Russia’s measures to confront fake news

From Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation
April 27, 2017
Spokesperson Maria Zakharova
Excerpts:

Question: At the 6th International Security Conference, which has just ended in Moscow, one of the topics discussed at a plenary session was information aggression and what to do about this phenomenon. Practical examples of its use by Ukraine etc. were cited.  How can this latest form of information aggression be countered under the current conditions?

Maria Zakharova: Although I was out of Moscow and could not take part in the conference, I followed all the speeches and comments. I paid attention to the reaction to them and to everything connected with information, information wars and information aggression. What are we doing to counter all this?

First of all, we work directly with the audience and present timely quality information, confirmed by facts, figures and concrete examples. I think this is the main means of countering information aggression.

Second, we expose the people and agencies hiding behind the media brands who smuggle in misinformation and create fake news. The Russian Foreign Ministry website has opened a section devoted to fake news. It is functioning, publishing several items every week. Our initiative met with a very skeptical reaction from our Western colleagues. They immediately started to criticise us claiming that Russia just names the articles and brands them as fakes without giving the reason. That is untrue. We provide very detailed information, give our assessment and identify what we consider to be absolutely untrue information. This is a very effective method and an effective instrument. Today, when they ask me why Russia is spreading fake news I ask them to cite at least one example. Our examples are on the Russian Foreign Ministry website, not all of them of course, but only some of the millions of fake reports flooding the media.

Third, we use international legal institutions. It is important that not only the Russian Foreign Ministry but the media community work with the organisations concerned. The media must become aware of the danger of the very profession of journalist being undermined by the biggest and oldest media holdings. Audiences are drifting away from the traditional media outlets and turning to the internet, which is absolutely impossible to control in terms of verifying the facts. This is the job of professional communities and international institutions.

Just the other day, as part of the work of the UN GA Committee on Information, we made a proposal for the text of the resolution on which the Information Committee members will be working in the next few days on developing a strategy to combat the spread of fake news. We talked with Acting UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications and Public Information Maher Nasser on the sidelines of the session. He was totally supportive of the idea, partly because he himself highlighted this problem in his speech to the Committee members. The initiative is meeting with support. I hope it will not be blocked by some countries. We shall see how it goes. If somebody attempts to block it, we will inform you promptly. That would be interesting.

The UN Secretariat has a Public Information Department. It is doing a good job although it is working against heavy odds because it upholds not a country or party position, but reflects the opinion of the UN. It has to be weighed and balanced. The Department’s work is very complicated and taxing professionally. They, of all people, should know and understand what a supranational approach could be to developing a strategy of countering the spread of fake news.

This involves several areas of effort. Besides, I think the voice of every country and every journalist must be heard. It is not right to be indifferent and to think that it is no big deal if someone has failed to react to fake reports. That is not so. Each fake brings another fake in its trail. As of today, I consider the Western media reports about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when the first humanitarian convoys were sent to Donbass to be the most egregious and high-profile case of the spread of media fakes. This is not to mention Colin Powell, who probably feels very uncomfortable after the notorious episode with the vial. White vans with corresponding markings that were closely monitored by the Russian side, the Ukrainian colleagues and humanitarian groups started delivering humanitarian relief to the population which was deprived of bare necessities. The Western media unleashed a campaign alleging that Russia had started an invasion of Ukraine and that Russia was bringing in tanks in white vans. They claimed that the vehicles had not been inspected and that Russia opposed inspections. The reverse was the case. Russia was ready to comply with any inspections. I repeat, all this was happening before our eyes because the Russian Foreign Ministry was actively involved in this process. The media unleashed a barrage of fakes. Look it up online and find these media outlets. No one apologised, no one issued a disclaimer, no one sprinkled ashes on their heads and said they had been wrong and had been misled by false information. No one even wrote about it although very serious things were at issue. It was announced to the whole world that the world’s biggest country was perpetrating aggression against a neighbouring state. To me it was an ultimate example of the war of fakes.

These are just some illustrations of how fakes can be countered. In fact a strategy needs to be put in place. When I said that this is the job of the professional community I knew that it was already working on it. Some major organisations and social networks are currently negotiating among themselves the introduction of technologies to counter the spread of fakes. Major media outlets have made similar attempts to establish contacts. I think if the UN takes a step to work out a strategy and offer a venue for such experimental work, everyone will benefit from it.

Question: You mentioned the Acting Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications and Public Information and the reaction from the UN Department of Public Information. Have your other colleagues taken this initiative seriously? To what extent is this possible in the context of existing political and media realities, given the current media confrontation?

Maria Zakharova: You wouldn’t believe how seriously all of this was taken. The next day, someone sent me a link to a Washington Post article. I’ll read it in English and you please do the translating. I’ll read what it says. It’s not April 1, they really think this way: “Russians are fighting the war of words against the U.S. with American words.” We are accused of using American words in an information war with the US. This is the absolute limit! Read this amazing thing! We are being accused of having the nerve to use, I emphasise, “American” words in an information battle. I don’t know if there is any space left to fall any further. Are the US media probing the bottom? There are no other options. I think it is high time they started thinking about the heights, because they can’t fall any further.

Question: What about your colleagues at the UN?

Maria Zakharova: Our colleagues are working. The Committee will hold sessions until early May. Let me repeat that we are proceeding from what the UN Secretariat itself says. These were the remarks by the Acting Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications and Public Information. Many of our colleagues broached this theme in their remarks as well. Haven’t we had enough talk? It’s time we did something. This is why we made this proposal. The Washington Post article says we allegedly have the temerity to use “American” words. Personally I was accused of using the words “fake news,” but I couldn’t use this collocation because it was their find and invention that can be used only by them and not by us. Whose idea was this? The phenomenon is there, but you can’t say the words. It’s not serious.

Question: They are not English words, but American.

Maria Zakharova: This fits in well with the concept of exceptionalism.

http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/spokesman/briefings/-/asset_publisher/D2wHaWMCU6Od/content/id/2739385

White Helmets/al Nusra bases in east Aleppo and M10 hospital still standing — what the mainstream news won’t tell (VIDEO, AUDIO)

Global Research, March 18, 2017
21st Century Wire 15 March 2017

The US and its allies have spun a web of lies about Syria over the last 6 years. After West and Gulf-backed terrorists were driven from their stronghold in eastern Aleppo this past December, the West’s propaganda facade has been gradually disintegrating. 

On a recent SUNDAY WIRE episode, host Patrick Henningsen conducted a live interview with French humanitarian Pierre Le Corf, who has been based in Aleppo for the last year. In this incredibly segment, Le Corf gives details about the the current safety situation in the city, as well as new evidence which reinforces previous reports regarding the US and UK funded White Helmets’ obvious terrorist affiliations.

Listen to Le Corf’s interview segment here:

Le Corf’s video completely dismantles the corporate media’s deceptive White Helmet narrative which the west has been promoting intensely over the last 3 and half years.

Pierre Le Corf writes: “As a French citizen, I refuse to support my country’s criminal foreign policy. Please read my letter to the President of the French republic where I outline my objections very clearly. In less than two hours I have gathered images of two hospitals that are still operating, claimed to have been destroyed. I have walked past tonnes of medicines reserved for the various terrorist groups and prohibited for civilians. I have passed by the remains of the buildings under the control of Jabhat Al Nusra and the Free Syrian Army, next door to the White Helmets building, which as civilian testimony shows us, mainly helped terrorists not civilians.”

Watch this stunning video walk-through of former White Helmet and Al Nusra (al Qaeda) encampments in war-torn East Aleppo:

The original source of this article is 21st Century Wire
Copyright © Patrick Henningsen and Pierre Le Corf, 21st Century Wire, 2017

http://www.globalresearch.ca/terrorism-with-a-human-face-white-helmets-were-al-qaedas-next-door-neighbours-in-aleppo/5580274

The diabolical business of global public relations firms — making and managing the news

PRP firms have emerged as orchestrators of global information and news. The world today faces a military-industrial-media empire, bolstered by PRP firms, that is so powerful and complex that truth is mostly absent or reported only in disconnected segments with little historical context.

From Project Censored

By Peter Phillips
March 15, 2017

The expansion of  public relations and propaganda (PRP) firms inside news systems in the world today has resulted in a deliberate form of news management. Maintenance of continuous news shows requires a constant and ever-entertaining supply of stimulating events and breaking news bites. Corporate media are increasingly dependent on various government agencies and PRP firms as sources of news.

The PRP industry has experienced phenomenal growth since 2001. In 2015, three publicly traded mega PR firms—Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic Group—together employed 214,000 people across 170 countries, collecting $35 billion in combined revenue. Not only do these firms control massive wealth, they also possess a network of connections in powerful international institutions with direct links to national governments, multi-national corporations, global policy-making bodies, and the corporate media.

In The Practice of Public Relations, Fraser P. Seitel defined public relations as “helping an organization and its public adapt mutually to each other.” Propaganda can be defined as the dissemination of ideas and information for the purpose of inducing or intensifying specific attitudes and actions. Both PR and propaganda seek to change behaviors and ideas among the masses in support of the agendas of public and private institutions. (For an early history of state propaganda, see Jacuie L’Etang, “State Propaganda and Bureaucratic Intelligence: The Creation of the Public Relations in 20th Century Britain,” Public Relations Review 24, no. 4 (1998): 413-41.)  As Douglas Kellner and other researchers have documented, since 9/11 public relations firms have contributed to increased levels of media propaganda.

Consider the Rendon Group, one of the key PR firms supporting US propaganda efforts during recent wars. In the 1980s, it produced public relations propaganda for the ousting of Panama’s president, Manuel Noriega. The Rendon Group also shaped international support for the first Gulf War, and in the 1990s created the Iraqi National Congress. The Rendon Group provided the images that mobilized public support for a permanent war on terror, including the fake news stories of the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad, the heroic rescue of US Army private Jessica Lynch, and dramatic tales of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. As James Bamford reported in a 2005 article in Rolling Stone, Pentagon documents show thirty-five contracts with Rendon from 2000-2004, worth a total of  between $50-100 million dollars.

PRP firms have emerged as orchestrators of global informion and news. The world today faces a military-industrial-media empire, bolstered by PRP firms, that is so powerful and complex that truth is mostly absent or reported only in disconnected segments with little historical context. In late 1999, Ben Bagdikian, the author of Media Monopoly and former Washington Post editor, told me that he estimated that two-thirds of all news stories originated with PR firms; in 2003, an article from the Guardian conservatively estimated that 50-80% of news and business stories originated from public relations firms. The result is managed news by governments, corporations, and PRP firms—often interlocked—including both the release of specific stories intended to build public support as well as the deliberate non-coverage of news stories that may undermine capitalist elites’ goals and interests.

 

For the rest of the article:
http://projectcensored.org/propaganda-fake-news-media-lies/

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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova briefing, February 15 — Obama, U.S. use of depleted uranium in Syria, ‘Russian hackers’, Ukraine’s information campaign

From Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
February 15, 2017

Excerpts:

The situation in Syria

 

The ceasefire regime in Syria introduced December 30, 2016, is being observed. Its zone continues to expand with units of the Southern Front armed opposition joining the ceasefire. The ceasefire is guaranteed by Russia, Turkey and Iran, with Jordan making a substantial contribution to it.

The fight continues against ISIS and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, terrorists. The Syrian Army and militia units, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, are methodically pushing terrorist elements out of the country. About 1,400 square kilometres of territory have been liberated since January 1, 2017. It became possible to force ISIS terrorists out of a fortified outpost in the village of Tadef near the city of al-Bab, to establish a bridgehead near the city and to gain control of the Raqqa−al-Bab motorway. Over 650 terrorists were eliminated in Tadef, and a route for supplying ISIS with reinforcements, equipment and financial assistance was cut off.

Government forces continue to advance on Palmyra. The Russian Defence Ministry has published drone footage showing the barbaric destruction of UNESCO World Heritage Sites by ISIS militants in this city. Unfortunately, it is already clear that little remains of these ancient architectural and cultural landmarks. The terrorists have razed the façade of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, as well as Tetrapylon columns, to the ground. They are also highly likely to blow up the remnants of the historical architectural complex and nearby residential areas. The jihadists have shelled the Homs refinery with mortars, and they also set fire to natural gas fields while retreating.

As you know, Astana will host the second international meeting on Syria over the next few days. The Russian delegation that has already arrived in the capital of Kazakhstan will hold working consultations today. We hope that the upcoming meeting in the capital of Kazakhstan will provide an additional boost to the inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue under UN auspices in Geneva. Hopefully, it will become possible to resume this dialogue on February 20.

Against this backdrop, we note the attempts to aggravate the intra-Syrian conflict still further and to exacerbate contradictions between the warring parties. This is the only way to interpret the media leaks by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Atlantic Council of the United States, via CNN, about the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces in Aleppo, mass executions at Sednaya military prison near Damascus, and the methodical destruction of Syrian socioeconomic infrastructure by the Russian Aerospace Forces. The evidence backing up these so-called “sensations” leaves a lot to be desired, but, as we can see, their authors don’t seem to care. Their purpose is to torpedo any chance for launching a political peace settlement that has appeared largely through Russian efforts and to thwart emerging prospects for broad, equitable and mutually respectful international cooperation in the interests of eradicating a terrorist hotbed in the Middle East and stabilising the region.

 

Media response to the United States using depleted uranium in Syria
Given how many sensationalistic stories are planted in the media, as I mentioned earlier, it’s fun to watch world media juggernauts and institutions dealing with freedom of speech get busy with creating websites to oppose the spread of “fake news,” which has become a widespread practice. On the one hand, they say it’s imperative to not just counter it, but to do all it takes to prevent the spread of “fake news,” while they themselves engage in spreading precisely such news.

Against the background of this data, the information provided by the United States Central Command, whose operational responsibility includes, primarily, the Middle East, to the effect that the US Air Force used munitions with depleted uranium in air strikes on ISIS positions in Syria, came as a shock to many who did not believe us when we said so. As you may be aware, such a statement was made by an official representative on Tuesday when he spoke about the US air operations with the use of toxic substances which cause cancer and birth defects.

As you may recall, Russia has stated this more than once. Back in October 2016, citing independent experts, we presented such information and called on the public to pay attention to it. At that time, our American partners denied all the accusations against them. A couple of months later, these accusations were not merely confirmed, but confirmed by the United States itself. The only difference is that we provided this information a few months ago, when the previous team led by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was at the helm. Clearly, he was the one to give the go-ahead to using these weapons − any other scenario is unlikely, since such things must be approved at the highest level. I would like to say that the goal pursued by US officials was noble, that is to fight terrorists. But the point is that the traces of these weapons will remain in Syria forever. You can find out more about it if you read some professional literature. The number of missiles that were used is simply devastating. I would like to quote the same US official, who said that out of 1,790 missiles fired on November 16, 2016, 1,490 contained toxic materials, and 3,775 missiles of 4,530 fired on November 22, 2016 contained toxic materials. Thus, there were five rounds with depleted uranium for every conventional missile. Each operation involved four A-10 jet aircraft. You can look up these numbers.

I would like to remind you that earlier the United States, particularly the Pentagon, claimed that the United States has never used ammo with depleted uranium during the international anti-terrorist operation in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, in 2003, these munitions were used during the US invasion of Iraq. I reiterate, it is better to read up on this subject in specialised literature, make inquiries, perhaps, even with independent expert institutes, and ask the experts specialising in this area to provide their opinion. They will tell you what the use of weapons with depleted uranium is all about, and what its implications are for the lives and livelihoods of the local people.

I mentioned this with regard to fake news and the role of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s team in resolving international conflicts. Incidentally, people live in Syria. The scary thing is that the focus was on isolated cases which were clearly propaganda shams where individual Syrian citizens, unfortunately, were propelled to the status of international stars, and the information campaign regarding these people was used as a front to cover up what was really happening in that country.

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U.S. launches Russian-language TV station in Eastern Europe “with zero spin” to “break through the drumbeat of Kremlin narratives”

“Focusing on personal storytelling, instead of politics, will allow their content to spread in Russia.”

The stealth approach. Seduction. The approach of pedophiles, drug dealers, sexual predators, and con artists —
— I really like you. I’m your friend. You can trust me.
— Would you like to come to my house and see my puppy? 
— It’s only one pill, and it’ll make you feel better. And it’s my gift to you. 
— You deserve more. I just want to help you.

From Foreign Policy

February 9, 2017

by Kavitha Surana and Reid Standish

Outlets that don’t toe the Kremlin line have long had trouble gaining a foothold in the Russian media market. As a result, the expertly-produced state media enjoys a virtual monopoly in the Russian-speaking world, stifling independent voices and stories critical of official Russia.

Now, a new network for Russian speakers has entered the market and it hopes to break through the drumbeat of Kremlin narratives by focusing on local issues and people’s daily lives.

Current Time, backed by U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty and partnered with Voice of America, launched its 24/7 Russian language television channel on Tuesday. It had already started a website last year. With about 100 staff members in Prague and correspondents stationed throughout the region, the network will broadcast in 11 countries across the former Soviet Union, including Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, and the Baltic countries.

“Our focus is on real human beings, bread and butter issues,” Daisy Sindelar, the director of Current Time, told Foreign Policy during an interview. “The videos really tap into day-to-day but universal issues, like corruption and poverty and health care.”

The move comes as European Union officials have stepped up criticism of Kremlin-controlled media. Moscow-funded outlets like RT and Sputnik often set the tone on stories like the Ukraine conflict, NATO, and domestic issues inside some countries with large Russian-speaking populations, sometimes sparking controversy with false information.

“Russia tries to challenge the stability and the minds of Western societies,” said Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the European Council who sponsored an EU report on Russian disinformation last year. “I consider a Russian-language satellite and digital network an excellent response to this threat.”

Current Time may have trouble drawing eyeballs away from well-funded state media pumped up with drama and glitz. The new outlet will have to make due with a much smaller budget than established Russian networks enjoy. Meanwhile, local affiliate stations that Current Time relies on to distribute their content in Russia are often hesitant to pick up foreign programming for fear that they could lose advertising revenue by going against the official line.

“In the short term, we don’t anticipate that our TV penetration will be significant in Russia,” said Sindelar.

Current Time’s founders think they’ll have better luck reaching the millions-strong Russian language audience across the region on their smartphones, using video to tell personal narratives and highlight local issues. The digital division has already garnered more than 200 million views on sites like YouTube, Facebook, and the Russian social media site VKontakte since January 2016.

Glenn Kates, the managing editor of Current Time’s digital department, said the team was inspired by the growing popularity of short subtitled videos on Facebook from outlets like Al Jazeera +, Buzzfeed, and others news sites that managed to excel in accessing audiences on social media platforms.

“I had seen how those videos were capable of engaging with people and I realized that there is no reason that something that works there shouldn’t work [for Current Time],” he said.

Current Time, which is affiliated with the Broadcasting Board of Governors and funded by the U.S. government, will also need to shed criticism it has its own state-funded editorial viewpoint.

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“Fake news” and crimes against humanity: Amnesty International admits Syrian “Saydnaya” report created entirely in UK

Global Research, February 09, 2017
Land Destroyer 9 February 2017

Amnesty International’s 48 page report titled, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,” boasts bold claims, concluding:

…the Syrian authorities’ violations at Saydnaya amount to crimes against humanity. Amnesty International urgently calls for an independent and impartial investigation into crimes committed at Saydnaya.

However, even at a cursory glance, before even reading the full body of the report, under a section  titled, “Methodology,” Amnesty International admits it has no physical evidence whatsoever to substantiate what are admittedly only the testimony of alleged inmates and former workers at the prison, as well as figures within Syria’s opposition.

What you are looking at is a 3D model fabricated entirely in the United Kingdom, based solely on satellite pictures and hearsay. Passed off as evidence this technique of “forensic architecture” may soon become a new tool in the dissemination of war propaganda if it is not exposed.

Within the section titled, “Methodology,” the report admits:

Despite repeated requests by Amnesty International for access to Syria, and specifically for access to detention facilities operated by the Syrian authorities, Amnesty International has been barred by the Syrian authorities from carrying out research in the country and consequently has not had access to areas controlled by the Syrian government since the crisis began in 2011. Other independent human rights monitoring groups have faced similar obstacles.

In other words, Amnesty International had no access whatsoever to the prison, nor did any of the witnesses it allegedly interview provide relevant evidence taken from or near the prison.

The only photographs of the prison are taken from outer space via satellite imagery. The only other photos included in the report are of three men who allege they lost weight while imprisoned and a photo of one of eight alleged death certificates provided to family members of detainees who died at Saydnaya.

The alleged certificates admittedly reveal nothing regarding allegations of torture or execution.

Articles like, “Hearsay Extrapolated – Amnesty Claims Mass Executions In Syria, Provides Zero Proof,” provide a detailed examination of Amnesty’s “statistics,” while articles like, “Amnesty International “Human Slaughterhouse” Report Lacks Evidence, Credibility, Reeks Of State Department Propaganda,” cover the politically-motivated nature of both Amnesty International and the timing of the report’s promotion across the Western media.

However, there is another aspect of the report that remains unexplored – the fact that Amnesty International itself has openly admitted that the summation of the report was fabricated in the United Kingdom at Amnesty International’s office, using a process they call “forensic architecture,” in which the lack of actual, physical, photographic, and video evidence, is replaced by 3D animations and sound effects created by designers hired by Amnesty International.

Amnesty Hired Special Effects Experts to Fabricate “Evidence” 

In a video produced by Amnesty International accompanying their report, titled, “Inside Saydnaya: Syria’s Torture Prison,” the narrator admits in its opening seconds that Amnesty International possesses no actual evidence regarding the prison.

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From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II: U.S. military buildup in eastern Europe, the Yanks in their armoured parade

Global Research, January 18, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 18 January 2017
usa tank russia

I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views.

The degradation of American democracy continues before our eyes with the incessant hysterical allegations against Russia generally and the manipulation of Donald Trump as a device to put out even more sensational allegations, a campaign which serves two purposes; the first, to build up anti-Russian feeling in the west to war levels by accusing Russia of cyber attacks and attacks on “democracy,” the second to either justify the removal of Trump as a factor in the presidency or to force him to toe the line of the war faction and drop any conciliatory rhetoric towards Russia.

It appears that this strategy is working. At his recent press conference Trump not only adopted the “Russia did it” theme but went further and stated that if people thought Hilary Clinton was going to be tough on Russia, they would soon see that he will be tougher than she ever could be. The hopes by some in the United States that Trump was going to open a new policy of dialogue with Russia have been completely shattered. But this should have been no surprise with his immediate insult to China the day after his election and with his cabinet choices and their various testimonies before Congress the past days, as they are vetted for their posts, that show his administration will use war to dominate the world just as enthusiastically as the outgoing administration.

Trump has said that it is better to have good relations with Russia and that only fools would reject that idea. But this statement is part of the general line that if Russia does not do what the US dictates then, of course, force will be used instead. On the PBS Newshour on Thursday July 12 a “former” senior CIA officer, when asked whether Trump had a point in wanting good relations with Russia, laughed and said,

“The United States should not look for good relations with any country. We should strive for one thing only, the advancement of American national interests, and if diplomacy does not work then coercion must be used.”

This is the talk of gangsters.

The world is fatigued with the circus that is the struggle for power taking place between the ruling factions in the United States. There is clearly little to separate these factions ideologically regarding foreign policy and very little regarding domestic policy. It’s just a gang war.

The use of lurid allegations against Trump to portray him as not only a willing dupe of Russia but also a target of blackmail, which allegations appear to originate with a “former” senior MI6 agent named Christopher Steele, smacks of the MI5 and MI6 plot to bring down British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1970s, as they had brought down the Labour government in 1924 with the production and distribution in the press of a forged letter from Zinoviev to the British Communist Party calling for a mass insurrection in Britain. In Wilson’s case too, forged documents were put out by MI5 and MI6 with the help of the CIA, through a compliant media, to smear him as a Russian agent and he later stated that he knew of two planned military coups against him. John Kennedy was assassinated in the coup d’état of 1963 in a poisonous atmosphere generated by allegations he was “soft on communism,” that is, once again, the Russians.

Frankly, whether Trump is ousted in a coup, or by impeachment later, as the Washington Post suggested could happen, or is allowed to stay in office as a compliant front man as the other presidents have been since Kennedy was murdered, matters not; the result is the same, the continuation of a permanent war regime in the United States, that lives for, by and through a permanent state of war. The American people were brainwashed into tolerating and accepting the coup of 1963 and it would hardly be surprising if another one is carried out and tolerated when intelligence agencies, political enemies, the media and Hollywood celebrities are openly calling for a coup to be staged. Democracy? The vote? Who cares? Civil unrest? A price to pay. The result is that the preparations for war continue, and are amplified by the Trump election, which the intelligence services are using to intensify the propaganda attack on Russia and President Putin.

Meanwhile, as the media and Obama regime keep the people off-balance with the Trump scandal US military forces continue their deployments against Russia and China. The machine is in motion. In Europe the Americans have just added to the pressure on Russia with the placement of the 3rd Armoured Brigade in Poland, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russia rightly considers a threat to its security. This is a unit that was involved as an assault force in the Normandy landings in 1944 and was used to invade Iraq in 2003. The unit is noted for its speed of attack. These forces will fan out from Poland to cover a wide front from Estonia and Latvia to Romania with tank, artillery and armoured mobile infantry units. These are not garrison or occupation troops, these are assault troops.

US Army General Scaparrotti, commander of US forces in Europe and NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, stated that the movement of this force to Poland “marks a significant moment in European deterrence and defence.” He stated,

“The European infrastructure and integrated support has enabled our forces to rapidly be ready and postured should they need to deter Russian aggression.”

Since there is no Russian “aggression” and since the Americans are continually stating that they expect Russia to engage in hybrid, that is unconventional warfare against Eastern Europe, we can be sure that these forces themselves and their specialised units will engage in false flag attacks and provocations to make it look like Russia is taking hostile action to justify the use against Russia of these and allied European forces. It is just a matter of time unless a diplomatic breakthrough occurs which appears highly unlikely, despite Russia’s diligent efforts.

At the same time it was reported on Friday the 13th that Trump’s appointed foreign minister. Mr. Tillerson stated to Congress on the 11th of January, that the US should deny Beijing access to its islands in the South China Sea. China state media responded that any such attempt would lead to large-scale war. Yet, on January 5th, just a few days before Tillerson’s statement the Pentagon announced that “ships and units from the USS Carrier Carl Vinson strike group will soon depart San Diego for the western Pacific” where US strategic B1 and B2 bombers have already been deployed on Guam, capable of carrying nuclear armed cruise missiles.

And lastly, on the propaganda front, the recent illegal seizure of investigatory material by Dutch police from Dutch journalists returning from Donetsk once again adds to the evidence that the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board in July 2014 was an action of the Kiev regime with US knowledge. I recently stated in an essay on that subject that it was a Kiev military jet that shot down the airliner, and referred to a Sukhoi 25 being used but I since been shown evidence that it was in fact a Kiev Mig-29 that was used. In any event, the NATO powers have colluded in covering up this fact in order to keep up their propaganda the Russia was behind it.

The situation is grave and the doomsday clock must be knocking on the door of midnight. Many of us have called for the anti-war and peace movements to mobilise but they are nowhere to be seen. Many of them, especially in the United States have been co-opted into supporting these wars, and the left, that is supposed to be against imperialist wars, whether the hard or the soft left, appears to be too weak to make itself felt. It seems there are too few of us in the west any more who give a damn.

But we better act now and make people give a damn or else it will be too late because as my friend, Harold Pinter, so well put it to me once at dinner in London, the world is faced with a people in love with themselves who don’t seem to care about anything or anybody except themselves and think they can commit any crime and get away with it. I can’t express the disgust so well as Harold did in a poem he once sent me that he found difficult to get published, one of several, but which is now in a short collection of his poems called War. Perhaps if there were more like him, more poems like this, read widely enough, more voices speaking out, people would react, wake up, stiffen up, get back their sense of decency and backbone. I don’t know. But I offer it to you here in the hope, perhaps naïve, that it has an effect.

God Bless America

Here they go again,

The Yanks in their armoured parade…

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”