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From Propaganda To Ego, All Our Major Problems Are Due To Misperception

From Propaganda To Ego, All Our Major Problems Are Due To Misperception

The Biden transition team responsible for ushering in the nation’s Return to Decency™️ is as packed full of military-industrial complex lackeys and imperialist sociopaths as you’d expect, with one such manipulator being the Obama administration’s “chief propagandist” Richard Stengel.

The Grayzone‘s Ben Norton has a new write-up on TIME Magazine editor-turned State Department spinmeister-turned MSNBC pundit-turned Biden transition team official Stengel, documenting the political insider’s calls to “rethink” the First Amendment in the name of practicality and his support for the use of propaganda both at home and abroad by the US government.

“There’s another word for master narratives: it’s called history,” Stengel said at a 2018 event organized by the immensely influential think tank Council on Foreign Relations. “Basically every country creates their own narrative story. My old job at the State Department was what people used to joke as the chief propagandist. I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population. And I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful.”

“Having once been almost a First Amendment absolutist, I have really moved my position on it, because I just think for practical reasons in society, we have to kind of rethink some of those things,” Stengel said at the same event of the difficulties posed by people freely sharing information on the internet.

Think tank conferences are great, because it’s the best opportunity for ordinary people to see the thought streams of power at their most honest. Think tank denizens love showing off how much they know in front of such audiences, so they’ll often get baited into revealing a lot more than they normally would.

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

US Expands Nord Stream 2 Sanctions As Germany Vows Pipeline Completion “Not If, But When”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has long vowed he’ll “do everything” to stop Nord Stream 2, last month indicating the US is building a coalition of countries to fight against it, given Washington sees it as a massive compromise to Russia, giving it leverage over Europe as well as Ukraine.

“From the US point of view, Nord Stream 2 endangers Europe because it makes it dependent on Russian gas and endangers Ukraine – which in my opinion worries many Germans,” Pompeo said weeks ago.

On Tuesday the State Department expanded US sanctions targeting companies working on the Russia to Germany gas pipeline. While sanctions already target the specific European companies and their executives directly at work on the project, they’ve now been extended to include sanctions even on firms upgrading, servicing, or installing equipment on the ships laying the pipeline.

Image via DW/DPA

Here’s the relevant section on the State Department’s updated NS2 sanctions webpage:

“Such activities subject to sanctions pursuant to PEESA (the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019) or other authorities may include, but are not limited to, providing services or facilities for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels, or funding for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels.”

There remain some exceptions, however, out of environmental concerns. The State Department says the sanctions “will not apply to persons providing provisions to a relevant vessel if such provisions are intended for the safety and care of the crew aboard the vessel, the protection of human life aboard the vessel, or the maintenance of the vessel to avoid any environmental or other significant damage.”

…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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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“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.

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

“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation

“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation

The government which runs a globe-spanning empire led by a reality TV host keeps talking about the lack of normality in the nation of Iran.

“What we want all countries to join in,” said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a recent Fox News interview, “is to help us not only to de-escalate any tensions with Iran, but to help us bring Iran to a place where they are ready to stop their terrorist and malign behavior, and where they are ready to discuss with the United States, with Europe, with everyone, about how they can change their behavior to act like a normal nation.”

“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press statement the other day. “We believe that the sanctions we imposed today further that strategic objective.”

These would be the additional sanctions which have been expanded to include virtually the entire Iranian economy, deliberately targeting Iran’s already sanction-starved populace, with the explicit goal of fomenting a civil war in that nation.

Which is of course a perfectly normal thing to do, from a perfectly normal nation.


.@StateDeptSPOX: We want all countries to join us in encouraging #Iran to behave like a normal nation.


This would be the same Iran whose cultural heritage sites were threatened with destruction if it retaliated for the totally normal assassination of its top military official via flying robot. The same Iran whose financial system was just threatened with destruction using the totally normal hegemony of American central banking. Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy.

So what can Iran do to become a “normal nation”? Well, since it’s the United States making this demand, we can safely assume that it’s the model Iran should look to.

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

US Publicly Backs Iran Protests As Khamenei Says Crackdown On “Thugs” Coming

US Publicly Backs Iran Protests As Khamenei Says Crackdown On “Thugs” Coming

It took Washington all of two days to jump behind the large popular protests over gas price hikes which gripped cities across Iran since Friday. Over the weekend the US State Department predictably came out in favor of more protests, in a volatile situation in the sanctions-ravaged country which has already witnessed multiple demonstrators killed and over a thousands arrested, and banks and gas stations torched in anger over soaring gas prices

Given Uncle Sam is all too eager to hijack any Iranian domestic protests for the purpose of ‘regime change’ in what’s currently a middle and lower class driven movement over the deteriorating economic situation and drastic change in policy which saw petrol subsidies suddenly slashed, this could be the very recipe which brings the unrest to a halt. Ayatollah Khamenei already labeled those behind vandalism and sabotage as “thugs” and described them as “counter-revolutionary” forces, in reference to Iran’s ‘Islamic revolutionary’ government. 

Central Bank In Behbahan, Iran being engulfed in flames as demonstrators chant.

The Islamic Republic’s clerics and political leaders will now no doubt paint the crowds in the streets as being the servants of US and Israeli imperial aggression and interference. But then again, considering that the Trump administration established a special CIA unit reportedly named the ‘Iran Mission Center’ — with an express purpose to facilitate US-driven political change in the country — the mullahs might not be too far off the mark in their paranoia and suspicions at any “spontaneous” uprising. 

“The proud Iranian people are not staying silent about the government’s abuses,” Pompeo said in a statement published Sunday, saying that “the United States is with you,” and will stand against Iran’s “tyranny.”

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

The Deep State’s Deep State Department

The Deep State’s Deep State Department


For now, it comes down to this: the US State Department is at war with the White House.  State’s allies in the Democratic majority congress want to help overthrow the occupant of the White House because he’s interfering in the department’s foreign policy. The lifers at State are the same ones who executed a coup in 2014 against Ukraine’s government and threw out the elected president Victor Yanukovych because he tilted to join a Russian-backed regional customs union rather than NATO.  State’s diplomatic lifers are old hands at coups. Now they’re at it at home, right here in the USA.

Ever since the Maidan Revolution of 2014, they have worked sedulously to exert control over Ukrainian affairs. And they especially can’t stand that the recently elected president Zelensky declared that he wants to improve his country’s relationship with next-door-neighbor (and ex-sovereign) Russia. The occupant of the White House, Mr. Trump, had often expressed a similar interest to improve the USA’s relations with Russia. State would prefer to amp up a new cold war. Mr. Trump has some nerve interfering with that!

The lifers at State also have something to hide: their exertions to connive with Ukraine government officials they controlled to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election in favor of their former boss, Mrs. Clinton. The current impeachment spectacle is an attempt to pitch a smokescreen over that embarrassing mess, which includes the CIA’s and FBI’s efforts to blame Russia for their own illegal interventions in the 2016 election — the heart of the three-year impeachment narrative. The Joe-and-Hunter Biden affair is the left anterior descending artery in that heart.

The current testimony in the House Intel Committee raises another question. Whose back-channel diplomats are legitimate in US foreign policy: Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolf Giuliani, or State’s own boy, billionaire freelance international political adventurer George Soros?

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

China Demands US “Sever Military Ties” With Taiwan After $2.2bn Arms Proposal

China Demands US “Sever Military Ties” With Taiwan After $2.2bn Arms Proposal

As expected on Tuesday China slammed the US State Department’s newly approved potential sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $US2.2 billion. Beijing has long vehemently criticized US-Taiwan defense relations, which it sees as encroaching on its sovereignty and specifically its “one-China” principle regarding Taiwan. 

China’s Foreign Ministry said the planned weapons transfer “grossly interferes” with Chinese internal affairs and “undermines” its security interests, and further called on the US to “sever military ties with Taiwan”.

“The U.S. arms sales to Taiwan severely violate international law, the basic norms governing international relations, the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said. “It grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests.”

The statement underscored that China will take every action to safeguard its national sovereignty while “opposing foreign interference” as Taiwan is “an inalienable part of China’s territory,” according to official state run Xinhua News Agency.

“China urges the United States to honor its commitment to the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques, immediately withdraw the aforementioned planned arms sales to and sever military ties with Taiwan to avoid further damage to bilateral relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said the spokesperson.

The possible deal is said to include 108 General Dynamics M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, as well as mounted machine guns and ammunition

 As a reminder, one month ago China’s Foreign Ministry last month said it was seriously concerned about US arms sales to self-ruled Taiwan, and urged the United States to halt the sales to avoid harming bilateral ties.

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

PEPE ESCOBAR: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive

PEPE ESCOBAR: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive

The Trump administration’s foreign policy may be easily deconstructed as a crossover between The Sopranos and late-night comedy, writes Pepe Escobar.

Is this the Age of Anxiety? The Age of Stupidity? The Age of Hybrid War? Or all of the above? 

As right populism learns to use algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and media convergence, the Empire of Chaos, in parallel, is unleashing all-out hybrid and semiotic war. 

Dick Cheney’s Global War on Terror (GWOT) is back, metastasized as a hybrid mongrel. 

But GWOT would not be GWOT without a Wild West scarecrow. Enter Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama. On the same day the State Department announced a $1 million bounty on his head, the so- called “UN Security Council IS and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee” declared Hamza the next al-Qaeda leader. 

Since January 2017, Hamza has been a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the State Department – on par with his deceased Dad, back in the early 2000s. The Beltway intel community “believes” Hamza resides “in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.” 

Remember these are the same people who “believed” former Taliban leader Mullah Omar resided in Quetta, Baluchistan, when in fact he was safely ensconced only a few miles away from a massive U.S. military base in Zabul, Afghanistan. 

Considering that Jabhat al-Nusra, or al-Qaeda in Syria, for all practical purposes, was defined as no more than “moderate rebels” by the Beltway intel community, it’s safe to infer that new scarecrow Hamza is also a “moderate”. And yet he’s more dangerous than vanished fake Caliph Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi. Talk about a masterful example of culture jamming.

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

Moving Forward, Iran Outflanks the U.S. in Iraq and Beyond

Moving Forward, Iran Outflanks the U.S. in Iraq and Beyond

Iran has successfully navigated the first phase of its resistance to U.S. sanctions pressure. The U.S. State Department has admitted it’s goal of reducing Iran’s oil exports to zero is not feasible.

The goal now is a 25% drop to 800,000 barrel per day. And that is no joke. It’s a big drop from where Iran was looking to produce in the coming years under the auspice of the JCPOA. 

The U.S. will not stop until all avenues have been exhausted or Trump fires his current cabinet. 

Iran’s total non-oil exports have suffered as well, since gas condensate exports have also dropped along with the crude oil numbers. 

But Iran is finding friends in other places. They are currently finalizing a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with Belarus leading the talks at the 15th meeting between their Joint Economic Committee. 

Iran’s non-oil exports, however, are still just one-fifth of their peak exports. Like Russia it is working quickly with regional partners to change that dynamic. 

It won’t be enough to overcome the U.S.’s economic pressure in the short term.

But as I always say if it survives the initial onslaught then market forces open up opportunities for change. Things like INSTEX, the EU special purpose vehicle for getting around U.S. sanctions, is a perfect example.

Bilateral trade outside of the U.S. dollar is another.

North-South Trade Routes

The completion of the North South Transport Corridor (NSTC) is also helping. For example, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran rose more than 70% last year. 

Speaking in the event, [Azeri Trade Minister] Mustafayev mentioned the 12 meetings between the two countries’ presidents during the past five years and said “that is an indication of how good the relations between the two countries are.”

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

US officials offered my friend cash to take down Tehran’s power grid

US officials offered my friend cash to take down Tehran’s power grid

It took a country-wide power outage in Venezuela, whispers of a cyberattack, and smug tweets from US officials to make me suddenly recall the cloak-and-dagger story of a close Iranian-American friend nine years ago.

My friend, an engineer — who I will not name for obvious reasons and who I will call ‘Kourosh’ for the purpose of this article — revealed to me in 2010 that he was approached by two “State Department employees” who offered him $250,000 to “do something very simple” during his upcoming trip to Tehran.

Kourosh was freaking out because he didn’t know how these guys knew he was going to Iran in the first place, and how they knew he was “cash-strapped,” in the second.

He wasn’t a particularly political person, though he had participated in some DC protests in the aftermath of the hotly contested 2009 presidential elections. He was just one of thousands of Iranian-American engineers in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia technology belt looking to make a decent living.

Kourosh told the US officials that he was not interested, that if Iran needed to make changes, Iranians inside the country were the only ones who should do it.

I begged him to let me write this story, but he was very nervous and declined. Over the next year or two, I pushed some more and he gave me further information, but wouldn’t budge on its publication. Here’s what he revealed:

The State Department guys had since approached him a second time. They offered him further details about the job. They wanted him to disable Tehran’s power grid in exchange for the $250k. They needed someone with technical skills, but said the job was a simple one. He would have to go to a specific location in the Tehran area with a laptop or similar communication device and punch in a code.

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

U.S. Southern Command In Colombia Along The Border, Venezuela Military Moves, U.S. Pulls Out Of INF Treaty; Russia Threatens U.S; China Calls For Calm.

U.S. Southern Command In Colombia Along The Border, Venezuela Military Moves, U.S. Pulls Out Of INF Treaty; Russia Threatens U.S; China Calls For Calm.

According to a State Department source, corroborated by a video news report, U.S. troops are already along Colombia’s border. This comes as Venezuela has reportedly moved military armaments and ammunition to Colombia’s border as well. Meanwhile, Russia has threatened the U.S. amid announcing its withdrawal from the Cold War Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, following suit by suspending the agreement.

Although it’s not 5,000 troops along the border; a source said the U.S. was propagandizing 5,000 troops on John Bolton’s notepad to hide a larger troop count of 30,000+ proposed to Colombia.

This writer’s source stated that recently a former Pentagon official stressed the fact that if the U.S. was to get militarily involved it would need way more than 5,000 troops. The former official was reported by The Times. “A military operation in Venezuela requires the presence of between 25,000 and 30,000 American soldiers, especially since the success of this operation depends largely on the loyalty of the Venezuelan military forces to Nicolas Maduro,” the official told The Times.

A news report by Vesti, a Russian news outlet, corroborates my own source who stated U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) is already down on the ground in Colombia.  For those that don’t know, SOUTHCOM’s Area of Responsibility encompasses 31 countries and 16 dependencies and areas of special sovereignty, which includes Colombia, according to its website. The U.S. already has nine military bases in Colombia, so to say that it wants to send only 5,000 troops to Colombia is a ludicrous claim! There are already troops there!

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

The Secret Logistics of America’s Global Deep State

The Secret Logistics of America’s Global Deep State

The Secret Logistics of America’s Global Deep State

Why is America’s Baghdad Embassy the world’s largest embassy — and the largest by far?

“It’s as if the US Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad.”

— Iraqi Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee, as quoted on 27 December 2011 in Al Iraq News and translated by Ibrahim Zaidan from the original Arabic by Nicholas Dagher

Zaidan’s article went on to say:

The world’s largest embassy is situated in the Green Zone and fortified by three walls, another barrier of concrete slabs, followed by barbed wire fences and a wall of sandbags. It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than UN headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is building in Beijing – which is just 10 acres.

[Editor’s’ Note: The ten-acre US Embassy in Beijing is the second largest overseas construction project in the history of the Department of State — and the 104-acre US Embassy in Iraq is the largest.]

So, America’s largest diplomatic mission is surrounded by high concrete walls, is painted in black, brown and grey and is completely isolated from its environment. … The United States announced several months ago that between diplomats and employees, its embassy would include 16,000 people after the pullout of US forces.

On January 1st, Will Sillitoe headlined at the Helsinki Times, “What does the US embassy in Baghdad export to Finland and dozens of other countries?” and he reported that:

More than a million kilograms of cargo were shipped from Baghdad to different parts of the world, reveals US embassies procurement documents.

Mysterious cargo shipments from the US Embassy in Baghdad to other American embassies and consulates around the world have been revealed on a Wikileaks’ database. Procurement orders of US embassies are public documents, but Wikileaks put them in a searchable database making it easier to analyse.

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

Venezuela’s gold in limbo amid tug-of-war at the Bank of England

Venezuela’s gold in limbo amid tug-of-war at the Bank of England

In early November news was placed into the British media (Reuters and The Times) revealing that the Bank of England in London, one of the world’s largest custodians of gold bars on behalf of other central banks, was refusing to allow the withdrawal and repatriation of 14 tonnes of gold belonging to Venezuela’s central bank, the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV).

According to these media reports, the delays / refusals by the Bank of England to allow the Venezuelan gold repatriation ranged from excuses about the prohibitive cost of transport insurance to concerns about future money laundering. In all cases, these excuses were bogus, as I explained in the article “Bank of England refuses to return 14 tonnes of gold to Venezuela” on the BullionStar website, dated 15 November, and that the real reasons for the Bank of England’s refusal were political. As I stated at the time in my conclusion:

The reasons put forward by official sources in the Reuters and Times articles for why Venezuela can’t withdraw its gold from the Bank of England are clearly bogus. The more logical and likely explanation is that the US, through the White House, US Treasury and State Department have been liaising with the British Foreign office, HM Treasury to put pressure on the Bank of England to delay and push back on Venezuela’s gold withdrawal request.”

According to the Reuters report dated 5 November, the Venezuelan central bank gold withdrawal plan had “been held up for nearly two months”, which would put the original withdrawal request by the BCV to the Bank of England at a date in at least September and probably earlier. So the BCV had been looking for its gold back for sometime, and the Bank of England was stalling.

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

The Largest Conspiracy Theory Peddlers Are MSM And The US State Department

The Largest Conspiracy Theory Peddlers Are MSM And The US State Department

The US State Department has issued a statement accusing the Syrian government of having carried out a false flag chemical weapons attack in northwestern Aleppo with the intent to blame it on the jihadist factions in the region, citing “credible info” that the public has not been permitted to see. Never mind the known fact that there are actual, literal Al Qaeda affiliates who have admitted to using chemical weapons in Aleppo, and who are known to have used chemical weapons throughout Syria even by the State Department’s own admission: the Official Narrative is that only the Syrian government uses chemical weapons, so the chemical weapons usage must necessarily be a false flag staged by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Except they didn’t use the words “false flag”. Despite the accusation being the exact definition of the thing that a false flag attack is, you won’t see the US government using that term, nor will you ever see it used in this instance by any of the authorized mainstream narrative-framing institutions like CNN or Fox News. This is because the term “false flag” is reserved solely for mention when referring to crazy, kooky Kremlin propaganda, as in the insane, unhinged, tinfoil hat belief that terrorists in Syria might possibly have some kind of motive to stage a false flag chemical attack in order to get the US, UK and France to act as their air force in a retaliatory strike against the Syrian government. That kind of false flag would be completely inconceivable to any right-minded empire loyalist, and is forbidden to even think about.

…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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