Category Archives: Geopolitics/War

Official Washington’s ‘Info-Wars’

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William Blum
strategic-culture: December 2, 2016

On November 16, at a State Department press briefing, department spokesperson John Kirby was having one of his frequent adversarial dialogues with Gayane Chichakyan, a reporter for RT (Russia Today); this time concerning U.S. charges of Russia bombing hospitals in Syria and blocking the U.N. from delivering aid to the trapped population.

When Chichakyan asked for some detail about these charges, Kirby replied: “Why don’t you ask your defense ministry?”

GC: Do you – can you give any specific information on when Russia or the Syrian Government blocked the UN from delivering aid? Just any specific information.

KIRBY: There hasn’t been any aid delivered in the last month.

GC: And you believe it was blocked exclusively by Russia and the Syrian Government?

KIRBY: There’s no question in our mind that the obstruction is coming from the regime and from Russia. No question at all.…

MATTHEW LEE (Associated Press): Let me –- hold on, just let me say: Please be careful about saying “your defense minister” and things like that. I mean, she’s a journalist just like the rest of us are, so it’s -– she’s asking pointed questions, but they’re not –

KIRBY: From a state-owned -– from a state-owned –

LEE: But they’re not –

KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet, Matt.

LEE: But they’re not –

KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet that’s not independent.

LEE: The questions that she’s asking are not out of line.

KIRBY: I didn’t say the questions were out of line…

KIRBY: I’m sorry, but I’m not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets.

One has to wonder if State Department spokesperson Kirby knows that in 2011 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking about RT, declared: “The Russians have opened an English-language network. I’ve seen it in a few countries, and it is quite instructive.”

I also wonder how Mr. Kirby deals with reporters from the BBC, a STATE-OWNED television and radio entity in the U.K., broadcasting in the U.S. and all around the world.

Or the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation, described by Wikipedia as follows: “The corporation provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as overseas… and is well regarded for quality and reliability as well as for offering educational and cultural programming that the commercial sector would be unlikely to supply on its own.”

There’s also Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Radio Liberty (Central/Eastern Europe), and Radio Marti (Cuba); all (U.S.) state-owned, none “independent”, but all deemed worthy enough by the United States to feed to the world.

And let’s not forget what Americans have at home: PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and NPR (National Public Radio), which would have a near-impossible time surviving without large federal government grants. How independent does this leave them? Has either broadcaster ever unequivocally opposed a modern American war? There’s good reason NPR has long been known as National Pentagon Radio. But it’s part of American media’s ideology to pretend that it doesn’t have any ideology.

As to the non-state American media … There are about 1,400 daily newspapers in the United States. Can you name a single paper, or a single TV network, that was unequivocally opposed to the American wars carried out against Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam while they were happening, or shortly thereafter? Or even opposed to any two of these seven wars? How about one?

In 1968, six years into the Vietnam War, the Boston Globe (Feb. 18, 1968) surveyed the editorial positions of 39 leading U.S. papers concerning the war and found that “none advocated a pull-out.” Has the phrase “invasion of Vietnam” ever appeared in the U.S. mainstream media?

In 2003, leading cable station MSNBC took the much-admired Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq. Mr. Kirby would undoubtedly call MSNBC “independent.”

If the American mainstream media were officially state-controlled, would they look or sound significantly different when it comes to U.S. foreign policy?

New Cold War Propaganda

On Nov. 25, the Washington Post ran an article entitled: “Research ties ‘fake news’ to Russia.” It’s all about how sources in Russia are flooding American media and the Internet with phony stories designed as “part of a broadly effective strategy of sowing distrust in U.S. democracy and its leaders.”

“The sophistication of the Russian tactics,” the article says, “may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on ‘fake news’.”

The Post states that the Russian tactics included “penetrating the computers of election officials in several states and releasing troves of hacked emails that embarrassed Clinton in the final months of her campaign.” (Heretofore this had been credited to Wikileaks.)

The story is simply bursting with anti-Russian references:

–An online magazine header – “Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.”
–“the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.”
–“more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season.”
–“stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.”
–“The Russian campaign during this election season … worked by harnessing the online world’s fascination with ‘buzzy’ content that is surprising and emotionally potent, and tracks with popular conspiracy theories about how secret forces dictate world events.”
–“Russian-backed phony news to outcompete traditional news organizations for audience”
–“They use our technologies and values against us to sow doubt. It’s starting to undermine our democratic system.”
–“Russian propaganda operations also worked to promote the ‘Brexit’ departure of Britain from the European Union.”
–“Some of these stories originated with RT and Sputnik, state-funded Russian information services that mimic the style and tone of independent news organizations yet sometimes include false and misleading stories in their reports.”
–“a variety of other false stories — fake reports of a coup launched at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and stories about how the United States was going to conduct a military attack and blame it on Russia”

A former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, is quoted saying he was “struck by the overt support that Sputnik expressed for Trump during the campaign, even using the #CrookedHillary hashtag pushed by the candidate.” McFaul said Russian propaganda typically is aimed at weakening opponents and critics.

“They don’t try to win the argument. It’s to make everything seem relative. It’s kind of an appeal to cynicism.” [Cynicism? Heavens! What will those Moscow fascists/communists think of next?]

The Post did, however, include the following: “RT disputed the findings of the researchers in an e-mail on Friday, saying it played no role in producing or amplifying any fake news stories related to the U.S. election.” RT was quoted: “It is the height of irony that an article about ‘fake news’ is built on false, unsubstantiated claims. RT adamantly rejects any and all claims and insinuations that the network has originated even a single ‘fake story’ related to the US election.”

It must be noted that the Washington Post article fails to provide a single example showing how the actual facts of a specific news event were rewritten or distorted by a Russian agency to produce a news event with a contrary political message.

What then lies behind such blatant anti-Russian propaganda? In the new Cold War such a question requires no answer. The new Cold War by definition exists to discredit Russia simply because it stands in the way of American world domination. In the new Cold War, the political spectrum in the mainstream media runs the gamut from A to B.

Source: strategic-culture

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Germany Submits to Sharia Law

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Soeren Kern
Gatestone Institute : December 1, 2016

A German court has ruled that seven Islamists who formed a vigilante patrol to enforce Sharia law on the streets of Wuppertal did not break German law and were simply exercising their right to free speech.

The ruling, which effectively legitimizes Sharia law in Germany, is one of a growing number of instances in which German courts are — wittingly or unwittingly — promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in the country.

The self-appointed “Sharia Police” sparked public outrage in September 2014, when they distributed yellow leaflets which established a “Sharia-controlled zone” in the Elberfeld district of Wuppertal. The men urged both Muslim and non-Muslim passersby to attend mosques and to refrain from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling, music, pornography and prostitution.

The vigilantes are followers of Salafism, a virulently anti-Western ideology that openly seeks to replace democracy in Germany (and elsewhere) with an Islamic government based on Sharia law.

Salafist ideology posits that Sharia law is superior to secular, common law because it emanates from Allah, the only legitimate lawgiver, and thus is legally binding eternally for all of humanity. According to the Salafist worldview, democracy is an effort to elevate the will of humans above the will of Allah, and is therefore a form of idolatry that must be rejected. In other words, Sharia law and democracy are incompatible.

Wuppertal Mayor Peter Jung said he hoped the police would take a hard line against the Islamists: “The intention of these people is to provoke and intimidate and force their ideology upon others. We will not allow this.”

Wuppertal Police Chief Birgitta Radermacher said the “pseudo police” represented a threat to the rule of law and that only police appointed and employed by the state have the legitimate right to act as police in Germany. She added:

“The monopoly of power lies exclusively with the State. Behavior that intimidates, threatens or provokes will not be tolerated. These ‘Sharia Police’ are not legitimate. Call 110 [police] when you meet these people.”

Wuppertal’s public prosecutor, Wolf-Tilman Baumert, argued that the men, who wore orange vests emblazoned with the words “SHARIAH POLICE,” had violated a law that bans wearing uniforms at public rallies. The law, which especially prohibits uniforms that express political views, was originally designed to prevent neo-Nazi groups from parading in public. According to Baumert, the vests were illegal because they had a “deliberate, intimidating and militant” effect.

On November 21, 2016, however, the Wuppertal District Court ruled that the vests technically were not uniforms, and in any event did not pose a threat. The court said that witnesses and passersby could not possibly have felt intimidated by the men, and that prosecuting them would infringe on their freedom of expression. The “politically correct” decision, which may be appealed, effectively authorizes the Sharia Police to continue enforcing Islamic law in Wuppertal.

German courts are increasingly deferring to Islamic law because either the plaintiffs or the defendants are Muslim. Critics say the cases — especially those in which German law has taken a back seat to Sharia law — reflect a dangerous encroachment of Islamic law into the German legal system.

In May 2016, for example, an appeals court in Bamberg recognized the marriage of a 15-year-old Syrian girl to her 21-year-old cousin. The court ruled that the marriage was valid because it was contracted in Syria, where such marriages are allowed according to Sharia law, which does not set any age limit to marriage. The ruling effectively legalized Sharia child marriages in Germany.

The case came about after the couple arrived at a refugee shelter in Aschaffenburg in August 2015. The Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) refused to recognize their marriage and separated the girl from her husband. The couple filed a lawsuit and a family court ruled in favor of the Youth Welfare Office, which claimed to be the girl’s legal guardian.

The court in Bamberg overturned that ruling. It determined that, according to Sharia law, the marriage is valid because it has already been consummated, and therefore the Youth Welfare Office has no legal authority to separate the couple.

The ruling — which was described as a “crash course in Syrian Islamic marriage law” — ignited a firestorm of criticism. Some accused the court in Bamberg of applying Sharia law over German law to legalize a practice that is banned in Germany.

Critics of the ruling pointed to Article 6 of the Introductory Act to the German Civil Code (Einführungsgesetz zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuche, EGBGB), which states:

“A legal standard of another State shall not be applied where its application results in an outcome which is manifestly incompatible with the essential principles of German law. In particular, it is not applicable if the application is incompatible with fundamental rights.”

This stipulation is routinely ignored, however, apparently in the interests of political correctness and multiculturalism. Indeed, Sharia law has been encroaching into the German justice system virtually unchecked for nearly two decades. Some examples include:

In August 2000, a court in Kassel ordered a widow to split her late Moroccan husband’s pension with another woman to whom the man was simultaneously married. Although polygamy is illegal in Germany, the judge ruled that the two wives must share the pension, in accordance with Moroccan law.

In March 2004, a court in Koblenz granted the second wife of an Iraqi living in Germany the right to remain permanently in the country. The court ruled that after five years in a polygamous marriage in Germany, it would be unfair to expect her to return to Iraq.

In March 2007, a judge in Frankfurt cited the Koran in a divorce case involving a German-Moroccan woman who had been repeatedly beaten by her Moroccan husband. Although police ordered the man to stay away from his estranged wife, he continued to abuse her and at one point threatened to kill her. Judge Christa Datz-Winter refused to grant the divorce. She quoted Sura 4, Verse 34 of the Koran, which justifies “both the husband’s right to use corporal punishment against a disobedient wife and the establishment of the husband’s superiority over the wife.” The judge was eventually removed from the case.

In December 2008, a court in Düsseldorf ordered a Turkish man to pay a €30,000 ($32,000) dower to his former daughter-in-law, in accordance with Sharia law.

In October 2010, a court in Cologne ruled that an Iranian man must pay his ex-wife a dower of €162,000 euros ($171,000), the current equivalent value of 600 gold coins, in accordance with the original Sharia marriage contract.

In December 2010, a court in Munich ruled that a German widow was entitled to only one-quarter of the estate left by her late husband, who was born in Iran. The court awarded the other three-quarters of the inheritance to the man’s relatives in Tehran in accordance with Sharia law.

In November 2011, a court in Siegburg allowed an Iranian couple to be divorced twice, first by a German judge according to German law, and then by an Iranian cleric according to Sharia law. The director of the Siegburg District Court, Birgit Niepmann, said the Sharia ceremony “was a service of the court.”

In July 2012, a court in Hamm ordered an Iranian man to pay his estranged wife a dower as part of a divorce settlement. The case involved a couple who married according to Sharia law in Iran, migrated to Germany and later separated. As part of the original marriage agreement, the husband promised to pay his wife a dower of 800 gold coins payable upon demand. The court ordered the husband to pay the woman €213,000 ($225,000), the current equivalent value of the coins.

In June 2013, a court in Hamm ruled that anyone who contracts marriage according to Islamic law in a Muslim country and later seeks a divorce in Germany must abide by the original terms established by Sharia law. The landmark ruling effectively legalized the Sharia practice of “triple-talaq,” obtaining a divorce by reciting the phrase “I divorce you” three times.

In July 2016, a court in Hamm ordered a Lebanese man to pay his estranged wife a dower as part of a divorce settlement. The case involved a couple who married according to Sharia law in Lebanon, migrated to Germany and later separated. As part of the original marriage agreement, the husband promised to pay his wife a dower of $15,000. The German court ordered him to pay her the equivalent amount in euros.

In an interview with Spiegel Online, Islam expert Mathias Rohe said that the existence of parallel legal structures in Germany is an “expression of globalization.” He added: “We apply Islamic law just as we do French law.”

A growing number of Muslims in Germany are consciously bypassing German courts altogether and instead are adjudicating their disputes in informal Sharia courts, which are proliferating across the country. According to one estimate, some 500 Sharia judges are now regulating civil disputes between Muslims in Germany — a development that points to the establishment of a parallel Islamic justice system in the country.

A major reason for the growth in Sharia courts is that Germany does not recognize polygamy or marriages involving minors.

The German Interior Ministry, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, recently revealed that 1,475 married children are known to be living in Germany as of July 31, 2016 — including 361 children who are under the age of 14. The true number of child marriages in Germany is believed to be much higher than the official statistics suggest, because many are being concealed.

Polygamy, although illegal under German law, is commonplace among Muslims in all major German cities. In Berlin, for example, it is estimated that fully one-third of the Muslim men living in the Neukölln district of the city have two or more wives.

According to an exposé broadcast by RTL, one of Germany’s leading media companies, Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of a Muslim cleric. Once in Germany, the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a “single parent with children.”

Although the welfare fraud committed by Muslim immigrants is an “open secret” costing German taxpayers millions of euros each year, government agencies are reluctant to take action due to political correctness, according to RTL.

(readthe full article at gatestone institute)

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‘Turkey is like Germany after 1933′

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Volker Witting
dw.com: November 30, 2016

More and more Turks are applying for political asylum in Germany. They feel threatened and repressed by the Erdogan government, and they fear for their lives. Most applicants are Kurds, like Mazhar Zümrüt.

Elegantly-dressed Mazhar Zümrüt (above) does not want to speak with us in the asylum center’s community room: He doesn’t trust the others living there. “They could spy on me,” he whispers. He is mistrustful, and feels persecuted and spied upon even in supposedly safe Germany. Yet, he is doing better here on the German countryside at the edge of North-Rhine Westphalia. He has settled in here, in his small, brightly-painted room. He says he has no other choice.

Fighting for political asylum

Mazhar Zümrüt has survived an odyssey. He first fled to Syria and then Iraq before arriving in Germany in May. He officially applied for political asylum on May 20. He says he feared for his life in a country in which repression and despotism have spread under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “The Turkey that I fled is like Germany in 1933,” according to Zümrüt. Now, he pins all his hopes on Germany. “The rule of law is still respected here.”

As a Kurd living in Diyarbakir, he experienced injustice every day. He was cursed as a traitor and a terrorist. When police broke into his house last summer he knew it was time to leave. There has been a warrant out for Mazhar Zümrüt’s arrest since then – forcing him to go into hiding, separated from his wife. Zümrüt is accused of being a member of the outlawed militant group, PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).

The 64-year-old Zümrüt, a former civil servant in the Ministry of Employment, denies the accusation. He says he is simply a member of the Kurdish BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), a local branch of the pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) with seats in Turkey’s parliament – the representatives of which were summarily arrested last month. And that is exactly what he told Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

Record numbers of Turkish asylum seekers

Over the last several months, the agency has registered skyrocketing numbers of Turkish citizens applying for political asylum. Especially in the wake of the failed coup on July 15, and the purge that the Erdogan government has been engaged in since then. In reply to a request from Deutsche Welle, the Federal Office said that 4,437 asylum applications were submitted between January and October alone. That number now likely exceeds 5,000. Most applicants say that they are members of Turkey’s minority Kurdish community. In 2015, the agency says that it only received 1,767 such applications.

The German government and the foreign ministry are exhibiting solidarity with oppressed Turks. Recently, Minister of State at the Foreign Ministry, Michael Roth, explained in an interview: “Critics in Turkey should know that the German government stands with them in solidarity. Politically persecuted persons are free to apply for asylum here.”

Last hope: Germany

For Zümrüt, such declarations are a great relief, and give him hope. “Germany is a country of laws. I don’t think it will turn me over to the fascists in Turkey.” But Mazhar Zümrüt isn’t just worried about his own fate. He shows us pictures from happier days in Eastern Anatolia, in Diyarbakir. Together with his wife, an artist, he smiles broadly into the camera. “I miss her, I want her to come to Germany, too. But my wife has had to go underground as well.” It is difficult to maintain contact with her as Zümrüt fears his phone calls will be listened to by Turkish authorities.

(read full article at dw.com

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Proof that western mainstream media are the fake news

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Alexander Higgins: November 18, 2016

BBC News Caught Staging FAKE News Chemical Attack In Syria

What follows is shocking evidence that crisis actors, green screens, CGI, and paid propagandists are being used to fake worldwide events in order to scare people into giving up liberties and sending us into war.

From video proof showing “dead soldiers” killed by “chemical weapons” walking around after they thought the videos stopped recording, to digitally altering sounds to add in “explosions” that never happened, this segment demonstrates some of the most damming evidence against the media ever shown on television.

BBC News Caught Staging FAKE News Chemical Attack In Syria

(read the full article at alexanderhiggins.com)

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You’re Afraid Of Power, Not Trump

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Jason Stapleton
fee.org : November 11, 2016

You aren’t scared of Trump the person. Trump has been on this earth for 70 years and other than a general distaste for him, no one ever feared for their life because Trump walked the earth. He could do what he wanted because he didn’t affect your life. He had no control over you. What you fear is the power he now wields.

Republicans felt the same way eight years ago when Obama was elected, only for them, it was gun rights and religious persecution. We all remember the mass hysteria that drove gun prices up 200 even 300 percent. Obama called them bitter clingers; many others called them crazy right-wing conspiracy theorists.

Those of you on the progressive left fear Trump because he is going to have control over you. He has the power to affect your personal life and the lives of those you love and he has threatened to use that power in a way you find unthinkable.

But what if government had no power over your personal life? What if Trump could make all the threats he wanted, but had no means to act on his evil desires? See, everyone loves the benevolent dictator or even a brutal one, as long as his wrath is pointed in the other direction.

Everyone loves the advancement of their own personal agenda, as long as the not so nice parts are pointed elsewhere. We are far too quick to trade our freedoms and liberties on the promise that our compassionate leaders will crush our evil opposition. But every power used to control our political and social enemies can also be used to control us.

Progressives cheered Obama when he used his unilateral power of executive orders to fast track a left-wing agenda, circumventing our system of checks and balances, and blamed the other side for “holding back progress” and blocking government from “doing more.”

But now that same power rests in the hands of a man who may use it to persecute them. It’s scary. The liberties we trade for security and the powers we grant government are never returned. We, as a people, must be vigilant in ensuring that we are not tricked into trading away our individual liberties for the promise of a benevolent government, because one day that government may turn tyrannical and dictatorial.

So, whether you woke up the next morning with a renewed sense of hope, or one of deep despair, if we want to ensure that our elected officials never have the power to persecute those they serve, we must work together to limit the size of government and the power our officials wield.

(read the full article at fee.org)

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Leaked Emails Show Clinton & DNC Colluded With Media To Promote Trump

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Martin Armstrong
armstrongeconomics.com : November 12, 2016

The Real Clinton Conspiracy that Backfired – The Worst Candidate in American History

Hillary lost not merely because she misread the “real” people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda.

hillary-pied-piper

Clinton called this her “pied piper” strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. This enlisted mainstream media who then focused to Trump and raise him above all others assuming that would help Hillary. This was a deliberate strategy all designed to propel Hillary to the White House.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates “as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton’s camp insisted that Trump should be “elevated” to “leaders of the pack” and media outlets should be told to “take them seriously.”

If we look back on April 23, 2015, just two weeks after Hillary Clinton officially declared her presidential campaign, her staff sent out a message on straregy to manipulate the Republicans into selecting the worse candidate. They included this attachment a “memo for the DNC discussion.”

pied piper dnc email

The memo was addressed to the Democratic National Committee and stated bluntly, “the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field.” Here we find that the real conspiracy was Clinton manipulating the Republicans. “Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper.”

“Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.”

The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing “all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.”

It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as “positive” for her. “Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton then took the strategic position saying “we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party.”

Her manipulative strategy was to have the press build up Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.”

This conspiracy has emerged from the Podesta emails. It was Clinton conspiring with mainstream media to elevate Trump and then tear him down. We have to now look at all the media who endorsed Hillary as simply corrupt. Simultaneously, Hillary said that Bernie had to be ground down to the pulp. Further leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Sanders’ presidential campaign. It was Hillary manipulating the entire media for her personal gain. She obviously did not want a fair election because she was too corrupt.

What is very clear putting all the emails together, the rise of Donald Trump was orchestrated by Hillary herself conspiring with mainstream media, and they they sought to burn him to the ground. Their strategy backfired and now this is why she has not come out to to speak against the violence she has manipulated and inspired.

podesta-hillary-refuses-to-concede

This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. No wonder Hillary could not go to the stage to thank her supporters. She never counted on them and saw the people as fools. The entire strategy was to take the White House with a manipulation of the entire election process.

(read the full article at Armstrong Economics)

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Email Confirms Hillary Clinton Knew She Was Helping Terrorists by Overthrowing Libya’s Gaddafi

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Alice Salles
Anti-Media : November 7, 2016

[…] In an email from Sidney Blumenthal with the subject line “H: Lots of new intel; possible Libyan collapse. SID,” dated March 26, 2011, Clinton was warned that al Qaeda militants, as well as members of the Muslim Brotherhood, would rise if then-Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi were ousted.

Long before the al-Qaeda-led attack against U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, Clinton was advised that U.S. efforts in the country would lead to internal collapse, as al-Qaeda militants would infiltrate the post-Gaddafi transitional government.

In the same email, Blumenthal told Clinton that “[a]n extremely sensitive source” claimed “the [anti-Gaddafi] rebels are receiving direct assistance and training from a small number of Egyptian Special Forces units, while French and British Special Operations troops are working out of bases in Egypt, along the Libyan border.”

These troops were in place to oversee “the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels,” which included “radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and [al Qaeda] in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).” According to then-French president Nicolas Sarzoky, Blumenthal said in the email, al-Qaeda fighters were “infiltrating the [Libyan Council (NLC)] and its military command.”

Blumenthal also asserted that Sarkozy was reaching out to the Israeli government to obtain “a clear picture of the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the rebel leadership.”

In the email, Blumenthal also listed the weapons provided to militants and stocked in Benghazi.

They included “82 and 120 mm. mortars; GPZ type machine guns; 12.7mm. machine guns mounted on 4×4 vehicles; some anti-aircraft batteries type ZSU 23/2 and 23/4 as well as Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS) type SAM7; some tanks type T-72; … Possibly some fixed wing aircraft, and some light transport/medium helicopters.”

Blumenthal also reassured Clinton that militants in Benghazi had “[a] seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition (even for systems ZSU 23/4 and 23/2).”

The email added that French, British, and Egyptian Special Forces troops were training the rebels in Egypt and in the western suburbs of Benghazi.

If anything, this email proves Secretary Clinton was aware of the potential ramifications of U.S. intervention in Libya. Despite the warnings provided by the intelligence sent to her inbox, Clinton and President Barack Obama went along with their plan and, in tandem with other foreign governments, provided aid to rebels with deep and well-known ties with al-Qaeda — one of the United States’ alleged top enemies in the region.

(Read the full article at The Anti-Media)

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Donald Trump Wins Presidential Election

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AlternativeFreePress.com declares Donald Trump the winner of the 2016 US Presidential Election.

While much of the mainstream media seem reluctant to call a Trump victory, it’s pretty much a sure thing at this point. While we are sure that if Clinton had a 244 to 215 lead in electoral votes, the press would be calling it for Clinton…. it’s likely going to take the mainstream media a little more time to admit that their darling candidate has failed to secure enough votes.

America has spoken, and believes the lesser of two evils to be Donald Trump. It’s a roll of the dice as opposed to the corrupt status quo…. and a reminder to never believe the mainstream media or their nonsense polling.

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Ultra-Liberal Michael Moore Explains Why He’s Sure Trump Will Win

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AlternativeFreePress.com

Transcript of Micheal Moore’s Speech In Ohio:

I know a lot of people in Michigan that are planning to vote for Trump and they don’t necessarily agree with him. They’re not racist or redneck, they’re actually pretty decent people and so after talking to a number of them I wanted to write this.

Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said “if you close these factories as you’re planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I’m going to put a 35% tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody’s going to buy them.” It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – the “Brexit” states.

You live here in Ohio, you know what I’m talking about. Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant because he’s saying the things to people who are hurting, and that’s why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov Cocktail that they’ve been waiting for; the human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them. And on November 8, although they lost their jobs, although they’ve been foreclose on by the bank, next came the divorce and now the wife and kids are gone, the car’s been repoed, they haven’t had a real vacation in years, they’re stuck with the shitty Obamacare bronze plan where you can’t even get a fucking percocet, they’ve essentially lost everything they had except one thing – the one thing that doesn’t cost them a cent and is guaranteed to them by the American constitution: the right to vote.

They might be penniless, they might be homeless, they might be fucked over and fucked up it doesn’t matter, because it’s equalized on that day – a millionaire has the same number of votes as the person without a job: one. And there’s more of the former middle class than there are in the millionaire class. So on November 8 the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth, be handed a ballot, close the curtain, and take that lever or felt pen or touchscreen and put a big fucking X in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to upend and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives: Donald J Trump.

They see that the elite who ruined their lives hate Trump. Corporate America hates Trump. Wall Street hates Trump. The career politicians hate Trump. The media hates Trump, after they loved him and created him, and now hate. Thank you media: the enemy of my enemy is who I’m voting for on November 8.

Yes, on November 8, you Joe Blow, Steve Blow, Bob Blow, Billy Blow, all the Blows get to go and blow up the whole goddamn system because it’s your right. Trump’s election is going to be the biggest fuck you ever recorded in human history and it will feel good.

Still not convinced? A couple months back, Mr Moore broke it down like this:

Here are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win:

1.Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream! And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER!

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.

2. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man. Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On our watch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them. Nixon, the gender traitor, imposing Title IX on us, the rule that said girls in school should get an equal chance at playing sports. Then they let them fly commercial jets. Before we knew it, Beyoncé stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity!

That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around? After that it’ll be eight years of the gays in the White House! Then the transgenders! You can see where this is going. By then animals will have been granted human rights and a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country. This has to stop!

3. The Hillary Problem. Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again. To date, I haven’t broken that promise. For the sake of preventing a proto-fascist from becoming our commander-in-chief, I’m breaking that promise. I sadly believe Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama. But Trump’s psycho finger will be on The Button, and that is that. Done and done.

Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, which has to hurt considering it’s the sacrifices and the battles that Hillary and other women of her generation endured so that this younger generation would never have to be told by the Barbara Bushes of the world that they should just shut up and go bake some cookies. But the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.

4. The Depressed Sanders Vote. Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ’08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote.

5. The Jesse Ventura Effect. Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad. And in the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like. Remember back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor? They didn’t do this because they’re stupid or thought that Jesse Ventura was some sort of statesman or political intellectual. They did so just because they could. Minnesota is one of the smartest states in the country. It is also filled with people who have a dark sense of humor — and voting for Ventura was their version of a good practical joke on a sick political system. This is going to happen again with Trump.

It’s worth repeating… the elite who ruined their lives hate Trump. Corporate America hates Trump. Wall Street hates Trump. The career politicians hate Trump. The media hates Trump, after they loved him and created him, and now hate. Thank you media: the enemy of my enemy is who I’m voting for on November 8.

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Belgium’s Walloons Are Right; All Canadians & Europeans Should Also Reject CETA

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AlternativeFreePress.com

3.5-million French-speaking Walloons of Belgium are standing up for all the people of Europe & Canada. The Wallonia region has an effective veto over CETA because Belgium’s constitution gives them that power….and we should all be thanking them for using it.

The Huffington Post reports the apparent 5 reasons that the Walloons are blocking CETA, and they are pretty fucking good reasons:

1. Too much corporate power

While the Walloons are worried their agriculture sector will suffer under the deal, they are increasingly concerned about the investor-state dispute settlement system as well. The region’s socialist government has adopted many of the concerns of the civil society groups that oppose the free trade deal: they say it gives multinational corporations too much power to sue governments if they make regulations that affect their ability to turn a profit.

2. Trade tribunals

The Walloons want changes to the ISDS provisions of the treaty, specifically the tribunals that would settle disputes. They want them to be more transparent to eliminate the possibility of bias or conflict of interests by the people appointed to adjudicate disputes.

3. Loophole for U.S. corporations

The Walloons want to see loopholes closed that they say would allow U.S. multinationals with offices in Canada to use the treaty to sue governments in Europe, says Osgoode Hall law professor Gus Van Harten.

4. National courts vs. tribunals

Van Harten also says the Walloons want stronger language in the treaty that would preserve the jurisdiction of domestic courts in individual countries to hear disputes, instead of turning them over to the new tribunal system envisioned by the treaty.

5. We don’t know what we’re getting

In a parliamentary debate last week, Wallonian President Paul Magnette used an interesting metaphor to describe what he says is the opaque nature of the tribunals. He said it was like buying “a cat in a bag.”

As we have mentioned previously, investor-state dispute settlement provisions provide corporations with the ability to loot the public purse when they make poor business decisions and hinders governments ability to protect citizens and the environment. We should all be very grateful to the Walloons and let the world know that if the rest of us had the choice, we would VETO CETA as well.

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The US Surrendered Its Right to Accuse Russia of War Crimes a Long Time Ago

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by Darius Shahtahmasebi
The Anti-Media

Renowned journalist Glenn Greenwald recently tweeted the three rules of American exceptionalism:

3 rules of US Exceptionalism: 1) Our killing is better than theirs; 2) Nothing we do can be “terrorism”; 3) Only enemies are “war criminals”

Greenwald’s astute observations were presumably made in response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remarks that both Russia and Syria should face war crimes investigations for their recent attacks on Syrian civilians.

“Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals, and medical facilities, and women and children,” Mr. Kerry said in Washington, where he spoke alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, as reported by the Independent.

Unsurprisingly, Russia responded by urging caution regarding allegations of war crimes considering the United States has been waging wars in a number of countries since the end of World War II. It has picked up a number of allegations of war crimes in the process.

Kerry’s continuous accusations that Russia bombed hospital infrastructure are particularly hypocritical in light of the fact the United States has bombed hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan on more than one occasion over past decade.

Further, former congressman Ron Paul’s Institute for Peace and Prosperity hit back at Kerry, accusing him of completely fabricating the most recent alleged hospital attack. As the Institute noted:

In a press event yesterday, before talks with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault about a new UN resolution, he said (vid @1:00) about Syria:

 

“‘Last night, the regime attacked yet another hospital, and 20 people were killed and 100 people were wounded. And Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities and children and women. These are acts that beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes. And those who commit these would and should be held accountable for these actions.’

 

No opposition group has claimed that such an extremely grave event happened. None. No press agency has a record of it. The MI-6 disinformation outlet SOHR in Britain, which quite reliably notes every claimed casualty and is frequently cited in ‘western media,’ has not said anything about such an event anywhere in Syria.

However, the most disturbing aspect of Kerry’s allegation is that the accusations against Russia run in tandem with Saudi Arabia’s brutal assault on Yemen. Saudi Arabia, with the aid of a few regional players — and with ongoing American and British assistance (not to mention billion dollar arms sales) — has been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age without any legal basis whatsoever. Often, the Saudi-led coalition has completely decimated civilian infrastructure, which has led a number of groups to accuse the coalition of committing war crimes in the process.

Civilians and civilian infrastructure have been struck so routinely that the world has become increasingly concerned the actual targets of the coalition strikes are civilians (what could be a greater recruitment tool for al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen?) As noted by Foreign Policy:

“The Houthis and their allies — armed groups loyal to Saleh — are the declared targets of the coalition’s 1-year-old air campaign. In reality, however, it is the civilians, such as Basrallah and Rubaid, and their children, who are predominantly the victims of this protracted war. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in airstrikes while asleep in their homes, when going about their daily activities, or in the very places where they had sought refuge from the conflict. The United States, Britain, and others, meanwhile, have continued to supply a steady stream of weaponry and logistical support to Saudi Arabia and its coalition.

Yemen is the poorest, most impoverished nation in the Arab world. The Saudi-led coalition has been striking refugee camps, schools, wedding parties and well over 100 hospitals to date. The coalition has been strongly suspected of using banned munitions such as cluster bombs. The country now has more than half a million children at serious risk of malnutrition. More than 21 million out of the total population of 25 million are in serious need of basic humanitarian assistance.

Just take one example of the cruel and disproportionate use of force that Saudi Arabia has used in Yemen (using American-made and supplied aircraft and weapons) — against Judge Yahya Rubaid and his family. As Foreign Policy reported in March of this year:

“According to family members, Rubaid was a judge on a case against Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, for treason in absentia. It is unclear whether his house was attacked for this reason. What is clear, however, is that there was no legally valid basis for bombing his home, as he and his family were civilians and under international law should not have been deliberately targeted.

At the time this article’s publication, over 140 Yemenis had been killed and another 500 injured in a Saudi-coalition aerial attack on a funeral over the weekend. The civilian death toll continues to rise in Yemen, completely unchallenged by any major players at the U.N. When the U.N. does attempt to quell Saudi actions, the Saudis threaten severe economic retaliation.

How Kerry can accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Syria with a straight face is unclear, as reports of atrocious crimes committed in Yemen continue to surface.

This is not to say Russia and Syria should not be investigated for war crimes – but maybe, just maybe, we could live in a world where everyone responsible for committing these gross acts could be held accountable, instead of just those who pose an economic threat to the West.

Source: The Anti-Media (cc)

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Investigation confirms rampant fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion in Canada’s housing market

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Out of the shadows

by Kathy Tomlinson
Globe & Mail : September 10, 2016
[emphasis AlternativeFreePress.com]

Demetre Lazos says he couldn’t just stand by and watch real-estate speculation, as he puts it, destroy his city.

Convinced that his boss, a local speculator, was dodging taxes and misleading lenders, he decided to act, approaching both the police and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to divulge what he knows. Mr. Lazos, who has built luxury homes in Vancouver for three decades, offered documented evidence of possible fraud and tax evasion.

And yet, as he tells it, both the cops and the tax men blew him off: A CRA official who met him in the lobby of the agency’s downtown office told him to write to Ottawa; at Vancouver police headquarters, he was advised to call the Crime Stoppers hotline. (He did, he says, and got no results.)

“I am very angry at the system,” says Mr. Lazos, who has since quit his job. “I love this country – and it is my country – but I think we are Mickey Mouse.”

And so, next, he came to The Globe and Mail and, over the course of several months, delivered a large, and disturbing, cache of documents that expose how speculators can maximize – and conceal – their profits.

As a result of Globe investigations into Vancouver’s supercharged real-estate market, others have come forward, too, including a federal tax auditor, as well as an accountant who says he regularly files tax returns for wealthy clients who buy and sell houses – and appear to declare far less than they earn. “Canada,” he says, “is like a Swiss bank account” for his clients.

Ottawa says it is studying the issue, and B.C. has brought in a tax on foreigners who buy residential real estate in Vancouver. But those who see firsthand how real estate is traded like stocks and bonds say this isn’t nearly enough. “We have governments that are not doing their job,” argues Mr. Lazos, who acquired his inside knowledge while working for Jun Gang Gu, also known as Kenny Gu, a former civil servant originally from Nanjing, near Shanghai.

Mr. Gu came to Canada in 2009 under Ottawa’s now-defunct immigrant-investor program, which gave permanent residency to applicants who agreed to lend a significant amount of money to the federal government. He started out here as a developer, but the documents show that his business evolved to buying homes – using other people’s money– and then flipping them. His deals are financed with investor money from China and mortgages issued to those investors by Canadian banks.

The papers that Mr. Lazos provided The Globe paint a fascinating picture, revealing a network of players – local and foreign – who are parking money in Canadian real estate. They also show how loopholes and lax oversight make it easy for the speculators to play the system – and profit tax-free – by obscuring their ownership and earnings, all the while treating the properties as commodities, not homes.

    Hidden ownership</ul>

    Many people assume that speculators flip homes very quickly, but Mr. Gu and others have created a unique market in which they hold properties long enough for them to rise significantly in value. The Globe has examined numerous transactions involving properties held for years while prices in the city rose as more investors bought in. Some properties were developed, some rented out, and others left vacant.

    Mr. Gu did not respond to several requests for an interview, but Chinese-language contracts with his clients provide key insights into how his system works.

    Translated for The Globe, they show that Mr. Gu, or his companies, are hidden – the legal term is “beneficial” – owners of certain properties, even though absentee foreign clients bankroll everything from the down payment and mortgage payments to property-related taxes and other expenses. The homes and mortgages are registered in the names of his clients, their companies or spouses.

    The financing Mr. Gu’s companies receive from those clients comes in the form of loans that are not taxable, and that fall within what’s known as “shadow banking” – an unregulated system that has exploded in popularity in China, and now appears to be getting a toehold in Canada. Such “peer-to-peer” loans, as they are also called, sidestep banks entirely, and promise lenders significantly higher returns than they can get elsewhere.

    Mr. Gu’s lender clients earn their wealth primarily in China, while coming and going from Vancouver, according to Mr. Lazos. Records show that they give Mr. Gu power of attorney to facilitate everything through his small, nondescript Vancouver office, but his stake in the properties remains hidden. And although he is not licensed to broker mortgages or manage investments, records suggest he does both.

    Those records also link him and his clients to activity involving at least 36 properties over the past five years. Yet Mr. Gu, 45, paid next to nothing in taxes last year, while millions of dollars flowed through his business and personal accounts.


      ‘Unless it changes, this will get worse’

    An in-depth look at five of his deals this year reveals that he sold the properties for a cool $5-million more, in total, than he paid for them. One of those homes sat vacant for three years, in a city where many people can’t find a place to live. (The documents include two orders from the city to clean up the site.)

    In addition, Mr. Gu has billed some clients up to $1.2-million, per property, for “management” and “commissions,” in the last two years. Over that same period, he and his wife have moved large sums of money between their bank accounts, up to $600,000 at a time. As well, Mr. Gu made credit-card payments totalling $310,000 in a brief period. The family’s vehicles include a BMW and a Mercedes.

    Tax returns, among the documents, show that Mr. Gu, now a Canadian citizen, reported personal income of $45,865 last year. His wife, Min Tang, reported $23,612.

    And yet, Ms. Tang recently bought a brand new house in West Vancouver – one of Canada’s richest municipalities, known for its mansions and stunning views – for $2.1-million. She listed her occupation on the title as “homemaker.” And she didn’t need a mortgage. Records show she bought the property from one of Mr. Gu’s clients – and for significantly less than the market value for other homes in the upscale area.

      ‘Pervasive and systematic’

    Mr. Gu’s three corporations all reported losses, in unaudited financial statements ending last year. Photocopies of some cheques made out to his companies – a fraction of the total – show that those companies received a minimum of $7.6-million in large payments between 2014 and 2016, many marked as “loans” from clients.

    When Mr. Gu flips a property, his contracts stipulate that lender clients get back what they put in, plus a set return – 15 per cent in one instance. After the mortgage and the bills are paid, Mr. Gu keeps whatever is left, which, in some cases, appears to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    According to legal and tax experts, this arrangement would allow him to avoid taxes, because the properties are not in his name. Mr. Gu can also maximize financing, because individual clients applying for mortgages, ostensibly to buy the homes, can borrow more money collectively than Mr. Gu could if he tried to finance properties on his own.

    On the tax front, records suggest that the clients classify some of the properties as their principal residences, even though they do not live in them. That’s despite the fact that Canadian rules stipulate that a taxpayer cannot call a home a principal residence and sell it tax-free, unless they purchased it to live in it, and didn’t sell it within the same year.

    “If you are buying and selling these homes as a business practice, that is business income and it’s taxable,” says Toronto-area accountant David Cramer, one of several experts The Globe consulted while reporting this story. He suggests that both Mr. Gu and his clients should be declaring that income. “If these guys paid proper taxes, these transactions would not go on as they do,” he explains. “It wouldn’t be nearly as profitable as it is.”

    Tax lawyer Jonathan Garbutt estimates that the tax revenue lost through such activity is massive, particularly in pricey Toronto and Vancouver. “I think this is yet another example of non-enforcement of penalties under the law. It’s pervasive and it’s systematic,” Mr. Garbutt says. “Unless it changes, this will get worse. We will have a corrupt system.”

      ‘This has become a huge mess’

    While many Canadians have come to resent the impact of foreign buyers on the real-estate market, the documents suggest that Mr. Gu pocketed much more than his clients did on some of his deals.

    In one contract involving a rental property, his client was guaranteed a return of one per cent a month for paying the down payment and property-transfer tax upon purchase. Mr. Gu would collect the rent and pay the mortgage, then keep the rest of the profits when the duplex sold.

    Mr. Gu sold the property two years later for $850,000 more than he paid for it, because the market price had jumped by that much. But according to the terms of the contract, his client stood to receive less than $90,000 of that windfall.

    Documents show some of Mr. Gu’s clients also pay very little tax in Canada, despite having significant cash flow and assets. For example, in 2014, records show that client Shen Lin Zhang paid $2,594 in Canadian taxes on $59,711 in reported income, while his “homemaker” wife owned and lived in a Vancouver house worth $2-million.

    In the same period, Mr. Zhang sold another house worth $3-million and backed the purchase of two more, worth almost $4-million, in deals facilitated by Mr. Gu. Documents show that Mr. Zhang also owns foreign property and has almost $3-million in Canadian and Chinese banks.

    Mr. Lazos says that Mr. Zhang earns his living in China. His CRA tax filing shows he is not a Canadian citizen, but he claims in it that he’s a B.C. resident. That allows him or his family members to classify any Canadian property as a principal residence and not report the profit when they sell.

    Mr. Zhang declined The Globe’s request for an interview.

    A Chinese-Canadian accountant in Vancouver estimates that he has filed tax returns for 1,000 clients just like Mr. Zhang in the past five years. He does not want to be named because he fears repercussions, but says the CRA is partly to blame for lost revenue, because it doesn’t require taxpayers to report the sale of any principal residence.

    “Every one of [those client families] has more than one house – two, three, four, sometimes more,” he says. “They don’t have to tell me. The CRA says they don’t have to tell anybody.”

    The accountant says that people like Mr. Zhang who work abroad but declare on their Canadian tax returns that they are residents of Canada are legally required to report their worldwide income as well. He says that most, however, do not, and because those financial records are in China, they are impossible to check.

    “They say, ‘I just want to pay around $5,000 in tax. How much does that work out to be in income?’ he says. “And then they say, ‘I have this much interest income from money I deposit with the Canadian bank or the company or whatever.’ That’s it.”

    “I have in my hands people who claim to be residents. They never live here for more than a month of the year,” he says. “These people can be buying and selling homes and claiming to be a resident all the time without getting into any trouble. The CRA doesn’t look to find out.”

    In fact, he believes the problem is so huge that the government should overhaul the tax code to get rid of the principal-residence exemption in its current form, which he acknowledges would be a very unpopular move. And one that would be a political non-starter: If the exemption were removed entirely, millions of Canadians would face the prospect of going deeply into debt – or, at minimum, forfeiting a major portion of their planned retirement incomes.

    Another Vancouver accountant told The Globe that she and her colleagues see questionable real-estate transactions all the time, which they believe have contributed to skyrocketing prices. “This has become a huge mess. You have no idea how angry I am,” says Corina Ciortan. “A generation of people has been screwed. It’s so obvious. Everyone I work with is so angry because there is a select group of people who have profited from this.”

    Federal figures reviewed by The Globe and confirmed by the tax agency show that auditors discovered $14.3-million in unpaid taxes from 339 individuals and companies last year through increased scrutiny of flips and other real-estate transactions in Vancouver.

    A CRA auditor who came forward to The Globe with concerns about enforcement said that that is barely scratching the surface of the dodging going on. “CRA will catch very few people, because the [inexperienced] auditors … have no idea of foreign income and how individuals hide income,” says the auditor, who requested anonymity, for fear of being fired.

    Management has known of this issue for at least three years but did not want to pursue the real-estate flips, because most of the auditees were Chinese in descent. They were scared of being racist … I can confirm this fact, based on meetings held.”

    In a statement sent to The Globe, the CRA said that 2,203 files related to real estate were audited last year in Ontario and B.C., and that the agency plans to do “as many or more” next year. “The Canada Revenue Agency takes non-compliance very seriously, and is committed to protecting the fairness and integrity of the tax system,” it says.

      Richer banks, poorer Canadians

    In addition to holes in the tax system, speculators like Mr. Gu also rely heavily on Canadian financial institutions to give their clients multimillion-dollar loans. “They are using this money temporarily – to make more money – instead of using their own money,” Mr. Lazos says. “Then prices go up. We are making the bank richer and the Canadians poorer.”

    Correspondence in the documents that Mr. Lazos supplied suggests that lenders think they are approving mortgages for his investor clients, not for Mr. Gu. If lenders are in the dark, experts say, they may be unwittingly violating anti-money-laundering laws, which require them to know detailed information about all their clients – which, in this instance, should include Mr. Gu.

    “If the client defaults, who are they going to collect from? Because they don’t know who the beneficial owner is of these properties,” says Christine Duhaime, an expert on anti-money-laundering laws. “The bank thinks it’s complying with anti-money-laundering laws in knowing its client, but it isn’t. No bank likes being lied to.”

    E-mails in the records show that RBC questioned Mr. Gu when it realized mortgage payments from a bank client were coming from Mr. Gu’s business account, but let it continue after the client gave his permission for the payments to continue. The Globe asked RBC about this; it declined to comment.

    (read the full article including images at Globe & Mail)

    Related articles:

    How Vancouver Is Being Sold To The Chinese: The Illegal Dark Side Behind The Real Estate Bubble (March 10, 2016)

    Vancouver’s Housing Market Money Laundering Fraud (February 6, 2016)

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The Great 9/11 Coverup

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Eric Zuesse
Off-Guardian : September 7, 2016

Did you happen to notice that after more than a decade of the ‘news’ media’s demanding publication of “the missing 28 pages” (which turned out actually to have been 29 pages) from the U.S. Congress’s investigation into 9/11, the document’s press-coverage, finally, on 15 July 2016, turned out to have been little-to-none? And did you notice that the little there was, said it contained nothing important? Perhaps you didn’t get to know even this much about the press-coverage of it, because the U.S. Congress, which had been hiding the document ever since 2003, dumped it on a Friday night, in order for it to receive as little press-coverage as possible.

Well, what that document actually showed, and proved (and cited FBI investigators who could then have testified in public, if requested), was the opposite of unimportant: that the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud (who was known in Washington as “Bandar Bush,” because of his closeness to the Bush family), had secretly been paying the Saudi handlers of at least two of the 15 Saudis among the 19 9/11 hijackers, and that Bandar’s wife and other relatives were also paying those hijackers-to-be, and their families — thus enabling the future hijackers to obtain the necessary pilot-training etc., for the 9/11 attacks.

How much news-coverage of this was there in the U.S.’democracy’ that is supposed to be informing the public about such things, instead of continuing the cover-ups of them?

Why do U.S. ‘news’ media hide it — after having demanded for more than ten years that the ‘missing 28 pages’ become published?

But that’s not all there is to the cover-up: As I mentioned and documented in my July 20th news-report on “9/11: Bush’s Guilt and the ’28 Pages’,” U.S. President George W. Bush was also involved in the 9/11 operation: He had instructed his National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to block his obtaining from U.S. government sources any specific information about what the attacks would entail, or about the date on which they would occur. (Presumably, he already knew, via his private communications with Prince Bandar or someone else who was in on the event’s planning, all that he had wanted to know about the coming event.)

When CIA Director George Tenet, on 10 July 2001, was practically screaming to Rice to allow him into the Oval Office, to meet privately with the President to inform him of how urgent the situation had become to take action on it, she said: “We’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.” Tenet was shocked, and dismayed. That encounter with Rice was intended to urge the President to establish a hit-team to take out bin Laden, so as to avert the operation — whatever it was, or would turn out to be. The way that Chris Whipple put this, in his terrific report in Politico magazine, on 12 November 2015, titled “The Attacks Will Be Spectacular”, was that, “they did not want a paper trail to show that they’d been warned.”

Apparently, “Bandar Bush” knew the details, but his friend George W. Bush did not — Bush needed “deniability” — it’s not for nothing that he was able to say, after the event, as Condoleezza Rice was to put it when speaking to reporters on 16 May 2002, “This government did everything that it could in a period in which the information was very generalized, in which there was nothing specific to react to … Had this president known of something more specific, or known that a plane was going to be used as a missile, he would have acted on it.”

How does she now square that statement with her having told Tenet, on 10 July 2001, “We’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.”? What ‘clock’? Why not? No one asks her — especially not under oath.

Is that the way things happen in a democracy, even 15 years after the event?

On 10 September 2012, Kurt Eichenwald, who had reported for The New York Times, was then issuing his new book on the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars, and he headlined an op-ed then in his former newspaper (which thus could hardly have declined to accept it), “The Deafness Before the Storm”, describing the most puzzling aspect of the lead-up to 9/11:

It was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

Those “briefs” still are not published. And now, after the revelation, by Chris Whipple, that Condoleezza Rice was under instruction from her boss not to allow him to be informed too early for “the clock to start ticking,” we can understand why there is still so much that hasn’t yet been released to the public, in our ‘democracy’, about who was really behind 9/11.

On 17 April 2016, Paul Sperry in the New York Post headlined “How US covered up Saudi role in 9/11”, and he reported that his own investigation showed: “Actually, the kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government. And the coverup goes beyond locking up 28 pages of the Saudi report in a vault in the US Capitol basement. Investigations were throttled. Co-conspirators were let off the hook.” But isn’t it time, now, to demand that Bush’s role also be explored — not only that the Saud family’s (especially Bandar’s) role in it be prosecuted? After all, Bush was the one who took a Presidential oath.

Or: Is the U.S. not enough of a democracy, for that to happen — for the Constitution to be enforced, by the U.S. President after Bush (the President who will not prosecute his intended successor)? How total must the non-accountability at the top be, before we call the country a “dictatorship” — only a fake ‘democracy’?

Regarding the actions that brought down the three World Trade Center Buildings, WTC1, WTC2, and WTC7, there also is good reason to distrust the official ‘history’. Witness accounts both by firefighters and by the general public were videoed at the time saying that they heard multiple explosions, which indicated controlled demolitions after the two plane-crashes into WTC1 and WTC2. Other witnesses of the WTC7 collapse also heard explosions. Regarding WTC7, there was testimony from the owner of the WTC, Larry Silverstein, saying that he instructed the Fire Department not to go into WTC7 but simply to “pull it.” (And his subsequent statement saying he didn’t really mean that and he meant only to “pull” the firefighters from that building, which actually had none, was debunked.)

Even the government’s “Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7” acknowledged (p. 48) that there had been “(2) a freefall descent over approximately eight stories of gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s[econds]” meaning that that 8-story segment had been blasted so that, throughout those 8 stories, there was zero resistance to the collapsed portion falling through it from above.

This alone constitutes solid and conclusive physical proof of the official lie, though itself published in the official source. And yet on the very next page in that official document is stated, “Blast events did not play a role in the collapse of WTC 7. … There were no witness reports of such a loud noise.”

But there were such witness reports; and, anyway, the very admission (on the prior page) that there was free-fall over an 8-story segment of the building, constitutes acknowledgement of physical proof that there had been controlled demolition on WTC7. Further, there has even been expert testimony that nano-thermite was used to bring down each of these buildings. But clearly, whatever the truth of the matter is, the U.S. Government has been lying, and continues to lie, about 9/11.

(full article at off-guardian

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Why the Media Isn’t Reporting on the US Soldiers Nearly Hit by a Syrian Airstrike

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Darius Shahtahmasebi
the anti media: August 25, 2016

On August 19, American troops in Northern Syria nearly lost their lives. A joint team of elite American special operations troops and Kurdish fighters on the ground in Syrian territory were fired upon by a Syrian Su-24 warplane. One would think that given the Obama administration’s previous aspirations of going to war with Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, the mainstream media — in tandem with government officials — would be loving the opportunity to immediately hit back at the Syrian regime.

According to Foreign Policy, U.S. military officials contacted their Russian counterparts also operating in Syria in response to the strikes, who offered their assurances that their planes weren’t operating in the area. “We made clear that Coalition aircraft would defend its troops on the ground if threatened,” said Marine Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman in an email. “The Syrian Regime would be well advised not to interfere with Coalition forces or its partners,” he added.

Yet this story is hardly making headlines anywhere, and despite these warnings, no immediate action has been taken.

Why not?

The fact there are at least 300 U.S. commandos on the ground in Syria runs contrary to Obama’s repeated past promises there would be no boots on the ground in Syria. Anyone who has been following the Syrian crisis, however, knows there have been U.S.-NATO troops within Syria with little transparency.

If the corporate media ran with the story that U.S. troops almost lost their lives in Syria, it would open up a whole can of worms they probably could not contain. Stories of sending troops to Syria are supposed to fly under the radar with little media coverage.

How many U.S. troops are in Syrian territory? What is the legal basis for stationing troops in Syrian territory without a U.N. mandate or permission from the Syrian regime?

Most importantly, where are these operations headed?

Now that a top U.S. commander has gone on record to warn Russia and Syria that the U.S. will defend American special operations forces in Northern Syria if they come under fire from the regime again, it should be clear where this conflict is headed.

Together with the warning from Marine Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway that if Syrian planes should fly in certain parts of their own country the U.S. will use their “airpower as needed to protect coalition forces and our partnered operations,” this paints a grim picture of the future of the Syrian battlefield. “Partnered operations” includes Kurdish fighters who have recently been targeted by Syrian warplanes.

Most frightening, however, as it transpires, is that U.S. troops are also working in tandem with Turkish troops now fighting inside Syrian territory.Turkish tanks and warplanes are also accompanying the Turkish troops. If Syrian warplanes feel compelled to target an invading ground force such as the Turks, they officially risk being shot down by coalition aircraft.

It is the wartime equivalent of breaking into somebody’s home and sitting in their kitchen while at the same time warning the owner to stay clear of the kitchen or risk being shot by the perpetrator.

The U.S. has finally found their loophole to turn their missiles on Assad. Of course, this announcement should be no surprise to anyone who has been following the Syrian conflict. This was the goal of U.S. operations within Syria the whole time, given that the U.S. has been looking to unseat Assad from Damascus for years.

The fact this comes at a time when Russian, Chinese and Iranian involvement in Syria is growing and as a fierce battle over the strategic city of Aleppo is occurring is no accident.

Syria is becoming the battleground for the third world war. The American people were told this would be a war against ISIS but have been pushed into an expanded war against the Syrian government without their tacit consent, without the approval of the U.N., and without the approval of Congress.

The Obama administration has duped the U.S. that a war that could be the world’s last.

For what?

(Originally published at the anti mediacc)

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The Mainstream Media Has a Plan to Stop ISIS — but There’s Just One Problem

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Darius Shahtahmasebi
The anti-media : August 2, 2016

A recent article from the Guardian by Natalie Nougayrede, former executive editor and managing editor of French newspaper Le Monde, is another blatant attempt by the corporate media to pin all the blame for the Syrian crisis on the Syrian regime, as opposed to other powerful, meddling forces at play in Syria.

Nougayrede’s main thesis is that ISIS cannot be defeated simply through military action in Iraq and Syria or by intelligence operations throughout Europe. ISIS, she claims, “can be defeated only if the attraction that the militant group exerts on young, confused Sunni Muslims, in the Middle East and elsewhere, is somehow neutralised.”




The “attraction” she refers to is the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. She states quite confidently:

“If Assad stays in power, which seems to be the ultimate goal of recapturing Aleppo, more – not less – radicalisation will ensue; the absence of political transition in Syria will fuel the Sunni anger that ISIS thrives on.”

But there’s just one problem: statements of this kind are the epitome of lazy, pro-corporate media nonsense.

Firstly, it may be the case that Assad’s secular, Alawite regime attracts radical jihadists, but those jihadists have to get their weapons from somewhere. Suppliers of these weapons are the United States, NATO members, and powerful regional players such as Saudi Arabia — and this is no accident. Even the Western-backed so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been dominated by extremists for years, yet the U.S. has known this and still continues to support the Syrian opposition. Further, as the New York Timereported in 2012, the majority of weapons being sent to Syria have ended up in the hands of jihadists.

The U.S.-NATO establishment has asserted that the rise of groups like ISIS was regarded as an unintended consequence, ultimately pinning the blame on the Assad regime. But these assertions are a complete and utter falsity. A classified DIA report predicted the rise of ISIS in 2012, stating:

“If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

Secondly, Nougayrede conveniently leaves out the fact that ISIS arose out of the U.S.-U.K.-led invasion of Iraq, not out of Assad’s policies within Syria. ISIS was formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, which rose to prominence following the of power left after Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled. Shortly after, when Paul Bremer was put in charge, he dissolved the Iraqi police and military, firing close to 400,000 former servicemen, including high ranking military officials who fought in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. These generals now hold senior ranking positions within ISIS.


If it weren’t for these actions, ISIS wouldn’t exist.

Further, Nougayrede’s calls for Assad to step down are at direct odds with the will of the Syrian people, who, let’s face it, should be the only people to decide who leads them. As Anti-Media has documented, the fact remains that since the conflict erupted in 2011, Assad has held the majority support of his people despite the numerous atrocities he has been accused of conducting, including widespread torture.

The elections in 2014 – which Assad won by a landslide with international observers claiming no violations – demonstrate the majority of Syrians do not want him to step down. One could speculate that although the Assad regime is certainly no picnic, in the face of radical jihadist groups trying to destabilise the country, he may, in fact, be the most moderate choice. This was confirmed even last year when a poll conducted by Le Figaro found over 70 percent of the Syrian people still supported Assad.

Nougayrede also appears to absurdly imply that if Assad were to step down or be forcibly removed from power, terrorism would disappear. As previously stated, there was no al-Qaeda presence in Iraq until Saddam Hussein was forced out of power and his armed forces were reduced to rubble. There was no major al-Qaeda threat in Libya until the CIA began backing al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels to topple Muammar Gaddafi before misusing a U.N. Security Council Resolution in 2011 to bomb Libya — a rich country that had a high standard of living under Gaddafi  — back into the Middle Ages.

There was no al-Qaeda at all before the U.S. and Saudi Arabia invented it to counter the Soviet influence in the Middle East, but the mainstream media conveniently ignores all of these facts while selling another conflict like it’s going out of style.

Haven’t the Syrian people suffered enough?

the anti media (creative commons)

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‘Something is Going On’ – And It’s Worse Than You Thought

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Anti-war : June 17, 2016
Justin Raimondo, June 17, 2016

I used to wonder why in the heck right-wing commentators on Fox News kept repeating the same mantra over and over again: sitting through the Republican debates, my eyes glazed over when I heard each and every candidate denounce the Obama administration for refusing to say the Sacred Words: “radical Islamic terrorism.” What are these people talking about, I thought to myself: they’re obsessed!

In short, I wrote it off as Fox News boilerplate, until the other day when, in the wake of the Orlando massacre, Donald Trump said the following on Fox: “Something is going on. He doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other.” Reiterating this trope later on in the same show, he averred that the President “is not tough, not smart – or he’s got something else in mind.”

The Beltway crowd went ballistic. Lindsey Graham had a hissy fit, and other Republican lawmakers started edging away from the presumptive GOP nominee. The Washington Post ran a story with the headline: “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting.” Realizing that this level of bias was a bit too brazen, the editors changed it an hour or so later to: “Donald Trump Seems to Connect President Obama to Orlando Shooting.” Not much better, but then again we’re talking about a newspaper that has a team of thirty or so reporters bent on digging up dirt on Trump.

In any case, Trump responded as he usually does: by doubling down. And he did it, as he usually does, on Twitter, tweeting the following:

“Media fell all over themselves criticizing what Donald Trump ‘may have insinuated about @POTUS.’ But he’s right:”

The tweet included a link to this story that appeared on Breitbart: an account of a 2012 intelligence report from the Defense Intelligence Agency predicting the rise of the Islamic State in Syria – and showing how US policy deliberately ignored and even succored it. Secured by Judicial Watch thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the document says it’s very likely we’ll see the creation of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” And this won’t just be a grassroots effort, but the result of a centrally coordinated plan: it will happen because “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” then engaged in a campaign to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor) adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar).”

This is precisely what happened, and, as we see, the Iraqi Army is now in the field – with US support – trying to retake Mosul and Anbar, with limited success. Yet it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming – and didn’t have a hand in creating the problem we are now spending billions of dollars and even some American lives trying to “solve.” Things are turning out exactly as the DIA report said they would:

“[T]here is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

And who, exactly, are these “supporting powers”? The anonymous author of the report points to “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.” Last I heard, the US is part of the West – although the way things are going, that may not be true for very much longer. And of course the US has had a policy of supporting the “moderate” Syrian Islamist “opposition,” which ended in massive defections from the so-called Free Syrian Army to openly jihadist outfits like al-Nusra and ISIS.

There was a split in the administration over this policy, with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then CIA director David Petraeus arguing for a full-scale effort to overthrow beleaguered Ba’athist strongman Bashar al-Assad with massive aid to a loosely-defined “opposition.” Petraeus even openly argued for arming al-Nusra – the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda – and there were indications that, before Hillary left Foggy Bottom, an arms pipeline was opened up between the Libyan jihadists we aided in overthrowing Ghaddafi and their Syrian brothers.

Obama was reluctant to get more involved, but Hillary and Petraeus were gung-ho, along with the usual “humanitarian” interventionists in the administration and the media, who were accusing the President of standing by while “genocide” was being carried out by Assad. In reality, the jihadists were chopping off heads and wreaking just as much devastation as the Syrian army, but these facts didn’t make it into the media narrative.

In any case, the administration split was finally resolved when the President announced he was going to intervene in Syria with air strikes. This provoked a huge backlash from flyover country, with congressional switchboards tied up and protests coming in fast and furious. Clearly, the American people didn’t want another war in the Middle East, and, one by one, members of Congress who had planned on voting yes began to back down. The President backtracked – happily, I imagine. Hillary, who had alreadyleft the administration, was handed her final rebuke. Yet the seeds planted by her Syria policy would soon sprout into flowers of evil.

War was avoided, at least for the moment – but the prediction of that anonymous DIA agent was coming true. As thousands of US-trained –and-equipped rebels joined ISIS, along with the arms and other goodies provided courtesy of the US taxpayers, their leader declared the “Caliphate” and expanded its operations into North Africa, Europe – and the US.

The long reach of the Islamic State has been felt in this country twice in recent months: first in San Bernardino, and now in Orlando. Both terrorists traveled to Saudi Arabia, ostensibly for religious purposes, where they may have received training – and instructions.

When Omar Mateen opened fire in that Orlando nightclub, killing fifty people and wounding nearly one-hundred, the monster we created came back to haunt us. It didn’t matter that he may not have had direct links to ISIS: inspired by them, he carried out his grisly mission as he swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the “Caliph” of the Islamic State.

The Washington Post, in its mission to debunk every word that comes out of Trump’s mouth, ran an article by Glenn Kessler minimizing the DIA document, claiming that it was really nothing important and that we should all just move along because there’s nothing to see there. He cited all the usual Washington insiders to back up his thesis, but there was one glaring omission: Gen. Michael Flynn, who headed up the DIA when the document was produced and who was forced out by the interventionists in the administration. Here is what Flynn told Al-Jazeera in an extensive interview:

Al-Jazeera: “You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?
Flynn: I think the administration.
Al-Jazeera: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?
Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.
Al-Jazeera: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?
Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.”

Of course, Glenn Kessler and the Washington Post don’t want to talk about that. Neither do the Republicans in Congress, who supported aid to the Syrian rebels and wanted to give them much more than they got. They’re all complicit in this monstrous policy – and they all bear moral responsibility for its murderous consequences.

Gen. Flynn, by the way, is an official advisor to Trump, and is often mentioned as a possible pick for Vice President.

The idea that we could use Islamists to fight jihadists was always crazy, and yet that is what the foreign policy Establishment and the congressional warhawks in both parties have been pushing. The “Sunni turn,” initiated by the Bush administration, supported (and funded) by the Saudis, the Turks, and the Gulf states, and escalated by the Obama administration, has empowered our worst enemies and endangered the American people. And here is the ultimate irony: it was done in the name of “fighting terrorism.” This gives new meaning to the concept of “blowback,” CIA parlance for an action (often covert) that has the unintended consequence of blowing back in our faces.

It certainly blew back in the faces of those partygoers in Orlando – in a hail of bullets.

That Trump gets this is little short of amazing, and yet truth often comes to us in unexpected ways. He may be an imperfect vessel – and that is surely an understatement – but he is absolutely correct in this instance: this administration and this President either “doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other.”

The media and the Never Trumpers leaped on this statement and translated it into the old Obama-is-a-secret-Muslim trope, but that’s not what he was talking about. He was talking about the largely unknown history of our intervention in Syria, where Hillary Clinton was the jihadists’ best friend and benefactor. It was she who led the charge to “liberate” Syria, to arm the “moderate” head-choppers and do to that war-torn wreck of a country what she had done to Libya. Obama knows it: and so does the media. But their lips are sealed.

Fortunately, mine aren’t.

So we finally unlock the Great Mystery: why oh why does is this administration and the Clinton campaign so reluctant to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism”? Is it because of political correctness and a fear of inciting “Islamophobia”? Don’t flatter them: they’re not above that, when it serves their purposes. But it doesn’t serve their purposes this time.

What they’re afraid of is alienating their allies in the Middle East – not just the jihadists they’ve funded and succored in an effort to overthrow Assad, but primarily the Saudis, the Turks, and the Gulf sheikhs who are all in on the game and are playing it for all it’s worth. And of course there’s the Clinton Foundation, which has received millions in “donations” from the Saudi royals and their satellites.

The US policy goal in the region is to block the Iranians and their Shi’ite allies, including Syria’s Assad, from expanding their influence in the wake of the failed Iraq war. That war installed a Shi’ite regime in Baghdad, and in order to protect our vaunted ally Israel – which is set on regime change in Syria – we are backing and have been backing Sunni radicals, precisely those “radical Islamic terrorists” whose name will never pass Hillary Clinton’s lips.

(read the full article at anti-war)

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“It’s A Trojan Horse” – Thousands Of Germans Protest TTIP Trade Deal One Day Before Obama Visit

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Zero Hedge: April 23, 2016

Whether it is due to Trump’s increasingly vocal anti-free trade rhetoric or due to the ongoing deterioration in the global economy, there has been a big change in the public’s perception toward the transatlatnic deal known as TTIP in the recent months, with support for the agreement which was drafted by big corporations behind closed doors tumbling.

As Reuters reported last week, support for the transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP has fallen sharply in Germany and the United States, a survey showed on Thursday, days before Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama meet to try to breathe new life into the pact.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for the Bertelsmann Foundation, showed that only 17 percent of Germans believe the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a good thing, down from 55 percent two years ago. In the United States, only 18 percent support the deal compared to 53 percent in 2014. Nearly half of U.S. respondents said they did not know enough about the agreement to voice an opinion.

To be sure, as Michael Krieger wrote on Thursday, “the writing was already on the wall a year ago, which is why politicians were scrambling to pass TPP fast track as quickly as possible, which, of course, they did. So the good news is the public is clearly waking up. What’s a bit depressing is that it’s taken so many decades. Yes, decades.”

But while Americans seemingly have more important things to be concerned about, in Germany the activists are once again making themselves heard. Recall that it was just last October when a stunning quarter million Germans packed the street of Berlin to protest Obama’s “Free Trade” deal.

Fast forward to today when one day before Obama visits Angela Merke in Germany to pitch the trade agreement, thousands of German protesters have once again come out on the streets of Hannover to say ‘No’ to the controversial TTIP US-EU trade deal. Many in Germany fear it will reduce consumer protection and undermine workers’ protection.

While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and Europe is set to create the world’s largest free trade zone, many Europeans worry that the agreement would elevate corporate interest above national interest. TTIP opponents say that cheaper goods and services would only hurt the EU and help the US.

“People say the deal is going to compromise the European Union sovereignty, and would create much more secrecy, with one of the biggest concerns being that the agreement is wrapped in a big veil of secrecy that people are not happy with,” RT’s Anastasia Churkina reported from Hannover.

According to BBC, German police estimate that about 30,000 people are taking part in the peaceful protest rally in Hannover. Many are carrying placards with slogans that read: “Stop TTIP!”

The demonstrators have also been voicing their anger over the secrecy surrounding the ongoing TTIP negotiations.

“The
TTIP between the American continent and Europe is very dangerous for
the democracy, for our nature and for the rights of the workers,”
protester Florian Rohrich told the BBC.

“The rights in America for
workers are much lower. It’s like the Trojan horse. They can’t change
our whole system. But they will – because TTIP is written by the groups,
by the companies, not by the politicians,” he added.

The negotiations were launched three years ago, and the next round is due to open on Monday in New York.

(read the full article at zero hedge)

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Democratic Party Names Scapegoat in New York Primary Voter Suppression

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AlternativeFreePress.com

The purge of over 100,000 Brooklyn voters from the rolls is being pinned on Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Election’s chief clerk. The establishment is calling the incident “an epic screw-up”, but this is clearly targeted voter suppression driven by malicious intent.

Brooklyn lost 102,717 — or 8% — of its active voters from Nov. 1, 2015, through April 1, 2016, according to state stats. That appears to be a deliberate and successful attempt to purge Bernie Sanders supporters.

Now that the Democratic establishment has named it’s scapegoat, they expect us just to forget about calling it voter suppression. Apparently, we should accept this was just one person’s “epic screw up” and blindly accept Clinton as the Democrat nominee, regardless of whether the process was fair or rigged.

Sources:
NY daily news

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A Great Awakening – Public Support for Fake “Free Trade” Deals Plunges in the U.S. and Europe

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Mike Krieger
Liberty Blitzkrieg: April 21, 2016

The plethora of “free trade” deals (TPP, TTIP and TISA) being promoted by the global robber barons in power are nothing more than fascist corporate handouts (links at the end). Calling them “free trade” deals is purely for PR, and primarily serves as a means for marketing these scams to the ignorant masses.

Fortunately, I have some good news to share. The public is not as ignorant as it used to be. There’s a massive awakening happening, and it’s sweeping these United States as well as Europe.

As Reuters reports in the article, Survey Shows Plunging Public Support for TTIP in U.S. and Germany:

Support for the transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP has fallen sharply in Germany and the United States, a survey showed on Thursday, days before Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama meet to try to breathe new life into the pact.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for the Bertelsmann Foundation, showed that only 17 percent of Germans believe the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a good thing, down from 55 percent two years ago.

In the United States, only 18 percent support the deal compared to 53 percent in 2014. Nearly half of U.S. respondents said they did not know enough about the agreement to voice an opinion.

Those are absolutely incredible numbers, and can only really be explained by low information voters becoming educated. It reminds me of something I pointed out in last year’s post, As the Senate Prepares to Vote on “Fast Track,” Here’s a Quick Primer on the Dangers of the TPP:

Mr. McConnell could repeat the exercise with a different package, but the delay would add to the risk that the legislation stalls until after Memorial Day recess. That could weigh on the bill’s overall chances, since opponents are generating grassroots opposition across the country.

That just says it all doesn’t it? They need to pass it before the public has a chance to learn about it and oppose it. Typical Washington D.C. bullshit.

The writing was already on the wall a year ago, which is why politicians were scrambling to pass TPP fast track as quickly as possible, which, of course, they did.

So the good news is the public is clearly waking up. What’s a bit depressing is that it’s taken so many decades. Yes, decades.

As I was just entering my teenage years back in 1992, a quirky, billionaire named Ross Perot launched what remains the most successful third-party presidential bid of my lifetime. His core issue was opposition to the one-sided “trade” deal known as NAFTA, which he said would ruin the country.

Watch the video below. He predicted everything that was to come in the decades ahead.

(read the full article at Liberty Blitzkrieg

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Canada plans $1.5 Billion of corporate welfare for fighter jet training

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Help wanted: Top guns for dogfights with Canada’s CF-18 fighter pilots

David Pugliese
Ottawa Citizen: March 11, 2016

Canada’s top guns are in need of some top guns to fight against.

And they’ll get such adversaries by the end of the year.

The Canadian government plans to award by December a contract, estimated to be worth as much as $1.5 billion, to a fleet of fighter jets to go toe-to-toe with the military’s CF-18s.

A private company will be selected to act as the training partner for Canada’s fighter pilots, as well as provide other aircraft to act as the enemy for the Canadian army and navy.

The project, known as the Contracted Airborne Training Services or CATS, will run over an initial 10-year period, followed by the option to continue for another five years.

The Canadian-based Discovery Air Defence has been providing such services for the Canadian military since 2005. It has also expanded its operations internationally and was recently hired to do the same thing for Germany’s armed forces.

But the Canadian government wants to open the competition up potentially to other firms. Pierre-Alain Bujold, a spokesman for Public Services and Procurement Canada, said the bids for CATS went in Feb. 16. “The evaluation, which includes aircraft inspection, is expected to take up to five months,” he explained. “The contract is expected to be awarded by the end of 2016.”

Two firms have publicly acknowledged they have submitted bids: Discovery Air Defence of Montreal, and CAE, also from Quebec, which has allied itself with Draken, a U.S. firm.

Garry Venman, vice-president of business development and government relations at Discovery Air Defence, said the company pioneered the concept in Canada of such airborne services and is now considered an industry leader throughout the world.

“We’ve flown more than 55,000 hours in support of the Canadian and German militaries,” he said. “We’ve got the experience of doing it for the last 11 years.”

Discovery Air Defence traces its lineage to 2001, when it was founded by three former CF-18 pilots.

The firm has what is considered the world’s largest fleet of operational fighter jets in private hands. The company is now looking to acquire U.S.-built F-16 fighters for more advanced training.

“We’re poised for significant growth,” Venman said. “We’re doing all the things the Canadian government says it wants Canadian companies to do — creating jobs and conducting business internationally.”

(read the full article at The Province)

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