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Fake News By Omission :  The Mass Media’s Cowardly Distortion Tool

Fake News By Omission :  The Mass Media’s Cowardly Distortion Tool

Western mass media have continued their conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal, making no significant mention yet this month of the leaks which have been emerging from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons indicating that the US, France and UK bombed Syria last year in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack which probably never occurred, and that OPCW leadership helped cover it up.

If you haven’t been following the still-unfolding OPCW scandal, you can catch up quickly by watching this seven-minute video.


A leaked email accuses the OPCW of doctoring a report to suit the US government’s justification for its illegal bombing of Syria in April 2018. I explain the scandal mainstream media is trying to supress:


Mass media’s silence on this hugely important story is noteworthy not just because it has far-reaching consequences for the future of the Syrian regime change agenda and for public trust in US-led war narratives, not just because the leaks have already been independently authenticated by the mainstream press, and not just because scandalous revelations about powerful entities are normally the sort of incendiary click fodder that makes a mainstream news editor hasten behind his desk to hide his arousal. It is also noteworthy because we’re being told by people in the know that even more leaks are coming.

“Much more to come about the censoring of the facts on Douma at the Poison Gas Watchdog OPCW,” tweeted journalist Peter Hitchens earlier today. “It really is time that the Grand Unpopular Press and the BBC, realised this is a major story. Are they too proud to admit they might have been wrong?”

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

Blocking SWIFT Access Would Be “Declaration Of War”: Russia Warns Against US ‘Nuclear Option’

Blocking SWIFT Access Would Be “Declaration Of War”: Russia Warns Against US ‘Nuclear Option’

Last year during the height of controversy over the Kerch Strait incident, while two dozen Ukrainian sailors were still being held by Russia, Washington’s special envoy to Ukraine at the time, Kurt Volker, floated the possibility of Washington blocking Russian banks from SWIFT. He told Voice of America at the time that it was considered “a nuclear option” and it would have huge costs which would even inadvertently impact US allies.

“People refer to it as a nuclear option. It would have costs for everybody involved,” he said. “Big costs for Russia, but big costs for allies as well. Ultimately, we have to keep it on the table as a possibility because we just can’t continue to see Russia launch further steps of aggression in its neighborhood like this.”

No doubt it’s still in Washington’s playbook as a ‘nuclear option’ long after the Kerch Strait incident was diffused with an historic prisoner swap, and the Kremlin has taken note.

Russia’s Central Bank, via Wiki Commons.

On Thursday Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took Washington to task over the prior warning, telling reporters that Moscow is well aware of discussions to take sanctions further, even cutting off the country’s access to some 11,000 banks and financial institutions in over 200 countries by blocking SWIFT. This is exactly what the Trump White House did vis-à-vis Iran months after it pulled out of the 2015 JCPOA.

Medvedev said such far-reaching action would be tantamount to a declaration of war. According to statements reported in Russian media:

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Medvedev recalled the West once seriously considered the option, and Moscow is aware of it.

“This would in fact be a declaration of war, but nevertheless it was discussed,” the Russian prime minister said, adding that this is one of the reasons why the government is looking into ways to protect the Russian part of the internet.

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

Russia Air Launches Hypersonic Missile In Arctic As Tensions Surge

Russia Air Launches Hypersonic Missile In Arctic As Tensions Surge 

Reuters is reporting that Russian state-owned TASS is making big claims this weekend that a Russian military jet has air-launched a hypersonic missile in the Arctic. 

TASS cites several Russian military sources, who said a Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptor jet air-launched a Kinjal (Dagger) hypersonic missile over Russia’s part of the Arctic earlier this month.

As we’ve recently noted, Russia has been aggressively expanding its military presence in the Arctic. It has also been increasing exploration activities in the region, such as oil and gas and mineral extraction.

TASS quoted one of the sources in saying, “the tests took place in mid-November.” 

The MiG-31K took off from the Olenegorsk airfield in the northern Murmansk region. It fired the hypersonic missile at a ground target located at the Pemboi training ground in Russia’s Arctic Komi region. 

Last month, we mentioned that Russia has been installing early warning radar systems across the Komi Republic and the Murmansk region in northern Russia. The radar systems are expected to become operational by 2022, will monitor Arctic airspace for ballistic missile attacks, and monitor aircraft in the region.

In Septemeber, Russia deployed S-400 Triumph systems on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic.

The Danish Defence Intelligence Service published a report last week that said, “a great power play is shaping up” between Russia, the US, and China, which has undoubtedly increased tensions in the Arctic region. The reason for the elevated tension is that $35 trillion worth of natural resources could be hiding underneath the Arctic Ocean floor. 

Russia’s militarization of the Arctic is to also defend its “Polar Silk Road” as warming temperatures give way to new shipping lanes and economic opportunities.

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

PETER HITCHENS: My secret meeting with mole at the heart of The Great Poison Gas Scandal

PETER HITCHENS: My secret meeting with mole at the heart of The Great Poison Gas Scandal

Capture

I stood outside the safe house, in a road I cannot name, in a major European city I cannot identify, not sure what I might find inside. I had no way of being sure. 

I had travelled a long distance by train to an address I had been given over an encrypted email.

I was nervous that the meeting might be some sort of trap. Leaks from inside arms verification organisations are very sensitive matters. Powerful people mind about them. 

I wasn’t sure whether to be afraid of being followed, or to be worried about who might be waiting behind the anonymous door on a dark afternoon, far from home. I took all the amateurish precautions that I could think of.

As it happened, it was not a trap. Now, on carefully selected neutral ground, I was to meet a person who would confirm suspicions that had been growing in my mind over several years – that there is something rotten in the way that chemical weapons inspections are being conducted and reported. And that the world could be hurried into war on the basis of such inspections.

Inside the safe house, I was greeted by a serious, patient expert, a non-political scientist whose priority had until now always been to do the hard, gritty work of verification – travelling to the scenes of alleged horrors, sifting and searching for hard evidence of what had really happened. But this entirely honourable occupation had slowly turned sour. 

The whiff of political interference had begun as a faint unpleasant smell in the air and grown until it was an intolerable stench. Formerly easy-going superiors had turned into tricky bureaucrats. 

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

America’s trade policy will end up destroying the dollar

America’s trade policy will end up destroying the dollar 

America’s tariffs against China are already showing signs of undermining the global economy and will create a funding crisis for the Federal Government when it leads to foreigners no longer buying US Treasury debt and selling down their existing dollar holdings. A subversive attempt by America to divert global portfolio investment from China by destabilising Hong Kong will force China into a Plan B to fund its infrastructure plans, which could involve actively selling down her dollar reserves and hastening the introduction of a new crypto-based trade settlement currency.

The US budget deficit will then be financed entirely by monetary inflation. Furthermore, the turn of the credit cycle, made more destructive by trade tariffs, is driving the global and US economy into a slump, further accelerating all indebted governments’ dependency on inflationary financing. The end result is America’s trade policies have been instrumental in hastening the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, ultimately leading to its destruction.

Introduction

For almost two years President Trump has imposed various tariffs on imported Chinese goods. He advertised his tactics as hardball from a tough president who knows the art of the deal, taking his business acumen and applying it to foreign affairs. He even proudly described himself as a tariff man.

His opening gambit was to impose tariffs on some goods to get leverage over the Chinese, with the threat that if they didn’t cooperate, then further tariffs would be introduced. The Chinese declined to be cowed by threats, introducing tariffs themselves on US imports, particularly agricultural products, to bring pressure to bear in turn on President Trump. 

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

US Enraged After 6 More EU Nations Join INSTEX To Bypass Iran Sanctions

US Enraged After 6 More EU Nations Join INSTEX To Bypass Iran Sanctions

On Friday six European countries issued a bombshell joint statement declaring their intent to join INSTEX, or the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, a European special-purpose vehicle serving as a ‘SWIFT alternative’ to bypass US sanctions on Iran. 

Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden released a joint statement asserting it’s of “the utmost importance to the preservation and full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) on Iran’s nuclear program by all parties involved.”

“In light of the continuous European support for the agreement and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex) subject to completion of national procedures,” the statement reads.

The Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto alongside Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammed Javad Zarif. AP Photo

Instex is an initiative set up by France, Germany and the UK in January 2019 to provide humanitarian and sanctions relief to Iran after in November 2018 the SWIFT network suspended Iranian banks under Washington pressure, months after Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal.

Though the new alternative financial device had shaky beginnings amid further aggressive threats from the US administration, it continued through a trial phase even though Tehran officials had complained it appeared ‘too little, too late’.

But now as this latest six country statement announces, it will serve as the European vehicle to “facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran,” while also providing incentive for Tehran to return to its commitments under the JCPOA, specifically to recently breached uranium enrichment limits. Upon the announcement, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell lambasted the move, saying: 

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

Eastern Europe Is Turning Into An Energy Battleground

Eastern Europe Is Turning Into An Energy Battleground

Gas Flame

Bulgaria has agreed to allow NATO to use its Black Sea port for naval coordination efforts as tensions rise between the Western military alliance and Russia.

The agreement was reached following a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov at the White House on November 25.

NATO has bolstered its defenses in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea region, which is becoming a new frontier for energy geopolitics, after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and seized Ukrainian Navy vessels last year.

NATO earlier this year carried out military exercises in the Black Sea that involved more than 20 ships and crews from Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, and Turkey to the consternation of Moscow. Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based in Crimea.

“Viewing with concern the security situation in the Black Sea, the United States welcomes Bulgaria’s offer to provide a maritime coordination function at Varna in support of NATO’s Tailored Forward Presence initiative,” the United States and Bulgaria said in a joint statement.

U.S. and Bulgarian officials will hold high-level meetings to discuss further maritime military cooperation, the statement said.

NATO members Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey border the Black Sea along with Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia. Both Ukraine and Georgia have expressed a desire to join NATO.

Trump hosted Romanian President Klaus Iohannis last month as part of a series of engagements with leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria.

Prior to his arrival in Washington, Borisov told journalists that he would not allow a permanent NATO military base on the Black Sea, a move that would anger Russia.

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

BRICS Nations Discuss Shared Crypto to Break Away From USD and SWIFT

BRICS Nations Discuss Shared Crypto to Break Away From USD and SWIFT

BRICS Nations Discuss Shared Crypto to Break Away From USD and SWIFT

ANALYSIS

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or the BRICS economic bloc, are engaging in discussions to issue cross-national digital money in order to reduce the dependence of their economies on the United States, as reported by Cointelegraph on Nov. 14. What will the new cryptocurrency look like, how does the BRICS group plan to use it and are there any existing projects underway that seek to achieve a similar goal of independence on such a high level? 

BRICS and its problems

BRICS is the largest geopolitical block of countries, spanning three continents and wielding substantial economic power in global affairs. As of 2018, the five nations of the BRICS block had a combined nominal gross domestic product of $40 trillion, or about 23.2% of the gross world product.

However, such economic power does not come without competitive penchants from other nations that are vying for the markets that BRICS nations cater to. The greatest competition comes from the European Union and the U.S.

The political experience of recent years has shown that BRICS countries’ diplomacy has arguably failed in alleviating international sanctions, especially in politically sensitive markets such as the arms and the energy carriers markets. However, advances in technology are here to help out where politics cannot, as blockchain and digital assets have the potential to open entirely new horizons for finance.

The idea of a single cryptocurrency as a means of payments and value transmission is not a new one, but it is one that is being actively purported not only in countries like Venezuela with its Petro, but also among BRICS countries. The advantages of a single cryptocurrency as a universal means of settlements among BRICS nations would solve many of the problems they face on the global economic market.

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

Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job

Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job

Imperialist propaganda firm Bellingcat has published a response to the ever-expanding OPCW scandal, and it’s got to be seen to be believed.

Before we begin I should highlight that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which according to its own cofounder was set up to do overtly what the CIA had previously been doing covertly, namely orchestrating narrative management geared toward the elimination of governments which refuse to comply with US interests. NED is funded directly by the US government, which means that Bellingcat is funded by the US government via an organization set up to promote imperialist regime change agendas. Bellingcat is also funded by Open Society Foundations, another imperialist narrative management operation.

Syria has been the target of what may be the most sophisticated propaganda campaign in history, and Bellingcat has been consistently rallying behind even the most transparently ridiculous tools of this campaign. This includes the notorious Bana Alabed psyop which at its height saw CNN staging a fake, scripted interview featuring a seven year-old girl assigning blame to Bashar al-Assad for an alleged sarin gas attack in Khan Shaykhun. Bellingcat’s stellar investigative work (which has been praised in fawning puff pieces by mainstream outlets like The Guardian and The New Yorker) concluded that this obvious propaganda construct was in fact nothing other than a little girl and her mother independently composing viral tweets, giving interviews and authoring books about how the Syrian government must be toppled via western interventionism.

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

Ukraine’s IMF Gold and the Gold Carry Trade

Ukraine’s IMF Gold and the Gold Carry Trade

Important Tools for the Monetary Cartel

Let’s first consider a typical International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to a sovereign in trouble, and then examine a typical gold carry trade transaction to support a sovereign arms deal. The intent is to demonstrate the importance of physical sovereign gold holdings in all forms of international trade.

Semi-failed and failed states can only exist by dealing in hard assets of real intrinsic value just as Syria, Venezuela, Iran, and Ukraine have done… and the most liquid of those hard assets is their physical gold.

Central Banks always work with the Security State apparatus when dealing with failed states and recall that the US Central Intelligence Agency funded al Qaeda and funded the war in Syria for example. Just about anything can be made to happen with funding when that funding is based on real resources. One of the most important of those resources is physical gold.

IMF Cartel Example: Ukraine

The IMF’s 2014 aid to Ukraine is based on a unique history however all IMF ‘aid’ packages are in some sense unique. Since we are highlighting the largely hitherto concealed importance of real physical gold in geo-political calculations and operations, Ukraine provides a relevant and timely example of how the banking Cartel operates with gold and may highlight that importance.

According to the 2018 Independent Transparency Index, Ukraine ranks as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Ukraine ranks 120th out of 180 countries where the 180th – Somalia – is the most corrupt.  But all nations need funding whether corrupt or not, and Ukraine defaulted on its IMF debt in 2001 and then again in 2009 when distribution of an existing IMF loan to Ukraine was frozen.

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

Who Rules the World?

Who Rules the World?

Elites. They’re all over the news these days. But who are they and what do we know about them? An excellent new study, Who Rules the World? A Portrait of the Global Leadership Class, takes a systematic approach to answer these questions. At its heart lies a new database, the Global Leadership Project (GLP), which covers 145 nation-states and 38,085 ‘leaders’, each of whom is given biographical information. In total, the database has approximately 1.1 million data points. Academics at several leading institutions, John Gerring, Erzen Oncel, the late Kevin Morrison, and Daniel Pemstein, then sliced and diced this data to arrive at a compelling picture of today’s leadership elite.

Who Are Counted As The Global Elite?

They look at the country’s top political leader, the political executives, cabinet ministers, executive staff, party leaders, assembly leaders, supreme court justices, and members of parliaments. They also include unelected leaders such as monarchs, religious leaders, military leaders, junta leaders, CEOs of important companies, and NGO leaders.

So What Does the Typical Member of the Elite Look Like?

Male (81% of the total), married (91%), and on average 55 years old. They speak roughly two languages, with over one third speaking English. They are normally university educated with almost half educated in the West. Their most common degrees were in Economics/Business/Management or Law. The majority had white collar jobs or political backgrounds before entering the leadership elite. Typically, they earn thirteen times more than national average.

Chart 1: Education of Political Elites

What About the Leader at the Top?

The top political leaders tended to be older (on average 61), and more of them were male (92%) and could speak English (59%). They tend to be educated abroad, rather than domestically. Also, they are likely to have studied Economics/Business/Management (35%) more than any other subject (next is law at 17%). They are as likely to have political backgrounds as white collar backgrounds.

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

New OPCW Leak Further Vindicates Skeptics Of Establishment Syria Narrative

New OPCW Leak Further Vindicates Skeptics Of Establishment Syria Narrative

On the sixth of July last year, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released its interim report on its findings regarding an alleged poison gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. The incident, which resulted in dozens of civilian casualties, was blamed on the Syrian government by the US, UK and France, who launched retaliatory airstrikes on multiple targets in that nation.

The interim report claimed that “various chlorinated organic chemicals were found” in different locations on the scene, but strangely said nothing about the levels at which those chemicals were found. The Moon of Alabama blog highlighted this suspicious exclusion on the day the report came out, noting that levels are absolutely essential in determining chemical weapons use when you’re talking about compounds which are found virtually everywhere at some level in any industrialized region.

“The preliminary OPCW report says nothing about the concentrations in which these substances were found,” MoA observed. “Without knowing the concentrations, which may be extremely low, one can not come to further conclusion.”

“The ‘various chlorinated organic chemicals’ are unsurprising,” MoA wrote. “Chlorine is widely used for water purification and cleaning and ‘chlorinated organic chemicals’ will be found in any household.”

new addition to the body of leaks which have been hemorrhaging from the OPCW shows that such skepticism was indeed entirely warranted. A leaked email sent shortly before the interim report was published reveals that the chlorinated organic chemicals which OPCW investigators found on the scene were as low as one or two parts-per-billion, meaning, just as Moon of Alabama speculated last year, that they were found at trace quantities you’d expect to find in any industrialized area.

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

UAE To Host European-Led Naval Mission To Secure Gulf Waters

UAE To Host European-Led Naval Mission To Secure Gulf Waters

France announced Sunday that a proposed European-led mission to patrol the Persian Gulf will be based out of a recently established French naval base in Abu Dhabi, and that the naval patrol will soon go “operational” amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Paris has spearheaded efforts to get the European maritime security mission off the ground, in competition with US efforts at establishing an American-led mission, which Iran and some European allies fear could lead to war, given Iranian leaders have condemned any US efforts to “police” the vital Strait of Hormuz

“This morning we formalized that the command post will be based on Emirati territory,” Defence Minister Florence Parly told reporters in the UAE capital.

A French Rafale-M lands on board the USS George H. W. Bush, via French Navy.

“We hope … to contribute to a navigation that is as safe as possible in a zone which we know is disputed and where there has already been a certain number of serious incidents,” she explained of the French-led mission.

The maritime patrol is expected to start early next year and will involve some ten European and non-European nations.

Parly further condemned the latest Iranian announcements confirming that it is blowing past uranium enrichment limits previously agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The maritime initiative since being first proposed in July has received broad support in Europe, including the UK, following the summer-long ‘tanker wars’ which had resulted in the months-long capture of a British-flagged vessel, later released.

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

China’s ‘Official’ Virtual Currency Could Be Arriving “Quite Soon” To “Challenge The U.S.”

China’s ‘Official’ Virtual Currency Could Be Arriving “Quite Soon” To “Challenge The U.S.”

As if the trade war – and soon to be currency war – between China and the U.S. needed another wrench thrown in its gears…

China sent cryptocurrencies tumbling on Friday after re-cracking-down on exchanges that are operating illegally against authorities’ ban.

Source: Bloomberg

On Nov. 22, authorities in Shenzhen have identified a total of 39 exchanges falling foul of China’s cryptocurrency trading ban, according to local news outlet Sanyan Finance

It remains unknown what consequences the exchanges will face, with Sanyan highlighting a desire to crack down on liquidity.

It appears that China’s blockade on non-government-sanctioned crypto trading, could be on its way to launching its own digital currency within the next 6 to 12 months, according to fund manager Edith Yeung, who recently appeared on CNBC

The Chinese government has been researching the idea over the last few years and has reportedly identified entities to use for a potential rollout, Yeung says. 

“It’s really been something (that’s) been in the works for the last few years,” she said on Wednesday during an interview. Yeung is a partner at blockchain-focused venture capital fund Proof of Capital. 

When she was asked how long it might be before the launch becomes reality, she responded “Quite soon. So I definitely think within the next 6 to 12 months.”

And China has recently embraced blockchain, with state media reporting that President Xi Jinping said the country should look to “take a lead” in the technology. 

Wendy Liu,head of China strategy for UBS, also said that there was greater willingness to work with blockchain and 5G in China because they will help facilitate and manage the world’s biggest country by population. 

Liu commented: “Due to its own needs, (China) is going to push in that direction and you see this willingness to back these technologies more so than anywhere else.”

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

Enviros Tools of Russians? The Weird Conspiracy Theory Firing up Kenney’s Inquiry

Enviros Tools of Russians? The Weird Conspiracy Theory Firing up Kenney’s Inquiry

SPECIAL REPORT: Alberta’s ‘anti-energy’ probe makes a debunked US report its must-read.

LamarSmith.jpg
Texas Republican Lamar Smith, a noted climate denier and big recipient of oil and gas political donations, led a House committee that produced a report suggesting environmentalists are manipulated by the Russian government.

Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Domestic Energy Markets by Exploiting Social Media was produced by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which at the time was led by a climate change-denying Republican from Texas named Lamar Smith. Upon its release in 2018, Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva described the report as “another round of unsupported conspiracy theories,” and it received little traction.

Now the report is officially required reading for Alberta’s inquiry, explicitly included in its terms of reference.

Why would that be? Answers were not forthcoming from Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan, who didn’t respond to The Tyee’s interview request.

“There is very little the commissioner can share with the media at this time that is not contained on this website,” reads the Alberta Inquiry website. The commission’s terms of reference also explain that “As part of the inquiry, the commissioner shall examine the work completed by other investigations in other jurisdictions into similar activities or alleged activities.”

A New York-based journalist who wrote an article about the Republican-produced report was surprised Alberta is paying attention to its claims of Russian intrigue.

“That is unexpected,” said John Timmer, senior science editor for the media outlet Ars Technica. The report “didn’t pick up very wide coverage perhaps because it was rather strange to begin with… It just didn’t really hold up to a critical analysis very well.”

“It’s just a bizarre compilation of allegations that feeds a conspiracy theory,” said Devon Page, the executive director of Ecojustice, about the report’s inclusion in the Alberta inquiry’s terms of reference.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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