China (NewBloom) – IT MAY BE an adage, but it may be no mistake to say that history is repeating itself when it comes to China. Namely, reports indicating that the Chinese province of Liaoning has been artificially inflating its growth…
The European Parliament (EP), on November 23, 2016, approved a non-legislative resolution to counter or combat “disinformation campaigns and propaganda of countries such as Russia, and non-state actors such as Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other violent terrorist groups”.
Presented by the Polish MP Anna Fotyga of the group of European Conservatives and Reformists, this resolution affirms that the Russian government increased its campaign against the European Union (EU) after having annexed Crimea and launched a “hybrid war” in Donbass (Ukraine).
The Egyptian Ministry of Interior (MOI) posted on Facebook that they’ve arrested four men and one woman for allegedly making videos to be distributed as “footage from Aleppo, Syria.”
The suspects were arrested in the city of Port Said, allegedly mid photo shoot with a 12 year old girl. The girl was “wearing a white dress coloured in red, in a way that resembles blood” and holding a teddy bear (both covered in fake blood) in an area that “looked like Aleppo” but was actually just ruins in Port Said.
On December 8, the US House of Representatives passed an annual intelligence policy authorization bill (H.R.6480). The measure contains a provision establishing an interagency committee to counter «active measures by Russia to exert covert influence». The document says it takes the form of «media manipulation», «misinformation», «forgeries», «assassinations», «terrorist acts» etc. No Russian diplomat has ever been accused of «assassinations», «terrorist acts» but that is the language the authors of the bill used.
The measure restricts the movements of Russian diplomats in the United States. It reads, «The Secretary of State shall, in coordination with the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director of National Intelligence, establish a mandatory advance notification regime governing all travel by accredited diplomatic and consular personnel of the Russian Federation in the United States and take necessary action to secure full compliance by Russian personnel and address any noncompliance». The Secretary of State, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of National Intelligence shall develop written mechanisms to share information. The previous version of the document (H.R. 6393) passed on November 30 said the permitted travel distance was 25 miles (40.23 km) from the diplomats’ official posts. The new text does not contain this provision.
Psychedelic science continues it’s redemptive march out of obscurity, and stigma. Decades of misinformation and propaganda is crumbling in a free fall accelerated by cannabis reforms. It’s a revolution conjuring up uses for psychedelics ignored since the days of 1960’s counter-culture. Among those benefits, researchers now say, is an uncanny ability to remedy the chains addiction.
The findings hail from a study done by numerous United Kingdom-based researchers. Unlike many, the study noted the “thousands of years” of historical use of psychedelics by indigenous cultures. It’s a facet sometimes referenced, but rarely held with any real credibility, or esteem. Rather, such native knowledge is left to languish well beyond the margins of academia. The UK study also acknowledged the role legislation has played in stunting psychedelic inquiry.
The European Parliament approved a draft resolution equating counteracting Sputnik news agency and RT TV channel with resistance to Daesh propaganda.
The EU Parliament adopted a draft resolution proposed by EU lawmaker from Poland Anna Elzbieta Fotyga on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against the bloc by third parties, which says that Russia is allegedly engaged in propaganda against the European Union.
A total of 691 lawmakers participated in the vote: 304 voted in favor of the resolution, 179 against it and 208 abstained from voting.
Authors of the document equate counteracting Russia with the resistance to Daesh terrorist group and call on EU member states to boost financing counter-propaganda projects.
Since the beginning of Operation: Inherent Resolve, the Islamic State has shown itself to be a very shadowy force. Many people assume they know where the group originates, with some admitting to it’s connection to US foreign policy decisions and regional allies. Others ignore this, and even the curious will only go so far. Now, as the group’s stronghold in Mosul is surrounded, Iraqi forces find yet more IS stockpiles of Saudi and American weapons and supply.
Mosul has been under assault by Iraqi forces for around a month now, as they clash with IS. The offensive followed a surge in US troops to Iraq, the majority being special forces and accompanying marines. Exactly what those forces will be doing is unclear. Shortly after the battle’s activation, a US Navy SEAL was reported KIA (Killed In Action) by an IED blast. Officials were careful not to directly connect the operatives death with the Mosul battle.
Five other Americans–three marines, a Delta Force operative and another Navy SEAL–and a Canadian special forces soldier have died since 2014. This is only that we know of, since the statuses of thousands of military contractors and other forces are unknown.
The left-wing campaigning organisation Momentum was established in late 2015, with the explicit purpose of ensuring the election – and subsequent re-election – of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Much of the mainstream media – in the form of the Sunday Times, Channel 4’s Dispatches and a legion of hangers-on – launched a carefully prepared and orchestrated ‘red scare’ campaign against the organisation and all who support it, painting Momentum as an incubator for ‘loony lefties’ and communists of all stripes. Some drew parallels with the infamous ‘Zinoviev Letter’, a fictional communist missive to discredit and undermine the first Labour government of 1924. What lessons can be drawn from this uncanny historical parallel?
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States had to get a little more creative to help justify and garnish public support for its foreign interventions. Terrorism as a chronic threat helps to rally public approval for military defense spending, but expensive foreign wars are rarely popular among civilians. One theme we see pop-up anytime the United States attempts to justify a regime change is humanitarian concern: Iraq, Libya, and most recently Syria. Anti-Assad propaganda is especially useful for the United States for a few reasons. First it helps to convince the American public that Assad is a brutal dictator who must be overthrown; thus justifying intervention. Second, it helps minimize public back-lash over the United States’ own atrocities and war crimes. (“Who cares if the US has ulterior motives for overthrowing Assad; the guy needs to go either way, right?”) Lastly, since Russia is supporting the Syrian government against United States-sponsored rebels, the US gets to use any damage in rebel-held territory as anti-Russia and anti-Assad propaganda. Enter the Syrian Civil Defense aka the White Helmets.
Funded and Fueled by the US and UK
As of May 2016, the United States Agency for International Development has provided over $23 million to Syrian civil defense teams– just like the White Helmets. USAID defines these teams as “impartial emergency responders” who do not support either side in the war. However, at the same time the USAID report states that the teams have a second purpose to “amplify the efforts of moderate actors and strengthen public support for moderate values.” “Moderate actors” would be of course the US-sponsored “moderate rebel” fighters but also includes “national, provincial and local level” civilians that uphold pro-West, pro-intervention, anti-Assad opinions. Members of the White Helmets also travel for training to camps in Turkey– which just so happen to be a pro-intervention NATO ally.
On Wednesday evening, Anton Belikov, an artist and lecturer at Moscow’s Surikov Academy of Arts, walked through an exhibition of photographs documenting the war in eastern Ukraine, and threw paint over them. Having ruined and torn up the pictures as “war propaganda”, Belikov then turned to one of the photographers and the curator to say: “You wanted civil society? Well, now you’ve got it.”
These photographs by photographer Alexander Vasukovich and journalist Sergei Loiko were exhibited in Moscow’s Sakharov Center as part of the Direct Look photography prize. As a result of this attack, the Sakharov Center decided not to close the exhibition, but instead to hang posters detailing what took place on 28 September in place of the damaged works.
Washington, DC (TFC) – TIME ran a piece on 16 August entitled “Russia and Iran Fly Across a Key Threshold in the Middle East” which opens with the following quote: “Looks like the U.S. and its allies have a new “axis of evil” in the Middle East: Syria, Iran and Russia.” A desire for an attention-grabbing opening line notwithstanding, this sort of propagandist statement only serves to cloud the already murky waters of the Syrian Civil War and reveals the Western bias of the mainstream media. The problems don’t end at the first line, but let’s unpack that first, and perhaps along the way we can find a more salient discourse on the Syrian conflict.
The phrase “axis of evil” is an echo of a speech by then President George W. Bush, who named Iraq, Iran, and North Korea in the positions TIME writer Mark Thompson assigns to Syria, Iran, and Russia. It’s hardly a surprise that Iran again made the cut; the demonization of that country in the West has continued virtually without pause in the intervening years. The phrase is in itself a reference to the Axis Powers of World War Two, a rhetorical device designed to associate the named countries with Nazism, genocide, and the ever-amorphous “Evil.” The veracity of this comparison has to be called into question, however.
Ahead of an announcement from the White House on civilian casualties from drone strikes, expected as early as tomorrow (Friday July 1st), international human rights organization Reprieve has released a report demonstrating how the Administration’s previous statements on the issue have proved to be false.
From CIA Director John Brennan’s June 2011 assertion that “there hasn’t been a single collateral death” to President Obama’s claim that strikes only take place when there is “near certainty” that civilians won’t be killed, the Administration’s statements, both on record and off, have been undermined by Government leaks and independent assessments.
The Obama administration is set to “exclude Pakistan” from its publication of total casualties resulting from covert drone strikes, according to a report in the Washington Post.
If accurate, this would mean that as many as 72% of known covert drone strikes would be excluded from the tally, along with 84% of recorded casualties, according to figures from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
In March this year, the White House announced that in “the coming weeks” it would release an assessment of civilian casualties resulting from strikes taken outside of warzones. Drones operated by the CIA and US Special Forces are believed to have carried out hundreds of these strikes in secret, in countries such as Yemen and Pakistan, where the US is not at war. However, to date, the US Government has provided no public estimates of the resulting civilian death toll.
America’s dark-war in northern Iraq recently claimed the life of a Navy SEAL, following a massive firefight. Since his death, the operative has been identified as Petty Officer First Class Charles Keating IV, killed assisting “advisors”. Although mainstream sources cite Keating as the third US casualty, the war’s reality is far from so.
American’s were initially shocked to hear of a US Marine killed providing “force protection fire support”. Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin died after ISIS militants reportedly bombarded a recently established firebase near the front. Cardin’s death shattered notions that “advisors” exempt direct combat, and further shaded the black war.
Now, Navy SEAL Charles Keating has been reported KIA, Reuters reports, following fighting pinning coalition forces against over 100 militants. “It’s a combat death, of course”, said US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, an evolution in the war’s obscure nature. Although Kesting’s SEAL team is unknown, specific units are known to serve under the clandestine Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
For the past several months, Syrian refugees have faced dizzying array of criticism from U.S. politicians who have proposed banning new refugees from Syria, prohibiting all Muslim immigration, deporting Syrians already in the United States, and much else. Yet despite the rhetoric and anti-refugee proposals, Syrian refugees across the United States are still defending their newly adopted country.