Feb 24, 2017

Fake News Explained

Great story from Antiwar.com by Justin Raimondo, and a very good read in my opinion.


What is the “alternative” media? 

If we look at the phrase itself, it seems to mean the media that presents itself as the alternative to what we call the “corporate media,” i.e. the New York Times, the Washington Post, your local rag – in short, the Legacy Media that predominated in those bygone days before the Internet. And yet this whole arrangement seems outdated, to say the least. The Internet has long since been colonized by the corporate giants: BuzzFeed, for example, is regularly fed huge dollops of cash from its corporate owners. And the Legacy Media has adapted to the primacy of online media, however reluctantly and ineptly. So the alternative media isn’t defined by how they deliver the news, but rather by 1) what they judge to be news, and 2) how they report it.

And that’s the problem. 
There’s been much talk of “fake news,” a concept first defined by the “mainstream” media types as an insidious scheme by the Russians and/or supporters of Donald Trump to deny Hillary Clinton her rightful place in the Oval Office. Or it was Macedonian teenagers out to fool us into giving them clicks. Or something.
Facebook and Google announced a campaign to eliminate this Dire Threat, and the mandarins of the “mainstream” reared up in righteous anger, lecturing us that journalistic standards were being traduced. 
Yet it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about “fake news” were the ones propagating their own version of it. 
WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that “reporters” who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: “Democracy dies in darkness”! 
This from the newspaper that ran a front page story citing the anonymous trolls at PropOrNot.com as credible sources for an account of alleged “Russian agents of influence” in the media – a story that slimed Matt Drudge and Antiwar.com, among others. 
This from the newspaper that ran another big story claiming the Russians had infiltrated Vermont’s power grid without bothering to check with the power company. 
This from the newspaper that regularly publishes “news” accounts citing anonymous “intelligence officials” claiming the Trump administration is rife with Russian “agents.” 
This from the newspaper that published a piece by foreign affairs columnist Josh Rogin that falsely claimed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s trip to Syria was funded by a group that is “nonexistent” and strongly implied she was in the pay of the Syrian government or some other foreign entity. Well after the smear circulated far and wide, the paper posted the following correction:
“An earlier version of this op-ed misspelled the name of AACCESS Ohio and incorrectly stated that the organization no longer exists. AACCESS Ohio is an independent non-profit organization that is a member of the ACCESS National Network of Arab American Community organizations but is currently on probation due to inactivity. The op-ed also incorrectly stated that Bassam Khawam is Syrian American. He is Lebanese American. This version has been corrected.” 

In other words, the entire story was fake news. Read More:

Feb 23, 2017

Recap of Events in Syria & Iraq for February 22 2017

From Antiwar.com:

What I find most interesting is that reports are circulating (with increasing frequency) of ISIS filtering back into liberated areas. Some blame corruption, others lack of followup security.
U.S. forces were shot at and returned fire in the Albu Saif area in southern Mosul. The number of wounded, if any, was not released. Currently, the town and the nearby airport are the focus of attention for security forces.
Some residents of eastern Mosul, which has been liberated, found notes left under their doors warning them to leave immediately or face death from Islamic State militants. Some in western Mosul are being bused outof town as the fighting nears them. 
Residents of other towns that have been liberated also report ISIS/Daesh activity. Corruption appears to be the main driver allowing the return of militants in other cities.
Turkish airstrikes were reported in the Qandil Mountains.
An Iranian news channel has reported the discovery of a mass grave that may contain 2,400 bodies.
At least 130 were killed and 11 more were wounded in the latest violence: 
In Mosul, a drone killed five civilians and wounded three more. Airstrikes killed 35 militants in southern Mosul, perhaps near the airport.
Three civilians were killed and six were wounded by a blast as they tried to escape Hawija.
In Baghdad, a Sahwa member was killed and another wounded at a checkpoint in Doura
At least 47 militants were killed in clashes with militiamen near Tal Afar. The villages of Ain Tlawi and Sharia were liberated in the fighting. Airstrikes killed another 20 militants.
A missile strike on Kubeisa killed eight militants.

Feb 22, 2017

Yemeni Army & Popular Committees Recapture Mocha City

English: Mocha, Yemen, 1996
English: Mocha, Yemen, 1996 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Yemeni army, backed by fighters from the Popular Committees, more commonly known as “The Houthis/Ansarullah”, have reached the eastern outskirts of the port city of Mocha, which in February was taken control of by forces loyal to the former president Mansour Hadi, and Saudi-led coalition forces.

According to earlier PressTV, media reports, several high-ranking pro-Saudi commanders were among those killed in a medium-range ballistic missile attack carried out by Yemeni forces on an area close to the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

The control of Yemen by pro-Saudi forces has for the most part been strictly limited to southern and eastern Yemen, and some areas along the Saudi border.

Source: AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز

Feb 19, 2017

The Resignation of General Flynn Could Be a Dangerous Precedent

"Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do."  --Moon of Alabama

Excellent article, as usual from the "Moon of Alabama" website, written by 'B'.

Kicking Flynn out of his office has hurt Trump. His standing is diminished. The efforts against Flynn, mainly by the "deep state" in the intelligence agencies, were designed to change Trump's declared foreign policy aims. They worked. Yesterday the White House spokesperson said:
President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea. 
Today Trump tweeted:
Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?
4:42 AM - 15 Feb 2017
That is a position Trump had not preciously taken. "Return Crimea" is a no-no to any current and future Russian government. If Trump insists on this the prospective détente is already dead. 
Several writers along the political spectrum point out that this show of raw power by the "intelligence community" is a great danger. 
Damon Linker in The Week:
The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America's democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn's ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn't the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.
...
In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That's bad. But the answer isn't to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state. 
Robert Perry at Consortium News:
Flynn’s real “offense” appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump’s idea of a rapprochement with Moscow – and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise – has been driving Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it.
...
The neocons and liberal hawks also hated Flynn because – as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency – he oversaw a prescient 2012 analysis that foresaw that their support for the Syrian insurgency would give rise to “a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria.”
...
Flynn’s resignation and its acceptance by Trump also prove that these tactics work and that “tough-guy” Trump is not immune to them.
...
The so-called permanent government of Washington and its complicit mainstream media – what some call the Deep State – have taught Trump a lesson and have learned a lesson, too. They now can be expected to redouble their march toward war and more war, ironically with progressives and leftists in tow. 
Justin Raimondo at Antiwar:
Flynn was in the crosshairs of the War Party because he’s the most prominent of those around Trump who advocated for détente with Russia. Also, his somewhat loopy belief that Islam, per se, is a pernicious political ideology rather than a religion, made him a natural enemy of the pro-Saudi faction within the intelligence community, which had long worked with Riyadh to, among other things, overthrow the government of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
...
The Flynn resignation is just the beginning. As one Politico writer put it, it won’t stop there. They’ll move on to new targets, and they won’t rest until they’ve bagged their real target: the President of the United States 
Eli Lake for Bloomberg:
[F]or a White House that has such a casual and opportunistic relationship with the truth, it's strange that Flynn's "lie" to Pence would get him fired. It doesn't add up.
... 
A better explanation here is that Flynn was just thrown under the bus.
...
Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.
...
In the end, it was Trump's decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. 
Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. "First it's Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus," he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.
Trump will now cave in on foreign policy: on Russia, on Syria and everywhere else the borg demands it. He has been put "on notice" and will either do as he is told to do or he will be the prey in an even bigger hunt. 
It is alarming that the so-called left part of the U.S. policy is lauding the "deep state" for this open attack on the elected government. They are now justifying the methods that will one day be turned against themselves. Why do they fail to see this?
Please do visit the Moon of Alabama website - The comments on this article are interesting.
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