Category Archives: Fake News

New York Times Releases Sequel of Putin-the-Poisoner

The New York Times released sequel six in the best-selling Putin-the-Poisoner series on September 22. The incredibly gifted junior G-men and women in the Times Tower have sleuthed yet another episode of boundless evildoing by the arch-villain Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

“The editorial board,” we are informed, “is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values” (emphasis added). In this blue state special, they spin the tale of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny poisoned with “a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union.” Jacobin calls Navalny, who is a right-wing anti-immigrant blogger and YouTube celebrity, “Russia’s Trump.”

From the “established fact” that a poisoning occurred, the rest of the Times editorial is pure conjecture. After the poisoning and spending two days in a Russian hospital, the victim flew off to Germany. The people described by the Times as “Mr. Navalny’s colleagues” returned to the crime scene, a hotel in that most ominous of places, Siberia. The perpetrators of the crime were sloppy in covering up because “traces of [the poison] Novichok were found on a water bottle” at the hotel, according to the Times.

This clearly demonstrates not only malevolent intent by the culprits but also the abject failure of Russian hotels to achieve room service to international standards of cleanliness. Likewise, the Russian police were too incompetent to seal off the crime scene for investigation.

In a chain of custody not revealed, the “colleagues” sent the “evidence” out of Russia to Germany then also to France and Sweden, where it was subsequently “confirmed by laboratories.” “The powerful poison,” we are told is used “against foes of the Russian regime.”

Only in the cartoonish mindset of the NYT do the perpetually bungling villains leave such blatant clues to their crimes.

The editorial board declares, “many questions remain unanswered and are likely to remain so. Chief among them is whether President Vladimir Putin ordered or approved the attempted assassination.” Later in the editorial, this chief question is answered: “Mr. Putin knows what happened, or he can find out,” but “…he continues to hide behind glaringly phony denials.”

The NYT gumshoes have discovered a pattern: “Then there is the fact that once again, the victim survived the attack.” In fact, this is the sixth such incident of survival in a row. Not only have the wrongdoers used a chemical agent that can be traced back to them and they allowed both the victim and the damning evidence to leave Russia, but they repeatedly administered the poison in precisely the correct sub-lethal dose to induce a near death experience to their victims.

How can this be? The NYT detectives rhetorically state: “Or was it their intention to convey a brutal warning of what happens to those who challenge the Kremlin?”

As in any crime mystery, the motive must be established. For the Times, it is clear: “the attack could be seen only as an attempt to silence a strong and effective political voice.” The Times then calls for increased sanctions against Russia. They argue that Putin must not be allowed to get away with bad behavior.

Harkening back to the Russiagate playbook of Trump being Putin’s puppet, the Times ingenuously asserts, “President Trump, for reasons that remain one of the top mysteries of his administration, has largely closed his eyes to Mr. Putin’s serial transgressions.” The Times admonishes: “it is incumbent on the West to hold him accountable for murdering or trying to murder anyone he finds troublesome.”

Note, the Times segues from conjecturing that Putin is the perpetrator to – based on no evidence – that he has in fact attempted murder.

Outside the comic book world that the editorial paints, there are questions not addressed by the Times. Why, after five previous incidents, has the Russian security state not learned to administer fatal doses of poison and cover up their tracks? Why would Putin repeatedly order hits on dissidents that every time boomerang on him by publicizing their grievances and inviting punishing sanctions?

An alternative explanation for this poisoning story is that this is a setup to discredit and weaken an official enemy of the US imperial state. The nation’s newspaper of record has a long history as a faithful mouthpiece of empire. On spinning the Putin-the-Poisoner tale, the Times has been but one voice in the Russo-phobic chorus of western media.

The truth of the Navalny case is hard to ascertain. What is clear is that the “evidence” that the Times touts has not been made public but has been used to bludgeon Russia.

Putin is not up for election. But there is something else at stake and that is, as the Times editorial mentions, the possible “cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a gas conduit from Russia to Germany,” which is of vital economic interest to Russia. The US, now the world’s leading producer of fossil fuels, opposes the project. In a bipartisan effort, the US even threatens “crushing legal and economic [secondary] sanctions” on the German seaport of Sassnitz for supplying the project.

The Times laments, “Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, is reluctant to take a step” to cancel this “nearly completed” project despite the US having “demanded cancellation of the pipeline.” It is not inconceivable that the Navalny scandal was manufactured to tip the scales and sabotage the Russian project.

The post New York Times Releases Sequel of Putin-the-Poisoner first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Why is the World going to Hell? Netflix’s The Social Dilemma tells only Half the Story

If you find yourself wondering what the hell is going on right now – the “Why is the world turning to shit?” thought – you may find Netflix’s new documentary The Social Dilemma a good starting point for clarifying your thinking. I say “starting point” because, as we shall see, the film suffers from two major limitations: one in its analysis and the other in its conclusion. Nonetheless, the film is good at exploring the contours of the major social crises we currently face – epitomised both by our addiction to the mobile phone and by its ability to rewire our consciousness and our personalities.

The film makes a convincing case that this is not simply an example of old wine in new bottles. This isn’t the Generation Z equivalent of parents telling their children to stop watching so much TV and play outside. Social media is not simply a more sophisticated platform for Edward Bernays-inspired advertising. It is a new kind of assault on who we are, not just what we think.

According to The Social Dilemma, we are fast reaching a kind of human “event horizon”, with our societies standing on the brink of collapse. We face what several interviewees term an “existential threat” from the way the internet, and particularly social media, are rapidly developing.

I don’t think they are being alarmist. Or rather I think they are right to be alarmist, even if their alarm is not entirely for the right reasons. We will get to the limitations in their thinking in a moment.

Like many documentaries of this kind, The Social Dilemma is deeply tied to the shared perspective of its many participants. In most cases, they are richly disillusioned, former executives and senior software engineers from Silicon Valley. They understand that their once-cherished creations – Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat (WhatsApp seems strangely under-represented in the roll call) – have turned into a gallery of Frankenstein’s monsters.

That is typified in the plaintive story of the guy who helped invent the “Like” button for Facebook. He thought his creation would flood the world with the warm glow of brother and sisterhood, spreading love like a Coca Cola advert. In fact, it ended up inflaming our insecurities and need for social approval, and dramatically pushed up rates of suicide among teenage girls.

If the number of watches of the documentary is any measure, disillusion with social media is spreading far beyond its inventors.

Children as guinea pigs

Although not flagged as such, The Social Dilemma divides into three chapters.

The first, dealing with the argument we are already most familiar with, is that social media is a global experiment in altering our psychology and social interactions, and our children are the main guinea pigs. Millennials (those who came of age in the 2000s) are the first generation that spent their formative years with Facebook and MySpace as best friends. Their successors, Generation Z, barely know a world without social media at its forefront.

The film makes a relatively easy case forcefully: that our children are not only addicted to their shiny phones and what lies inside the packaging, but that their minds are being aggressively rewired to hold their attention and then make them pliable for corporations to sell things.

Each child is not just locked in a solitary battle to stay in control of his or her mind against the skills of hundreds of the world’s greatest software engineers. The fight to change their perspective and ours – the sense of who we are – is now in the hands of algorithms that are refined every second of every day by AI, artificial intelligence. As one interviewee observes, social media is not going to become less expert at manipulating our thinking and emotions, it’s going to keep getting much, much better at doing it.

Jaron Lanier, one of the computing pioneers of virtual reality, explains what Google and the rest of these digital corporations are really selling: “It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behaviour and perception – that is the product.” That is also how these corporations make their money, by “changing what you do, what you think, who you are.”

They make profits, big profits, from the predictions business – predicting what you will think and how you will behave so that you are more easily persuaded to buy what their advertisers want to sell you. To have great predictions, these corporations have had to amass vast quantities of data on each of us – what is sometimes called “surveillance capitalism”.

And, though the film does not quite spell it out, there is another implication. The best formula for tech giants to maximise their predictions is this: as well as processing lots of data on us, they must gradually grind down our distinctiveness, our individuality, our eccentricities so that we become a series of archetypes. Then, our emotions – our fears, insecurities, desires, cravings – can be more easily gauged, exploited and plundered by advertisers.

These new corporations trade in human futures, just as other corporations have long traded in oil futures and pork-belly futures, notes Shoshana Zuboff, professor emeritus at Harvard business school. Those markets “have made the internet companies the richest companies in the history of humanity”.

Flat Earthers and Pizzagate

The second chapter explains that, as we get herded into our echo chambers of self-reinforcing information, we lose more and more sense of the real world and of each other. With it, our ability to empathise and compromise is eroded. We live in different information universes, chosen for us by algorithms whose only criterion is how to maximise our attention for advertisers’ products to generate greater profits for the internet giants.

Anyone who has spent any time on social media, especially a combative platform like Twitter, will sense that there is a truth to this claim. Social cohesion, empathy, fair play, morality are not in the algorithm. Our separate information universes mean we are increasingly prone to misunderstanding and confrontation.

And there is a further problem, as one interviewee states: “The truth is boring.” Simple or fanciful ideas are easier to grasp and more fun. People prefer to share what’s exciting, what’s novel, what’s unexpected, what’s shocking. “It’s a disinformation-for-profit model,” as another interviewee observes, stating that research shows false information is six times more likely to spread on social media platforms than true information.

And as governments and politicians work more closely with these tech companies – a well-documented fact the film entirely fails to explore – our rulers are better positioned than ever to manipulate our thinking and control what we do. They can dictate the political discourse more quickly, more comprehensively, more cheaply than ever before.

This section of the film, however, is the least successful. True, our societies are riven by increasing polarisation and conflict, and feel more tribal. But the film implies that all forms of social tension – from the paranoid paedophile conspiracy theory of Pizzagate to the Black Lives Matter protests – are the result of social media’s harmful influence.

And though it is easy to know that Flat Earthers are spreading misinformation, it is far harder to be sure what is true and what is false in many others areas of life. Recent history suggests our yardsticks cannot be simply what governments say is true – or Mark Zuckerberg, or even “experts”. It may be a while since doctors were telling us that cigarettes were safe, but millions of Americans were told only a few years ago that opiates would help them – until an opiate addiction crisis erupted across the US.

This section falls into making a category error of the kind set out by one of the interviewees early in the film. Despite all the drawbacks, the internet and social media have an undoubted upside when used simply as a tool, argues Tristan Harris, Google’s former design ethicist and the soul of the film. He gives the example of being able to hail a cab almost instantly at the press of a phone button. That, of course, highlights something about the materialist priorities of most of Silicon Valley’s leading lights.

But the tool box nestled in our phones, full of apps, does not just satisfy our craving for material comfort and security. It has also fuelled a craving to understand the world and our place in it, and offered tools to help us do that.

Phones have made it possible for ordinary people to film and share scenes once witnessed by only a handful of disbelieved passers-by. We can all see for ourselves a white police officer dispassionately kneeling on the neck of a black man for nine minutes, while the victim cries out he cannot breathe, until he expires. And we can then judge the values and priorities of our leaders when they decide to do as little as possible to prevent such incidents occurring again.

The internet has created a platform from which not only disillusioned former Silicon Valley execs can blow the whistle on what the Mark Zuckerbergs are up to, but so can a US army private like Chelsea Manning, by exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so can a national security tech insider like Edward Snowden, by revealing the way we are being secretly surveilled by our own governments.

Technological digital breakthroughs allowed someone like Julian Assange to set up a site, Wikileaks, that offered us a window on the real political world – a window through we could see our leaders behaving more like psychopaths than humanitarians. A window those same leaders are now fighting tooth and nail to close by putting him on trial.

A small window on reality

The Social Dilemma ignores all of this to focus on the dangers of so-called “fake news”. It dramatises a scene suggesting that only those sucked into information black holes and conspiracy sites end up taking to the street to protest – and when they do, the film hints, it will not end well for them.

Apps allowing us to hail a taxi or navigate our way to a destination are undoubtedly useful tools. But being able to find out what our leaders are really doing – whether they are committing crimes against others or against us – is an even more useful tool. In fact, it is a vital one if we want to stop the kind of self-destructive behaviours The Social Dilemma is concerned about, not least our destruction of the planet’s life systems (an issue that, except for one interviewee’s final comment, the film leaves untouched).

Use of social media does not mean one necessarily loses touch with the real world. For a minority, social media has deepened their understanding of reality. For those tired of having the real world mediated for them by a bunch of billionaires and traditional media corporations, the chaotic social media platforms have provided an opportunity to gain insights into a reality that was obscured before.

The paradox, of course, is that these new social media corporations are no less billionaire-owned, no less power-hungry, no less manipulative than the old media corporations. The AI algorithms they are rapidly refining are being used – under the rubric of “fake news” – to drive out this new marketplace in whistleblowing, in citizen journalism, in dissident ideas.

Social media corporations are quickly getting better at distinguishing the baby from the bathwater, so they can throw out the baby. After all, like their forebears, the new media platforms are in the business of business, not of waking us up to the fact that they are embedded in a corporate world that has plundered the planet for profit.

Much of our current social polarisation and conflict is not, as The Social Dilemma suggests, between those influenced by social media’s “fake news” and those influenced by corporate media’s “real news”. It is between, on the one hand, those who have managed to find oases of critical thinking and transparency in the new media and, on the other, those trapped in the old media model or those who, unable to think critically after a lifetime of consuming corporate media, have been easily and profitably sucked into nihilistic, online conspiracies.

Our mental black boxes

The third chapter gets to the nub of the problem without indicating exactly what that nub is. That is because The Social Dilemma cannot properly draw from its already faulty premises the necessary conclusion to indict a system in which the Netflix corporation that funded the documentary and is televising it is so deeply embedded itself.

For all its heart-on-its-sleeve anxieties about the “existential threat” we face as a species, The Social Dilemma is strangely quiet about what needs to change – aside from limiting our kids’ exposure to Youtube and Facebook. It is a deflating ending to the rollercoaster ride that preceded it.

Here I want to backtrack a little. The film’s first chapter makes it sound as though social media’s rewiring of our brains to sell us advertising is something entirely new. The second chapter treats our society’s growing loss of empathy, and the rapid rise in an individualistic narcissism, as something entirely new. But very obviously neither proposition is true.

Advertisers have been playing with our brains in sophisticated ways for at least a century. And social atomisation – individualism, selfishness and consumerism – have been a feature of western life for at least as long. These aren’t new phenomena. It’s just that these long-term, negative aspects of western society are growing exponentially, at a seemingly unstoppable rate.

We’ve been heading towards dystopia for decades, as should be obvious to anyone who has been tracking the lack of political urgency to deal with climate change since the problem became obvious to scientists back in the 1970s.

The multiple ways in which we are damaging the planet – destroying forests and natural habitats, pushing species towards extinction, polluting the air and water, melting the ice-caps, generating a climate crisis – have been increasingly evident since our societies turned everything into a commodity that could be bought and sold in the marketplace. We began on the slippery slope towards the problems highlighted by The Social Dilemma the moment we collectively decided that nothing was sacred, that nothing was more sacrosanct than our desire to turn a quick buck.

It is true that social media is pushing us towards an event horizon. But then so is climate change, and so is our unsustainable global economy, premised on infinite growth on a finite planet. And, more importantly, these profound crises are all arising at the same time.

There is a conspiracy, but not of the Pizzagate variety. It is an ideological conspiracy, of at least two centuries’ duration, by a tiny and ever more fabulously wealth elite to further enrich themselves and to maintain their power, their dominance, at all costs.

There is a reason why, as Harvard business professor Shoshana Zuboff points out, social media corporations are the most fantastically wealthy in human history. And that reason is also why we are reaching the human “event horizon” these Silicon Valley luminaries all fear, one where our societies, our economies, the planet’s life-support systems are all on the brink of collapse together.

The cause of that full-spectrum, systemic crisis is not named, but it has a name. Its name is the ideology that has become a black box, a mental prison, in which we have become incapable of imagining any other way of organising our lives, any other future than the one we are destined for at the moment. That ideology’s name is capitalism.

Waking up from the matrix

Social media and the AI behind it are one of the multiple crises we can no longer ignore as capitalism reaches the end of a trajectory it has long been on. The seeds of neoliberalism’s current, all-too-obvious destructive nature were planted long ago, when the “civilised”, industrialised west decided its mission was to conquer and subdue the natural world, when it embraced an ideology that fetishised money and turned people into objects to be exploited.

A few of the participants in The Social Dilemma allude to this in the last moments of the final chapter. The difficulty they have in expressing the full significance of the conclusions they have drawn from two decades spent in the most predatory corporations the world has ever known could be because their minds are still black boxes, preventing them from standing outside the ideological system they, like us, were born into. Or it could be because coded language is the best one can manage if a corporate platform like Netflix is going to let a film like this one reach a mass audience.

Tristan Harris tries to articulate the difficulty by grasping for a movie allusion: “How do you wake up from the matrix when you don’t know you’re in the matrix?” Later, he observes: “What I see is a bunch of people who are trapped by a business model, an economic incentive, shareholder pressure that makes it almost impossible to do something else.”

Although still framed in Harris’s mind as a specific critique of social media corporations, this point is very obviously true of all corporations, and of the ideological system – capitalism – that empowers all these corporations.

Another interviewee notes: “I don’t think these guys [the tech giants] set out to be evil, it’s just the business model.”

He is right. But “evilness” – the psychopathic pursuit of profit above all other values – is the business model for all corporations, not just the digital ones.

The one interviewee who manages, or is allowed, to connect the dots is Justin Rosenstein, a former engineer for Twitter and Google. He eloquently observes:

We live in a world in which a tree is worth more, financially, dead than alive. A world in which a whale is worth more dead than alive. For so long as our economy works in that way, and corporations go unregulated, they’re going to continue to destroy trees, to kill whales, to mine the earth, and to continue to pull oil out of the ground, even though we know it is destroying the planet and we know it is going to leave a worse world for future generations.

This is short-term thinking based on this religion of profit at all costs. As if somehow, magically, each corporation acting in its selfish interest is going to produce the best result. … What’s frightening – and what hopefully is the last straw and will make us wake up as a civilisation as to how flawed this theory is in the first place – is to see that now we are the tree, we are the whale. Our attention can be mined. We are more profitable to a corporation if we’re spending time staring at a screen, staring at an ad, than if we’re spending our time living our life in a rich way.

Here is the problem condensed. That unnamed “flawed theory” is capitalism. The interviewees in the film arrived at their alarming conclusion – that we are on the brink of social collapse, facing an “existential threat” – because they have worked inside the bellies of the biggest corporate beasts on the planet, like Google and Facebook.

These experiences have provided most of these Silicon Valley experts with deep, but only partial, insight. While most of us view Facebook and Youtube as little more than places to exchange news with friends or share a video, these insiders understand much more. They have seen up close the most powerful, most predatory, most all-devouring corporations in human history.

Nonetheless, most of them have mistakenly assumed that their experiences of their own corporate sector apply only to their corporate sector. They understand the “existential threat” posed by Facebook and Google without extrapolating to the identical existential threats posed by Amazon, Exxon, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Goldman Sachs and thousands more giant, soulless corporations.

The Social Dilemma offers us an opportunity to sense the ugly, psychopathic face shielding behind the mask of social media’s affability. But for those watching carefully the film offers more: a chance to grasp the pathology of the system itself that pushed these destructive social media giants into our lives.

The post Why is the World going to Hell? Netflix’s The Social Dilemma tells only Half the Story first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Facts Vs. Fake

Do you know who coined the curse, “conspiracy theory” or accusation, “you are conspiracy theorist!”?  It was nobody less than the CIA in the 1950s, to silence those who saw through the lie of the Cold War against the Soviet Union. This was a complete lie by US war strategists to install fear in the population in general and in Europeans in particular and to boost the American Military Industrial complex and presenting a constant threat to the communist Soviet Union.

A complementary phrase developed in the last years is “fake news” — people who are saying well-founded truths are being accused of spreading “false news” and that by the very media that spread the real false news and lies in the first place. A dystopian world indeed, and most of the public doesn’t capture it.

Another denigrating term that made it lately into the vocabulary of the mainstream, is “populist”. It refers to people or ideas from the left, the middle, or the right as soon as they don’t stick to the going narrative. By Webster definition, a populist is someone who represents the people’s views, a majority view, actually.  It’s a very democratic term because a true leader should represent the people’s views. But media manipulation has made “populism” something of “lesser intellect”, and, of course, nobody wants to be of “lesser intellect”. Hence, it’s become a derogatory term. That’s how the media and psychologically-worked propaganda can alter what people would call “my common sense”.

The fear factor is always a crucial element in dividing people and corralling them into chambers of fear which allows anything outside to happen – building up armament, faking an arms race  when there was none. The Soviet Union came out of WWII – where they lost between 25 and 30 million people to save Europe and the world from fascism.

But western history books have it that it was the United States and her European allies, who foremost defeated Hitler. This false news is continuingly being propagated, last by the recent WWII Victory Celebration on 9 May 2020 without any consideration of the key role of the Soviet Union — today’s Russia – in defeating the Hitler Nazis.

After this enormous sacrifice, the Soviet Union had no intention nor the resources to build up an army to defeat the west as was being propagated by the US and then being aped by Europe, hence justifying 40 years of a Cold War, based on FEAR. The Cold War destroyed the natural relationship (trade, diplomatic, cultural) between Europe and today’s Russia.

Today, however, anybody who dares to remind the western media, politicians and friends of the real conqueror of Hitler, namely the Soviet Union is a “conspiracy theorist” or someone who spreads “false news”.

The Corona Crisis

The latest example of conspiracy galore is the corona crisis. What is playing out in front of our eyes, a worldwide lockdown of everything, followed almost by every government of this globe with similar severity, quarantine, confinement at home for almost everyone under the “pretext” of protecting you, the people, from an invisible enemy – a corona virus. And every government KNOWS it is a disaster for their national and world economy.  It is social suicide. Yet they go along — with the orders of whom?

As most of us who look for our own sources of information outside the mainstream dominated, government dictated or supported lies, data collection and statistics on COVID infections, as well as death rates, are vastly inflated and willingly falsified, to increase the fear factor and prolong the all destructive lockdown.  This horrendous cheat is not just actively practiced in the US, but also in Europe. A point in case is Italy.

Another example is Switzerland. The official Swiss Federal Office of Statistics (BAS, for German “Bundesamt für Statistik”), keeps records of all deaths in the country per week. In the first 18 weeks of 2020 (ending 3 May 2020), there were actually less deaths reported than in the first 18 weeks of 2015 – 25,400 (2020) vs. 26,596 (2015). How is that possible if the official corona-death toll in Switzerland is 1,642, as of 24 May 2020. In other words, pretty much the same number of people die every year with or without corona.

Since Switzerland has the 8th highest Covid death-rate in absolute terms in Europe, similar total death figures may most likely be found in other European countries and the US; i.e. ,virtually unchanged in the first 18 weeks of 2019 and 2020.

Unless solid proof is presented, like by the Italian Member of Parliament and a number of medical doctors, virologists and microbiologists from Italy and other European countries, as well as the US, anybody who refers to the fakeness and unreliability of the statistic is called a conspiracy theorist — a liar. And in some countries people who tell the truth are even liable to fines and legal pursuit. These threats and conspiracy accusations should shut us up. But they don’t and won’t. We want the truth to come out and be known to the entire world.

The World Economic Crisis

We already now realize the damage of unheard proportions. In the first four months of this so-called, WHO-denominated pandemic, we see a global disaster of proportions far exceeding those of 1929-33 and 2008-09. Never in recorded human history has so much misery been created.

Bankruptcies abound, the stock market plunged so far by more than 30% (with some ups and down – called “quick profit taking” by the rich and powerful on the back of the small investors). However, US billionaires increased their wealth during the first 4 months in 2020 by US$ 406 billion, according to CNBC of 1 May 2020

The universal Covid-lockdown has also caused a meltdown of productive assets, which now become easy prey to be bought by large corporations – unemployment soaring to heights never experienced before by modern humanity, currently at about 45 million Americans out of a job. This does not account for those having given up looking for a job or claiming unemployment.

According to Fox Business News, up to 40% may never get back to work. The FED predicts unemployment may reach 50% by the end of the year (in the worst 1929 recession period unemployment attained 25%). These are only US statistics. The situation in more chaotic Europe may be even worse.

The International Labor Office (ILO) announced that within months worldwide unemployment may hit 1.6 billion people, half the globe’s work force. Many of these people, especially in the Global South, have already been at the verge of poverty or under the poverty line, living from day to day, with no savings. Now they are condemned to begging – and many, maybe hundreds of millions, to die from famine, according to the World Food Program (WFP). Many if not most of them have no access to health services, no shelter, or any other form of social safety nets, because the COVID-caused economic collapse has wiped out even flimsy social safety structures poor countries may have set up.

Misery no end. And this is only the tiny tip of the iceberg. The worst is still to come  when in a few weeks or months a clearer picture of what industries will live or die will emerge and more people will be relegated to economic paupers.

The Real Conspiracy

Taking a few steps back – it is clear, it is no coincidence that the entire world is stricken by the same virus and virtually at the same time. That does not happen naturally – but can happen, as it did, when the virus is artificially implanted in every country – and that at the same time. So, there is a diabolical plan behind this so-called corona-crisis which does not even have to be a crisis, if we look at real disease and death rates not the inflated, fear-inspiring ones (see above, cases Italy and Switzerland).

So, who is behind this all? Well, without naming names and leaving that guessing up to you, there are several reports and events that have “predicted” such a pandemic. One of the most prominent ones, is the 2010 Rockefeller report – that described in surprising detail what is happening now, and calls it the “Lock Step” scenario. According to the report it should get worse and the current pandemic might be followed by a stronger wave later this year or in 2021. Strangely, the IMF’s economic projections for a “post-Covid economy, foresees 3 scenarios, two of which consider another outbreak in the second half of 2020, or in 2021.

Event 201 on 18 October 2019 in NYC, simulating among other atrocities a corona pandemic that would leave 65 million dead within 18 months . This was the final stroke before the planned outbreak. Let’s just say that the evil masterminds behind this monstrous crisis are a few very rich, power-thirsty psychopaths and their families and cronies. They are planning a One World Government, also called the New World Order, or the One World Order that has been under preparation since the latter part of the last century. It requires total control over the population and a sizable population reduction.

That’s where the eugenics come in. Many of the Rockefeller club, the “Bilderberg Society” members have been advocating population reduction for decades, including Bill Gates. He even bragged about it when in a 2010 TED talk in Southern California, “Innovating to Zero”, he said, “if we do a real god job vaccinating, we may reduce world population by 10% to 15%.” He wants to eliminate poverty, literally.

However, talking about it, and connecting the dots of what we are living today is being labeled as Conspiracy Theory.

Why are Bill Gates’ new corona vaccines possibly killer vaccines?  Here is how it works. The Gates Foundation first created the pharmaceutical company “Moderna” in Seattle, Washington State, not far from his Microsoft empire, basically to produce tailor-made vaccines for the Gates Foundation. Then the foundation gave US$ 20 million to Moderna for the development of a COVID vaccine. A few days ago, Moncef  Slaoas resigned from Moderna’s Board to become White House Director of Operation Warp Speed, a plan to fast-track a COVID vaccine. Nobody seems to bother about the flagrant conflict of interest – let alone the health risk that poses. See Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the subject.

But it gets even better. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), a little-known agency that is hardly in the news, had, according to Whitney Webb (Last American Vagabond) knowledge of the pandemic outbreak at least since last November, possibly earlier.

This means that President Trump knew about it, but didn’t do anything about it, rather let it happen. His blaming China today for mishandling the corona crisis is a sheer lie and a propaganda bluff to denigrate China’s reputation and her rising economy and solid currency, the yuan – which may soon take over from the dollar as a key world reserve currency.

DARPA is also financially supported by the Bill Gates Foundation. They have been working on new vaccine technologies for several years. The COVID-19 outbreak brought this research work to prominence. DARPA is closely collaborating with Bill Gates in applying this new technology to the vaccine, Bill Gates wants to develop and impose on the world population.

According to Whitney Webb, DARPA and its partner agencies are planning to

produce DNA and RNA vaccines, classes of vaccine that has never been approved for human use in the U.S. and involve injecting foreign genetic material into the human body. Notably, it is this very class of vaccine, now being produced by DARPA-partnered companies, that billionaire and global health “philanthropist” Bill Gates recently asserted has him “most excited”, relative to other Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

This is not conspiracy theory; this is real conspiracy. This sounds more like the Third Reich’s medical trials. The perpetrators were condemned at Nuremberg. In our dystopian world, nobody will be punished, even if thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands will die from the Gates WHO-supported rush with an untested vaccine. Though, it would match the eugenics agenda.

The so called (by WHO) COVID-19 “is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the human race.” It is a multi-generational lie that has become a ‘false normal’, says Dr. Sherry Tenpenny, founder of the Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center. And as a piece of reference enhancing her reputation, she has 20 years of vaccine research experience and her articles are translated in 12 languages. She also appears frequently on radio and TV to educate parents.

“By putting vaccines into our bodies, we are inserting foreign matter, toxins, into our cells, like mercury and aluminum.” In legal terms vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe”. Through pharma lobbying, in 1986 Congress has passed the National Childhood Vaccine Children Act, a law whereby pharmaceutical companies cannot be sued for any damage their vaccines cause, including death. The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of protecting vaccine makers from State Law Suits (5 May 2020).

Vaccines have enormous side effects, especially in small children, causing various lasting diseases, like peanut allergies, asthma, eczema and – yes – autism.

Particularly harmful vaccines are western-made MMR (measles), polio and DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). Russian made vaccines have different compositions and have helped prevent millions from polio and other debilitating, crippling or killing diseases. Since 2002, when revenues from vaccines for US pharma companies amounted to about US$ 8 billion, revenues and profits have skyrocketed to more than 60 billion per year by 2020. Every new vaccine is worth about a billion dollars. Learn more here:

Anybody who speaks out against vaccination, irrespective of the evidence given, is labeled a conspiracy theorist by the media, and often by the pharma-coopted medical society.

People start understanding that Bill Gates and his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) call the shots on public health around the world, especially on vaccination – and now on vaccination against the corona virus. The sinister new vaccines to be developed by Bill Gates in tandem with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), one of 27 agencies of the National Institute of Health (NIH), and supported by CDC and WHO – and in cooperation with DARPA – are described above. All Gates promoted vaccines are made by western pharma-corporations.

You should know that the Bill Gates Foundation also generously funds NIAID, NIH and CDC. Both CDC and NIH own several hundred if not thousands of vaccine patents. So, they have a vested interest in promoting vaccination, no matter how much harm they may cause to the population.

But this cannot be questioned, let alone criticized – else you will be denigrated as a conspiracy theorist. In fact, western Governments hire psychologists, sociologists and medical doctors to give interviews and talk to the media on conspiracy theories in a last-ditch effort to dissuade people from thinking and from believing the truth, if it is presented by non-mainstream media, or simply if it doesn’t correspond to the going political narrative. And many still fall for the lie, but ever more people are becoming suspicious and stick to their own investigated information  and demonstrate and protest, often with civil disobedience, against harsh government measure of police — and often military — crackdowns.

They call out against Bill Gates and WHO, a corrupted organization that receives half to three quarters of its annual budget from private donors, mostly the pharma industry, Bill Gates, but also telecom-industries (that’s why WHO has been silent on the potentially nefarious effects of 5G). Bill Gates is the biggest single donor of WHO. Conflict of interest is never discussed in the media. Those who know the truth and don’t hesitate calling it out are silenced by being called conspirators, liars by the media and, of course, by much of the medical community. In fact, Bill Gates literally calls the shots on matters of public health that affects the entire world.

People – be aware!

Also speaking out against vaccines and the lab-produced viruses from which eventually vaccines are derived is Dr. Judy Mikovits, a long-time NIAID micro-biologist, who has been severely punished by Dr. Fauci for defending her research results which Fauci wanted to hide. Her book, Plague of Corruption is currently Amazon’s number one Bestseller. That, in itself, tells a story of a public awakening.

Referring to her and her numerous interviews, peer-reviewed scientific articles and her book, is called a conspiracy because even her own outspokenness is called conspiracy, all in an effort to shut up critics of the current system, of the current new-normal that will soon require universal vaccination (Bill Gates with a sly smile wants to vaccinate 7 billion people in the next ten years). Will it be compulsory? Against most countries Constitutional and Democratic Rights? We don’t know. Seven billion is a slight exaggeration, because Russia and China will certainly not vaccinate their people with vaccines produced under Bill Gates funding and supervision.

But even if it is not compulsory, there may be so many “legal” hindrances put in place by western governments that most people eventually will roll over and accept the possibly killer vaccine that Bill Gates and his association of pharmaceuticals (GAVI) supported by WHO, will impose on humanity.

For example, you may not be able to receive or renew your driver’s license, going to concerts, to the movies, to sports events, to fly – and so on. That’s all been talked about and is part of the 2010 Rockefeller Report’s ”Lock Step” scenario  in which we are currently hopelessly navigating – under lockdown and with social distancing’ – so nobody can get together and possibly organize a plot against these draconian inhuman measures.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., JFK’s, nephew, founder of “Children’s Health Defense” an NGO advocacy organization has this to say:

Bill Gates is the world’s largest vaccine producer and the single largest donor to WHO and the CDC Foundation. Those agencies are now marketing arms for his vaccine empire.

In January 2019, Gates had WHO declare “vaccine hesitancy” the top “global health threat” (with Ebola, cancer, war, and drug-resistant pathogens), signaling a worldwide Pharma Gold Rush to mandate vaccines to all people.

Gates maxed-out in donations to Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff’s Political Action Committee (PAC). In February 2019, Schiff wrote to Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Pinterest, demanding they censor “vaccine misinformation, “a term meaning all skepticism toward government and industry pronouncements about vaccine safety or efficacy––whether true or not. “Vaccines are both effective and safe,” Schiff wrote. “There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling disease.”

This was misinformation. A year earlier, Schiff pushed a bill to hike the Vaccine Court admin budget to $11,200,000 to reduce vaccine injury backlogs. The court had already paid out $4 billion for vaccine deaths and disabilities.

Facebook and Pinterest said that they will rely on Gates’s WHO and CDC to say which on-line statements are “misinformation or hoaxes.” Facebook and Google hired “FactChecker” (Politifact) to censor vaccine misinformation. The Gates Foundation is “FactChecker’s” largest funder.

In his article, “Fact Checker, a Propaganda Device,” investigative journalist Jeremy Hammond concludes:

Facebook is guilty of misinforming its users about vaccine safety… They have no problem with lies about vaccine safety and effectiveness, as long as it’s intended to persuade parents to vaccinate their children.

On May 4, 2017, FactChecker declared as false, Del Bigtree’s statement, “Vaccines include aluminum and mercury, which are neurotoxins, and vaccines cause encephalopathy.”

FactChecker explained, “Current data show vaccines are safe and do not cause toxicity or encephalopathy.” [However], manufacturer’s inserts reveal that many vaccines contain aluminum and mercury, and cause encephalopathy. Finally, massive gifts to NPR & PBS buy Gates biased vaccine coverage.

This statement is from public media Highwire.

I’m (Robert Kennedy) not anti-vaccine. I’m against dangerous, shoddily tested, zero liability vaccines with toxic ingredients. If someone came up with a thoroughly tested vaccine that was completely safe and efficient, one that performed as promised, one that made people healthier rather than sicker, I’d be for it. – Indeed, only an idiot would oppose it.

But under no condition, would I support mandatory vaccination. Government has no right to force citizens to take unwanted medicines or to submit to involuntary medical interventions.

And he adds:

Google is a vaccine company. It has a $760 million partnership with Glaxo-the world’s largest vaccine maker and similar deals with Sanofi and Merck to mine your medical information. Googles mother company, Alphabet, has 4 vaccines developers working on flu, and other, vaccines.

Google and Youtube are removing videos from highly experienced doctors, epidemiologists, biologists and virologists – censuring is also the new normal – but they are promoting a billionaire software developer and a 16 year old climate change “expert” about viruses and vaccines — what does that say for the media, for the governments that support and finance the media.

The Strategy behind shouting Conspiracy – Conspiracy Theorist

There is a lot of psychology behind the strategy – leading people to a state of cognitive dissonance, of believing a narrative they know is a fiction, meaning, you know there is something not quite right, but you don’t’ dare questioning it. Why? Because of being called a conspiracy theorist. And why does that matter? Because it is a demeaning term, robbing the accused of his credibility (well thought-out by the CIA in the 1950s). Somebody stamped as a conspiracy theorist, believing in conspiracy theories, in fake news, makes you a lesser person in your friends’ eyes. So, they may avoid you, and if you stick to your opinion, you may gradually move into isolation. Being isolated, no friends, is fear-provoking. So, better believe the official narrative.

The silver lining around this dark cloud is ever more visible and ever brighter.

Be self-assured. Don’t cave in. Stick to your own research, to your fact-based opinion, regardless of being insulted as a conspiracy theorist. Stand up for what you believe and do it with passion. Other people also have doubts, and when they see people defending their beliefs with passion, they may join you. And so, a critical mass grows. And the conspiracy theory strategy rapidly loses power and fades away. Fading is already visible throughout European and US cities, where tens of thousands take to the streets, defending their civil and human and Constitutional Rights.

These are encouraging signs. Hope never fades until “we shall overcome.”

A Case Study of Corporate Media Disinformation

Some alternative media have exposed the US government and its corporate media fake news reporting on Russian “election interference,” on Venezuela, the war on Syria, China’s Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Palestine, among others. One of the longest running media disinformation campaigns has been directed at Cuba, well covered in Keith Bolender’s Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba.1 This thoroughly documented work is a good antidote to the constant anti-Cuba disinformation we are subjected to, which inevitably influences all of us. According to well-known Goebbels quote, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” —  true, but actually a lie that Goebbels ever said this.

Over the 60 years of the Cuban revolution, the corporate media has implanted in us a negative image of Cuba through their distortions of the country’s political and economic system, their discounting the revolution’s achievements, and their denial of the impact the blockade and US terrorism have had on the country. The media has been especially effective in not addressing the endless complex problems a developing nation faces once it has decided to establish its genuine sovereignty while trying to survive the relentless hostility of the world’s superpower.

In early 1960 Robert Kennedy spelled out the US’ Cuba project: the overthrow of Castro “is the top priority of the US government, all else is secondary, no time, money, effort or manpower is to be spared.” (p. 76) Washington clearly understood the revolution opened a future that didn’t exist before, still doesn’t today in most countries, and consequently imposed a blockade similar to a full military blockade in war. The US sought to undermine the Cuban Revolution by making people suffer, with the hope that they would blame and overturn their government.

The US government engineers the “regime change” attempts, while the “media’s role is not to examine Cuba’s society fairly: it is to validate regime change”2 The media’s function is to win public support for overthrowing another country’s government, not question Washington’s right to interfere in the internal affairs of that nation. It re-packages counterrevolution as saving the freedoms and human rights of the targeted nation’s people. With its control over information available to the US population, the corporate media has been able to convince most US people that Cuba is not a model to follow. The media consistently holds Cuba up to a higher standard that few other nations, including the United States itself, are subjected to.

The corporate media remains the gatekeeper of information, with five corporations controlling 90% of the media business. They have effectively promoted that its news can be confidently trusted. Bolender notes that while overall trust in the media has decreased, he points out, using the examples of Fox News and CNN, “it is mostly based on the consumer not believing in the media that presents opposing information to his own opinions in a specific issue” (p. 34). On Cuba, however, the corporate media present no opposing information, and are free to feed us fake news.

Fake News on Cuba

Bolender’s book can be called a short version history of fake news about Cuba. We present a sampling here:

The media claimed that Castro and his allies executed hundreds of Batista regime enemies in kangaroo courts after taking power. In fact, Batista’s repressive forces and police had killed 20,000 and some of them were captured and brought to justice for their crimes.

The media has presented the Cuban government’s nationalization of US properties as illegal and without any compensation. In fact, Cuba offered reparation payments based on 20 year bonds at 4.5% interest rates based on October 1958 property assessments. This offer, accepted by other countries, was refused by the US. That compensation and that negotiations were offered and repeatedly refused by the US was rarely reported by corporate media.

The media has claimed the US blockade was a response to Cuban seizure of  US properties without compensation, yet Washington’s eliminating the Cuban sugar quota occurred more than a year before the US refused negotiations.

New York Times fake news campaigning did not begin with its Russiagate anti-Trump story. On January 3, 1961, four months before the Bay of Pigs invasion, it claimed “It is incredible to us that the Cubans can believe we are about to invade their island…It is difficult for Americans to understand that others can honestly believe things about us that we know to be false”. (p. 87)

Bolender reviews some media coverage during the invasion: the Wall Street Journal, for instance, reported claims that the invaders had cut the country in two, had taken Santiago de Cuba and captured Raul Castro.

The corporate media painted Cuba’s installing nuclear missiles in 1962 as an act of war, even though their purpose was to forestall a new US invasion in the works. In fact, Cuba had as much right to point missiles at the US as the US had to point them at Cuba. Nevertheless, that the US almost went to world nuclear war and destruction of the planet with a naval blockade of Cuba is blamed on Cuba, not on Washington.

Bolender points out the same corporate media bias against Cuba is held against Palestine: “The notion that the Palestinians or Cubans have the right to defend themselves is outside the realm of normal discourse”. (p. 182)

The New York Times and Washington Post both presented fake news in the 1980s that Fidel sent 500 Cuban troops to El Salvador.

The media historically describes Cubans as emigrating due to the revolutionary government’s economic incompetence and political repression. In fact, people all over the world emigrate from poorer countries to richer ones.

The corporate media used the rescue of Elian Gonzalez to continuously attack the alleged poverty stricken and repressive life in Cuba his mother had fled. Actual US immigration policy at the time was rarely reported: that unaccompanied immigrant children are returned to their parents unless the parents are unfit.

Washington Post, among others, gave credence to John Bolton’s 2002 claim that Cuba was developing biological weapons, later convincingly disproven by Jimmy Carter.

The corporate media went on an anti-Cuba propaganda campaign over the Cuban “dissidents,” including “independent journalists” and “librarians” arrested in 2003 during the time of another US attempted attack on the country. It was not pointed out that they were arrested because of their prior and planned disruptions and bombings, or that they were on the US payroll.

The Cuban government allegedly diverts food from the population to the tourist industry. As with many such stories, no actual evidence is provided.

More than once were some of the 930 Cuban medical professionals working in Haiti after the earthquake identified as “Spanish.”

The New York Times propaganda still asserted Cuba is a mismanaged anachronism, that the average Cuban has no say-so, that the government does not permit public dialogue on its policies. This is arrogant nonsense to anyone knowledgeable about Cuba. Unlike the US, Cuba has a number of mass organizations that involve the people in running the government and society as a whole: Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC), Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), Federation of University Students (FEU), Federation of Pre-University Students (FEEM), and the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR).  Clearly this system is vastly more open and democratic than in the US.

In 2011 Cuba had a national discussion in thousands of assemblies in workplaces and schools around the country to establish new laws and guidelines for economic reforms. The US did no such thing when confronted by the 2008 economic crisis.

In 2018 Cuba had a similar national discussion on a new constitution. The process was discussed in over 100,000 workplaces and community meetings.  After the debates and modifications of the draft, the National Assembly approved it, which was then voted on in a national referendum. In contrast, the US has never organized national discussions or assemblies throughout the country when changes to the constitution have been made. The US does not even give the citizens the right to vote on changes to the constitution, nor gives us the right to elect the president by popular vote.

The media has claimed Cuba is involved in drug smuggling, again without evidence. In contrast, when Gary Webb exposed actual CIA crack cocaine smuggling into the US the corporate media undertook a major smear campaign against him for reporting it, destroying his life.

The corporate media consistently covered up the hundreds of acts of US terrorism against Cuba, including bombing Havana hotels and blowing up a civilian airliner, killing all 73 on board. The media has covered up biological warfare against Cuba, and does not report that over 3500 Cuban civilians have been killed in US terrorist attacks. Cuba has documented 636 US attempts to kill their head of state.  Bolender comments “The lack of authentic coverage of this covert war against Cuban civilians remains a great stain against the media in its treatment of the island nation.” (p. 100)

When Posada Carriles, who orchestrated the Cubana airline bombing, was arrested for illegal entry into the US, the New York Times did not describe him as a CIA agent or terrorist but as a Cuban “militant” seeking to overthrow Fidel Castro.

When Cuba shot down the Miami Brothers to the Rescue planes in 1996, the media helped cover up that these planes were in Cuban airspace, that they had penetrated Cuban airspace twelve times before, that Cuba had repeatedly complained to the FAA,  and  that the group was planning on dropping bombs on Havana in future flights. Instead, the shoot-down was presented as a callous and unprovoked Cuban attack on a humanitarian group over international waters.

Corporate media concealed that the Cuban Five were fighting terrorism directed at their country from the US. They were framed up as “spies” and imprisoned while the media colluded to black out reporting of the trial and their sentencing. The Miami press covered the case, but their reporters were working to aid the prosecution in the case. Some prominent journalists became paid US government agents, writing articles to misinform the public and even fabricate stories to help ensure the judicial frame-up of the five. They concocted stories that the Cubans were part of a spy network to smuggle weapons, even bombs, into the US to murder Castro opponents in Florida. The government spent millions dollars in illegal payments to journalists to write a thousand articles over a six-year period aimed to ensure a conviction. 

The  media misrepresented USAID agent Alan Gross, arrested and imprisoned in Cuba, as simply bringing in cell phones and laptops to the Jewish communities in Cuba. Honest reporting would have noted that he brought in and helped set up an untrackable, untraceable military grade communications network using devices illegal in Cuba.

Prior to Obama’s “opening” to Cuba, the media regularly told us that Cuba blocked US people from traveling to the country, while, in fact, the US disallowed it.

President Obama is credited with “normalizing” relations with Cuba, even though relations are not normalized when one continues a blockade and economic war on the other.

In 2015, Fox News and Daily Beast claimed hundreds of Cuban military personnel were aiding Syria’s Assad.

The media claims Trump ended individual travel to Cuba, which was allowed under two different licenses. In fact, he ended the People to People license, but the Support for Cuban People license remains in effect. This is typically not reported, discouraging travel to Cuba.

In 2017 Cuba allegedly engaged in sonic attacks on US diplomats in Havana, causing serious health problems for the officials, and provided the excuse for Trump to slash US and Cuban Embassy staff. Barely reported was that after four trips to Cuba, the FBI found no evidence to support this assertion of attacks.

The corporate media claims Cuba restricts internet access to its citizens. In reality, by late 2018, anyone with a 3G phone can get online. It is actually the US that restricts internet access by denying access to the fiber optic cables that run near Cuban shores.

Bolender notes that “A favorite ploy of the media is to offer expert opinions on how to fix the serious economic problems Cuba faces, while consistently ignoring America’s debilitating economic embargo.” (p. 3) The New York Times claims Cuba is “an economically distressed country that is perennially in crisis” with the blockade never referenced. If the blockade is mentioned, its draconian nature remains hidden, thereby maintaining the fiction that US action has no impact on Cuba.

The media has consistently used “democracy” and “human rights” to malign Cuba. Obama himself declared Cuba “has not yet observed human rights…The fact of the matter is Cuba… has not yet moved to democracy. Has not yet observed basic human rights.” The self-appointed US big brother presumes it can “help” the Cubans gain freedom and operate their economy in an efficient manner. The calls for “democracy” and “human rights” in Cuba has nothing to do with representative government nor human rights. The terms are used as a propaganda tool, elevating the accuser to a superior moral status, justifying Washington’s illegal interference.

The media claims Cuba has no free elections, no democratic process. In reality, Arnold August’s Cuba and its Neighbours, Democracy in Motion explains that Cuba has an electoral system surprisingly more democratic than the US version. The Cuban people both propose and vote on who will be their own representatives, unlike the case here. People in every constituency propose and then vote on who will be their delegates for the municipal government. Once the municipal government is formed, they propose from among their elected members and vote on who will be their delegates to the provincial government. The provincial government does the same in turn for the national parliament. The national parliament elects the president, ministers, and Council of State members from among its own members. This means, from the president to every single member of government, everyone has to be nominated in the first place in the community where he or she lives.

Social media opens many new doors for disinformation operations. Twitter, a neo-con corporation, received USAID funding to build a social media network in Cuba called Zunzuneo. It sought to create a mass youth following in Cuba and later use this network to stimulate demonstrations and cause internal unrest.

When fake news was deemed insufficient the media resorted to a schizophrenic McCarthyism: Cuba was a “point of infection by the Communist virus for the whole hemisphere”.3

As if to assert its thinking has not evolved, when Fidel Castro died the New York Times blamed him for ‘bringing the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere” and for “pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war.” In fact, the US had brought the Cold War here at least by 1954 with its coup against Guatemala’s Arbenz. The historical record shows that Cuba turned increasingly towards the Communist world only after the US drastically curtailed political and economic relations with Cuba. As mentioned above, the world was pushed to the brink of nuclear war by the aggressive actions by John Kennedy, not by Khrushchev or Castro.

The New York Times also referred to Cuba as “a dynastic police state”. (p. 151)

The Washington Post on Fidel Castro’s death called him “one of the most brutal dictators in modern history,” an irrational statement that presumably places him in league with Hitler.

Like any foreign leader the US wants to eliminate, Fidel Castro was portrayed as a child, as mentally unbalanced. This helped to both justify US regime change and to avoid informing the US public on the reasons for Cuban anger at the US conduct towards Cuba since 1898. When journalists accurately reported on the Cuban experience, as did Herbert Matthews, he was “ostracized by his media colleagues as being a dupe of Castro and a communist sympathizer”. (p. 79)  More respected were the likes of Tad Szulc who said Fidel was “an overgrown boy”. (p. 80)

Bolender repeatedly points out “that whenever there’s something positive about Cuba, the media must follow its credo of injecting negative misinformation, no matter how preposterous the claim….It was intended to ensure the consumer maintains a negative opinion about Cuba, despite reading of its accomplishments”. (pp.  171-172)  One example: a criticism of the new Cuban president by the New York Times, “Mr. Diaz-Canel, who became Cuba’s new president on Thursday, the day before his 58th birthday, has spent his entire life in the service of a revolution he did not fight”. (p. 180)

Corporate media reporting of anything negative about Cuba is an acceptable default position, with the underlying assumption being, before and after Obama’s opening, that the Cuban system must change, guided by US benevolence.

US Disinformation on Cuba before 1959

Media propaganda against Cuba began long before the 1959 revolutionary victory. Bolender takes us back to the justifications for the 1898 US invasion and occupation. Cubans were portrayed as unkempt children unable to manage by themselves, needing Anglo-Saxon Uncle Sam to save Cubans from Spain and then from themselves by ruling their affairs for them.

The so-called Spanish-American War saw fake news stories that would be recycled later.

The two chief media outlets of the day competed with wild stories to whip up US support for war and occupation. It was “doubtful…that the war would have developed without the agency of the most vicious and cynical behavior of a part of the American press that our nation had yet seen”. (p. 53)  This same media conduct was repeated a hundred years later to garner support for the war on Iraq.

Spain was blamed without any evidence for the US Navy ship Maine explosion. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt  then repeated the unsubstantiated claim the next day, providing the excuse to launch an invasion. Similarly, this story-line was later repackaged with the fabricated North Vietnamese attack on a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin.

The corporate press erased the whole 1895-98 independence struggle of the Cuban people against Spain by claiming the US invasion won the war and freed Cuba from Spain.

Even the US name for the war, the Spanish-American War, was a propaganda ploy, removing the agency of Cubans, concealing it being a US war on the Cuban independence struggle. Similarly, the corporate media sold us the US War on Korea as the “Korean War” and the US War on Vietnam as the “Vietnam War.”

Cubans were painted as irresponsible, lazy, ignorant, unfit for self-government — racist stereotypes the corporate media repeatedly applied to many other Third World peoples and countries, including native Americans and Blacks. “The Cuban is lacking chiefly in the qualities that are conspicuous in American men — virility, initiative, will power, tenacity, reverences for women and conscience.” They are helpless, idle, of defective morals and unfitted by nature and experience for discharging the obligations of citizenship in a great and free republic. Their lack of manly force and self-respect…” and so on with this precursor of Nazi-style propaganda.

“To clothe such men with the responsibilities of directing self-government would be to summon them to the performance of functions for which they have not the smallest capacity“ (quoted on pp. 55-56). The New York Times at the time declared, “We are guardians, self-appointed, to the Cuban people” (p. 61) and warned of “an irresponsible government of half-breeds”. (p. 62)

That Third World peoples still need the American white man’s firm hand and parenting remains a central element of US foreign policy propaganda, not only against Cuba, but the world.

Brazen Yankee arrogance displays itself in one clause of the quintessential neo-colonial Platt Amendment the US imposed on Cuba: Cuba was prohibited from negotiating treaties with any country other than the US “which will impair… the independence of Cuba” or “permit any foreign power or powers to obtain…or control over any portion” of Cuba. All precisely US conduct with the Platt Amendment.

The occupation completed, the US then made available prime Cuban lands to US citizens, following historic US policy with conquered native American peoples’ lands.

When Cubans protested this Platt Amendment, the Chicago Tribune editorialized “The United States reserved the right to intervene…to preserve public order…We are the parent, Cuba is the child, and the child is about due for a good spanking” (p. 67). Cuban “independence,” as written into their constitution, meant Cubans did not have the right to protest without risking foreign intervention. For the corporate media, Cuba was to be eternally grateful to the US for its freedom and independence, and to consider US domination as benign and progressive.

Bolender quotes Walter Cronkite on the US attitude towards Cuba before the revolution: “Cuba was a resort land for Americans…it was just a part of America, we kind of considered it part of the United States….The country was a little colony”.  (p. 74)

Then came 1959 and Fidel Castro responded to racist imperial patronizing with the simple truth: “I believe that this country has the same rights of other countries to govern itself”. (p. 68)  By the end of 1960 media coverage of Cuba was telling us Fidel Castro was crazy. In the world of corporate media fake news, all leaders who oppose or criticize US dictates and bullying are called madmen. The media transformed Cuba from a welcoming tourist playground into an armed camp, a repressive Communist state, a colony of the Soviet Union. The media “went on a rampage of misinformation and outright falsehoods about the Cuban Revolution that persists to this day”. (p. 75)

That Cuba must conform to US imperial standards, nothing less, has been an unchanged US policy from 1898 to the present.

Our Susceptibility to US Disinformation Campaigns

We should never underestimate the shrewdness of US disinformation, which has affected Bolender to a degree. For example, Bolender describes USAID’s Zunzuneo project as analogous to Russian social media operations in 2016.  (p. 188) In reality, this entire Russiagate story itself was a disinformation campaign. Bolender again falls for corporate media disinformation by calling the US-NATO war on Syria a “civil war”. (p. 6) We can be quite knowledgeable about some disinformation campaigns, but even the most astute among us can be taken in by others.

Bolender mentions “The decision by the Castro government to embrace Soviet orthodoxy” occurred after the Bay of Pigs invasion. He does not explain what is signified by this “Soviet orthodoxy.”  Nevertheless, Cuba did not become closely aligned with the Soviet Union almost ten years after the 1961 invasion. During the 1960s, a fair amount of discord punctuated the relations between the two countries: Khrushchev unilaterally removing missiles, the split in the Communist bloc, sharp disagreements over guerilla warfare, the Warsaw Pact 1968 intervention in Czechoslovakia, the defense of Vietnam, the 1967 crackdown of the pro-Soviet Anibal Escalante faction in the Cuban CP.

Bolender sees “a softening, even a balance of coverage when examining specific incidents, such as Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban Five and even the Alan Gross affair.” (p. 176) I do not agree. The public regarded Elian’s case as a father unfairly being kept from his son, and as the US government not defending family and parental rights. People could not be sold on the attempt to view it through a “Communist Cuba vs. US freedom” lens. Having worked on the Cuban Five case for twelve years, I observed no opening of coverage on the case. Outside of Miami the corporate media maintained a black out. We even had to raise funds to pay the New York Times to publish a factual account on the Cuban Five.

Corporate Media as Informational Enabler of US “Regime Change”

Bolender’s book gives us an excellent understanding of the actual role the so-called free press plays. “Cuba remains a prime example of media manipulation in support of foreign policy perspectives”. (p. 180) “While politicians express policy, the press was tasked to manufacture acceptable public opinion in support of regime change”. (p.76)  “America’s corporate media is the informational enabler of Washington’s regime change strategy”. (p. 183)

Media covers other countries in a hostile or favorable light, reflecting the US government and corporate America’s relations with those governments. Countries targeted for counterrevolution by Washington are routinely claimed to have serious economic problems and human rights abuses. Brutal regimes like Colombia, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, and Israel that are allied with the US have their abuses painted over.

“Destabilization, subversion and economic warfare have been the tools of regime change policy used by the US government; the media has willingly helped forge them.” (p. 2) Many studies have substantiated this, such as Carl Bernstein’s on the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, revealing that the CIA actually had 400 corporate media executives and journalists reporting “news” according to CIA objectives. F. William Engdahl has written extensively on US media and NGO roles in recent regime change operations in Russia, China, Yugoslavia, the Arab Spring and the Middle East today. Beenish Ahmed wrote on a simple media coverup in her article, Here Are All The Things The Media Calls Torture Instead Of ‘Torture’.

Corporate media disinformation seeks to poison our attitude towards countries standing up for their national sovereignty, but also towards actual journalists who expose the media’s fake news. They seek to destroy Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning as they did Gary Webb. Corporate America’s disinformation relies on politicians, media and NGOs to implant their messaging. It remains a long ongoing battle to combat it among the people, and an essential part of that requires us to question our own views, as none of us are entirely immune to disinformation techniques, which have, in effect, become an advanced science.

  1. Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba. He has also written Voices From the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba, and Cuba under Siege: American Policy, the Revolution and Its People.
  2. The term “regime change” is itself not accurate: the appropriate term is “counterrevolution,” as Washington’s actual goal is not overturning a ‘regime” so much as the social, economic and political gains of the people of the country. p. 137
  3. New York Times, April 23, 1961 — a date right after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

The Fallacy of the Appeal of the Centrist Democrat

I have watched for the past couple months as Bernie Sanders has risen in the polls and then proceeded to do well in the first primary and caucuses as these people have done everything to try and kneecap his success. The amount of negative press about Sanders that has been pumped out by all of the mainstream “liberal” media during this period of time is truly breathtaking. They don’t make any effort whatsoever to disguise their biases which is really ironic when they have all been prescribing themselves as the necessary antidote to the alternate reality the Trump administration is trying to create.

There is no problem with journalism examining candidates. That is why their viewers and readers turn to those outlets. The problem is that they have collectively targeted one candidate in this primary competition and chosen to smear him mercilessly. A truthful press requires objective, unbiased opinions. The deluge of anti-Sanders propaganda from all forms of the mainstream media (print/web/TV) has proven that they lack such an impartiality.

It is not surprising that most of the media is anti-Sanders; they are either corporations themselves or owned by corporations or venture capital. Sanders’ policy proposals threaten to put an end to the “no-taxes for corporate America” scheme that has been getting progressively worse with each administration since Reagan. It’s also not surprising to hear it from the people who are paid to talk on the TV set or write the hit-pieces because a lot of them are Republicans themselves. What is surprising, though, is to observe the audience that has been so critical these past three years about the propaganda on Fox News (and the Trump supporters who buy into it) fall into the same trap.

There has been a really great grift they have perpetrated on their casual viewers and readers since the Trump election. It’s essentially a bait and switch that deceives them into believing that because they share one common enemy all their views must line up. They have used the notion that since the Never-Trump Republicans (getting paid to share their opinions on “liberal” cable news) don’t like Trump, and the liberals tuning in don’t like Trump, that they should share the same opinions on who the Democratic Party should nominate to go against Trump.

The great irony of this is that there is a whole audience of liberal TV viewers who are listening to George W. Bush, McCain, etc. advisers and strategists giving them advice about which Democrat can win and lose an election against Trump. These people would have told you that Jeb was going to be the nominee in 2016, and they would have worked hard to help him beat Hillary, you can be certain of that. The whole reason they are on the TV set is because they were wrong and their candidates lost after which they publicly opposed the Dear Leader. Now they are the 6% of Republicans that don’t support Trump and the notion is that we need to appeal to them?!

There is a whole group of liberals, or people who used to be liberal, who are being deceptively turned into neocons by a bunch of Republican pundits spreading their poison through the media. This can be best observed following the results of the SC primary, and as a lifelong Democrat it is frightening to see. The take-away from this is that the enemy of your enemy isn’t always your friend. Such is true about these hucksters, who might share a mutual disdain for Donald Trump, but they almost certainly love his policies and all the judges he has been able to nominate. They are not on our side.

Following the SC Primary there has been a return to totally delusional and disingenuous analysis of the democratic primary. (They had to bite their tongues for a moment post-NV) Everyone reading this knows that Joe Biden won the primary by a large margin and Sanders came in second. This victory by Biden has given these newsrooms the license to move the goalposts yet again to push another phony message. From one of the perennial bad actors, the New York Times, there was this notification sent out: “Joe Biden won the South Carolina primary, reviving his campaign and establishing himself as a leading rival to Bernie Sanders.” From another, Politico, there was this: “Joe Biden racked up his first 2020 win in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, a big boost heading into Super Tuesday.”

Those stories were blasted out within 3-5 minutes of the polls closing on Saturday evening. There were no actual numbers other than exit polls at the time indicating Biden had won but they wanted to get that message out pronto. An exit poll isn’t official; it is simply an extrapolation of data gathered, often by news outlets, from voters as they leave polling stations. When the ballots were actually tallied Biden did have a big win, but this is proof that these outlets had these stories locked and loaded before a single vote had actually been counted.

Getting into the nitty-gritty about the results and the race overall the fake news gets even worse. As evident in both those messages, they were pushing the message that Biden had revived his campaign from winning in the state where he put all his resources. In an apparent nod to the Hillary contingent, they pushed the storyline that he had won more of the combined popular vote from the first four races than anyone else.

The argument about Biden having the most votes is the epitome of illusory; his SC win is the only reason he holds the largest share of the popular vote. It’s deceitful because its sole purpose is to imply that he is the most popular candidate but the win in SC accounts for 80% of his share of the popular vote. If he were the most popular candidate, then he would have done well in all of the first four states. He didn’t. It is supremely duplicitous when contrasted with the argument they have made since last winter that Sanders doesn’t have broad appeal.

Here is the reality — Biden came in fourth place in the Iowa Caucuses, finishing 11% points behind Sanders, who won the popular vote and tied for the state delegate equivalents. In NH he finished in 5th place, 17% points behind Sanders. In Nevada he came in 2nd place, finishing 27% points behind Bernie Sanders. In Nevada, not only did he have the backing of the state Democratic Party and his friend Harry Reid shilling for him, he had the benefit of the most powerful union in the state attacking Sanders’ trademark policy in the weeks before the primary. Even with all of those things working in Biden’s favor, Bernie Sanders still won by 27% points.

As you can see there, Biden’s results in those three different states were 4th, 5th, and 2nd. As I write this, there are still 50 states in our union and 5 inhabited territories and having broad appeal means doing well in more than one place. Not to take anything away from Biden, he won South Carolina by a wide margin, but Sanders tied for first in Iowa in delegate count and won the popular vote, won in NH and NV, and came in 2nd in SC. Overall that signifies a much broader appeal by the pundit’s own rubric.

What really signifies Sanders’ broad appeal, though, is the grassroots movement behind his candidacy. There hasn’t been anything like it in modern American political history. This is truly where the brainwashing from the corporate media shows its greatest impact. There is a large cohort of people out there who genuinely still believe that he has limited appeal because that is what they are being told in their media echo chamber. These are a lot of the same “resisters” who called Fox News a feedback loop of misinformation for the past three years.

The Sanders campaign sent out an email this morning revealing that they had received “more than $46.5 million from 2.2 million individual donations” in the 29 days of February. There is no analog to that in the American political sphere. No one else has that power to raise money in small dollar donations from individuals all over the country. No one else has that type of movement. I can promise you that every political candidate wishes that they had the fundraising ability that Sanders has. Those donations signify actual individuals donating their hard-earned dollars to support a candidate because they believe in that person.

In addition to that financial support, people are flying to states to canvass in support of Sanders, and people who can’t afford to contribute from their paychecks are making phone calls and canvassing locally. Biden can’t even get enough people to volunteer to canvass for him. There is a serious disconnect between the people that believe this drivel they read and watch and the political movement that is happening on the left.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, I guess, since they are watching the same networks that are responsible for giving us Donald Trump. While they watch former Republicans and Hillary strategists now blaming Bernie, they seem to forget that these people blamed James Comey, Jill Stein, Russian Interference, and so on for her losing. Meanwhile they are feeding the beast that is responsible for the whole thing — the mainstream media.

Trump probably would have lost because while he did have a base of supporters, they weren’t politically active and didn’t contribute much to his campaign. That didn’t matter, though, because he received over $3 billion worth of free media coverage and some estimates are as high as $5 billion. So please, liberals, go ahead and keep watching the networks that created the monster where they constantly try and kneecap the only guy with the movement to beat Trump.

Fake News, False Democracy and Phony Economics

The growing popularity of an American social democratic presidential candidate who calls himself a democratic socialist has revived every anti-humanity distortion of the past, emanating from the tiny minority ruling our country through its servant class of professionals in media and politics. Newer and more bloody mythologies about supposedly existing socialisms are expanding on the incredible death tolls supposedly inflicted by previous attempts at achieving the common good by confiscating the wealth of royalty and the rich in nations where free markets were supposedly destroyed by savages who felt that one thousand people and one thousand loaves of bread meant they should be distributed one to a person. That was instead of being owned by a capitalist and sold only to those who could amass the market forces to buy bread by creating private profit for the investor-rulers who owned the bakery.

Every attempt at creating a socialist let alone communist society has incurred the bloody violent wrath of the capitalist world, beginning with the Paris Commune of the 19th century, extending to the Soviet Union and China in the twentieth, and continuing to the present when truly electoral democratic attempts at revolutionary transformation in places like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia are met with external warfare in the form of sanctions and foreign financing of internal opposition reducing populations having finally achieved balanced diets for the first time in their lives to not only scrounging for survival but living under threat of military invasion for doing so.

While this minority created imperial policy that views the world as subject renter and American wealth as royal owner will soon be replaced by real democracy if it doesn’t destroy everything in its process of failing, attempts at creating what is called a “sharing” economy are made by well meaning souls trying to take the merchant relationship away by replacing it with person to person deals, as in the ancient markets which offered humanity a place to bargain as equals. But making a deal with someone at a flea market or neighborhood swap doesn’t really amount to a social change, just as a private non-profit hardly transforms market forces. The non-profit results from massive tax write-offs for the rich making donations that insure their system remains strong, and the innocent personal bartering that takes place among well meaning people is no comparison to a truly collective worker owned democratically controlled enterprise. We might as well claim that McDonalds is “sharing” its burgers and fries with us, as Tesla is “sharing” its autos, General Dynamics “shares” its weapons, and documented pharma and undocumented dope dealers “share” their drugs. The market still rules and it remains under the ownership and control of minority wealth, with the number of dollars they command at a peak never before seen in the history of humanity. The Roman Empire’s wealth amounted to chump change compared to the trillions of dollars owned and controlled by a tiny handful of global, mostly American billionaires.

A philosopher teaching the social values of the capitalist market and calling them democratic is like a pimp teaching social values of the sex market and calling it love, or an economist doing a cost-benefit analysis of dating that skips the expense of dinner and a movie and gets right to the rape. Under the control of such market forces, unless you are the philosopher, the economist or the rapist, ultimately you get screwed. Unfortunately, it is most of the world that has been criminally abused, but rising populations of workers are demanding and taking action for radical change to transform reality before it transforms all of us into lonely souls screeching and tweeting “me-me” while all collapses around “us”.

A real sharing economy will be cooperative, not competitive, involving majority social behavior, not individually imposed anti-social-ism promoted as beneficial for all when it only rewards some at the expense of the many. And too much that passes for “progressive” politics is like the “progressive” tax system which takes far more from the vast majority while rewarding the ruling class of fantastic wealth all manner of deductions, write-offs and constitutionally sanctioned criminality that makes them richer and the rest poorer. That is regressive, not progressive, using words that have nothing to do with the actions, which speak much louder. We need radical economic changes like a 20-hour workweek at a $20 an hour minimum wage, free public transit, worker owned and controlled businesses, public banks, health care for all, and far more. At cries of “how can we afford that? made by the innocent and ignorant under the control of their slick manipulators, try this: Stop spending trillions on war and instead spend it on life. Duh? But, all those jobs will vanish. How will those workers survive? With better jobs that serve humanity – their “identity group” – the environment, and their personal and social lives. Double duh?

We can defend our nation, if such is needed, with a truly defense force that does not involve spending hundreds of billions to place our military in foreign locales. We can save lots of transportation dollars by staying the hell out of other people’s national, political and economic business unless trading with them on a fair, non-superior market forces arrangement but one that treats everyone as having the same rights of pursuit of life and liberty, but in reality instead of just rhetorically.

If we truly mean to aid foreign people in a time of need, we can do it the way Cuba does by sending doctors, nurses and medical equipment at a time of plague or disease, and not the way we’ve always done it by sending bombs, guns and bullets to help prevent looting. And to the really ignorant bordering on stupid charges that we can’t afford to offer our entire population health care under public control because taxes will have to increase: For the rich? Of course. But even if working people see a tax increase of $500, and a health care expense decrease of $1,000, unless their education has exclusively been at private schools, they can see that represents a savings of money, not a loss.

Attempts to transform economic reality have always been, at their core, to establish a class free society of truly equal citizens, with no survival aspect of life denied anyone because it is not affordable. The shame of people living in the street in a society that spends trillions on war and billions on pets should relieve us of any fear of a judgmental, righteous, vindictive Old Testament god. We’d have been wiped out by such a deity, with holocausts, earthquakes, tsunamis and worse until he-she-it was finally rid of us. But our problem is not a deity, nor even the corona virus, which may be a threat to some of us, but  the capitalist virus is a threat to all humanity.

The Sanders campaign is the American equivalent of the growing global demand that ends the hypocrisy of calling minority electoral rule of the rich by the name democracy and using media and political hired help to plant that idiotic notion more deeply into public consciousness.  It wont work anymore. Real democracy means choosing the greater good, not the lesser evil which is the usual choice for the minority that has voted in the past. Hopefully, a majority will show up at the polls and vote for humanity in the majority, contradicting the minority shapers of what passes for conscious reality and beginning the transformation of the nation, in accordance with what is going on all over the world, from a selfish, anti-social and anti-human environment, to one of mutual aid, social justice, peace, and for the first time in human history, rule of the majority. The beginning of that pro-social democracy is dependent on the end of anti-social capitalism.

How CNN Makes Fake News about Xinjiang

A cemetery in Xayar, NW #China‘s #Xinjiang #Uygur Autonomous Region, has recently become a bone of international contention. #CNN reported that graveyards in the region were being demolished by authorities, highlighting stories such as that of Aziz Isa Elkun, a Uygur poet now residing in London, who had said he couldn’t find his father’s grave on Google Maps. So a crew from CGTN decided to find out if there was any truth to the CNN report. Click the video to find who’s spinning a #lie for the audience.

A Beautiful but Deceptive Documentary: “For Sama”

The documentary movie “For Sama has won a host of awards in Europe and North America. Its producers and protagonists, Syrians Waad Kateab and her husband Dr. Hamza Kateab plus English film-maker Edward Watts,  have received gushing praise. And the awards will probably keep coming.

Unfortunately, behind a human interest story, the movie “For Sama” is propaganda: biased, misleading, and politically partisan.

Hiding Basic Facts about Aleppo

“For Sama” is a full length documentary with a moving personal story. It combines a story of young love and the birth of a child – Sama –  in the midst of war. That makes it compelling and personal. But the movie fundamentally distorts the reality of east Aleppo in the years 2012 – 2016.  While the personal narrative may be true, the context and environment is distorted and hidden. The viewer will have no idea of the reality:

* Most residents of east Aleppo did not want the militants to take over their neighborhoods.  The short video, Nine Days from my Window,  shows the takeover in one neighborhood. Many civilians fled the east side of Aleppo after the “rebels” took over. Those who stayed on were mostly militants (and families) plus those who had nowhere else to go or thought they could wait it out.

* The militants who took over east Aleppo became increasingly unpopular. As American journalist James Foley wrote, Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.” Foley’s honest reporting may have contributed to his ultimate death.

* The opposition group which came to dominate east Aleppo was the Syrian version of Al Qaeda, Jabhat al Nusra. “For Sama” ignores their domination, extremism and sectarian policies. There is only one fleeting reference and no video showing who exactly was ruling east Aleppo.

* In fact, the militants (also known as “rebels”) were incredibly violent and vicious. A few examples are when they threw postal workers off the building roof, when they sent suicide truck bomb into Al Kindi Hospital, when they slaughtered Syrian soldiers defending the hospital and when they video-recorded themselves beheading a boy.

* 85% of the civilians in Aleppo were living in government controlled west Aleppo. Thousands were killed by “rebel” snipers, mortars and hell cannon missiles launched from east Aleppo.  This short video describes the situation in west Aleppo, completely ignored by For Sama.

Al Quds Hospital was NOT destroyed

“Al Quds Hospital” is featured in the documentary “For Sama”. This is where Hamza worked and Sama was born. According to the movie, the hospital was destroyed in February 2016. At the time there was enormous publicity about the hospital and allegations the Russians purposely bombed the hospital. Doctors without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres) tweeted “We are outraged at the destruction of Al Quds hospital in #Aleppo. These claims are repeated in the documentary. At the time, there were questions and challenges about the authenticity of the account. It turned out “Al Quds Hospital” did not exist before the conflict and was one or two floors of an apartment building. It turned out Doctors Without Borders did not have any staff on site and simply accepted the account told to them. After east Aleppo was liberated, a prominent medical doctor from west Aleppo,  Dr. Nabil Antaki, visited the location to find out the truth. He was a long time doctor but had never heard of Al Quds Hospital. He reported,

I went Sunday February 12, 2017 visiting the Ansari-Sukari neighborhood in order to see Zarzour and Al Quds Hospitals. My guide was a young man who lived there and knows very well the area.

My first stop was Zarzour hospital (mentioned in MSF report) and I found out that it was burned. My guide told me that the rebels burned it the day before the evacuation (information confirmed by a high position responsible in the Syrian Red Crescent). On the side walk, I found hundreds of burned new blood bags (for collection of blood donation). A man met there invited me to visit his building just next to the hospital. His building was also burned and on the floors, I found hundreds of IV solution bags.

Then, we moved to Ain Jalout school. In fact, there are 3 contiguous schools. Two are completely destroyed; one is partially. Behind the schools, there is a mosque called Abbas mosque with its minaret. Answering my surprise to see schools destroyed by air strikes, my guide told me that the mosque was a headquarters of the rebels and one school was an ammunition depot and the other one was a food depot. I noticed the flag of Al Nosra painted on the external wall of the school, and dozens of buildings in the surrounding partially destroyed.

Then, we moved to see Al Quds Hospital. Obviously, it is the most preserved building of the street. Obviously, it was not hit directly by bombs and probably received some fragments from bombs fallen on other building. I asked my guide if any restoration or repair were done. He said no.

My feeling is the following: Ain Jalout school was the target of the strikes, the surrounding destroyed buildings were collateral damages and Al Quds hospital was not directly hit by strikes.

So we have an eye witness account, plus photographs and video, which show that it is untrue “Al Quds Hospital” was destroyed. This means that claims in the movie about the death of a doctor at Al Quds Hospital, supposedly captured by closed caption camera, are also untrue.

The armed opposition and their western supporters have been faking events to demonize the Syrian government from the start. One example which became public was the Richard Engels Kidnapping Hoax where the militants staged the kidnapping and “rescue” of Engels and team.

Paid and Promoted by the West

Waad had an expensive video camera and endless hard drives. She even had a drone to take video from the air. As confirmed by Hillary Clinton in her book “Hard Choices”, the US provided “satellite-linked computers, telephones, cameras, and training for more than a thousand activists, students, and independent journalists.” Waad claims she is a citizen journalist but she has been paid and supplied by governments which have long sought the overthrow of the Syrian government. Even in 2005, CNN host Christiane Amanpour warned Bashar al Assad that “the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States. They are actively looking for a new Syrian leader … They’re talking about isolating you diplomatically and, perhaps, a coup d’etat or your regime crumbling.”

Since 2011, the West, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies have spent many BILLIONS of dollars trying to overthrow the Syrian government. Just the CIA budget for Syria was near a billion per year. The “soft power” component includes video equipment and training to people like Waad to support the armed insurrection, demonize the Syrian government and persuade the public to continue the war.

“We all suffered… The difference is that some wanted the war.”

The medical doctor from west Aleppo. Dr Antaki, does not deny there was suffering in east Aleppo. But he points out the discrepancy in media coverage where all the attention goes to the “rebels”. He also points out that all suffered, but not all were responsible. Some, especially the “revolution” supporters, initiated and continued the conflict. He said:

There were a lot of stories like ‘For Sama’ in West Aleppo. Unfortunately, nobody had the idea to document them because we were busy trying to protect ourselves from the rockets, to find water to drink, to find bread and essential products which were not available because of the blockade of Aleppo by the armed groups. They cut off electrical power, heating etc.. Yes, people who were in the East neighborhoods suffered from the war as well as those who lived in the West neighborhoods. We, all, suffered. The difference is that some people wanted the war, initiated or supported it and they suffer. The others didn’t support it and suffered.

Aftermath

Waad Al Kateab and her husband Hamza are now living in the UK. He is working for a money transfer company and involved with “Al Quds Hospital” in  Idlib. As indicated in the movie, Waad was never proud to be Syrian and she wanted to emigrate to the West. From afar, she claims to be proud of the “revolution” that has led to this destruction and human tragedy.

Meanwhile people are returning to Aleppo and rebuilding the city. There are even a few tourists. Although there are pockets of snipers in Aleppo, Al  Qaeda extremism is mostly confined to Idlib province.

Save Idlib?

The 2019 documentary movie “Of Fathers and Sons” is based on a film-maker who lived with militants in Idlib. Some of what is hidden in “For Sama” is revealed in this documentary. It shows life in Idlib province dominated by Nusra. Women are restricted to the house and must be veiled. Boys as young as ten are sent to sharia school and military training, preparing to join Nusra. They believe in the Taliban, glorify 9-11 and expel or punish any people who do not subscribe to their fundamentalist religion. Youth are indoctrinated with extremist ideology and belief in violence. This is the regime that those who want to “Save Idlib” are protecting.

For decades the West has supported fanatic extremist organizations to overthrow or undermine  independent secular socialist states. Most people in the West are unaware of this though it is well documented in Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam and the new book The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump“.

The Future

Unknown in the West, the majority of Syrians support their government, admire their president, and feel the Syrian Army is protecting them. Even those who are critical of the government prefer it to chaos or salafi fundamentalism. Waad and Hamza Al Kateab represent a tiny minority of Syrians. Their voices, and the perspective of Edward Watts, the filmmaker who has never been to Syria, are being widely projected and disseminated through “For Sama” while others are being ignored.

When Waad and Hamza departed Aleppo with Nusra militants,  the vast majority of Aleppans celebrated. On the surface, “For Sama” is about romance and childbirth. Underneath it is very political, as interviews with the producers confirm. I suspect it is being widely promoted precisely because it gives a distorted picture.  To continue the dirty war on Syria, public misunderstanding is required.

 

Ain Jalout School (Nusra ammunition and supply depot) that was bombed (photo credit Dr. Nabil Antaki)

 

“Al Quds Hospital” (ground floor of apartment building on the corner)  (photo credit Dr. Nabil Antaki)

 

Suicide truck bombing of Al Kindi Hospital, Aleppo.

 

Postal workers thrown from building

 

Nusra militants killing Syrian soldiers who tried to defend Al Kindi Hospital

Capitalism’s Suicidal Trajectory can’t be ignored

If we make it out of the climate emergency, we may come to view the few decades usually described simply as the Cold War that followed the Second World War as halcyon days – at least relative to what we are facing now.

The Cold War was a power struggle between two economic empires for global domination – between the United States and its vassal states, including Europe, on one side, and Russia and its vassal states lumped together into the Soviet Union, on the other. The fight was between a US-led capitalism and what was styled as a Soviet-led “communism”.

That struggle led to an all-consuming arms race, the rapid accumulation of vast nuclear arsenals, the permanent threat of mutually assured destruction (MAD), military bases in every corner of the planet, and the demonisation by each side of the other.

Not much has changed on any of those counts, despite the official ending of the Cold War three decades ago. The world is still on the brink of nuclear annihilation. The arms race is still at full throttle, though it is now dominated by private corporations making profits from “humanitarian interventions” based on “Shock and Awe” bombing campaigns. And the globe is still awash with military bases, though now the vast majority belong to the Americans, not the Russians.

‘End of history’

After the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s, we moved from a bipolar world to a unipolar one – where the US had no serious military rival, and where there was no longer any balance of forces, even of the MAD variety.

That was why US empire intellectuals such as Francis Fukuyama could declare boldly and, with so much relief, the “end of history”. The US had won, capitalism had emerged victorious, the west’s ideology had prevailed. Having defeated its rival, the US empire – supposed upholder of democratic values – would now rule the globe unchallenged and benevolently. The dialectics of history had come to an end.

In a sense, Fukuyama was right. History – if it meant competing narratives, diverging myths, conflictual claims – had come to an end. And little good has resulted.

It is easy to forget that the start of the Cold War coincided with a time of intense international institution-building, flowering into the United Nations and its various agencies. Nation-states recognised, at least in theory, the universal nature of rights – the principle that all humans have the same basic rights that must be protected. And the rules governing warfare and the protection of civilians, such as the Geneva Conventions, were strengthened.

In fact, the construction of a new international order at that end of the Second World War was no coincidence. It was built to prevent a third and, in the nuclear age, potentially apocalyptic world war. The two new superpowers had little choice but to recognise that the other side’s power meant neither could have it all. They agreed to constraints, loose and malleable but strong enough to put some limits on their own destructive capabilities.

Carrot and stick

But if these two empires were locked in an external, physical struggle with each other, they equally feared an internal, ideological battle. The danger was that the other side might make a more persuasive case for its system with the opposing empire’s citizens.

In the US, this threat was met with both carrot and stick.

The stick was provided by intermittent witch hunts. The most notorious, led by Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, searched for and demonised those who were considered “un-American”. It was no surprise that this reign of terror, exposing “Communists”, focused on the ultimate US myth-making machine, Hollywood, as well as the wider media. Through purges, the creative class were effectively recruited as foot soldiers for US capitalism, spreading the message both at home and abroad that it was the superior political and economic system.

But given the stakes, a carrot was needed too. And that was why corporate capitalism was tamed for a few decades by Keynesian economics. The “trickle-down” effect wasn’t simply a talking-point, as it is now. It was a way of expanding the circle of wealth just enough to make sure a middle class would stop any boat-rocking that might threaten the wealth-elite running the US empire.

War of attrition

The Cold War was a war of attrition the Soviet Union lost. It started to break apart ideologically and economically through the 1980s – initially with the emergence of a trade union-led Solidarity movement in Poland.

As the Soviet empire weakened and finally collapsed, capitalism’s internal constraints could be lifted, allowing Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to unleash unregulated neoliberal economics at home. That process intensified over the years, as global capitalism grew ever more confident. Unfettered, capitalism anticipated its ultimate fate in 2008, when the global financial system was brought to its knees. The same will happen again soon enough.

Nonetheless, Soviet collapse is often cited as proof of two things: not only that capitalism was a better system than the Soviet one, but that it has shown itself to be the best political and economic system human beings are capable of devising.

In truth, capitalism looks impressive only comparatively – because the Soviet system was appallingly inefficient and brutal. Its authoritarian leaders repressed political dissent. Its rigid bureaucracies stifled wider society. Its paranoid security services surveilled the entire population. And the Soviet command-style economy was inflexible, lacked innovation and regularly led to shortages.

The weaknesses and atrocities of capitalism have been much less obvious to us only because the culture in which we are so steeped has told us for so long, and so relentlessly, that capitalism is a perfect, peerless system based on our supposedly competitive, acquisitive natures.

Installing dictators

History, remember, is written by the victor. And capitalism won. We who live in the capitalist west only hear one side of the story – the one about vanquishing Communism.

We know almost nothing of our own Cold War history: how the US empire cared not a whit about democracy abroad, only about extracting other people’s resources and creating dependent markets for its goods. It did so by cultivating and installing dictators around the globe, usually on the pretext that they were necessary to stop evil “Communists” – often popular democratic socialists committed to redistributing wealth – from taking over.

Think of General Augusto Pinochet, who headed a brutal dictatorship in Chile through the 1970s and 1980s. The US helped him launch a military coup against the democratically elected left wing leader, Salvador Allende, in 1973. He created a society of fear, executing and torturing tens of thousands of political opponents, so he could introduce a “Shock Doctrine” free-market system developed by US economists that plunged the country’s economy into free-fall. Wealth in Chile, as elsewhere, was siphoned off to a US elite and its local allies.

This catastrophic social and economic meddling was replicated across Latin America and far beyond. In the post-war years, Washington was not just responsible for the terrible suffering its war machine inflicted directly to stop the “Communists” in Latin America and south-east Asia. It was equally responsible for the enormous number of casualties inflicted by its clients, whether in Latin America, Africa, Iran or Israel.

Military-industrial complex

Perhaps the US empire’s greatest innovation was outsourcing its atrocities to private corporations – the emergence of a military-industrial complex Dwight D Eisenhower, the former US army general, warned about in his farewell address of 1961, as he stood down as president.

The global corporations at the heart of the US empire – the arms industries, oil companies and tech firms – won the war of attrition not because capitalism was better, fairer, more democratic or more humane. The corporations won because they were more creative, more efficient, less risk-averse, more psychopathic in their hunger for wealth and power than Soviet bureaucracies.

All those qualities are now unimpeded by the constraints once imposed by a bipolar world, one shared between two superpowers. Global corporations now have absolutely unfettered power to drain the planet of every last resource to fuel a profit-driven, consumption-obsessed system of capitalism.

The truth of that statement was mostly unspeakable 16 years ago when one was ridiculed as a tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist for pointing out that the US had invented two pretexts – Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and its equally imaginary ties to al-Qaeda – to grab control of that country’s oil.

Now Donald Trump, the foolish, brash president of the United States, doesn’t even bother to conceal the fact that his troops are in Syria to control its oilfields.

Toothless watchdogs

The unipolar world that resulted from the fall of the Soviet Union has not only removed the last constraints on the US empire’s war-making abilities, the external battle. It has also had terrible repercussions for the internal, ideological battlefront.

Control of the media has grown ever more concentrated. In the US the flow of information is controlled by a handful of global corporations, often with connections to the very same arms, oil and tech industries so keen to ensure the political climate allows them to continue pillaging the planet unhindered.

For some time I have been documenting examples of the corporate media’s falsehoods in these columns, as you can read here.

But US elites have come to dominate too the post-war international institutions that were created to hold the superpowers to account, to serve as watchdogs on global power.

Now isolated and largely dependent on funding, and their legitimacy, from the US and its European allies, international monitoring agencies have become pale shadows of their former selves, leaving no one to challenge official narratives.

The combined effect of the capture of international institutions and the concentration of media ownership has been to ensure we live in the ultimate echo chamber. Our media uncritically report self-serving narratives from western officials that are then backed up by international agencies that have simply become loudhailers for the US empire’s goals.

A coup becomes ‘resignation’

Anyone who doubts that assessment needs only to examine the reporting of last week’s military coup in Bolivia, which overthrew the democratically elected leader Evo Morales. Corporate media universally described Morales’ ousting and escape to Mexico in terms of him “resigning”. The media were able to use this preposterous framing by citing claims by the highly compromised, US-funded Organisation of American States (OAS) that Morales’ rule was illegitimate.

Similarly, independent investigative journalist Gareth Porter has shown convincingly how the International Atomic Energy Agency, the body monitoring states’ nuclear activities, has come under the US imperial thumb.

Its inspectors produced gravely misleading information to help the US make a bogus case justifying Israel’s bombing in 2007 of what was claimed to be a secret nuclear reactor built in Syria.

The deceptions, it later emerged, included the IAEA violating its own protocols by concealing the results of the samples taken from the site that showed there was no radioactive contamination. Instead the IAEA highlighted one anomalous finding in a changing-room that was almost certainly caused by cross-contamination from an inspector.

Head-choppers humanised

Another stark illustration of how international agencies have been captured is the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It has played a central role in bolstering an unproven US narrative, echoed by the western corporate media, that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has been responsible for a spate of chemical weapons attacks on his own people.

That narrative has been vital to western efforts at justifying regime change in a key Middle Eastern state resistant to US-Israeli-Saudi hegemony in the region. The narrative has also been useful in “humanising” the head-chopping extremists of Islamic State and al-Qaeda – which were in control of the areas where these alleged attacks took place – making it easier for the west to support them in a proxy war to oust Assad, a battle that has created untold misery for Syrians.

But the OPCW is no longer the independent, respected expert body it once was. Long ago it fell under effective US control – back in 2003 when its first director-general, Jose Bustani, was forced out by Washington in the run-up to the attack of Iraq. That was when the US needed to manufacture a false pretext for invasion by suggesting that Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction. US official John Bolton even threatened Bustani’s children, so desperate was George W Bush’s administration to cow the agency.

In Syria, the post-Bustani OPCW has been the lynchpin of the US narrative spin against Assad. Basic investigative protocols have been discarded by the OPCW, such as the requirement of a “chain of custody” to ensure any samples handed to it can be properly attributed. Instead the OPCW has implicated the Syrian government in the alleged chemical attacks based on samples collected by Islamist extremists desperate to justify more western meddling against Assad to bolster their own rule in Syria.

The first real test of the chemical weapons narrative came last year in Douma, where the Islamists argued that they had again been attacked. That claim led to the US, Britain and France launching missile strikes on Syrian positions in violation of international law.

Days later the Islamists lost control of the city to Assad’s forces and for the first time OPCW inspectors were able to visit the scene of an alleged attack themselves and collect their own samples.

Douma findings distorted

The official report into Douma, published earlier this year, appeared to confirm the US narrative. It hinted strongly that the Syrian air force had dropped two bombs located by the OPCW and that those sites had tested positive for the chemical chlorine.

But thanks to two separate whistleblowers from the OPCW, one of whom was an investigator in Douma, we now know that the official report was not the one submitted by the investigators and did not reflect the evidence they unearthed or their scientific analyses of the evidence. It was rewritten by the OPCW officials in the Hague to suit Washington’s agenda.

The official report was, in fact, a complete distortion of the evidence. Investigators found that levels of chlorine at the supposed bomb sites were no higher than background levels, and less than found in drinking water – nowhere near enough to have killed Douma’s victims shown in photos produced by the Islamist groups.

The investigators’ findings suggested an entirely different narrative: that the Islamists in Douma had placed the bombs at the two sites to make it look like a chemical attack had taken place and thereby provide a pretext for even deeper western interference.

It was not difficult to understand why officials in the OPCW’s head office had decided to conceal their expert inspectors’ findings and submit to US intimidation.

The real findings would have:

  • undermined the official narrative unquestioningly attributing the earlier chemical weapons attacks to the Syrian government, in turn making a mockery of western claims to humanitarian concern in aiding and funding years of a devastating proxy war in Syria;
  • revealed the politicisation of the OPCW, and the corporate media’s supine treatment of the Islamists’ claims;
  • intimated at the collusion between western governments and Islamist groups that have been slaughtering non-Sunni populations in the Middle East and launching terror attacks in the west;
  • highlighted that the US-British-French military attack on Syria in response – a violation of Syria’s sovereignty – was not simply a war crime but the “supreme war crime”;
  • and bolstered the case for the Syrian government to be allowed to regain control of its territory.

Down the memory hole

The leaks from the OPCW whistleblowers paint a very troubling picture, where our most trusted international institutions can no longer be relied on to seek out the truth. They are there to serve the world’s sole super-power as it seeks to manipulate us in ways that accrete ever more power to it.

It is quite extraordinary that the mounting evidence that OPCW officials conspired in the falsifying of evidence to help the US empire overthrow another government is not considered news, let alone front-page news. There has been a complete media blackout on these revelations.

In an unguarded moment back in May when she heard about the first whistleblower, the BBC’s much-admired chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet responded to a Twitter follower that it was “an important story” and that she would “make sure programmes know about it”.

Six months and another whistleblower later, neither Doucet nor the BBC have uttered so much as a squeak about the discrediting of the OPCW report. This “important story” has been collectively plunged down the memory hole by the corporate media.

In this confected unipolar reality, we, the public, have been left compass-less, exposed to fake news not only from wayward social media sites or self-interested governments but from the large media “watchdogs” and the very global institutions supposedly set up to act as dispassionate arbiters of truth and justice. We have been returned to a world where might alone makes right.

Environmental destruction

Things are bad enough already, but all the evidence suggests they are going to get a lot worse. Capitalism’s problems go beyond its inherent need for violence and war to acquire yet more territory and open up new markets. Its economic logic is premised on endless growth, based on unremitting resource extraction from a finite planet.

That causes two major problems.

One is that as the west runs out of resources – most obviously oil – to fuel its endless consumption, resource extraction will become ever more difficult and less profitable. Markets are shrinking and the ramifications can now be felt at home too. Youngsters in the west have no hope of being as successful or wealthy as their parents, or even grandparents.

In a world of diminishing resources and no serious ideological or economic rival, Keynesian economics – the basis on which western elites won over their publics by enlarging the middle class – has been discarded as an unnecessary indulgence. We are in an era of permanent austerity for the many to subsidise the further enrichment of the already fabulously wealthy few.

But second, and much worse, capitalism is being exposed as a suicidal ideology. In its compulsion to monetise everything, it is polluting the oceans with plastic and choking the air with particulates. It is rapidly extinguishing insect life, the main barometer of the planet’s health. It is destroying habitats necessary for larger animals and for biodiversity. And it is creating a climate that humans will soon not be able to survive.

Capitalism isn’t unique in degrading the environment. Soviet economies were quite capable of it too. But as with everything else it touches, capitalism has proved to be uniquely efficient at destroying the planet.

Sinking boat

It is no longer just poor people out of sight in far-off lands who are being made victims of capitalism, though for the time being they are still the worst hit.

They are fleeing the lands we helped to degrade with our weapons, and the crop failures that resulted from the climate change our industries fuelled, and the poverty we increased through our resource grabs and addiction to consumption. But in our continuing arrogance we block their escape with tougher immigration policies and “hostile environment” strategies. We trivialise the plight of those we have displaced through our globe-spanning system of greed as “economic migrants”.

It is gradually becoming clearer – with the environmental emergency – that we are all ultimately in the same boat. It is only the supremely efficient propaganda machine created by the capitalist elite that still persuades too many of us that there is no way to get off the boat. Or that if we try, we will drown.

But the stark reality is that we are in a sinking boat – the sinking boat of capitalism. The hole is growing and water rushing in faster by the day. Inaction means certain death. It is time to be brave, open our eyes and search for dry land.

PBS: Keeper of Official State Myths

A prime function of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is the reinforcement and perpetuation of the state’s explanations of events, however absurd and discredited. While cultural offerings on PBS are excellent and appreciated, divergence from official governmental narratives is not permitted. PBS is a foremost informational gatekeeper, a role enhanced by its insistence that it represents the best of investigative journalism.

American Experience:  “Oklahoma City”

The official stories of the Murrah office building and 9/11 are now enshrined in memorials, the purpose of which is to make a lie the truth.

— Paul Craig Roberts, “The Oklahoma City Bombing After 22 Years”, Global Research, April 20, 2017

Once ‘terrorism’ had been established as the enemy for society to fear, it was to become extended from a force thought of as foreign to one also to be found in the American “Homeland”. A horrifying and convincing example of “domestic terrorism”, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19,1995, was the event that would solidify this in the public mind and serve to justify increased police powers.

There is considerable evidence that the bombing of the Murrah Building was not as reported and likely involved elements of the government itself. The air force’s explosive’s expert, Brigadier General Benton Partin has presented “irrefutable” proof that the primary damage to the building came from powerful multiple charges positioned at key points on the third floor, not from Timothy McVeigh’s truck bomb of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, a relatively weak explosive. Partin’s letter to a U.S. Senator puts this in summary.

Other explosives experts agree that the building was blown up from inside, and that there was evidence of official coverup. Nevertheless, the 2017 film “Oklahoma City” focuses on the history of neo-Nazi wrath over governmental clashes at Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco, Texas, where U.S. citizens were killed. The film is tailored to convince viewers that right wing domestic terrorism was behind the Murrah bombing, period. But if explosives experts are correct, this must be false, as such militants would lack both technical skill and access to the building for such a sophisticated wiring job.

There are also myriad associated questions that have never been dealt with: e.g., the police officer convinced of governmental coverup who died under mysterious circumstances; indication the FBI knew of the plan well in advance; McVeigh’s claim to have been working with an FBI agent; surveillance tapes “lost” by the FBI reportedly showing a man with McVeigh exiting the truck just before the bombing; CIA involvement which would indicate foreign implication; the fact that engineers whose analysis of the Murrah bombing was to become official were also selected to analyze the 9/11/2001 destruction of the World Trade Center, and whose report was to become the basis for Nova’s 2002 “Why The Towers Fell”.

Decision makers at PBS chose to ignore all evidence not in conformity with the government’s preferred version of events and, two decades after the bombing, to solidify the apparently false history.

NOVA: “Why the Towers Fell” 

All the proffered evidence that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11, when subjected to critical scrutiny, appears to have been fabricated.

— David Ray Griffin, “Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?“, September 10, 2008

If, on 9/11/2001, journalists Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, reporting live, could discern the similarity of the collapses of the Twin Towers to intentional demolitions, one assumes the tens of thousands of engineers watching would also be having hunches. Still, there was apparently no concerted statement of the sort from that professional community in the months following. Indeed, it was from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that a team of 22 was chosen by FEMA to explain to a shocked Nation, hungry for answers, why the Towers, as well as WTC7, fell as no steel-framed buildings had ever fallen. The resulting NOVA production, “Why The Towers Fell“, covered the team’s Building Performance Study and aired on PBS on April 30, 2002, just seven months after the attack.

The team was led by Gene Corley who, it happens, had also led the investigation of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, although his team’s finding there was not in accord with that of General Partin, the Air Force’s explosives expert (see above). In any event, “building performance” was the focus of both studies, without any consideration of the possibility that the buildings had been previously prepared for demolition, although there was evidence that such was the case.

While “Why The Towers Fell” can still be seen at dailymotion, only a transcript is available at the PBS website, this for good reason. Since its airing in 2002, a veritable army of engineers and researchers has rendered it more than merely inaccurate. One does not wish to disparage engineers in the video, for certainly pressure was intense to find a politically acceptable explanation for an anxious public. But evidence of the buildings having been prepared for demolition prior to 9/11 is by now overwhelming. Details of why this is so is not the point here, but good sources of information, for those interested, are Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and virtually any of the books on the subject by David Ray Griffin.

What is glaring is the absolute silence of PBS to the accumulated mountain of evidence that the World Trade Center buildings had been carefully prepared for 9/11. In 2015, PBS showcased three Frontline presentations, all in accord with the official story, with this introduction: “Fifteen years ago, Al Qaeda operatives carried out the deadliest domestic terror attack in American history by hijacking four passenger airplanes and crashing two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and another into a Pennsylvania field”. With a single concise sentence, and a decade and a half after the event, PBS is affirming what is most certainly a false account.

American Experience:  Roads to Memphis”

William Pepper, confidante of Martin Luther King, Jr. and King Family attorney, spent decades uncovering the truth about the assassination of King. In 2010, when PBS first aired Roads To Memphis, a fictional account about designated patsy James Earl Ray, Pepper had already published two books (1995 and 2003) revealing the plot to assassinate the good Reverend, a plot involving a complex of governmental, military and underworld players. It would be hard to find a more blatant example of official state television eclipsing truth than the multiple airings by PBS of Roads To Memphis.

Even the most superficial scan of the King assassination record quickly leads to Pepper’s publications and references to them. It is not possible to have missed them. The creators and disseminators of Roads To Memphis were therefore faced with two radically opposing narratives: Pepper’s detailed expose’ on the one hand, which they chose to disregard altogether, and on the other hand the Government’s story line, which Pepper had annihilated. A side-by-side comparison of the two accounts of the assassination leaves one in a state of shock. See here Pepper’s words from the introduction of the The Plot To Kill King, the last of his trilogy:

For me, this is a story rife with sadness, replete with massive accounts of personal and public deception and betrayal. Its revelations and experiences have produced in the writer a depression stemming from an unavoidable confrontation with the depths to which human beings, even those subject to professional codes of ethics, have fallen; ….. Far from being elated that the truth is now with us face-to-face, I feel consumed by a sadness that will be a lifelong emotional presence. One significant factor is facing the reality that one has misjudged the integrity and even the basic decency of individuals, some of whom have been friends or respected comrades over many years. It is a traumatic realization that the use of political assassinations has all too often been successful at removing uncontrollable leaders whose commitment to substantive change of their societies had threatened the ruling forces, and thereby become so intolerable that physical removal remained the only option.

Despite Pepper’s The Plot To Kill King having been published in 2016, PBS was still airing Roads To Memphis a year later.

FRONTLINE: “Putin’s Revenge”

The American propaganda campaign being waged against the Russian Federation and its president Vladimir Putin has reached a stage of perverse perfection…… ‘Putin’s Revenge’ feature[s] so-called experts who outdo one another in stoking anti-Russian flames. PBS can never seem to find any expert who can make counter arguments.

— Margaret Kimberley, “Putin, Trump and Manafort“, OpEd News, November 3, 2017

Following World War 2, the U.S. was relatively unscathed, her manufacturing base for war materials was humming, stakeholders were intent on maintaining it, and a perceived enemy would justify its continuance. Russia; i.e., the Soviet Union (USSR), recently an ally, had an economic system antithetical to capitalism. The Red Scare was born, nurtured and perpetuated throughout a Cold War that was to last until 1989. But Russia had suffered Nazi invasion, and with a death toll of perhaps 20,000,000, had neither ability nor reason to threaten the U.S. in 1945. Looking back, it is unpleasant to contemplate the extent to which the Cold War was U.S. driven.

With media reinforcing the ‘Russia=Enemy!’ meme, transition into the “new” Cold War has gone smoothly, but Frontline’s “Putin’s Revenge” is a remarkable 2-hour distortion of the “Russiagate” fiasco. Centered on a claimed Russian “hacking” of 60,000 emails of the Democratic National Committee, allegedly to assist the Trump presidential campaign, it begins with the CIA’s John Brennan calling the hacking “tantamount to war”, and it never departs that focus.

As the commanding voice of narrator Will Lyman details Putin’s “lifetime of grievances” against American humiliations, the Russian’s face is shown in still shots chosen for sinister innuendo. Putin, viewers are told, “weaponized” information and sent hacked DNC emails to Wikileaks to expose Clinton’s undermining of the Sanders Campaign, thereby disuniting Democrats and aiding Trump. Along the way, there is deceptive reporting of a Russian “invasion” of Crimea, and suggestion of collusion between Putin and Trump. Commentary from governmental figures is reinforced by mainstream journalists from the NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and Politico.

The two hours of “Putin’s Revenge” aired on October 25 and November 1, 2017 despite an organization of intelligence professionals having already disputed hacking claims in late 2016 and published their technical assessment by July, 2017 that the DNC emails, rather than hacked, had been downloaded; i.e., “leaked”, from within the DNC itself. It strains believability that Frontline’s researchers could have missed these. Moreover, Julian Assange had long insisted that neither Russia nor any other state party was Wikileak’s source of the DNC emails, as Frontline had to have known. Records indicate that the Clinton Campaign, aware that incriminating emails were about to be made public, conspired with the DNC and media to divert attention onto a fabricated “Russian hack”, for which there was never evidence.

Ever since the U.S. promised the Soviets in 1990 that NATO would not move “one inch to the east” of Germany, NATO military activity has expanded along Russia’s western border from the Baltic to the Black Sea, the expanse over which Napoleon and Hitler carried out their respective invasions. That is the geographic equivalent of Russian bases being placed along a U.S. border. Crimea is the site of Russia’s naval base on the Black Sea, where U.S. warships have been cruising in recent years, and the northeast quadrant of which is Russian coastline. Base and coastline had to be protected without delay. In response to NATO-driven regime-change in western Ukraine, a referendum for union with Russia (not covered in the Frontline piece) was held in Crimea. Russian blood and culture dominate in Crimea, and the referendum passed by a reported 95%, hence Russia’s annexation. Frontline’s depiction of an “invasion” is beyond merely simplistic and is illustrative of why Americans are so ignorant of world affairs.

American mainstream journalism is now a tapestry of lies of omission. PBS, however, is a standout in this area, because its prominent, “in depth” productions on Nova, American Experience and Frontline are considered widely to represent the best investigative journalism available. It is this reputation that places PBS above the networks in the public mind. As PBS has willfully avoided specific areas for exploration, and has excluded truths that a governmental power structure does not want aired, it has made itself a powerful tool in the rewriting of history.