Wednesday, November 30, 2016

India: 'Drastic' Move Towards Cashless Society, EU Grows Its Horns Of Control And War, EU Proposes Joint Defense Fund

India Takes Drastic Move Toward Cashless Society

In 2012, India launched a nationwide program involving the allocation of a Unique Identification Number (UID) to every single one of its 1.2 billion residents. Each of the numbers will be tied to the biometric data of the recipient using three different forms of information – fingerprints, iris scans, and pictures of the face. All ten digits of the hand will be recorded, and both eyes will be scanned.

The project will be directed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) under the premise of preventing identity theft and social welfare fraud. 

Yet, although the justification for the billion person database is the increased ability to accurately disperse social welfare benefits, it will not be just the Indian government’s social welfare programs that have access to and utilize the UIDAI. Indeed, even before the program has been completed, major banks, state/local governments, and other institutions are planning to use the UIDAI for identification verification purposes and, of course, payment and accessibility.

Saenz also sees the eventuality of the UIDAI program becoming a means of payment and accessibility. He continues:

Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if the UID, with its biometric data, could be used as a means of payment (when linked to a bank account), or as an access key to homes and cars. Purchase a meal with your fingerprint and unlock your door with the twinkle in your eye. Similar results could be expected in other nations that adopted biometric identification systems.

Recently, however, India has made even greater strides toward a cashless society, this time openly saying as much.
Having made a decision to ban 500 and 1,000 pound Rupee notes, Prime Minister Modi is openly stating his goal of moving India towards becoming a “cashless society.”

This is despite the economic result of his decision, i.e. bringing commerce to a virtual standstill as a result of removing nearly eighty percent of India’s currency from circulation.
While Modi has received much criticism for his decision, he is refusing to back down, stating in a public speech that “We can gradually move from a less-cash society to a cashless society.”
Currently, 90 percent of transactions in India are made by cash, something that the ruling elite including Modi himself obviously sees as a threat. While citing the “black market” as one justification for the elimination of hard physical currency, the truth is that power and control are the real reasons national governments have for pursuing a cashless society.
When all financial transactions eventually become digital, it is only a matter of time before banks, corporations, and governments begin to force citizens to bend to their will with the threat of cutting off accounts as punishment for resistance or refusal.

Elmar Brok is an unknown quantity to many, but one of the most powerful figures in Europe at the same time. The current Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, he is also one of the shadowy elites wielding massive power. His role as former Senior Vice President for Media Development for the massive media conglomerate Bertelsmann resonates sharply today. Last week’s EU Parliamentary votes on a resolution on the “EU strategic communication”, and on the so-called “EU Army” resolution bear Brock’s emblem. What you are about to read will reveal two horns of a well planned strategy of divisiveness in Brussels.

I was once again amazed when I first read the reports on this “EU Counterpropaganda” machine being considered by Brussels.

 For those unfamiliar with the resolution, it was Elmar Bock who ushered in this congealed media monstrosity in the making. The wording of the early document drafts is telling of deeper intent:

“The European Parliament … acknowledges that Russia is using in an aggressive manner, a wide range of tools and instruments for the columns, including special foundations (Russki Mir), multi-language TV channels (Russia Today, RIA Novosti), news agencies (Sputnik), social and religious groups (including the Orthodox Church), social media, and trolls on the Internet, in order to make Western values into question, in Europe, to win domestic support and to bring in the countries of the Eastern neighborhood of the EU the impression that as were their state structures prior to the resolution.“

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the EU Parliamentary decisions but expressed moderation with his hope that common sense would prevail. Despite Mr. Putin’s guarded optimism though, signs the EU is censoring dissenting views are already on the wall according to Italian journalist Giulietto Chiesa, who told Sputnik :

“The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, which said it would not give interviews to the Russian media group Rossiya Segodnya, is violating a code of ethics.”

It is disturbing indeed finding out years of planning has gone in to the creation of these initiatives, and by the likes of those nicknamed “Mr. Bertelsmann”, and etc. In addition, and of even more concern is the second “horn” of a potential European beast.

Brok, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), was a key figure I portrayed in a much earlier report on this EU Counter-Propaganda arm. Now that the vote in the EU Parliament is secured, a range of experts are discussing the implications. One such expert, Ukip MEP Mike Hookem thinks the legislation will put an end to freedom of speech, and perhaps even usher in a kind of martial law – and possibly an end to the Brexit as well. Hookem was quoted by the Sunday Express as saying:

“It is an attack on free speech and because its from a place like this an attack on those who will pause the EU project.“

Media control, the eventual power to institute marital law or to dictate war, a concerted effort to build up aggressively against a foe that has only reacted to the advance of NATO and the EU on her borders, we are witnessing a behavior only the Third and Fourth Nazi Reich could institute.

The European Commission is planning to propose the creation of a fund for military procurement and research, as part of wider plans for an EU defence union. 
The proposal, due out in Brussels on Wednesday (30 November) and seen by the Reuters news agency, says member states should pool money into a “European Defence Fund” that could be used to purchase items such as helicopters, warships, and drones.
It says participating states would be able to borrow from the fund to buy assets for their national militaries and would be able to offset their contributions from their EU budget targets 
The Commission proposal comes amid wider plans to create an EU "defence union" in response to Brexit and to the election of Donald Trump, a Nato-sceptic, in the US. 
France, Germany, Italy and Spain have said the European public wanted the EU to play a larger role in the security arena in reaction to Britain’s decision to leave the bloc and to the migration crisis.
Earlier this month, EU states agreed to create a new military command HQ in the EU foreign service and joint rapid-reaction forces that could be sent into action in African or Middle Eastern states.

Moscow is calling on the West to abandon its attempts of "geopolitical engineering" in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a recent interview.

"The Syrian conflict can only be settled by the Syrians themselves. In this regard, we reiterate our calls on our western and regional partners to abandon attempts of geopolitical engineering in this region, respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and work together to help achieve the main goal of life becoming peaceful again in this country," Lavrov told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Lavrov continued in saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump confirmed in a telephone conversation their readiness to work together to improve bilateral ties and settle current issues, including international terrorism.

"We hope that the foreign policy team of the new president, which is being formed now, will take practical steps in this direction, and cooperation with it will be constructive," he said. 

A senior Iranian army commander last week assessed that Israel would be destroyed sometime in the next 10 years as a result of further Islamic revolutions in the region.
Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Reza Naqdi (pictured) told a gathering of students near Tehran that their own nation’s Islamic Revolution had succeeded in ejecting the US from Iran, repulsing Saddam Hussein and forcing an American withdrawal from Lebanon. 
“Considering these achievements, the liberation of Palestine [sic] by the Islamic Revolution is not unlikely at all,” he stated in remarks carried by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency.
Earlier in the month, Gen. Naqdi predicted that the US itself would only last another 20 years, and that it’s collapse had been accelerated by the election of Donald Trump as president.
“According to the analysis made by the behind-the-stage and shadow decision-makers of the establishment in the US, the United States will collapse in 2035 and I think that it is an optimistic analysis as this will take place much earlier,” the general said.

Israel Hits Syrian Military, Hezbollah Weapons Convoy

Report: Israel hits Syrian military, Hezbollah weapons convoy

Israeli jets struck a Syrian military target and a Hezbollah weapons convoy early Wednesday, Arabic-language media reported Wednesday morning.

Israeli warplanes struck the military target in the Syrian capital of Damascus, while the raid on the weapons convoy occurred on the Damascus-Beirut highway, according to the reports.

As with past claims of Israeli strikes, Israel did not immediately confirm or deny news of the purported attacks. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, a number of airstrikes in Syria or close to the border with Lebanon have been attributed to Israel.

News agencies affiliated with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad said the air raid on the military compound occurred at 1:15 a.m. local time and that four large explosions were heard in the capital. They further reported that the strikes were carried out by Israeli Air Force planes operating in Lebanese air space.

According to the Kuwaiti news network al-Rai, the warplanes also struck a number of vehicles traveling on the main highway believed to have been part of a weapons convoy led by Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria, providing military aid to Assad regime and Iranian forces.

In April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Israel had carried out dozens of strikes against Hezbollah to prevent the group from obtaining advanced weapons — a rare Israeli admission.
Israel has vowed to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining “game-changing” arms — in particular advanced anti-aircraft systems and chemical weapons.
Earlier this week, the Israeli Air Force struck a military target belonging to the Islamic State terror group on the Syrian side of the southern Golan Heights.

The official Syrian news agency on Wednesday confirmed there was an airstrike near Damascus overnight, and blamed Israel, saying the attack was an attempt to bolster the morale of rebel fighters as they suffer the successes of regime forces.

Arabic-language media had reported earlier that Israeli aircraft struck a Syrian military target as well as a Hezbollah weapons convoy.

The second reported raid, on the Hezbollah weapons convoy, was said to have taken place on the Damascus-Beirut highway. The Syrian official made no reference to it.

According to the Kuwaiti news network al-Rai, the warplanes also struck a number of vehicles traveling on the main highway believed to have been part of a weapons convoy led by Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria, providing military aid to Assad regime and Iranian forces.

The raid early Monday was the second Israeli airstrike to respond to an attack a day earlier by IS fighters against IDF soldiers. According to an army spokesperson, soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance unit came under attack from small arms fire after crossing the security fence on the border but remaining inside Israeli territory. They returned fire, but soon came under attack from mortar shells. No Israeli soldiers were injured in the exchange, the army said.

The IDF responded with an airstrike that morning that killed four members of an Islamic State-affiliated terror group that it said had launched the attack. The military said the second airstrike Monday was also in response to the initial attack.

The IDF “will not hesitate to act against terror groups that operate against the State of Israel,” a military statement read.

For the first time in three months, Israeli jets reportedly struck targets in Syria early Wednesday morning, hitting a Bashar Assad regime military base and a Hezbollah convoy en route to Lebanon, according to foreign media.
Once regular occurrences, these types of alleged Israeli attacks have slowed in recent months, with many pointing to Russia’s deployment of the advanced S-400 missile defense system as being the cause.
A senior air force officer, speaking to reporters earlier this week, noted the Russian military’s deployment in Syrian to support the Assad regime presented “challenges” for Israel and made for “interesting times.”

The S-400 anti-aircraft battery and its powerful radar, which are situated in the eastern Syrian city of Latakia, have hindered Israel’s once unchallenged air superiority in the region, according to most experts, though the IDF and Defense Ministry loath to publicly complain about the situation.
But Russia’s involvement in the Syrian civil war has had serious implications not only on the immediate, technical issue of Israel’s air superiority, but on a strategic level as well.

And so, despite the S-400, Israeli aircraft allegedly took to the skies just after midnight Wednesday, and launched two attacks at two different locations inside Syria.

According to local media, the first strike hit a weapons cache on an army base in Damascus belonging to the 38th Brigade of the regime’s 4th Armored Division, one of the Syrian military’s more elite units, which is commanded by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brother Maher.
The second hit a number of vehicles traveling on the Damascus-Beirut highway, which are believed to have been part of the Hezbollah weapons convoy, according to the Kuwaiti news network al-Rai.

“Israeli intelligence, it seems, found a transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah, and Israel decided that this wasn’t going to happen,” Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, the former National Security Adviser, told Army Radio Wednesday night.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

UK Kicks Off Balfour Centennial Celebrations Amid Palestinian Protests, Netherlands One Step Closer To Banning Burqa In Public Places,

UK kicks off Balfour centennial celebrations amid Palestinian protests

A series of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration was getting underway in the British Parliament on Tuesday evening, amid Palestinian objections to commemorating the document that paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel.
Tuesday’s ceremony saw the start of a host of year-long programs and events to mark the centenary of the 1917 declaration issued by then-foreign secretary Lord Arthur Balfour, which enshrined British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Tuesday’s ceremony, hosted by a private organization, was being attended by a number of British lawmakers, Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev and former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold.

The document was seen as giving the Zionist movement official recognition and backing on the part of a major power, on the eve of the British conquest of the then-Ottoman territory of Palestine.
Palestinian officials have long branded the declaration a “crime,” and earlier this year officials in Ramallah announced plans to sue the British government over the 99-year-declaration.
In a September address to the United Nations, PA President Mahmoud Abbas castigated what he called a “notorious” document, which he said Britain gave “without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the PA over the planned lawsuit, characterizing it as another example of Palestinians refusing to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

“That’s almost 100 years ago,” Netanyahu said at the UN in September. “Talk about being stuck in the past! The Palestinians might as well sue Iran for the Cyrus declarations, or file a class action suit against Abraham, for buying land in Hebron,” he added, referencing the Biblical patriarch and a Persian edict from 539 BCE allowing Jews to return to Judea.

“This conflict is not about the settlements, it never was,” he said. “It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state.”

The majority of MPs in Netherlands (132 out of 150) approved a bill seeking to impose a ban on covering faces in public places.

Islamic veils, such as the niqab and burqa, as well as ski-masks and helmets will not be allowed in Dutch schools, hospitals, government buildings and on public transport after the Senate approves the bill and makes it law.

The bill, initiated by Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk, has long been stirring debates in Netherlands as many believe it is primarily targeted against the country's religious minority. However, Prime Minister Mark Rutte refuted the accusations claiming that the bill had no such background.
According to Rutte, the legislation was introduced solely for security reasons and that it only applies in certain situations "where it is essential for people to be seen". It will still be allowed to wear burqas or other face-covering clothes items on the streets, he said.

Security reasons or not, the issue of freedom of religious expression remains, and this is what the bill's opponents rest upon.

The Dutch government said in a statement last year that it worked very carefully on keeping a balance between people's freedom to choose clothes for themselves and the significance of mutual and recognizable communication.

The bill now heads to the senate and if it goes into effect, everyone spotted wearing prohibited clothes in public areas will face being fined up to 405 euros.
The Netherlands is not the first country in Europe to introduce such a bill. Burqa has been banned in France since 2010, with breachers facing a 150 euros fine. Belgium and some parts of Switzerland have followed in the steps of France and similar legislations have been debated in other parts of the region.

The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so. 
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on. 
This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doingwhen he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.

And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.

We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice. 
You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized.

Journalists increasingly don’t even believe in the possibility of reasoned disagreement, and as such ascribe cynical motives to those who think about things a different way. We see this in the ongoing veneration of “facts,” the ones peddled by explainer websites and data journalists who believe themselves to be curiously post-ideological. 
That the explainers and data journalists so frequently get things hilariously wrong never invites the soul-searching you’d think it would. Instead, it all just somehow leads us to more smugness, more meanness, more certainty from the reporters and pundits. Faced with defeat, we retreat further into our bubble, assumptions left unchecked. No, it’s the voters who are wrong.

As a direct result, we get it wrong with greater frequency. Out on the road, we forget to ask the right questions. We can’t even imagine the right question. We go into assignments too certain that what we find will serve to justify our biases. The public’s estimation of the press declines even further -- fewer than one-in-three Americans trust the press, per Gallup -- which starts the cycle anew.

What’s worse, we don’t make much of an effort to really understand, and with too few exceptions, treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Sometimes quite literally so, such as when reporters tweet out a photo of racist-looking Trump supporters and jokingly suggest that they must be upset about free trade or low wages.

We have to fix this, and the broken reasoning behind it. There’s a fleeting fun to gang-ups and groupthink. But it’s not worth what we are losing in the process. 

The Gog-Magog Coalition Continues To Strengthen, New Putin Move: Military Base In Libya

Magog Alliance Rising - Turkey Shifts To Russian Alliance

[To me, the most striking aspect of the Gog-Magog alliance is the fact that the two most prominent leaders of this coalition, Russia and Iran have already set up multiple military bases just to the north of Israel - in Syria. The Gog-Magog invasion will come from the north of Israel. We can safely assume Russia will be in Syria continuously until this invasion takes place.]

Turkey's half-century old EU membership bid is currently tottering on the brink of collapse, after the European Union's legislature asked the bloc to freeze membership negotiations with Turkey over the government's heavy-handed crackdown following a failed coup in July.

In response, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to open Turkey's borders to allow migrants to reach the EU, a move that would tear up the landmark deal that has reduced the flow significantly.

According to Weston Williams in a report compiled for the, Turkish president Erdo an indicated in a recent interview that he was fed up with waiting for the European Union to accept Turkey as a member state, indicating that he would be willing to consider joining the Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative to the Western bloc.

After more than a decade of negotiations, the president said that there was no reason to sentence Turkey to even more years of diplomatic wrangling just to become part of an international organization that has been consistently slow in welcoming Ankara into its ranks. 

"Turkey must feel at ease," said Erdo an in the interview with Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. "It mustn't say 'for me it's the European Union at all costs.' That's my view....Some may criticize me but I express my opinion," said Erdo an. "For example, I have said 'why shouldn't Turkey be in the Shanghai Five?'"

The Shanghai Five is the old name for the SCO, which consisted of 5 members until Uzbekistan joined the political/economic/military pact. The five-country treaty was signed in 1996, largely thanks to Russia and China.

Could such a move actually materialize, perhaps triggered by a final fallout between the EU and Turkey over a spate of irreconcilable differences? If so, what would its significance be, if any, in the larger scheme of things? 

Ricky Scaparo took a look at the Bible prophecy angle shortly after the attempted coup in July with an examination of what Turkey's role is and why it matters.

2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel foretold of a time when a coalition of predominately Muslim Nations would gather together to invade the nation of Israel. This well-known conflict is known as "The War of Gog and Magog." 

According to the book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, this confederacy of nations will attack Israel during a relatively peaceful period that appears to be generated by a recent conflict resulting in a "state of peace" for the Jewish nation. 

According to the prophet, "After many days you shall be called. In the latter years, you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely ... and you shall say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates'" (Ezekiel 38:8, 11, MEV).

The nations cited by Ezekiel are each referenced in the Old Testament, yet they all represent nations which exist today. Long before Russia became a major world power, most Biblical scholars identified Magog as the nation of Russia and Gog as the ruler of Russia. These other nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 are:

" Magog (also said by other experts to include Meshech, and Tubal)  = Russia
" Persia = Iran
" Cush = Ethiopia
" Put = Libya
" Gomer = Turkey (Some have identified as eastern Europe)
" Beth-Togarmah = Turkey (also said by other experts to include Armenia, and the Turkish-speaking people of Asia Minor).

The Bible indicates that in the "latter days" the Lord will put a "hook in the jaw" of these nations listed, including the nation of Turkey and, according to the prophet, "you shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you." (Ezekiel 38:9)

So Turkey will be significant in the near future in the context of Biblical prophecy. She will unite with several other nations and attempt to destroy the nation of Israel but will ultimately fail. So just what will befall these nations in that war?

 Israel will not need to rely on America, Britain or any of her allies to defend her because God Himself will step into the scene spectacularly and overcome Israel's enemies through a mixture of several strategies: civil wars, pestilences, overflowing rain and hailstones, fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38: 18-23).

Libyan Gen Khalifa Hafter arrived in Moscow Sunday, Nov. 26, with a request for Russian arms and military support for his army. He was welcomed in Moscow, which saw an opening for Russia to gain its first military base in North Africa. 

President Vladimir Putin began to envision a second Mediterranean base on the coast of Benghazi, twin to Hmeimim in Syria’s Latakia. This one would accommodate Russian naval as well as air units and be located 700km from Europe.

The US-born Hafter, a general in the army of the late Muammar Qaddafi, carries the title of supreme commander of the Libyan army. However, Libya is today riddled with hundreds of militias vying for control. Haftar heads a powerful group that was once backed by the United States. But since refusing to recognize the government established by the UN in Tripoli, he relies mainly on the support of Egypt and some of the Gulf emirates for his eastern Libyan Benghazi stronghold.
Egypt and the UAE provide Hafter’s army with air support from Egyptian bases in the Western Desert. It was their leaders who urged him to accept the Russian invitation to Moscow and bid for military assistance.

This was Hafter’s second trip to Moscow. He was there in June and met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev. Then, the Kremlin was wary of extending military aid to the maverick Libyan general.  US, Italian and British special forces were at the time pressing a major offensive to drive ISIS out of the key Libyan port of Sirte. However, this offensive has still not achieved its goal.

It is too soon to say whether the Russian leader’s Libya initiative betokens an invitation to the new US president to work together in the Middle East, or he is cashing in on an uncertain transition period between the presidencies to build up a stack of chips ready to face Trump as a rival power.

At all events, Russian planes in Hmeimim are capable of covering the 1,500km distance to Libya, while the Russian carrier Admiral Kusnetzev is anchored not far away, off Syria’s Mediterranean shore. Both are therefore available for operations in support of the Libyan general.

This would be the first time a Russian aircraft carrier went into action in this part of the Mediterranean.

The battles ongoing along the Mediterranean coast his week among the various militias, including Hafter’s army, are in fact a tug-o’-war for control of Libya’s oil fields. Libya’s oil riches are certainly not absent from Putin’s calculations. Moscow’s assistance in helping his Libyan visitor gain the upper hand in this struggle could augur the first Russian stake in the Libyan oil industry.

The battle for one of the most contested Syrian cities in the nation's long-running civil war, Aleppo, is approaching its climax. According to Reuters, the Syrian army and its allies announced the capture of a large swath of eastern Aleppo from rebels on Monday - by some estimates as much as 40% of the militant held part - in an accelerating attack that threatens to crush the opposition in its most important urban stronghold.
In a major breakthrough in the government's push to retake the whole city, regime forces captured six rebel-held districts of eastern Aleppo over the weekend, including Masaken Hanano, the biggest of those. On Sunday, the 13th day of the operation, they also took control of the adjacent neighborhoods of Jabal Badra and Baadeeen and captured three others

The Corporate Media's Gulag Of The Mind

The Corporate Media's Gulag Of The Mind

Your crime, as it were, need not be substantiated with evidence; the mere fact you publicly revealed your anti-Establishment thought convicted you.

One of the most remarkable ironies of The Washington Post's recent evidence-free fabrication of purported "Russian propaganda" websites (including this site) is how closely it mimics the worst excesses of the USSR's Stalinist era.

Those unfamiliar with the Stalinist era's excesses will benefit from reading Solzhenitsyn's three-volume masterpiece The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956The Gulag Archipelago 2 and Gulag Archipelago 3.
One episode is especially relevant to the totalitarian tactics of The Washington Post's evidence-free accusation.Solzhenitsyn tells the story of one poor fellow who made the mistake of recounting a dream he'd had the previous night to his co-workers.
In his dream, Stalin had come to some harm. In Solzhenitsyn's account, the fellow was remorseful about the dream.
Alas, mere remorse couldn't possibly save him. He was promptly arrested for "anti-Soviet thoughts" and given a tenner in the Gulag--a tenner being a ten-year sentence in a Siberian labor camp.
The Washington Post's accusation is based on a "behavioral analysis"--in other words, publicly sharing "anti-Soviet thoughts"--in our era, the equivalent is sharing anti-Establishment thoughts.
Your crime, as it were, need not be substantiated with evidence; the mere fact you publicly revealed your anti-Establishment thought convicted you.
This is the Corporate Media's Gulag of the Mind. We'll tell you what's "true" and what is correct to think and believe. Any deviation from the party line is a threat and must be discredited, marginalized or suppressed.
Where is the Post's hard evidence of Russian ties or Russian influence? There isn't any--but like Stalin's henchmen, the Post has no need for evidence: merely going public with an anti-Establishment thought "proves" one's guilt in the kangaroo court of America's corporate media (a.k.a. mainstream media or MSM).
While The Washington Post is owned by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the vast majority of what we read, watch and hear is controlled by a handful of corporations loaded with cash and connections to the ruling elite.

This concentration of media control creates the illusion of choice-- the same elite-propaganda spin is everywhere you look; our "choice" of "approved" (i.e. corporate) media is roughly the same as that offered the Soviet citizenry in the old USSR.
This is why the billionaire/corporate media is so desperate to discredit the non-corporate media: if an alternative to the corporate media's elite-propaganda catches on, the corporate media will lose its audience, its advert revenues and a substantial measure of its influence.
The cornered elite-propaganda beast is lashing out, undermining its waning credibility with every attack on an independent free press. As I noted in a recent conversation with Max Keiser, democracy requires the citizenry to sort out who benefits from whatever narrative is being pushed.
That's what terrifies the elite-propaganda mainstream media: the status quo narrative they've spewed for years doesn't benefit the bottom 95%-- rather, it actively impoverishes and disempowers the bottom 95%--and the citizenry is slowly awakening to this reality.
So for goodness sakes, if you have an anti-elitist dream, keep it to yourself or you'll end up on the ruling elite's "enemies list."
The final irony in all this: the real enemy of democracy and freedom of the press is The Washington Post and the rest of the billionaire/corporate media. The only way to escape the Corporate Media's Gulag of the Mind is to stop watching their TV channels, turn off their radio stations and stop reading their print/digital propaganda--except of course if you have a taste for dark humor.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Road To Censorship - 'Fake News' Marks The Beginning

What we are seeing now is just the beginning of what will be a concentrated effort to silence anything but the MSM narrative. As usual, The Daily Bell is on top of the situation:

US Domestic Tumult – Orchestrated or Not?

In fact, the fake news “debate” is entirely illegitimate. It is what we firmly believe is a “dominant social theme,” elite sponsored propaganda that began suddenly and for reasons that have little or nothing with alerting Americans to Russia’s supposed interference in US elections.
From what we can tell, the fake news debate is actually further debasing the credibility of mainstream media. As we’ve written before, it serves the same function in the US that Muslim immigration has in Europe.
It’s helping destroy people’s faith in their society. We could see the process taking place during the recent elections. The pro-Hillary coverage of the mainstream media was so excessive that it’s hard to reach another conclusion.

Already sinking under a tidal wave of skepticism, the mainstream media reported on the election in such a way as to further alienate tens of millions – perhaps half the adults in the country, or even more.

The idea on both sides of “the pond” is ultimately to destroy culture and make nation states further amenable to globalism.

Fake news is not just the beginnings of a conspiracy theory. It is part of a clear propaganda campaign aimed at degrading the alternative media including one of the largest quasi-libertarian news websites in the world, The Drudge Report.

It’s not yet clear who is behind these efforts but that will certainly emerge over time. As Ron Paul wrote recently, these attacks will doubtless continue.

It is also true that as we’ve already seen, there will be a good deal of push-back from the alternative media itself. And it will be hard to establish that 200-plus groups were in the knowing or unknowing control of Russia and Putin.

When it comes to the alternative media, it will be hard to establish the viability of what’s been claimed. On the other hand, such an establishment may not be necessary if authorities get involved on a formal basis.
Hillary’s current challenge of the presidential election, and its outcome, will doubtless have an impact on these accusations as well. It is hard to tell what the Trump campaign is doing to forestall the almost inevitable manipulation that will  occur in the states where she is challenging the vote count.
Conclusion: Whether Hillary is able to declare victory or not, the next four years will be tumultuous indeed. Most people will conclude that the tumult is the inevitable outcome of political and media events. They will not grant the feasibility of it being orchestrated. But that is how it seems to us.

House Pushing Resolution Calling For No-Fly Zone In Syria, Kerry Making 'Unbelievable Effort' To Save Syrian Rebels From Trump, Russia Confirms

Putin has already stated that such a no-fly zone would lead to war. Who invited the U.S. into Syria? 

Last-Minute War with Russia? The House Just Passed a Resolution for a No-Fly Zone in Syria, Media Silent

Hillary didn’t even win the election, but apparently she’s still going to get her wish for a no-fly zone over Syria, a step that everyone knows is basically a surefire way to provoke Russia into war.
If you haven’t heard about this, it is because the media has been dead silent on it.
On November 15, the House passed H.R.5732 otherwise called the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016. Section 303 is about the potential effectiveness of the no-fly zone over Syria.
Notice this happened just a week after the election, when it was clear that Hillary lost and the no-fly zone would be a no-go under a Trump presidency.

Late in the day, on Nov. 15, one week after the U.S. elections, the lame-duck Congress convened in special session with normal rules suspended so the House could pass House Resolution 5732, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act” calling for intensifying the already harsh sanctions on Syria, assessing the imposition of a “no fly zone” inside Syria (to prevent the Syrian government from flying) and escalating efforts to press criminal charges against Syrian officials.

HR5732 claims to promote a negotiated settlement in Syria but, as analyzed by Friends Committee for National Legislation, it imposes preconditions which would actually make a peace agreement more difficult.

There was 40 minutes of “debate” with six representatives (Ed Royce, R-California; Eliot Engel, D-New York; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida; Dan Kildee, D-Michigan; Chris Smith, R-New Jersey; and Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida) all speaking in favor of the resolution. There were few other representatives present, but the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the resolution was passed “unanimously” without mentioning these special conditions.

Unanimously under “special conditions”? Doesn’t that tell you who the real owners are in this country? Why would they wait until the last minute of Obama’s presidency to do such a thing??
Oh, and by the way, Consortium points out:

According to Wikipedia, “Suspension of the rules is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills in the United States House of Representatives … such as naming Post Offices…” In this case, however, the resolution could lead to a wider war in the Middle East and potentially World War III with nuclear-armed Russia.

So they abused their power and misused a rule suspension to pass a resolution that could lead us into a world war. Great.
And by pretending it didn’t happen, the media is colluding with the agenda — as they always do.
Clearly the lunatics running the asylum that is our government see that their ability to provoke a war is running out. While there are issues with Trump as president as well, one place where a Trump win was at least a little better than Hillary is in the arena of conflicts with Russia and the potential for World War III. As soon as Trump was elected, Putin congratulated him and declared that Russia was ready to mend its relationship with the U.S.
Now Congress is pulling this, a last-minute act which could lead to direct, full-on war with Russia. Russia flies missions over Syria battling ISIS and protecting Russian ally President Assad. If the U.S. and its coalition declares a no-fly zone over Syria, and Russia flies its missions anyway, the U.S. can use it as justification for direct war with Russia.

Any peace agreement that leaves Bashar al-Assad in power would be seen as a failure of U.S. hegemonic foreign policy, which has pushed regime change for years. It would also be seen as a victory for Russia, which is helping Assad fight ISIS and U.S.-funded “moderate rebels” attempting to overthrown Assad.
Even the title of the resolution — ‘Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act’ – is based on a CIA-funded propaganda hoax involving alleged torture photos that was used to sabotage a 2014 effort at peace negotiations.

The bill is moving at lightning speed as far as the U.S. government is concerned. After quietly passing the House, it has already been read not once but twice in the Senate and it has now been referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations — as if they don’t honestly know what this bill will do to “foreign relations”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has significantly intensified contacts with Russia on Syria, the Kremlin has confirmed, substantiating a report that Kerry wants to seal a deal with Moscow before Donald Trump assumes the US presidency in January.
The report by Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin says Kerry is making a last-ditch effort to stop the Syrian operation in eastern Aleppo, because the Trump administration may end up being “squarely on the side of dictator [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad.”
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov confirmed that Kerry has intensified contacts with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to discuss the situation in Syria as of late.

“This [effort] could be called unbelievable, in terms that there have never been so many phone calls between the Secretary of State and Russia’s FM which were focused on discussing a single issue – Syria,” he told journalists. Ushakov refrained from commenting on whether there was had been any progress.

A ceasefire in Aleppo on Kerry’s terms may be hard to sell, as Russia insists that the US’ failure to separate moderates from the terrorists, which was a key point in the truce agreement negotiated by Moscow and Washington in September, was the reason that the ceasefire collapsed in the first place.
The Syrian government’s operation to retake eastern Aleppo from armed groups also appears to be progressing, with the latest reports saying that the militants have lost a third of their territory to the advancing army. Stopping the siege now could give those fighters time to regroup, rearm, and mount a counteroffensive.