War-hungry Democrats furious over President Trump’s decision to get our troops out of northern Syria stormed out of a meeting with Trump at the White House on Wednesday evening after Trump allegedly called Nancy Pelosi a “third-rate politician.”
From the New York Post:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer stormed out of a White House sitdown on Syria with President Trump after he called Pelosi “ a third-rate politician” and a Communist sympathizer in what the House speaker termed “a meltdown.”
“He was insulting, particularly to the speaker. She kept her cool completely. But he called her a third rate politician. He said that there are communists involved and you guys might like that,” Schumer said.
“This was not a dialogue. It was sort of a diatribe, a nasty diatribe not focused on the facts, particularly the fact of how to curtail ISIS, a terrorist organization that aims to hurt the United States,” he said.
Pelosi said Trump was shaken by an earlier House vote condemning his decision to pull troops from northern Syria.
A major faction of the Kurds are communists. That’s what Trump was obviously talking about. He’s absolutely right they support them — as does antifa.
Based off the statements of Pelosi, Schumer and Hoyer, it seems like they’re the ones who threw a fit.
Remember how Chuck Schumer was all smiles and literally cheered after exiting a meeting with Trump on Iran back on June 20 with Trump after Iran shot down a US drone?
Trump had allegedly approved strikes on Iran that day, though he backed out before giving the final go-ahead.
Our crooked establishment on both sides is absolutely furious Trump is actually moving to put America First and potentially exit their beloved forever war in Syria.
They’re doing everything in their power to keep the US involved.
Lindsey Graham has been whining incessantly about how Trump’s decision to pull some of our troops out may “become a nightmare for Israel.”
Trump smacked Graham down during an epic press conference Wednesday afternoon:
Nothing unites our criminal establishment more than their lust for forever wars.
Watch Trump’s full press conference:
Apparently, the Iraq War architect thinks his views need to be heard by the public.
Iraq War architect and former U.S President George Bush slammed President Trump’s moves to get the United States untangled from endless and distant foreign wars when speaking alongside Bill Clinton at the Nir School of the Heart.
Bush’s words come days after the political establishment has erupted in rage over President Trump’s decision to remove around 1,000 U.S service members from Syria’s Civil War.
The member of the political dynasty said that “an isolationist United States is destabilizing around the world. We are becoming isolationist and that’s dangerous for the sake of peace.”
For many Americans, it’s frankly rich to hear the widely unpopular and disliked former President attack one of his successors for a foreign policy of restraint. As President, George Bush initiated one of the worst foreign policy disasters in the history of the United States, invading Iraq on the false premise of a nuclear program that the country didn’t actually have.
Millions died as a result of Bush’s colossal blunder, and the Middle East remains destabilized to this day, in part because of the invasion that removed dictator Saddam Hussein from power. Thousands of American military personnel were killed or injured in the war, and countless more continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress. Many Iraq War veterans have committed suicide.
George Bush claimed he was obeying an unwritten rule during the presidency of Barack Obama by declining to criticize him. That rule flew out of the window almost immediately during Trump’s presidency, with the former President tacitly and explicitly criticizing Trump from almost the beginning of his presidency.
It may come as a relief for the family-dynasty former President to see his image rehabilitated by elite liberals with a short memory hoping to align with the well-entrenched neoconservative element in the federal bureaucracy he represents.
Crenshaw shows yet again how he is not America First.
By Shane Trejo
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) has become a rising star as a freshman Congressman after being promoted relentlessly by the GOP establishment and fake news media, including NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Unfortunately, he has emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s biggest intra-party foes in the U.S. House. Crenshaw showed his true colors yet again when he voted in favor of a resolution condemning President Trump’s pullback of troops in Northern Syria on Wednesday.
Crenshaw joined 225 Democrats to approve H.J. Res 77, a measure introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) in order to rebuke the President’s “America First” foreign policy, which endorses a permanent occupation of the Middle East by U.S. forces.
The resolution reads in part:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress—
(1) opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria;
(2) calls on Turkish President Erdogan to immediately cease unilateral military action in Northeast Syria and to respect existing agreements relating to Syria;
(3) calls on the United States to continue supporting Syrian Kurdish communities through humanitarian support, including to those displaced or otherwise affected by ongoing violence in Syria;
(4) calls on the United States to work to ensure that the Turkish military acts with restraint and respects existing agreements relating to Syria; and
(5) calls on the White House to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS.
Crenshaw has been a frequent critic of President Trump’s foreign policy, so much so that he has been dubbed McCain 2.0 for his incessant warmongering. He has penned several op/eds in the mainstream media endorsing a Bush-era foreign policy.
“These troops are not victims. They are volunteer soldiers, part of America’s warrior class, who believe in what they are fighting for. They have seen the true nature of this enemy and know it cannot be wooed into submission by simply leaving it alone,” Crenshaw wrote in a Wall Street Journal op/ed published in February.
“In truth, mission success in the Middle East means preventing another 9/11. America’s troops risk everything to take the fight to the enemy so that the enemy cannot bring the fight here,” Crenshaw added.
Crenshaw’s words are in direct odds of President Trump and his non-interventionist foreign policy. He campaigned against Bush-era foreign policy, particularly the Iraq War. The President was put into the White House to prevent endless wars.
H.J. Res 77 was ultimately approved in the House by a 354-60 vote, with only President Trump’s most loyal Republican allies in Congress voting against it.
Julian Assange is a pioneering whistleblower in the digital-age, speaking truth to power like no one before him managed on such a significant scale. As he sits in a London jail cell, here’s why we should be grateful for his work.
By setting up the international non-profit organization WikiLeaks in Iceland in 2006, Assange irrevocably shifted the balance of power in the online era.
From humble beginnings as a master coder and hacker, caught by Australian authorities in 1995 but escaping a prison term, to the foremost publisher of sensitive, embarrassing and potentially dangerous material for the world to see, Assange’s storied career as a publisher and whistleblower has captured headlines, and the global public’s attention for years.
RT takes a look back at the key moments in Assange’s career that remind us why the world owes him such a debt of gratitude.
The early years
In 2007, WikiLeaks published emails exposing the manuals for Camp Delta, a controversial US detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba which was the focal point for the US war on terror and the final destination for those captured as part of its extraordinary rendition campaign.
The following year the whistleblowing site posted emails from vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo email account, again exposing the newfound weakness of the political class in the digital age.
In a move that would reverberate online and across the world for years, in April 2010 WikiLeaks published footage of US forces summarily executing 18 civilians from an Apache attack helicopter in Iraq. It was an almost unheard of revelation of the brutality of war and the low price of human life in modern conflict.
2010 was a very busy year for Assange as in July WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 classified documents and diplomatic cables relating to the Afghanistan war.
Later, in October 2010, the organization published a raft of classified documents from the Iraq War. The logs were referred to as “the largest leak of classified documents in its history” by the US Department of Defense, according to the BBC. WikiLeaks followed that up in November by publishing diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.
The Guantánamo Files and Spy Files
In April 2011, WikiLeaks published classified US military documents detailing the behavior and treatment of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. This leak would be followed, once again, by a vast trove (250 million) of US diplomatic cables.
Throughout this sequence of widely-praised leaks, Assange invited a global audience behind the curtain of international diplomacy and warfare to expose the hidden truths of global power dynamics in a way which would forever change the power structure and landscape, affording a platform to analysts like Chelsea Manning to expose potential war crimes and misdeeds by the US military at large.
Assange and WikiLeaks would also help fellow whistleblowers like Edward Snowden to seek refuge from predatory US authorities, providing aid and comfort to those who risked everything in the pursuit of truth, exposing some of the most egregious mass surveillance programs the world has ever known.
As the 2016 US presidential election loomed, WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee, which exposed the preferential treatment shown to then-candidate for president Hillary Clinton over her competitor Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Assange boldly informed CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the release was indeed timed to coincide with the Democratic National Convention.
In October that same year, WikiLeaks began publishing emails from Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, which shed light on the inner workings of the Democratic nominee’s political machine.
These included excerpts from Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street, politically-motivated payments made to the Clinton Foundation, her consideration of choosing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates or his wife as a potential running mate, her desire to covertly intervene in Syria, her intention to ring-fence China with missile defense batteries if it did not curtail North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Following his arrest on the morning of April 11, 2019, Assange’s future remains unclear. He likely faces extradition to the US where it was inadvertently revealed that he has been charged under seal in a US federal court. Former Assange collaborator Chelsea Manning has been imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with the court in relation to the case.
Assange’s legal battle is only just beginning, it seems, but the international following he has forged will undoubtedly grant him a place in the pantheon of history’s champions of truth.
He remains a true digital pioneer, paving the way for so many to follow in his footsteps and expose the untold misdeeds of the powerful, be they political figures or entire militaries. Assange has defiantly shown what a powerful tool digital technology can be and how easily the dynamics of power can be shifted in the 21st century by those brave enough. Unfortunately, he also showed the consequences of wielding such power in the face of such overwhelming international and political opposition.
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A new unlikely sensation entering the 2020 Democratic primaries could become a headache for the political establishment – and it isn’t the 77-year old independent senator from Vermont.
Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) is a former senator who is even older than Bernie Sanders and more vehemently critical of US foreign policy, imperialism and the surveillance state. The 88-year-old, who served in the Senate from 1969 to 1981, openly admits he threw his hat in the ring for the sole purpose of qualifying for the debates, in order to ensure that certain issues are not neglected.
Despite being an octogenarian, Gravel is still up to his unorthodox ways, recruiting two 17-year old self-proclaimed lefties as his campaign managers. After announcing his candidacy, a fundraiser was launched to help the ex-lawmaker meet the requirements of 65,000 donors for debate eligibility.
As a senator, Gravel gained national recognition for his efforts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and entering The Pentagon Papers released by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg into the public record.
Gravel previously ran for president in 2008. In 1972, he also unsuccessfully campaigned to be the running mate of George McGovern, the post that ultimately went to Sargent Shriver.
Gravel was briefly a member of the Libertarian Party, after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Democratic Party’s pro-war positions after his 2008 bid. His candidacy did gain notoriety for his unusual debate appearances and ornery sense of humor. When debating the Iraq War, Gravel turned to the other candidates on stage and exclaimed “some of these people frighten me!”
He went on to blast then-candidate Joe Biden (another 2020 contender) as “having a certain arrogance. You want to tell the Iraqis how to run their country. I gotta tell you, we should just plain get out!”
Gravel’s feeling about Biden don’t appear to have changed.
His devoted online following from 2008 seems to have reappeared as a perfect fit for today’s political climate, in which social media plays an increasingly vital role in political campaigns. His anti-war positions are resonating with young left-wing voters unhappy about the current lineup of 2020 candidates.
Mainstream media has been quick to lampoon Gravel and scare-monger voters about his controversial views on the September 11th terrorist attacks possibly being an inside job.
It does appear that the elderly ex-senator is serious about planning to drop out of the race after the debates, once he has made sure the Democrats discuss the issue of American interventionism abroad.
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By Robert Bridge
Once again, a reporter has been accused of writing fake stories – over a span of years – reinforcing the suspicion that we are living in a post-truth world where words, to paraphrase Kipling, “are the most powerful drug.”
This week, Der Spiegel, the German news weekly, was forced to admit that one of its former star reporters, the award-winning Claas Relotius, “falsified his articles on a grand scale.”
Indeed, it seems the disgraced journalist was motivated more by fiction writers John le Carre and Tom Clancy than by any media heavyweights, like Andrew Breitbart and Walter Cronkite.
Relotius, who just this month took home Germany’s Reporterpreis (‘Reporter of the Year’) for his enthralling tale of a Syrian teenager, “made up stories and invented protagonists,” Der Spiegel admitted.
There is a temptation to rationalize Relotius’s multiple indiscretions, not to mention the failure of his fastidious employer to unearth them for so long, as an unavoidable part of the dog-eat-dog media jungle. After all, journalists are not robots – at least not yet – and we are all humans prone to poor judgment and mistakes, perhaps even highly unethical ones.
That explanation, however, falls short of explaining the internal forces battering away at the foundation of Western media, an institution built on the shifting sand of lies, disinformation and outright propaganda. And what is readily apparent to those outside of the Western media fortress is certainly even more apparent to those inside.
A good example is Russiagate. This elaborate myth, which has been peddled repeatedly and without an ounce of 100-percent real beef since the US election of 2016, goes like this: A group of Russian hackers, buying a few hundred social media memes for just rubles to the dollar, were able to do what all the Republican campaign strategists, and all the special interests groups, with all of their billions of dollars in their massive war chest, simply could not: keep Democratic voters at home on the couch come Election Day – a tactic now known as “voter suppression operations” – thereby handing the White House to Donald Trump on a silver platter. Or shall we say ‘a Putin platter’?
Don’t believe me? Here’s the opening line of a recent Washington Post article that should be rated ‘R’ for racist: “One difference between Russian and Republican efforts to quash the black vote: The Russians are more sophisticated, insidious and slick,” wailed Joe Davidson, who apparently watched too many Hollywood films where the Russkies play all of the villains. “Unlike the Republican sledgehammers used to suppress votes and thwart electorates’ decisions in various states, the Russians are sneaky, using social media come-ons that ostensibly had little to do with the 2016 vote.”
Meanwhile, Der Spiegel, despite being forced to come clean over the transgressions of Claas Relotius, will most likely never own up to its own factual shortcomings with regards to their dismal reporting on Russia.
For example, in an article published last year entitled ‘Putin’s work, Clinton’s contribution,’ the German weekly lamented that “A superpower intervenes in the election campaign of another superpower: The Russian cyber-attack in the US is a scandal.” Just like their fallen star reporter, Der Spiegel regurgitated fiction masquerading as news.
However, there is no need to limit ourselves to just media-generated Russian fairytales. The Western media has contrived other sensational stories, with its own cast of dubious characters, and with far greater consequences.
Consider the reporting in the Western media prior to the 2003 Iraq War, when most journalists were behaving as cheerleaders for military invasion as opposed to conscientious objectors, or at least objective observers. In fact, two reporters with the New York Times, Michael Gordon and Judith Miller, arguably gave the Bush administration and a hardcore group of neocons inside Washington, which had been pushing for a war against Saddam Hussein for many years, the barest justification it required for military action.
Just six months before the bombs started dropping on Baghdad, Gordon and Miller penned a front-page article in the Times that opened with this stunning claim: “Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.”
The article in America’s ‘paper of record’ then proceeded to build the case for military action against Iraq by quoting an assortment of anonymous senior administration officials, anonymous Iraqi defectors, and anonymous chemical weapons experts. In fact, much of the story was based on comments provided by one ‘Ahmed al-Shemri,’ a pseudonym for someone purported to have been connected to Hussein’s chemical-weapons program. The authors quoted the mystery man as saying: “All of Iraq is one large storage facility.”
Gordon and Miller also claimed their source had said that “he had been told that Iraq was still storing some 12,500 gallons of anthrax.” Several months later, just weeks before the US invasion of Iraq commenced, US Secretary of State Colin Powell invited the UN General Assembly to imagine what a “teaspoon of dry anthrax” could do if unleashed on the public.
Powell, who later said the testimony would be a permanent “blot” on his record, even shook a tiny faux sample of the deadly biological agent in the Assembly for maximum theatrical effect.
Shortly after the release of the Times piece, top Bush officials appeared on television and alluded to Miller’s story in support of military action. Meanwhile, UN inspectors on the ground in Iraq never found chemical weapons or the materials needed to build atomic weapons. In other words, the $1-trillion-dollar war against Iraq, which led to the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, was a completely senseless act of aggression against a sovereign state, which the US media helped perpetrate.
Aside from the question of whether readers really put much faith in these fantastic media stories, complete with pseudonymous characters and impossible to prove claims; there remains another question. Does the Western media itself believe its own stories? The answer seems to be no, at least not always.
With regards to the Russiagate story, for example, an investigative journalism outfit, Project Veritas, caught a few Western journalists off-guard about their true feelings in relation to the claims against Russia, and their feelings in general about the state of the media.
“I love the news business, but I’m very cynical about it – and at the same time so are most of my colleagues,” CNN Supervising Producer John Bonifield admitted, unaware he was being secretly filmed.
When pushed to explain why CNN was beating the anti-Russia drum on a daily basis, things became clearer: “Because it’s ratings,” Bonifield said. “Our ratings are incredible right now.”
In the same media sting operation, Van Jones, a prominent CNN political commentator who has pushed the anti-Russia position numerous times on-air, completely changed his tune when caught off-air and off-guard. “The Russia thing is just a big nothing burger,” he remarked.
This brings us back to the story of the fallen Der Spiegel journalist. It seems that a deep cynicism has taken hold in at least some parts of the Western media establishment. Journalists seem increasingly willing to produce extremely tenuous, fact-challenged stories, many of which are barely held together by a rickety composite of anonymous entities.
And why not? If their own media bosses are permitting gross fabrications on a number of major issues, not least of all related to Russia, and further afield in Syria, why should the journalists be forced to play by the rules?
Under such oppressive conditions, where the media appears to be merely the mouthpiece of the government’s position on a number of issues, those working inside this apparatus will eventually come around to the conclusion that truth is not the main priority. The main priority is hoodwinking the public into believing something even when the facts – or lack of them – point to other conclusions.
Thus, it is no surprise when we find Western reporters imitating the greatest fiction writers, because in reality that is what they have already become.
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By Neil Clark
Yesterday, I received a death threat. I reported it to Twitter Support, but they said there was no violation of its rules on abuse.
It’s another example of the double standards of the social media giant and how, if you don‘t have officially-approved ‘victim’ status, you won’t get protection.
The account’s name is ‘ironstowe’. His Twitter title is ‘Not My President.’ At 22.40 on December 10, he sent me the following tweet from New York, USA.
The message was quite clear. Saddam was killed. Bin Laden was killed. Putin will be killed and then it’ll be the turn of ‘the likes’ of me.
The tweet came in response to one of mine in which I reminded people of what we were told about Iraqi WMDs in 2002/3, and compared the hysteria then with the anti-Russian hysteria today. It had quite impact, getting over 1,170 retweets and almost 2.5k likes.
But clearly ‘ironstowe’ didn’t like it, despite the politician he claims to be a ’big supporter’ of, Barack Obama, being a critic of the Iraq War.
His tweet spoilt what should have been a happy day for me as it was my wedding anniversary. Receiving it caused me great distress and made me very angry.
But as shocking as the communication was, it’s the response of Twitter that is the most outrageous part of the whole story. I reported the tweet, as indeed did many of my followers, but Twitter said, just a couple of minutes later, that having reviewed my report “carefully”, they found that “there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior”. I wrote back to appeal, but their response was the same. They weren’t interested.
Yet, the Twitter rules they linked to in their email to me clearly states, in the section marked ‘Violence,’ that “You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.”
This is exactly what ironstowe did. But he escaped censure and is still tweeting today as if nothing had happened.
Just imagine if an account holder from Russia had sent such a tweet to a journalist from CNN. I’ve absolutely no doubt that they’d have been suspended within minutes. Think of all the so-called ‘Russian bots’ who have been culled in recent months just for being Russians. Think of the anti-war commentators who have been suspended or banned from Twitter, for doing far less than ‘ironstowe‘.
It’s not the first time I’ve been sent threats via Twitter and the company has failed to act. Less explicit, but no less chilling was one I received from ‘HoagsObjects’/America 1st’ on September 24. I had tweeted earlier that day in support of Russia’s decision to supply S-300 air defence missiles to Syria to protect it from Israeli attacks. ‘HoagsObjects’ menacing response was “I hope to meet you in person one day.”
I reported the tweet, but again, Twitter said there was no violation. ‘HoagsObjects’ pinned tweet, by the way, declares “Truth! Palestine never existed.”
In the summer, I was the subject of another disturbing tweet from Idrees Ahmad, a lecturer at the University of Stirling, tweeting under the handle @im_PULSE.
It read: “It’s July 2018, Neil Clark hits his head against a sharp object, and sh*t oozes out”.
Among those who ‘liked’ the tweet was the shady black-list compiling ‘PropOrNot’ organisation, who also retweeted it, and the Kent-based troll account Don Quixote’s Horse’ @Quixote’s Horse, which smears foreign policy dissidents while courageously blocking them so they can’t respond.
Again, Twitter did nothing. It’s clear that its rules are only applied selectively. Narratives are the important thing.
Ahmad is a strong supporter of Western-backed regime change in Syria. I oppose intervention. If an opponent of Western policy had sent Ahmad the same tweet, I’ve little doubt they’d have been booted off the platform post-haste. Just imagine too if a left-wing supporter of Jeremy Corbyn had sent such a disgusting tweet to a Blairite Labour MP. It would have been all over the newspapers. But I’m not a member of the officially-designated ‘victim’ groups. I am a critic of Western foreign policy, a socialist and a regular on RT. So I’m fair game.
Political censorship appears to be taking place under the guise of ‘implementing‘ Twitter rules, while genuine offenders are given a free pass.
Asa Winstanley reports that the Electronic Intifada was ordered by Twitter to delete a tweet linking to a story about Israel’s commando raid into Gaza last month.
In August, the anti-war writer Caitlin Johnstone had her Twitter account temporarily suspended for violating the rules “against abusive behavior” for a tweet about the pro-war Senator John McCain. Her tweet read: “Friendly public service reminder that John McCain has devoted his entire political career to slaughtering as many human beings as possible at every opportunity, and the world will be improved when he finally dies.”
You might agree/disagree with the sentiment Caitlin expressed, but it was clearly not a death threat, unlike ironstowe’s tweet to me.
Another person to be banned permanently from Twitter recently is Peter Van Buren, a former State Department whistleblower. He tweeted: “I hope a MAGA guy eats your face” to journalist Jonathan Katz, who had called him “a garbage human being”. Katz reported him for “promoting violence.”
But was van Buren’s tweet any worse than the one ironstowe sent to me, and for which he escaped with impunity?
Twitter loses credibility if its rules are not applied equally across the board. Politics should not come into its policing policies.
Being a supporter of US Empire, the state of Israeli military actions, or regime-change operations in Syria shouldn’t mean you’re exempt from disciplinary procedures. And being an anti-war activist who opposes neocon policies shouldn’t mean you get no protection or are given a ‘red card’ when you’ve done nothing wrong. I would welcome a discussion with Jack Dorsey on these important issues.
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