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Journalists, Learning They Spread a CIA Fraud About Russia, Instantly Embrace a New One

Journalists, Learning They Spread a CIA Fraud About Russia, Instantly Embrace a New One

The most significant Trump-era alliance is between corporate outlets and security state agencies, whose evidence-free claims they unquestioningly disseminate.

A US soldier in Afghanistan CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

That Russia placed “bounties” on the heads of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan was one of the most-discussed and consequential news stories of 2020. It was also, as it turns out, one of the most baseless — as the intelligence agencies who spread it through their media spokespeople now admit, largely because the tale has fulfilled and outlived its purpose.

The saga began on July 29, 2020, when The New York Times announced that unnamed “American intelligence officials” have concluded that “a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops.” The paper called it “a significant and provocative escalation” by Russia. Though no evidence was ever presented to support the CIA’s claims — neither in that original story nor in any reporting since — most U.S. media outlets blindly believed it and spent weeks if not longer treating it as proven, highly significant truth. Leading politicians from both parties similarly used this emotional storyline to advance multiple agendas.

The story appeared — coincidentally or otherwise — just weeks after President Trump announced his plan to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020. Pro-war members of Congress from both parties and liberal hawks in corporate media spent weeks weaponizing this story to accuse Trump of appeasing Putin by leaving Afghanistan and being too scared to punish the Kremlin. Cable outlets and the op-ed pages of The New York Times and Washington Post endlessly discussed the grave implications of this Russian treachery and debated which severe retaliation was needed…

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

CNN’s Blatant Disinformation About Russia-Ukraine Activity

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s belittling comments against fair and balanced Russia related journalism relate to an April 12-13 CNN airing on recent matters concerning Russia and Ukraine. The segment at issue begins with CNN reporter Matthew Chance joining Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the frontline of the demarcation area between the forces of the Ukrainian government and Donbass rebels. Thereafter, CNN news anchor John Vause follows up with longtime US academic/mass media journalist Jill Dougherty.

The false spin is given that Russia increased tension by amassing troops along its border with Ukraine. In actuality, the Kiev regime’s dramatic military buildup near the Donbass rebels occurred beforehand. This oversight is in line with the aforementioned CNN segment misidentifying Ukrainian forces as being Russian.

The CNN bit gives an inaccurate psychoanalysis of what’s motivating the recent Russian military activity. Omitted, is some otherwise valid insight of what could very well be influencing Zelensky and the Russian response to him. Zelensky’s low poll numbers are in part due to the miserable socioeconomic conditions in Ukraine and some faulty decision-making on the part of his government. Unable to get a prompt delivery of Western Covid-19 vaccinations, the Ukrainian government shot down the possibility of acquiring the Russian Sputnik vaccine. That stance can be reasonably seen as a shortsighted nationalist stance. It’s not as if Russia and Ukraine don’t commercially interact. Despite the differences between their governments, Russia remains a key trading partner of Ukraine.

Zelensky won the last Ukrainian presidential election on a platform that wasn’t as confrontational towards Russia as his opponent Petro Poroshenko. The former has since done an about face with brazen comments towards Russia and the Donbass rebels…

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting the Scene for Global Destruction. Now It’s the Arctic

The U.S. is preparing for war in the Arctic, and the “boiling point” might not be far away, Brian Cloughley writes.

On April 8 the front pages of the main U.S. newspapers noted that President Biden was “open to compromise” and a quick glance prompted optimism that Uncle Joe might be seeing some sense about international developments. He said that “Debate is welcome. Compromise is inevitable. Changes are certain,” which is a deep and important statement that would be immensely heartening if it referred to U.S. relations with China and Russia.

Alas, his words referred to purely domestic affairs, in that the White House was preparing to compromise with the blinkered Republican Party which is intent on defending business interests — and especially those concerned with weapons’ production — at the expense of the average citizen. Joe declared that he is “sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced,” which is an understandable point of view. But the way he’s heading in foreign policy means that these ordinary people, and everyone else in the U.S. and all round the world, may well be conned, and possibly terminally. They are facing ever-increasing danger of being destroyed, because Joe is backing the sabre-brandishers in their encouragement of confrontation and provocation that could well lead to major war.

Make no mistake : there is going to be no such thing as “limited” war if the U.S.-Nato military alliance continues to goad and antagonise Russia and China. If there is a clash of military forces there will be escalation, and the ensuing conflict will inevitably heighten the risk of nuclear exchanges which would destroy the planet.

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

Germany’s Political Crisis and the Future of Nord Stream 2

GERMANY’S POLITICAL CRISIS AND THE FUTURE OF NORD STREAM 2

Germany’s Political Crisis and the Future of Nord Stream 2

In a Blinken of an Eye

The Biden Administration entered the White House accompanied by hopes that it would return to some kind of normal in its relations with the European Union. While Biden, unlike Obama, would not score a Nobel Peace Prize solely for his existence, his victory was warmly welcomed in capitals around Europe as a sign that liberalism would vanquish populism ushering in a new era of “business as usual” in the form it was practiced during the Obama Administration.

Once in office, however, the Biden Administration has been working overtime in order to dispel any notion of a relationship of mutual respect between two more or less equal allies, US and EU. Instead, Biden officials have acted as if US and EU are a contemporary version of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, two countries with ostensibly separate political systems linked by a personal union in the form of the Emperor (Biden), held together by a common army (NATO) whose main task is preventing any separatism by “Hungary” (the EU) and whose foreign policy is made wholly in “Austria” (United States). Events like Brexit merely represent a part of the empire moving from “Hungary” to “Austria” for a variety of cultural and racial reasons. In practice it meant that, in addition to Biden replying affirmatively to a court journalist’s question whether Vladimir was a “killer” and Blinken provoking a major row with a Chinese delegation by informing them the US intended to deal with China from a “position of strength”, Blinken also issued a blunt warning to European companies working on Nord Stream 2 could be subject to US sanctions if they did not immediately withdraw from the project.

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

J.Hawk, SouthFront, nordstream 2, germany, oil and gas industry, nato, united states, joe biden, russia

 

Nord Stream 2 Operator Warns Warships and Planes Threaten the Russia-Germany Pipeline Project

Nord Stream 2 Operator Warns Warships and Planes Threaten the Russia-Germany Pipeline Project

The US is trying to prevent the project from being completed through sanctions and pressure on Germany.

A senior official from Nord Stream 2 AG, the project company leading the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline project, has reported an uptick in “provocative” activity from warships and planes in the area where the pipeline is being built.

“Higher activity of naval vessels, airplanes and helicopters and civilian vessels of foreign states is observed in the work area after restarted construction of the offshore segment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, whose actions are often clearly provocative,” said Nord Stream AG official Andrei Minin, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. “Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work,” he said, adding that a Polish antisubmarine warfare airplane is “regularly flying around the work area at a small height and closely to the pipelay vessel.”

Minin said in one provocation, an unidentified submarine was above surface within one mile of the pipeclay vessel Fortuna, a ship that was hit with US sanctions on January 19th. Minin said the activity indicates “obviously planned and prepared provocations.” Besides warships and planes, he said fishing vessels have also come dangerously close to the construction area.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been in the crosshairs of the US for years, but despite sanctions and threats, Nord Stream AG reported on Thursday that the project is now 95 percent complete. Construction restarted in December 2020 after being suspended due to threats of US sanctions.

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

antiwar.com, nordstream 2, pipeline, germany, russia, united states, poland, dave decamp, economic sanctions

Russia Warns NATO Against Sending Any Troops To Ukraine As “Frightening” Escalation Looms

Russia Warns NATO Against Sending Any Troops To Ukraine As “Frightening” Escalation Looms

The Kremlin’s latest statements out Friday amid the potential new Ukraine crisis which has seen a serious flare-up in fighting in the Donbass region, along with what appears to be far bigger-than-usual troop movements on Russia’s side of the border, has raised the stakes further.

Russia has vowed it will take “extra measures to ensure its own security” should it observe any deployment of NATO troops inside Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said Friday according to Reuters.

It firmly warned against any potential looming NATO troop movements following Brussels voicing concern the day prior over the widespread reports and videos purporting to show a significant Russian build-up of forces along Ukraine’s eastern border.

Archive image of NATO exercises in Europe, via Allied Joint Force Command Naples

Reuters reports Russia’s Friday statement and “warning” as follows:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatist forces was quite frightening and that multiple “provocations” were taking place there.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Andrii Taran, and “condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” the Pentagon said.

“Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive,” Peskov said in response to journalists’ questions. “We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the Russian troop movements across the border, calling the situation “muscle-flexing” likely to lead to “provocations” for which Ukraine’s army is “ready”…

russia, nato, united states, ukraine, zerohedge, war, world war 3

What To Expect From Today’s OPEC+ Meeting: Another Saudi Surprise?

What To Expect From Today’s OPEC+ Meeting: Another Saudi Surprise?

After Wednesday’s JMMC meeting ended without reaching a recommendation (as is customary and expected), the key decision-making OPEC+ meeting – where ministers will hammer out May’s output quotas – begins at 1pm London Time. As Newsquawk notes, market expectations are skewed towards an extension of current cuts, but a clear stance from Saudi – who have a tendency to surprise in recent months – remains to be seen, namely on the decision regarding the extra 1MM barrels the Kingdom has kept offline since the start of the year.

Commenting on today’s key event, Bloomberg’s Jake Lloyd-Smith reminds us that Saudi Arabia has sprung some big surprises in the oil market already this year, and may do so again today as OPEC+ grapples with a thorny decision on supply. That could make for a volatile session before the long weekend, and already has with oil whipsawing from gains to losses in jittery trading, amid market rumors that OPEC+ is i) considering a return to phased monthly oil-output hikes and ii) is also considering maintaining current cuts, according to a delegate… which pretty much covers every base so is completely useless.

As such, while the consensus view is the grouping will stick with deep output curbs to safeguard crude’s recovery, there’s an outside chance of alternative outcomes. These span the twin extremes, from releasing barrels to tightening further.

At issue is the varied recovery across key regions. For every rosy demand metric from the U.S. or China, there’s a poor one from Europe as lockdowns make a comeback. In addition, Riyadh faces a headache from rival Iran, which has been pushing clandestine barrels into China despite U.S. sanctions…

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

opec+, oil and gas industry, zerohedge, saudi arabia, russia, iran, china, united states, economic sanctions, oil, oil price, bloomberg

Escobar: Welcome To ‘Shocked & Awed’ 21st Century Geopolitics

Escobar: Welcome To ‘Shocked & Awed’ 21st Century Geopolitics

With a Russia-China-Iran triple bitch slap on the hegemon, we now have a brand new geopolitical chessboard…

It took 18 years after Shock and Awe unleashed on Iraq for the Hegemon to be mercilessly shocked and awed by a virtually simultaneous, diplomatic Russia-China one-two.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) in Beijing, China on March 23, 2021. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout/Anadolu Agency

How this is a real game-changing moment cannot be emphasized enough; 21st century geopolitics will never be the same again.

Yet it was the Hegemon who first crossed the diplomatic Rubicon. The handlers behind hologram Joe “I’ll do whatever you want me to do, Nance” Biden had whispered in his earpiece to brand Russian President Vladimir Putin as a soulless “killer” in the middle of a softball interview.

Not even at the height of the Cold War the superpowers resorted to ad hominem attacks. The result of such an astonishing blunder was to regiment virtually the whole Russian population behind Putin – because that was perceived as an attack against the Russian state.

Then came Putin’s cool, calm, collected – and quite diplomatic – response, which needs to be carefully pondered. These sharp as a dagger words are arguably the most devastatingly powerful five minutes in the history of post-truth international relations.

In For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska, we forecasted what could take place in the US-China 2+2 summit at a shabby hotel in Anchorage, with cheap bowls of instant noodles thrown in as extra bonus.

China’s millennial diplomatic protocol establishes that discussions start around common ground – which are then extolled as being more important than disagreements between negotiating parties. That’s at the heart of the concept of “no loss of face”. Only afterwards the parties discuss their differences.

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

Putin’s Warnings at the World Economic Forum

Putin’s speech at the World Economic Forum was quite insightful. He said that we “are seeing a crisis of the previous models and instruments of economic development. Social stratification is growing stronger both globally and in individual countries. We have spoken about this before as well. But this, in turn, is causing today a sharp polarisation of public views, provoking the growth of populism, right- and left-wing radicalism and other extremes, and the exacerbation of domestic political processes including in the leading countries.”

While referred to the crisis as being similar economically to the Great Depression, he pointed out that it is “inevitably affecting the nature of international relations and is not making them more stable or predictable. International institutions are becoming weaker, regional conflicts are emerging one after another, and the system of global security is deteriorating.” Indeed, the Hillary allegations that turned the 2016 election into a joke where she manufactured evidence to claim she lost because of Putin, has done far more damage as resurrected the cold war. Putin warned that “the situation could take an unexpected and uncontrollable turn – unless we do something to prevent this.” Biden has immediate sent troops to Syria and ordered the building of a new base there.

Putin elaborated: “There is a chance that we will face a formidable break-down in global development, which will be fraught with a war of all against all and attempts to deal with contradictions through the appointment of internal and external enemies and the destruction of not only traditional values such as the family, which we hold dear in Russia, but fundamental freedoms such as the right of choice and privacy.”

 

Joe Lauria on the Alleged Russian Hack

Joe Lauria on the Alleged Russian Hack

The editor-in-chief was interviewed on the radio program By Any Means Necessary about the alleged Russian hacking of U.S. government computers. Listen to it here. (16 minutes)

Typical Russiagate articles in the corporate press follow this pattern:

  • Russia is specifically blamed for something, like a hack or “undermining American democracy,” according to unnamed U.S. officials, or “people familiar with the matter.”
  • The article then drops all attribution and refers to a “Russian campaign” as established fact.
  • Towards the end of the piece a caveat is slipped in, such as “if it is confirmed it was Russia,” which undermines the credibility of the entire article.

The reporting of the latest Russia hack story follows this pattern, as explained in detail by Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria:

Rebroadcast with permission.

Consortium News piece on Saturday by Ray McGovern and Lauria set out the holes in this latest Russia story, and was quoted by the president of American University in Moscow in a Washington Times op-ed.

Russian Warplanes Pounding Turkish Proxies in Greater Idlib

RUSSIAN WARPLANES POUNDING TURKISH PROXIES IN GREATER IDLIB

On December 24 and 25, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a series of airstrikes on positions of Turkish-backed militant groups in northern Lattakia.

A large part of the airstrikes targeted the outskirts of the town of Kabani. Photos shared by opposition activists show smoke rising from several hills in the town’s vicinity, where a complex network of tunnels, trenches and fortifications were built over the last two years. Kabani is a well-known stronghold of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups – Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, the Turkistan Islamic Army and Ajnad al-Kavkaz.

The new wave of Russian airstrikes on Kabani coincided with intense shelling by the Syrian Army on the southern Idlib countryside. Syrian troops also targeted a vehicle of militants in western Idlib with an anti-tank guided missile.

This is not the first round of air and artillery strikes on positions of militants in the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone. Last week, Syrian forces and Russian warplanes delivered over 100 strikes on different targets.

Pro-militant sources link these developments with the recent deployment of the Syrian Army reinforcements in the al-Ghab Plains claiming that this is a part of the preparations for an offensive operation there.

Meanwhile, reports appeared that following the successful cases in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey is considering to use its Syrian proxies in northern Iraq. Members of Turkish-backed militant groups proved themselves as useful cannon fodder taking the main casualties as Turkish special forces, artillery and air power deal with their opponents. This time, Turkish proxies will get a chance to sacrifice their lives in the battle against the PKK.

With Biden’s New Threats, the Russia Discourse is More Reckless and Dangerous Than Ever

With Biden’s New Threats, the Russia Discourse is More Reckless and Dangerous Than Ever

The U.S. media demands inflammatory claims be accepted with no evidence, while hacking behavior routinely engaged in by the U.S. is depicted as aberrational.

Then-Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Brookings Institute May 27, 2015 in Washington, DC spoke about the Russia-Ukraine conflict (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

To justify Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump, leading Democrats and their key media allies for years competed with one another to depict what they called “Russia’s interference in our elections” in the most apocalyptic terms possible. They fanatically rejected the view of the Russian Federation repeatedly expressed by President Obama — that it is a weak regional power with an economy smaller than Italy’s capable of only threatening its neighbors but not the U.S. — and instead cast Moscow as a grave, even existential, threat to U.S. democracy, with its actions tantamount to the worst security breaches in U.S. history.

This post-2016 mania culminated with prominent liberal politicians and journalists (as well as John McCain) declaring Russia’s activities surrounding the 2016 to be an “act of war” which, many of them insisted, was comparable to Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attack — the two most traumatic attacks in modern U.S. history which both spawned years of savage and destructive war, among other things.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) repeatedly demanded that Russia’s 2016 “interference” be treated as “an act of war.” Hillary Clinton described Russian hacking as “a cyber 9/11.” And here is Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on MSNBC in early February, 2018, pronouncing Russia “a hostile foreign power” whose 2016 meddling was the “equivalent” of Pearl Harbor, “very much on par” with the “seriousness” of the 1941 attack in Hawaii that helped prompt four years of U.S. involvement in a world war.

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

The Washington Post Can’t Stop Babbling About Russians ‘Hacking Our Minds’

The Washington Post Can’t Stop Babbling About Russians ‘Hacking Our Minds’

The Washington Post has published another article warning its readers that the Russians are “hacking our minds”, this one authored by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

Russia hasn’t just hacked our computer systems. It’s hacked our minds.” blares the ridiculous, propagandistic headline for an article about “the Russian model” of propaganda which “rests on the principle that people get convinced when they hear the same message many times from a variety of sources, no matter how biased.”

Which is funny, since this is not the first time WaPo itself has repeated this cartoonish narrative about Russian mind-hackers.

Just two months ago the Washington Post editorial board published an article titled “The U.S. may be safe from foreign interference in this election. But what about perception hacking?“, which opens with the line “Russia and other adversaries may not need to hack the election if they can hack something else: our minds.”

The paranoid screed unironically argued that Russia is using its super powerful propaganda engine to make people paranoid and doubtful of US electoral systems, which could actually have an adverse effect on the US election. As though telling people their mental and perceptual faculties are being hacked by a hostile foreign enemy with the goal of influencing the election would not make them paranoid and doubtful of US electoral systems.

Zakaria’s piece builds on this already established theme by parroting the still completely evidence-free claim that Russia was responsible for the far-reaching cyber intrusion into the IT company SolarWinds, whose cybersecurity we recently learned was left so unprotected that its update server’s password was literally “solarwinds123”.

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

FireEye and US Treasury Department hacked, Russia blamed

FireEye and US Treasury Department hacked, Russia blamed

Security consulting company FireEye has been hacked and their “Red Team” tools, which was their proprietary intrusion detection and testing toolkit has been stolen. In a blog post about the incident the company attributed the breach to a highly skilled nation state actor possessing “world class capabilities.” FireEye’s clients include agencies at all levels of government and Fortune 500 companies globally.

“The stolen “red team” tools — which amount to real-world malware — could be dangerous in the wrong hands,”

FireEye in an effort to mitigate the damage potential of the toolkits being in the wild, giving security teams the ability to build out defences against them.

The attack is being widely attributed to Russia (which I have to admit, kinda gets an eyeroll from me)

As I was writing this, a Washington Post article also trotted out Russian hackers in a piece about a breach at the US Treasury Department which cited, as its source material a one sentence report from Reuters. The entire Reuters report is as follows:

“A sophisticated hacking group backed by a foreign government stole information from the U.S. Treasury Department and a U.S. agency responsible for deciding policy around the internet and telecommunications, according to people familiar with the matter.”

From this sentence, Washington Post ran a story that starts out with “Russian government hackers breached the Treasury and Commerce departments”  attributing the allegation to  “people familiar with the matter.”

Read: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-cyber-amazoncom-idUSL1N2IT0HS

I find it frustrating that the mainstream media bias is always quick to blame things on Russia and slow to acknowledge documented hostile behaviour from China. It’s just kind of strange.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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