pro-government forces and insurgents in Aleppo’s Old City, with Damascus slowly winning back territory. RT’s Lizzie Phelan and her crew were the first journalists to visit the neighborhoods just captured by the government.
“It is still not entirely safe here. The opposition forces are only a couple of hundreds of meters away. The area needs to be cleaned from unused weapons and mines left,” she reported by phone.

She said her crew saw many weapons abandoned by the militants stashed in buildings, including the home-made gas cylinder rockets they have been using to shell government forces.....

Jason Ditz at AntiWar
US Officials: Al-Qaeda’s Loss in Aleppo Is Also America’s Loss

Officials See al-Qaeda Rebounding Quicker Than US From 'Defeat'

The increasingly public re-branding of America’s war in Syria as a proxy war against Russia has suited a lot of officials, particularly in the Pentagon, who see a new Cold War as a ticket to a bigger budget. With Russia’s fighting focusing on al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, this Russo-centric view has seen the administration realigning US interests more directly with al-Qaeda.
Embarrassing as America’s realignment toward al-Qaeda is, officials see the defeat of the al-Qaeda-dominated rebels in Aleppo as an even bigger blow, presenting the loss of Aleppo as Russia’s victory and America’s loss, in addition to being al-Qaeda’s loss.

This “loss” is being presented by current officials as potentially hindering President-elect Donald Trump’s policy choices going forward, though since Trump was not in favor of backing al-Qaeda, or backing Syrian rebels in general, it probably makes his go-to plan of moving toward fighting ISIS even simpler to sell to the public....




Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews
Big Media’s Contra-Cocaine Cover-up

Amid the mainstream U.S. media’s current self-righteous frenzy against “fake news,” it’s worth recalling how the big newspapers destroyed Gary Webb, an honest journalist who exposed some hard truths about the Reagan administration’s collaboration with Nicaraguan Contra cocaine traffickers.

Webb’s reward for reviving that important scandal in 1996 – and getting the CIA’s inspector general to issue what amounted to an institutional confession in 1998 – was to have The New York Times, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times lobby for, essentially, his banishment from journalism.
The major media pile-on was so intense and so effective that Webb lost his job at the San Jose Mercury-News and could never find regular work in his profession again. Betrayed by his journalistic colleagues, his money gone, his family broken and his life seemingly hopeless, Webb committed suicide on Dec. 9, 2004.

Even then, the Los Angeles Times wrote up his obituary as if the paper were telling the life story of an organized-crime boss, not a heroic journalist. The Times obit was then republished by The Washington Post.

In other words, on one of the most significant scandals of the Reagan era, major newspapers, which now want to serve as the arbiters of truth for  the Internet, demonstrated how disdainful they actually are toward truth when it puts the U.S. government in a harsh light.

Indeed, if it had been up to the big newspapers, this important chapter of modern history would never have been known. A decade earlier, in 1985, Brian Barger and I first exposed the Contra-cocaine connection for The Associated Press – and we watched as the big papers turned their backs on the scandal then, too.....




Gareth Porter at MiddleEastEye
US strikes on Syrian troops:
Report data contradicts 'mistake' claims

Moscow and Damascus cited the attacks as the reason for declaring an end to the ceasefire in Syria
The summary report on an investigation into US and allied air strikes on Syrian government troops has revealed irregularities in decision-making consistent with a deliberate targeting of Syrian forces.

The report, released by US Central Command on 29 November, shows that senior US Air Force officers at the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at al-Udeid Airbase in Qatar, who were responsible for the decision to carry out the September airstrike at Deir Ezzor:

    misled the Russians about where the US intended to strike so Russia could not warn that it was targeting Syrian troops
    
    ignored information and intelligence analysis, warning that the positions to be struck were Syrian government rather than Islamic State
    
    shifted abruptly from a deliberate targeting process to an immediate strike in violation of normal Air Force procedures

Last week Brig. Gen. Richard Coe, the lead US official on the investigating team, told reporters that US air strikes in Deir Ezzor on 17 September, which killed at least 62 - and possibly more than 100 - Syrian army troops, was the unintentional result of “human error”.

The report itself says that the investigators found “no evidence of misconduct” - but it is highly critical of the decision process and does not offer any explanations for that series of irregularities.
How the strikes killed off ceasefire deal

The strikes against two Syrian army positions were the pivotal event in the breakdown of the Syrian ceasefire agreement reached between the United States and Russia in September. .....




From EuropeOnlineMag
Turkey airstrike kills US and German citizens: Syrian Kurdish group

A Turkish airstrike in Syria has killed two militants - one from the United States and one from Germany - from a group allied with the main Kurdish militia in the country, according to a statement from a local Syrian military council on Thursday.

The two were killed near the northern Syrian city of Minbij, which the Kurds, along with Arab allies and backed by United States airstrikes, seized from the Islamic State extremist group after protracted battles.

Turkey opposes the presence of the Syrian Democratic Forces - an umbrella group dominated by the Kurds - near the city of Minbij. Ankara wants its own Syrian armed groups to take control over the area.....

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