Category: Viewpoints

Objective journalism is a farce. Every journalist allows personal opinion to influence their work. The Fifth Column’s journalist openly share their biases with the reader. The opinions are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of The Fifth Column.

Gambia: Free Speech Ban Threatens Rights in Vote Aftermath

Government Has Blocked Internet, Threatened Protest Ban

Gambian authorities should respect the rights of Gambians to peacefully express their views on the outcome of the December 1, 2016 presidential election. Prior to the vote, incumbent President Yahya Jammeh warned that protests against the election would not be permitted and the government blocked internet communications and international calls.

Although the two-week election campaign was peaceful, and included many large opposition and government rallies, President Jammeh responded to a November 29 media query about possible protests following the elections, saying, “In this country we don’t allow demonstrations.” At about 8 p.m. on November 30, the government blocked all internet services in Gambia as well as incoming and outgoing international calls. Online messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Viber, have been blocked for several weeks.

The coming war on China

A major US military build-up – including nuclear weapons – is under way in Asia and the Pacific with the purpose of confronting China. John Pilger raises the alarm on an under-reported and dangerous provocation.

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of 6 August, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably. When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, ‘disappeared’, a political embarrassment.

I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

Standing Rock Protectors Threatened With Blockade Of Food And Medicine

Tensions flare once more as North Dakota officials graduate their militarized tactics against protesters. Sheriffs have now threatened a blockade of people, food, and medicine to the camps.

The threats comes on the heels of the US Army Corps of Engineers warning protesters to leave by December 5th. Anyone remaining stay under fear of prosecution for trespassing. Fines have also thrown into the basket of incentives for the water protectors to surrender.

Establishing a blockade represents yet another ultra-militarized tactic used against peaceful American citizens. Denying nourishment and medical treatment is a classic strategy to degrade will and resolve. Combined with harsh weather conditions, water protectors are faced with a tormentingly deadly roulette.

US Regime Change in Malaysia: Bersih 5

Malaysia finds itself weathering yet another foreign-backed color revolution, with the color of choice being the “yellow shirts” of Bersih supporters.

Bersih was created by the United States government and the political alliance of convicted and currently jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim. The front organized its first rally in 2007, and has since then organized four more with the most recent taking place this month.

Over the years, Bersih has morphed, being co-opted both by elements of the very government it is attempting to overthrow, and by legitimate opposition fronts who either are cynically exploiting the movement’s size and foreign funding, or who genuinely are unaware that Bersih’s core leadership is composed of US-funded agitators seeking to divide and destroy both Malaysia and ASEAN, as a means of reasserting US primacy in the region vis-a-vis China.

The dubious honour of hosting the Olympic Games

If their economic benefits are so underwhelming, why do countries jump at the chance to organize the Olympics?

‘I’ve never won a gift. The first gift I ever had, I had to buy. It was an old bicycle with a chain that broke every day, and I had to fix it. And today, people we don’t even know have given me the greatest gift a president could wish for: to host the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.’ It was with tears in his eyes that Brazilian president Lula da Silva accepted the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to send the Olympic Games to South America for the first time.

The city, he added, deserved the honour of hosting because it had ‘suffered’ in the past. ‘This victory is a restitution for a people who often appear only in a negative light in the press,’ he said. ‘Those who think Brazil can’t afford to host the Games will be surprised.’

My Son the Jihadi

How did a perfectly normal British teenager end up fighting in Somalia as a recruit for the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Al Shabaab?

Peter Beard’s documentary “My Son the Jihadi” follows the life of traumatized mother Sally as she struggles to come to terms with her estranged son’s transformation from a ‘normal teenage lad’ to Abdul Hakim, the violent Islamic extremist. Through this lens, we see a mother who is torn between the love for her child and a disgust at his actions in a faraway land. She admits, “I’m ashamed of him, but he’s still my son”.

Why I Play Lacrosse In Milwaukee For Water Protectors In Standing Rock

The struggle at Standing Rock, North Dakota grabbed the world’s attention for a time. It’s a fight which isn’t halting, even though signs of scale-back are beginning to surface. Among the many things Standing Rock’s resistance has reminded us of is Native American heritage, and its place in our country. It’s for these reasons that I’ve played the traditional game of lacrosse recently as a kind of symbolic support. Hoping to reach into the game’s old role as remote spiritual reinforcement, hundreds of miles away.

For those unfamiliar, lacrosse is a sport often compared to field hockey. It’s very different, however, and has been modified over the decades. It’s always required a lacrosse stick, which is a metal pole with a head and net on one end. Many players customize their sticks, and with endless marketed varieties each one is unique. Pads, helmets, and other things were added and evolved respectively as time went on. The original game, however, was bare skinned and gritty.

No, Soros Isn’t Paying Activists To Protest Trump

For 7 straight days now, major cities across the US have seen protests on a massive scale. The social unrest we’re seeing unfold over this last week is unprecedented, rivaled only by the civil right’s movement of the 1960’s. Low and behold, nothing major happens in this country without some outlandish conspiracy theory far behind it.

Putin-Trump: A Budding Bromance?

The election of Donald Trump as US president has put his connections to Russia back in the spotlight. News headlines have announced “Russia’s establishment basks in Trump’s victory.” The Duma, the lower house of the federal legislature very much under president Vladimir Putin’s control, erupted in applause at the election news from the US. The editor of the Kremlin-backed English-language television network RT (formerly Russia Today)said she would drive around Moscow with an American flag in celebration.

Despite this and despite allegations of Russian interference to disrupt the US election campaign, no one can say for certain yet how Russia-US relations will develop in the coming years. Trump has publicly admired Putin’s leadership, but it’s not at all clear what the Putin-Trump dynamic will mean for human rights in Russia or Russian respect for human rights abroad.

Democrats Caused President Trump; They Caused His Victory

Hillary Clinton

Here’s a video where Carey Wedler explains in her own thoroughly truthful way in just four minutes, how and why Democratic Party voters for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primaries did more than perhaps any other single political group of Americans to help make Donald Trump become America’s President. But here, in my own equally truthful way, which you can easily verify for yourself by simply clicking onto a link anywhere that you question a statement’s veracity (which, of course, can’t be done with any video), I’ll explain it, very differently:

Democratic voters during the Presidential primaries were given a clear choice, and blew it; they chose the by-far-weaker of the two candidates (Clinton instead of Sanders), weaker not only in all of the head-to-head matchups against each and every one of the possible Republican candidates, but weaker in the progressive ideology that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had brought to the Party and which had made the FDR-era (1932-1980) Democratic Party the engine of progressive change in America. Bill Clinton killed it, and Hillary Clinton’s election would have prevented the progressive Democratic Party from ever being resurrected again; and here’s how that happened:

This Could Be Our 1989

You might think that the greatest political, cultural, economic shock of our lifetimes, right here in the USA, would unleash a torrent of salient and incisive commentary. There’s been some good, some confused, some angry. But mostly what I’ve seen is a kind of mouth-open shocked.

What was once regarded as expertise lies in ruins.Here’s the problem: all the experts were wrong. I’m in the same boat as almost everyone else. We followed the cues we had – polls, betting odds, our own intuitions – but they were all misleading, and everyone underestimated the vulnerability of the status quo. Admitting this takes humility – vast oceans of it. It challenges us to throw away what we thought we knew and consider a new way of thinking.

Trump triumphed over every bit of conventional and establishment wisdom on the whole of planet earth. What was once regarded as expertise lies in ruins. Not even the people with skin in the game, those betting on the outcome, came close to being right. It’s the greatest smashing of a paradigm – a devastating crush of not only opinions but every existing establishment left, right, and center – I can imagine happening in real time.

Identifying those responsible for the ‘Don’t vote Trump’ attack

A 32-second viral video shows a 50-year-old man being beaten and robbed by two unidentified assailants. The nation was shocked by the video. Partisan political violence. It’s something relatively unheard of in the United States, or is it?

Through analysis TFC has uncovered who is responsible for the attacks, and why we should expect more attacks of a similar nature. In fact, some have guaranteed at least 2 million more similar attacks in the next year.

It Can’t Happen Here (But It Just Did)

In the typical time travel story, an enterprising person from the future goes back to 1922 to assassinate young Hitler, or to 1963 to interrupt Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas.

This time, however, the smarter denizens of the future world didn’t save us from the horrors of the present.

Instead, Donald Trump somehow got control of the time machine and used it for the opposite purpose. He brought in voters from the past who remembered (or misremembered) a more prosperous, more homogenous, more imperially confident America. He also transported in a few denizens of the Jim Crow South and Nazi Germany to dust off their ugly anachronisms and rally the alt-right.

Janet Reno: Justice Delayed was Justice Denied

In the early hours of November 7, Janet Reno died at the age of 78 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Her niece “confirmed to CBS News that Reno died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends.” It’s unfortunate that, unlike many of her victims, she was permitted to shuffle off this mortal coil a free woman, unpursued by the hounds of justice. Janet Reno had a lot to answer for.

As state attorney for Dade County, Florida in the 1980s, Reno helped kindle a wildfire of moral panic in America over alleged widespread ritual child sex abuse, leading witch hunts in which children and witnesses were bullied and even tortured into making up the lurid stories Reno and her “expert” child psychologists wanted to hear. People went to prison for crimes that they had not committed — in fact, crimes that hadn’t actually occurred at all. Some may still be there.