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Jamal Khashoggi: Where The Road to Damascus & The Path to 9/11 Converge

By Kristen Breitweiser, one of the four 9/11 widows – known as the “Jersey Girls” – instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: .

Road to Damascus Conversion: Derived from the Biblical story of Paul, the term “Damascus road conversion” is commonly used to refer to an abrupt about-face on a serious issue of religion, politics or philosophy. In this type of change, a single, dramatic event causes a person to become aligned with something he or she previously was against or support a position that he or she previously opposed. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-damascus-road-conversion.htm#didyouknowout

As a 9/11 widow who has spent the last 17 years fighting for accountability with regard to the 9/11 attacks that killed my husband and 3,000 others, I find the recent uproar over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder interesting and out of character for many of those decrying his disappearance and demanding an investigation and accountability.

Frankly, 9/11 Family members keep a running list of all those in Washington who have proved by their past actions to be against U.S. victims of terrorism and in support of nations like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a nation with a long history of supporting global Wahhabist terrorism. As victims of terrorism, we are ever vigilant and watchful about all those named on our lists. We follow these folks actions, their speeches, their legislation, because we know that they are never looking out for our best interests as U.S. victims of terrorism. As a group, our institutional memory is broad and long. And we never forget.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Welcome to the G-20 from Hell

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, chats with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He during 'trade dispute' talks in Beijing earlier this year. Some sort of agreement could be reached at the G20 summit. Photo: AFP / Andy Wong

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, chats with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He during ‘trade dispute’ talks in Beijing earlier this year. Some sort of agreement could be reached at the G20 summit. Photo: AFP / Andy Wong

Welcome to the G-20 from Hell

World leaders wrestle with a maelstrom of complex, burning issues as they prepare for November 30 summit

The G-20 in Buenos Aires on November 30 could set the world on fire – perhaps literally. Let’s start with the US-China trade war. Washington won’t even start discussing trade with China at the G-20 unless Beijing comes up with a quite detailed list of potential concessions.

The word from Chinese negotiators is not at all bleak. Some sort of agreement could be reached on about a third of US demands. Debate on another third could ensue. But the last third is absolutely off-limits – due to Chinese national security imperatives, such as refusing to allow the opening of the domestic cloud computing market to foreign competition.

Beijing has appointed Vice-Premier Liu He and Vice-President Wang Qishan to supervise all negotiations with Washington. They face an uphill task: to pierce through President Donald Trump’s limited attention span.

On top of it, Beijing demands a “point person” with the authority to negotiate on behalf of Trump – considering the mixed-message traffic jam out of Washington.

Now compare this with the message coming from the research institute fabulously named Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era under the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC): the US has started the “trade friction” essentially “to hinder China’s industrial upgrading.”

That’s the consensus at the top.

And the clash is bound to get worse. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of “meddling in American democracy,” “debt diplomacy,” “currency manipulation,” and “IP theft.” The Foreign Ministry in Beijing dismissed it all as “ridiculous.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Netanyahu Hopes To Bring U.S. Attention Back On Iran, Threatens “Action” In Syria

With the Jamal Khashoggi affair shaking up Saudi-Washington relations, and with multiple Gulf countries predictably coming out in support of Riyadh’s denials that it was behind the journalist’s disappearance and apparent murder, it will be interesting to see Israel’s stance on the issue.

We fully expect Israel to do all that it can to lobby Washington toward keeping its bulls-eye ever steadfast on Iran. Indeed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears already cognizant of Iran receding into the background of priorities for the West as the alleged gruesome death and dismemberment of Khashoggi at the hands of a Saudi hit team ordered by MbS takes center stage.

On Monday Netanyahu opened a parliamentary session at the Knesset by addressing his familiar theme of “Iranian expansion” in Syria, except that the timing is now more interesting given some of the public heat and attention has now been taken off Tehran for a time: “We must act against the Iranian regime in Syria,” Netanyahu said.

But crucially, he added a new theme — important in light of the past two weeks: “Because of the Iranian threat, Israel and other Arab countries are closer than they ever were before,” the prime minister said. This acknowledgement comes after years of Saudi Arabia joining in a covert partnership to topple the Syrian government — a project which has clearly failed.

And not only has it utterly failed, but Israel’s repeat air strikes on Syria (acknowledged recently by Israel’s military to be over 200 strikes in the past year alone), culminated in last month’s accidental downing of a Russian Ilyushin-20 reconnaissance plane with 15 crew members on board, resulting in the now accomplished transfer of the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft defense system to the Syrian government.

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Severe US Recession Would Slash Public Wealth By $5 Trillion: IMF

As part of the IMF’s latest global economic forecast, which for the first time since 2016 saw the D.C.-based organization cut its global growth forecasts, the IMF warned that a severe recession would slash US public wealth by about $5 trillion, causing vastly more damage to Washington’s finances than just an increase in debt and deficits.

At the same time, governments around the world, many of which face similar dangers, do not clearly publicize their overall net worths, the International Monetary Fund said in its new report, noting that “Few governments know how much they own” or how they use those assets for the public’s well-being, the IMF explained.

This creates a potential blind spot for policymakers who could use this knowledge to head off economic risks; Knowing what a government owns and how they can put their assets to better use matters because they can earn about 3% of GDP more in revenues each year and reduce risks, all at once according to France24. That’s as much revenue as governments make from corporate income tax receipts in advanced economies. Governments can put this money toward better schools, hospitals, or other priority spending.

Public assets consist of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and sewer pipes, as well as the money governments have in the bank, their financial investments, and payments owed to them by individuals and businesses. According to the IMF, “natural resource reserves in the ground are also part of assets, something that is particularly important for natural resource-rich countries. But assets also include state-owned enterprises such as public banks and, in many countries, utilities such as public electricity and water companies.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Trump Win changed US Politics forever

Global Intel Hub (Zero Hedge Exclusive) 10/7/2018 — Now that MidTerms are coming up, the heat is being turned up on Trump in the deep state’s ‘death by a thousand cuts’ approach to assassinate his character and any of his allies as well.  But in this flagrant and public information war against Trump, the deep-state has shown it’s hand, as it’s a public game, so it’s easy to explain here what’s going on.  As we have explained in our book Splitting Bits, the world is not as it seems.

Since about 1950, the United States has developed an extremely sophisticated system of manipulating political systems:

The most infamous episodes include the ousting of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 — whose government was replaced by an authoritarian monarchy favorable to Washington — the removal and assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961, and the violent toppling of socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende, whose government was swept aside in 1973 by a military coup led by the ruthless Gen. Augusto Pinochet.  For decades, these actions were considered imperatives of the Cold War, part of a global struggle against the Soviet Union and its supposed leftist proxies. Its key participants included scheming diplomats like John Foster Dulles and Henry Kissinger, who advocated aggressive, covert policies to stanch the supposedly expanding threat of communism. Sometimes that agenda also explicitly converged with the interests of U.S. business: In 1954, Washington unseated Guatemala’s left-wing president, Jacobo Arbenz, who had had the temerity to challenge the vast control of the United Fruit Co., a U.S. corporation, with agrarian laws that would be fairer to Guatemalan farmers. The CIA went on to install and back a series of right-wing dictatorships that brutalized the impoverished nation for almost half a century.

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Marketing War: the Incessant Drumbeat of Mortal Danger

Marketing War: the Incessant Drumbeat of Mortal Danger

Photo Source The National Guard | CC BY 2.0

The claim that the national security of the United States requires that more than half the nation’s discretionary budget must be devoted to the maintenance of armies, global strategic bases and massive armaments is false. Until we can convince the majority of the public of this fiction, and surmount the wall of disinformation, nothing will change and we will continue down the road to a hellish future.

This statement of course contradicts the incessant indoctrination emanating from Washington and the corporate media that U.S. foreign policy is devoted to the maintenance of global peace and a “liberal” and just world order in the face of enemies who wish to destroy that order. The facts controvert such declarations yet to emphasize them is to be accused of disloyalty, a lack of patriotism, and conspiracy mongering.

The U.S. propaganda system relentlessly broadcasts the malevolent machinations of Russia, Iran or North Korea or Syria and China as well as of armed gangs like ISIS, al Qaeda and the Taliban. The drumbeat that mortal danger is on our doorstep is so ceaseless and all-encompassing that the public either accepts the claims as true or remains blind to very real dangers posed by our government’s own militarized policies that call forth various forms of opposition to those policies.

The reality is that all of the wars, assassinations, and coups carried out by Washington of the last half century have been matters of choice based not on genuine threats to our national security but on jeopardy to the profits of giant arms manufacturers and their allies- the so-called military industrial complex that extends its tentacles into every major institution in American life–Congress, the CIA, the media and universities. The complex requires at the very least the implied threat of war to ensure its existence.

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IRGC Commander Says Netanyahu Will “Flee Into Sea,” Should “Practice Swimming”

In a fiery message aimed at Tel Aviv, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps deputy commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami issued a warning to Israel, Middle East-based source Al Masdar News reports.

“I tell the prime minister of the Zionist regime to practice swimming in the Mediterranean because soon you will have no choice but [to] flee into the sea,” Salami said, speaking at a rally in Isfahan, central Iran on Friday, according to Fars News.

IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami

“They are not at the level of being a threat for us; Hezbollah is enough for destroying them,” the commander added, speaking before IRGC volunteers. Accusing Tel Aviv of deceiving the world about Iran, the senior officer accused Israel of acting as a “political mannequin” in the US shop window.

Turning his ire toward Washington, Salami charged the US with spending $7 trillion on wars in the Middle East, adding that the US has been defeated with each effort. “We do not have military bases anywhere, and our presence in Syria is limited, which represents our values,” he added, referring to the source and scope of Iran’s regional influence.

Salami also praised what he called the “thunderous” October 1 missile strikes against ISIS in Syria, which Iran launched in retaliation to the September 22 terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz  a southwest city in Iran — which left 25 people dead and dozens more injured.

Traditionally rocky relations between Iran and Israel hit new lows last week at the UN General Assembly, with the two countries exchanging barbs over Syria and Iran’s alleged secret nuclear weapons program.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

India Defies US, Signs $5.4BN Arms Deal With Russia Amid Promises Of Closer Ties

In what amounts to Russia’s latest act of defiance against the US and its Western allies, and a sign that India is slowly moving away from the US sphere of influence, New Delhi has signed a $5.4 billion deal for the delivery of five S-400 weapons systems, one of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapons, RT reported. The deal risks provoking more sanctions against Russia from the US. The arms deal was finalized at a summit involving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi.

Because of the purchase, India now risks being sanctioned under Washington’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which prohibits the purchase of arms from Russia. After his meeting with Modi, Putin said during a joint press conference that Russia would work with India to boost bilateral cooperation in the UN, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the G20. Putin added that the two countries would coordinate counter-terrorism efforts, and the two leaders also signed a deal on space cooperation, with Modi saying that he hoped Russia would help India send astronauts into space by 2022. 

Russia

The two countries also plan to cooperate on counter-terrorism efforts in Syria, as well as the status of the Iran nuclear deal. Russia has always “stood shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the energy sector and our goals,” Putin said.

The arms deal was signed during a period of increased trade between Russian and India, with total trade exceeding $9 billion last year. That figure is expected to rise as the two countries hope to encourage cross-border investment. By 2030, Putin said, he hopes to increase trade to $30 billion and investments by $15 billion.

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US Openly Threatens Russia with War: Goodbye Diplomacy, Hello Stone Age

US Openly Threatens Russia with War: Goodbye Diplomacy, Hello Stone Age

US Openly Threatens Russia with War: Goodbye Diplomacy, Hello Stone Age

US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison is a highly placed diplomat. Her words, whatever they may be, are official, which includes the ultimatums and threats that have become the language increasingly used by US diplomats to implement the policy of forceful persuasion or coercive diplomacy. Bellicose declarations are being used this way as a tool.

On Oct. 2, the ambassador proved it again. According to her statement, Washington is ready to use force against Russia. Actually, she presented an ultimatum — Moscow must stop the development of a missile that the US believes to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). If not, the American military will destroy it before the weapon becomes operational. “At that point, we would be looking at the capability to take out a (Russian) missile that could hit any of our countries,” Hutchison stated at a news conference. “Counter measures (by the United States) would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty,” she added. “They are on notice.” This is nothing other than a direct warning of a preemptive strike.

It is true that compliance with the INF Treaty is a controversial issue. Moscow has many times claimed that Washington was in violation, and that position has been substantiated. For instance, the Aegis Ashore system, which has been installed in Romania and is to be deployed in Poland, uses the Mk-41 launcher that is capable of firing intermediate-range Tomahawk missiles. This is a flagrant breach of the INF Treaty. The fact is undeniable. The US accuses Moscow of possessing and testing a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km (310-3,417 miles), but there has never been any proof to support this claim. Russia has consistently denied the charges.

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US, China Diving Into A New Cold War; Jack Ma Warns: “When Trade Stops, Sometimes War Starts”

One of the most significant themes heading into 2019, is the new US-China Cold War. Recent tit-for-tat exchanges on economic, political and strategic fronts threaten to escalate into a full-blown conflict between both superpowers.

As Washington squeezes Beijing economically through an escalating trade war, it simultaneously uses Freedom of navigation (FON) to sail its warships and or fly its nuclear-capable Boeing B-52 bombers dangerously close to Beijing’s militarized islands in the heavily disputed South China Sea. This high-stakes game of chicken is now spiraling out of control and could lead to a possible military conflict.

Last month, President Trump slapped Beijing with new tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products, adding to the $50 billion applied on Chinese imports earlier this year, said Asia Times.

Trump also threatened to slap tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese imports if Beijing failed to address concerns over what his administration views China’s predatory and unfair trade practices.

China responded by applying retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of American imports while suspending trade negotiations with Washington.

Asia Times said China “views its roiled relations with the US as an existential struggle, with the ongoing trade war seen as part of a broader containment strategy Washington is now intensifying through military means in the South China Sea.”

Alibaba founder Jack Ma recently warned that Trump’s trade war with China could lead to military conflict.

“When trade stops, sometimes the war starts. So trade is the way to stop wars,” Ma warned Tuesday during an opening panel discussion at the World Trade Organization Public Forum in Geneva. “Trade is the way to build up trust,” he continued. “Trade is not the weapon to fight against each other.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump and Washington’s Warmongers Sow Death and Destruction

Trump and Washington’s Warmongers Sow Death and Destruction

Trump and Washington’s Warmongers Sow Death and Destruction

The squalid charade in the US Senate over the nomination of a Supreme Court judge and the comic opera performance by President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly are deeply embarrassing for many Americans — but far from all Americans, because substantial numbers support the flawed Court nominee and strongly endorse Trump’s arrogant and malevolent insults to so many nations. They relish confronting and menacing those who dare to disagree with them.

Trump’s threats against Venezuela were in line with similar intimidating remarks he made about North Korea at last year’s UN Assembly, but it’s unlikely we’ll see a similar reversal this time round. He also threatened Venezuela last year, and he’s maintained the offensive, in all meanings of the word. In 2017 he declared that President Nicolas Maduro’s government was strangling the country through “faithfully implemented” socialism and vowed to help the Venezuelan people “regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy”. In New York on September 25 he said it would be easy for the Venezuelan military to launch a coup d’état and impose regime change, which was a direct threat to the country’s sovereignty. His encouragement of revolution followed his announcement to the Assembly that “I honour the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honour our sovereignty in return.”

But Trump is telling — ordering — many countries how to live and work, and has no respect whatever for customs or beliefs that do not fit with his confused and distorted view of how the nations of the world should conduct their affairs. He contradicted his statement about all nations having the right to do as they wish by calling on the UN to “resist socialism and the misery it brings to everyone.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Hints At Naval Blockade Of Russian Energy Exports Which Moscow Warns Would Be “An Act Of War”

In a interview about fracking and the implications of making the United States less dependent on foreign sources of energy, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Washington Examiner that the US Navy has the ability to blockade Russia from controlling energy supplies in the Middle East.

“The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade… to make sure that their energy does not go to market,” Zinke said on Friday at a Consumer Energy Alliance event in Pittsburg.

The comments came as Russia, Germany and other European partners move forward on the Nord Stream II pipeline — something President Trump has vehemently opposed because of the leverage it gives Russia over Europe, and something which US officials have discussed sanctions over if Russia decides to play dirty with the pipeline.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaking at an industry event on Friday. Image source: State Impact Pennsylvania

Zinke continued, “Russia is a one trick pony,” and explained Russia’s ability to sell energy is paramount to its economic survival: “I believe the reason they are in the Middle East is they want to broker energy just like they do in eastern Europe, the southern belly of Europe,” he said.

While Russia has been engaged in military action in Syria since 2015 at the request of the Syrian government, the West has long accused Moscow of seeking a permanent presence in the Middle East to ensure oil and gas access.

In the process, Moscow and Tehran have grown closer as the two come under aggressive US sanctions and gained international pariah status. Secretary of the Interior Zinke explained of the Iran situation: “National security-wise, how are you going to deal with Iran?” Zinke asked. “Well, there are two ways.”

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Washington’s Sanctions Machine

Washington’s Sanctions Machine

Washington’s Sanctions Machine

Perhaps it is Donald Trump’s business background that leads him to believe that if you inflict enough economic pain on someone they will ultimately surrender and agree to do whatever you want. Though that approach might well work in New York real estate, it is not a certain path to success in international relations since countries are not as vulnerable to pressure as are individual investors or developers.

Washington’s latest foray into the world of sanctions, directed against China, is astonishing even when considering the low bar that has been set by previous presidents going back to Bill Clinton. Beijing has already been pushing back over US sanctions imposed last week on its government-run Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Central Military Commission and its director Li Shangfu for “engaging in significant transactions” with a Russian weapons manufacturer that is on a list of US sanctioned companies. The transactions included purchases of Russian Su-35 combat aircraft as well as equipment related to the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system. The sanctions include a ban on the director entering the United States and blocks all of his property or bank accounts within the US as well as freezing all local assets of the Equipment Development Department.

More important, the sanctions also forbid conducting any transactions that go through the US financial system. It is the most powerful weapon Washington has at its disposal, but it is being challenged as numerous countries are working to find ways around it. Currently however, as most international transactions are conducted in dollars and pass through American banks that means that it will be impossible for the Chinese government to make weapons purchases from many foreign sources. If foreign banks attempt to collaborate with China to evade the restrictions, they too will be sanctioned.

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Europe Unveils “Special Purpose Vehicle” To Bypass SWIFT, Jeopardizing Dollar’s Reserve Status

In a stunning vote of “no confidence” in the US monopoly over global payment infrastructure, one month ago Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US that would allow Brussels to be independent in its financial operations from Washington and as a means of rescuing the nuclear deal between Iran and the west.

Writing in the German daily Handelsblatt, Maas said “Europe should not allow the US to act over our heads and at our expense. For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system,” he wrote.

Maas said it was vital for Europe to stick with the Iran deal. “Every day the agreement continues to exist is better than the highly explosive crisis that otherwise threatens the Middle East,” he said, with the unspoken message was even clearer: Europe no longer wants to be a vassal state to US monopoly over global payments, and will now aggressively pursue its own “SWIFT” network that is not subservient to Washington’s every whim.

Many discounted the proposal as being far too aggressive: after all, a direct assault on SWIFT, and Washington, would be seen by the rest of the world as clear mutiny against a US-dominated global regime, and could potentially spark a crisis of confidence in the reserve status of the dollar, resulting in unpredictable, and dire, consequences.

However, despite the diplomatic consequences, Europe was intent on creating some loophole to the US ability to weaponize the global currency of account at will, something observed most recently as part of Trump’s latest sanctions on Iran, and as a result, late on Monday, the European Union said that it would establish a special payment channel to allow European and other companies to legally continue financial transactions with Iran while avoiding exposure to U.S. sanctions.

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3 Ways Facebook Is Increasingly Becoming An Arm Of The US Government

Facebook has lately announced a series of major steps it would take to combat fake news and the global spread of misinformation that it says could influence elections, but the more we learn about just who it is Facebook is partnering with in this endeavor, the clearer it becomes that these initiatives are not at all designed to foster independent thought and discourse, but to ultimately ensure that public online discourse doesn’t stray too far from official state narratives.

Mark Weisbrot, a co-director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, recentlyslammed Facebook’s decision to work with US government-funded organizations as “Orwellian” — especially given the fact these organizations themselves “specialize in overseas propaganda.”

Thus while claiming to fight Russian, Iranian, and other propaganda these very groups will strictly enforce an official establishment Washington and NATO view of world events.

Here are 3 extremely worrisome Facebook initiatives to which the public should pay close attention, and which suggest the social media giant is increasingly becoming a censorship arm of the US government and its allies…

* * *

Facebook’s Partnership with US state-funded think tanks

Last Wednesday Facebook announced it would work with two US government-funded think tanks in order bolster the social media giant’s “election integrity efforts” around the globe.

The new partnership with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has been described by Reuters as an initiative to “slow the global spread of misinformation that could influence elections, acknowledging that fake news sites were still read by millions”.

But both the IRI and NDI are funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which has since its late Cold War era founding defined itself as a “soft power” wing of the US government abroad focused on “democracy promotion”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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