Monday, April 3, 2017

'Blame Russia' campaign now includes blaming Russians for Marco Rubio losing. Their 'solution' so we won't get fooled by Russians ever again: Soviet style censorship of US media, a 'Ministry of Truth'-Robert Parry, 3/31/17

It was anthracite coal, not Russia: NY Times' detailed analysis of why Schuylkill County, Pa. went so 'surprisingly' for Trump in Nov. 2016 doesn't mention that: "Schuylkill County is located in the heart of the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania." Article subhead, "The Trump-Obama Vote"

Schuylkill County, Pa.


"Boris and Natasha, the evil spies from the Rocky and Bullwinkle shows."

3/31/17, "Blaming Russia for Everything," Robert Parry, Consortium News

"The Senate Intelligence Committee launched its Russia-gate investigation by inviting some “experts” in to rant about how everything that goes wrong in the United States is the fault of the Russians."

"It’s almost getting comical how everything that happens in the United States gets blamed on Russia! Russia! Russia! And, if any American points out the absurdity of this argument, he or she must be a “Moscow stooge” or a “Putin puppet.”

When Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign fails seemingly because he was a wet-behind-the-ears candidate who performed like a robot during debates repeating the same talking points over and over, you might have cited those shortcomings to explain why “Little Marco” flamed out. However, if you did, that would make you a Russian “useful idiot”! The “real” reason for his failure, as we learned from Thursday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, was Russia!

When Americans turned against President Obama’s Pacific trade deals, you might have thought that it was because people across the country had grown sick and tired of these neoliberal agreements that have left large swaths of the country deindustrialized and former blue-collar workers turning to opioids and alcohol. But if you did think that, that would mean you are a dupe of the clever Russkies, as ex-British spy Christopher Steele made clear in one of his “oppo” research reports against Donald Trump. As Steele’s dossier explained, the rejection of Obama’s TPP and TTIP trade deals resulted from Russian propaganda!

When Hillary Clinton boots a presidential election that was literally hers to lose, you might have thought that she lost because she insisted on channeling her State Department emails through a private server that endangered national security; that she gave paid speeches to Wall Street and tried to hide the contents from the voters; that she called half of Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorables”; that she was a widely disliked establishment candidate in an anti-establishment year; that she was shoved down the throats of progressive Democrats by a Democratic Party hierarchy that made her nomination “inevitable” via the undemocratic use of unelected “super-delegates”; that some of her State Department emails were found on the laptop of suspected sex offender Anthony Weiner (the husband of Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin); and that the laptop discovery caused FBI Director James Comey to briefly reopen the investigation of Clinton’s private email server in the last days of the campaign.

You might even recall that Clinton herself blamed her late collapse in the polls on Comey’s announcement, as did other liberal luminaries such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. But if you thought those thoughts or remembered those memories, that is just more proof that you are a “Russian mole”!

As we all should know in our properly restructured memory banks and our rearranged sense of reality, it was all Russia’s fault! Russia did it by undermining our democratic process through the clever means of releasing truthful information via WikiLeaks that provided evidence of how the Democratic National Committee rigged the nomination process against Sen. Bernie Sanders, revealed the contents of Clinton’s hidden Wall Street speeches, and exposed pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation in its dealings with foreign entities. 

You see the evil Russians undermined American democracy by arming the American people with truthful information! How dastardly is that! Could Boris and Natasha do any better or worse? ...Though WikiLeaks denies getting the two batches of emails – the DNC’s and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s – from the Russians, have we ruled out that the emails might have been slipped to WikiLeaks by the FX characters Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, presumably in disguise?

Oddly, too, when similar factual revelations come from Western-favored leaks, such as the purloined financial records of a Panamanian law firm known as the “Panama Papers,” we hail the disclosures regardless of the dubious methods that were used to steal them, especially if the contents can be spun to undermine disfavored governments like Russia (while also inconveniently embarrassing a few unimportant “’allies”).

But if you make that comparison or you note how the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. government-funded National Endowment for Democracy have supported various “independent” journalists and news outlets to advance U.S. propaganda, that makes you guilty of “moral equivalence,” another serious offense.

So now that you know how the game is played, you had the Senate Intelligence Committee eliciting testimony from people like media watcher Clint Watts, who seems to believe that any criticism of a U.S. government official (at least anyone he likes) must be directed by Russia!

“This past week we observed social media accounts discrediting U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan,” said Watts, who is billed in The Washington Post as “an expert in terrorism forecasting and Russian influence operations.”

Gee, I know you might say that you went on Facebook last week to criticize Ryan for bungling the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare by proposing a scheme that managed to alienate both right-wing and moderate Republicans as well as all Democrats. But that only proves you are indeed a Russian disinformation agent! (Watts also claimed that Sen. Rubio’s presidential bid “anecdotally suffered” from an online Russian campaign against him.)

As Watts describes these nefarious Russian schemes, they are so nefarious that they don’t have any discernible earmarks or detectable predictability. In his view, the Russians don’t want to help any particular person or group, just undermine America’s faith in its democracy.

As Watts puts it, Russians attack “people on both sides of the aisle … solely based on what they [the Russians] want to achieve in their own landscape, whatever the Russian foreign policy objectives are. They win because they play both sides.” In other words, any political comment that an American might make might just prove that you’re a traitor.

But Watts singled out President Trump for special criticism because he supposedly has tweeted about Russian-planted conspiracy theories. “Part of the reason active measures have worked in this U.S. election is because the commander-in-chief has used Russian active measure at times against his opponent,” Watts said, citing Trump’s bogus claims about 2016 voter fraud and his earlier silliness about President Obama’s Kenyan birthplace. Yes, as we all know, every goofy idea is manufactured in Russia. Americans are incapable of developing their own nonsense.

Watts then suggested that some kind of Ministry of Truth is needed to stamp out unapproved information “Until we get a firm basis on fact and fiction in our own country,…we’re going to have a big problem,” Watts said. He warned of a dangerous future from Russian information: “Somewhere in their cache right now there’s tremendous amounts of information laying around they can weaponize against other Americans.”

Perhaps what is even more frightening than the Russians letting Americans in on how Washington’s political process really works – by somehow slipping WikiLeaks some evidence of Democratic Party bigwigs tilting the Democratic primaries to ensure Clinton’s nomination and revealing what Clinton told those Wall Street bankers is the idea that the U.S. government should be enlisted to enforce what Americans get to see and hear.... 

What Democracy? 

Which makes me wonder what kind of “democracy” these brave “defenders of democracy” have in mind. The New York Times, The Washington Post and some establishment-approved Internet sites already have begun work on establishing standards for what information the American people will be allowed to see and hear – with disapproved sources of news marginalized by Internet search engines or prevented from earning any money by exclusion from Google and other ad programs.

Presumably, the 200 or so Web sites on PropOrNot’s black list would be the first cut for the new Ministry of Truth since many of them have published articles that raised questions about the accuracy of claims made by the U.S. State Department or they have expressed the belief that there may be two sides to complex issues – when Americans are supposed to hear only the side that Official Washington wants them to hear.

Some of these “Russian propaganda” Web sites – prior to the Iraq War – even raised doubts about the U.S. government’s certainty that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of WMDs. Thank goodness the Internet wasn’t as widely used back then or perhaps many Americans would have doubted the truth-telling by The New York Times and The Washington Post, which dutifully passed on the U.S. government’s pronouncements about Hussein’s secret WMDs.

Surely, in 2002-03, the Russians must have been behind the resistance by those few Web sites to the WMD group think that all the respectable people just knew to be true. How else can you explain the skepticism? And maybe Russia was responsible for the U.S. government’s failure to find any of those WMD stockpiles. Curse you, Russia!

With the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing on Thursday, this determination to squelch any dissenting American views as “Russian disinformation” moved up a notch, beyond some think-tank chatter, some newspaper articles or some initial planning for private-sector censorship. 

The craziness has now become the focus of an official Senate investigation into Russian “meddling” in American political life. We have taken another step down the path of a New Cold War that blends a New McCarthyism with a New Orwellianism." image above from Consortium News


Added: Globalist media obsessed with persuading US taxpayers to finance annihilation of the planet via nuclear war. (Must get rid of Putin):

"Mainstream U.S. news media, with its deep-seated biases and inability to deal with complexity, has become such a driving force for wider wars and even a threat to the future of the planet....(Martha) Raddatz’s loaded question was also a way of influencing – or misleading – U.S. public opinion."

Oct. 11, 2016, "Debate Moderator Distorted Syrian Reality," Robert Parry, Consortium News

"How ABC News’ Martha Raddatz framed her question about Syria in the second presidential debate shows why the mainstream U.S. news media, with its deep-seated biases and inability to deal with complexity, has become such a driving force for wider wars and even a threat to the future of the planet.

Raddatz, the network’s chief global affairs correspondent, presented the Syrian conflict as simply a case of barbaric aggression by the Syrian government and its Russian allies against the Syrian people, especially the innocents living in Aleppo.

“Just days ago, the State Department called for a war crimes investigation of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and its ally, Russia, for their bombardment of Aleppo,” Raddatz said. 

So this next question comes through social media through Facebook. Diane from Pennsylvania asks, if you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? Isn’t it a lot like the Holocaust when the U.S. waited too long before we helped?”

The framing of the question assured a response from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her determination to expand the U.S. military intervention in Syria to include a "no-fly zone" [which the US did in Libya with genocidal results] which U.S. military commanders say would require a massive operation that would kill many Syrians, both soldiers and civilians, to eliminate Syria’s sophisticated air-defense systems and its air force.

But Raddatz’s loaded question was also a way of influencing – or misleading – U.S. public opinion. Consider for a moment how a more honest and balanced question could have elicited a very different response and a more thoughtful discussion:

“The situation in Aleppo presents a heartrending and nettlesome concern. Al Qaeda fighters and their rebel allies, including some who have been armed by the United States, are holed up in some neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo. They’ve been firing rockets into the center and western sections of Aleppo and they have shot civilians seeking to leave east Aleppo through humanitarian corridors.... 

Siding with Al Qaeda 

Raddatz also could have noted that a key reason why the recent limited cease-fire failed was that the U.S.-backed “moderate” rebels in east Aleppo had rebuffed Secretary of State John Kerry’s demand that they separate themselves from Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which now calls itself the Syria Conquest Front.

Instead of breaking ties with Al Qaeda, some of these “moderate” rebel groups reaffirmed or expanded their alliances with Al Qaeda. In other words, Official Washington’s distinction between Al Qaeda’s terrorists and the “moderate” rebels was publicly revealed to be largely a myth. But the reality of U.S.-aided rebels collaborating with the terror group that carried out the 9/11 attacks complicates the preferred mainstream narrative of Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin “the bad guys” versus the rebels “the good guys.”

If Raddatz had posed her question with the more complex reality (rather than the simplistic, biased form that she chose) and if Clinton still responded with her recipe of a “no-fly zone,” the obvious follow-up would be: “Wouldn’t such a military intervention constitute aggressive war against Syria in violation of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg principles?

“And wouldn’t such a strategy risk tipping the military balance inside Syria in favor of Al Qaeda and its jihadist allies, possibly even its spinoff terror group, the Islamic State? And what would the United States do then, if its destruction of the Syrian air force led to the black flag of jihadist terror flying over Damascus as well as all of Aleppo? Would a Clinton-45 administration send in U.S. troops to stop the likely massacre of Christians, Alawites, Shiites, secular Sunnis and other ‘heretics’?”

There would be other obvious and important questions that a more objective Martha Raddatz would ask: “Would your no-fly zone include shooting down Russian aircraft that are flying inside Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government? Might such a clash provoke a superpower escalation, possibly even invite nuclear war?”

But no such discussion is allowed inside the mainstream U.S. media’s frame. There is an unstated assumption that the United States has the unquestioned right to invade other countries at will, regardless of international law, and there is a studied silence about this hypocrisy even as the U.S. State Department touts the sanctity of international law.

Whose War Crimes? 

Raddatz’s favorable reference to the State Department accusing the Syrian and Russian governments of war crimes further suggests a stunning lack of self-awareness, a blindness to America’s own guilt in that regard. How can any American journalist put on such blinders regarding even recent U.S. war crimes, including the illegal invasion of Iraq that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?

While Raddatz referenced “the heart-breaking video of a 5-year-old Syrian boy named Omran sitting in an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble after an air strike in Aleppo,” she seems to have no similar sympathy for the slaughtered and maimed children of Iraq who suffered under American bombs – or the people of Yemen who have faced a prolonged aerial onslaught from Saudi Arabia using U.S. aircraft and U.S.-supplied ordnance....

Because of the horrors inflicted on Iraq – and the resulting chaos that has now spread across the region and into Europe Raddatz could have asked Clinton, who as a U.S. senator voted for the illegal war, whether she felt any responsibility for this carnage. Of course, Raddatz would not ask that question because the U.S. mainstream media was almost universally onboard the Iraq War bandwagon, which helps explain why there has been virtually no accountability for those war crimes.

Letting Clinton Off

So, Clinton was not pressed on her war judgments regarding either Iraq or the Libyan “regime change” that she championed in 2011, another war of choice that transformed the once-prosperous North African nation into a failed state.
Raddatz’s biased framing also put Republican Donald Trump on the defensive for resisting yet another American “regime change” project in Syria....

The moderator’s failure to frame the Syrian issue in a factual and nuanced way contributed to this dangerously misleading “debate” on a grave issue of war and peace.

It is surely not the first time that the mainstream U.S. media has failed the American people in this way, but – given the stakes of a possible nuclear war with Russia – this propagandistic style of “journalism” is fast becoming an existential threat."


Added: Imperial globalist media can't handle reality:

"ABC's Martha Raddatz choked back tears as she discussed the Trump presidency."...

11/9/2016, "Trump beats the media and the establishment in pulling off the greatest upset ever," Howard Kurtz, Fox News

"Donald Trump, the real estate mogul mocked and minimized by the media and political establishment, has stunned the world with a death-defying campaign that has captured the presidency....

The man who had never run for public office, who had supposedly alienated so many women and minorities that he had no serious chance, somehow captured the highest office in the land.

It was not until 2:30 am that first the AP, then the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, then Fox News, declared Trump to be the 45th president.

There was a sense of disbelief, even shock, among journalists on and off the air as states like Ohio, North Carolina and Florida fell into the Trump column and Clinton failed to put away the big blue Midwestern states. Once Trump was within 54 electoral votes of winning the White House, the entire conversation changed:

How did Trump do this? How could Clinton have blown this?

How could we have missed this? How would this guy govern?

Some media figures lashed out on Twitter. ABC's Martha Raddatz choked back tears as she discussed the Trump presidency."...

Added: What may also have helped Trump, per a Free Republic commenter.

"Donald Trump...had a brand independent of that of the Republican party."

"To: Angels27 

I would summarize the results this way: Trump overperformed generic Republican, Hillary underperformed generic Democrat.

Unfortunately a lot of those in positions of power seem to be in denial of those facts. Then there are those who are uninterested in why. Hillary was a terrible candidate, and at least some senior Dems seem to be willing to ask how they can do better. Too many on the Republican side seem to be oblivious that Trump did better than generic Republican, and what the implications of that are. I am dubious that any other candidate in the primaries could have done better than Donald Trump, mostly because he had a brand independent of that of the Republican party.

10 posted on 4/1/2017, 6:50:58 PM by Fraxinus"

Comment: If you agree that the Republican Establishment is no friend of the American people and has long treated us like dirt, defeating them would be a positive thing. Many have tried and failed. You may recall the Tea Party--which was co-opted on day one. Trump defeating the GOP E was a bigger accomplishment than his winning the presidency in my view.


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