Saturday, June 1, 2019

Clubs, Cartels, And Bilderberg

Support MH17 Truth: Machine Gun-Like Holes Indicate Shelling from a Military Aircraft. No Evidence of a Surface-to-Air Missile Attack.

Global Research, June 01, 2019
Global Research 31 July 2014

Su-25 aircraft

Author’s note and update

The Malaysian Airlines MH17 tragedy has resurfaced following Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s controversial statement at a media conference with the Japanese Foreign Correspondents Club (FCCJ):

“They [the West] are accusing Russia but where is the evidence?

“We know the missile that brought down the plane is a Russian-type missile, but it could also be made in Ukraine.”

“You need strong evidence to show it was fired by the Russians. … It could be by the rebels in Ukraine; it could be the Ukrainian government because they too have the same missile,”

Mahathir said people of Russia are military people and they would know that MH17 is a passenger plane. “I don’t think a very highly disciplined party is responsible for launching the missile,” he said.

The prime minister said Malaysia should also be involved in examining the black box as the plane belongs to Malaysia and there were Malaysian passengers.

“We may not have the expertise but we can buy the expertise. For some reason, Malaysia was not allowed to check the black box to see what happened.

 “We don’t know why we are excluded from the examination but from the very beginning, we see too much politics in it.”

“The idea was not to find out how this happened but seems to be concentrated on trying to pin it on the Russians. This is not a neutral kind of examination,” said Mahathir.

“Had a neutral party examined and made the conclusion, Malaysia is willing to accept the findings but here we have parties with political interests in the matter,”

These questions were never raised by Mahathir’s corrupt predecessor, (former) Prime Minister Najib Razak –who was involved in the 1MDB multibillion dollar financial fraud.

Prime Minister Najib actively collaborated with the Ukrainian government. He casually accepted the official story (“blame the Russians”). In August 2016, Ukraine president Poroshenko visited Malaysia for discussions with Prime Minister Razak Najib:

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia will work with Ukraine to bring the perpetrators to justice. “We will do whatever we can to find the truth for the sake of families who lost their loved ones in this tragic incident. “We are waiting for the criminal investigation report, which is expected to be tabled by the year-end, followed by a meeting to decide on the next course of action,” said Najib.(New Straits Times, August 4, 2016)

Washington’s agenda in liaison with the Kiev regime (as well as with Najib Razak)  was to blame Russia.

Mahathir’s statement constitutes a political about turn.

Will the MH17 investigation be opened up again under the helm of the Malaysian government?


The evidence presented in this Global Research article (below) first published on July 31, 2014 contradicts the official version as reported by the Dutch Safety Board:

As we recall, the alleged role of Russia in bringing down the plane was used as a justification to implement the economic sanctions regime against Moscow. Although not explicitly mentioned by the Dutch investigators, Moscow remains the “main suspect” in this twisted and fraudulent investigation, which will no doubt be the object of a new gush of media lies and distortions. Moscow has expressed its disagreement.

They are fundamentally wrong, the lack of logic there is beyond comparison… I had a feeling that the commission was cherry-picking the evidence to suit a theory they had chosen.” Deputy head of Russia’s federal air transport agency Oleg Storchevoi (quoted by the Associated Press

Meanwhile, the Dutch investigators have decided to temporarily withhold their final verdict:  

“it soon should determine the exact launch site of the missile that brought down the plane, killing all 298 people on board.

But Fred Westerbeke, the prosecutor leading the international probe, warned Monday that completing the investigation would take much longer. He declined to name a possible finishing date.

After briefing relatives of victims on the investigation, Westerbeke pledged to complete the investigation “as quickly as possible, if only because of the frustration among the families.” (AP, March 7, 2016)

The evidence available in September 2014 –including a BBC report which the BBC decided to suppress– refutes the official story.

Since 2014, Global Research has compiled evidence and analysis which refutes the official story.

Our message to the families: The Dutch investigators are lying.

Numerous authors and specialists have contributed to the MH17 dossier, which is available on the Global Research website. Unequivocally this dossier refutes the official story.

Click Here to access an archive of 100 Global Research articles and reports on the downing of MH17. 

See the detailed study of Peter Haisenko:

Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” By Peter Haisenko, July 30, 2014

Michel Chossudovsky, September 2016, updated June 1st, 2019 (following the statement by Prime Minister Mahathir) 

*     *     *

“Support MH17 Truth”: OSCE Monitors Identify “Shrapnel and Machine Gun-Like Holes” indicating Shelling. No Evidence of a Missile Attack. Shot Down by a Military Aircraft

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research

July 31, 2014 

According to the report of German pilot and airlines expert Peter Haisenko, the MH17 Boeing 777 was not brought down by a missile.

What he observed from the available photos were perforations of the cockpit: 

The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. (Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” Global Research, July 30, 2014)

[click image right to enlarge]

Based on detailed analysis Peter Haisenko reached  the conclusion that the MH17 was not downed by a missile attack:

This aircraft was not hit by a missile in the central portion. The destruction is limited to the cockpit area. Now you have to factor in that this part is constructed of specially reinforced material

The OSCE Mission

It is worth noting that the initial statements by OSCE observers (July 31) broadly confirm the findings of Peter Haisenko:

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported that shrapnel-like holes were found in two separate pieces of the fuselage of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines aircraft that was believed to have been downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

Michael Bociurkiw of the OSCE group of monitors at his daily briefing described part of the plane’s fuselage dotted with “shrapnel-like, almost machine gun-like holes.” He said the damage was inspected by Malaysian aviation-security officials .(Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2014)



The monitoring OSCE team has not found evidence of a missile fired from the ground as conveyed by official White House statements. As we recall, the US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power stated –pointing a finger at Russia– that the Malaysian MH17 plane was “likely downed by a surface-to-air missile operated from a separatist-held location”:

The team of international investigators with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are uncertain if the missile used was fired from the ground as US military experts have previously suggested, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. (Malay Mail online, emphasis added)

The initial OSCE findings tend to dispel the claim that a BUK missile system brought down the plane.

Evidently, inasmuch as the perforations are attributable to shelling, a shelling operation conducted from the ground could not have brought down an aircraft traveling above 30,000 feet.

Ukraine Su-25 military aircraft within proximity of MH17

Peter Haisenko’s study is corroborated by the Russian Ministry of Defense which pointed to a Ukrainian Su-25 jet in the flight corridor of the MH17, within proximity of the plane.

Ironically, the presence of a military aircraft is also confirmed by a BBC  report conducted at the crash site on July 23.

All the eyewitnesses  interviewed by the BBC confirmed the presence of a Ukrainian military aircraft flying within proximity of Malaysian Airlines MH17 at the time that it was shot down: 

Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart. And [the fragments] blew apart like this, to the sides. And when …

Eyewitness #2: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.

Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

BBC Report below (removed) scroll down for youtube version


The original BBC Video Report published by BBC Russian Service on July 23, 2014 has since been removed from the BBC archive.

In a bitter irony, The BBC is censoring its own news productions.

This is the BBC Report, still available on Youtube  

It has now been blocked [March 8, 2016] once more by the BBC. It is called suppressing the evidence.


Media Spin

The media has reported that a surface to air missile was indeed fired and exploded before reaching its target.  It was not the missile that brought down the plane, it was the shrapnel resulting from the missile explosion (prior to reaching the plane) which punctured the plane and then led to a loss of pressure.

According to Ukraine’s National security spokesman Andriy Lysenko in a contradictory statement, the MH17 aircraft “suffered massive explosive decompression after being hit by a shrapnel missile.”  (See IBT, Australia)

In an utterly absurd report, the BBC quoting the official Ukraine statement  says that:

The downed Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine suffered an explosive loss of pressure after it was punctured by shrapnel from a missile.

They say the information came from the plane’s flight data recorders, which are being analysed by British experts.

However, it remains unclear who fired a missile, with pro-Russia rebels and Ukraine blaming each other.

Many of the 298 people killed on board flight MH17 were from the Netherlands.

Dutch investigators leading the inquiry into the crash have refused to comment on the Ukrainian claims.

“Machine Gun Like Holes”

The shrapnel marks should be distinguished from the small entry and exit holes “most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile” fired from a military aircraft. These holes could not have been caused by a missile explosion as hinted by the MSM.

While the MSN is saying that the “shrapnel like holes” can be caused by a missile (see BBC report above), the OSCE has confirmed the existence of what it describes as “machine gun like holes”, without however acknowledging that these cannot be caused by a missile.

In this regard, the GSh-302 firing gun operated by an Su-25 is able to fire 3000 rpm which explains the numerous entry and exit holes.

According to the findings of Peter Haisenko:

If we now consider the armament of a typical SU 25 we learn this: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302 / AO-17A, equipped with: a 250 round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum), arranged in alternating order. The cockpit of the MH 017 has evidently been fired at from both sides: the entry and exit holes are found on the same fragment of it’s cockpit segment (op cit)

The accusations directed against Russia including the sanctions regime imposed by Washington are based on a lie.

The evidence does not support the official US narrative to the effect that the MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile system operated by the DPR militia.

What next? More media disinformation, more lies?


Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” By Peter Haisenko, July 30, 2014

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2019



In "Jaw-Dropping" Speech Malaysian PM Says "No Evidence" Russia Shot Down MH17

UK Foreign Secretary Defends Torturing Journalists, Then Says We Must Protect Journalists


British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has just given a speech extolling the virtues of a free media, praising the journalists who’ve been brave enough to expose the truth about wicked governments in the face of tyrannical oppression. While he was preparing to give this speech, without any indication of any self-reflection at all, he defended the torture of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

After news broke that UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer had found that Julian Assange has been the victim of psychological torture for years, Hunt, who is gunning to become the UK’s next Prime Minister, accused him of interfering in British affairs and making “inflammatory statements”.

“This is wrong,” Hunt tweeted. “Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice. The UN Special Rapporteur should allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.”

“With all due respect, Sir: Mr Assange was about as ‘free to leave’ as a someone sitting on a rubber boat in a shark pool,” Melzer replied. “As detailed in my formal letter to you, so far, UK courts have not shown the impartiality and objectivity required by the rule of law.”

This is wrong. Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice. The UN Special Rapporteur should allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.

 — @Jeremy_Hunt

Hours after his defense of the torture of a journalist who exposed the truth about the malfeasance of a powerful government, Hunt was giving a speech at the World News Media Congress in Glasgow, praising journalists who expose the truth about the malfeasance of powerful governments.

If you want to stare aghast at some of the most appallingly cartoonish hypocrisy from a western politician you’ll ever see, I highly recommend clicking this hyperlink and reading through the transcript of Hunt’s speech in the context of what he just said about Assange.

Hunt decried the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ignoring the inconvenient fact that his own government had just been found guilty of participating in the brutal torture of a far more impactful journalist spanning many years. Hunt sang the praises of two Reuters journalists who’d recently been released from prison in Burma after exposing a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims, right after defending the torture of the journalist who released the Collateral Murder video showing the massacre of 18 civilians, the fatalities from which included two Reuters journalists.

“The latest World Press Freedom Index describes how the ‘number of countries regarded as safe, where journalists can work in complete security, continues to decline’,” Hunt said. “And yet despite all the pressure, the risk — from physical threats, from insidious self-censorship — journalists in many countries press on with holding the powerful to account, exposing wrongdoing, deterring corruption, and strengthening democracy and openness.”

Other choice excerpts:

“We cannot physically stop journalists from being locked up for doing their jobs. But we can alert global public opinion and make sure the diplomatic price is too high.”

“Authoritarian states might launch sudden ‘crackdowns’ against corruption — which mysteriously target political opponents while leaving others untouched — but the risk of exposure by a free media is far more effective than any theatrical campaign.”

“But in the end, we must promote a free media not solely for practical reasons but because it’s what we stand for. Democracy and freedom of expression mean nothing unless independent journalists are able to scrutinise the powerful — and discover the stubborn facts — however inconvenient this might sometimes be for the politicians on the receiving end.”

“A free media is not an optional extra, still less a ‘Western’ value: it forms one pillar of a thriving society, benefiting people in every corner of the world.”

A free media is not a "Western" value but a pillar of a thriving society, benefiting people across the world. To embrace the opportunities of a free society we must defend the press. My speech in Glasgow to #WorldNewsMediaCongress @NewspaperWorld

 — @Jeremy_Hunt

Hunt’s tweet defending Assange’s torture and his sanctimonious, self-congratulatory tweet about the speech he’d just given were about 29 hours apart. Twenty-nine hours.

Hunt, who has been leading the charge in smearing Assange since his arrest and imprisonment, is scheduled to co-host a London summit next month on media freedom.

We criticize this kind of hypocrisy in prominent figures not because self-contradiction is necessarily an indication of weakness in character or policy, but because it illustrates the phony and self-serving nature of their positions. Jeremy Hunt does not care about press freedoms. Jeremy Hunt does not care about the abuse of journalists. He does not care about the things he claims to care about. When it comes to the western empire of which Hunt is a loyal guardian, the policy is “Press freedoms for me but not for thee.”

The “liberal democratic values” that these self-righteous windbags pretend to promote at their conferences and their summits are neither liberal nor democratic. We are led by smiling sociopaths who are selling us Nice Guy Fascism. A jackboot wearing a “Coexist” button. A smiling mask covering a hateful, blood-spattered grimace.


Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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The America That Was — The Good and the Bad – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Verdict: Robert Mueller’s Entire Operation Was a Political Hit-Job


On May 17, 2017, Robert S. Mueller III was appointed by then acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to serve as special counsel to investigate Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign. Two years, over 2,000 subpoenas, and thirty million dollars later, no such collusion was found. Following the release of the underwhelming Mueller Report a number of fundamental questions still remain. How could such an investigation have been triggered when there was no evidence of collusion to begin with? Why did Robert Mueller promptly hired partisan Democrats to run his investigation?

This past week Mueller staged what could only be described as a bizarre press event, but it was one where he openly revealed his derision for basic basic due process and rules of prosecutorial conduct, the rule of law, and not least of all, his clear partisan desire to damage and disqualify a duly-elected US President.

California Congressman Devin Nunes said Mueller’s stage show was meant to “light the fuse for impeachment.”

“Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report,” he said. “It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. The report is my testimony.”

While most pundits and opponents on both sides of the political divide obsessed over whether or not he would be testifying before Congress, a depressingly few commentators picked up of the real underlying breakdown which was on full display.

Co-founder of The Federalist, Sean Davis, writes:

If there were any doubts about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s political intentions, his unprecedented press conference on Wednesday should put them all to rest. As he made abundantly clear during his doddering reading of a prepared statement that repeatedly contradicted itself, Mueller had no interest in the equal application of the rule of law. He gave the game, and his nakedly political intentions, away repeatedly throughout his statement.

“It is important that the office’s written work speak for itself,” Mueller said, referring to his office’s 448-page report. Mueller’s report was released to the public by Attorney General William Barr nearly six weeks ago. The entire report, minus limited redactions required by law, has been publicly available, pored through, and dissected. Its contents have been discussed ad nauseum in print and on television. The report has been speaking for itself since April 18, when it was released.

If it’s important for the work to speak for itself, then why did Mueller schedule a press conference in which he would speak for it weeks after it was released? The statement, given the venue in which it was provided, is self-refuting.

Let’s start with the Mueller team’s unique take on the nature of a prosecutor’s job. The standard American view of justice, affirmed and enforced by the U.S. Constitution, is that all are presumed innocent absent conviction by a jury of a specific charge of criminal wrongdoing. That is, the natural legal state of an individual in this country is innocence. It is not a state or a nature bestowed by cops or attorneys. Innocence is not granted by unelected bureaucrats or federal prosecutors.

At one point in his remarks, Mueller seemed to agree. Referring to indictments against various Russian individuals and institutions for allegedly hacking American servers during the 2016 election, Mueller said that the indictments “contain allegations and we are not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant.”

“Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

Had he stopped there, he would have been correct. But then he crafted a brand new standard.

“The order appointing the special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation and kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of our work,” Mueller said. “After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

According to Mueller and his team, charged Russians are presumed innocent. An American president, however, is presumed guilty unless and until Mueller’s team determines he is innocent. Such a standard is an obscene abomination against the rule of law, one that would never be committed by independent attorneys who place a fidelity to their oaths and impartial enforcement of the law ahead of their political motivations.

Read the rest of Sean Davis’s editorial at The Federalist

According to the author Davis, multiple federal agents and prosecutors reached out to his publication following Mueller’s unusual press conference and voiced their disapproval to the former FBI director’s reckless application of due process and justice.

He first notes: “The prosecutor in a criminal case shall … refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused,” states Rule 3.8(f) of the American Bar Association’s rules of professional conduct.

Other federal officials and prosecutors weighed in:

“I’d have been crucified under this rule for a ‘not innocent’ comment about an uncharged party,” a former federal prosecutor told The Federalist. “I literally cannot fathom holding a press conference to say that an uncharged person was not innocent.”

“I wish these former FBI directors would learn their lessons: keep your mouths shut unless you’re referring a case for prosecution,” Jeff Danik, a retired FBI supervisor, said during a phone interview with The Federalist on Wednesday.

READ MORE RUSSIAGATE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire RussiaGate Files



Friday, May 31, 2019

The Dictatorship of the Young


The end of every semester confronts the college instructor with an indignity: reading student “evaluations” of his performance. While the principle of student feedback is sound in theory, the execution exposes the embarrassing frivolity of American culture. Highlights from my literature courses include, and I quote verbatim:

“There was too much reading.”

“He should not assign Leaves of Grass because it makes no sense.”

“I didn’t like the class because it has nothing to do with my major, but the professor was pretty good. He wears cool boots and shirts!”

Far be it from me to argue with any endorsement of my sartorial sense, but these evaluations are not merely for the instructors’ enlightenment. Jason Brennan and Phillip Magness report in their recently published book Cracks in the Ivory Tower that university administrators are increasingly reliant on student evaluations to make hiring, firing, and promotional decisions, even as all of the available research indicates they have no effect on the quality of teaching in the college classroom. To argue against student evaluations, at least as they exist now, according to consequentialism, is an error. The more profound question is: why are educational institutions inflating the egos of teenagers by encouraging them to give their approval or condemnation of a professor? Furthermore, why are they able to issue judgments of Walt Whitman as if their inability to comprehend his masterpiece is somehow his fault and not their own?

Wendy Williams, a professor of Human Development at Cornell University, claims that the growth of student evaluations in the 1990s coalesced with dramatic increases in tuition. This applied pressure on colleges to “seek consumer satisfaction.”

A successful business must placate, even coddle, its customers. Education has an altogether different mission and standard. Edward R. Ward, a Catholic priest, author, and personal friend, began all of his university philosophy courses for freshmen with the words: “I’m not here to nurture you. I’m here to strengthen you.”

Ward’s pedagogy is woefully anachronistic in our culture of raw nerves. Student evaluations prioritize the likes, dislikes, whims, and feelings of students over any aim to strengthen young minds. They are also a small illustration of youthocracy – a dictatorship of the inexperienced and immature that exerts an insidious influence over American culture.

Like student evaluations, youthocracy did not begin in the 1990s, but that was when it grew dominant. Pop culture was the first pillar to fall, as marketing specialists discovered that America’s shopping mall teenagers had large amounts of disposable income, and were likelier to spend their money on entertainment than their working parents. The teenage and 20-something demographics became the ultimate prizes for any commercial venture in film, television, and music. As a result, adult complexity in cinematic plot, chord progression, and song lyrics became financial liabilities, at least in the mainstream. (Fortunately, there was a backlash on television with programs like “The Sopranos,” “Mad Men,” and “The Wire” that appealed to adults. Older viewers tended to stay home for their entertainment even before the rise of streaming services.)

A cursory glance at any suburban movie theater is sufficient to demonstrate the rule of youthocracy. The Marvel Universe, scatological comedies, and slasher bloodfests in which different pitches of screaming qualify as dialogue triumph at the box office. Serious and thoughtful films, like The Highwaymen and First Reformed, go straight to a streaming service, or have theatrical runs so limited that they barely register.

In The Disappearance of Childhood, prophetic social critic Neil Postman wrote that the ubiquity of mass media was robbing children of an essential sense of “wonderment” and dangerously bridging the information divide between them and their parents:

As media merge the two worlds, as the tension created by secrets to be unraveled is diminished, the calculus of wonderment changes. Curiosity is replaced by cynicism or, even worse, arrogance. We are left with children who rely not on authoritative adults but on news from nowhere. We are left with children who are given answers to questions they never asked. We are left, in short, without children.

Postman did not predict that the disappearance of childhood would mean that children function as young adults, but rather that adult and child would blend together, creating a worst-of-both-worlds mutant. The “adult-child,” Postman wrote, is a “grown up whose intellectual and emotional life is not significantly different from a child.”

The consequences of youthocracy – a culture under the rule of teenagers, twentysomethings, and middle-aged people who think and act like children – go far beyond dumb movies and silly songs.

Youthocracy has poisoned American politics. Donald Trump is the epitome of the “adult-child,” a prankster-bully who has traded policy rigor for whiny finger pointing and name calling, most of it on his favorite medium, Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, media companies, and public figures are increasingly deferential to the hysterics of the Twitter mob. Publishing companies have delayed and canceled the release of novels due to preemptive objections from Twitter brigades. Candidates for the Democratic nomination for president are constantly recalibrating their positions to avoid outrage from social media obsessives. And journalistic coverage of significant issues looks to Twitter for direction.

The Pew Research Center recently revealed that Twitter, for all of its power, represents very few actual Americans, something that the most prestigious people in media, publishing, and politics are too insulated and onanistic to realize. Only 22 percent of Americans use Twitter; even more significant, the most prolific 10 percent of Twitter users are responsible for more than 80 percent of total tweets. The majority of users engage with the medium only a handful of times per month and rarely tweet about politics.

Hardly to anyone’s surprise, Pew also found that “Twitter users are much younger than the average U.S. adult.” Given the data, one could view the social media mob as the youthocracy’s cultural military – the rank and file fighting battles on behalf of the dictatorship of the adult-child. Because major corporations and political officials overestimate the size of the army, much of American culture now caters to a youthful and overly sensitive set who have turned panic into a lifestyle.

As the youthocracy amasses power and influence, previously reliable criteria for the investment of trust and confidence – such as maturity, wisdom, and accomplishment – are undesirable and often subject to ridicule.

Politico reports that the endorsement of first-term congresswoman and media sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is “one of the most important in America right now.” Ocasio-Cortez’s ascension from bartender to federal representative captures the spirit of American democracy and makes for an inspiring story. Even still, she is not responsible for the passage of a single bill in Congress. No one with so little experience should gain such authority. While it is important that young people, who bring great enthusiasm and boldness in thinking, have some influence, it is even more essential that they advance in a dialogue with a wiser, older generation. The youthocracy, from student evaluations to party politics, is increasingly insistent on a one-way process: youthful demand and elder appeasement.

Rarely, if ever, does the “woke” cadre cite the insight of someone like Noam Chomsky, who, regardless of what anyone thinks about his politics, might know more about leftism and history than someone driving on a learner’s permit.

Mature adults recognize nuance and contradiction as unavoidable elements of a life moving towards death. Children, or those with the attitudes of adolescents, believe in absolutes, unable to see complexity and unwilling to compromise. Ocasio-Cortez has condemned Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden based on a rumor that his climate change policy will be “middle of the road.” The words are not Biden’s, and the former vice president has neither confirmed nor denied the story. But the search for truth requires patience – another virtue unwelcome in youthocracy.

A far worse political descent into simpleminded immaturity is the adult-child Donald Trump’s apparent belief that “supporting the troops” means pardoning war criminals. Something even as massive and multifaceted as the world’s largest military is either good or bad. There can be no in between.

It is dangerous to allow people who have not yet had formative experiences to gain such strength in a society.

I can already hear a popular rebuttal to my argument. Someone will compare me, at 34 years old, to an “old man” yelling “get off my lawn.” The “get off my lawn” insult is an example of the pervasiveness of the cultural reach of youth-oriented language. Criticism of youthful behavior sets one up to be called a “dad,” which is now a pejorative (“dad music,” “dad clothes,” etc).

I look forward to the day – probably many years from now when I actually am elderly and proudly warning neighborhood kids to leave my property – when “adolescent” becomes a term of derision. Until then, the rule of the youthocracy drags on.


This article has been republished with permission from The American Conservative. 

[Image Credit: Pixabay]


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Glenn Greenwald: US war on Assange a 'blueprint' for criminalizing journalism



The latest indictments of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange are a blueprint for making journalists into felons, a test case for dismantling the First Amendment that will destroy journalism as we know it, Glenn Greenwald warned. "If Assange can be declared guilty of espionage for working with sources to obtain and publish information deemed 'classified' by the US government, then there's nothing to stop the criminalization of every other media outlet that routinely does the same," Greenwald wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday, highlighting what he considers "the greatest threat to press freedom in the Trump era, if not the last several decades." By redefining Assange's actions as "espionage" rather than "journalism" or "publishing," the Trump administration seeks to exempt him from legal protections governing speech that belong to everyone, from the Post itself to the lowliest blogger, the Intercept editor and former civil rights attorney explains.


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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Debunking Seven Persistent Myths About Homeschoolers


In the last fifty years, homeschooling in the United States has grown from a tiny movement composed primarily of conservative Christians and John Holt “unschoolers” to its present size of around 1.69 million students. Despite these numbers, and despite the fact that most Americans are familiar with the concept of homeschooling, some misconceptions continue to make the rounds.

Let’s look at six of these long-standing myths.

Myth #1: If you homeschool your children, they’ll fail to develop certain social skills. “What about socialization?” Numerous people asked me this question when my wife and I began homeschooling our children in the late 1980s, and people continue to ask it of homeschoolers today. The fact is we are all “socialized” simply by living. So then the question arises: Will Johnny develop better social skills spending his days in a classroom with his peers or in a home with mom, dad, siblings, and other relatives? Over a period of twenty years I offered seminars in various subjects to hundreds of homeschoolers. I came to know many of them and their families, and can attest that homeschool graduates entered college or the work force “well-adjusted.” Studies as far back as twenty years ago back me up on this point.

Myth #2: Parents who educate their children at home are overly protective and don’t want them exposed to certain ideas taught in our public schools. True perhaps for a minority, but the majority of parents homeschool for a much wider variety of reasons, ranging from the desire to include religion in their curriculum to the time and freedom homeschooling gives to students to develop their talents. For example, one young man in my seminars, Bill, elected to homeschool so that he could spend more time swimming. That talent helped gain him entry into the United States Naval Academy. Of course, the main reason most parents choose homeschooling is that they find it academically superior to other types of education.

Myth #3: Homeschoolers are geeks and nerds who spend their days sequestered in the living room with their laptops and books. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most homeschoolers engage in such activities as sports and Scouts, volunteer in their library or a local soup kitchen, and even open small businesses, like the 15-year-old in my seminars who made jewelry and sold her creations online. (One mom whose four kids were engaged in sports, dance, and piano used to joke that she was a “van school mom.”) In Asheville, North Carolina, for example, you’ll find homeschool sports teams—football, basketball, tennis, track, and more—concert bands, a debating club, and co-ops offering courses from calculus to Latin.

Myth #4: Many parents aren’t qualified to teach their children. Those who toss this dart generally mean that most homeschooling parents don’t have degrees in teaching. The truth is that any competent adult with a high school education can teach their children at home. Why? Because help abounds for that teacher. The homeschooling mom or dad can choose from a wide range of curricula containing lesson plans, teacher’s manuals, tests and answer keys. Co-ops and classes shared with other homeschoolers are near universal among homeschoolers. If Mrs. Smith is a whiz at higher mathematics and Mrs. Jones speaks French like a native, they bring their children together and share these skills. Finally, the Internet is crammed with classes, tutorials, and seminars that can benefit homeschoolers.

Myth #5: Homeschoolers have trouble getting into college. Nope. In fact, the opposite is true. Colleges today are actively recruiting homeschooled students, regarding them in general as better prepared academically, more self-disciplined, and more mature than many of their contemporaries. Because of the freedom derived from homeschooling, many homeschooled students are also able to build a strong resume of extracurricular activities, making them more attractive to college recruiters.

Myth #6: Homeschool parents commit child abuse at a greater rate than the general population. Wrong again. In fact, studies have shown that far fewer homeschoolers as well as those who attend religious schools suffer from sexual abuse, neglect, and death than students in the public schools. This misperception arises in part because the media fails to distinguish between homeschooling families and truant families, that is, families who keep their children out of school and then claim to be homeschoolers.

Myth #7: Homeschooling hurts our public schools. No again. Most parents pay taxes for public schools that they don’t use and pay for their own school expenses out of pocket. Some states do allow tax credits for homeschooling families.

Time to put these misconceptions to rest once and for all.


[Image Credit: Flickr-Monica H, CC BY 2.0]


It’s Not Your Imagination: The Journalists Writing About Antifa Are Often Their Cheerleaders


On February 1, 2017, Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to give a talk about free speech at the University of California, Berkeley. But he was prevented from speaking by a group of 150 or so masked, black-clad members of a then-obscure movement calling itself “Antifa.” The protestors caused $100,000 worth of damage to the campus and injured six people as they threw rocks and Molotov cocktails. Nine months later, again at Berkeley, an “anti-Marxist” rally descended into violence as approximately 100 masked Antifa members harassed journalists and beat rally organizers and attendees.

Berkeley was where Antifa rose to national attention, but it hasn’t been the only place where the group has engaged in sustained acts of violence. At a Washington, D.C. Unite the Right rally in August 2018, Antifa members hurled objects at police and assaulted journalists. In Portland, Oregon, violent street clashes involving Antifa have become regular events. Notwithstanding claims that Antifa is a peaceful, “anti-fascist community-defense group,” it has adopted tactics that often are more violent than those of the right-wing movements that the group opposes.

I was sprayed in the face point blank with pepper spray outside the @CiderRiot, where Antifa had amassed. They cheered as I was blinded. Before that, they threatened me & brought up my mother’s name. A woman helped me across the street. Please help me identify person:

— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) May 2, 2019

And yet, Antifa often receives media coverage that is neutral or even favorable, with its members’ violence either being ignored by reporters or vaguely explained away as a product of right-wing provocation. What’s more, anecdotal evidence has suggested that many of the mainstream reporters who are most active in covering Antifa also tend to enthusiastically amplify Antifa’s claims on social media.

In October 2018, my research partner and I decided to investigate the truth of this impression by using a mix of network mapping and linguistic analysis to see which prominent journalists who covered Antifa also were closely connected to leading Antifa figures on social media. We then inspected the Antifa-related stories these journalists had written.

We created a data set of 58,254 Antifa or Antifa-associated Twitter accounts based on the follows of 16 verified Antifa seed accounts. Using a software tool that analyzed the number and nature of connections associated with each individual account, we winnowed the 58,254 Antifa or Antifa-associated Twitter accounts down to 962 accounts. This represents a core group of Twitter users who are connected in overlapping ways to the most influential and widely followed Antifa figures. Of these 962 accounts, 22 were found to be verified—of which 15 were journalists who work regularly with national-level news outlets.

It should be stressed that a journalist’s close social-media engagement with any particular group should not be seen as incriminating per se. Many journalists follow—and even interact with—all manner of figures online, either out of personal curiosity, professional interest, or even as a means of developing sources. In identifying this group of 15 journalists whose engagement with Antifa is especially intense, our goal was not to accuse them of bias out of hand, but rather to identify them for further study, so as to determine if there was any overall correlation between the level of their online engagement with Antifa and the manner by which these journalists treated Antifa in their published journalism.

That correlation turned out to be quite pronounced: Of all 15 verified national-level journalists in our subset, we couldn’t find a single article, by any of them, that was markedly critical of Antifa in any way. In all cases, their work in this area consisted primarily of downplaying Antifa violence while advancing Antifa talking points, and in some cases quoting Antifa extremists as if they were impartial experts.

These journalists include, for instance, Kit O’Connell, a self-identified “proudly Antifascist” “gonzo journalist,” whose work often reads like an FAQ that one might find on an Antifa web site. In one piece, for instance, he wrote that protestors wear masks so that they may “creat[e] a sense of unity and common purpose [as they] protect other activists from attacks by police and fascists.” Another article is bluntly (and somewhat ominously) titled “Nonviolent Activists Must Never Work With Police.”

Patrick Strickland, another journalist among the group of 15, specializes in reporting on the far-right in Europe, notably Greece. His book Alerta! Alerta! Snapshots of Europe’s Anti-Fascist Struggle has a blurb written by Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, which reads: “As a fascist darkness descends over Europe, Patrick Strickland uncovers the bars, squats, fight clubs, and street corners where resistance burns brightest. Each page of his journey breathes with the tumultuous struggles of brave anti-fascists who risk imprisonment, assault, and even death to take a stand.” Unlike O’Connell, Strickland presents himself as a serious mainstream journalist, and has written for The New Republic and Politico. As of this writing, he is listed on Al Jazeera’s web site as a senior producer for Al Jazeera English.

A more prominent example is Jason Wilson, a Portland-based writer for The Guardian. One of his recent articles focused on a U.S. regional intelligence report whose authors concluded that Antifa and the far right share responsibility for street violence. “Experts say the report mischaracterizes the dynamics of the street violence,” Wilson complained.

One of Wilson’s main “experts” in the piece, it turned out, was none other than Antifa handbook author Mark Bray, who, predictably, denounced the report’s contents as “ludicrous.” In fact, Bray makes regular appearances in Wilson’s articles. So does fellow Portland resident and eco-extremist Alexander Reid Ross, who regularly writes for Antifa publications such as the It’s Going Down anarchist news site. (Ross also contributed to a 30-year-anniversary edition publication for Earth First!, an extremist environmentalist collective that advocates what activists euphemistically call “direct action.”)

In another column for The Guardian, this one about the 2018 “Occupy ICE” protest in Portland, Wilson quoted “local activist” Luis Marquez to the effect that “I think this occupation is a beautiful thing, a wonderful thing. Every single person here is a hero.” Marquez is in fact a prominent Antifa leader in Portland, and has been arrested on numerous occasions due to his militant behavior—including alleged theft and assault.

Writer Jason Wilson (left) photographs next to Portland Antifa leader Luis Enrique Marquez. Photo: Andy Ngo

Interestingly, while other Portland journalists such as Genevieve Resume of KATU News, Maggie Vespa of KGW News and Quillette’s own Andy Ngo (who has voiced concerns about Antifa’s actions) have been harassed and assaulted by Antifa activists, Wilson seems welcome to mingle freely among Antifa, and has even been photographed standing close to Marquez. In one piece, titled “How the world has fought back against the violent far-right and started winning,” Wilson effectively drops the pretense that he is a neutral reporter, and approvingly outlines the Antifa tactics set out in Bray’s book. He also defends such tactics as doxing, stalking, deplatforming and shaming as valuable means to attack individuals whose views he dislikes. In doing so, he cites both Bray and Emily Gorcenski, who runs a doxing site called First Vigil, and an associated Twitter account, which shame individuals she deems to be fascists before they have received due process.

Make no mistake: The original professed goal of Antifa—to oppose fascism—is laudable. And there are no doubt many Antifa activists who still reject violent methods. Moreover, there is nothing inherently wrong with being a journalist who has strong personal views about Antifa (or about any other radical group). But Wilson is not simply a pro-Antifa activist who also happens to write for the Guardian: He actively leverages his role as a regular Guardian writer to promote Antifa, whitewash its violence, and signal-boost its leaders (whom he presents as “experts”)—often under the guise of neutral news reporting.

Christopher Mathias, a senior reporter for the Huffington Post, applies the same cynical approach. Like Wilson, Mathias’ byline seems to pop up whenever Antifa stages violent protests—and he always can be counted on to deliver a play-by-play that favors Antifa. But he goes even further than his Guardian counterpart. Unlike Wilson, Mathias actually doxes individuals whom he suspects of being right-wing extremists. His doxing sources for an article about suspected extremists in the U.S. military included Unicorn Riot, an anarchic Antifa journalist collective, and other shady sites that exist as a sort of in-house 4chan for the Antifa movement. (Mathias cited similar sources when he published identifying details of a Texas schoolteacher, and of a Virginia police officer.)

Mathias’ apparent modus operandi is to gather doxes of individuals whom Antifa or Antifa-friendly groups suspect of being right-wing extremists. He (or a colleague) at Huffington Post then reach out to the target’s employer asking for comment, leveraging the media outlet’s name to ensure the individual is called out. Then Mathias posts the doxes in his column while investigations are ongoing. As with Emily Gorcenski’s First Vigil site, Mathias broadcasts detailed personal information whose release seems designed to destroy the reputation of the accused, no matter the results of any subsequent investigation. It’s unclear how this behavior differs from ordinary, everyday Antifa-style online activism.

Of course, all investigative journalists rely on tips from the general public. But collecting tips isn’t what Wilson and Mathias appear to be doing. Like other prominent writers whose names appear among the 15 journalists most closely engaged with Antifa, they seem to function not at professional arm’s length from their sources, but rather as cogs in an activist enterprise that churns out both pro-Antifa propaganda and doxing information about real or imagined ideological enemies. Their allies in this mission include trolls such as AntiFashGordon, the pseudonym of a Twitter user who declares that “I expose fascists, get them fired, de-homed, kicked out of school etc,” and brags that he passes “dossiers” of doxes to national-level journalists, whom he refers to as “our contacts.” His entire online mission is to ruin other people’s lives, and it is a mission being supported by “contacts” like Mathias and Wilson. In providing such support, they are discrediting their publications and misinforming their readers.

There is no doubt in my mind that many of the individuals targeted by Antifa trolls and protestors do indeed harbor noxious, hateful, bigoted and even fascistic opinions. But the intellectual dishonesty and disreputable methods being used to target these individuals is an example of the cure being as bad as the disease.


Eoin Lenihan is a Stuttgart-based analyst whose work is focused on online extremism. Follow him on Twitter at @EoinLenihan.

Feature photo by Andy Ngo.

The post It’s Not Your Imagination: The Journalists Writing About Antifa Are Often Their Cheerleaders appeared first on Quillette.


Dershowitz: Shame on Robert Mueller for exceeding his role | TheHill

Dershowitz: Shame on Robert Mueller for exceeding his role | TheHill 

Fast results for your health: One week of eating organic found to dramatically lower toxin levels in your body

Fruits-Vegetables.jpg (Natural News) With toxins seemingly everywhere these days, from the food we eat to the air we breathe and the water we drink, you might feel like there’s nothing you can do to avoid being exposed to dangerous substances. However, one study shows that you have a lot more control over it than you might...


THE VETO: Film exposing CNN, Al Jazeera, Channel 4 and the western media propaganda war against Syria - 21st Century Wire

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Why obstruction and cover-up charges smack of desperation | TheHill

Bernie Sanders Asked Bill Kristol to Apologize for Pushing the Iraq War. Guess What Happened Next.


On Memorial Day weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., got into an online tussle about the Iraq War with Bill Kristol.

No one outside of the inner circle of the George W. Bush administration bears greater responsibility for the war than Kristol. He co-founded a think tank whose purpose was to make the case for war, wrote a book and dozens of articles calling for an invasion, and appeared constantly on TV explaining why it had to happen.

After Kristol attacked Sanders’s foreign policy acumen, Sanders asked him, “Have you apologized to the nation for your foolish advocacy of the Iraq war?” Here’s what Kristol said:

Nope. I dislike quasi-Stalinist demands for apologies. I've defended and will defend my views on Iraq, and Syria, and Milosevic, and the Soviet Union, and more, as you defend yours. How about a real debate on U.S. foreign policy–I'll ask for no apologies!–on a campus this fall?

— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 26, 2019

Kristol’s response is particularly striking because on March 28, 2003, just 10 days after the U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq, he appeared on C-SPAN and made a great show of being “happy to be held to a moral standard” if his predictions about the war were wrong. Specifically, Kristol said, the grounds for war would be grievously weakened if Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction; or Iraqis did not treat the U.S. as a liberating force; or the U.S. did not leave behind a democratic government.

Of course, none of those things happened. Kristol’s entire performance that day was a masterpiece of prevarication and bad faith. But 16 years later, as seen in edited highlights below, his most egregious lie is his pretense that he would ever be willing to be held accountable for his actions.

Sen. @BernieSanders asked @BillKristol, the Iraq War’s biggest cheerleader, to apologize.

Kristol refused.

But here’s what Kristol was saying when the war began in 2003.

— The Intercept (@theintercept) May 28, 2019

I would be shocked if we don’t find weapons of mass destruction, and I think that is one of the main rationales for the war. … I expect us to find them and if we don’t find them, that would undercut in part the rationale for the war. … Obviously that would be a great blow if Saddam has not been developing weapons of mass destruction. …

I would agree that if after the war, we aren’t treated more or less as a liberating force, then that would also be a rebuke to the Bush administration and to those of us who counseled that this war was just and necessary. I accept the possibility that I’m wrong. …

We should follow through and be serious about helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country and about helping promote a decent and democratic government in Iraq. It would be a less morally satisfying and fully defensible war if we don’t follow through as we should. …

I’m happy to be held to a moral standard. I ask that it be a serious moral standard.

The death toll of the Iraq War is incalculable, both because the U.S. doesn’t care enough to count Iraqi deaths and because the dying isn’t over. The consequences of the war will reverberate throughout the Mideast and the world for the rest of our lives. What we can say is that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed.

We measure the number of American military dead more precisely: Almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq. The families of many of them were surely visiting their graves this weekend. All you need to know about Bill Kristol is that he spent that time proclaiming that we should not expect him to apologize for cajoling us into a war that created so many tombstones.

The post Bernie Sanders Asked Bill Kristol to Apologize for Pushing the Iraq War. Guess What Happened Next. appeared first on The Intercept.


White Helmets hospital found stocked with German-made medical supplies -- Puppet Masters --

White Helmets hospital found stocked with German-made medical supplies -- Puppet Masters -- 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Clinton email records were found in Obama White House

It’s been a decade since Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State and used a private server for government business, transmitting sensitive and classified information in the process. It’s been exactly three years since the Inspector General said Clinton’s actions were improper. It’s been a couple of years since the FBI under Director James Comey more […]


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The Vaccinated Spreading Measles: WHO, Merck, CDC Documents Confirm

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The Western Media is Key to Syria Deception


By Jonathan Cook

May 25, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – By any reckoning, the claim made this week by al-Qaeda-linked fighters that they were targeted with chemical weapons by the Syrian government in Idlib province – their final holdout in Syria – should have been treated by the western media with a high degree of scepticism.

That the US and other western governments enthusiastically picked up those claims should not have made them any more credible.

Scepticism was all the more warranted from the media given that no physical evidence has yet been produced to corroborate the jihadists’ claims. And the media should have been warier still given that the Syrian government was already poised to defeat these al-Qaeda groups without resort to chemical weapons – and without provoking the predictable ire (yet again) of the west.

But most of all scepticism was required because these latest claims arrive just as we have learnt that the last supposed major chemical attack – which took place in April 2018 and was, as ever, blamed by all western sources on Syria’s president, Bashar Assad – was very possibly staged, a false-flag operation by those very al-Qaeda groups now claiming the Syrian government has attacked them once again.

Addicted to incompetence

Most astounding in this week’s coverage of the claims made by al-Qaeda groups is the fact that the western media continues to refuse to learn any lessons, develop any critical distance from the sources it relies on, even as those sources are shown to have repeatedly deceived it.

It is bad enough that our governments and our expert institutions deceive and lie to us. But it is even worse that we have a corporate media addicted – at the most charitable interpretation – to its own incompetence. The evidence demonstrating that grows stronger by the day.
This was true after the failure to find WMD in Iraq, and it is now even more true after the the international community’s monitoring body on chemical weapons, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), was exposed this month as deeply dishonest.

Unprovoked attack

In March the OPCW produced a report into a chemical weapons attack the Syrian government allegedly carried out in Douma in April last year. Several dozen civilians, many of them children, died apparently as a result of that attack.

The OPCW report concluded that there were “reasonable grounds” for believing a toxic form of chlorine had been used as a chemical weapon in Douma, and that the most likely method of delivery were two cylinders dropped from the air.

This as good as confirmed claims made by al-Qaeda groups, backed by western states, that the cylinders had been dropped by the Syrian military. Using dry technical language, the OPCW joined the US and Europe in pointing the finger squarely at Assad.

It was vitally important that the OPCW reached that conclusion not only because of the west’s overarching regime-change ambitions in Syria.

In response to the alleged Douma attack a year ago, the US fired a volley of Cruise missiles at Syrian army and government positions before there had been any investigation of who was responsible.

Those missiles were already a war crime – an unprovoked attack on another sovereign country. But without the OPCW’s implicit blessing, the US would have been deprived of even its flimsy, humanitarian pretext for launching the missiles.

Leaked document

Undoubtedly the OPCW was under huge political pressure to arrive at the “right” conclusion. But as a scientific body carrying out a forensic investigation surely it would not simply doctor the data.

Nonetheless, it seems that may well be precisely what it did. This month the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media – a group of academics who have grown increasingly sceptical of the western narratives told about Syria – published an internal, leaked OPCW document.

A few days later the OPCW reluctantly confirmed that the document was genuine, and that it would identify and deal with those responsible for the leak.

The document was an assessment overseen by Ian Henderson, a senior OPCW expert, of the engineering data gathered by the OPCW’s fact-finding mission that attended the scene of the Douma attack. Its findings fly in the face of the OPCW’s published report.

Erased from the record

The leaked document is deeply troubling for two reasons.

First, the assessment, based on the available technical data, contradicts the conclusion of the final OPCW report that the two chemical cylinders were dropped from the air and crashed through building roofs. It argues instead that the cylinders were more likely placed at the locations they were found.

If that is right, the most probable explanation is that the cylinders were put there by al-Qaeda groups – presumably in a last desperate effort to persuade the west to intervene and to prevent the jihadists being driven out of Douma.

But even more shocking is the fact that the expert assessment based on the data collected by the OPCW team is entirely unaddressed in the OPCW’s final report.

It is not that the final report discounts or rebuts the findings of its own experts. It simply ignores those findings; it pretends they don’t exist. The report blacks them out, erases them from the official record. In short, it perpetrates a massive deception.

Experts ignored

All of this would be headline news if we had a responsible media that cared about the truth and about keeping its readers informed.

We now know both that the US attacked Syria on entirely bogus grounds, and that the OPCW – one of the international community’s most respected and authoritative bodies – has been caught redhanded in an outrageous deception with grave geopolitical implications. (In fact, it is not the first time the OPCW has been caught doing this, as I have previously explained here.)

The fact that the OPCW ignored its own expert and its own team’s technical findings when they proved politically indigestible casts a dark shadow over all the OPCW’s work in Syria, and beyond. If it was prepared to perpetrate a deception on this occasion, why should we assume it did not do so on other occasions when it proved politically expedient?

Active combatants

The OPCW’s reports into other possible chemical attacks – assisting western efforts to implicate Assad – are now equally tainted. That is especially so given that in those other cases the OPCW violated its own procedures by drawing prejudicial conclusions without its experts being on the ground, at the site of the alleged attacks. Instead it received samples and photos via al-Qaeda groups, who could easily have tampered with the evidence.

And yet there has been not a peep from the corporate media about this exposure of the OPCW’s dishonesty, apart from commentary pieces from the only two maverick mainstream journalists in the UK – Peter Hitchens, a conservative but independent-minded columnist for the Mail on Sunday, and veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk, of the little-read Independent newspaper (more on his special involvement in Douma in a moment).

Just as the OPCW blanked the findings of its technical experts to avoid political discomfort, the media have chosen to stay silent on this new, politically sensitive information.

They have preferred to prop up the discredited narrative that our governments have been acting to protect the human rights of ordinary Syrians rather than the reality that they have been active combatants in the war, helping to destabilise a country in ways that have caused huge suffering and death in Syria.

Systematic failure

This isn’t a one-off failure. It’s part of a series of failures by the corporate media in its coverage of Douma.

They ignored very obvious grounds for caution at the time of the alleged attack. Award-winning reporter Robert Fisk was among the first journalists to enter Douma shortly after those events. He and a few independent reporters communicated eye-witness testimony that flatly contradicted the joint narrative promoted by al-Qaeda groups and western governments that Assad had bombed Douma with chemical weapons.

The corporate media also mocked a subsequent press conference at which many of the supposed victims of that alleged chemical attack made appearances to show that they were unharmed and spoke of how they had been coerced into play-acting their roles.

And now the western media has compounded that failure – revealing its systematic nature – by ignoring the leaked OPCW document too.

But it gets worse, far worse.

Al-Qaeda propaganda

This week the same al-Qaeda groups that were present in Douma – and may have staged that lethal attack – claimed that the Syrian government had again launched chemical weapons against them, this time on their final holdout in Idlib.

A responsible media, a media interested in the facts, in evidence, in truth-telling, in holding the powerful to account, would be duty bound to frame this latest, unsubstantiated claim in the context of the new doubts raised about the OPCW report into last year’s chemical attack blamed on Assad.

Given that the technical data suggest that al-Qaeda groups, and the White Helmets who work closely with them, were responsible for staging the attack – even possibly of murdering civilians to make the attack look more persuasive – the corporate media had a professional and moral obligation to raise the matter of the leaked document.

It is vital context as anyone tries to weigh up whether the latest al-Qaeda claims are likely to be true. To deprive readers of this information, this essential context would be to take a side, to propagandise on behalf not only of western governments but of al-Qaeda too.

And that is exactly what the corporate media have just done. All of them.

Media worthy of Stalin

It is clear how grave their dereliction of the most basic journalistic duty is if we consider the Guardian’s uncritical coverage of jihadist claims about the latest alleged chemical attack.

Like most other media, the Guardian article included two strange allusions – one by France, the other by the US – to the deception perpetrated by the OPCW in its recent Douma report. The Guardian reported these allusions even though it has never before uttered a word anywhere in its pages about that deception.

In other words, the corporate media are so committed to propagandising on behalf of the western powers that they have reported the denials of official wrongdoing even though they have never reported the actual wrongdoing. It is hard to imagine the Soviet media under Stalin behaving in such a craven and dishonest fashion.

The corporate media have given France and the US a platform to reject accusations against the OPCW that the media themselves have never publicly raised.

Doubts about OPCW

The following is a brief statement (unintelligible without the forgoing context) from France, reported by the Guardian in relation to the latest claim that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons this week: “We have full confidence in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”

But no one, except bloggers and academics ignored by the media and state authorities, has ever raised doubts about the OPCW. Why would the Guardian think these French comments worthy of reporting unless there were reasons to doubt the OPCW? And if there are such reasons for doubt, why has the Guardian not thought to make them public, to report them to its readers?

The US state department similarly came to the aid of the OPCW. In the same Guardian report, a US official was quoted saying that the OPCW was facing “a continuing disinformation campaign” from Syria and Russia, and that the campaign was designed “to create the false narrative that others [rather than Assad] are to blame for chemical weapons attacks”.

So Washington too was rejecting accusations against the OPCW that have never been reported by the state-corporate media.

Interestingly, in the case of US officials, they claim that Syria and Russia are behind the “disinformation campaign” against the OPCW, even though the OPCW has admitted that the leaked document discrediting its work is genuine and written by one of its experts.

The OPCW is discredited, of course, only because it sought to conceal evidence contained in the leaked document that might have exonerated Assad of last year’s chemical attack. It is hard to see how Syria or Russia can be blamed for this.

Colluding in deception

But more astounding still, while US and French officials have at least acknowledged that there are doubts about the OPCW’s role in Syria, even if they unjustifiably reject such doubts, the corporate media have simply ignored those doubts as though they don’t exist.

The continuing media blackout on the leaked OPCW document cannot be viewed as accidental. It has been systematic across the media.

That blackout has remained resolutely in place even after the OPCW admitted the leaked document discrediting it was genuine and even after western countries began alluding to the leaked document themselves.

The corporate media is actively colluding both in the original deception perpetrated by al-Qaeda groups and the western powers, and in the subsequent dishonesty of the OPCW. They have worked together to deceive western publics.

The question is, why are the media so obviously incompetent? Why are they so eager to keep themselves and their readers in the dark? Why are they so willing to advance credulous narratives on behalf of western governments that have been repeatedly shown to have lied to them?

Iran the real target

The reason is that the corporate media are not what they claim. They are not a watchdog on power, or a fourth estate.

The media are actually the public relations wing of a handful of giant corporations – and states – that are pursuing two key goals in the Middle East.

First, they want to control its oil. Helping al-Qaeda in Syria – including in its propaganda war – against the Assad government serves a broader western agenda. The US and NATO bloc are ultimately gunning for the leadership of Iran, the one major oil producer in the region not under the US imperial thumb.

Powerful Shia groups in the region – Assad in Syria, Hezbullah in Lebanon, and Iraqi leaders elevated by our invasion of that country in 2003 – are allies or potential allies of Iran. If they are in play, the US empire’s room for manoeuvre in taking on Iran is limited. Remove these smaller players and Iran stands isolated and vulnerable.

That is why Russia stepped in several years ago to save Assad, in a bid to stop the dominoes falling and the US engineering a third world war centred on the Middle East.

Second, with the Middle East awash with oil money, western corporations have a chance to sell more of the lucrative weapons that get used in overt and covert wars like the one raging in Syria for the past eight years.

What better profit-generator for these corporations than wasteful and pointless wars against manufactured bogeymen like Assad?

Like a death cult

From the outside, this looks and sounds like a conspiracy. But actually it is something worse – and far more difficult to overcome.

The corporations that run our media and our governments have simply conflated in their own minds – and ours – the idea that their narrow corporate interests are synonymous with “western interests”.

The false narratives they generate are there to serve a system of power, as I have explained in previous blogs. That system’s worldview and values are enforced by a charmed circle that includes politicians, military generals, scientists, journalists and others operating as if brainwashed by some kind of death cult. They see the world through a single prism: the system’s need to hold on to power. Everything else – truth, evidence, justice, human rights, love, compassion – must take a back seat.

It is this same system that paradoxically is determined to preserve itself even if it means destroying the planet, ravaging our economies, and starting and maintaining endlessly destructive wars. It is a system that will drag us all into the abyss, unless we stop it.

Jonathan Cook is a Nazareth- based journalist and winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. No one pays him to write these blog posts. If you appreciated it,  please consider visiting his website and make a donation to support his work. – Click here to suport Jonathan’s work.

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==See Also==

Syria: Terrorists prepare for using chemical weapons in Hama, Idleb countryside with help of foreign experts

Russia says, The United States and some media outlets are spreading fake news about the use of chemical weapon in Idleb.

Sky News Collaborates with Idlib Terrorists to Create Syria War Propaganda