Russland-Spezialist Stephen Cohen über die Gefahr des Neuen Kalten Krieges

Russland-Spezialist Stephen Cohen über die Gefahr des Neuen Kalten Krieges, die 2018 nur noch abstruser wird.

UK Vergiftung eies Ex Geheimdienstmitarbeiters in Salisbury.

Schweden Mobilisierung der gesellschaft gegen Russland:  https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-20/sweden-unveils-plans-total-societal-mobilization-against-russia

The New Cold War Is Already More Dangerous Than Was Its Predecessor

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-new-cold-war-is-already-more-dangerous-than-was-its-predecessor/

Today’s American-Russian confrontation is developing in unprecedented ways—and the US political-media establishment seems not to care.

Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.)

For several years, Cohen has argued that the new Cold War is more dangerous than its 45-year predecessor, which, it is often said, “we barely survived.” Here he updates and aggregates evidence for that argument. Meanwhile, many American participants and commentators continue to deny—for personal and political reasons—that there is a new Cold War. Anyone doubting its existence needs only read leading US newspapers or watch television “news” broadcasts; or consult the growing number of declarations of Cold War against Russia, as, for example, a particularly extremist one produced recently by a professed bipartisan organization and co-authored by a former Obama Defense Department official, Evelyn Farkas.

Cohen identifies six specific factors that make the new Cold War more perilous than the preceding one:

1. Its confrontational epicenter is not in faraway Berlin or what was then called the “Third World” but directly on Russia’s borders, from the Baltic states and Eastern Europe to Ukraine and the Black Sea, where NATO’s military buildup is ever-growing in the form of more troops, weapons, war planes, ships, and, not to be overlooked, missile-defense installations. NATO now characterizes this vast Eastern front as its “territory.” No such foreign military power has appeared so close to Russia—and to its second city, St. Petersburg—since the Nazi German invasion in 1941. The perception in Moscow is understandable and predictable. Increasingly it is said—in the mass media and privately by high officials—that this constitutes “American aggression against Russia,” and even that “America is at war against Russia.” Compare this alarm, Cohen suggests, with the “Russiagate” allegation that the Kremlin “attacked America” during the 2016 presidential election, for which there is as of yet no empirical evidence, with the tangible evidence Russian officials plainly see for Washington’s current “aggression.” And imagine the potential for hot war—accidental or intentional—in this widespread and growing Russian perception. The ongoing push in Washington to send more weapons to Kiev, which has vowed to use them against the Russian-backed rebels in Donbass, can only escalate those Russian concerns and the danger they represent. (Meanwhile, Kiev is shredding the Minsk peace accords by adopting incompatible legislation.)

2. The possibility of a ramifying US-Russian military conflict may be even more acute in Syria, where Russian-backed Syrian forces are close to decisively defeating anti-Assad fighters, several of them affiliated with terrorist organizations. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has made clear that it believes US forces in Syria are actively aiding and abetting anti-Assad fighters, while putting Russian troops there at grave risk, and has openly declared its willingness to strike against those American units in Syria. What, Cohen asks, will be the reaction in Washington if Russia kills any Americans in Syria?

3. Meanwhile, unlike during the preceding Cold War, when cooperative US-Soviet relations grew steadily after the Cuban-missile crisis of 1962, those ameliorating relations built up over decades are being shredded. Even more are now gravely endangered. Congress and the Trump Administration seem determined to shut down two Russian news agencies in the United States, RT and Sputnik. If so, the Kremlin may well adopt reciprocal measures in Russia, reducing public communication relations, however “propagandistic” on both sides. A veteran CNN correspondent reports from Moscow that “arms control is hanging by a thread.” And the unprecedented seizure and search of the Russian consultant in San Francisco last month has convinced some Russian officials, not unreasonably, that influential forces in Washington want a complete rupture of diplomatic relations with Moscow.

4. During the preceding Cold War, no Soviet leader was demonized by the US political-media establishment as Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, has been for nearly a decade. Russia and relations with Moscow have been so Putinized that Russia no longer seems to have any legitimate national interests at home or abroad, whose acknowledgment is the first premise of negotiations. For a fresh example of this unprecedented factor, Cohen cites the relevant passages in Hillary Clinton’s recent memoir, What Happened.

5. “Russiagate” is also unprecedented. The ways it exacerbates the new Cold War are various and growing. Its multiple “investigations” increasingly imply that once customary relations with Russia may be “collusion with the Kremlin,” including financial ones. Similarly, anti–Cold War opinions are casually labeled “weaponized Russian disinformation” and pro-Kremlin “propaganda.” Not surprisingly, very few such opinions appear in mainstream American newspapers or on network broadcasts. (More dissenting views on official foreign policy appear in mainstream Russian media than can be found in their American counterparts.) Above all, perhaps, “Russiagate” has effectively paralyzed President Trump in any crisis negotiations he may have to conduct with Putin, no matter how existential. Imagine, for example, President John F. Kennedy so assailed as a “Kremlin puppet” during the Cuban-missile crisis. He would have been unable politically to make the compromises both he and the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev did in order to end the crisis without nuclear war. However much US politicians and media loathe Trump, Cohen adds, they should fear the possibility of war with Russia more.

6. And, also in sharp contrast to policymaking in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, there are virtually no anti–Cold War media, politicians, or politics in mainstream America today. Without effective opposition, including robust public debate, bad policy outcomes are more likely, even in democracies.

To these largely unprecedented Cold War factors, Cohen adds three other new circumstances:

One is the myth that post-Soviet Russia is too weak to wage a prolonged Cold War and will eventually capitulate to Washington and Brussels. This is, of course, the logic behind the tsunami of sanctions leveled against Moscow since 2014. Leave aside that several international financial monitoring institutions have recorded Russia’s significant economic recovery in the last two years or so. It is, for example, posed to become the world’s largest exporter of wheat. Leave aside Russia’s vast natural, human, and territorial resources. Recall instead that there is no such instance of capitulation in modern Russian history, no matter how devastating and costly the circumstances. Contrary to marginally representative Russian voices promoted to say otherwise, neither the nation’s elites nor its people will fundamentally change the country’s leadership or policies under Western pressure. Indeed, many mainstream Russian policy intellectuals and other commentators have already accepted that the new Cold War, for which they hold the West responsible, may be as long as the preceding one.

Second is the lingering view in the US establishment, fostered by an aspiration of former President Obama, that Russia is “isolated” in world affairs. The number of foreign meetings and agreements conducted by Putin in recent years refutes this notion, but there is something else novel and important. The “Soviet Bloc” in Eastern Europe during the preceding Cold War was an alliance of the unwilling, crisis-ridden, and economically burdensome. Russia’s emerging allies and partners today are voluntary and profitable, from the smaller BRICS states to China. Indeed, it is the US “sphere of influence” that seems to be splintering today, as evidenced by Brexit and Catalonia (whose referendum additionally may put the 2014 Russian-backed succession referendum in Crimea in a somewhat different light). And how else can we interpret the growing rapprochement between NATO member Turkey and Russia or the historic recent visit by the Saudi king to Moscow, which resulted in agreements involving billions of dollars of purchases and investment in weapons and energy? Whose trajectory, historians may ask, was toward isolation in world affairs?

Third, of course, is the role of China, a great rising power. During the preceding Cold War, it was a rival of the Soviet Union and thus a “card” to be played against Moscow. Today, it is Russia’s political, economic, and potentially military partner—a joint Russian-Chinese naval exercise is scheduled to begin next week—a new circumstance that is likely to have a profound effect elsewhere, including in India, Pakistan, Japan, and even Afghanistan.

Most of these new and substantially unprecedented Cold War factors go undiscussed in Washington, not only because of “Russiagate” hysteria. American triumphalism since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 plays an important role, as does a lingering American provincialism sometimes termed “exceptionalism.” Meanwhile, the three gravest threats to American national security—international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and cyber attacks that could inadvertently trigger nuclear war—go largely unattended. As does the essential truth that none of these can be diminished without a partnership with Russia. Even those kinds of realities were recognized during the 45-year Cold War and sometimes acted upon.

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Austin Bomber auf Überwachsungskamera gut sichtbar innerhalb einiger Tage veröffentlicht

Im Vergleich zu etwas Las Vegas Mandala Bay Shooting, wo noch nie Überwachsungsbilder aufgetaucht sind.

=> Hinweis, wo die Polizei und die Untersuchungsbehörden abklemmen und der Verdacht aufkommt, dass etwas nicht stimmt. vgl. Debbie Lusignans Auswertungen.

 

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-21/austin-serial-bomber-dead-blows-himself-after-shootout-police

 

Update: President Donald Trump has tweeted his congratulations to law enforcement and all involved in stopping the bomber.

 

* * *

The Austin serial bomber suspected of delivering six homemade bombs to locations around Austin this month, killing two people, has died after blowing himself up. Less than an hour after CBS Austin  released photographs of the suspect at a Fed-X facility, media reported of an officer-involved shooting on I-35 in Round Rock.

Police have identified the dead suspected bomber as a 24-year-old white male, according to the Associated Press.

As CBS Austin reported, police were closing in on the suspect when he killed himself by detonating some sort of explosive device in his car, according to CBS Austin’s source. People in the area reported hearing the explosion, the New York Times reported.

According to KVUE, the FBI and police tracked the bomber to a hotel in the Round Rock area using cell phone technology, security video, store receipts before ‚engaging him‘ around 3 am on Wednesday. Then, as officers pursued the suspect a device was detonated, before a volley of gunfire.

CBS Austin reported that police pursued the bomber until he drove his car into a ditch off I-35. As officers approached, the bomber detonated a bomb in his car, killing himself and injuring an officer. CBS added that an 11-year veteran SWAT officer fired on the suspect. He has since been placed on administrative leave.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says the incident that led to the suspect’s death will be investigated by the Austin Police Monitor and the Texas Rangers.

The confrontation came just hours after CBS published CCTV showing images from a surveillance video from the FedEx Office store on Brodie Lane in South Austin which helped investigators zero in on the suspect.

According to the Daily Mail, the images show a man – possibly wearing a wig and gloves – delivering two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz.

Bombing

The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.

 

 

Authorities believe the same person is connected to the two packages that surfaced Tuesday is also responsible for the four other explosions that began on March 2nd, killing two people and injuring six.

Austin Police Department tweeted that they were working on an officer-involved shooting near the highway, but gave no further details.

I-35 is closed while a massive presence of law enforcement – including Austin Police, FBI and ATF investigators – processes the scene, which involved officers firing at the suspect. Several helicopters were seen hovering overhead.

While reports surfaced last night that police had discovered surveillance footage of what could be the bombing suspect, CNN added that police had been tracking the man for between 24-36 hours.

Police warn that, though the bomber is dead, there might be more bombs out there. Police don’t know what the bomber has been up to over the past 24 hours, and have warned the community to be vigilant.

The bomber’s motive is still unclear

Als Info: Konservative nutzen Anschlag auf russischen Ex Geheimdienstler

British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s dramatic escalation of hostility towards Russia this week has had one benefit closer to home. Labour’s erstwhile popular leader Jeremy Corbyn has fallen casualty to renewed Cold War politics.

May, who up to now was beleaguered from the Brexit debacle with the European Union, has suddenly rallied support for her Cold War agenda towards Russian within her own Conservative party – and from opposition lawmakers on the Labour side of the parliament.

While May was roundly cheered for her rhetorical attacks on Russia, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was subjected to vicious heckling from all sides in the House of Commons, including from many MPs within his own party.

May’s announcement that her government was going to expel 23 Russian diplomats for the “attempted murder” of a former Kremlin spy living in exile in Britain was widely exalted in the House of Commons.

The expulsions mark the biggest diplomatic sanction by Britain against Moscow in 30 years. Moscow has vowed to carry out reciprocal measures in the coming weeks, as bilateral relations tumble in a downward spiral.

The British move was denounced by Russia as “unprecedented hostility” and a violation of normal inter-state relations.

Arguably, the Russian response is reasonable, given that the alleged attack on 66-year-old Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4 is far from evidenced. The entire official British position of directly blaming Moscow for attempted murder rests on unverified claims about a Soviet-era nerve toxin, as well as on wild supposition.

But such is the hysterical Cold War climate being generated by British politicians and dutiful news media impugning Russia that anyone who merely questions the lack of due process is immediately pilloried as a “Russian stooge”.

That’s what happened when Jeremy Corbyn stood up in the House of Commons this week and dared to ask the prime minister for “evidence” that the alleged Soviet-era toxin was indeed linked to Russian state actions.

Corbyn also enquired if the British authorities would be providing the alleged toxin samples to Russian investigators so that they could carry out their own independent assessment – a procedure that is mandated by the 1997 international treaty known as the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In short, what the Labour leader is simply requesting was for due process to prevail. That is, a rational, evidence-based approach to the furore. Which, one would think, is a reasonable, cautionary minimum especially owing to the present danger of a catastrophic military conflict breaking out at a time from already sharp geopolitical tensions between US-led NATO states and Russia.

“Our response must be decisive and proportionate and based on clear evidence,” said Corbyn, who also refused to condemn Russia as guilty, given the lack of incriminating proof at this stage – less than two weeks after the apparent poisoning attack on the Skripals.

The Labour leader could hardly make himself heard amid boorish taunts of “shame, shame” from the Conservative (Tory) benches.

“You’re a disgrace to your party,” shouted out one Tory minister, Claire Perry, inciting the mob around her.

British news media followed suit, going on full-out Cold War offensive against Corbyn. The rabidly rightwing Sun, which last week was calling for military action against Russia, blasted its front page with the headline: “Putin’s Puppet”.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid “explained” to its readers with outraged tone that “Corbyn refused to condemn Russia” and that he had “questioned proof” of a Russian link to the attack on Sergei Skripal.

Another rightwing tabloid, the Daily Mail, also ran a front page vilification with the headline: “Corbyn, The Kremlin Stooge”.

The newspaper elaborated with the subheading that “Mutinous Labour MPs accuse [Corbyn] of appeasement for not condemning Putin”.

Meanwhile, the BBC was reporting that senior lawmakers within Corbyn’s cabinet team are mounting a rebellion against their leader precisely because of his “refusal to blame Russia” over the poisoning incident in Salisbury.

The return to Cold War politics in Britain is not just marked by knee-jerk hostility towards Russia – based on Russophobia and irrational innuendo – it is also characterized by the British establishment shutting down any dissent by smearing critics as “enemies within”.

British politics are this week hurtling back in time to the old days of Cold War witch-hunting against “Commies” and “Reds”. In the same way that the United States is still poisoned with the J Edgar Hoover and McCarthyite era of the 1950s and 60s.

Due process and rational, critical thinking are being banished again.

The poisoning incident of Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia should be a matter of criminal investigation to establish facts, motive and perpetrator.

Instead, the incident was immediately turned into a propaganda opportunity to assail Russia. The alleged logic that the Kremlin carried out a “revenge” attack on a traitor-spy who had been living for eight years in England, openly and undisturbed as part of an exchange deal with Britain’s MI6, does not make any sense. Indeed, it’s absurd, given the timing of Russian presidential elections this month and the forthcoming football World Cup to be held in Russia.

Resurgence of Cold War mania, however, suits the British establishment very nicely. Suddenly, the much derided Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and her party are being portrayed as the noble defenders of national security against a “malicious” Russian enemy.

Even better is that the opposition Labour party which had been rejuvenated by Jeremy Corbyn with a bold, progressive and socialist policy is now being cast as a useless Russian “stooge”. Corbyn’s political enemies within his own party – rightwingers who detested his successful rise as leader – are now empowered by the Cold War climate to tear him down.

Ironically, the toxic nerve agent that was used to paralyze former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter is having several invigorating political effects for certain British state interests. The Cold War Russophobia appears to be re-energizing the formerly feeble Tory leader and her party, while numbing the once promising rise of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his socialist program.

Still, it remains to be seen whether the wider British public buy into the latest Cold War debacle. If it turns out to be a cynical stunt by the British state – as seems to be the case – then the popular backlash against the Tories and the establishment will be horrendous.

Nukleare Abschreckung aus russischer Sicht

 

Putin: If Attacked, Russia Will Respond With New „Unstoppable“ Nukes

A day after his foreign minister accused the US of violating the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked his audience during his annual state of the union address to his country’s political elite by claiming Russia had developed new nuclear weapons that cannot be shot down by US anti-ballistic missile defenses, according to the Sun.

The missiles, Putin said, are capable of striking almost any point on Earth.

Russia is testing the new line of strategic, nuclear-capable weapons, the president said, as he showed video and animation of Russian ICBMs, cruise missiles and other weapons that he said have been developed by Russia as a result of the US pulling out of the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty, the Guardian reported.

Putin

In what sounded like an implicit threat, Putin said Russia has repeatedly warned Washington not to go ahead with anti-missile systems that Moscow fears could erode its nuclear deterrent. However „nobody listened to us. Listen now,“ he said, to a loud ovation from the crowd of legislators, officials and dignitaries.

While he stressed that Russia isn’t „threatening anyone,“ he asserted that, if attacked, Russia wouldn’t hesitate to respond with a nuclear strike. Per the Guardian, the Russian president’s remarks risk sparking an arms race between the Russian Federation and the US reminiscent of the US-Soviet arms race during the Cold War, according to RT.

„Our nuclear doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only in response to a nuclear attack or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against her or her allies, or a conventional attack against us that threatens the very existence of the state.“

„It is my duty to state this: Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, be it small-scale, medium-scale or any other scale, will be treated as a nuclear attack on our country. The response will be instant and with all the relevant consequences,“ Putin warned.

Describing the missiles abilities in explicit detail, Putin said they barrel toward their target „like a meteorite“ adding that Western efforts to contain Russia have largely failed, according to Bloomberg. 

„Efforts to contain Russia have failed, face it,“ Putin said in a nearly two-hour address he illustrated with video clips of the new arms, which included underwater drones, intercontinental missiles and a hypersonic system he said „heads for its target like a meteorite.“

The speech is one of Putin’s first of the campaign season. He’s widely expected to win a fourth term as Russian president on March 18.

The balance of the address was spent discussing economic promises and problems. For example, Putin warned that a shrinking Russian labor force could constrain economic growth for years, Reuters reported.

Russia

„This trend will stay for the coming years and will become a serious limit to economic growth,“ Putin told lawmakers. He added that Russia would spent 3.4 trillion rubles (about $60 billion) supporting families and demographic growth over the next six years as Putin pushes to establish Russia as one of the world’s top-five economies. For that to happen, Putin said, Russian growth domestic product should grow by 1.5 times during the next decade, per Reuters.

He added that Russia needs to expand „freedom in all spheres“ while also establishing a breakthrough in standards of living.

In another bout of saber-rattling, Putin said Russia would deploy five destroyers and

Der Tintenfisch in politischen Karikaturen

The Octopus in Political Cartoons

Russia, Germany and the United States have all been depicted as octopuses by their nemeses.

Octopuses are a popular trope in political art. They came in vogue in the 1870s, when Frederick W. Rose depicted Russia as a giant octopus lording over Eastern Europe. The sea monster was quickly given to Germany when it posed a bigger threat to peace in Europe. During the early Cold War, it was Russia’s turn again. The octopus was the perfect metaphor for spreading communism.

Here is a selection of the best and worst tentacled sea creatures.

Russian octopus

1877 map of Europe by Frederick W. Rose
1877 map of Europe by Frederick W. Rose (Cornell University Library)

Britain’s Fred Rose first depicted Russia not as a bear but as an octopus. His Serio-Comic War Map, which would be revised and translated into various European languages, appeared in March 1877, two months after Russia had attacked the Ottoman Empire in response to its massacre of Christians in Bulgaria (represented on the map by a skull).

Rose shows the giant Russian octopus strangling Persia and Poland, holding Finland in its grasp and tussling with Turkey.

British politics was divided at the time between William Gladstone’s anti-Turkish Liberals, who were apologetic of Russia, and the Russophobe Conservatives, who called for a pact with the Ottomans to block Russian expansion. Rose’s cartoon helped sway public opinion in favor of the former.

Tentacles into Asia

1904 map of Asia and Europe by Kisaburō Ohara, depicting Russia as a giant octopus
1904 map of Asia and Europe by Kisaburō Ohara, depicting Russia as a giant octopus (Cornell University Library)

One of the first artists to imitate Rose was Japan’s Kisaburō Ohara. This cartoon, from the Russo-Japanese War, shows Russia’s tentacles stretching into Asia. Of note is the rightmost tentacle, which touches Port Arthur: the site of Japan’s 1904 attack on the Russian Fleet.

The map was made to persuade Britain, the world’s premier naval power at the time, to stay out of the conflict.

The devilfish in Egyptian waters

The devilfish in Egyptian waters, cartoon published in Punch (1888)
The devilfish in Egyptian waters, cartoon published in Punch (1888)

The late nineteenth century was also the high water mark of British imperialism. This 1888 cartoon, published in Punch, shows John Bull, the personification of the United Kingdom, dabbling in Egyptian waters.

“He is a curious mixture of the lion, mule and octopus,” gobbling up territories along the route to India: Gibraltar, the Cape, Malta, Cyprus and the recently inaugurated Suez Canal.

Revanche

Detail from a 1886 cover La Revanche, showing French and Russian soldiers battling a German octopus
Detail from a 1886 cover La Revanche, showing French and Russian soldiers battling a German octopus

Prussia, and later Germany, became an octopus favorite in French propaganda.

This cover of the revanchist French public-affairs magazine La Revanche depicts France and Russia slaying the German octopus in 1886, fifteen years after France lost Alsace and the Moselle department of Lorraine in the War of 1870. France and Russia would formalize an anti-German alliance five years later.

Twins

1915 British map of German and Austrian octopuses
1915 British map of German and Austrian octopuses (Wikimedia Commons)

This 1915 British map — also translated into other languages — makes a mockery of Germany’s promise not wage war “in order to subjugate foreign peoples” by highlighting the lands it and Austria had annexed over the centuries.

It simplifies Prussia’s territorial expansion, however, and leaves out the historical context. Bavaria, for example, freely merged with Prussia to form the German Empire in 1871 while the map neglects to mention the role Britain’s ally Russia played in the partition of Poland.

Prussian expansion

1917 map of Germany's expansion by Maurice Neumont
1917 map of Germany’s expansion by Maurice Neumont (IWM)

A French version of the above. Look closely and you’ll see the octopus wearing a Pickelhaube in the middle.

Maurice Neumont, the illustrator, quotes various French politicians who warned against Prussian expansionism. The Hunnish soldier represents the size of Germany’s army compared to Revolutionary France’s a century earlier. Perhaps a fairer comparison would have been with the French army of 1914, which had four million men under arms against 4.5 million for Germany.

Urging the French to resist

French anti-communist poster from 1936 or 1937
French anti-communist poster from 1936 or 1937

This 1936 or 1937 French anti-communist propaganda poster was one of the first that depicted Soviet Russia as an octopus.

It argues that the whole of Europe is fighting communism. Notice that the British, Germans, Italians and Turks have all cut off one of the octopus’ arms. The Spanish Nationalists are in the process of doing the same. (The Republican side in the Spanish Civil War was supported by the Soviet Union, although it was only partially communist.)

The French, by contrast, are supposedly allowing the communist creature to strangle their flag.

Stalin the sea monster

Cartoon of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin on the cover of How Communism Works (1938)
Cartoon of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin on the cover of How Communism Works (1938)

This American anti-communist pamphlet, produced by the Catholic Library Service in 1938, takes the octopus metaphor one step further by depicting Soviet leader Joseph Stalin himself as the sea creature.

One of his tentacles is curling around Spain, where the Civil War was still raging at the time. Another extends to North America — the suggestion, of course, being that the ungodly red menace was reaching for the United States.

Bloodthirsty Churchill

1941 French propaganda poster depicting British prime minister Winston Churchill as an octopus
1941 French propaganda poster depicting British prime minister Winston Churchill as an octopus

Fascists returned the favor in 1941 or 1942 by depicting Britain’s wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill, as an octopus.

His tentacles are seen reaching around Africa and the Middle East. The amputations at Dakar, Mers El Kébir, Egypt, Libya and Syria indicate the Axis Powers’ resistance to British imperialism.

The idea was to convince the French their real enemy was Britain, even though the Nazis were occupying their homeland. The locations mentioned were sites of Allied military action against Nazi-allied Vichy France. Britain’s attack on the French fleet at Mers El Kébir in particular had caused many French casualties.

British-Zionist conspiracy

Antisemitic Nazi-era cartoon by Josef Plank depicting British prime minister Winston Churchill as an octopus with the Star of David over his head
Antisemitic Nazi-era cartoon by Josef Plank depicting British prime minister Winston Churchill as an octopus with the Star of David over his head (Library of Congress)

This antisemitic German cartoon, published somewhere between 1935 and 1943, similarly depicts Churchill as an octopus but with a Star of David over his head, linking British imperialism to an imaginary global Jewish conspiracy.

Rothschild octopus

An octopus representing the Rothschild banking family of England from Coin's Financial School
An octopus representing the Rothschild banking family of England from Coin’s Financial School (1894)

The idea of Jewish money interests controlling British policy was an old one. In a 1894 pamphlet that argued for the introduction of a mixed gold and silver standard, William Hope Harvey had depicted the Rothschild banking family as synonymous with England. Their tentacles stretch all over the world.

Standard Oil

1904 American cartoon depicting the Standard Oil company as an octopus
1904 American cartoon depicting the Standard Oil company as an octopus (Library of Congress)

The most famous octopus cartoon must be this 1904 depiction of John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. Notice that its arms are wrapped around not just the United States Congress and a state house but also the cooper, steel and shipping industries. The next target is the White House.

Anti-monopolist cartoons like these helped the trustbusting Theodore Roosevelt prevail in the presidential election that year.

Japan’s unwelcome embrace

Japan did not escape depiction as an octopus in Allied propaganda.

One British poster argued the other island power menaced world trade by showing its tentacles wrapped around commodities found across East and Southeast Asia.

A 1944 Dutch poster called for the liberation of the East Indies from Japan’s unwelcome embrace. Although “liberation” meant return to Dutch colonial rule.

Red Octopus returns

1950 anti-communist propaganda by the British Economic League
1950 anti-communist propaganda by the British Economic League (University of Warwick)

The red octopus returned after the Second World War, when the capitalist West and the communist East fell out once more.

This image comes from the cover of a 1950 leaflet spread by the pro-business Economic League in the United Kingdom. It suggests communism is about to devour the whole world.

Recognize the danger

1949 election poster of the Austrian People's Party depicts Soviet communism as an octopus
1949 election poster of the Austrian People’s Party depicts Soviet communism as an octopus (ÖNB)

Only slightly less threatening, this 1949 election poster for Austria’s conservative People’s Party shows communism spreading its influence westward into Europe. It urged voters to “recognize the danger” of Soviet ideology.

Like Germany, Austria was occupied by the Allied powers at the time. The Soviets controlled what would become the states of Burgenland and Lower Austria. Only after the country professed neutrality in 1955 did Western and Soviet troops pull out.

American imperialism

Detail of the cover of José María Vargas Vila's Ante Los Bárbaros (1930)
Detail of the cover of José María Vargas Vila’s Ante Los Bárbaros (1930)

Leftists employed the octopus trope too. The Colombian writer José María Vargas Vila, for example, depicted the United States as a hungry sea monster on the cover of his Ante Los Bárbaros (1930), clutching the island of Cuba, then under pro-American rule, and eying Central America.

“France will not be a colony”

1950s French Communist Party poster depicts American capitalism as an octopus
1950s French Communist Party poster depicts American capitalism as an octopus

The French Communists had the same idea. Notice the dollar signs in the American octopus’ eyes in this 1950s poster. The text reads: “No! France will not be a colonized country!” The French were anxious at the time about becoming an American dependency.

Scott Adams meint zu Russian Meddling

Scott Adams meint, dass die russische Internetfirma mit ihren Marionetten-Accounts darauf aus war, alle Kandidaten bis auf Hillary Clinton zu unterstützten und deren Botschaft zu vervielfachen. Das führte dann zu einem so grosse Chaos und negativem Echo gegenüber Clinton, dass schliesslich Trump gewählt wurde.

=> These: Russland unterstützte nicht Trump, sondern agierte gegen Clinton als Rache dafür, dass Clinton/USA sich im russischen Wahlkampf von Putin gegen ihn eingemischt hatte.

Quelle: Scott Adams Periscop vom 20.2.18

https://www.periscope.tv/w/1YqJDdMqwrzJV?q=scott+adams

Sehr guter Artikel, um was es sich bei der sog. russischen Eimmischung im US Wahlkampf handelt

Angeklagt der russischen Einmischung im US Wahlkampf ist offenbar eine russische Internetfirma (Internet Research Agency), die davon lebt, den eigenen Kunden einen Kundenstamm/Werbegruppe anbieten zu können, der/die bestimmten gesellschaftlischen und kulturellen Spezifika entspricht. Die Internetfirma hat dazu Fakeprofile von eigenen Mitarbeitern erstellen und bewirtschaften lassen, die eine reale Followerschaft erzielten und damit für Firmen als Werbekunde oder zur Verbreitung von gezielten Botschaften genutzt werden kann (Multiplikatoren).

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

Mueller Indictment – The „Russian Influence“ Is A Commercial Marketing Scheme

Yesterday the U.S. Justice Department indicted the Russian Internet Research Agency on some dubious legal grounds. It covers thirteen Russian people and three Russian legal entities. The main count of the indictment is an alleged „Conspiracy to Defraud the United States“.

The published indictment gives support to our long held believe that there was no „Russian influence“ campaign during the U.S. election. What is described and denounced as such was instead a commercial marketing scheme which ran click-bait websites to generate advertisement revenue and created online crowds around virtual persona to promote whatever its commercial customers wanted to promote. The size of the operation was tiny when compared to the hundreds of millions in campaign expenditures. It had no influence on the election outcome.

The indictment is fodder for the public to prove that the Mueller investigation is „doing something“. It distracts from further questioning  the origin of the Steele dossier. It is full of unproven assertions and assumptions. It is a sham in that none of the Russian persons or companies indicted will ever come in front of a U.S. court. That is bad because the indictment is build on the theory of a new crime which, unless a court throws it out, can be used to incriminate other people in other cases and might even apply to this blog. The later part of this post will refer to that.

In the early 1990s some dude in St.Petersburg made a good business selling hot dogs. He then opened a colorful restaurant. He invited local celebrities and politicians to gain notoriety while serving cheap food for too high prices. It was a good business. A few years later he moved to Moscow and gained contracts to cater to schools and to the military. The food he served was still substandard.

But catering bad food as school lunches gave him, by chance, the idea for a new business:

Parents were soon up in arms. Their children wouldn’t eat the food, saying it smelled rotten.As the bad publicity mounted, Mr. Prigozhin’s company, Concord Catering, launched a counterattack, a former colleague said. He hired young men and women to overwhelm the internet with comments and blog posts praising the food and dismissing the parents’ protests.

“In five minutes, pages were drowning in comments,” said Andrei Ilin, whose website serves as a discussion board about public schools. “And all the trolls were supporting Concord.”

The trick worked beyond expectations. Prigozhin had found a new business. He hired some IT staff and low paid temps to populate various message boards, social networks and the general internet with whatever his customers asked him for.

You have a bad online reputation? Prigozhin can help. His internet company will fill the net with positive stories and remarks about you. Your old and bad reputation will be drowned by the new and good one. Want to promote a product or service? Prigozhin’s online marketeers can address the right crowds.


Pic: A Russian influencerTo achieve those results the few temps who worked on such projects needed to multiply their online personalities. It is better to have fifty people vouch for you online than just five. No one cares if these are real people or just virtual ones. The internet makes it easy to create such sock-puppets. The virtual crowd can then be used to push personalities, products or political opinions. Such schemes are nothing new or special. Every decent „western“ public relations and marketing company will offer a similar service and has done so for years.

While it is relatively easy to have sock-puppets swamp the comment threads of such sites as this blog, it is more difficult to have a real effect on social networks. These depend on multiplier effects. To gain many real „likes“, „re-tweets“ or „followers“ an online persona needs a certain history and reputation. Real people need to feel attached to it. It takes some time and effort to build such a multiplier personality, be it real or virtual.

At some point Prigozhin, or whoever by then owned the internet marketing company, decided to expand into the lucrative English speaking market. This would require to build many English language online persona and to give those some history and time to gain crowds of followers and a credible reputation. The company sent a few of its staff to the U.S. to gain some impressions, pictures and experience of the surroundings. They would later use these to impersonate as U.S. locals. It was a medium size, long-term investment of maybe a hundred-thousand bucks over two or three years.

The U.S. election provided an excellent environment to build reputable online persona with large followings of people with discriminable mindsets. The political affinity was not important. The personalities only had to be very engaged and stick to their issue – be it left or right or whatever. The sole point was to gain as many followers as possible who could be segmented along social-political lines and marketed to the companies customers.

Again – there is nothing new to this. It is something hundreds, if not thousands of companies are doing as their daily business. The Russian company hoped to enter the business with a cost advantage. Even its mid-ranking managers were paid as little as $1,200 per month. The students and other temporary workers who would ‚work‘ the virtual personas as puppeteers would earn even less. Any U.S. company in a similar business would have higher costs.

In parallel to building virtual online persona the company also built some click-bait websites and groups and promoted these through mini Facebook advertisements. These were the „Russian influence ads“ on Facebook the U.S. media were so enraged about. They included the promotion of a Facebook page about cute puppies. Back in October we described how those „Russian influence“ ads (most of which were shown after the election or were not seen at all) were simply part of a commercial scheme:

The pages described and the ads leading to them are typical click-bait, not part of a political influence op.

One builds pages with „hot“ stuff that hopefully attracts lots of viewers. One creates ad-space on these pages and fills it with Google ads. One attracts viewers and promotes the spiked pages by buying $3 Facebook mini-ads for them. The mini-ads are targeted at the most susceptible groups.A few thousand users will come and look at such pages. Some will ‚like‘ the puppy pictures or the rant for or against LGBT and further spread them. Some will click the Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scaleable and parts of it can be automatized.

Because of the myriad of U.S. sanctions against Russia the monetization of these business schemes required some creativity. One can easily find the name of a real U.S. person together with the assigned social security number and its date of birth. Those data are enough to open, for example, a Paypal account under a U.S. name. A U.S. customer of the cloaked Russian Internet company could then pay to the Paypal account and the money could be transferred from there to Moscow. These accounts could also be used to buy advertisement on Facebook. The person who’s data was used to create the account would never learn of it and would have no loss or other damage. Another scheme is to simply pay some U.S. person to open a U.S. bank account and to then hand over the ‚keys‘ to that account.

The Justice Department indictment is quite long and detailed. It must have been expensive. If you read it do so with the above in mind. Skip over the assumptions and claims of political interference and digest only the facts. All that is left is, as explained, a commercial marketing scheme.

I will not go into all its detail of the indictment but here are some points that support the above description.

Point 4:

Defendants, posing as US. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive US. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by US. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants‘ means to reach significant numbers of Americans

Point 10d:

By in or around April 2014, the ORGANIZATION formed a department that went by various names but was at times referred to as the „translator project.“ This project focused on the US. population and conducted operations on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. By approximately July 2016, more than eighty ORGANIZATION employees were assigned to the translator project.

(Some U.S. media today made the false claim that $1.25 million per month were spend by the company for its U.S. campaign. But Point 11 of the indictment says that the company ran a number of such projects directed at a Russian audience while only the one described in 10d above is aimed at an U.S. audience. All these projects together had a monthly budget of $1.25 million.)

(Point 17, 18 and 19 indict individual persons who have worked for the „translator“ project“ „to at least in and around [some month] 2014“. It is completely unclear how these persons, who seem to have left the company two years before the U.S. election, are supposed to have anything to do with the claimed „Russian influence“ on the U.S. election.)

Point 32:

Defendants and their co-conspirators, through fraud and deceit, created hundreds of social media accounts and used them to develop certain fictitious U.S. personas into „leader[s] of public opinion“ in the United States.

The indictment then goes on and on describing the „political activities“ of the sock-puppet personas. Some posted pro-Hillary slogans, some anti-Hillary stuff, some were pro-Trump, some anti-everyone, some urged not to vote, others to vote for third party candidates. The sock-puppets did not create or post fake news. They posted mainstream media stories.

Some of the persona called for going to anti-Islam rallies while others promoted pro-Islam rallies. The Mueller indictment lists a total of eight rallies. Most of these did not take place at all. No one joined the „Miners For Trump“ rallies in Philly and Pittsburgh. A „Charlotte against Trump“ march on November 19 – after the election – was attended by one hundred people. Eight people came for a pro-Trump rally in Fort Myers.

The sock-puppets called for rallies to establish themselves as  ‚activist‘ and ‚leadership‘ persona, to generated more online traffic and additional followers. There was in fact no overall political trend in what the sock-puppets did. The sole point of all such activities was to create a large total following by having multiple personas which together covered all potential social-political strata.

At Point 86 the indictment turns to Count Two – „Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud“. The puppeteers opened, as explained above, various Paypal accounts using ‚borrowed‘ data.

Then comes the point which confirms the commercial marketing story as laid out above:

Point 95:

Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts, including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist.

There you have it. There was no political point to what the Russian company did. Whatever political slogans one of the company’s sock-puppets posted had only one aim: to increase the number of followers for that sock-puppet. The sole point of creating a diverse army of sock-puppets with large following crowds was to sell the ‚eyeballs‘ of the followers to the paying customers of the marketing company.

There were, according to the indictment, eighty people working on the „translator project“. These controlled „hundreds“ of sock-puppets online accounts each with a distinct „political“ personality. Each of these sock-puppets had a large number of followers – in total several hundred-thousands. Now let’s assume that one to five promotional posts can be sold per day on each of the sock-puppets content stream. The scheme generates several thousand dollars per day ($25 per promo, hundreds of sock-puppets, 1-5 promos per day per sock-puppet). The costs for this were limited to the wages of up to eighty persons in Moscow, many of them temps, of which the highest paid received some $1,000 per month. While the upfront multiyear investment to create and establish the virtual personas was probably significant, this likely was, over all, a profitable business.

Again – this had nothing to do with political influence on the election. The sole point of political posts was to create ‚engagement‘ and a larger number of followers in each potential social-political segment. People who buy promotional posts want these to be targeted at a specific audience. The Russian company could offer whatever audience was needed. It had sock-puppets with pro-LGBT view and a large following and sock-puppets with anti-LGBT views and a large following. It could provide pro-2nd amendment crowds as well as Jill Stein followers. Each of the sock-puppets had over time generated a group of followers that were like minded. The entity buying the promotion simply had to choose which group it preferred to address.

The panic of the U.S. establishment over the loss of their preferred candidate created an artificial storm over „Russian influence“ and assumed „collusion“ with the Trump campaign. (Certain Democrats though, like Adam Schiff, profit from creating a new Cold War through their sponsoring armament companies.)

The Mueller investigation found no „collusion“ between anything Russia and the Trump campaign. The indictment does not mentions any. The whole „Russian influence“ storm is based on a misunderstanding of commercial activities of a Russian marketing company in U.S. social networks.

There is a danger in this. The indictment sets up a new theory of nefarious foreign influence that could be applied to even this blog. As U.S. lawyer Robert Barns explains:

The only thing frightening about this indictment is the dangerous and dumb precedent it could set: foreign nationals criminally prohibited from public expression in the US during elections unless registered as foreign agents and reporting their expenditures to the FEC.

Mueller’s new crime only requires 3 elements: 1) a foreign national; 2) outspoken on US social media during US election; and 3) failed to register as a foreign agent or failed to report receipts/expenditures of speech activity. Could indict millions under that theory.

The legal theory of the indictment for most of the defendants and most of the charges alleges that the „fraud“ was simply not registering as a foreign agent or not reporting expenses to the FEC because they were a foreign national expressing views in a US election.

Author Leonid Bershidsky, who prominently writes for Bloomberg, remarks:

I’m actually surprised I haven’t been indicted. I’m Russian, I was in the U.S. in 2016 and I published columns critical of both Clinton and Trump w/o registering as a foreign agent.

As most of you will know your author writing this is German. I write pseudo-anonymously for a mostly U.S. audience. My postings are political and during the U.S. election campaign expressed an anti-Hillary view. The blog is hosted on U.S, infrastructure paid for by me. I am not registered as Foreign Agent or with the Federal Election Commission.

Under the theory on which the indictment is based I could also be indicted for a similar „Conspiracy to Defraud the United States“.

(Are those of you who kindly donate for this blog co-conspiractors?)

When Yevgeni Prigozhin, the hot dog caterer who allegedly owns the internet promotion business, was asked about the indictment he responded:

„The Americans are really impressionable people, they see what they want to see. […] If they want to see the devil, let them see him.“

Zur Verfassheit der USA: als Mahnung an Europa, die Strukturen zu erkennen

 

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Americans like to think of their country as different from those run by military regimes. They are only fooling themselves. Ever since the federal government was converted into a national-security state after World War II (without a constitutional amendment authorizing the conversion), it has been the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that have run the government, just like in countries governed by military dictatorships.

Oh sure, the façade is maintained – the façade that is ingrained in all of us in civics or government classes in high school and college: that the federal government is composed of three co-equal, independent branches that are in charge of the government.

But just a façade. It’s fake. It’s a lie.

It’s true that the federal government used to consist of three branches. But that quaint notion disintegrated when the federal government was converted to what is known as a „national-security state“ after World War II. Even though it was done without a constitutional amendment, that conversion effectively added a fourth branch of government to the federal government — the national-security branch, which consists of the NSA, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

The addition of that fourth branch fundamentally altered the original three-branch concept, especially because the fourth branch quickly became the most powerful branch. The reason is because ultimately government is force, and the fourth branch is where the most force was concentrated within the new, altered governmental structure.

As law professor Michael Glennon has pointed out in his book National Security and Double Government, the result is a federal government in which the military, the CIA, and the NSA are in charge. They are the ones actually calling the shots. But they permit the other three branches to maintain the façade that they are in charge, including periodically going along with decisions in the other three branches to keep Americans thinking that everything is the same as it always has been.

Consider the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s torture center, prison, and kangaroo tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They set that up with the aim of establishing a place to hold people and do whatever they wanted to them, without any judicial interference. Guantanamo was a dream-come-true for the military and the CIA. Like most conservatives, they had long lamented those “constitutional technicalities” that let people go free. If only America stopped coddling criminals, we could finally establish order and stability in our land. Guantanamo was going to be their showcase, their model for the United States and the world for dealing with criminals.

That model, as we now know, entailed kidnappings, bounties, torture, indefinite detention, no criminal defense attorneys, denial of speedy trial, kangaroo military tribunals, use of hearsay evidence, use of evidence acquired through torture, denial of due process of law, and other violations of long-established criminal-justice procedures that stretch back to Magna Carta in 1215.

Contrary to what the Pentagon and the CIA and their acolytes within the mainstream press have long maintained, terrorism is a criminal offense, not an act of war. If you don’t believe me, go look up the U.S. Code. That’s where all federal crimes are listed. You’ll see that terrorism is in fact a federal criminal offense.

Alternatively, go into any federal courtroom in the land where a federal criminal prosecution for terrorism is being held. Ask the judge why he’s hold such a trial. He will tell you that it’s because terrorism is a federal criminal offense.

The Pentagon-CIA torture-prison-tribunal center in Cuba didn’t change that fact. It simply meant that the CIA and the Pentagon were now getting into the law-enforcement business, which would enable them to punish people they were certain were guilty of terrorism.

Now, let’s turn to President Obama, the president who vowed to shut down this Pentagon-CIA model torture-prison-military tribunal facility. He made that vow at the very start of his presidency, if not before.

Obama was a two-term president. That meant 8 years in office. When Obama left office, he still had not fulfilled his vow. The Pentagon-CIA torture, indefinite detention, and kangaroo center at Guantanamo was still open. It still is.

The reaction of Obama supporters and the mainstream press? “Oh, poor President Obama. He meant well. He really wanted to shut down Guantanamo. He just wasn’t able to pull it off before his 8-year term ended.”

What?

Hey, this guy was commander-in-chief. No, not of the American people but of the federal government’s military and para-military forces. That means that he is supposedly the head honcho. As such, he gives the orders to everyone below him. In a military structure, the superior officer gives the orders and the subordinate officers obey and carry out the orders.

That means that all that President Obama, as commander in chief, had to do was issue an order to his military subordinates: “Close it down. Now!”

But that’s not what happened. The Pentagon and the CIA obviously would not let Obama issue that order. And he understood that if he did, it was a virtual certainty that they wouldn’t have obeyed it.

Then what?

Some Obama supporters say it was all Congress’s fault because Congress passed a law that forbade the president from bringing any Gitmo prisoners to the continental United States.

But Obama is president. He could have vetoed that law. And even if the veto was overridden, he didn’t have to bring any prisoners to the United States. As commander-in-chief of the military and the CIA, he could have simply said, “Close it down and release them all.”

After all, that’s how our regular constitutional system — the one whose principles the CIA and the Pentagon rejected — works. Government officials have to charge a person with a crime and try him within a reasonable period of time or they are required to release him.

The real question is: Why was Congress so intent on keeping Gitmo open, over the president’s objections? After all, keeping a U.S. kidnapping-detention-torture-kangaroo tribunal center in place in a foreign country, over the president’s vehement objections, is not the type of thing that we would ordinarily expect from the elected representatives of the American people.

There is only one explanation that makes sense: That the national-security establishment told Congress that it wanted Gitmo to be kept open. We know that the CIA has assets in the mainstream press. We know they have assets in state and local governments, including police departments. It would stand to reason they would have assets in Congress, ones that they can call upon whenever necessary to protect the interests of the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA.

And there is also the matter of military bases, programs, and projects in the district of every member of Congress. Congressmen knew what would happen to them if they bucked the Pentagon and the CIA on Guantanamo. All that the Pentagon would have to do is announce a closure of major military bases or other facilities in that Congressman’s district. Immediately, the press would denounce him as an “ineffective congressman,” one who was incapable of bringing home the political bacon to his district.

What about the Supreme Court? Early on, they rejected the Pentagon’s arguments that they had no jurisdiction over Guantanamo. The Court held it did and said that the federal courts would entertain habeas corpus cases brought by Gitmo prisoners. The Pentagon acceded to the ruling but it was all part of the façade.

After all, given that there is no constitutional authorization for the federal government to have a bifurcated judicial system — one run by the federal courts and the other run by the military — the Court should have ordered an immediate closure of the facility and a termination of the kangaroo judicial system that the Pentagon and the CIA established.

Instead, unwilling to cross any red lines when it came to the national-security branch of the government, the Supreme Court has left Gitmo standing. That’s why dozens of prisoners have been held there for more than 10 years without trial and without the hope of a trial, much less a fair one.

Look at the people who surround President Trump: U.S. “Defense” Secretary: A general. National Security Council advisor: A general. Trump’s chief of staff: a general.

Think about those flyovers and all other glorification of the military and U.S. sporting events and in U.S. airports and churches and most everywhere else. Think about how so many Americans profusely thank the troops for protecting our rights and freedoms by killing people abroad who aren’t threatening our rights and freedoms. Think about how Trump wants to have “patriotic” military parades, which would undoubtedly feature the latest missiles, rifles, tanks, and planes.

Remember President Trump before the election? He was criticizing the Pentagon’s forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He was criticizing NATO and the UN. He was fighting a political war against the CIA. He was all for making friends with Russia.

Today? Trump is expanding the Pentagon’s forever wars. He let the CIA continue its decades-long secrets in the JFK assassination. He’s extolling NATO. And he’s imposing sanctions on Russia. Trump has been absorbed into the national-security establishment blob.

Consider Egypt or, for that matter, Chile under Pinochet. In Egypt, the military-intelligence establishment runs the government. Same for Chile under Pinochet. America’s system is not much different, at least not in principle. The only difference is that in Egypt, the military-intelligence role is overt, just like it was in Chile. Here in the United States, the role is more disguised, with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches being permitted to have a fig leaf of ostensible control.

Welcome to America, one of the world’s premier military nations.

Zur Info über FB

https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/facebook-cracks-down-on-independent-media-under-guise-of-enhancing-relationships/

Facebook Cracks Down On Independent Media, Under Guise Of ‘Enhancing Relationships’

Nothing could have more perfectly exemplified the establishment’s use of Orwellian Newspeak than Facebook’s latest move to censor independent thought under the pretense of caring about the emotional wellbeing of the masses. The media giant has been documented live-streaming murders, suicidesrapes, and abuse. Despite this, The New York Post reported that Facebook officially stated they were ‘unable to stop live-streaming suicides.’ But, trust them, they care about your mental health, and that’s why they don’t want you to read certain news stories.

A recent press report on the matter stated: “Facebook said it’s changing the formula that determines users’ news feeds by decreasing business and media posts and focusing more on personal connections.” However, in reality, the changes seem to have been used to specifically target anti-establishment news sources.

Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enthused regarding the changes, the company’s shareholders appeared less impressed with the news. According to CNBC, Facebook shares fell by four percent at market the morning after Zuckerberg’s announcement of the new policy. Stocks fell during the first day by following the announcement by 6.1%  which was reported to have amounted to a $3.3 billion loss.

Despite this, Zuckerberg appeared totally unfazed by the stock price drop, and openly admitted that the changes would lead to an overall decline in user engagement.

The Guardian’s coverage of the news not only chided Zuckerberg for not having made the move earlier, while also directly identifying the core of the real impetus behind the changes, which had nothing to do with bringing you closer to your family. The Guardian’s writing on the issue reveals that the real reason for the changes is in order to actively censor what the legacy press outlet deems to be “fake news” that “interfered” in the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.

Such ‘misinformation,’ The Guardian may as well have admonished, is dangerous and liable to transform users into drooling zombies with no control over their actions whatsoever. The Guardian’s coverage of the matter encouraged censorship of independent media under the banner of “fake news,” or in other words, anything other than government-approved-propaganda. It also appeared to be a beautiful teaching moment on the value of projection.

As reported by legacy media, Facebook has come under fire in recent months for allegedly allowing Russians to attempt to influence the 2016 Presidential election through Facebook ads. Disobedient Media has previously addressed the multiple reasons that this line of argument is patently ridiculous, and provides yet another pretext to clamp down on non-corporate media sources.

Although this author and many other independent journalists have been subjected to various methods and degrees of censorship over the last year, Zuckerberg’s Facebook overhaul has gone far beyond what many in the anti-establishment press could have anticipated.

In addition to the issues regarding the coverage of the changes as it stands, a number of non-corporate media outlets, including Disobedient Media, have experienced drastic changes in reach on Facebook’s platform, with Caitlin Johnstone addressing the matter recently on Twitter.

Johnstone also spoke with Disobedient Media, relating to us that: “Medium has a statistics feature which lets you see where your views are coming from. Around a week or so ago the Facebook numbers suddenly plummeted from thousands per article, often tens of thousands, to a few hundred per article. Facebook also has a feature which lets you see the “reach” for your FB page, and those numbers were slashed to somewhere between a third and a quarter of where they used to sit. Just looking at the numbers it appears that both my page and individual independent shares of my articles are getting less visibility all of a sudden.”

MintPressNews also wrote regarding Facebook’s crackdown, specifically in relation to Latin American news outlet teleSUR English. They wrote: “Facebook periodically “tweaks” its algorithm in ways that severely reduce the prominence of alternative media content on newsfeeds, forcing admins to pay for “sponsored posts” in order to reach audiences.”

This is not the first time anti-establishment voices have faced severe and arbitrary censorship on large platforms. Disobedient Media previously reported on Google and Youtube censorship across the political spectrum, specifically in terms of an anti-trust suit brought against Google by social media company, Gab.ai. At that time, a tremendous number of Youtube content providers and anti-establishment websites were hit with strangled traffic content or the demonetization of thousands of videos deemed to be ‘inappropriate’ for some unknown reason.

Additionally, Disobedient Media reported in November last year that Twitter admitted to having censored 48% of tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag, and 25% of tweets using the #PodestaEmails hashtag.

As MintPressNews wisely observed, citing the sentiments of John Pilger in regards to the corruption of corporate media: “CNN and NBC and the rest of the networks have been the voices of power and have been the source of distorted news for such a long time. They are not circling the wagons because the wagons are on the wrong side. These people in the mainstream have been an extension of the power that has corrupted so much of our body politic. They have been the sources of so many myths.”

Redacted Tonight’s Lee Camp also discussed the latest crackdown, saying that his Facebook page ‘Lee Camp Comedian’ has been severely limited, and censored, with previous subscribers being removed without their knowledge. He alluded to similar tactics being used on Youtube and Google, as Disobedient Media previously reported.

 

Though challenges created by escalating censorship are frighteningly real, the age of independent media is not at an end. As Suzie Dawson noted, an increasing number of anti-establishment voices are diversifying the platforms on which they post content. Essentially, one hopes that as even Facebook admits it will push users away through the implementation of their latest draconian policies, the news which is most dangerous to the plutocratic class will not be silenced. Instead of being cut down, we will spread to every platform that exists out of the establishment’s reach, embodied by the archetypal Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Diversifying the platforms where anti-establishment journalists share content has become the new method by which non-corporate journalists have responded to the tightening chokehold of censorship. Suzie DawsonCaitlin Johnstone, Lee Camp, HA Goodman and myself are just a few examples of the independent sources of news flocking to the platform, often specifically in response to the recent Facebook crackdown imposed under the guise of enhancing mental health.

In his inaugural Steemit post, Lee Camp wrote that a primary instigation for joining the platform was indeed the latest Facebook censorship. He wrote: “Finally reached my breaking point with Facebook – Well, in fact, I’ve been exploring other platforms for awhile now. But I recently did a video on the extreme censorship anti-establishment voices like myself have been receiving on Facebook, and they responding by pulling it down and telling people it looked like spam. (So I guess they proved my point.)”

The title of Caitlin Johnstone’s inaugural post on Steemit also featured Facebook’s newest wave of censorship, relating: “Facebook Is Throttling My Articles, So It’s Time To Diversify Platforms. Hi Steemit!” Like Camp and Johnstone, I have experienced Facebook’s temporary block in response to posting Disobedient Media’s content.

Steemit is not the only platform seeing a large number of anti-establishment pundits joining their ranks, with others including Minds.com. The key message to take away from these developments is that free-thinking individuals suppressed by social media giants are reacting by posting their content on multiple new platforms which will hopefully, as Suzie Dawson wrote, encourage Facebook and its ilk to go the way of the dinosaurs.

As I discussed recently with the fantastic Graham Elwood, there are ways that individual readers of quality anti-establishment media can support writers, pundits and the like and fight censorship. If one has easy access to cash, then donating a single dollar to your favorite independent media outlets or pundits can make an enormous difference to their viability. If that is not possible, supporters can still make a seismic impact and fight corporate censorship by actively sharing articles, videos and content across a variety of social media platforms. As I told Elwood in a recent interview, a retweet while on the bus to work may not feel like much, but it is a massive fist shoved into the face of the establishment every single time it happens. We do have power in this situation, all we have to do is see it, and seize it.

FBI und DOJ beim versuchten Staatsputsch gegen Trump

Nunes Mem und teilweise zensiertes Grassley Memo zeigen folgende Punkte:

Grassley Memo belegt, dass die Anklagepunkte im Nunes Memo stimmen und die Anschuldigungen von Adam Schiff  (in den medien) nichtig sind.

Der FISA (Abhörerlaubnis) Antrag des FBI beruhte fast ausschliesslich auf dem Dossier von Christoher Steele (ex MI6) auf News Artikeln (bei denen Steele Quelle war!) und auf einer Quelle aus dem Umfeld von Hillary Clinton.

Das FBI hat dem FISA Court nicht gesagt, dass das Dossier von einem parteiischen Antitrumper zusammengestellt wurde. Hingegen hat das FBI erwähnt, dass für die Informationen Geld bezahlt wurde und da hätte das Gericht zumindest hellhörig werden müssen. In wie vielen Fällen bezahlt man die Spitzel auch?

Das FBI sagte dem FISA Court nie, dass viele Anschuldigunge im Dossier ohne Belege und falsch sind und behauptetet auch, dass Stelle nie mit der Presse gesprochen hatte. Später beendete FBI Zusammenarbeit mit Steele, weil er unter Eid aussagte, Quelle für die Pressebereichte zu sein, allerdings hat das FBI das nie dem FISA Court weitergeleitet sondern weitere Anträge auf Verlängerung beantragt.

Im Dossier bekam Steele nicht nur von fragwürdigen russischen Quellen Informationen, sondern auch von Sidney Blumenthal (Trey Gowdy hat das ausgesagt, im Grassley Memo sind die Namen zensiert), einem engen persönlichen Berater und Freund von Hillary Clinton.

 

=> Die Annahme daraus ist: als das Dossier über Trump zu sienen russischen Kontaken keinen nennenswerten Dreck ergab, hat man es im FBI genutzt, um das Team Trump im Wahlkampf und dann bei der Übernahme der Regierung abzuhören und zu versuchen, Trump so vor den Wahlen zu besiegen oder nach der verlorenen Wahl irgendwie abzusägen.

 

WICHTIG: Carter Page, für den der Title 1 FISA Antrag gestellt wurde, und der also umfassend überwcht werde sollte, weil er ein „russischer Spion“ sei – anders lässt sich ein Title 1 Antrag nicht interpretieren – läuft heute fröhlich und ohne Anklage herum, kann Interviews geben, während die Untersuchung zum russischen Einfluss auf die Wahlen 2016 noch immer läuft.

Carter Page war einige Jahre zuvor Informant des FBI und es besteht der dringende Verdacht, dass er vom FBI bewusst „verkabelt“ wurde, um einen FISA Grund zu haben, die Trump Kampagne abzuhören. Denn jede Person und jedes Objekt, das auch nur entfernt im Umfeld von Carter Page auftaucht, ist mit Title 1 zur Ausspionage freigegeben. Dabei dürfte Carter Page diesen Job icht freiwillig gemacht haben, sondern im Austauch gegen igrendwelche Schulden/Verurteilungen, die er sich anderweitig eingehandelt hatte.