Monday 11th of December 2023

regime change...

regime change
Regime Change Comes Home: The CIA’s Overt Threats against Trump

The norms of US capitalist democracy include the election of presidential candidates through competitive elections, unimpeded by force and violence by the permanent institutions of the state. Voter manipulation has occurred during the recent elections, as in the case of the John F. Kennedy victory in 1960 and the George W. Bush victory over ‘Al’ Gore in 2000. But despite the dubious electoral outcomes in these cases, the ‘defeated’ candidate conceded and sought via legislation, judicial rulings, lobbying and peaceful protests to register their opposition.

These norms are no longer operative. During the election process, and in the run-up to the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump, fundamental electoral institutions were challenged and coercive institutions were activated to disqualify the elected president and desperate overt public pronouncements threatened the entire electoral order.

We will proceed by outlining the process that is used to undermine the constitutional order, including the electoral process and the transition to the inauguration of the elected president.

Regime Change in America

In recent times, elected officials in the US and their state security organizations have often intervened against independent foreign governments, which challenged Washington’s quest for global domination. This was especially true during the eight years of President Barack Obama’s administration where the violent ousting of presidents and prime ministers through US-engineered coups were routine – under an unofficial doctrine of ‘regime change’.

The violation of constitutional order and electoral norms of other countries has become enshrined in US policy. All US political, administrative and security structures are involved in this process. The policymakers would insist that there was a clear distinction between operating within constitutional norms at home and pursuing violent, illegal regime change operations abroad.

Today the distinction between overseas and domestic norms has been obliterated by the state and quasi-official mass media. The US security apparatus is now active in manipulating the domestic democratic process of electing leaders and transitioning administrations.

The decisive shift to ‘regime change’ at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries.

Regime change has several components leading to the final solution: First and foremost, the political parties seek to delegitimize the election process and undermine the President-elect. The mass media play a major role demonizing President-Elect Trump with personal gossip, decades-old sex scandals and fabricated interviews and incidents.

Alongside the media blitz, leftist and rightist politicians have come together to question the legitimacy of the November 2016 election results. Even after a recount confirmed Trump’s victory, a massive propaganda campaign was launched to impeach the president-elect even before he takes office – by claiming Trump was an ‘enemy agent’.

The Democratic Party and the motley collection of right-left anti-Trump militants sought to blackmail members of the Electoral College to change their vote in violation of their own mandate as state electors. This was unsuccessful, but unprecedented.

Their overt attack on US electoral norms then turned into a bizarre and virulent anti-Russia campaign designed to paint the elected president (a billionaire New York real estate developer and US celebrity icon) as a ‘tool of Moscow.’ The mass media and powerful elements within the CIA, Congress and Obama Administration insisted that Trump’s overtures toward peaceful, diplomatic relations with Russia were acts of treason.

The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate ‘dodgy dossiers’ linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or ‘vulnerable to KGB blackmail’. The CIA’s phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance ‘security’ contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to ‘take the bite’ on the ‘smelly’ dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain (‘war-hero’ and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government ‘act on these vital revelations’!

Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the ‘CIA dossier’ was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former ‘British official – now – in – hiding…!’ Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA’s ‘dirty pictures hatchet job’ to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d’état.

CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous ‘regime changes’ overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ‘just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump’s policies) on the United States could be profound…”

Clearly CIA Director Brennan has not only turned the CIA into a sinister, unaccountable power dictating policy to an elected US president, by taking on the tone of a Mafia Capo, he threatens the physical security of the incoming leader.

From a Scratch to Gangrene

The worst catastrophe that could fall on the United States would be a conspiracy of leftist and rightist politicos, the corporate mass media and the ‘progressive’ websites and pundits providing ideological cover for a CIA-orchestrated ‘regime change’.

Whatever the limitations of our electoral norms – and there are many – they are now being degraded and discarded in a march toward an elite coup, involving elements of the militarist empire and ‘intelligence’ hierarchy.

Mass propaganda, a ‘red-brown alliance, salacious gossip and accusations of treason (‘Trump, the Stooge of Moscow’) resemble the atmosphere leading to the rise of the Nazi state in Germany. A broad ‘coalition’ has joined hands with a most violent and murderous organization (the CIA) and imperial political leadership, which views overtures to peace to be high treason because it limits their drive for world power and a US dominated global political order.

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the murdoch doctrine on his man in the white house...

The eye of a storm is a calm place surrounded by turbulence. So is Donald Trump.

Much of liberal America is in an absolute tizzy over his impending presidency, with denunciations and declarations of defiance competing for the most apocalyptic scenarios. Will the world end Friday or Saturday?

The sturm und drang is not limited to the homefront. Europe is reeling from Trump’s salvo that Brexit is a “good thing” and NATO is “obsolete.”

And China threatens to “take off the gloves” if Trump keeps flirting with Taiwan.

But if the president-elect is rattled or even worried about the turmoil, he’s doing a masterful job of concealing it.

When I visited his Manhattan office Monday, he was more zen than elevator music.

Days from his inauguration, Trump was the calmest man in America. Smiling, gracious, making jokes, laughing at mine, tossing off asides to an aide — if you didn’t know what he’s been through and the awesome responsibility he’s about to assume, you never would have guessed it.

To be sure, he was hardly oblivious or giddy. It was the holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. and the papers were filled with stories of Trump’s dispute with civil-rights icon John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat. Lewis started the row by saying he would boycott the inauguration because he sees Trump as an “illegitimate president,” which is a shockingly cheap shot.

Yet, predictably, most journalists hammered Trump’s counterpunch, a tweet that said Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart.” Predictably again, Trump was accused of being racially insensitive to a black hero on the day that honors Martin Luther King Jr.

“So unfair,” Trump said, referring to The New York Times’ tilted story, which led the front page. “It’s really dishonest.”

read more:

the enemy within...

From John Pilger


On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. "In order for us to heal and move forward...", say Writers Resist, "we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy."

And: "We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting 'anti' language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It's important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events."

Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt.

Compare such drivel with the declarations of the Congress of American Writers, held at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1935, and again two years later. They were electric events, with writers discussing how they could confront ominous events in Abyssinia, China and Spain. Telegrams from Thomas Mann, C Day Lewis, Upton Sinclair and Albert Einstein were read out, reflecting the fear that great power was now rampant and that it had become impossible to discuss art and literature without politics or, indeed, direct political action.

"A writer," the journalist Martha Gellhorn told the second congress, "must be a man of action now... A man who has given a year of his life to steel strikes, or to the unemployed, or to the problems of racial prejudice, has not lost or wasted time. He is a man who has known where he belonged. If you should survive such action, what you have to say about it afterwards is the truth, is necessary and real, and it will last."

Her words echo across the unction and violence of the Obama era and the silence of those who colluded with his deceptions.

That the menace of rapacious power - rampant long before the rise of Trump - has been accepted by writers, many of them privileged and celebrated, and by those who guard the gates of literary criticism, and culture, including popular culture, is uncontroversial. Not for them the impossibility of writing and promoting literature bereft of politics. Not for them the responsibility to speak out, regardless of who occupies the White House.

Today, false symbolism is all. "Identity" is all. In 2016, Hillary Clinton stigmatised millions of voters as "a basket of deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic - you name it". Her abuse was handed out at an LGBT rally as part of her cynical campaign to win over minorities by abusing a white mostly working-class majority. Divide and rule, this is called; or identity politics in which race and gender conceal class, and allow the waging of class war.  Trump understood this.

"When the truth is replaced by silence," said the Soviet dissident poet Yevtushenko, "the silence is a lie."

This is not an American phenomenon. A few years ago, Terry Eagleton, then professor of English literature at Manchester University, reckoned that "for the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life".

No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake for utopian dreams, no Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class, no Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today. Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice. Among today's insistent voices of consumer-feminism, none echoes Virginia Woolf, who described "the arts of dominating other people... of ruling, of killing, of acquiring land and capital".

There is something both venal and profoundly stupid about famous writers as they venture outside their cosseted world and embrace an "issue". Across the Review section of the Guardian on 10 December was a dreamy picture of Barack Obama looking up to the heavens and the words, "Amazing Grace" and "Farewell the Chief".

The sycophancy ran like a polluted babbling brook through page after page. "He was a vulnerable figure in many ways ... But the grace. The all-encompassing grace: in manner and form, in argument and intellect, with humour and cool ... [He] is a blazing tribute to what has been, and what can be again ... He seems ready to keep fighting, and remains a formidable champion to have on our side ... ... The grace ... the almost surreal levels of grace ..."

I have conflated these quotes. There are others even more hagiographic and bereft of mitigation. The Guardian's chief apologist for Obama, Gary Younge, has always been careful to mitigate, to say that his hero "could have done more": oh, but there were the "calm, measured and consensual solutions..."

None of them, however, could surpass the American writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the recipient of a "genius" grant worth $625,000 from a liberal foundation. In an interminable essay for The Atlantic entitled, "My President Was Black", Coates brought new meaning to prostration. The final "chapter", entitled "When You Left, You Took All of Me With You", a line from a Marvin Gaye song, describes seeing the Obamas "rising out of the limo, rising up from fear, smiling, waving, defying despair, defying history, defying gravity". The Ascension, no less.

One of the persistent strands in American political life is a cultish extremism that approaches fascism. This was given expression and  reinforced during the two terms of Barack Obama. "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being," said Obama, who expanded America's favourite military pastime, bombing, and death squads ("special operations") as no other president has done since the Cold War.

According to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016 alone Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day. He bombed the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

Every Tuesday - reported the New York Times - he personally selected those who would be murdered by mostly hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the "terrorist target". A leading Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, estimated, approvingly, that Obama's drones killed 4,700 people. "Sometimes you hit innocent people and I hate that," he said, but we've taken out some very senior members of Al Qaeda."

Like the fascism of the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent media whose description now fits that of the Nuremberg prosecutor: "Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically... In the propaganda system... it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.

Take the catastrophe in Libya. In 2011, Obama said Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi was planning "genocide" against his own people. "We knew... that if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."

This was the known lie of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. It became the media story; and Nato - led by Obama and Hillary Clinton - launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that "most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten".

Under Obama, the US has extended secret "special forces" operations to 138 countries, or 70 per cent of the world's population. The first African-American president launched what amounted to a full-scale invasion of Africa. Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, the US African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments. Africom's "soldier to soldier" doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.

It is as if Africa's proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master's black colonial elite whose "historic mission", warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the promotion of "a capitalism rampant though camouflaged".

It was Obama who, in 2011, announced what became known as the "pivot to Asia", in which almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to the Asia-Pacific to "confront China", in the words of his Defence Secretary. There was no threat from China; the entire enterprise was unnecessary. It was an extreme provocation to keep the Pentagon and its demented brass happy.

In 2014, Obama's administration oversaw and paid for a fascist-led coup in Ukraine against the democratically-elected government, threatening Russia in the western borderland through which Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, with a loss of 27 million lives. It was Obama who placed missiles in Eastern Europe aimed at Russia, and it was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who increased spending on nuclear warheads to a level higher than that of any administration since the cold war - having promised, in an emotional speech in Prague, to "help rid the world of nuclear weapons".

Obama, the constitutional lawyer, prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other president in history, even though the US constitution protects them. He declared Chelsea Manning guilty before the end of a trial that was a travesty. He has refused to pardon Manning who has suffered years of inhumane treatment which the UN says amounts to torture. He has pursued an entirely bogus case against Julian Assange. He promised to close the Guantanamo concentration camp and didn't.

Following the public relations disaster of George W. Bush, Obama, the smooth operator from Chicago via Harvard, was enlisted to restore what he calls "leadership" throughout the world. The Nobel Prize committee's decision was part of this: the kind of cloying reverse racism that beatified the man for no reason other than he was attractive to liberal sensibilities and, of course, American power, if not to the children he kills in impoverished, mostly Muslim countries.

This is the Call of Obama. It is not unlike a dog whistle: inaudible to most, irresistible to the besotted and boneheaded, especially "liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics," as Luciana Bohne put it. "When Obama walks into a room," gushed George Clooney, "you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere."

William I. Robinson, professor at the University of California, and one of an uncontaminated group of American strategic thinkers who have retained their independence during the years of intellectual dog-whistling since 9/11, wrote this last week:

"President Barack Obama... may have done more than anyone to assure [Donald] Trump's victory. While Trump's election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society, a fascist outcome for the political system is far from inevitable.... But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized and watered by the Obama administration and the politically bankrupt liberal elite."

Robinson points out that "whether in its 20th or its emerging 21st century variants, fascism is, above all, a response to deep structural crises of capitalism, such as that of the 1930s and the one that began with the financial meltdown in 2008... There is a near-straight line here from Obama to Trump... The liberal elite's refusal to challenge the rapaciousness of transnational capital and its brand of identity politics served to eclipse the language of the working and popular classes... pushing white workers into an 'identity' of white nationalism and helping the neo-fascists to organise them".

The seedbed is Obama's Weimar Republic, a landscape of endemic poverty, militarised police and barbaric prisons: the consequence of a "market" extremism which, under his presidency, prompted the transfer of $14 trillion in public money to criminal enterprises in Wall Street.

Perhaps his greatest "legacy" is the co-option and disorientation of any real opposition. Bernie Sanders' specious "revolution" does not apply. Propaganda is his triumph.

The lies about Russia - in whose elections the US has openly intervened - have made the world's most self-important journalists laughing stocks. In the country with constitutionally the freest press in the world, free journalism now exists only in its honourable exceptions.

The obsession with Trump is a cover for many of those calling themselves "left/liberal", as if to claim political decency. They are not "left", neither are they especially "liberal". Much of America's aggression towards the rest of humanity has come from so-called liberal Democratic administrations - such as Obama's. America's political spectrum extends from the mythical centre to the lunar right. The "left" are homeless renegades Martha Gellhorn described as "a rare and wholly admirable fraternity". She excluded those who confuse politics with a fixation on their navels.

While they "heal" and "move forward", will the Writers Resist campaigners and other anti-Trumpists reflect upon this? More to the point: when will a genuine movement of opposition arise? Angry, eloquent, all-for-one-and-one-for all. Until real politics return to people's lives, the enemy is not Trump, it is ourselves.

Follow John Pilger on twitter @johnpilger


Since this article was written, Barak Obama in a nice gesture "freed" Chelsea Manning — possibly to flush out Julian Assange... The future will tell us the future...

noses out of joint...

His inaugural address sounded like any speech at a Trump rally. The scene was a campaign event writ large, with a massive cheering crowd of white people wearing “Make America Great Again” red caps. Like his tone as a candidate, the new president’s voice was angry and dripping with pessimism. Like his speech at the Republican convention, President Trump drew a dark picture of a country under siege from foreign trade competitors, Muslim terrorists and Washington insiders. There were no grace notes.


Fair enough, but would it not be fair enough for the protests to cease and the negativity from the press to vanish and give the man a fair go? Trump has been under siege from everyone, including the hawks from his own party, like McCain who is starting to sound like Bolton every five minutes of his life. Okay, we don't like the guy. Okay he won the Presidency fair and square in accordance to the rules, despite missing out on the popular vote. In this case, Ms Abramson, it is for us to show some grace notes, in the first place. You never know, with Trump's desire to foster world peace instead of festering little US wars everywhere, the world MIGHT BECOME A BETTER PLACE. Would that not be a nice present for us all? A few noses out of joint? bear it...


More of the press negativity:

the liberal press is in a tizz...


Pannell Beaters…


by Mark Doran

Various friends of mine — smart folks, every one of them! — are telling me that they expect Donald Trump to be ‘Grassy Knolled’ by elements of the US ‘deep state’ before he even graduates from ‘President-Elect’ to ‘President’ on 20 January. I myself don’t think that such an event is especially likely … as, to me, it appears far more probable that he and the people around him will be ‘disciplined’ by various powerful forces — not least those that act through state-corporate media — to the extent that his entire project simply mutates into another ‘cookie-cutter’ US administration dedicated to neo-imperial violence and corporate empowerment.

The media-based ‘disciplining’ to which I refer actually has two aspects to it — and both of them can already be discerned without the slightest difficulty: first, there is the smacking; secondly, there is the silence. The ‘smacking’ is what you get when something you have done, or are merely said to have done, is used as something for which you can be hammered in so many contexts that your own planned agenda is simply submerged; the ‘silence’ is what you encounter when something you do that is of possible value finds itself effectively unreported, in spite of all your efforts to communicate it. What I want to do at this point is concentrate upon the latter — by highlighting the fact that the man who, for a year and more, has been castigated by media organisations and outraged liberals everywhere for saying things that aren’t true (What’s that? A man seeking election telling lies?!?) has now said a few things that are actually truths of genuine importance — and has not been given the slightest credit for them. Let’s have a quick look at some…

It was last Wednesday that Trump gave a press conference that I was soon seeing described in the most negative terms. According to the UK Guardian it was ‘Trump’s trainwreck press conference’; in the words of the US Globe and Mail it was ‘his train-wreck press conference’; while in a Twitter message from American horror author Stephen King, it was ‘a trainwreck’. Me being me, I ignored the lot of them and simply listened to the entire thing for myself (video and transcript here).

Here’s the first thing that made my ears prick up:


Appalled as I am by the US corporatecare healthcare system — coming soon to a UK hospital and GP practice near you! — I have waited decades to hear a ranking US political figure venture anywhere near the topic of ‘big pharma’ and the corruption-driven stranglehold it has over medicine-related decision-making in the stinking sewer of US politics. Yet here was President-Elect Trump — in what was his very first press conference after winning the election! — not merely alluding to the problem but also proposing what, to a right-wing brain (of which there must be more than two hundred million in the US), is the most obvious ‘market-based’ solution.

And was that truth-and-solution bombshell a topic of admiring discussion in our proudly independent media? Was it celebrated as a potentially positive development by previously hostile liberals appalled by a healthcare racket that leaves 1 in 5 Americans — 35 million people — unable to pay for their prescriptions? From where I sit, it certainly doesn’t appear to have been…

(And just to reinforce the extent to which Trump’s bit of truth-telling placed him at odds not only with the corporate carpetbagger elite but also with the bought-and-paid-for parasites on both sides of the US’s notional political divide, literally two days later I saw that this had happened.)

All right, let’s move on. Here’s the bit where PEOTUS Trump refused to take a question from the CNN staffer at the event — for reasons connected with the monumental absurdity of what future generations (should there be any) will refer to as the ‘Golden Shower’ dossier:


My point here is that, once again, what Trump said is absolutely true: any media-savvy critic who has, over time, examined the content and conduct of ‘Cable News Network’ — the cable and satellite television channel owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner — knows that CNN is terrible, and CNN is ‘fake news’. Of course, CNN is far from alone in being either of those things; but that doesn’t invalidate what Trump is saying — and doing! — on this specific occasion. Once again: truth telling — and of no little significance, at least potentially.

And, in any case, more and — for me! — better was still to come on this very topic. Here’s my transcript of a little exchange that took place a few moments later…

TRUMP: […] Go ahead. Go ahead. You’ve been waiting. Go ahead.

QUESTION: As far as we understand, the intelligence community are…

TRUMP: Stand up, please.

QUESTION: Ian Pannell from BBC news. Ian Pannell from BBC news.

TRUMP: BBC news. That’s another beauty…


Here’s the exchange in full:

Now, I have been following the actions of the BBC’s news services for long enough to know that, yet again, Trump was speaking unvarnished and ungainsayable truth, however sarcastic and indirect the phraseology. What makes the exchange richly amusing in addition is the involvement of Ian Pannell. For it was Pannell — as you may or may not remember — who on 29 August 2013 produced a BBC News report whose aim was to convince audiences that a Syrian fighter jet had dropped an incendiary bomb on a school playground in Aleppo. Not only was it very suspiciously the case that the report and its three-day-old footage aired while the UK House of Commons was voting on a possible UK military assault against Syria — meaning that, had the vote been in favour, the item would have acted as a perfect focus for the transformation of public concern into bloody warfare — but the footage itself went on to form the basis of a Panorama programme (‘Saving Syria’s Children’, 30 September 2013) whose manifest fraudulence has seen the BBC fighting ever since to have copies and extracts deleted from YouTube…

(For Robert Stuart’s sterling work in unmasking a quantity of sheer fakery that — in a sane society — would have turned this BBC broadcast into a career-ending scandal, see here.)

From all of which I think it is pretty clear that Donald Trump is not going to get the credit for anything he says that is true, nor for anything he seeks to do that is good: the simple fact is that he was not the establishment’s intended victor, and he can look forward to nothing except full-spectrum opposition from the media guardians of established power that will not cease until he has given in to the latter on every important issue (and possibly not even then).

And if that doesn’t remind you of the leader of the UK’s Labour Party, it really ought to. For the full-spectrum media assault on Jeremy Corbyn has not let up even a little since I first drew attention to it in these electronic pages not long after he won the leadership election he was not supposed to win.

Let’s have a look at what happens over here. On January 10 — just one day before Trump’s alleged ‘train-wreck’ press conference — Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech in Peterborough that, likewise, was presented by the media as a debacle. And, as in the case of Trump’s appearance, the truthful and valuable content was either misrepresented or ignored.

Here are three things that — in that single day! — the BBC did to distract attention from Corbyn’s message and to toxify him as a individual. I present them in the order in which I happened to see them as the day wore on…

First, a BBC TV News animation in which one of the 12 stars of the European Union flag detaches itself — in a reference to so-called ‘Brexit’…


This star then turns red…


And heads for the centre of Corbyn’s cap…


(All three images saved by Anthony, to whom I send sincere thanks.)

See what they did there? Corbyn — by any rational standard a mild social democrat who has never even proposed so basic a socialist policy as ‘workers’ control of the means of production’ — is suddenly made to look like Mao Zedong (‘Chairman Mao’): he gets a Chinese People’s Liberation Army cap — and a quick bit of toxification in terms of those decades of far-away tyranny and destruction, the millions killed, the dogmatic political inflexibility, etc.

Isn’t that a remarkable thing for the BBC to have done? Why would they do something like that, d’you think…?

A little time passes, and what do I see next? Ah! I see something online that features Laura Kuenssberg — the ‘Political Editor’ of BBC News, and very obviously the head of the Corporation’s Anti-Corbyn Unit. Let’s look closely…


There are in fact three fascinating elements there. First, there’s the choice of headline: without there being a quotation mark in sight, and whatever his half-hour speech was really about, Corbyn is credited IN BIG PRINT with saying the one thing that is guaranteed to constitute a red rag to many millions of working class voters whom the Labour Party is currently seeking to win back. (And this, let me remind you, comes from the BBC which has allowed Nigel Farage of the anti-immigration party UKIP no fewer than 31 appearances on Question Time since November 2000: ever wondered what a broadcaster’s attempt to split the working class anti-Tory vote would look like…?)

bbckuenssbergperspective2Secondly, there is what follows it — in the form of a reference to a denial of an alleged embarrassing, undermining U-turn. See that? That’s how you write when you want to place an idea in people’s minds while still being able to claim that you weren’t really trying to place the idea in people’s minds. (So, for example: ‘Corbyn denies that he kills tiny and helpless kittens using a big hammer’. See? He denies it; and it’s not true anyway — but you still felt a feeling and saw an image that I created for you.)

bbckuenssbergperspective3Thirdly, there’s the framing and cropping of the photo. See how Kuenssberg appears as a huge and dominating visual element, filling almost a third of the space? And how Corbyn, by contrast, is presented as a tiny and distant figure — and, on top of that, shown as literally ‘in a corner’…?

Isn’t that a remarkable thing for the BBC to have done? Why would they do something like that, d’you think…?

And then there’s Newsnight. Less than eight hours after the BBC had made Corbyn stink like a long-dead Chinese communist, viewers saw their national broadcaster change tack — and make Corbyn stink like every liberal’s latest hate-figure, Donald Trump…

See how they did it? They did it by producing and broadcasting — for an extended period — a photograph of something that has never, ever happened: Corbyn wearing a Donald Trump-type hat…



Consider what had to take place for that image to have come into existence. Someone in charge of a budget and able to give instructions to a skilled photoshop operator will actually have sent out an order: ‘Look, stop what you’re doing: we need something for 10.30pm. Get a photo of Donald Trump in his red hat. Take him out of the picture so you’ve only got the hat. Manipulate the letters on it so that they say ‘Make Britain Great Again’. Yes, ‘Britain’. Then find a high-resolution photo of Jeremy Corbyn seen — and lit! — from the same sort of angle, and put the hat on it so it looks like he’s wearing it. Oh, and don’t forget to darken the area under the peak: this has to look realistic. Yes, you can email it. ‘Newsnight’ office. That’s right: serious analysis of current affairs…’

Isn’t that a remarkable thing for the BBC to have done? Why would they do something like that, d’you think…?

Nor was this the end of that day’s BBC onslaught. Before long, they had gone to Twitter and were advertising one of Newsnight‘s interviews in the following terms…


If you can’t tell what attracted my attention to that, simply take a look through the programme’s various Twitter timelines — and see if you can see a pattern in who has, and who has not, been described as ‘getting grilled’…

“Getting grilled” was she…? Seems not.

I spoke earlier of the twin media mechanisms of ‘smacking’ and ‘silence’, and of their role in shaping political events rather than merely ‘reporting’ them. In connection with Corbyn, I want to underline my point by presenting the entire text of his Peterborough speech — which you can see here. When UK readers have read it (or watched the video below), I hope they will be so kind as to consider this question:

On January 10, Corbyn featured in the BBC’s news and current affairs output over and over again: he and his speech — and the associated ‘debacle’ — were referred to, and discussed, during the day, in the evening, and late into the night. As you’ll see from the video, the BBC — as it was obliged to! — actually broadcast the whole speech live (albeit on a news channel most people don’t watch, and at a time when most people are busy working anyhow). Yet how much of what he said in that long speech did you yourself actually encounter in all of that studio-based ‘coverage’…? Or, for that matter, in our proudly ‘free’ billionaire-owned press…? In other words, when you came to read the text linked to above — or to watch the speech as recorded — how much of it still came as a complete surprise to you…?

business of regime change...

Throughout the 20th century, the US had been in the business of overthrowing governments that it did not like, almost always because such governments did not create conditions unilaterally favourable to US business interests. From overthrowing multiple Latin American governments, most famously the leftist government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, to the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953, to the installation of the Pakistani Dictator General Zia who executed the democratically elected Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the US has been ‘changing regimes’ long before the post-Cold War era. However, in the 21st century, the idea of ‘regime change’ went from an unspoken reality to a stated goal among increasingly war-hungry US leaders.


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pentagon orders US troops to leave libya...

Washington did not play an insignificant role in turning Libya from a rather stable nation into a chaotic free-for-all battle zone. And now the Pentagon says it is too dangerous for American troops to stay on the ground.

The US Africa Command announced Sunday that it was pulling out a small contingent, which was deployed in Libya a few years ago to assist airstrikes against forces loyal to the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The move came in response to the latest escalation of violence in the country.


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