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Thread: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Quote Posted by mountain_jim (here)
    [

    My narrative: I support the current admin to the extent that this ongoing information war helps expose the current MSM and Democrat Party corruption to all. Trump appears to have some backers that are expert instigators.

    Hello Mountain.

    I stopped reading after the bolded. It seems to me that you are a party person.
    I am not.

    Briefly: I dislike the Democratic Party. I dislike the Republican Party. I dislike the MSM.

    So I wont engage if your left vs. right paradigm.(which fits right in with Caitlin Johnston as she, i believe, feels about the same about D v R).



    We do need exposure. So when POTUS didnt release all the JFK files(which again classification is ENTIRELY UNDER THE PURVIEW OF THE PRESIDENT https://fas.org/sgp/library/quist/index.html for more detail on that) , I knew instantly what was happening.

    Cheers

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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    I would say you stopped reading too soon - but whatever.

    A party person is the last thing that I am.

    It's just the daily media circus daily and for the last 3 years has put the D-side absurdity and MSM collusion in the spotlight.

    With Onawah's previous posting of Catlin's response to Barr's 'views' on Epstein's 'suicide', the R-side absurdity and corruption are again now spotlighted.

    I won't respond to you anymore, since I can't get the courtesy of a full reading of my response in return.
    Last edited by mountain_jim; 23rd November 2019 at 16:19.
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Quote Posted by mountain_jim (here)
    I would say you stopped reading too soon - but whatever.

    A party person is the last thing that I am.

    It's just the daily media circus daily and for the last 3 years has put the D-side absurdity and MSM collusion in the spotlight.

    With Onawah's previous posting of Catlin's response to Barr's 'views' on Epstein's 'suicide', the R-side absurdity and corruption are again now spotlighted.

    I won't respond to you anymore, since I can't get the courtesy of a full reading of my response in return.

    You right and I apologize for being so curt.

    You are also right that we agree about many of things in the middle of your post.

    I do still feel that the way you frame things is actually helping the people I feel you are fighting against.

    I challenge you to not talk about Republicans or Democrats or MSM. Talk about specifc people and not vauge groups. THat is why i discount the rest of your post.,

    In the first couple of sentences you start with the classic "They" issues that dont help solve anything or illuminate anything. It just creates division.

    Dont say democrats. Says Nancy Pelosi or which ever specific person you have an issue with.

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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    I think you might both benefit from checking this out, and it might help to resolve your differences in opinion about who is to blame:
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1324767

    Quote Posted by mountain_jim (here)
    I would say you stopped reading too soon - but whatever.

    A party person is the last thing that I am.

    It's just the daily media circus daily and for the last 3 years has put the D-side absurdity and MSM collusion in the spotlight.

    With Onawah's previous posting of Catlin's response to Barr's 'views' on Epstein's 'suicide', the R-side absurdity and corruption are again now spotlighted.

    I won't respond to you anymore, since I can't get the courtesy of a full reading of my response in return.
    Quote Posted by Praxis (here)

    You right and I apologize for being so curt.

    You are also right that we agree about many of things in the middle of your post.

    I do still feel that the way you frame things is actually helping the people I feel you are fighting against.

    I challenge you to not talk about Republicans or Democrats or MSM. Talk about specifc people and not vauge groups. THat is why i discount the rest of your post.,

    In the first couple of sentences you start with the classic "They" issues that dont help solve anything or illuminate anything. It just creates division.

    Dont say democrats. Says Nancy Pelosi or which ever specific person you have an issue with.
    Each breath a gift...
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    New OPCW Leak Further Vindicates Skeptics Of Establishment Syria Narrative
    11/24/19
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11...subscription-3
    (More live links in the article.)


    "On the sixth of July last year, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released its interim report https://www.opcw.org/sites/default/f...45-2018_e_.pdf
    on its findings regarding an alleged poison gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. The incident, which resulted in dozens of civilian casualties, was blamed on the Syrian government by the US, UK and France, who launched retaliatory airstrikes on multiple targets in that nation.

    The interim report claimed that “various chlorinated organic chemicals were found” in different locations on the scene, but strangely said nothing about the levels at which those chemicals were found. The Moon of Alabama blog https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/0...-in-douma.html
    highlighted this suspicious exclusion on the day the report came out, noting that levels are absolutely essential in determining chemical weapons use when you’re talking about compounds which are found virtually everywhere at some level in any industrialized region.

    “The preliminary OPCW report says nothing about the concentrations in which these substances were found,” MoA observed. “Without knowing the concentrations, which may be extremely low, one can not come to further conclusion.”

    “The ‘various chlorinated organic chemicals’ are unsurprising,” MoA wrote. “Chlorine is widely used for water purification and cleaning and ‘chlorinated organic chemicals’ will be found in any household.”

    A new addition
    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status...90941314420736
    to the body of leaks
    https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/t...t-3632903f22a2
    which have been hemorrhaging from the OPCW shows that such skepticism was indeed entirely warranted. A leaked email sent shortly before the interim report was published reveals that the chlorinated organic chemicals which OPCW investigators found on the scene were as low as one or two parts-per-billion, meaning, just as Moon of Alabama speculated last year, that they were found at trace quantities you’d expect to find in any industrialized area.
    Quote WikiLeaks

    @wikileaks
    RELEASE: Secret internal e-mail from OPCW whistleblower, a member of the fact-finding mission sent to Douma, Syria, after the alleged chemical attack in April last year, accusing OPCW management of doctoring report on the incident and distorting facts. https://wikileaks.org/opcw-douma/

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    The leaked email, which has been published by WikiLeaks
    https://wikileaks.org/opcw-douma/doc...-2/#pagination
    and several other outlets, was sent by an unnamed OPCW investigator to the OPCW’s then-cabinet chief Bob Fairweather, outright accusing OPCW leadership of misleading the public with the information it was omitting from the report it was drafting. Those who’ve been following this scandal closely may remember Fairweather as the man who journalist Jonathan Steele recently reported
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11...wn-inspectors/
    was responsible for calling investigators into his office to be intimidated by unknown officials from the United States government.

    The email was sent to Fairweather on June 22nd, laden with pointed words and phrases like “misrepresents the facts”, “selectively omitting”, “highly misleading”, “disingenuous”, “inaccurate”, and “a major deviation from the original report.” Less than two weeks later, on July the fourth, the investigators were reportedly called into Fairweather’s office for a disturbing meeting with US officials which deeply rattled them.

    “On July 4 there was another intervention,” Steele’s report reads. “Fairweather, the chef de cabinet, invited several members of the drafting team to his office. There they found three US officials who were cursorily introduced without making clear which US agencies they represented. The Americans told them emphatically that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack, and that the two cylinders found on the roof and upper floor of the building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors left Fairweather’s office, feeling that the invitation to the Americans to address them was unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.”

    It’s worth noting at this time that the US government already has a known and established history of leveraging the ostensibly neutral and international OPCW to conform to its preexisting military agendas.
    https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/t...e-7a965bbe78c6



    Fairweather’s intimidation ploy appears to have been a response to comments made in the email, and probably other similar internal objections made by other investigators at that time. The email reads as follows (transcript and parenthetical annotations made by Daily Mail)https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ck-Assad.html:

    Dear Bob,

    I wish to express, as a member of the FFM (Fact Finding Mission) team that conducted the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April, my gravest concern at the redacted version of the FFM report, which I understand was at the behest of the ODG. (Office of the Director General). After reading this modified report, which incidentally no other team member who deployed into Douma has had the opportunity to do, I was struck by how much it misrepresents the facts. Many of the facts and observations outlined in the full version are inextricably interconnected and, by selectively omitting certain ones, an unintended bias has been introduced into the report, undermining its credibility. In other cases, some crucial facts that have remained in the redacted version have morphed into something quite different to what was initially drafted. If I may, I will outline some specific aspects to the redacted report that are particularly worrisome.

    The statement in paragraph 8.3 of the final conclusions ‘The team has sufficient evidence at this time to determine that chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released from cylinders’, is highly misleading and not supported by the facts. The only evidence available at this moment is that some samples collected at Locations 2 and 4 were in contact with one or more chemicals that contain a reactive chlorine atom. Such chemicals could include molecular chlorine, phosgene, cyanogen chloride, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen chloride or sodium hypochlorite (the major ingredient of household chlorine-based bleach). Purposely singling out chlorine gas as one of the possibilities is disingenuous. It is also worth noting that the term ‘reactive chlorine-containing chemical’ used in the redacted report is, in fact, inaccurate. It actually describes a reactive chemical that contains chlorine which itself (the chlorine) is not necessarily reactive e.g. chlorophenol. The original report uses the more accurate term ‘a chemical containing reactive chlorine’.

    The redacted report states that the gas was likely released from the cylinders (in Locations 2 and 4). The original report purposely emphasised the fact that, although the cylinders might have been the source of the suspected chemical release, there was insufficient evidence to affirm this. It is possible the error was simply a typo. This is a major deviation from the original report.

    Paragraph 8.2 states that ‘based on the high levels of various chlorinated organic derivatives, […] detected in environmental samples’. Describing the levels as ‘high’ likely overstates the extent of levels of chlorinated organic derivatives detected. They were, in most cases, present only in parts per billion range, as low as 1-2 ppb, which is essentially trace quantities.

    The original report discusses in detail the inconsistency between the victims’ symptoms, as reported by witnesses and seen in video recordings. Omitting this section of the report (including the Epidemiology which has been removed in its entirety) has a serious negative impact on the report as this section is inextricably linked to the chemical agent identified. It either supports or detracts from the confidence in the identity of any possible chemical. In this case the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms. The inconsistency was not only noted by the FFM team but strongly noted by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to CW (Chemical Weapons) agents.

    The original report has extensive sections regarding the placement of the cylinders at both locations as well as the relative damage caused to the impact points, compared to that caused to the cylinders suspected of being the sources of the toxic chemical. These sections are essentially absent from the redacted report. This information was important in assessing the likelihood of the ‘presence’ of toxic chemicals versus the ‘use’ of toxic chemicals.

    A feature of this investigation and report was the robust and extensive scientific basis for sampling plans and analysing the data collected. A comprehensive bibliography of peer-reviewed scientific literature was attached to support and enhance the credibility of the work of the mission. This has unfortunately been omitted from the redacted report.

    By singling out chlorine above other equally plausible substances containing reactive chlorine and presenting it as a fact in isolation creates, I believe, a level of partiality that would negatively impact on the perceived credibility of the report, and by extension that of the Organisation. I am requesting that the fact-finding report be released in its entirety as I fear that this redacted version no longer reflects the work of the team. The original report contains facts and observations that are all equally valid. The fact that inconsistencies are highlighted or observations not fully understood does not justify their omission. The inconsistencies and observations are based on the evidence and data collected. Further information in the future may help resolve them but the facts as they stand at present will not alter and need to be reported.

    If the redacted version is to be released, I respectfully request to attach my differing observations, in accordance with the spirit of paragraph 62 of part II of the Verification Annex of the CWC.

    Yours sincerely,



    The OPCW’s final report
    https://www.opcw.org/media-centre/ne...use-allegation
    published March of this year continued the pattern https://twitter.com/UK_OPCW/status/1101561760732057601
    of crucial omissions even more egregiously than the interim report.

    “Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma, the evaluation and analysis of all the above-referenced information gathered by the FFM provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018,” the final report claims. “This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

    Again, the information complained about in the leaked email remained omitted.

    Quote Susan Sarandon

    @SusanSarandon
    This is really important. Why aren’t we talking about it?

    "We may have just discovered a major piece of the puzzle explaining how seemingly independent international organizations help deceive us into consenting to wars and regime change interventionism around the world." https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1129194527720263680

    Caitlin Johnstone ⏳
    @caitoz
    CONFIRMED: Chemical Weapons Assessment Contradicting Official Syria Narrative Is Authentic

    "We now have confirmation that, for whatever the reason may be, this assessment was hidden from the public by the OPCW."#Syria #Douma #OPCWhttps://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/confirmed-chemical-weapons-assessment-contradicting-official-syria-narrative-is-authentic-fbcbf7ef281a …

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    The unfolding scandal about the US and its allies once again deceiving the world about yet another military intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation is a major story, and hardly anyone’s been on top of it.

    Back when I published an article
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ack-Assad.html
    about the first OPCW whistleblower this past May it was shared by actress Susan Sarandon on Twitter, who captioned it with the question, “This is really important. Why aren’t we talking about it?” Click on the tweet and read through the comments if you want to see the platoon of blue-checkmarked narrative managers who converged on her post telling her I’m a crazed conspiracy theorist who mustn’t be listened to. I got this story right, and everyone who’s been ignoring it or dismissing it has made an ass of themselves.

    So congratulations to me. Congratulations to Moon of Alabama for getting this story right from day one. Congratulations to Piers Robinson, Tim Hayward, and the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media who published the first OPCW leak
    http://syriapropagandamedia.org/work...-in-april-2018
    back in May of this year in the face of numerous obnoxious smear pieces from the mainstream media. Congratulations to Jimmy Dore, Aaron Maté and the handful of other alternative media figures who’ve been keeping this story alive while all the “reputable” mainstream news outlets tried to let it die.

    We were right, they were wrong. Maybe going forward people should listen to us a bit more and listen to them a bit less.
    Each breath a gift...
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Surprise! MSM Spins OPCW Leak As Russian Disinfo
    NOVEMBER 25, 2019
    by CAITLIN JOHNSTONE
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11...ssian-disinfo/


    "So, you might want to sit down for this, but believe it or not the mainstream media is behaving in a way that seems somewhat untruthful.

    I know! I know. I’m just as astonished as you are.

    So you know that Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons scandal we’ve been talking a lot about lately? The one where evidence keeps piling up that the US, UK and France launched airstrikes against the Syrian government last year in retaliation for a poison gas attack which never took place, and then manipulated an ostensibly independent and international chemical weapons watchdog organization into covering it up?

    Well, it turns out that bigtime news media outlets haven’t been all that interested for some strange and mysterious reason. But just today they broke the silence with a new report that mentioned the scandal, and they’ve totally spun it in a way that makes the US and its allies look good! Can you believe that?

    And you’ll never guess what excuse they’re using to spin it. Never in a million, billion years.

    Put a pillow down on the floor, because your jaw’s about to drop like James Le Mesurier: believe it or not, they’re blaming it on Russian disinformation.



    AFP, which just as an aside is one of only three gigantic news agencies that are responsible for most of the stories you see in the mass media, has put out an article that has been picked up by multiple mainstream media outlets titled “Showdown looms over Syria chemical weapons probe”. The article deliberately frames the issue as one which has been “highlighted” by “Moscow”, and publishes a claim sourced to unnamed western officials that “the Russians and Syrians are trying to muddy the waters”.

    “Moscow has consistently raised doubts over chemical attacks in Syria or insisted they were staged, and has recently highlighted a leaked report raising questions about a deadly chlorine attack in the Syrian town of Douma in April 2018,” AFP reports. “Western diplomats however say the Russians and Syrians are trying to muddy the waters about alleged attacks by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.”

    Never mind that the leaks themselves are intrinsically important and completely authentic, regardless of who’s “highlighting” them. Never mind that the leaks have been “highlighted” by many non-Russian outlets, ranging from small alternative platforms like my own here in Melbourne all the way up to as mainstream as the UK’s Daily Mail. All it takes is one Russian to talk about any issue of any kind and it can magically be spun as a talking point of Moscow, no matter how many westerners who have nothing to do with Russia are also talking about it.

    The report’s author, Danny Kemp, has been spending time narrative managing about the OPCW scandal on Twitter as well. Kemp argues that WikiLeaks, who published a leaked internal email from the organisation on Sunday which challenges the establishment Douma narrative, doesn’t have trustworthy publications because WikiLeaks is associated with (you guessed it) Russia.


    Quote Aaron Maté

    @aaronjmate
    AFP’s Hague reporter downplays *leaks* from *whistleblowers* that likely clear Syria of a chemical attack & undermine rationale for US-UK-France strikes. Why? Because Russia. This was a goal of Russiagate: to smear any dissent from “Western” party line, & enlist journos to do so: https://twitter.com/dannyctkemp/stat...33795844485122

    Danny Kemp

    @dannyctkemp
    Western source notes Russians are particularly sensitive re Douma because happened close to where their own troops were operating. Also worth noting Mueller highlighted WikiLeaks role in publishing Russian-hacked DNC documents. Plus Russia was accused of hacking OPCW last year https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status...90941314420736

    “Western source notes Russians are particularly sensitive re Douma because happened close to where their own troops were operating,” Kemp tweeted. “Also worth noting Mueller highlighted WikiLeaks role in publishing Russian-hacked DNC documents. Plus Russia was accused of hacking OPCW last year.”

    Kemp’s baseless Russia smear is invalidated by the fact that multiple other outlets have also published the email, including the Daily Mail, and by the fact that Reuters has independently verified the email’s authenticity with a source in the OPCW.

    The OPCW’s Director General Fernando Arias said during a convention at The Hague today that he fully supports the conclusions that were published in the OPCW’s final report on the Douma incident this past March, which asserted, contrary to everything the OPCW whistleblowers claim, that there was enough evidence to believe that a chemical weapon was used.

    “On the first of March, 2019, the Fact Finding Mission issued its final report on the incident of alleged use of toxic chemical weapons in Douma on the seventh of April, 2018,” Arias said. “The evaluation and analysis of all the information gathered by the Fact Finding Mission provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon had taken place.”

    “It is in the nature of any thorough inquiry for individuals in a team to express subjective views,” Arias added. “The overall conclusions of the inquiry, however, must be based on the preponderance of objective facts.”

    “While some of these diverging views continue to circulate in certain public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusions reached by the Fact Finding Mission,” Arias said.



    Again, everything Arias said is contradicted by what the whistleblowers from inside the aforementioned Fact Finding Mission have been saying:

    The leaked email says chlorinated organic chemicals on the scene were as low as one or two parts per billion, meaning they were trace background levels you’d find in any industrialized area, and that the symptoms of the victims were inconsistent with chlorine gas poisoning.
    The leaked Engineering Assessment signed by ballistics expert Ian Henderson states that the alleged chlorine cylinders were much more likely to have been manually placed on the ground than dropped from the air, meaning the incident would have been staged by the Jaysh al-Islam fighters occupying Douma and not the Syrian air force.
    The information given to journalist Jonathan Steele by the whistleblower “Alex” lists even more inconsistencies with the OPCW report, claims that dissent from the final drafts of the OPCW’s Douma reports was a majority opinion within the team, and says investigators felt pressured both by OPCW management and an uncomfortable intercession by US government officials to come to a specific conclusion.
    Given all this, there is no reason for anyone to feel at all confident that “the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon had taken place” in Douma.

    In the hours since Arias finally gave them a denial of the OPCW scandal that they can use in their reporting, the mass media have suddenly broken their deafening silence on this important story. Reports have come out on Arias’ defense of the official Douma reports from Reuters, AP and CBS explaining to readers that the OPCW’s head honcho says all the naughty people sharing unauthorized narratives about Douma are wrong. In a story about Syria and The Hague, the CBS article mentions the words “Russia” or “Russian” no fewer than twelve times, spinning the entire affair as nothing more than a Moscow-orchestrated conspiracy theory.

    Here’s an excerpt from the CBS article, just to give you a taste of the conspiratorial-lunatic spin job they’re doing on something that amounts simply to authentic leaked information:

    'ussia and Syria have alleged that the incident was staged since soon after it took place. Russia even attempted to bolster its case by bringing individuals who it identified as Syrians seen in “staged” videos after the attack to testify to the OPCW at The Hague.

    European OPCW members rejected the Russian-Syrian claims outright, and refused to attend the session at OPCW headquarters.

    “This obscene masquerade does not come as a surprise from the Syrian government, which has massacred and gassed its own people for the last seven years,” France’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Philippe Lalliot, said in response.'

    Caitlin Johnstone ⏳
    @caitoz
    New OPCW Leak Further Vindicates Skeptics Of Establishment Syria Narrative

    "We were right, they were wrong. Maybe going forward people should listen to us a bit more and listen to them a bit less." #Douma #Syria #OPCWhttps://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/new-opcw-leak-further-vindicates-skeptics-of-establishment-syria-narrative-1cf9d035db8b …



    I guess it’s nice to have some company on this important story after months and months of near-total silence, but man the spin’s making me dizzy.

    Of course it’s not the mass media’s job to objectively report facts, it’s the mass media’s job to manufacture consent for the status quo upon which the media-owning plutocratic class is built. This status quo naturally includes the globe-spanning US-centralized empire and the endless war which glues the whole thing together. The narrative that this oligarchic power alliance has once again deceived the world about yet another military intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation would do serious damage to people’s trust in the imperial propaganda machine, so the story will be ignored for as long as possible and then attacked with extreme aggression when that fails.

    We’re on attacking already. This is good."
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job
    by CAITLIN JOHNSTONE
    NOVEMBER 27, 2019
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11...ndal-spin-job/

    "Imperialist propaganda firm Bellingcat has published a response to the ever-expanding OPCW scandal, and it’s got to be seen to be believed.

    Before we begin I should highlight that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which according to its own cofounder was set up to do overtly what the CIA had previously been doing covertly, namely orchestrating narrative management geared toward the elimination of governments which refuse to comply with US interests. NED is funded directly by the US government, which means that Bellingcat is funded by the US government via an organization set up to promote imperialist regime change agendas. Bellingcat is also funded by Open Society Foundations, another imperialist narrative management operation.

    Syria has been the target of what may be the most sophisticated propaganda campaign in history, and Bellingcat has been consistently rallying behind even the most transparently ridiculous tools of this campaign. This includes the notorious Bana Alabed psyop which at its height saw CNN staging a fake, scripted interview featuring a seven year-old girl assigning blame to Bashar al-Assad for an alleged sarin gas attack in Khan Shaykhun. Bellingcat’s stellar investigative work (which has been praised in fawning puff pieces by mainstream outlets like The Guardian and The New Yorker) concluded that this obvious propaganda construct was in fact nothing other than a little girl and her mother independently composing viral tweets, giving interviews and authoring books about how the Syrian government must be toppled via western interventionism.



    Bellingcat’s latest phenomenal report on how you’re supposed to think about important geopolitical disputes, titled “Emails And Reading Comprehension: OPCW Douma Coverage Misses Crucial Facts“, addresses the leaked OPCW email which was recently published by WikiLeaks and various other outlets revealing that the OPCW omitted crucial information from its Douma report which indicated that a chemical weapons attack was unlikely to have occurred. I encourage you to go and check out Bellincat’s new masterpiece for yourself; don’t worry about giving them clicks, that’s not where they get their money.

    The first thing you’ll notice about Bellingcat’s article is that at no point does it even attempt to address the actual inflammatory comments within it, such as the OPCW whistleblower’s assertion that the samples tested where a chlorine gas attack is alleged to have occurred in April 2018 contained levels of chlorinated organic compounds which were so low that it would be unreasonable to claim with any confidence that a chlorine gas attack had occurred at all. The whistleblower writes in the leaked email to the OPCW cabinet chief that the levels “were, in most cases, present only in parts per billion range, as low as 1-2 ppb, which is essentially trace quantities.”

    As we discussed previously, early skeptics of the establishment Douma narrative highlighted the bizarre fact that when the OPCW published its Interim Report in July of last year its report contained no information about the levels at which the chlorinated organic chemicals occurred. Chlorinated organic chemicals occur at trace levels in any industrialized area, so they are only indicative of a chlorine gas attack when samples test at high levels. The email said they didn’t. The OPCW omitted this in both its Interim and Final Reports.

    The whistleblower told journalist Jonathan Steele that the levels found “were comparable to and even lower than those given in the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on recommended permitted levels of trichlorophenol and other COCs in drinking water.”

    “Had they been included, the public would have seen that the levels of COCs found were no higher than you would expect in any household environment”, the whistleblower said.



    In a new Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson, Steele explained the significance of this revelation.

    “The main point is that Chlorine gas degrades rapidly in the air,” Steele said. “So coming in two weeks later, you wouldn’t find anything. What you would find is that the gas contaminates or affects other chemicals in the natural environment. So-called ‘chlorinated organic chemicals.’ The difficulty is they exist anyway in the natural environment and water. So the crucial thing is the levels, were there higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals found after the alleged gas attack than there would have been in the normal environment?”

    “When they got back to the Netherlands, to The Hague where the OPCW has its headquarters, samples were sent off to designated laboratories, then there was a weird silence developed,” Steele continued. “Nobody told the inspectors what the results of the analysis was. It was only by chance that the inspector found out through accident earlier the results would come in and there were no differences at all. There were no higher levels of Chlorinated organic chemicals in the areas where the alleged attack had happened where there is some suspicious cylinders had been found by opposition activists. So it didn’t seem possible that there could have been a gas attack because the levels were just the same as in the natural environment.”

    Bellingcat simply ignores this absolutely central aspect of the email, as well as the whistleblower’s point about the symptoms of victims not matching chlorine gas poisoning.

    “In this case the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms,” the whistleblower writes in the email. “The inconsistency was not only noted by the FFM team but strongly noted by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to CW [Chemical Weapons] agents.”

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2019...crucial-facts/

    Bellingcat says nothing about these revelations in the email, and says nothing about the fact that the OPCW excluded them from both its Interim Report in July 2018 and its Final Report in March 2019, the latter of which actually asserted the exact opposite saying there was “reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

    Bellingcat completely ignores all of these points, which are literally the only reason any of this is in the news at all, instead opting to make silly, pedantic arguments that the text of the email and the Interim and Final Reports indicate that some of the whistleblower’s concerns appear to have been partially addressed by OPCW leadership in its publications. To make this argument, Bellingcat highlights how some of the wording in the reports was changed to appear a bit less conclusive, such as changing “likely” to “possible” and changing “reactive chlorine containing chemical” to “chemical containing reactive chlorine”.

    By highlighting these barely-significant changes Bellingcat attempts to spin the narrative that there was no internal OPCW coverup of its investigators’ findings at all, which is of course invalidated by the fact that its Final Report concluded that a chlorine gas attack had taken place despite the whistleblower clearly stating that there is no basis upon which to conclude this. It’s also obviously invalidated by the fact that not one but two whistleblowers have come forward, meaning they plainly do not feel as though their concerns were met.

    “Ian and I wanted to have this issue investigated and hopefully resolved internally, rather than exposing the failings of the Organisation in public, so we exhausted every internal avenue possible including submission of all the evidence of irregular behaviour to the Office of Internal Oversight,” the whistleblower told Steele. “The request for an internal investigation was refused and every other attempt to raise our concerns was stone walled. Our failed efforts to get management to listen went on over a period of nearly nine months. It was only after we realised the internal route was impossible that we decided to go public”.

    “Ian” is Ian Henderson, the OPCW ballistics expert whose Engineering Assessment which was leaked this past May. Henderson concluded that, contrary to what the OPCW’s Final Report strongly implies, the cylinders found at the scene in Douma were more likely to have been manually placed there, i.e. staged. The anonymous whistleblower informed Steele that all but one of the OPCW’s investigative team agreed with Henderson’s assessment. This too was left out of all OPCW reports, and Bellingcat’s piece completely ignores it, instead writing only that “Three independent analyses by experts in three different countries were carried out, and all reached complimentary conclusions: the damage at the impact sites is consistent with the cylinders having fallen from height.”

    Quote Danny Gold

    @DGisSERIOUS
    Just so all my followers are clear, Tucker Carlson and the merry band of alt left grifter idiots trying to convince you that 1 of the 257 chemical attacks in Syria was a false flag are wrong, again, and never even bothered to read the report they say is wrong https://twitter.com/bellingcat/statu...96383656763392

    Bellingcat

    @bellingcat
    Over the weekend, Wikileaks published an email from an OPCW employee, claiming that an OPCW report “misrepresents the facts he and his colleagues discovered on the ground”.

    We've written about this email here. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2019...crucial-facts/

    600
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    With the temerity only an NED paycheck can get you, Bellingcat argues that this vapid pedantry which has no bearing on the actual story whatsoever completely invalidates all reporting on the OPCW scandal.

    “Although this letter appears to be at least superficially damaging to the OPCW, after reading the actual reports published by the OPCW it is clear that this letter is outdated and inapplicable to the final Douma report,” Bellingcat concludes. “If the people covering this story had actually taken the time to read the letter and the FFM reports, they may well have chosen to publicize it in a very different manner.”

    Empire apologists have taken this ridiculous, nonsensical line of argumentation as gospel and run with it on social media, sharing Bellingcat’s embarrassing faceplant with triumphant, chest-thumping captions.

    “Just so all my followers are clear, Tucker Carlson and the merry band of alt left grifter idiots trying to convince you that 1 of the 257 chemical attacks in Syria was a false flag are wrong, again, and never even bothered to read the report they say is wrong,” tweeted Newshour‘s Danny Gold.

    “So the letter written by the dissenting OPCW employee on Douma investigation was sent two weeks before the interim report was released and nine months before the final one. In the final one, the employee’s concerns were addressed. Where’s the cover up?” tweeted Telegraph‘s Josie Ensor.

    “WikiLeaks et al are lying to you in defence of the Assad regime,” tweeted odious Syria narrative manager Oz Katerji.



    Media Matters For America, another narrative management firm founded by troll army commander David Brock, has also picked up Bellingcat’s ridiculous arguments and run with them in an even dumber article titled “Tucker Carlson spreads disinformation about a deadly chemical attack in Syria“.

    “Despite the seemingly scandalous accusation in the leak, Carlson is misrepresenting the nature of the WikiLeaks documents and their significance,” MMFA claims. “Investigative journalists at Bellingcat found that the leaked letter was in fact referring to an ‘interim report’ issued in July of 2018, before the OPCW released its final conclusions. A side-by-side comparison shows that the concerns addressed in the letter ‘are present, or else are in modified form, in the final report.’”

    Which is of course false, as explained above.

    MMFA’s other claims are nothing other than simple regurgitation of the very reports that are now being invalidated by the leaks that Tucker Carlson highlighted on his show. Their entire argument boils down to “This old information is in contradiction to that new information,” which is of course the entire bloody point.

    “These claims contradict and misrepresent the available evidence regarding the attack, the conclusions of multiple governments, and they are based on a Syrian and Russian misinformation campaign seeking to discredit investigators and absolve Assad of responsibility for the atrocity,” MMFA argues, linking to a 2018 BBC article saying Assad was responsible for the Douma incident, a 2018 Guardian article about the US government’s unsubstantiated claim to have secret proof of Assad’s guilt, and a 2018 Guardian article claiming that Russia is wrong about its skepticism of the western Douma narrative, respectfully.

    Which is the same as saying “You’re wrong because we disagree with you. Here is evidence of our disagreeing with you last year.”

    This is the best the spin masters can do, and the OPCW scandal is only going to unfold more. Should be fun."

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  15. Link to Post #28
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Attacking The Source: The Establishment Loyalist’s Favorite Online Tactic
    NOVEMBER 28, 2019
    by CAITLIN JOHNSTONE
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11...online-tactic/


    "If you’re skeptical of western power structures and you’ve ever engaged in online political debate for any length of time, the following has definitely happened to you.

    You find yourself going back and forth with one of those high-confidence, low-information establishment types who’s promulgating a dubious mainstream narrative, whether that be about politics, war, Julian Assange, or whatever. At some point they make an assertion which you know to be false–publicly available information invalidates the claim they’re making.

    “I’ve got them now!” you think to yourself, if you’re new to this sort of thing. Then you share a link to an article or video which makes a well-sourced, independently verifiable case for the point you are trying to make.

    Then, the inevitable happens.

    “LMAO! That outlet!” they scoff in response. “That outlet is propaganda/fake news/conspiracy theory trash!”

    Or something to that effect. You’ll encounter this tactic over and over and over again if you continually engage in online political discourse with people who don’t agree with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re literally just linking to an interview featuring some public figure saying a thing you’d claimed they said. It doesn’t matter if you’re linking to a WikiLeaks publication of a verified authentic document. Unless you’re linking to CNN/Fox News (whichever fits the preferred ideology of the establishment loyalist you’re debating), they’ll bleat “fake news!” or “propaganda!” or “Russia!” as though that in and of itself magically invalidates the point you’re trying to make.

    And of course it doesn’t. What they are doing is called attacking the source, also known as an ad hominem, and it’s a very basic logical fallacy.

    Most people are familiar with the term “ad hominem”, but they usually think about it in terms of merely hurling verbal insults at people. What it actually means is attacking the source of the argument rather than attacking the argument itself in a way that avoids dealing with the question of whether or not the argument itself is true. It’s a logical fallacy because it’s used to deliberately obfuscate the goal of a logical conclusion to the debate.

    “An ad hominem is more than just an insult,” explains David Ferrer for The Quad. “It’s an insult used as if it were an argument or evidence in support of a conclusion. Verbally attacking people proves nothing about the truth or falsity of their claims.”

    This can take the form of saying “Claim X is false because the person making it is an idiot.” But it can also take the form of “Claim X is false because the person making it is a propagandist,” or “Claim X is false because the person making it is a conspiracy theorist.”

    Quote Sharmine Narwani

    @snarwani
    I don't think @bellingcat knows what's about to hit them now that @caitoz is on their case. Settle in for a few fun months as their entire bull**** narrative on #Syria chemical weapons comes tumbling down. Here's her opening jab: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/n...b-6710730cda01


    Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job
    Imperialist propaganda firm Bellingcat has published a response to the ever-expanding OPCW scandal, and it’s got to be seen to be believed.

    medium.com
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    Someone being an idiot, a propagandist or a conspiracy theorist is irrelevant to the question of whether or not what they’re saying is true. In my last article debunking a spin job on the OPCW scandal by the narrative management firm Bellingcat, I pointed out that Bellingcat is funded by imperialist regime change operations like the National Endowment for Democracy, which was worth highlighting because it shows the readers where that organization is coming from. But if I’d left my argument there it would still be an ad hominem attack, because it wouldn’t address whether or not what Bellingcat wrote about the OPCW scandal is true. It would be a logical fallacy; proving that they are propagandists doesn’t prove that what they are saying in this particular instance is false.

    What I had to do in order to actually refute Bellingcat’s spin job was show that they were making a bad argument using bad logic, which I did by highlighting the way they used pedantic wordplay to make it seem as though the explosive leaks which have been emerging from the OPCW’s investigation of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria were insignificant. I had to show how Bellingcat actually never came anywhere close to addressing the actual concerns about a leaked internal OPCW email, such as extremely low chlorinated organic chemical levels on the scene and patients’ symptoms not matching up with chlorine gas poisoning, as well as the fact that the OPCW investigators plainly don’t feel as though their concerns were met since they’re blowing the whistle on the organisation now.

    And, for the record, Bellingcat’s lead trainer/researcher guy responded to my arguments by saying I’m a conspiracy theorist. I personally count that as a win.

    The correct response to someone who attacks the outlet or individual you’re citing instead of attacking the actual argument being made is, “You’re attacking the source instead of the argument. That’s a logical fallacy, and it’s only ever employed by people who can’t attack the argument.”

    The demand that you only ever use mainstream establishment media when arguing against establishment narratives is itself an inherently contradictory position, because establishment media by their very nature do not report facts against the establishment. It’s saying “You’re only allowed to criticise establishment power using outlets which never criticize establishment power.”

    Quote Oliver Stone

    @TheOliverStone
    2/2 No principle is worth nuclear war. This honest reporter, @caitoz, beholden to no ideology or special interest, calls it as it is, not as the #MSM wants to see -- https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/1...ish-on-russia/


    25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia
    Caitlin Johnstone discredits a CNN listicle on Trump's "softness" towards Moscow. In fact, she writes, the U.S. president has actually been consistently reckless towards Moscow, with zero resistance...

    consortiumnews.com
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    Good luck finding a compilation of Trump’s dangerous escalations against Moscow like the one I wrote the other day anywhere in the mainstream media, for example. https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/1...ish-on-russia/ Neither mainstream liberals nor mainstream conservatives are interested in promoting that narrative, so it simply doesn’t exist in the mainstream information bubble. Every item I listed in that article is independently verifiable and sourced from separate mainstream media reports, yet if you share that article in a debate with an establishment loyalist and they know who I am, nine times out of ten they’ll say something like “LOL Caitlin Johnstone?? She’s nuts!” With “nuts” of course meaning “Says things my TV doesn’t say”.

    It’s possible to just click on all the hyperlinks in my article and share them separately to make your point, but you can also simply point out that they are committing a logical fallacy, and that they are doing so because they can’t actually attack the argument.

    This will make them very upset, because for the last few years establishment loyalists have been told that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to attack the source instead of the argument. The mass hysteria about “fake news” and “Russian propaganda” has left consumers of mainstream media with the unquestioned assumption that if they ever so much as glance at an RT article their faces will begin to melt like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They’ve been trained to believe that it’s perfectly logical and acceptable to simply shriek “propaganda!” at a rational argument or well-sourced article which invalidates their position, or even to proactively go around calling people Russian agents who dissent from mainstream western power-serving narratives.

    But it isn’t logical, and it isn’t acceptable. The best way to oppose their favorite logically fallacious tactic is to call it like it is, and let them deal with the cognitive dissonance that that brings up for them.
    Of course some nuance is needed here. Remember that alternative media is just like anything else: there’s good and bad, even within the same outlet, so make sure what you’re sharing is solid and not just some schmuck making a baseless claim. You can’t just post a link to some Youtuber making an unsubstantiated assertion and then accuse the person you’re debating of attacking the source when they dismiss it. That which has been presented without evidence may be dismissed without evidence, and if the link you’re citing consists of nothing other than unproven assertions by someone they’ve got no reason to take at their word, they can rightly dismiss it.

    If however the claims in the link you’re citing are logically coherent arguments or well-documented facts presented in a way that people can independently fact-check, it doesn’t matter if you’re citing CNN or Sputnik. The only advantage to using CNN when possible would be that it allows you to skip the part where they perform the online equivalent of putting their fingers in their ears and humming.

    Don’t allow those who are still sleeping bully those who are not into silence. Insist on facts, evidence, and intellectually honest arguments, and if they refuse to provide them call it what it is: an admission that they have lost the debate."
    Last edited by onawah; 28th November 2019 at 20:16.
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    MUST SEE! 25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia
    November 19, 2019
    By Caitlin Johnstone
    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/1...ish-on-russia/

    "CNN has published a fascinatingly manipulative and falsehood-laden article titled “25 times Trump was soft on Russia,” in which a lot of strained effort is poured into building the case that the U.S. president is suspiciously loyal to the nation against which he has spent his administration escalating dangerous new cold war aggressions.

    The items within the CNN article consist mostly of times in which Trump said some words or failed to say other words; “Trump has repeatedly praised Putin,” “Trump refused to say Putin is a killer,” “Trump denied that Russia interfered in 2016,” “Trump made light of Russian hacking,” etc. It also includes the completely false but oft-repeated narrative that “Trump’s team softened the GOP platform on Ukraine”, as well as the utterly ridiculous and thoroughly invalidated claim that “Since intervening in Syria in 2015, the Russian military has focused its airstrikes on anti-government rebels, not ISIS.”
    Quote Marshall Cohen

    @MarshallCohen
    NEW ANALYSIS: We tallied 25 times Trump was SOFT ON RUSSIA. Examples: He praised Putin. Denied Russian meddling. Said Russia can keep Crimea. Reluctant to impose new sanctions. Attacked NATO. Congratulated Putin's election. Withdrew from Syria. (1/4) https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/17/polit...sia/index.html

    25 times Trump was soft on Russia
    President Donald Trump has an Achilles' heel when it comes to Russia.

    cnn.com
    7,106
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    CNN’s 25 items are made up almost entirely of narrative and words; Trump said a nice thing about Putin, Trump said offending things to NATO allies, Trump thought about visiting Putin in Russia, etc. In contrast, the 25 items which I am about to list do not consist of narrative at all, but rather the actual movement of actual concrete objects which can easily lead to an altercation from which there may be no re-emerging. These items show that when you ignore the words and narrative spin and look at what this administration has actually been doing, it’s clear to anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty that, far from being “soft” on Russia, Trump has actually been consistently reckless in the one area where a US president must absolutely always maintain a steady hand. And he’s been doing so with zero resistance from either party.

    It would be understandable if you were unaware that Trump has been escalating tensions with Moscow more than any other president since the fall of the Berlin Wall; it’s a fact that neither of America’s two mainstream political factions care about, so it tends to get lost in the shuffle. Trump’s opposition is interested in painting him as a sycophantic Kremlin crony, and his supporters are interested in painting him as an antiwar hero of the people, but he is neither. Observe:

    1. Implementing a Nuclear Posture Review with a more aggressive stance toward Russia

    Quote Defense News

    @defense_news
    Nuclear Posture Review puts Russia firmly in crosshairs https://trib.al/TyikpZj

    View image on Twitter
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    1:32 PM - Feb 2, 2018
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    Last year Trump’s Department of Defense rolled out a Nuclear Posture Review which CNN itself called “its toughest line yet against Russia’s resurgent nuclear forces.”

    “In its newly released Nuclear Posture Review, the Defense Department has focused much of its multibillion nuclear effort on an updated nuclear deterrence focused on Russia,” CNN reported last year.

    This revision of nuclear policy includes the new implementation of “low-yield” nuclear weapons, which, because they are designed to be more “usable” than conventional nuclear ordinances, have been called “the most dangerous weapon ever” by critics of this insane policy. These weapons, which can remove some of the inhibitions that mutually assured destruction would normally give military commanders, have already been rolled off the assembly line.

    2. Arming Ukraine

    Quote Max Blumenthal

    @MaxBlumenthal
    For years, neocons and arms industry darlings like @RepAdamSchiff have sought to re-arm Ukraine and escalate the conflict in Donbas. By stirring up Russiagate, they finally got their deadly deal. My latest: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ru...ous-arms-deal/

    How 'Russiagate' Helped Secure a Dangerous Arms Deal
    Dec. 18 was a day like any other in the Donbas region, the flashpoint of a grinding civil war between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists. T
    truthdig.com
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    Lost in the gibberish about Trump temporarily withholding military aide to supposedly pressure a Ukrainian government who was never even aware of being pressured is the fact that arming Ukraine against Russia is an entirely new policy that was introduced by the Trump administration in the first place. Even the Obama administration, which was plenty hawkish toward Russia in its own right, refused to implement this extremely provocative escalation against Moscow. It was not until Obama was replaced with the worst Putin puppet of all time that this policy was put in place.

    3. Bombing Syria
    Another escalation Trump took against Russia which Obama wasn’t hawkish enough to also do was bombing the Syrian government, a longtime ally of Moscow. These airstrikes in April 2017 and April 2018 were perpetrated in retaliation for chemical weapons use allegations that there is no legitimate reason to trust at this point.

    4. Staging coup attempts in Venezuela

    Quote The New York Times

    @nytimes
    Russia accused the United States of promoting regime change in Venezuela, warning of the "catastrophic" consequences of destabilizing one of the Kremlin's key South American allies https://nyti.ms/2DwUGiI
    Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, center, makes clear the armed forces’ “support of the constitutional president,” Nicolás Maduro, on Thursday.
    Russia Warns U.S. Not to Intervene in Venezuela as Military Backs Maduro
    The declaration of loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro was a setback for the Venezuelan opposition leader, who has been backed by several countries, including the United States.
    nytimes.com
    Venezuela, another Russian ally, has been the subject of relentless coup attempts from the Trump administration which persist unsuccessfully to this very day. Trump’s attempts to topple the Venezuelan government have been so violent and aggressive that the starvation sanctions which he has implemented are believed to have killed tens of thousands of Venezuelan civilians.

    Trump has reportedly spoken frequently of a U.S. military invasion to oust Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, provoking a forceful rebuke from Moscow.

    “Signals coming from certain capitals indicating the possibility of external military interference look particularly disquieting,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We warn against such reckless actions, which threaten catastrophic consequences.”

    5. Withdrawing from the INF treaty

    Quote Sky News

    @SkyNews
    Russia's Vladimir Putin has said America's latest missile test has raised new threats and will warrant a response from Moscow.

    The missile test on Sunday would have been banned under a now-defunct arms treaty.

    Read more: http://po.st/4J94hg






    2:13 AM - Aug 22, 2019
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    For a president who’s “soft” on Russia, Trump has sure been eager to keep postures between the two nations extremely aggressive in nature. This administration has withdrawn from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, prompting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to declare that “the world lost an invaluable brake on nuclear war.” It appears entirely possible that Trump will continue to adhere to the John Bolton school of nuclear weapons treaties until they all lie in tatters, with the administration strongly criticizing the crucial New START Treaty which expires in early 2021.

    Some particularly demented Russiagaters try to argue that Trump withdrawing from these treaties benefits Russia in some way. These people either (A) believe that treaties only go one way, (B) believe that a nation with an economy the size of South Korea can compete with the U.S. in an arms race, (C) believe that Russians are immune to nuclear radiation, or (D) all of the above. Withdrawing from these treaties benefits no one but the military-industrial complex.

    6. Ending the Open Skies Treaty
    “The Trump administration has taken steps toward leaving a nearly three-decade-old agreement designed to reduce the risk of war between Russia and the West by allowing both sides to conduct reconnaissance flights over one another’s territories,” The Wall Street Journal reported last month, adding that the administration has alleged that “Russia has interfered with American monitoring flights while using its missions to gather intelligence in the US.”

    Again, if you subscribe to the bizarre belief that withdrawing from this treaty benefits Russia, please think harder. Or ask the Russians themselves how they feel about it:

    “US plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons and multiply the risks for the whole world, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said,” Sputnik reports.

    “All this negatively affects the predictability of the military-strategic situation and lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, which drastically increases the risks for the whole humanity,” Patrushev said.

    “In general, it is becoming apparent that Washington intends to use its technological leadership in order to maintain strategic dominance in the information space by actually pursuing a policy of imposing its conditions on states that are lagging behind in digital development,” he added.

    7. Selling Patriot missiles to Poland

    Quote Reuters

    @Reuters
    Poland signs $4.75 billion deal for U.S. Patriot missile system facing Russia https://reut.rs/2pM5j9Y

    View image on Twitter
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    11:10 AM - Mar 28, 2018
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    “Poland signed the largest arms procurement deal in its history on Wednesday, agreeing with the United States to buy Raytheon Co’s Patriot missile defense system for $4.75 billion in a major step to modernize its forces against a bolder Russia,” Reuters reported last year.

    8. Occupying Syrian oil fields
    The Trump administration has been open about the fact that it is not only maintaining a military presence in Syria to control the nation’s oil, but that it is doing so in order to deprive the nation’s government of that financial resource. Syria’s ally Russia strongly opposes this, accusing the Trump administration of nothing short of “international state banditry”.

    “In a statement, Russia’s defense ministry said Washington had no mandate under international or US law to increase its military presence in Syria and said its plan was not motivated by genuine security concerns in the region,” Reuters reported last month.

    “Therefore Washington’s current actions – capturing and maintaining military control over oil fields in eastern Syria – is, simply put, international state banditry,” Russia’s defense ministry said.

    9. Killing Russians in Syria
    Reports have placed Russian casualties anywhere between a handful and hundreds, but whatever the exact number the U.S. military is known to have killed Russian citizens as part of the Trump administration’s ongoing Syria occupation in an altercation last year.

    10. Tanks in Estonia

    Quote Ron Paul News
    @RonPaulNews
    US Tanks, Troops Arrive In Estonia As Part Of NATO Anti-Russia Build Up http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/arch...ssia-build-up/ … #tlot #ronpaul

    View image on Twitter
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    4:43 PM - Feb 7, 2017
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    Within weeks of taking office, Trump was already sending Abrams battle tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other military hardware right up to Russia’s border as part of a NATO operation.

    “Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued US commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

    11. War ships in the Black Sea
    Quote CNN

    @CNN
    The US Navy is ramping up its presence in the Black Sea as part of a bid to counter Russia's increased presence there, a US military official tells CNN http://cnn.it/2GrOQ0G

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    12. Sanctions
    Trump approved new sanctions against Russia on August 2017. CNN reports the following:

    “US President Donald Trump approved fresh sanctions on Russia Wednesday after Congress showed overwhelming bipartisan support for the new measures,” CNN reported at the time. “Congress passed the bill last week in response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, as well as its human rights violations, annexation of Crimea and military operations in eastern Ukraine. The bill’s passage drew ire from Moscow — which responded by stripping 755 staff members and two properties from US missions in the country — all but crushing any hope for the reset in US-Russian relations that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had called for.”

    “A full-fledged trade war has been declared on Russia,” said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in response.

    13. More sanctions
    “The United States imposed sanctions on five Russian individuals on Wednesday, including the leader of the Republic of Chechnya, for alleged human rights abuses and involvement in criminal conspiracies, a sign that the Trump administration is ratcheting up pressure on Russia,” The New York Times reported in December 2017.

    14. Still more sanctions

    Quote ...By The Way ☕☕
    @_MrDavidJones
    Trump just hit Russian oligarchs with the most aggressive sanctions yet http://dlvr.it/QNfTz8 via @vicenews

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    “Trump just hit Russian oligarchs with the most aggressive sanctions yet,” reads aVice headline from April of last year.

    “The sanctions target seven oligarchs and 12 companies under their ownership or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank,” Vice reports. “While the move is aimed, in part, at Russia’s role in the U.S. 2016 election, senior U.S. government officials also stressed that the new measures seek to penalize Russia’s recent bout of international troublemaking more broadly, including its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and military activity in eastern Ukraine.”

    15. Even more sanctions
    The Trump administration hit Russia with more sanctions for the alleged Skripal poisoning in August of last year, then hit them with another round of sanctions for the same reason again in August of this year.

    16. Guess what? MORE sanctions
    Quote Aaron Maté

    @aaronjmate
    Each new round of sanctions on Russia is an opportunity to remind ourselves that serious pundits & cable news hosts have openly posited -- like, not just pondered in their in minds or anonymous chat rooms -- that Trump is a Kremlin operative and/or subjected to Kremlin blackmail: https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1060611181549965312

    The Hill

    @thehill
    Trump admin imposes new sanctions on Russia over annexation of Crimea http://hill.cm/g7KJvix

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    “The Trump administration on Thursday imposed new sanctions on a dozen individuals and entities in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea,” The Hill reported in November of last year. “The group includes a company linked to Bank Rossiya and Russian businessman Yuri Kovalchuk and others accused of operating in Crimea, which the U.S. says Russia seized illegally in 2014.”

    17. Oh hey, more sanctions
    “Today, the United States continues to take action in response to Russian attempts to influence US democratic processes by imposing sanctions on four entities and seven individuals associated with the Internet Research Agency and its financier, Yevgeniy Prigozhin. This action increases pressure on Prigozhin by targeting his luxury assets, including three aircraft and a vessel,” reads a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from September of this year.

    18. Secondary sanctions
    Secondary sanctions are economic sanctions in which a third party is punished for breaching the primary sanctions of the sanctioning body. The U.S. has leveled sanctions against both China and Turkey for purchasing Russian S-400 air defense missiles, and it is threatening to do so to India as well.

    19. Forcing Russian media to register as foreign agents
    Both RT and Sputnik have been forced to register as “foreign agents” by the Trump administration. This classification forced the outlets to post a disclaimer on content, to report their activities and funding sources to the Department of Justice twice a year, and could arguably place an unrealistic burden on all their social media activities as it submits to DOJ micromanagement.

    20. Throwing out Russian diplomats

    Quote Caitlin Johnstone ⏳
    @caitoz
    Worst. Putin Puppet. Ever.

    "Isn't it weird how when you ignore the narratives being promoted by both sides and just look at the raw behavior, being a 'Putin puppet' looks exactly the same as being a dangerously aggressive Russia hawk?"#Russia #diplomatshttps://steemit.com/russia/@caitlinjohnstone/worst-putin-puppet-ever …

    Worst. Putin Puppet. Ever. — Steemit
    In what the BBC is unironically referring to as "a remarkable show of solidarity," the US and more than 20 other… by caitlinjohnstone
    https://steemit.com/russia/@caitlinj...in-puppet-ever
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    The Trump administration joined some 20 other nations in casting out scores of Russian diplomats as an immediate response to the Skripal poisoning incident in the U.K. "
    Continued
    Last edited by Franny; 28th November 2019 at 23:50. Reason: Embed video
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Continued from http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1325572

    " 21. Training Polish and Latvian fighters “to resist Russian aggression”
    “US Army Special Forces soldiers completed the first irregular and unconventional warfare training iteration for members of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces and Latvian Zemmessardze as a part of the Ridge Runner program in West Virginia, according to service officials,” Army Times reported this past July.

    “U.S. special operations forces have been training more with allies from the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations in the wake of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014,” Army Times writes. “A low-level conflict continues to simmer in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region between Russian-backed separatists and government forces to this day. The conflict spurred the Baltics into action, as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia embraced the concepts of total defense and unconventional warfare, combining active-duty, national guard and reserve-styled forces to each take on different missions to resist Russian aggression and even occupation.”

    22. Refusal to recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation


    …even while acknowledging Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights as perfectly legal and legitimate.

    23. Sending 1,000 troops to Poland
    From the September article “1000 US Troops Are Headed to Poland” by National Interest:

    Key point: Trump agreed to send more forces to Poland to defend it against Russia.

    What Happened: U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to deploy approximately 1,000 additional U.S. troops to Poland during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, Reuters reported Sept. 23.

    Why It Matters: The deal, which formalizes the United States’ commitment to protecting Poland from Russia, provides a diplomatic victory to Duda and his governing Law and Justice ahead of November elections. The additional U.S. troops will likely prompt a reactive military buildup from Moscow in places like neighboring Kaliningrad and, potentially, Belarus.

    24. Withdrawing from the Iran deal
    Russia has been consistently opposed to Trump’s destruction of the JCPOA. In a statement after Trump killed the deal, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was “deeply disappointed by the decision of US President Donald Trump to unilaterally refuse to carry out commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”, adding that this administration’s actions were “trampling on the norms of international law”.

    25. Attacking Russian gas interests
    Quote Stuart Wallace

    @StuartLWallace
    Trump threatened sanctions over Merkel’s continued support for a gas pipeline from Russia https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-nord-stream-2 … via @josh_wingrove

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    Trump has been threatening Germany with sanctions and troop withdrawal if it continues to support a gas pipeline from Russia called Nord Stream 2.

    “Echoing previous threats about German support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Trump said he’s looking at sanctions to block the project he’s warned would leave Berlin ‘captive’ to Moscow,” Bloomberg reports. “The US also hopes to export its own liquefied natural gas to Germany.”

    “We’re protecting Germany from Russia, and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars in money from Germany” for its gas, Trump told the press.

    I could have kept going, but that’s my 25. The only reason anyone still believes Trump is anything other than insanely hawkish toward Russia is because it doesn’t benefit anyone’s partisanship or profit margins to call it like it really is. The facts are right here as plain as can be, but there’s a difference between facts and narrative. If they wanted to, the political/media class could very easily use the facts I just laid out to weave the narrative that this president is imperiling us all with dangerous new cold war provocations, but that’s how different narrative is from fact; there’s almost no connection. Instead they use a light sprinkling of fact to weave a narrative that has very little to do with reality. And meanwhile the insane escalations continue.

    In a cold war, it only takes one miscommunication or one defective piece of equipment to set off a chain of events that can obliterate all life on earth. The more things escalate, the greater the probability of that happening. We’re rolling the dice on Armageddon every single day, and with every escalation the number we need to beat gets a bit harder.

    We should not be rolling the dice on this. This is very, very wrong, and the U.S. and Russia should stop and establish detente immediately. The fact that outlets like CNN would rather diddle made-up Russiagate narratives than point to this obvious fact with truthful reporting is in and of itself sufficient to discredit them all forever."

    (This all makes sense especially if you think that EVERYTHING in US politics is being orchestrated from behind the scenes, and that ALL of the MSM is designed to distract us from that, including FOX, which likes to portray itself these days as being in a separate category. )
    Last edited by onawah; 29th November 2019 at 15:38.
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Understand The OPCW Scandal In Seven Minutes
    NOVEMBER 29, 2019
    by CAITLIN JOHNSTONE
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11...seven-minutes/



    "One of the annoying things about continuing to write about the OPCW/Douma scandal in the near-total absence of mainstream media coverage is the fact that it’s difficult for a new reader to just jump in on this developing story without having followed it from the beginning. There are a lot of details to go over to introduce someone to the story, and if I repeat them every time I write an article on the subject I’m twelve paragraphs in before I get to the new developments, and by that time I’ve bored all the readers who didn’t need the introduction. I’m sure other alternative media figures commenting on this story have encountered the same problem.

    Fortunately for us, In The Now and journalist Dan Cohen have stepped up to the plate and put together a concise, easy-to-follow video on both Twitter and Facebook explaining the OPCW scandal in a way that enables anyone to familiarize themselves with the story in seven minutes. This article exists solely to draw attention to this excellent resource.

    Quote Dan Cohen

    @dancohen3000
    A leaked email accuses the OPCW of doctoring a report to suit the US government’s justification for its illegal bombing of Syria in April 2018. I explain the scandal mainstream media is trying to supress:
    1,512
    7:19 PM - Nov 27, 2019
    video at: https://twitter.com/i/status/1199860236946935808
    Cohen has been really great about quickly getting concise, quality videos out to help people make sense of specific developing stories which the haze of western propaganda makes difficult to understand; his recent videos on the Bolivia coup and the Hong Kong protests were very helpful in the same way. He uses robust arguments and independently verifiable facts to clearly show that there’s much more to these stories than the mass media have been letting us know.

    I’ll definitely be linking to this video in my articles going forward to enable anyone who hasn’t been following the OPCW scandal closely to quickly familiarize themselves with the story. The more of these lucid, accessible resources we’ve got circulating within the information ecosystem, the better. "
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    A Surefire Cure For Despair
    by CAITLIN JOHNSTONE
    DECEMBER 4, 2019
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12...e-for-despair/

    "“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”
    ~ Samuel Beckett

    Sometimes it just gets to be too goddamn much. You just finished a soul-draining argument with a family member who insists that Putin controls all major world events because that’s what the TV said so it must be true, then you check the poll numbers for the upcoming elections in the US and UK and you see your favorite candidates just don’t have the kind of numbers they’re going to need, the latest revelation that the US and its allies deceived the world about what’s happening in Syria has been completely swept under the rug by the establishment news churn, Bolivia has been taken over by US-backed Christian fascists, and now you’re watching Mike Pompeo’s stupid asshole face spouting some made-up bull**** about Iran that you know the news media will never hold him accountable for.

    And it’s just too goddamn much.

    To become oppositional to the status quo is to enter into a long-term relationship with despair. It’s not a monogamous relationship; you’ll have the occasional affair with anger, a fling with fear, a rendezvous with rage, and every once in a while even a brief tryst with triumph. But you always end up drunkenly stumbling home to bed with the old ball-and-chain despair.

    Every time you think you might have the bastards on the ropes, every time you see a shining crack in the cage, a glowing glitch in the matrix, it’s quickly covered up by some gibberish about Russia or empty shrieking about Donald Trump, and then everyone’s herded along into the next authorised imperial narrative.

    This is because the deck is stacked so very high against you. The rulers of the empire have all the money, all the resources, all the infrastructure and almost all the media, and they use these advantages ceaselessly to shift things around in order to prevent the unwashed masses from rising up and toppling their palaces.

    It’s possible to avoid confronting this reality by busying oneself with activism and information, but at some point despair always kicks in.

    So what do you do? I get asked this all the time.

    “How do you stay so optimistic, Caitlin?” people often ask me. “How, in the face of so much deception, exploitation and oppression, do you avoid giving in to despair?”

    Well I’ll tell you my secret: I don’t.

    I don’t avoid despair at all. I give into it fully, over and over and over again.

    Whenever things seem hopeless and I feel like I’m bashing my head against a solid brick wall, I just say, “Fine then. I quit.”

    And then I do.

    I quit fully. I let go of the entire battle. I let go of all the responsibility I feel to help create a better world. I let go of my desire to stick it to the bastards, and I relinquish every inch of skin I’ve got in this game. I lay down (sometimes literally), and I stop struggling against the relentless tide of establishment evil.

    And I feel a tremendous relief. Ah, what a great feeling! To no longer be holding the world together with my efforts!

    Having been granted the thing that it wanted, the crushing weight of despair is lifted from my chest. It snatches its terrible prize and slithers off to gnaw on it in a dark corner somewhere.

    And then something interesting happens. The world keeps turning. And it doesn’t fall apart.

    It’s the darndest thing. I stopped holding off armageddon through sheer force of will, yet the world remains. The sun comes up, the birds chirp, the internet forum debates continue, and my lungs keep taking in oxygen.

    A lot of magic can happen in that space. When you quit. When you relinquish the illusion that your sustained, straining willpower has anything to do with the continued battle against corruption and bloodshed.

    Because in that moment you see clearly that it’s got nothing to do with you. Anti-imperialists pick up their weapons and begin the battle anew each morning, regardless of anything you’re doing or saying. Your body keeps taking in air, pumping blood and digesting food regardless of anything you’re doing or saying. And, without the assistance of any Atlas-like effort on your part whatsoever, you’ll notice that your body also re-engages in the battle.

    Because what the hell else is it going to do? Not fight? Of course not. What has been seen will never be unseen. Your operating system isn’t going to stop fighting the bad guys just because you stopped willing it to, any more than your body will refrain from putting its arms up when someone throws a baseball at your head.

    You can trust that your whole body-brain-organism-thingy will keep fighting with or without the sustained straining of your personal willpower. And that works out nicely, because it’s the sustained straining of your personal willpower that creates the sense of despair. If you aren’t constantly straining to win elections, expose wrongdoing, topple the oligarchs and end wars by sheer force of will, and are rather just picking up your weapons of truth and compassion and doing what comes naturally to you from moment to moment, then despair really has nothing to work with, because you’re not fixated on some remote end-goal that keeps getting obstacles thrown in front of it.

    Journalist Chris Hedges once said, “I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.” It’s the fighting itself that matters, and you can trust that that fighting will continue even without your sustained personal will.

    Don’t take my word for it. Next time you find yourself feeling like you can’t go on fighting this fight anymore, just give up. Quit. Then watch what happens. Before long you’ll see your fingers typing dissident ideas onto screens, you’ll hear your voice speaking unauthorized truths, you’ll watch your mind forming forbidden ideas. And it will all be happening without “you”, without the sustained personal effort of the thing you take yourself to be.

    This fight will fight itself, if you let it. And it can actually fight a lot more efficiently without the sustained sense of personal effort constantly bogging the whole process down with frustration and despair. Just let your body’s operating system fight this one on its own. It doesn’t need your help.

    And in the end, maybe the war will be won. Maybe it won’t. It’s really none of your business. Your job is to let your organism fight for its life, as it’s been conditioned to do by millions of years of evolution. That evolutionary drive to survive was here long before you showed up, and it will remain after you’re gone. It’s got nothing to do with you. So stand back and let it fight."
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Pro Tip: Mentally Replace All Uses Of “Conspiracy Theorist” With “Iraq Rememberer”
    by Caitlin Johnstone
    12/5/19
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12...aq-rememberer/



    "I watched the film Official Secrets the other day, which I highly recommend doing if you want to rekindle your rage about the unforgivable evil that was the Iraq invasion.

    Which is a good thing to do, in my opinion. Absolutely nothing was ever done to address the fact that a million people were murdered with the assistance of government lies just a few short years ago; no new laws were passed mandating more government transparency or accountability with its military operations, no war crimes tribunals took place, no new policies were put into place. No one even got fired. In fact we've seen the exact opposite: the people responsible for unleashing that horror upon our species have been given prestigious jobs in government and media and the US government is currently collaborating with the UK to set the legal precedent for charging under the Espionage Act any journalist in the world who exposes US war crimes.

    The corrupt mechanisms which gave rise to the Iraq invasion still exist currently, stronger than ever, and its consequences continue to ravage the region to this very day. The Iraq war isn't some event that happened in the past; everything about it is still here with us, right now. So we should still be enraged. You don't forgive and forget something that hasn't even stopped, let alone been rectified.

    Apart from the howling rage surging through my veins during the film, the other thing I experienced was the recurring thought, "This was a conspiracy. This is the thing that a conspiracy is."

    And, I mean, of course it is. How weird is it that we don't use that word to describe what the architects of that war did? Conspiracy is defined as "a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful." From the secret plan between the NSA and GCHQ to spy on and blackmail UN members into supporting the illegal invasion which is the subject of Official Secrets, to the mountain of other schemes and manipulations used by other government bodies to deceive the world about Iraq, it's absolutely insane that that word is never used to describe the conspiracy within the Bush and Blair governments to manufacture the case for war.

    The engineering of the Iraq war was a conspiracy, per any conceivable definition. So why isn't that word reflexively used by everyone who talks about it?

    Easy. Because we haven't been trained to.

    The use of the word "conspiracy" is studiously avoided by the narrative managers of the political/media class who are tasked with the assignment of teaching us how to think about our world, except when it is to be employed for its intended and authorised use: smearing skeptics of establishment narratives. The pejorative "conspiracy theory" has been such a useful weapon in inoculating the herd from dissident wrongthink that the propagandists do everything they can to avoid tainting their brand, even if it means refraining from using words for the things that they refer to.

    This is why the word "collusion" was continuously and uniformly used throughout the entire Russiagate saga, for example. It was a narrative about a secret conspiracy between the highest levels of the US government and the Russian government to subvert the interests of the American people, yet the word "conspiracy" was meticulously replaced with "collusion" by everyone peddling that story.
    Quote A self-described "former Rolling Stone fact-checker" called me (what else?) a "conspiracy theorist." But when challenged, this was the best she could do. 🤣 https://t.co/S5pLGaaHTS

    — Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) November 30, 2019
    Syria narrative managers on Twitter have been in meltdown for a week ever since the Rolling Stone podcast Useful Idiots featured oppositional journalist Max Blumenthal talking about the US-centralized empire's involvement in the Syrian war and its pervasive propaganda campaign against that nation. The entire site has been swarming with high-visibility blue-checkmarked thought police demanding the heads of the show's hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper for giving this evil "conspiracy theorist" a platform to say we're being deceived about yet another US-led regime change intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation.

    Narrative managers use the "conspiracy theorist" pejorative to shove skepticism of establishment narratives into the margins of political discourse, far away where it can't contaminate the mainstream herd. Whenever you see a dissenting interpretation of events getting too close to mainstream circles, as with Blumenthal appearing on a Rolling Stone podcast, Tulsi Gabbard saying on national television that the US government has armed terrorists, or Tucker Carlson interviewing Jonathan Steele about the OPCW leaks, you see an intense campaign of shrieking outrage and public shaming geared at shoving those dissident narratives as far into the fringe as possible by branding them "conspiracy theories".

    My suggestion then is this: whenever you see the label "conspiracy theorist" being applied to anyone who questions an establishment narrative about Syria, Russia, Iran or wherever, just mentally swap it out for the term "Iraq rememberer". When you see anyone shouting about "conspiracy theories", mentally replace it with "remembering Iraq". It makes it much easier to see what's really going on.
    Quote The regime changers have been melting down for days bc @kthalps and @mtaibbi interviewed @MaxBlumenthal on their @RollingStone podcast. They can’t stand seeing an antiwar voice anywhere near the mainstream. Check out the episode that’s driving them mad https://t.co/nXbGMjSRPl
    — Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) December 1, 2019
    Powerful people and institutions secretly coordinating with each other to do evil things is the absolute worst-case scenario for the rest of the population; it is precisely the thing we fear when we allow people and institutions to have power over us. We need to be able to talk about that worst-case scenario occurring, especially since we know for a fact that it does indeed happen. Powerful people do conspire to inflict evil things upon the rest of us, and we do need to use thoughts and ideas to discuss how that might be happening. We are not meant to think about this, which is why we're meant to forget about Iraq.

    The Iraq invasion was like if a family were sitting around the dinner table one night, then the father stood up, decapitated his daughter with a steak knife, then sat back down and continued eating and everyone just went back to their meals and never talked about what happened. That's how absolutely creepy and weird it is that the news churn just moved on after a conspiracy within the most powerful government in the world led to the murder of a million human beings.

    Never forget the Iraq war conspiracy, no matter how hard they try to make you. They did it before, they've done it again in Libya and Syria, and they'll continue to attempt it in the future. When you sound the alarm about this they will call you a conspiracy theorist. All they're really saying is that you're one of those annoying pests who just won't shut up and forget about Iraq."
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Fake News By Omission :  The Mass Media’s Cowardly Distortion Tool
    12/6/19
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12...stortion-tool/

    "Western mass media have continued their conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal, making no significant mention yet this month of the leaks which have been emerging from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons indicating that the US, France and UK bombed Syria last year in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack which probably never occurred, and that OPCW leadership helped cover it up.

    If you haven’t been following the still-unfolding OPCW scandal, you can catch up quickly by watching this seven-minute video.



    Mass media’s silence on this hugely important story is noteworthy not just because it has far-reaching consequences for the future of the Syrian regime change agenda and for public trust in US-led war narratives, not just because the leaks have already been independently authenticated by the mainstream press, and not just because scandalous revelations about powerful entities are normally the sort of incendiary click fodder that makes a mainstream news editor hasten behind his desk to hide his arousal. It is also noteworthy because we’re being told by people in the know that even more leaks are coming.

    “Much more to come about the censoring of the facts on Douma at the Poison Gas Watchdog OPCW,” tweeted journalist Peter Hitchens earlier today. “It really is time that the Grand Unpopular Press and the BBC, realised this is a major story. Are they too proud to admit they might have been wrong?”

    Hitchens, who was among the very first to publish the leaked internal OPCW email last month revealing multiple glaring plot holes in the official narrative about the alleged chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, has been saying this for a while now.

    “More is known by the whistleblowers of the OPCW than has yet been released, but verification procedures have slowed down its release,” Hitchens wrote in his blog last week. “More documents will, I expect, shortly come to light.”

    So this is still an unfolding story that is only going to get more scandalous in the coming days. Yet rather than reporting on an important news story (which it may surprise you to learn is actually supposed to be the literal job description of the news media), the mainstream press has been silent. The only times the mass media have commented on this major story has been to spin it as Russian disinformation, and Tucker Carlson’s segment on it last week which was also falsely spun as disinfo by establishment narrative managers like David Brock’s Media Matters for America.

    Quote Left I on the News
    @leftiblog
    It may be hard for some to grasp this concept, but not telling people about something that *did* happen gives them just as incorrect knowledge about reality as does telling them something did happen which actually did not. That's why "fake news" (by omission) is the right term. https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1202035505568698369

    Caitlin Johnstone ⏳
    @caitoz
    Con artists prefer lies by omission because they are cowards and they would prefer not to look you in the eye while lying. The same is true for the MSM. Omissions like not reporting on OPCW leaks are the same as straight-up lies. It’s fake news by omission (h/t @leftiblog).

    34
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    The blog Left I on the News uses the term “fake news by omission” to describe this obnoxious yet ubiquitous propaganda tactic, where imperial media outlets deliberately distort people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world by simply declining to cover news stories which are inconvenient to the establishment narrative.

    Refusing to tell people about things that did happen distorts their worldview just as much as telling them things that did not happen, yet mass media will never be held accountable for engaging in the former, while engaging in the latter forces them to print embarrassing retractions and lose credibility with the public. For this reason, fake news by omission is their preferred tactic of deceit.

    People sometimes think of the mainstream media as always straight-up lying all the time, just fabricating stories whole cloth about what’s going on, but that isn’t generally how it works. A good liar doesn’t lie all the time, and they don’t even tell full lies unless absolutely necessary. What they do is far more cowardly and far more effective: they spin, they distort, they tell half-truths, they emphasise insignificant details and marginalize significant ones, they uncritically report what government officials are telling them, and they lie by omission.

    However, the total disappearance of the OPCW leaks is unusual for the legacy media. The imperial press have had their ways of hiding inconvenient stories since newspapers began. Running stories late on a Friday, running them on the “graveyard page” of page 2 (so-called because stories go there to die), holding on to them until another big story breaks so they can be published relatively unnoticed, waiting for them to be broken in a disreputable publication so people will be skeptical of it (sometimes known as “fixing” a story), or running an oppositional op-ed at the same time to spin the uncomfortable facts in a more salubrious way. But in the end, they usually run the story, in one way or another, so they can be seen not to be censoring.

    Not this time though. The exceptional silence on the OPCW scandal from imperial news media, in and of itself, discredits them completely. But people won’t know about it unless they are told. Spread the word."
    Last edited by Franny; 6th December 2019 at 05:10.
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Quote "I watched the film Official Secrets the other day, which I highly recommend doing if you want to rekindle your rage about the unforgivable evil that was the Iraq invasion.
    Our mailed copy should arrive today for viewing this weekend. I was definitely aware of those lies leading up to that war as it happened, and will never forget. That and 9/11 leave so many war-criminals and traitors still walking around free today.
    I don't believe anything, but I have many suspicions. - Robert Anton Wilson

    The present as you think of it, and in practical working terms, is that point at which you select your physical experience from all those events that could be materialized. - Seth (The Nature of Personal Reality - Session 656, Page 293)

    (avatar image: Brocken spectre, a wonderful phenomenon of nature I have experienced and a symbol for my aspirations.) :)

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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Self-Validating Circle Jerk Of War Psyops: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
    by Caitlin Johnstone
    12/7/19
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12...rative-matrix/



    "Everyone made fun of Billie Eilish the other day for not knowing about Van Halen. Meanwhile most of them still think they live in a free democracy where the news reporter tells you true facts about the world.

    Here’s how politicians, media and government could eliminate conspiracy theories if they really wanted to:

    Stop lying all the time
    Stop killing people
    Stop promoting conspiracy theories (Russiagate)
    Stop doing evil things in secret
    End government opacity
    Stop conspiring
    I actually envy the pro-establishment types. What pleasant lives they must have lived to be able to trust authority with such pure, blind faith like that.

    On the right they often refer to deaths under 20th century communist governments. On the left they talk a lot about Nazi Germany. What doesn’t get nearly enough attention is how the tyrannical force that’s doing the killing and oppressing right now is the US-centralized empire.

    If a reporter in the mass media advances the establishment line in a clever and skillful way, they’ll be published, praised and promoted. Those who figure this out quickly rise to the top. Those who don’t get fed bottom-tier assignments no one reads until they find new careers. This is all you’re seeing when you see blue-checkmarked media figures smearing Assange or shrieking about the Evil Dictator Of The Week. You’re seeing ambitious reporters who understand how the game is played signal their understanding to current and future employers.

    Nowhere in the mainstream news cycle is the difference between fact and narrative highlighted more clearly than in the difference between the facts of Trump’s dangerous escalations against Russia and the narrative about his softness toward Russia. Same planet, different worlds.

    The devious and depraved individuals who work in government agencies know that many great evils can be hidden behind people’s entirely irrational tendency to dismiss their own suspicions with a “No, my government would never do something that devious and depraved!”

    It’s not ****ing complicated. If a narrative serves the interests of powerful groups with a known history of lying, be skeptical of that narrative. This should be extremely obvious to everyone.

    How to avoid being called a Russian agent online:

    Don’t be Russian
    Support all US wars
    Trust the CIA
    Believe everything the TV tells you
    Get excited for President Pete
    Reject the evil Hawaiian woman
    Believe all problems began January 2017
    Obey
    Obey
    Obey
    Obey
    Con artists prefer lies by omission because they are cowards and they would prefer not to look you in the eye while lying. The same is true for the imperial media. Omissions like not reporting on OPCW leaks are the same as straight-up lies. It’s fake news by omission.

    We really cannot afford to lose the battle to free Assange. If we’re going to let them imprison a journalist for life because he exposed US war crimes then we might as well tap out and hand the imperialists the keys to the world forever, because we’ll never reclaim what we lost.

    Anybody who isn’t loudly protesting Assange’s imprisonment is now caping for Trump’s diabolical attack on the free press worldwide. Silence is complicity right now. This is endgame; without a free press holding power to account, we are done and we will freefall into dystopia.

    Things that make me sick about the Assange case:

    The fact that we keep trying to appeal to journalists’ self-preservation to get them to support him because we know their moral compass is not enough.
    #Resistance Democrats happy to see him die in jail because “He helped Trump.” Even if that was true (it’s not), how psychopathically authoritarian do you have to be to condemn someone to death because they have different politics to you?
    And the hypocrisy of it all. My God. They’re like, “Hey kids! Don’t forget to #Resist tyranny and fascism by cheerleading a Trump administration agenda to make it possible for the US government to imprison journalists for exposing US war crimes!”
    Another thing that makes me side-eye my fellow man when it comes to Assange: so many Australians tell me they are disgusted by what’s happening but very few of them are willing to speak out publicly. Bloody wusses. They might as well tie the noose for all the good they’re doing.
    One thing that gives me hope: the cool-factor is building momentum around Assange here in Australia. I think maybe it’s because Australians generally loathe that church-lady busy-body tsk-tsk tone that typifies the general narrative on Assange. It’s so uncool. So there’s that.

    People often say if MSM reporters don’t defend Assange then they’ll be next behind bars. One problem: it’s not true. And they know it’s not true. If you serve power, nothing you publish will get you into trouble. If they’re silent on Assange, they’ve openly chosen to serve power.

    Every single person who still believes Hillary Clinton would have made a decent president has simply spent the last few years adamantly refusing to do intellectually and emotionally honest research into the things that she did as a secretary of state and senator.

    Democrats who continually object to centrists being criticized from the left within their party while also simultaneously shrieking about Jill Stein running as a third party candidate are really just saying “No one’s allowed to be to the left of Hillary Clinton. Ever. At all.”
    https://twitter.com/KamalaNation/sta...215224834?s=20

    Broke: Buttigieg is a Rhodes Scholar, isn’t that awesome?
    Woke: Corey Booker is also a Rhodes Scholar, but nobody makes a big deal about a Black man’s achievements.
    Bespoke: The Rhodes Scholarship is just a training program for CIA-aligned establishment swamp monsters.

    I’m almost certainly wasting my breath here, but the Bernie crowd vs. Tulsi crowd sectarian feuding I’m seeing on social media will be over and irrelevant in a few months, so maybe it would be a good idea to contemplate how wise it is to say hurtful/damaging things to/about each other in the meantime.

    Trump is doing countless evil things right out in the open, yet instead his “opposition” focuses on imaginary Russia conspiracies and an impeachment that can only fail, much like a pro wrestler stomping on the mat next to his downed “opponent” to avoid hurting the other actor.

    I’m going to start mentally replacing the label “conspiracy theorist” with “Iraq rememberer”.

    The reason it’s so important to stay enraged about Iraq is because it’s never been addressed or rectified in any real way whatsoever. All the corrupt mechanisms which led to the invasion are still in place and its consequences remain. It isn’t something that happened in the past; it’s happening now.

    It’s just so insane how Bush showed up, launched two full-scale ground invasions based on lies, murdered a million people, launched unprecedented domestic espionage programs, and then the news churn just moved on and now we’re only supposed to care about Trump’s rude tweets.

    If you lack a deep, visceral loathing of the Bush administration for the evils it unleashed and the precedents it set, then you also lack (A) any framework through which to correctly understand the world, and (B) a conscience.

    QAnon is Fox News in puzzle form. It gives adherents a bunch of cryptic hints leading them down artificial rabbit holes which just so happen to result in their all believing mainstream GOP narratives like Trump is awesome, everything’s Obama’s fault, and Iran needs regime change.

    The NED-funded Bellingcat isn’t toxic on its own. What makes it toxic is the way it’s aggressively elevated and promoted by mainstream news media, who then cite it as an authoritative source in their own imperialist propaganda. It’s a self-validating circle jerk of war psyops.https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/sta...18120541458437


    There’s a very common, very stupid notion that if you criticize the US government, you also have to criticize other governments equally. Ask which specific governments must be criticized, and out of all the corrupt governments in the world they’ll name only those targeted by US imperialism. Nobody will ever bitch at you for criticizing the US government without criticizing corrupt governments like Egypt, the Philippines or Saudi Arabia. They only ever want you to attack the governments their TV tells them to attack: Russia, China, Iran, etc.

    The capitalism cultist’s solution to caring for developmentally disabled children is that their families care for them at home for their entire lives. Society gets those families’ labor, for free. Free stuff! Sweet, huh? But the problem with capitalism is that eventually you run out of other people’s free labor.
    Everyone talks about “free stuff” but no one talks about free labor. The carers of children, the disabled, and the elderly do free work all day every day, but that’s fine, just don’t give them any free stuff because that would be immoral. Everyone loves to say “Not everything is about money,” but only when it comes to carer’s work. Otherwise it’s all “Taxation is theft!” and “Don’t coerce me in to caring for others!” Carers are just meant to retire on good feelings and pay their rent with sweet sentiments. Or depending wholly on the charitable inclinations of an industrious man. Who hopefully is the nice kind of man and tough luck if he isn’t.
    And don’t hyperventilate at me about violence and coercion. The current system is based on coercion and force when you’re a primary carer. You can’t leave even if your situation is abusive, you don’t get paid so you can’t even retire. That’s as coercive and forceful as it gets.

    I’m really looking forward to when we’ve won this thing and the people have wrested their rightful power away from their oppressors so I don’t have to stay plugged into the news cycle 24/7 keeping track of what bull****’s spewing out of people’s televisions today.

    If we make it out of this mess, it won’t be because anyone’s ideology won out over the others, it will be because we fundamentally changed the way we function as a species. It will be because we completely transformed our relationship with abstract thought and mental narrative.
    Last edited by onawah; 7th December 2019 at 20:35.
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Journalist: Newsweek Suppressed OPCW Scandal And Threatened Me With Legal Action
    12/8/19
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12...-legal-action/



    "A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here.
    Quote “Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason,” journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter.
    “I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct,” Haddad said. “I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action.”

    Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason.

    — Tareq Haddad (@Tareq_Haddad) December 7, 2019

    Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer.

    “I could have kept silent and kept my job, but I would not have been able to continue with a clean conscience,” Haddad said. “I will have some instability now but the truth is more important.”

    This is the first direct insider report we’re getting on the mass media’s conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal that I wrote about just the other day. In how many other newsrooms is this exact same sort of suppression happening, including threats of legal action, to journalists who don’t have the courage or ability to leave and speak out? There is no logical reason to assume that Haddad is the only one encountering such roadblocks from mass media editors; he’s just the only one going public about it.

    Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets, and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard. The outlet will occasionally print oppositional-looking articles like this one by Ian Wilkie questioning the establishment Syria narrative, but not without immediately turning around and publishing an attack on Wilkie’s piece by Eliot Higgins, a former Atlantic Council Senior Fellow who is the cofounder of the NED-funded imperial narrative management firm Bellingcat. Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication.

    Quote Mainstream media doesn’t think the leaks are newsworthy indicating that the US, France and UK bombed Syria last year in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack which according to the official scientists who invested it maybe never occurred. https://t.co/CRnL9Ejatw

    — Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) December 6, 2019
    The ubiquitous propagandistic tactic of fake news by omission distorts the public’s worldview just as much as it would if mass media outlets were publishing bogus stories whole cloth every day, only if they were doing that it would be much easier to pin them down on their lies, hold them accountable, and discredit them.

    A recent FAIR article by Alan MacLeod documents how the Hong Kong demonstrations are pushed front and center in mainstream consciousness despite the fact that to this day not one protester has been killed by security forces, while far more deadly violence is being directed at huge protests in empire-aligned nations like Haiti, Chile and Ecuador which have been almost completely ignored by these same outlets. This deliberate omission causes a distorted worldview in casual and mainstream news media consumers in which protests are only happening in nations that are outside the US-centralized power alliance. We see the same kind of deliberate distortion-by-omission with the way mass media continually pushes the narrative that Donald Trump is “soft on Russia”, while remaining completely silent on the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    The time is now for everyone with a platform to start banging the drum about the OPCW scandal, because we’re seeing more and more signs that the deluge of leaks hemorrhaging from that organisation is only going to increase. Mainstream propagandists aren’t going to cover it, so if larger alternative media outlets want to avoid being lumped in with them and discredited in the same sweep it would be wise to start talking about this thing today. It’s only going to get more and more awkward for everyone who chose to remain silent, and more and more validating for those who spoke out."
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    The Most Significant Afghanistan Papers Revelation Is How Difficult They Were To Make Public
    DECEMBER 11, 2019 by CAITLIN JOHNSTONE
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12...o-make-public/

    "The Washington Post has published clear, undeniable evidence that US government officials have been lying to the public about the war in Afghanistan, a shocking revelation for anyone who has done no research whatsoever into the history of US interventionism.

    In all seriousness it was a very good and newsworthy publication, and those who did the heavy lifting bringing the Afghanistan Papers into public awareness deserve full credit. The frank comments of US military officials plainly stating that from the very beginning this was an unwinnable conflict, initiated in a region nobody understood, without anyone being able to so much as articulate what victory would even look like, make up an extremely important piece of information that is in conflict with everything the public has been told about this war by their government.

    But the most significant revelation to come out of this story is not in the Afghanistan Papers themselves.


    The most significant Afghanistan Papers revelation comes from The Washington Post‘s account of the extremely difficult time they had extricating these important documents from the talons of government secrecy, as detailed in a separate article titled “How The Post unearthed The Afghanistan Papers“. WaPo explains how the papers were ultimately obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests which, after they were initially rejected by the US government, needed to be supplemented over three years with two lawsuits.

    “The Post’s efforts to obtain the Afghanistan documents also illustrate how difficult it can be for journalists — or any citizen — to pry public information from the government,” WaPo reports. “The purpose of FOIA is to open up federal agencies to public scrutiny. But officials determined to thwart the spirit of the law can drag out requests for years, hoping requesters will eventually give up.”

    “In October 2017, The Post sued the inspector general in U.S. District Court in Washington — a step that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees — to obtain the Flynn interview materials,” WaPo adds.

    Now, The Washington Post is a giant, for-profit corporate media outlet which is solely owned by Jeff Bezos, who is currently listed as the wealthiest person on earth. Does anyone reading this have hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of their life to spend battling the US government into complying with its own transparency laws? Are any of the alternative media outlets which consistently oppose US imperialism able to afford many such expenditures? I would guess not.

    Is it not disturbing that the American taxpayer has to depend on outlets like The Washington Post, a neocon-packed outlet with an extensive history of promoting US interventionism at every opportunity, to extract these documents from behind the wall of government opacity?



    After all, by WaPo’s own admission it both sought and published the Afghanistan Papers in order to take a swing at Donald Trump. According to the Post it went down this path in 2016 initially seeking documents on Michael Flynn, who was then part of the Trump campaign, after receiving a tip that he’d made some juicy statements about the war in Afghanistan to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). WaPo then made the decision to publish the papers now rather than waiting for its legal battle for more information to complete because Trump is currently in the midst of negotiating with the Taliban over a potential troop withdrawal.

    “The Post is publishing the documents now, instead of waiting for a final ruling, to inform the public while the Trump administration is negotiating with the Taliban and considering whether to withdraw the 13,000 U.S. troops who remain in Afghanistan,” WaPo reports.

    It is obviously an inherently good thing that WaPo poured its immense wealth and resources into pursuing and publishing these documents. But would it have done so if those documents hadn’t presented an opportunity to embarrass the Trump administration? What kinds of information does the notoriously war-happy WaPo not spend its wealth and resources pursuing and publishing? Probably a whole lot.

    It is a very safe assumption that, because of the immense walls of government opacity that have been built up around the unconscionable things America’s elected and unelected leadership is doing, there are far, far more evil things that are far, far worse than anything revealed in the Afghanistan Papers that we don’t know about, and that we don’t even know we don’t know about. Is it not deeply disturbing that we have to pray that some war-loving, establishment-supporting billionaire media outlet will have a partisan agenda to advance if we want to know about even a tiny sliver of this information?

    Quote I’m waiting for something like the #AfghanistanPapers to be released about U.S. involvement in Syria.

    The story won’t be one about corruption and false reports of progress but of knowingly helping Al Qaeda, its radical rebel friends, even ISIS.

    — Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) December 10, 2019
    I mean, it’s not like the Afghanistan Papers revealed anything we didn’t already know. It’s been public knowledge for many years that there was a preexisting agenda to invade Afghanistan well before September 11, it’s been public knowledge that many lies were put in place after the invasion, and it’s been public knowledge for a long time that we’re being lied to about how well the war is going. All these new revelations did was reify and draw attention to what anyone with an ear to the ground already knew: like all other US-led military interventions, we were lied to about Afghanistan. It’s not like the US government was staving off some massive unknown bombshell revelation with its resistance to WaPo’s FOIA requests. Yet it resisted them anyway, just because it was more convenient.

    Julian Assange once said “The overwhelming majority of information is classified to protect political security, not national security,” and we see this tacitly confirmed by the US government in its massive backlogs of unanswered FOIA requests, illegitimate refusals, unjustifiable redactions and exploitation of loopholes to retain as much security as possible. As one Twitter follower recently put it, “The FOIA was enacted in 1966 to make legally compulsory the opening of government activities to ‘sunlight’. Fifty-three years later, the government has learned how to neutralize the law and once again hide their misconduct. Classifying everything is one way, requiring an expensive ‘lawsuit’ is another.”

    It shouldn’t work this way. People shouldn’t have to count on immoral plutocratic media institutions to get their government to tell them the truth about what’s being done in their name using their tax dollars. A free nation would have privacy for its citizenry and transparency for its government; with the growing increase in surveillance and government secrecy across the entire US-centralized empire, what we’re getting is the exact opposite. "
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    The website appears to be down where Caitlin Johnstone's articles have been posted. I get the message:
    Quote Service Unavailable
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
    Additionally, a 503 Service Unavailable error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
    ...But I am getting them in her email newsletter, so I'm copying and pasting the last 2 as follow:

    "Why I Don’t Talk More About 9/11
    by Caitlin Johnstone
    12/11/19

    "For some reason 9/11 keeps coming up in my online interactions with people, both with establishment loyalists who call me a "9/11 truther" and with skeptics who say I don't write enough about what really happened on that day 18 years ago. So I figured I'll bang out a few quick paragraphs on the subject in the interest of transparency, and so I don't have to keep having the same conversations over and over again.

    My position on 9/11 itself is pretty simple: I don't know exactly what happened on the eleventh of September 2001, and I think anyone who claims to know with absolute certainty exactly what happened is fulla ****. But it's also extremely obvious that the world was lied to about what happened by the US government and its allies, as evidenced by the massive, glaring plot holes in the official 9/11 narrative.

    The most concise and rock-solid compilation of these plot holes that I have ever seen was compiled by conspiracy analyst James Corbett in this five-minute video and its accompanying source notes. Corbett made this video eight years ago on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and to this day I believe it's the strongest and most irrefutable case against the official narrative.



    I have never once seen anyone even attempt to refute Corbett's video, because as an argument it is completely unassailable. The brilliant thing about it is that, while it's called "9/11: A Conspiracy Theory", all it actually contains is the official narrative about how the alleged Al-Qaeda conspiracy to attack US buildings with jet planes is officially theorized to have taken place, per the establishment narrative. Corbett simply tells the story, exactly as it exists in mainstream discourse, but he tells the full story all at once while omitting the part where the storyteller tries to make it all sound perfectly reasonable and plausible. When you hear the official narrative repeated in this way, it's transparently self-evident that the public hasn't been told the truth.

    So why don't I talk about this more? It seems like it's right in my wheelhouse, right? 9/11 was used to manufacture consent for multiple wars in a highly suspicious way that just so happened to align with preexisting imperial geostrategic agendas, and if everyone could understand that they were deceived by their own government and media about something so important, the entire evil empire would come crashing down. Based on all my other writings you'd assume this would be something I'd be focused on facilitating.

    But I don't. I very rarely mention 9/11 except in passing. There are two reasons for this:

    Firstly, the narrative control battle has already been decisively won by the other side. The mainstream understanding is that anyone who talks about what really happened on 9/11 is a crazy crackpot who must not be listened to, because the establishment narrative control campaign to discredit and demonize critical thinking on the subject succeeded many years ago. If today's ubiquitous internet access had happened to coincide with 9/11 and the grassroots push to find out the truth behind it, that narrative control would have been far more difficult if not impossible for the establishment to shore up. But the timing didn't work out that way, and now the narrative is fully locked down except in the margins of discourse which have no effect on the mainstream.

    Secondly, even if there were some way to show everyone in the western world the truth of what happened on 9/11, the establishment propaganda machine would immediately narrative manage the problem away. The operation would be blamed on rogue actors, maybe a few powerful establishment loyalists would face consequences (though probably not) and be replaced with other establishment loyalists, and then the imperial propaganda machine would pace everyone into an understanding of why it's still right and necessary to support the US-centralized empire and its globe-sprawling war machine. The status quo would march on essentially undisturbed. This is one hundred percent guaranteed as long as the empire still has a functioning propaganda engine.

    Quote How To Defeat The Empire
    "What I do advocate, in as many different ways as I can come up with, is a decentralized guerrilla psywar against the institutions which enable the powerful to manipulate the way ordinary people think, act and vote."https://t.co/4F5dWaURdq
    — Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) September 10, 2019
    This is why I focus on attacking the establishment propaganda machine using clear, undeniable arguments against which people haven't been preemptively prejudiced against by narrative management campaigns, in a way that people can verify independently for themselves.

    As I explain in my article "How To Defeat The Empire", people can only hope to oust the oppression machine by using the power of their numbers to do so, and they won't use the power of their numbers to do so as long as they're successfully propagandized. The way to kill the empire's ability to propagandize people is not to run up to them saying things they've already been conditioned to view as bat **** insane, it's to help them see in their own experience that those outlets are behaving in an untrustworthy way here and now. Distrust in the mass media is already at an all-time high, so all it takes is a little nudge in the right direction.

    That's where I choose to pour my energy. Not into attacking a heavily-armored narrative about something that happened 18 years ago, but into independently verifiable deceptions happening here and now like the mass media's conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal, Bellingcat's easily debunked lies, and the various deceitful narratives used to manufacture consent for the imprisonment of Julian Assange. I can point to these things in a way that people will actually get curious about and look into for themselves, rather than slamming the cognitive door with a conditioned reflexive "LOL **** up 9/11 truther."

    It is good and right to ask questions about 9/11, but that's a rabbit hole that only opens up for people when it opens up for them. You can't force people to jump down it. Believing I should keep pushing 9/11 truth on principle because they lied to us about something evil is like believing I should keep bashing my face into a brick wall on principle because it shouldn't be there rather than simply walking around and going through the open door.

    Anyway, that's the conclusion my experience and study of this puzzle has brought me to. I'm open to changing my mind at a later date, but that's what seems the most effective way to fight the machine for the time being."

    ************************************************** ******************************


    Someone Interfered In The UK Election, And It Wasn’t Russia
    by Caitlin Johnstone
    12/12/13

    "Ladies and gentlemen I have here at my fingertips indisputable proof that egregious election meddling took place in the United Kingdom on Thursday.

    Before you get all excited, no, it wasn't the Russians. It wasn't the Chinese, the Iranians, Cobra Command or the Legion of Doom. I'm not going to get any Rachel Maddow-sized paychecks for revealing this evidence to you, nor am I going to draw in millions of credulous viewers waiting with bated breath for a bombshell revelation of an international conspiracy that will invalidate the results of the election.

    In fact, hardly anyone will even care.

    Hardly anyone will care because this election interference has been happening right out in the open, and was perfectly legal. And nobody will suffer any consequences for it.

    Quote The centrists and mainstream media outlets are responsible for the right wing win in the UK. They spent all their time bashing and smearing Jeremy Corbyn bc they will always prioritize smashing the left, even if it means allying with the far right. Shameful.
    — Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) December 13, 2019
    Nobody will suffer any consequences for interfering in the UK election because the ones doing the interfering were extremely powerful, and that's who the system is built to serve.

    As of this writing British exit polls are indicating a landslide victory for the Tories. Numerous other factors went into this result, including most notably a Labour Party ambivalently straddling an irreconcilable divide on the issue of Brexit, but it is also undeniable that the election was affected by a political smear campaign that was entirely unprecedented in scale and vitriol in the history of western democracy. This smear campaign was driven by billionaire-controlled media outlets, along with intelligence and military agencies, as well as state media like the BBC.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been described as the most smeared politician in history, and this is a fair description. Journalist Matt Kennard recently compiled documentation of dozens of incidents in which former and current spooks and military officials collaborated with plutocratic media institutions to portray Corbyn as a threat to national security. Journalistic accountability advocates like Media Lens and Jonathan Cook have been working for years to compile evidence of the mass media's attempts to paint Corbyn as everything from a terrorist sympathizer to a Communist to a Russian asset to an IRA supporter to a closet antisemite. Just the other day The Grayzone documented how establishment narrative manager Ben Nimmo was enlisted to unilaterally target Corbyn with a fact-free Russiagate-style conspiracy theory in the lead-up to the election, a psyop that was uncritically circulated by both right-wing outlets like The Telegraph as well as ostensibly "left"-wing outlets like The Guardian.

    Just as Corbyn's advocacy for the many over the plutocratic few saw him targeted by billionaire media outlets, his view of Palestinians as human beings saw him targeted by the imperialist Israel lobby as exposed in the Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby. For a mountain of links refuting the bogus antisemitism smear directed at Corbyn, a lifelong opponent of antisemitism, check out the deluge of responses to this query I made on Twitter the other day.

    This interference continued right up into the day before the election, with the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg flagrantly violating election rules by reporting that early postal votes had been illegally tallied and results were "looking very grim for Labour".

    Quote There was extreme election interference in the #UKElection. It didn't come from the Russians. It didn't come from the Chinese. It came from the billionaire class and its political/media lackeys. And it was perfectly legal.

    — Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) December 12, 2019
    The historically unprecedented smear campaign that was directed at Corbyn from the right, the far-right, and from within his own party had an effect. Of course it did. If you say this today on social media you'll get a ton of comments telling you you're wrong, telling you every vote against Labour was exclusively due to the British people not wanting to live in a Marxist dystopia, telling you it was exclusively because of Brexit, totally denying any possibility that the years of deceitful mass media narrative management that British consciousness was pummelled with day in and day out prior to the election had any impact whatsoever upon its results.

    Right. Sure guys. Persistent campaigns to deliberately manipulate people's minds using mass media has no effect on their decisions at all. I guess that's why that whole "advertising" fad never made any money.

    I am not claiming here that the billions of dollars worth of free mass media reporting that was devoted to smearing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party had a greater effect on the election results than Brexit and other strategic stumbles in the party. I'm just saying that it definitely had a much greater effect than the few thousand dollars Russian nationals spent on social media memes in the US, which the American political/media class has been relentlessly shrieking about for three years. To deny that a media smear campaign the size and scope of that directed at Corbyn had an effect is the same as denying that advertising, a trillion-dollar industry, has an effect.

    Which means that plutocrats and government agencies indisputably interfered in the British election, to an exponentially greater extent than anything the Russians are even alleged to have done. Yet according to British law it was perfectly legal, and according to British society it was perfectly acceptable. It's perfectly legal and acceptable for powerful individuals to have a vastly greater influence on a purportedly democratic election than any of the ordinary individuals voting in it.

    A free and healthy society would not work this way. A free and healthy society would view all forms of manipulation as taboo and unacceptable. A free and healthy society would not allow the will of members of one small elite class to carry more weight than the will of anyone else. A free and healthy society would give everyone an equal voice at the table, and look after everyone's concerns. It certainly wouldn't tolerate a few individuals who already have far too much abusing their power and wealth to obtain even more. "
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    America’s Two-Headed One Party System
    12/13/19
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12...-party-system/



    "There’s a scene from John Steinbeck’s The Pearl that’s been coming back to me over and over again ever since I started writing about US politics. I find it amazing that this scene hasn’t become a political meme yet, given Steinbeck’s fame and given its perfect illustration of the fake two-party system that we see in western so-called democracies.

    The Pearl is a short novel about a poor fisherman, Kino, who discovers the titular enormous gem in an oyster and goes to sell it to the pearl buyers in town. What he doesn’t know is that the buyers, while they have multiple offices and pretend to compete with each other, all actually work for the same owner.

    “Kino has found the Pearl of the World,” Steinbeck writes.
    https://learn.stleonards.vic.edu.au/...-Steinbeck.pdf
    “In the town, in little offices, sat the men who bought pearls from the fishers. They waited in their chairs until the pearls came in, and then they cackled and fought and shouted and threatened until they reached the lowest price the fisherman would stand.”

    “And when the buying was over, these buyers sat alone and their fingers played restlessly with the pearls, and they wished they owned the pearls. For there were not many buyers really – there was only one, and he kept these agents in separate offices to give a semblance of competition.”

    When Kino brings the priceless pearl to the sellers, they put on a performance, working together to deceive him into thinking it has no value in order to cheat him out of it for a ridiculously low price.

    The man behind the desk said: “I have put a value on this pearl. The owner here does not think it fair. I will ask you to examine this – this thing and make an offer. Notice,” he said to Kino, “I have not mentioned what I have offered.”

    The first dealer, dry and stringy, seemed now to see the pearl for the first time. He took it up, rolled it quickly between thumb and forefinger, and then cast it contemptuously back into the tray.

    “Do not include me in the discussion,” he said dryly. “I will make no offer at all. I do not want it. This is not a pearl – it is a monstrosity.” His thin lips curled.

    Now the second dealer, a little man with a shy soft voice, took up the pearl, and he examined it carefully. He took a glass from his pocket and inspected it under magnification. Then he laughed softly.

    “Better pearls are made of paste,” he said. “I know these things. This is soft and chalky, it will lose its color and die in a few months. Look-” He offered the glass to Kino, showed him how to use it, and Kino, who had never seen a pearl’s surface magnified, was shocked at the strange-looking surface.

    The third dealer took the pearl from Kino’s hands. “One of my clients likes such things,” he said. “I will offer five hundred pesos, and perhaps I can sell it to my client for six hundred.”

    Kino reached quickly and snatched the pearl from his hand. He wrapped it in the deerskin and thrust it inside his shirt. The man behind the desk said, “I’m a fool, I know, but my first offer stands. I still offer one thousand. What are you doing?” he asked, as Kino thrust the pearl out of sight.

    “I am cheated,” Kino cried fiercely. “My pearl is not for sale here. I will go, perhaps even to the capital.”

    Now the dealers glanced quickly at one another. They knew they had played too hard; they knew they would be disciplined for their failure, and the man at the desk said quickly, “I might go to fifteen hundred.”

    This is exactly how the two-headed one-party system works, in America and elsewhere. One party owned by one imperialist oligarchic class is placed in two separate offices “to give some semblance of competition,” just like Steinbeck’s pearl buyers. And just like Steinbeck’s pearl buyers they work together to deceive the people into accepting the lowest possible bid, in their case meaning the acceptance of virtually no change at all from the imperialist oligarchic status quo.

    You see this kleptocratic dynamic at play regardless of who is in office. When the two-headed one-party system convinced Americans to sell their pearl to Barack Obama, for example, their payment took the form of a corporatist healthcare scam deceitfully labeled the Affordable Care Act and a pathetic temporary band-aid on the sucking chest wound of environmental peril, along with a continuation and expansion of all of Bush’s most depraved foreign and domestic policies.

    Then Kino, angry and determined never again to be deceived, sold his pearl to the Republican Party. This time his payment consisted of a tax break for the wealthy and some verbiage about a wall, along with a continuation and expansion of all of Obama’s most depraved foreign and domestic policies.

    This pattern repeats over and over and over again, whether it’s the presidency or Congress, and the people never learn their lesson. They’re trained to think of the two parties as competing, when really they’re more like the left fist and the right fist on the same boxer. An orthodox-stance boxer uses the left jab and the right cross in conjunction with each other in one-two punch combinations to accomplish the same goal, namely to leave his opponent staring up at the arena lights and rethinking his life decisions. And in this case, the boxer’s opponent is you.

    Ralph Nader, who to this day is still falsely
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/do...our-2016-vote/
    ...smeared as responsible for George W Bush’s pseudo-victory over Al Gore in 2000, occasionally shares an anecdote about the time he told his father that what America needs is a good third party.

    “I’ll settle for a second,” his father replied.
    https://www.azquotes.com/quote/211052

    This is the kind of clear seeing we all need to have. We need to not fall into the drama of the two-handed puppet show and mistake what we are seeing for two separate and competing entities. We need to see and be aware of the puppeteer at all times.

    Look past the “semblance of competition” and watch what the pearl buyers are actually doing.

    Ignore their words.

    Ignore their fake pro-wrestling kayfabe combat over impeachment agendas they know will never bear fruit and their Russia conspiracies they know are pure nonsense.

    Watch their actual behaviors instead.

    Don’t fall for the illusion.

    Don’t get sucked into the drama of the two-handed puppet show.

    Don’t be deceived, Kino.

    Don’t sell your pearl."
    Last edited by onawah; 14th December 2019 at 03:51.
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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