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Seriously, Get The Hell Out Of Afghanistan

Seriously, Get The Hell Out Of Afghanistan

With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House Armed Services Committee has added a Liz Cheney-spearheaded amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which throws severe roadblocks in the Trump administration’s proposed scale-down of US military presence in Afghanistan and Germany.

As The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald notes, both parties advancing the amendment cited in their arguments the completely unsubstantiated intelligence leak that was recently published by credulous mass media reporters alleging that Russia has paid bounties to Taliban fighters for killing the occupying forces in Afghanistan. Yet another western imperialist agenda once again facilitated by unforgivably egregious journalistic malpractice in the mass media.

Every aspect of this development is enraging.

The mass media have continued to add to their mountain of Gish gallop fallacies promoting this narrative with a new Daily Beast report citing former senior Taliban figure Mullah Manan Niazi who asserts that “The Taliban have been paid by Russian intelligence for attacks on U.S. forces—and on ISIS forces—in Afghanistan from 2014 up to the present.” The Beast’s own article admits that its source has severe conflicts of interest and is believed to be a CIA asset by Taliban leadership, and that Niazi provided no evidence of any kind for his claim or any further details whatsoever.

These flimsy, poorly-sourced allegations are being hammered into mainstream liberal consciousness on a daily basis now in the exact same way the discredited Russiagate psyop was, and just like with Russiagate the narrative they are being used to shape helps advance military expansionism and new cold war escalations which just so happen to fit perfectly into pre-existing geostrategic agendas of planetary domination.

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

Why The US Empire Works So Hard To Control The International Narrative About Russia

Why The US Empire Works So Hard To Control The International Narrative About Russia

On a December 2010 episode of Fox News’ Freedom Watch, John Bolton and the show’s host Andrew Napolitano were debating about recent WikiLeaks publications, and naturally the subject of government secrecy came up.

“Now I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs, and possibly for deception where that’s appropriate,” Bolton said. “You know Winston Churchill said during World War Two that in wartime truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.”

“Do you really believe that?” asked an incredulous Napolitano.

“Absolutely,” Bolton replied.

“You would lie in order to preserve the truth?” asked Napolitano.

“If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it,” Bolton answered.

“Why do people in the government think that the laws of society or the rules don’t apply to them?” Napolitano asked.

“Because they are not dealing in the civil society we live in under the Constitution,” Bolton replied. “They are dealing in the anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply.”

“But you took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and the Constitution mandates certain openness and certain fairness,” Napolitano protested. “You’re willing to do away with that in order to attain a temporary military goal?”

“I think as Justice Jackson said in a famous decision, the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” Bolton said. “And I think defending the United States from foreign threats does require actions that in a normal business environment in the United States we would find unprofessional. I don’t make any apology for it.”

I am going to type a sequence of words that I have never typed before, and don’t expect to ever type again:

John Bolton is right.

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

Only Idiots Believe The CIA, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Only Idiots Believe The CIA, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

An assertion made by spooks is as far from evidence as you can possibly get. Really dumb that this needs to be said.

~

Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news.

~

The most influential news outlets in the western world uncritically parrot whatever they’re told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, then tell you that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

~

Imagine if a compulsive liar who you know for a fact constantly deceives people in order to hurt and exploit them told you your neighbor is going to kill you if you don’t kill him first, and you go and kill your neighbor immediately. That’s how dumb believing the CIA is.

~

If you were magically transported from a sane world into this one you wouldn’t understand how everyone’s freaking out about claims that Russia paid the Taliban to attack an occupying force instead of the fact that the US empire is an occupying force all around the planet.

~

Gonna quit this gig and become one of those experts they bring on MSNBC to look at the camera and solemnly say that whatever’s in the news today is “right out of Putin’s playbook”.

~

“International law” only exists to the extent that the international community collectively agrees to enforce it, which means it only applies to nations that can’t control the collective narrative. That’s why so much energy goes into these cold war narrative control campaigns.

This is pretty much the US State Department’s entire job in modern times, by the way. That’s why almost everything that comes out of Mike Pompeo’s mouth is geared toward manipulating the international narrative in some way. It’s literally his entire job.

~

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

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile

All western mass media outlets are now shrieking about the story The New York Times first reported, citing zero evidence and naming zero sources, claiming intelligence says Russia paid out bounties to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan for attacking the occupying forces of the US and its allies in Afghanistan. As of this writing, and probably forevermore, there have still been zero intelligence sources named and zero evidence provided for this claim.

As we discussed yesterday, the only correct response to unsubstantiated claims by anonymous spooks in a post-Iraq invasion world is to assume that they are lying until you’ve been provided with a mountain of hard, independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The fact that The New York Times instead chose to uncritically parrot these evidence-free claims made by operatives within intelligence agencies with a known track record of lying about exactly these things is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. The fact that western media outlets are now unanimously regurgitating these still 100 percent baseless assertions is nothing short of state propaganda.

The consensus-manufacturing, Overton window-shrinking western propaganda apparatus has been in full swing with mass media outlets claiming on literally no basis whatsoever that they have confirmed one another’s “great reporting” on this completely unsubstantiated story.

“The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have confirmed our reporting,” the NYT story’s co-author Charlie Savage tweeted hours ago.

“We have confirmed the New York Times’ scoop: A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan,” tweeted The Washington Post‘s John Hudson.

“We matched The New York Times’ great reporting on how US intel has assessed that Russians paid Taliban to target US, coalition forces in Afg which is a pretty stunning development,” tweeted Wall Street Journal’s Gordon Lubold.

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

Mentally Replace Everything Before “U.S. Intelligence Says” With “Blah Blah We’re Probably Lying”

Mentally Replace Everything Before “U.S. Intelligence Says” With “Blah Blah We’re Probably Lying”

“Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill Troops, U.S. Intelligence Says”, blares the latest viral headline from The New York Times. NYT’s unnamed sources allege that the GRU “secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops”, and that the Trump administration has known this for months.

To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They’re just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn’t make it any less immoral.

Whenever one sees a news headline ending in “US Intelligence Says”, one should always mentally replace everything that comes before it with “Blah blah blah we’re probably lying”. In a post-Iraq invasion world, the only correct response to unproven anonymous claims about a rival government by intelligence agencies from the US or its allies is to assume that they are lying until you are provided with a mountain of independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The US has far too extensive a record of lying about these things for any other response to ever be justified as rational, and its intelligence agencies consistently play a foundational role in those lies.

Voices outside the mainstream narrative control matrix have been calling these accusations what they are: baseless, lacking in credibility, and not reflective of anything other than fair play even if true.

“Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials,” tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi.

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

Twitter Censors Trump For “Threat Of Harm”, Has No Problem With Threats To Bomb Foreigners

Twitter Censors Trump For “Threat Of Harm”, Has No Problem With Threats To Bomb Foreigners

Twitter has censored a post by the president of the United States, this time for “a threat of harm against an identifiable group.” This despite the fact that this president routinely uses the popular social media platform to threaten to drop explosives on people in other countries without interference.

“We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group,” Twitter stated on the platform. “Per our policies, this Tweet will remain on the service given its relevance to ongoing public conversation. Engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but not Like, Reply, or Retweet it.”

“There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President,” Trump’s censored tweet reads. “If they try they will be met with serious force!”

The post now shows up on the president’s timeline like this:

I’ve been writing all month about the brutal authoritarian crackdown America’s militarized police state has been inflicting upon US protesters who’ve been demonstrating against police brutality these last few weeks, so obviously I object to the threat of further force upon these same protesters by this same armed goon patrol. But Twitter did not censor Trump’s tweet because of any “threat of harm against an identifiable group.”

Know how I know? Because Twitter has been allowing Trump to make far more deadly threats throughout his entire administration.

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

On Maintaining Perspective In The Year 20 Fucking 20

On Maintaining Perspective In The Year 20 Fucking 20

“As Jane looked around her, she felt that dissatisfied feeling she often experienced when she was somewhere new and lovely. She couldn’t quite articulate it, except with the words: if only I was here. This little beachside cafe was so exquisite she longed to really be there, except of course, she was there, so it didn’t make sense.”

~ Liane Moriarty, “Big Little Lies”

Whenever an author, filmmaker or other artist sets out on the noble endeavor of pointing people toward the ideal of living life to its fullest, they usually wind up depicting a character going off on all sorts of wild adventures, skydiving, trekking across the Himalayas, and so on.

In my opinion reminding people to live life to its fullest is the artist’s single most important job, but this is also where most storytellers get it wrong. Most people who live wild, interesting lives sleepwalk through the whole ride just like everyone else; in the end they’re left with a few amusing anecdotes rattling around in their skulls and a secret sense of dissatisfaction.

This is because most people don’t really show up for life. Even if they’re outwardly doing all sorts of amazing things and racking up a bunch of impressive accomplishments, their attention was mostly consumed with babbling mental chatter almost the entire time. Whatever happens in their life, they weren’t really there for it.

The real way to live life to its fullest is to simply be present for it. A housekeeper who actually pays attention to life as it happens will have lived a lot more actual life than any billionaire playboy who’s constantly out chasing extraordinary experiences while internally preoccupied with other matters.

I point this out because, at the midway point of the year 2020, I think it’s extremely relevant.

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

Narrative Control Operations Escalate As America Burns

Narrative Control Operations Escalate As America Burns

Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and mainstream media are falling all over themselves with censorship and spin jobs to get the narrative back under control as mass protests continue to sweep across America.

In 2017, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were instructed in a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that it is their responsibility to “quell information rebellions” and adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment to “prevent the fomenting of discord.”

“Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words,” the representatives were told by cold warrior think tank denizen Clint Watts. “America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”

“Stopping the false information artillery barrage landing on social media users comes only when those outlets distributing bogus stories are silenced—silence the guns and the barrage will end,” Watts added.

Those words rattle around in the memory now as America burns with nationwide protests demanding an end to the police state, and as narrative control operations ramp up with frantic urgency.


The Grayzone@TheGrayzoneNews

Wikipedia formally censors The Grayzone as regime-change advocates monopolize editing@BenjaminNorton on how a cabal of editors got us listed as a “deprecated source” entirely on the basis of our political views and in violation of Wikipedia guidelines https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/10/wikipedia-formally-censors-the-grayzone-as-regime-change-advocates-monopolize-editing/ …Wikipedia formally censors The Grayzone as regime-change advocates monopolize editing | The GrayzoneOn Wikipedia, regime-change advocates and right-wing Venezuelan opposition supporters blacklist and “deprecated” The Grayzone on political grounds, violating encyclopedia guidelinesthegrayzone.com


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

Humanity Is Escaping From The Abusive Relationship With The Police State

Humanity Is Escaping From The Abusive Relationship With The Police State

Abusive relationships where the abuser is a transparently horrible monster don’t tend to last long, because it becomes obvious to the victim very quickly that they need to head for the door. The ones that last are the ones where the abuser is an adept manipulator, who is able to elicit sympathy and attachment in the victim while constructing a prison of mental narratives in their head.

The hardest of these to escape from is the “nice guy” abuser, the kind of abuser whose manipulations revolve around framing themselves as good and virtuous while squeezing the psychological noose on the victim tighter and tighter. These are difficult to escape because by design they are hard to recognize as abusive while you’re in them, even while you’re being drained of life, liberty and happiness to the abuser’s benefit.

To escape from a nice guy abuser, it helps to actively push for things that they can’t say no to without blowing their cover. If he presents himself as a woke and sexually liberated feminist, for example, you can begin disrupting the web of nice guy narratives by saying you’d like to stop having sex with him, or that you want financial independence. Anything they desperately want to control but can’t say “no” to without the nice face mask slipping off. Their desperate attempts to manipulate you back into the position you were in previously will expose them, and make it much easier to find your way to the door through the fog of manipulation.

The escape route from the nice guy fascism of liberal narrative managers operates in much the same way.

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

Police, Protests, And Human Transformation: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Police, Protests, And Human Transformation: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

One of the many good things coming out of these protests is a widening mainstream awareness of what a garbage president Obama was.

~

“Without the police you’d have vigilantism!”

Vigilantism? You mean like when a band of armed thugs inflict extrajudicial violence upon someone who pissed them off? Like the police do constantly?

~

Right wingers seem completely incapable of distinguishing between the ideology that’s all about holding massive demonstrations with the goal of dismantling the police and the ideology that’s all about kneeling in front of cameras wearing Kente cloth. This makes cross-ideological communication nearly impossible, about this subject and many others as well.

~

Mainstream America learning that their country is a militarized authoritarian police state is not what the narrative managers wanted. Blows my mind that this isn’t more obvious to more analysts.

If these massive protests look suspicious to you, it’s because they conflict with your expectations of what an expression of grassroots energy would look like. If they conflict with your expectations of what an expression of grassroots energy would look like, it’s because you’re out of touch with where the zeitgeist is at. If you’re out of touch with where the zeitgeist is at, it’s time to revise your media viewing habits.

There are two ways of looking at these protests:

  1. Elite manipulators are controlling them, and are shoring up more control.
  2. Elite manipulators are not in control of them, and are losing control.

If you believe #1 then the establishment institutions expressing support for the protests are doing so because they like them. If you believe #2 then they’re doing it with the goal of mollifying, neutralizing and co-opting (see entire Obama administration). Given that we’re talking about a dying empire, #2 seems much more likely to me.

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

How To Understand All This China Stuff

How To Understand All This China Stuff

China is in the news every day now. Today here in Australia we’re pretending to be offended because a Chinese tabloid published the accusation that our nation is a “giant kangaroo that serves as a dog of the US”, even though we all know that’s completely true and we should be flattered that at least they said “giant”. Before that we were getting indignant over a hefty barley tariff in response to our facilitation of America’s global anti-China spin campaign, which it turns out Washington screwed us on.

Anti-China sentiment has been thriving in Australia, aided by our Murdoch-dominated news media, State Department-funded think tanks explicitly geared toward manipulating the China narrative, and of course our own deep-seated racism and xenophobia. Because of its geographical location, the US military/intelligence asset conventionally known as Australia has been a major focal point for the US-centralized empire’s propaganda campaign against the most powerful unabsorbed nation in the world.

China is in the news constantly now, and it’s not because of any virus. It’s not because of Hong Kong, it’s not because of Uighurs, it’s not because of intellectual property violations or any of the other scattershot, unrelated hodgepodge of excuses you’re being fed as to why the Chinese government must be regarded as the latest Actual Hitler all of a sudden.

China is in the news all the time because of imperialism.


Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz

Imperialist Russia hysteria had a hard time finding serious purchase in Australia, but sinophobia has had plenty of propaganda primer here and there’s a State Department-funded think tank in Canberra dedicated to inflaming China hysteria
(https://johnmenadue.com/myriam-robin-the-think-tank-behind-australias-changing-view-of-china-afr-15-2-20200/ …). https://twitter.com/SBSNews/status/1253239688430673922 …MYRIAM ROBIN. The think tank behind Australia’s changing view of China.(AFR 15.2.20200 -On Tuesday in the Australian Senate, Labor’s Kim Carr rose to his feet, thundering about “hawks intent on fighting a new cold war”. In his sights was the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which…johnmenadue.com


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

Dissident Circles Too Often Become Another Nerdy Hobby Group

Dissident Circles Too Often Become Another Nerdy Hobby Group

On the whole and in general, anti-establishment circles are just another nerdy hobby group. Leftist groups, populist groups, conspiracy analysis groups, groups centered around revolutionary ideas–if you actually look at them and look at what’s actually happening in the discussions therein, most of the time it’s nothing more than a bunch of nerds arguing in the exact same nerdy ways as people who are really into Star Wars or video games. And accomplishing just as much.

The mind can turn anything into a toy for the ego, and this is never more clear than in online discussion forums. Even forums that are explicitly dedicated to disentangling from the ego are consistently dominated by Buddhism nerds or Advaita nerds ego-sparring with each other about nerdy aspects of their particular nerdy obsession. This is equally true of anti-establishment discussion forums of all sorts, where there’s generally very little difference between people who spend all day debating whose sub-sub-subfaction of leftism is better or whose coronavirus theory is right and people who argue about Marvel movies or Dungeons & Dragons.

It’s important to hold an acute awareness of why you got into this stuff in the first place. Whatever your individual ideological position, you got into this because you want to actually change things; to change the world, to cause a movement away from humanity’s unhealthy patterns and toward health. It’s not about petty vendettas against opposing factions or subfactions or individuals who don’t see things exactly the same way you do. And your energy expenditure should reflect this.

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

Revolutionary Boiling Point, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Revolutionary Boiling Point, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Still mad at China’s brutal authoritarian government for imprisoning Julian Assange after his journalism exposed Chinese war crimes.

~

Arresting people for future crimes is called “pre-crime”, and it’s the stuff of dystopian horror fiction.

Violently dominating an entire planet because another country might hurt yours in the future is called “US foreign policy”, and it’s the stuff of mainstream news punditry.

~

Saying a US politician is bad on foreign policy but good on domestic policy is a bit like saying “Yeah my boyfriend murders hitchhikers, but he cooks.”

~

Dominant revolutionary thought consistently fails to adequately appreciate the power of oligarchic propaganda and its ability to manipulate the way people think, act and vote. Until this changes, there will be no revolution.

~

I was upset the Democrats nominated a candidate with a decades-long track record of reactionary warmongering corporate cronyism, but I changed my mind when I learned he has a “task force” where vaguely left-wing voices are allowed to speak words into a hole in the ground.

~

“Obamagate” will not lead to anything. Since 2016 both mainstream US parties have been saying the other party is about to be obliterated any minute now by scandalous revelations, and they’re always wrong. Both parties are pure swamp; you cannot use the swamp to drain the swamp.

If you still believe that one of America’s two mainstream parties is about to be brought to its knees by earth-shattering revelations any minute now, I highly recommend you also take up watching WWE, because you’ll definitely love it.

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

Syria Spinmeisters Fumble Attempts To Narrative Manage OPCW Leaks

Syria Spinmeisters Fumble Attempts To Narrative Manage OPCW Leaks

It’s been over 72 hours since The Grayzone published new leaks further exposing how the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been lying about its investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria two years ago.

These new documents make it abundantly clear that OPCW leadership were just plain lying when they claimed that a ballistics expert named Ian Henderson was not a part of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in Douma and played only a “minor supporting role” there. Henderson disagrees with the organisation’s official findings implicating the Syrian government in a chlorine gas attack, finding instead that the gas cylinders on the scene were “manually placed”, indicating that the crime scene was staged and the dozens of civilians killed were the victims of a still-unsolved mass murder.

The silence on these revelations from the OPCW and its usual narrative managers has been deafening.


Peter Hitchens✔@ClarkeMicah

No reply yet from “OPCW public affairs, to my query about Greyzone allegations,m devastating if true both to official position of OPCW and to lapcat @Bellingcat. : https://thegrayzone.com/2020/05/06/opcw-douma-whistleblower/ …Exclusive: OPCW chief made false claims to denigrate Douma whistleblower, documents reveal  | The…The Grayzone has obtained documents exposing numerous falsehoods and misleading claims by OPCW Director General Fernando Arias to degrade the…thegrayzone.com


Peter Hitchens, one of the only high-visibility journalists to cover the OPCW scandal, tweeted when the documents first emerged: “I have today formally requested OPCW public affairs to comment on these allegations, which call into question an important statement made by the organisation’s chief and retailed by lapcat Bellingcat about the status of Inspector Ian Henderson.”

“No reply yet from OPCW public affairs, to my query about Greyzone allegations, devastating if true both to official position of OPCW and to lapcat Bellingcat,” Hitchens tweeted a day later.

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

Internet Censorship, Ego Death, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Internet Censorship, Ego Death, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

There is no legitimate basis upon which to support monopolistic plutocratic megacorporations with extensive government ties silencing dissident voices in order to control the thoughts that people think about Covid-19. This is true regardless of your stance on the virus itself.

It is a known fact that Silicon Valley tech giants have extensive ties to the US government. Like, it’s not a secret. At all. Yet whenever you object to internet censorship you always get people babbling about how it’s a “private company” so it’s okay. If a company is intertwined with government power in myriad ways, how is its deplatforming behavior meaningfully distinct from state censorship? Especially when its willingness to collaborate with the government protects it from antitrust cases, thereby killing any potential competition?

“Free market” types say “If you don’t like it you can go on another platform!” No you can’t. There’s no competition. If you don’t like Twitter you can leave a platform of hundreds of millions for a platform like Gab, which is like ten people and nine of them are Nazis.

They’ll say “No biggie, go be on that tiny platform over there, there’s plenty of free speech there!” I am sure there is. There’s free speech in the desert, too. Free speech doesn’t matter if you’ve isolated yourself on a platform where your voice is only heard by a few fringey people.

They’ve herded everyone onto a few monopolistic government-tied platforms, and now they’re censoring those platforms with an increasingly authoritarian fist. There’s no “free market” solution to this problem, because it’s not happening in a free market.

…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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