Saturday 20th of April 2019

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-04-17 20:02

 

From John Pilger

THE GLIMPSE of Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is an emblem of the times. Might against right. Muscle against the law. Indecency against courage.

Six policemen manhandled a sick journalist, his eyes wincing against his first natural light in almost seven years. 

 

That this outrage happened in the heart of London, in the land of Magna Carta, ought to shame and anger all who fear for "democratic" societies. Assange is a political refugee protected by international law, the recipient of asylum under a strict covenant to which Britain is a signatory. The United Nations made this clear in the legal ruling of its Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).

 

But to hell with that. Let the thugs go in. Directed by the quasi-fascists in Trump's Washington, in league with Ecuador's Lenin Moreno, the British elite abandoned its last imperial myth: that of fairness and justice.

 

Imagine Tony Blair dragged from his multi-million pound Georgian home in Connaught Square, London, in handcuffs, for onward dispatch to the dock in The Hague. By the standard of Nuremberg, Blair's "paramount crime" is the deaths of a million Iraqis.

 

Assange's "crime" is journalism: holding the rapacious to account, exposing their lies and empowering people all over the world with truth.

 

The shocking arrest of Assange carries a warning for all who, as Oscar Wildewrote, 'sow the seeds of discontent [without which] there would be no advance towards civilisation". The warning is explicit towards journalists. What happened to the founder and editor of WikiLeaks can happen to you at a newspaper, you in a TV studio, you on radio, you running a podcast.

 

Assange's principal media tormentor, The Guardian, a collaborator with the secret state, displayed its nervousness this week with an editorial that scaled new weasel heights. The Guardian has exploited the work of Assange and WikiLeaks in what its previous editor, Alan Rusbridgercalled"the greatest scoop of the last 30 years". The paper creamed off WikiLeaks' revelations and claimed the accolades and riches that came with them.

 

With not a penny going to Julian Assange or to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardianbook led to a lucrative Hollywood movie. The book's authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, turned on their source, abused him and disclosed the secret password Assange had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing leaked U.S. embassy cables. 

 

With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding joined the police outside and gloated that "Scotland Yard may get the last laugh". The Guardian has since published a series of falsehoods about Assange, not least a discredited claim that a group of Russians and Trump's man, Paul Manafort, had visited Assange in the embassy. The meetings never happened; it was fake. 

 

But the tone has now changed.'

 

The Assange case is a morally tangled web,'  the paper opined,

'He [Assange] believes in publishing things that should not be published ... But he has always shone a light on things that should never have been hidden.'

These "things" are the truth about the homicidal way America conducts its colonial wars; the lies of the British Foreign Office in its denial of rights to vulnerable people, such as the Chagos Islanders; the exposé of Hillary Clinton as a backer and beneficiary of jihadism in the Middle East; the detailed description of American ambassadors of how the governments in Syria and Venezuela might be overthrown and much more. It's all available on the WikiLeaks site.

 

Read more:

 

https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/the-arrest-of-assange-when-the-right-to-know-and-question-is-taken-away,12581

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile:

 

 

Julian Assange is the man who can finally reveal who handed the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) documents to WikiLeaks in 2016 and thus sort the "Russian interference" issue once and for all. The question then arises as to whether Donald Trump would jump at the opportunity to unveil this mystery in case Assange is extradited to the US.

"Anything is possible in that respect", Adam Garrie, a geopolitical analyst and director of Eurasia Future, told Sputnik. "Trump's justice department could attempt to attain what in US courts is called a plea bargain in respect of Assange. Essentially, if Assange were to discard his own policy of never revealing Wikileaks sources in exchange for clemency or a pardon, perhaps Trump and his justice department would strike a deal".

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201904151074157313-assange-dnc-seth-rich/

 

 

Read from top.

 

Unfortunately the public cannot believe that our governments are so corrupt, because the sun shines every morning, there is petrol to fill up the tank of our car and we earn $17.50 an hour plus a promise of a Christmas bonus... Mr Murdoch and the other media polish the governments buttons with praise, daily, as long as we don't know how the rats in the kitchen eat from the benches and the floor...

 

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-04-17 19:45

Donald Trump is not the first president to be called unhinged, by political enemies and medical professionals alike. But some of his predecessors had mental health conditions including social anxiety, bipolar disorder and even psychopathy, say experts.

In the summer of 1776, the American Revolutionary War was going so badly for the rebels that George Washington apparently attempted suicide by redcoat.

As his militiamen fled in panic at Kip's Bay, Manhattan, the 44-year-old supreme commander lapsed into a catatonic state, according to biographer Ron Chernow.

Washington just sat on horseback staring into space as dozens of British soldiers charged at him across a cornfield.

The future first US president's aides grabbed the reins of his mount and with some difficulty managed to spirit him to safety.

One of his generals, Nathanael Greene, later said the Virginian was "so vexed at the infamous conduct of his troops that he sought death rather than life".

Washington's suspected emotional breakdown illustrates how even the greatest of crisis leaders can snap under pressure.

Fast forward nearly two-and-a-half centuries, and the mental state of his political descendant is under somewhat less forgiving examination.

Presidential psychiatry has been all the rage ever since Donald Trump entered the White House.

There's even a publishing subgenre devoted to putting the 45th president on the shrink's couch.

Such titles include The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, Rocket Man: Nuclear Madness and the Mind of Donald Trump, A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism in the Era of Donald Trump, and Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump.

But Mr Trump - who maintains he is "a very stable genius" - is by no means the first US leader to find himself written off as a lunatic.

John Adams, the second president, was described by arch-rival Jefferson as "sometimes absolutely mad".

The Philadelphia Aurora, a mouthpiece of Jefferson's party, assailed Adams as "a man divested of his senses".

Theodore Roosevelt, the contemporary Journal of Abnormal Psychology theorised, would "go down in history as one of the most illustrious psychological examples of the distortion of conscious mental processes".

While Roosevelt campaigned in 1912 to return to the presidency, prominent US historian Henry Adams said: "His mind has gone to pieces… his neurosis may end in a nervous collapse, or acute mania."

After Woodrow Wilson had a stroke, his critics claimed the White House had become an insane asylum, pointing out the bars installed on some first-floor windows of the executive mansion.

But as John Milton Cooper recounts in his Wilson biography, those bars had in fact been fitted during Teddy Roosevelt's presidency to keep his young sons from breaking windows with their baseballs.

And yet, according to a psychiatric analysis of the first 37 commanders-in-chief, Adams, Roosevelt and Wilson did have actual mental health issues.

The 2006 study estimated that 49% of presidents suffered from a malady of the mind at some stage in their life (a figure said by the researchers to be in line with national rates). 

Twenty-seven per cent of them were found to be affected while in office.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47671986

 

 

Read from top. Even Obama was a loony...

 

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-04-17 16:41

Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz has set out a timeline of events as his office launches an investigation into the cause of the catastrophic fire that tore through the iconic Notre Dame cathedral, toppling its famous spire and bringing down most of the roof.

A fire alarm reportedly first went off inside Notre Dame Cathedral at 6:20 p.m. Monday, local time. However, according to the official investigation, cathedral staff unsuccessfully searched for signs of a fire for 23 critical minutes, and were unable to determine the reason for the alarm.

It wasn't until a second alarm went off at 6:43 p.m. that a fire was detected in the attic of the centuries-old religious landmark, French officials said Tuesday.

Heitz said the initial alarm, which was looked into by cathedral staff and not firefighters, caused the church to be evacuated but did not lead to the discovery of the fire, according to the Washington Post.

"We are favouring the theory of an accident," Heitz told reporters Tuesday, adding that the investigation into the blaze would be "long" and "complex".

READ MORE: ‘It Will Not Fall Down’: French Officials Dismissed Notre Dame’s State in 2017

"In the meantime, the church was evacuated because a Mass had just started a bit earlier," Heitz said.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201904171074205905-notre-dame-cathedral-blaze-paris-alarm/

 

Under such circumstances, fire brigades should have been alerted ASAP...

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-04-17 16:31

Where you stand on Julian Assange is now a litmus test such as has not been seen since the Iraq War, which was itself a litmus test such as had not been seen since the Miners’ Strike. If you are not for us, then you are against us. If you are not one of us, then you are one of them.

Led by Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips, those who have already failed that test have declared their desire to criminalise male heterosexual activity per se, with no defence to that charge, but with the understanding that there would at least ordinarily be no prosecution unless the female party complained. If they took any other view, then they would no more advocate the extradition of Assange to Sweden than they would advocate that an adulterer or a homosexual be extradited to Brunei.

This case has also shed some much-needed light on this country’s scandalously one-sided extradition arrangements with the United States. They can get pretty much anyone from the United Kingdom simply by issuing a demand, while we cannot get anyone at all from them. Those arrangements need to be repealed.

More people have been arrested for reporting the war crimes in Iraq than for having committed them. And do you remember when seven years and millions of pounds were spent chasing the people who had crashed the economy? No, neither do I. The permanent American State, rather than the Administration of the day, is still pursuing the Russiagate hoax even after it has been completely blown out of the water. Carole’s Codswallop is also a small subplot, so to speak, within that, and it is also still being pursued. But Hillary Clinton lost. Remain lost. Get over it.

They have not got over it in the House of Commons. A House comprised mostly of the same people cheered a war in 2015. And that House cheered this, too. It cheered the fact that Assange was going to be extradited to his death. In the words of the indictment, “Wikileaks solicited submissions” even though Assange did not “possess security clearance”. The cheering of this by MPs and by Lobby “journalists” said everything that needed to be said about both of them.

Yet when the Daily Telegraph published the MPs’ expenses, then it published what it knew to be stolen Government information, information for which, in that knowledge, it had paid. The Guardian acquired its American audience, and found itself garlanded with honours, when it reproduced the revelations of Julian Assange. And so on. The likes of The Guardian, The New York Times, Channel 4 News and the BBC swapped sides only when the line became that Wikileaks had had a part in the defeat of Hillary Clinton.

Seen in that context, it is not a coincidence that the previously abandoned rape charge in Sweden looks set to be revived. But so what? Even if Assange were a murderer, then he would be highly unlikely to have murdered as many people as George Bush, or Tony Blair, or David Cameron, or John Howard, to name but a few. There is no evidence against him in Sweden, and what was alleged against him there would not have been illegal almost anywhere else, including here. It has already had to be dropped once. But what if he were indeed guilty of what would have been, after all, a crime where he did it? Again I ask, would we extradite adulterers or homosexuals to Brunei? And there would still be no way of suggesting, either that bad sexual etiquette was worse than the crimes that he had exposed, or that bad sexual etiquette was worse than the exposure of those crimes.

If the claims about Assange’s recent behaviour are true, then he has understandably developed mental health problems. But apparently, it is now acceptable to mock mental health problems, just so long as you are mocking an enemy of the Empire. Meanwhile, not a dicky bird about the $4.2 billion loan to Ecuador from the IMF, but instead a puff piece on Lenín Moreno in The Economist on the very day of Assange’s arrest. The blue ticks are running around Twitter, making this about the supposed uselessness of Jeremy Corbyn, who now has a consistent lead in the polls.

Apart from their desire to be on television instead of Corbyn or Diane Abbott, and apart from their apparent inability to spell correctly the names of other signatories to an attack on Julian Assange, what motivates the likes of Creasy and Phillips? The only lasting legacy of the #MeToo lynch mob will be the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, whose record on any one of torture, Guantánamo Bay, mass surveillance, workers’ rights, consumer protection, environmental responsibility, treaties with Native American tribes, and healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, ought to have seen him blocked by all Democrats and by enough Republicans. Joe Biden is complicit in war crimes. That, and not anything #MeToo-related, is why he is unfit to become the President of the United States. Sniffing the hair of a white woman is not worse than blowing the head off a brown woman. Although that would come as news to Creasy, Phillips and their co-signatories, whose argument against Assange is more or less exactly that.

The all-women shortlist system, of which Creasy and Phillips are beneficiaries, has done more than anything else to turn the Parliamentary Labour Party from 50 per cent Broad Left in 1994 to 85 per cent Hard Right today. The changes to the British economy since the Callaghan Government’s turn to monetarism in 1977 have turned into the ruling class the public sector middle-class women who dominate the PLP, while the wars waged since 1997 have barely affected them, having largely been waged for explicitly feminist reasons, albeit to no good effect for the women of Afghanistan, and to catastrophic effect for the women of Iraq and Libya.

A position of being anti-industrial at home but pro-war abroad is ridiculous in itself, and bespeaks a total lack of comprehension of how wars are fought. But those MPs are Thatcher’s Daughters, unable to understand the rage against deindustrialisation and against the harvesting of young men in endless, pointless wars, and probably unaware of a growing number of young men’s closely connected discovery for themselves of the various schools of heterodox economics, and of the traditional Great Books that, for ostensibly if questionably feminist reasons, have been excluded from school and university curricula.

It is possible to detect a connected failure to appreciate that life is the geological force that shapes the Earth, and that the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere, not least by the uniquely human phenomenon of economic growth, so that human mastery of nuclear processes is beginning to create resources through the transmutation of elements, enabling us, among other things, to explore space and to exploit the resources of the Solar System. Instead, Mother Gaia reigns supreme, and we are expected to fight wars for Her even while, under Her petticoats, we shiver and starve in the dark.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2019/04/17/julian-assange-is-now-the-litmus-test/

 

Read from top.

 

Read also: 

the full assange statement...

 

 

Note with disgust the "most important stories" on the BBC:

 

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-04-17 09:28

The Roman city of Lutetia (also Lutetia Parisiorum in Latin, in French Lutèce) was the predecessor of present-day Paris.

Impressive monumental remains of the ancient city can still be seen in situ.


The city was referred to as "Λουκοτοκία" (Lukotokía) by Strabo, "Λευκοτεκία" (Lefkotekía) by Ptolemy and "Lutetia" by Julius Caesar. The origin of this name is uncertain.

The name may contain the Celtic root *luco-t-, which means "mouse" and -ek(t)ia, meaning "the mice" and which can be found today in the Breton word logod, the Welsh llygod, and the Irish luch.[1]

Alternatively, it may derive from another Celtic root, luto- or luteuo-, which means "marsh" or "swamp" and which survives today in the Gaelic loth ("marsh") and the Breton loudour ("dirty").[2] As such, it would be related to other place names in Europe including Lutudarum (Derbyshire, England); Lodève (Luteua) and Ludesse (France); Lutitia(Germany); Lutsk (Ukraine); Pryluky (Ukraine) and Velikiye Luki (Russia).

 

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutetia

 

"Lutetia parisiorum" or "Civitas parisiorum", "the city of the parisii" was the name given by the Romans to the village where the parisii tribe lived, a Celtic tribe, in the third century BC. The name was later shortened by the Romans.

 


by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-04-17 05:42

From Eric Zuesse

Unlike America under Donald Trump, who is proudly psychopathic and went so far as to blurt out that his followers would accept his leadership even if he were to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, the European Union is so rabidly hypocritical (Trump would probably call it “politically correct”) that its leaders routinely moralize about ‘human rights and democracy’ even while their governments indiscriminately rob and slaughter people in foreign lands (as will be documented here).

EU leaders assist U.S.-led atrocities while using prettier language to describe their alleged motivation for these policies. Though the U.S. Government also occasionally employs such verbal sucker-punches (insincere or “politically correct” rhetoric), such moralizing is now the exception for the U.S. Government, and is no longer (as it had been under the immediately prior U.S. President, Barack Obama) the routine American practice — very much like the EU’s was, and still remains: such ‘idealistic’ hypocrisy.

But even Obama wasn’t as hypocritical as EU leaders still are. The biggest difference between the U.S. and the EU is that, whereas even under America’s Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning (and continuing to be predominantly sanctified) President Obama (the invader of Libya, Syria, Yemen, and more), America’s head-of-state repeatedly said that America is “the one indispensable nation” — meaning that all other nations are “dispensable.”

By contrast, there is no EU leader, and not even any European head-of-state, who says, in the modern era, anything of the sort. Adolf Hitler infamously did it when reasserting “Deutschland über alles!” (i.e, that Germany is the one indispensable nation). But modern Europe’s leaders know better than to copy such rhetoric. (Trump’s version, of course, is “America first,” but this can mean many different things, and not only mean that “America is the one indispensable nation.” Obama’s version was far less ambiguous than Trump’s is, because Obama’s clearly means that every other nation is “dispensable,” and that only America is not. And, yet, still, Europe’s leaders accepted it — they accepted that their nations were and are “dispensable.” After all: they are vassals.)

America’s leaders are simply more honest about their psychopathy than modern Europe’s are. In fact, ever since at least the time of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, “Greed is good” has been America’s unofficial, but clearly dominant, political philosophy — virtually the official American philosophy. How many European nations today publicly and proudly assert anything like that? Do any?

A recent example of the EU’s hyper-hypocrisy was headlined at the far-right UAWire Ukrainian news-site on March 31st, “EU urges Russia to stop attacks on Crimean Tatars”, which reported that:

The EU decisively condemns the arrest of 23 Crimean Tatars in police raids by the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea on 27 and 28 March, said EU Spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic in a statement.

“A court in the Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed from Ukraine by Russia, has ruled that all 23 Crimean Tatars detained on 27 March and 28 March will be held in pre-trial detention until 15 May. They are accused of belonging to the organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in Russia but not in Ukraine. The European Union does not recognise the enforcement of Russian legislation in Crimea and Sevastopol and expects all illegally detained Ukrainians to be released without delay,” Kocijancic stated.

“The recent detentions, as well as the prior searches of their private property, constitute the latest targeting of Crimean Tatars, human rights defenders, and people who have spoken out peacefully against the illegal annexation by Russia of the Crimean peninsula,” the EU spokesperson stressed. …

 

Here is what Wikipedia says about that banned-by-Russia group:


Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic: حزب التحرير) (Translation: Party of Liberation) is an international, pan-Islamist political organisation, which describes its ideology as Islam, and its aim as the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) to resume the Islamic way of life in the Muslim world. The caliphate would unite the Muslim community (Ummah)[4] upon their Islamic creed and implement the Shariah, so as to then carry the proselytising of Islam to the rest of the world.[5] …

Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in countries such as Germany, Russia, China, Egypt, Turkey,[14] and all Arab countries except Lebanon, Yemen, and the UAE.[15][16] In July 2017, the Indonesian government formally revoked Hizbut ut-Tahrir’s charter, citing incompatibility with government regulations on extremism and national ideology.[17] …

They declare the necessity of jihad so that Da’wah will be carried “to all mankind” and will “bring them into the Khilafah state,” and the importance of declaring “Jihad against the Kuffar without any lenience or hesitation;” (Ummah’s Charter),[97][117] as well as the need to fight unbelievers who refuse to be ruled by Islam, even if they pay tribute (The Islamic Personality).[97][118]

 

Do Europeans really want people such as this to be increasing in the EU?

The Ukrainian regime that Obama had installed in February 2014 thinks it’s fine, but do Europeans, really? Obama had fooled Russia’s Government, at least until his 2012 re-election, to think that he wasn’t aiming like all his predecessors since at least the time of Reagan were aiming — for the U.S. Government ultimately to conquer and absorb Russia into the steadily growing U.S. empire — but after the bloody U.S. coup right on Russia’s doorstep in Ukraine in 2014, the EU has been clearly the U.S. regime’s vassal in this conquer-Russia enterprise — participating in it, though reluctantly.

The EU’s leadership has consistently been working in secret to assist jihadists — mass-murderers and terrorists — whenever jihadists are fighting in the U.S.-led international war against Russia and against any nation whose leadership (such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, and Nicolas Maduro) are either allied with or even just friendly toward Russia. Syria, and its President, Bashar al-Assad, constitute one particular example of this EU hypocrisy.

Here are examples of this U.S.-EU support for jihadists that are trying to overthrow a Russia-friendly government:

On 10 December 2012, AFP bannered “Jihadists seize key north Syria army base”, and reported that, “Jihadists led by the radical Al-Nusra Front seized a strategic army base in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on Monday, in a fresh setback for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. … On the political front, the EU gave a vital boost to the newly-formed Syrian opposition coalition, describing it as the ‘legitimate representatives’ of the Syrian people following talks in Brussels with its leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib.”

On that very same day, December 10th, Britain’s Telegraph headlined and sub-headed Syrian rebels defy US and pledge allegiance to jihadi group: Rebel groups across Syria are defying the United States by pledging their allegiance to a group that Washington will designate today a terrorist organization for its alleged links to al-Qaeda.” That report opened: “A total of 29 opposition groups, including fighting ‘brigades’ and civilian committees, have signed a petition calling for mass demonstrations in support of Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist group which the White House believes is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq.” So: no one could reasonably doubt that America’s alleged ‘rebels’ in Syria were, in fact, loyal to al-Nusra. Yet, the EU and U.S. continued supporting them.

Also on that same day, Bill Roggio at Long War Journal bannered, “Al Nusrah Front, foreign jihadists seize key Syrian base in Aleppo”, and he reported that, “The Syrian government has warned that rebels may also use chemical weapons after the Al Nusrah Front took control of a chlorine factory in Aleppo last week. Islamists hold sway over new rebel military command.” So: it was already clear, even then, that the ‘rebels’ were interested in perpetrating against civilians a chemical-weapons attack that their supporters in the U.S. and EU could then blame against Syria’s Government as being an alleged reason to invade Syria by their own forces in order to ‘protect the Syrian people and establish democracy and human rights there’, or similar lies.

The next day, December 11th, Roggio reported that “The Al Nusrah Front has by far taken the lead among the jihadist groups in executing suicide and other complex attacks against the Syrian military. The terror group is known to conduct joint operations with other Syrian jihadist organizations.”

And, on the very next day, December 12th, Roggio headlined “Syrian National Coalition urges US to drop Al Nusrah terrorism designation”. Anyone who, after this, didn’t know that the U.S. and EU were supporting jihadists to take control over Syria, was very deceived, because the truth was now known, and was then being subsequently hidden from the public, by almost all of the subsequent ‘news’-reporting. But there were a few exceptions:

On 26 January 2013, Roggio reported that,

The Al Nusrah Front has now claimed credit for 46 of the 55 suicide attacks that have taken place in Syria since December 2011, according to a tally of the operations by The Long War Journal (note that multiple suicide bombers deployed in a single operaton are counted as part of a single attack).

Al Nusrah spearheads military assaults

Al Nusrah has also served as the vanguard for jihadist forces in the major attacks on Syrian military bases. In concert with allied jihadist groups such as the Ahrar al Sham, the Islamic Vanguard, Mujahedeen Shura Council, the Muhajireen Group, and Chechen fighters, the terror group has overrun three large Syrian installations since last fall. 

 

On 20 April 2013, Reuters headlined “Rebels battle with tribesmen over oil in Syria’s east” and reported that, “The EU said this week it wants to allow Syria’s opposition to sell crude in an effort to tilt the balance of power towards the rebels.” The EU supported and backed the ‘rebels’ seizure and black-market sale of whatever oil they could steal from Syria. This was the EU’s ‘humanitarianism’.

On 22 April 2013, the AP headlined “EU lifts Syria oil embargo to bolster rebels”and opened: “The European Union on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria to provide more economic support to the forces fighting to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime. The decision will allow for crude exports from rebel-held territory.”

On 1 May 2013, TIME bannered “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil” and reported that, “Without an embargo, European companies can now legally begin importing barrels of oil directly from rebel groups, which have seized several oil fields in recent months, mostly around the eastern area of Deir Ezzor. That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011, and in theory hasten the downfall of Bashar Assad’s regime.” No mention was made, in any of this reporting, that this constituted aggression by the EU against the sovereign nation of Syria under the U.N.’s Charter and was therefore an international war-crime. The Western press didn’t care about such things — but only about ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ and other such billionaires’ bumper-stickers for suckers.

On 22 February 2019, one of the U.N.’s top experts on international law, Alfred de Zayas, was interviewed for a half hour on the ways in which America and its allies are blatantly violating international law by attempting a coup to overthrow Venezuela’s Government, and by going even further and imposing sanctions against Venezuela’s Government because it was resisting this (in effect) economic invasion-by-means-of-sanctions. The EU is one of these invading countries, but some of its constituent states oppose the U.S.-sponsored invasion.

On 31 March 2019, I headlined “EU Joins NATO’s War Against Russia” and reported on the EU’s knee-jerk increase of economic sanctions against Russia as being the initial phase — the sanctions phase — of the U.S. regime’s wars to overthrow the leaders of nations that are friendly toward Russia (e.g., Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, Viktor Yanukovych, and now Nicolas Maduro), and now (ever since the 2012 Magnitsky Act sanctions fraud against Russia) increasingly to apply Washington’s economic sanctions against Russia itself.

In international affairs, the EU therefore is clearly a stooge of the constantly aggressive U.S. regime.

After all, the U.S. regime had initiated and led the creation of the European Union. This scheme started as soon as FDR died and Harry S. Truman became America’s President. The death of FDR was also, in a sense, the death of any real democracy in the United States. Truman was forced onto the Democratic Party’s Presidential ticket in 1944 by the Democratic Party’s centi-millionaires against the will of FDR.

Truman and Churchill started the Cold War, which increasingly became mass thought-control in America (culminating with Joseph R. McCarthy) and with the CIA’s operations Gladio in Europe and Mockingbird in the U.S. itself.

First, NATO, and then the EU, were born as part of that secret U.S. strategy to conquer Russia even after the end of the U.S.S.R and of its communism and of its Warsaw Pact counterbalance to America’s NATO anti-Russian military alliance. Ever since that time (1991), America’s controlling owners of international corporations (our billionaires) have also controlled — via European nations’ own super-rich — first, Europe’s national Governments, and then the EU itself. It secretly remains true even after the 1991 end of the Cold War on Russia’s side.

Consequently: when there’s a choice to be made between supporting jihadists (or other extremists such as — in Ukraine — nazis) or else to side with Russia (or any nation that’s friendly toward Russia), the American team always back the jihadists or other extremists, and they say it’s being done ‘for human rights and democracy’ and other such hypocrisies, while they perpetrate actual war-crimes, and make fools of their own publics, in order ultimately to conquer Russia. That’s doing it the “diplomatic” way, and they don’t like Trump’s doing it the “Greed is good” way. The directness of his greed makes themselves look bad. That’s why these super-hypocrites preferred Obama.

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org

 

https://off-guardian.org/2019/04/16/the-rabidly-hypocritical-eu/

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-04-16 21:43

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner. Great to have you all with us for our weekly look at the news. In this segment, we are going to tackle what’s happening to progressive politicians in this country. The Right is threatening people with death in some of their tweets and more against several Congresswomen, especially women of color in Congress, which we’ll talk about. But the story that is not being told a lot is about the D.C.C.C., the Democratic campaign committee, that says it is trying to stop progressive politicians from challenging established politicians in primaries. What’s that all about? Well, we’re here once again with Jeff Cohen who is co-founder of RootsAction.org, founder of the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media, and Jacqueline Luqman who is Editor-in-Chief of Luqman Nation and a regular contributor to The Real News. Let’s just jump into this right away. In this piece here that we have, they have a form from the D.C.C.C. that came out that you have to sign if you are going to do any kind of work with the D.C.C.C. or any candidates. In one segment it says and they have to sign this, “I understand the above statement that the D.C.C.C. will not conduct business with nor recommend to any of its targeted campaigns, any consultant that works with an opponent of a sitting member of the House Democratic Caucus. And that’s what they have to sign, threatening vendors and threatening people who are consultants, and more. Jeff Cohen, you’re smiling so go ahead.

JEFF COHEN: This is this is so offensive. Some of the exciting members of Congress, they got in there by challenging incumbents. A.O.C. challenged an incumbent in New York, Ayanna Pressley challenged an incumbent in Massachusetts, Ro Khanna, who’s a great progressive in his second term, he challenged an incumbent. So you have Cheri Bustos, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, telling consultants if they work with these challengers, they won’t be punished, they will be blacklisted. And what’s interesting is Cheri Bustos of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the D.C.C.C) She doesn’t tell consultants, “hey, if you work for the pharmaceutical industry, we won’t give you business. If you work for the oil or coal industries, we won’t give you business. It’s just if you work for a progressive challenger, you won’t get business from the Democratic leadership”. It’s stunning and it’s revealing.

MARC STEINER: So let’s talk about the stunning and revealing issue around this and what this really means. Jacqueline, I’ll start with you and then come back to Jeff here. So what is the dynamic going on here? We understand the corporate control of the party and what happened in the last election in shutting down progressives and shutting down Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election, but Progressives have taken a huge foothold in Democratic Party politics now and they’re pushing hard. So let’s talk about what the two of you think of the internal dynamics and what’s going on here.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Well the internal dynamics are that the D.C.C.C. does not want to relinquish power to a bunch of upstart Progressives. That’s really what this is all about. They don’t want to lose the corporate lobbyist money that come in from these incumbent candidates who not all of them, not all of them, but many, too many incumbent House Democrats are very friendly to very large corporate interests. And we know by now– if we don’t, we should– that corporate interests often run counter to the interests of the people. So what’s shocking about this is that the D.C.C.C is trying to keep power in the House. They’re trying to maintain power. They’re also trying to maintain the corporate money flow coming. Not all incumbent House members are aligned with big money corporate interests, but too many are. And if we haven’t learned by now, corporate interests usually run counter to the interest of the people. So what this really means, why this is so shocking to me, is that the D.C.C.C is limiting the exposure for voters of candidates who might be better, who they might like more than the incumbent candidates, who they feel aren’t doing enough for them and certainly aren’t supporting progressive policies. That’s why this is shocking to me, because it looks like the D.C.C.C is limiting the choice of voters.

MARC STEINER: And why do you think, Jeff, they feel a threat?

JEFF COHEN: Because Progressives, especially these young women of color in Congress, are raising hell, becoming popular, have huge social media followings. But I believe it’s important to point out that the Justice Democrats, the Progressives, have just put out an e-mail where they said that the D.C.C.C. in the first quarter of 2019, raised $400,000 or more from corporate lobbyists and bundlers. Jacqueline made an important point. Ninety percent of the Democratic districts are true blue. They’re uncontested; they will always be Democratic. You could run a blue dog in November and the Democrats would win. So if constituents don’t have an opportunity to choose between two candidates in the primary, they have no role in Congressional elections. So it really does shut out the voters and that’s the goal of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. They are afraid of the voters.

MARC STEINER: So what do you both think this means in terms of the power of the Progressive Movement and where it’s going? There are a lot of Progressives who lost in these primaries, who fought very hard campaigns but lost. A number of them won. You’re seeing a battle take place in the State Senate in New York right now around Cuomo saying he was really upset with people who were running in these primary challenges and want you to oppose them, battles taking place in their Caucus, so this is falling down to the states, as well. Something’s afoot here and I want Jeff really quickly to give your analysis. What do you think is afoot politically, Jeff?

JEFF COHEN: I think that the Progressives are showing that they don’t need the corporate money, that they can get online small donations from lots of donors, and that scares the hell out of the leadership of the Democratic Party, which has relied so heavily on corporate donors. There’s a civil war going on in the Democratic Party and the progressive candidates and politicians are with the base. And the corporate Democrats are increasingly isolated and fearful.

MARC STEINER: Jacqueline?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: That’s absolutely true. That’s absolutely correct. I can’t add anything to that.

MARC STEINER: Well we’ll stay on top of this story. I think it’s a really important story and look forward to interviewing a lot of people who are involved in the progressive politics in this country to really get into this, to understand the depth of this, and where this can be taking us. We’re here with Jacqueline Luqman and Jeff Cohen. In our next segment, we are going to take a look at the power Steven Miller, the rise of nationalist power inside the Trump administration, and what that means. I’m Marc Steiner here for The Real News Network. Don’t miss the next segment.

 

Read more:

https://therealnews.com/stories/stunning-and-revealing-dccc-demands-loyalty-oath-from-political-consultants

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-04-16 21:41

Had we put as much effort into preventing environmental catastrophe as we’ve spent on making excuses for inaction, we would have solved it by now. Everywhere I look, I see people engaged in furious attempts to fend off the moral challenge it presents.

The commonest current excuse is this: “I bet those protesters have phones/go on holiday/wear leather shoes.” In other words, we won’t listen to anyone who is not living naked in a barrel, subsisting only on murky water. Of course, if you are living naked in a barrel we will dismiss you too, because you’re a hippie weirdo. Every messenger, and every message they bear, is disqualified on the grounds of either impurity or purity.

As the environmental crisis accelerates, and as protest movements like YouthStrike4Climate and Extinction Rebellion make it harder not to see what we face, people discover more inventive means of shutting their eyes and shedding responsibility. Underlying these excuses is a deep-rooted belief that if we really are in trouble, someone somewhere will come to our rescue: “they” won’t let it happen. But there is no they, just us.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/15/rebellion-prevent-ecological-apocalypse-civil-disobedience

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-04-16 07:48

The Ecuadorian leader inked a $4.2 billion loan with the IMF, after spending months claiming Correa had driven the country into historic debt.

In light of these and other measures, Moreno’s move against Assange isn’t surprising, but the timing of it is about more than just appeasing his allies.

“They want to use Julian Assange as a scapegoat to distract from the INA Papers scandal,” says Narvaez, referring to the allegations of corruption that have sullied Moreno, his family and other close associates.

The Ecuadorian president is facing a political investigation over accusations of money laundering through offshore accounts and shell companies in Panama, including the INA Investment Corp, of which Moreno’s brother was the registered owner.

Documents obtained by an opposition lawmaker, as well as damning images and documents circulating on social media that were apparently hacked from Moreno’s telephone, have irreparably tarnished his image and his credibility as anti-corruption campaigner.

Approval ratings for Moreno have since plummeted, and only 17 percent of Ecuadorians say they believe their president.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/456209-assange-ecuador-lenin-moreno/

 

 

Renegade internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has condemned the arrest of Julian Assange as a modern-day “inquisition,” and said the WikiLeaks founder’s “persecution and arrest” will make him “a hero for the ages.”

“Witch hunts, book burnings and the Inquisition are back,” Dotcom tweeted on Thursday, hours after Assange was hauled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by British police.

“The persecution and arrest of Julian Assange for publishing the truth returns us to the darkest times in human history,” the internet icon continued. “This attempt to keep us from the truth will turn Julian Assange into a hero for the ages.”

https://www.rt.com/news/456245-assange-hero-kim-dotcom/

 

As the world digests the shock news that Julian Assange is in custody in Britain after Ecuador withdrew asylum from the WikiLeaks founder, Pamela Anderson, a staunch supporter of the Australian, has let her feelings be known.

The Baywatch star unleashed a barrage of criticism at the UK, Ecuador and the US in the aftermath of Thursday’s dramatic arrest, which saw 47-year-old Assange carried out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London into a waiting police van.

 

https://www.rt.com/news/456243-pamela-anderson-assange-arrest-betrayal/

 

For those #metoo women who still harp on Julian's rape of a Swedish woman, please read: the full assange statement...

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-04-16 06:38

One of the world's rarest turtles, a Yangtze giant softshell, has died in China, leaving just three known survivors of the species. 

The female turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) died in Suzhou zoo in southern China.

Experts had tried to artificially inseminate the creature, which was over 90 years old, for a fifth time shortly before she died. 

The species has suffered from hunting, overfishing and the destruction of its habitat.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47932731

 

 

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