[ Editor’s note: Our new mascot, “Mr Bullshit” visits only the most obscene cheap propaganda and fabrications. The Guardian actually says that life under ISIS is pretty good, then again, I have been to Manchester and I have been to Syria and don’t think the folks at the Guardian should be talking about countries that actually have indoor plumbing. Never has a newspaper loved terrorism so much. Even the Israeli papers would never try this.
Technically, one could make a point for the Guardian being guilty of “Material Support of Terrorism.” I think we could all get behind a bit of rendition and waterboarding for the phony media, perhaps just this once… Gordon Duff ]
This article could have been titled “Why we despise corporate media so much”
[ Jim W. Dean Note: During the Cold War the major intelligence agencies targeted media platforms extensively to create opposition propaganda and hype its size and public support. Unfortunately, when the First Cold War ended, as so often happens in such cases, the organs of the Cold War, especially the contractors, had a lot of time on their hands to invent a permanent need for their services.
One of those was pushing the concept that a “free press” was really a threat to a free society (if you have to think about that for a bit, it’s OK; I had to, also), because it could be co-opted by outside forces, as the Intel services already have done to their maximum ability. So they promoted “guarding” the press to make sure it served the political powers in office, and of course the military industrial complex.
What evolved was a process of upgrading from penetrating media with reporter spies and a few editors to what we have now, where media platforms are actually purchased using fronts and become subsidiaries of a particular intelligence agency.
Reagan played the fool in all this, and was handled like a puppet in the destruction of America’s strong and diverse guardian of the republic under the guise of “free enterprise”, in a typical intelligence psyops where you convince the target you have chosen to attack that it is being done for the opposite — for their benefit.
You all know what happened as the result of that consolidation — what got strangled in the process. As you read the article below, be thinking as you go through each paragraph what the odds are that you are reading the output of a press platform in the service of an intelligence platform.
Gordon had some fun with this, as we often try to do with the depressing work we are involved in day after day, sloshing around down in the geopolitical sewers to uncover the next scams and hoaxes against the world public.
His purpose was to show that the usual routine is to “seed” an article with a few key propaganda points, and smokescreen those points with regular middle of the road reporting.
In this Guardian piece below it appears that someone pressed the button to go way overboard. As I read through it I found it hard to believe that the psyops folks threw all caution to the wind and just stuffed this like a turkey.
To call this the work of a free press is to claim that Iran still has a secret nuclear weapons program and we did not find it because we did not look hard enough, prevented from doing that by domestic traitors and Iran lovers. VT readers know the drill. ]
Russia’s economy may be stumbling as oil prices fall, but in a week of extraordinary military and diplomatic turmoil over the war in Syria, President Vladimir Putin has proved that his global influence and ambitions have only been sharpened by financial troubles.
For now he seems to be calling all the shots in Syria’s civil war. Russian jets allowed Syrian government troops to break out of a stalemate in Aleppo, cutting supply routes into a city that has been a rebel stronghold for years.
Russia wrung so many concessions out of others around the table that the deal seemed more an endorsement of its role in Syria than a challenge to it. Hostilities would not stop for about two weeks and, even when they did, bombing campaigns against “terrorists” could continue.
That effectively allows Russia to continue bombing as before, since it has always claimed only to target extremists, while focusing more of its bombs on President Bashar al-Assad’s opposition than on Isis or al-Qaida’s Syrian operation, Jabhat al-Nusra.
Opposition groups have already said they cannot accept the ceasefire if it does not halt Russian airstrikes. “No negotiation can take place while Russia is bombing our people,” said a senior member of one major Islamist opposition group.
“It is a certainty that Russia will continue to attack us while claiming to target al-Nusra. They claimed that their campaign in Syria was to fight Isis but, so far, 85% to 90% of their attacks were against the moderate revolutionary groups, with a high percentage of civilian targets.”
So when Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told the world’s diplomats this weekend that the ceasefire was more likely to fail than succeed, even fellow diplomats saw it as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Asked by the conference moderator to say how confident he was that weapons would be put down within a week, Lavrov estimated only a 49 out of 100 hope of success. British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, sitting alongside him, was quick to point out that Lavrov’s remarks made the chance of a temporary halt to fighting “somewhere close to zero”.
“Unless Russia over the next days is going to stop, or at least significantly scale back that bombing, the moderate armed opposition will not join in this process,” Hammond said. “They cannot be expected to join in this process.”
What unfolded in Munich looks set to have put the seal on something that has become increasingly apparent over the past months. Moscow is back as a big player in the Middle East, while Washington looks humbled, a shadow of the great power that once dominated events in the region. The cold war is back, as the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said on Saturday – and for now Russia seems to be in the ascendancy.
Critics warned from the day the ceasefire was announced that Moscow had outmanoeuvred Washington and was simply using the negotiations and the deal to consolidate gains, a tactic honed by Russian forces in Ukraine.
The US may have lost more than political capital. The ceasefire risks costing them the trust of the few moderate opposition groups left on the ground, who feel abandoned by a country that promised support.
“The people that the Americans had been trying to sponsor are now targets of an enemy that bombs without mercy or discretion, and the Americans don’t have a problem with that?” said one Free Syrian Army member in Aleppo, who declined to be named. “They never deserved our trust.”
Russia, by contrast, has doubled down on Assad. Around the time Lavrov was handing down his grim prognosis for the ceasefire, a missile cruiser left the naval base in Sevastopol in Crimea. It was heading towards the Mediterranean to join the Russian fleet there, a public shoring up of an already strong military presence. Refugees who had recently fled Isis rule said that the failure to challenge Assad and Russia could even put the west’s main goal in Syria – the routing of Isis – at risk. If other opposition groups are driven out, it will shore up the claim of Isis to be champions of the country’s Sunnis. “You will not find anyone in this camp, especially those who have arrived this month, who supports Isis,” said the man, who gave his name only as Jameel. “But most of them accept that at least they tried to protect us, Syrian Sunnis, who the world has abandoned. It is very dangerous to let them fill this role. And I think the world is blind to the immorality of it.”
And despite the terror inflicted by the group, which has prompted thousands to flee, many still say they would chose rule from Raqqa over rule from Damascus.
“No matter what [Isis] does, no matter how bad they are, they are not as bad as the regime. They [the government] are the first enemy. They are why Syria is ruined, and they are why I am in this camp,” said 20-year-old Khalil Efrati, who had left his Raqqa home around three weeks earlier. “Yes, Isis are merciless and they do horrific things, but the regime does worse.”
Putin’s long-term aims are hard to assess, analysts said, in part because the Kremlin itself may not have a clear vision for Syria, beyond protecting Russian prestige and influence. The president is known as a clever tactician, rather than a strategist with a grand vision, hard-nosed in negotiations and quick to react to the situation on the ground.
Moscow is haunted by memories of the Nato bombing campaign in the former Yugoslavia, which led to the ousting of ally Slobodan Milošević and brought an abrupt end to its influence in the Balkans. “We don’t want to help dismantle Assad and then be told to leave, like what happened in Serbia,” Makarkin said.
Reviving Assad’s campaign after months of setbacks is a show of Moscow’s power as a patron, its willingness to spend money on friends, and ability to sow problems for enemies. In practical terms it also secures the military port in Tartus, which Russia has operated since Soviet times, and its new Khmeimim airbase near Latakia, vital to Russian ability to project power in the Middle East.
Now Russia is viewed with hatred by most Sunnis, Assad would be perhaps irreplaceable as a regional ally. “He is changing the place of pieces on the board, and he’s searching for weak spots,” said analyst Masha Lipman. “I think the goal was larger, to make the world acknowledge that Russia is a strong player in the international arena, and then Russia’s possibilities change.
Support for Assad also fits the Kremlin’s policy of opposing regime change around the world. Putin described the revolutions in post-Soviet states as western attempts to expand their influence, and argues that the Arab spring only led to bloody chaos. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Russia of planning to create a mini-state around Latakia, the Assad family’s ancestral homeland on the coast, and attacking Turkmen there.
But Russia, which is battling separatist movements at home, insists it does not want to split Syria; Assad himself in a rare recent interview also said he planned to recapture all the country, and recent advances in Aleppo make that seem more likely.
Moscow might support a restructuring that gives regions more autonomy, however, because once Assad is confirmed in power they are likely to seek some kind of long-term settlement. A “frozen war”, like the one that is destabilising Ukraine, would be expensive to maintain from a distance, and Russia sees Syria not as part of a traditional sphere of influence to be controlled at all costs, but as a site to confront the west, Lipman said.
Even if the west continues to shy away from direct confrontations, however, Russia’s dominance may not continue unchallenged.
Saudi and Emirati special forces troops are being sent to join opposition fighters on the ground, US defence secretary Ash Carter said on Friday, and Saudi Arabia is sending bombers to a Turkish airbase near the border.
Officially, the ground troops would be helping opposition groups trying to retake Raqqa from Isis, but those groups are also enemies of Assad and could be expected to turn their guns and expertise on Damascus if they are able to storm the Isis capital.
Turkey last year shot down a Russian jet that strayed into its airspace, and Medvedev called for Russia and the west to step up cooperation. “We have fallen into a new cold war,” he told the Munich conference. That may be underestimating the dangers, one Nato member and staunch US ally warned.
“We are probably facing a hot war,” Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė told the conference. “Russia is demonstrating open military aggression in Ukraine, open military aggression in Syria. There is nothing cold about this; it is very hot.”